Aug 262016
 
nwed

Actually, I'll mention two days you probably didn't know about – with a tip of the hat to Lona the Napster.

First – August 26 was designated by Congress as Women's Equality Day by Congress in 1971 at the behest of Bella Abzug (remember her?)  The date was chosen because it was the day in 1920 that Congress certified the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote (and incidentally to hold public office).

Second – August 26 is also National Dog Day.  National Dog Day was founded in 2004 by Animal Advocate Colleen Paige, who chose August 26 because it was the date that her family adopted her first dog "Sheltie" when she was ten.  Colleen is also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day, National Cat Day, and other national days to bring attention to, and encourage adoption of, animals.  I hadn't planned to include this, but when I learned that more Americans are aware of National Dog Day than are aware of Women's Equality Day,  I thought I had better mention it, before someone else did, and get it out of the way.

Back to Women's Equality Day, which is what the column is really about, it was, as I said, created in 1971, by a joint resolution of Congress:

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971
Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.

The responsibility for keeping it going seems to have (appropriately) fallen to/been adopted by the National Women's History Project, a non-profit educational organization, which, among other achievements, got March designated as National Women's History month.  They produce and provide resources for educators, speakers for groups, guides for historic site tours, and – well, you name it.  They offer an on-line trifold brochure in color about the Day and detailed instructions on how to print it.

Mrs. Abzug spearheaded the Day as a celebration of women getting the right to vote, but it has become more general in focus, and, while you may notice the brochure has a voting quiz, they also pick a different theme each year to highlight, connected to women's history in general rather than just voting.  This year the theme is "Working To Form A More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Servide and Government."  A very appropriate theme for 2016.  Last year, Time magazine developed and published the graphic on the right for National Women's Day, which is, alas, still pretty accurate.

But I also want to mention two other organizations who work every day to make it easier for women to vote.

We probably know each major party has a GOTV effort in place this very important year.  But the American Association of University Women, along with their other projects, is providing non-partisan GOTV skill training free through webinars, specifically aimed at registering women in the milliennial generation, through their "It's My Vote: I Will Be Heard" initiative.  This program also includes providing voter guides, and goes beyond that to training participants how to create their own voter guides if none are available which are specific to their area.  Yes, they have "University" in their name, but they are far from an elitist group.  They are envisioning holding these drives on campuses, but that's because they are timing this set of webinars with back-to-school.  I can't imagine them being upset if someone wanted to hold a drive in, say, a mall, nor if someone signed up a male or two while registering women.

Then of course, probably the grandmamma of all organizations which pair women and votes – it was founded, by Carrie Chapman Catt, six months before the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified – is the League of Women Voters.

The League began as a "mighty political experiment" designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to participate in shaping public policy. From the beginning, the League has been an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in advocacy. It was then, and is now, a nonpartisan organization. League founders believed that maintaining a nonpartisan stance would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in the party politics of the day. However, League members were encouraged to be political themselves, by educating citizens about, and lobbying for, government and social reform legislation.

To this day the League concentrates on educating voters on issues rather than on candidates.  It is committed to being grassroots and non-partisan.  And it does register voters.  Last spring, League volunteers registered nearly 15,000 high school and community college students throough 350 registration drives.  They are looking to repeat or expand on this on National Voter Registration Day, which will be Tuesday, September 27.

However, the league does not stop at educating and registering.  It does get involved in fighting on issues.  Money in politics and defending the environment are the biggest, but there are some others as well.  You might be surprised how many others.  Click thrugh to the site and scroll down for a look.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4007182

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Aug 232016
 

I’ll be as brief as I can, as I have a meeting this evening and need to rest today.

Jug Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:59 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, and legislature have happily joined in on the War on Women and the war on Planned Parenthood, attempting to state funding to reproductive health clinics and diverting resources away from clinics that provide abortion. What does that mean when it comes to fighting a disease that kills and deforms unborn babies? A looming disaster.

"We haven’t heard about any kits," says Laura Goodhue, a vice president at Planned Parenthood of South, East, and North Florida. Planned Parenthood hasn’t received any Zika kits from the Florida Department of Health, nor has it received any guidance from the department about how to serve pregnant women during a possible outbreak. […]

A big part of the defense against infection for women in Florida appears to be the Zika prevention kits and OB-GYN outreach, but the Scott administration’s strategy is unclear. The Planned Parenthood affiliate operates three clinics in Miami-Dade County, which has the fourth-highest uninsured rate in the country, and another just over the border in Broward County. The women’s health care organization serves tens of thousands of people per year, many of whom are low-income and without insurance—and more likely to get pregnant by accident. As Laura Goodhue notes, they have not received a single kit.

This Republican is intentionally withholding life-saving services to the women who need them most. When his victims start dying, he will undoubtedly blame Planned Parenthood for the blood on his own hands.

From NY Times: Taking advantage of almost a decade of political victories in state legislatures across the country, conservative advocacy groups are quietly marshaling support for an event unprecedented in the nation’s history: a convention of the 50 states, summoned to consider amending the Constitution.

The groups are an amalgam of free-market, low-tax and small-government proponents,

I urge you to click through to read this entire article to better understand how critically important it is to win down-ballot races. Then vote blue.

From Alternet: Donald Trump is trailing Hillary Clinton badly in Colorado, which despite being a "swing state" went for President Obama twice. And despite boasting that he’ll change the electoral map, Trump is running a ground game in the Centennial State that can only be described as embarrassing, even for him.

According to St. Louis-based news station KMOV 4, Weston Imer runs the GOP nominee’s campaign office in Jefferson County, Colorado, which is "part of the Denver metro area" and "one of the most populous counties in Colorado," KMOV notes. But Weston is just 12 years old.

I consider it horrid that one so young is so corrupted. On the plus side, it appears that Rump Dump has all but given up in CO.

Cartoon: (Yesterday at the Podiatrist’s office, I heard a "trigger"word!)

0823CartoonTCPodiatrist

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Aug 142016
 

It is Saturday night, the end of a very hot and miserable day as far as I am concerned — 31 C (88 F) late this afternoon.  It is 0100 and 20 C (68 F) with  humidity at 78%.  Days like this just sap my energy and affect my breathing (asthma).  So I have been drinking like a fish and staying quiet.  Later Sunday, I will going to visit my mother so at least I'll have the benefit of AC in the car.  I hope everybody is surviving the heat wherever you are.

Here it is, Sunday afternoon and the temperature is back up to 30 C (86 F) 60% humidity.

Short Takes

Common Dreams — Bernie Sanders bore down on Donald Trump's economic agenda in a series of tweets on Friday morning, calling him "the poster child of failed trade policies."

Photo published for Donald Trump’s new tax plan could have a big winner: Donald Trump’s companies

The social media take-down began with Sanders posting a link to a Washington Post story from earlier this week, which revealed how a "little-noticed provision in Donald Trump's tax reform plan has the potential to deliver a large tax cut to companies in the Republican presidential nominee's vast business empire."

Click through to see a string of Bernie's tweets.  Go Bernie!  I'd also suggest reading the Washington Post story (click on "revealed") because it certainly does outline how Drumpf and other high income earners would disproportionately benefit from Drumpf's plan.  And to the point of these business entities taking those tax "savings" and reinvesting them in the business, according to Forbes, corporations are still sitting on large cash piles on their balance sheets, much of it sitting offshore.  The figures used are from 2013-14.

Raw Story — Mr. Speaker,

When Donald Trump suggested on August 9 that Hillary Clinton could only be stopped from nominating judges by “Second Amendment people,” most of the world gasped, realizing he was inciting violence against his opponent for the presidency. It was unprecedented, beneath contempt. But he didn’t apologize. Given my long experiences with Trump, I knew he would soon string together a babble of words in hopes of twisting his statement beyond recognition. And so he did, with an assist from sycophants like Sean Hannity of Fox News, who nodded like a bobblehead doll as Trump told him he didn’t mean that gun lovers should assassinate Clinton. He only meant they should be voting for him to keep her out of the White House.

That makes no sense, and here’s a crucial thing to know about Trump: He never tries to make his lies or delusions or fantasies make sense. He just spews to explain away the inexplicable.

Call for Assassination

Let’s examine the words that got him into so much trouble: “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what, that will be a horrible day.”

Trump’s post hoc interpretation: He doesn’t know if gun lovers will vote to keep Clinton out of office. Or he hopes gun owners will vote for him. Or only Trump voters with guns could keep Clinton out of office. None of that makes sense.

Read the original statement again. Did he mean it will be a horrible day when Second Amendment people stop her from picking judges? That’s a call for assassination. Or did he mean it will be a horrible day when a President Clinton picks judges and only Second Amendment people might be able to stop it? Another call for assassination.

Trump then blamed the media for applying the rules of grammar and sentence structure to him, instead of being like his acolytes, for whom words and sentences no longer have agreed-upon meanings.

This, Mr. Speaker, is what you would be dealing with in a Trump presidency, and this flagrant disregard for the facts, for the truth, is why I am writing this, my second open letter to you. Trump must be stopped. Let the GOP lose this election. It is the only way to save the Republican Party, and the nation. Even some of his most deranged supporters recognize the danger he poses—one caller into C-SPAN last week said he knew his candidate might start a nuclear war but at least America would win.

Click through for the rest of this fairly long piece.  Author  Kurt Eichenwald goes on to lay out many of Drump's inconsistencies and lies, some of them sworn under oath in depositions or in Congressional hearings.  This is, IMO, the kind of information that needs to get broad exposure, especially with likely Drumpf supporters and voters.  Drumpf is a menace to a civilised society.

Alternet — Nearly 100% of likely voters are set on their November 8 presidential pick and the debates won't even start for another month. So, who really is the media fanfare for at this point? After all, as Noam Chomsky points out, the voting decision is really a lot simpler than the pundits have built it up to be.  …

Chomsky has consistently declared Donald Trump would be a disaster, and urges voters in swing states to cast their ballots for Hillary Clinton. 

There is another video at the end of the article which shows Chomsky giving the same advice to Clinton supporters in 2008.  As Chomsky says in 2016 "… I would vote against Trump … you hold your nose and vote Democrat … I don't think there is any other rational choice.  Abstaining from voting or say voting for a candidate you prefer, a minority candidate, just amounts to a vote for Donald Trump … "  Wise words.

Politico — Republican insiders are more convinced than Democrats that Donald Trump is so far behind Hillary Clinton that he can't win in November.

Roughly half of Republican members of The POLITICO Caucus — activists, strategists and operatives in 11 swing states — believe that Trump’s path to 270 electoral votes is basically shut off after another week in which the GOP nominee appears to have ceded ground in national and most battleground state polls.

Democrats, however, aren’t breaking out the champagne just yet. Seventy-two percent of Democratic insiders said despite Clinton’s clear advantage at this stage of the race, the presidential election isn’t effectively over.

Democrats cited the unpredictability of the 2016 campaign, along with some of Clinton’s own weaknesses, for their bridled optimism. It’s a message that fits neatly with what party leaders are saying publicly and behind closed doors: Don’t get too cocky, even with Clinton well ahead of Trump in the polls.  …

“Trump is underperforming so comprehensively across states and demographics it would take video evidence of a smiling Hillary drowning a litter of puppies while terrorists surrounded her with chants of ‘Death to America!’ But in 2016, stranger things have happened.”

Democrats are much less confident about the outcome of the presidential race than Republicans, thankfully.  This is not the time to sit back.  And it is VERY important to get out the vote.
 

My Universe

No way

… in my own time!

Proof that cats take a message and get back to you, later if you're lucky!

 

Fifty shades of love

Friends! … not dinner.

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Dinner on the go!

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Why Not Vote for Jill Stein?

 Posted by at 2:17 pm  Politics
Jul 272016
 

0727fptp

Let me begin by saying that the last thing I want to do here is criticize or impugn Jill Stein.  On the issues I agree more with her than I ever have with any other Presidential candidate, except Bernie Sanders.  She is honest, progressive, egalitarian, and environmentally conscious.  So, now that Bernie has left the race, why not vote for Jill Stein?  I’ll tell you why not.

The reason not to vote for Jill is the problems built in to First Fast the Post voting.

As much as I like Jill, a vote for her, when she has zero chance of winning, serves only to increase the likelihood of a Donald Trump win.  I don’t like it, but I’m not so head-in-the-clouds that I can’t see that voting for an imperfect Democrat is the only defense against the election of a true monster.  So instead pursuing the self-defeating activity of helping Trump, we need to wait until after this election and work to change the system, state by state.  Alternative Voting is a better way.

(Both videos come from cgpgrey.com.  I recommend you check it out.)

If Alternative Voting were in place, my first choice would be Bernie (write in), my second would be Jill, and my third would be Hillary.  It would make it possible to vote our conscience without contributing to the advent of national socialism.  In the long run, that would be the best thing for the Green party too.

In the US, it’s also called Ranked Choice Voting.

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Jul 162016
 

A lot has happened in the world since my last post a week ago and much of it saddens me — Nice, Turkey, racial anger in the US.  But there are also things that inspire hope — kids getting excited about a day trip to a mine, purring kitties, a young woman succeeding at learning to walk again after a traumatic brain injury.  My brother, his wife and their friends dock tomorrow here in Vancouver and then immediately fly home.  I am sure that they enjoyed their trip and will be sorry when the ship docks.  So far in July, temperatures have been about 3 C (5.5 F) below normal, which for me is great — no super hot days and nights — and we've had needed rain.  I had someone approach me at physio about doing some more ESL teaching.  I'll have to make sure I don't take on too much.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — It's so hot that the door to The Depanneur restaurant is propped open for air circulation. The smell of frying onions and then stewed chicken wafts outside into the steamy Toronto afternoon.

It's hard not to stop and peer at what's going on inside the crowded open kitchen in the back.

About a dozen women — some wearing headscarves, others in jeans — are busy cooking a three-course meal. But none are staff; they're Syrian refugees who have been in their new home of Canada for just three months.

"I like the smell of cooking," said Majda Mafalani. "It feels great to be cooking again. I feel that I was born again."

So far removed from their homeland torn apart by civil war, this natural and simple act of cooking has given them back a semblance of community and identity, and an unexpected foray into entrepreneurship.

newcomer kitchen syrian

Senater said: "She said to me, 'I like coming here because I am learning new recipes and learning more about being Syrian' and I said 'I like having you guys here because I learn more about being Canadian."

From refugees to entrepreneurs with some support from the local community.  Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to support refugees.  And that support leads to a stronger community, one filled with a great multitude of peoples.

Raw Story — A Kentucky county judge refused to officiate a couple’s wedding after they requested he respect their lack of religious beliefs, the Friendly Atheist reported.

Trigg County Judge/Executive Hollis Alexander confirmed that he turned away Mandy Heath and her fiancee when Heath went to file the necessary paperwork at the local courthouse on the day before their wedding.

Move over Kim Davis — you have company!  I guess it shouldn't surprise me that a judge, charged with upholding the constitution, doesn't understand it.  I'm going to go out on a limb, but Alexander must be a Republican.

Daily Kos — [Ten-year-old Carter Beckhard-Suozzi of New York] was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in May 2015. He underwent five months of grueling chemotherapy and surgeries before being told by doctors he had beaten the cancer, according to his mom, Jane Beckhard-Suozzi.

While Carter was in the hospital, he was visited by officials from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Months later, out of the blue, he told his mom what he wanted his wish to be.

Screen_Shot_2016-07-15_at_4.37.13_PM.png

“He said, ‘Mom, I figured it out. I want to meet President Jimmy Carter,’” Beckhard-Suozzi recalled. “When I asked why, he said, ‘We have three things in common. We have the same name. We both have survived cancer and we both love helping people.’

A moment of hope in a bleak week!  I just loved this so I had to share it.  Can't you just feel that awesome hug!  There is also a petition to sign thanking Jimmy Carter.

Washington Post — Mike Pence was a young lawyer on the rise, challenging a longtime Democratic congressman in a Republican-leaning Indiana district.

And then, scandal.

Campaign finance records from the 1990 effort showed that Pence, then 31, had been using political donations to pay the mortgage on his house, his personal credit card bill, groceries, golf tournament fees and car payments for his wife.

The spending had not been illegal at the time. But it stunned voters — and undermined Pence’s strategy to portray the incumbent, Rep. Philip R. Sharp, as tainted by donations from special-interest political action committees.

“It was a brazen act of hypocrisy,”…

Pence_drug_Ad_1988_composite21468605731.wdp

Pence was unapologetic at the time, telling reporters that he had taken a 30 percent pay cut to run for office and needed the money. “I’m not embarrassed that I need to make a living,” he said.

Finally, we have another extreme right wing politician to expose on a national level for all to see.  Trump = disaster.  Pence = disaster.  Trump + Pence = a disaster of monumental proportions whose destruction supercedes that of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

VOTE BLUE ALL DOWN THE LINE!!!

The New Yorker — Over the past couple of months, Donald Trump hasn’t done much right, but in picking Mike Pence, the staunchly conservative governor of Indiana, as his running mate, he probably made a wise choice. History suggests that Vice-Presidential candidates don’t make much, if any, difference to the outcome of Presidential elections, but here are some reasons why, from Trump’s perspective, Pence was the best bet: …

3. He’s a Midwesterner. Further to my previous point, Trump’s only realistic, or semi-realistic, chance of getting to two hundred and seventy electoral votes is to storm through the Midwest and the Rust Belt, racking up huge majorities of white votes. To this end, his ideal choice would have been John Kasich, the popular governor of Ohio, but Kasich didn’t want the job. Nor did Rob Portman, the Ohio senator who served in the Bush Administration, or Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin. And no one in Michigan or Pennsylvania was particularly suitable, either. That left Pence, who runs the most staunchly Republican state in the region. Although his ardent social conservatism may turn off some people in the suburbs of Detroit and Cincinnati, he can claim to be a Midwesterner through and through.

This is the third of seven reasons it made sense for Drumpf to pick Pence as his VP running mate.  Now it is up to voters to permanently retire these two Republican misfits who have absolutely no concern for the average American.

UltraViolet —

Gov. Mike Pence: 5 things you should know

Pence has been a big mistake for Indiana, and will be an even bigger mistake for the nation.

My Universe —

cat and rubiks cubeAfter the mental stimulation of Rubik's Cube . . .

cat traps workingafter the physical stimulation of escaping cat traps . . .

5733a.giftime for a satisfying Lona nap!!!

 
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Plurality Rules

 Posted by at 12:53 pm  Politics
Jul 052016
 

The problem with the US electoral system is that plurality rules.  Let me illuistrate that with a generalized example.  Say that Hillary Clinton gets 33% of the vote, Bernie Sanders gets 23%, Jill Stein gets 10%, and Rump Dump Trump gets the rest, 34%.  Although almost twice as many Americans vote for a lefty, the extreme right Fascist wins, because he has the plurality.  However ranked choice (instant runoff) voting would br fair, because it ends with a majority, not just a plurality.

0705FV-Logo

.Dissatisfaction with voting choices, though, may have opened a window for serious debate about an alternative voting system. In an interview with Green Party candidate Jill Stein for Redacted Tonight VIP, Lee Camp asked Stein how voters could justify "wasting” a vote on her. Stein said the answer was simple: change the system from winner take all to ranked choice voting.

As FairVote.org explains, ranked choice voting makes democracy more fair and functional. In ranked choice voting, alternatively known as instant-runoff voting, voters rank their votes. If your first choice does not win, then your vote goes to your second choice, and so on. So, under ranked voting, you could vote Stein first, then Clinton. That would guarantee that a vote for Stein could not actually help Trump. It would also guarantee that we could get a fair and accurate assessment of how many people really picked Clinton or Trump as their first choice. If it seems complicated, check out a sample ballot.

Ranked choice voting is used in local elections throughout the country. It is also used in national elections in Ireland and New Zealand. It has a history of making elections more open and fair. Even more importantly, it encourages candidates to cultivate a broad, moderate base of support rather than intense, zealous supporters.,,,

From <Alternet>

With this system, my first choice would be Bernie Sanders.  My second would be Jill Stein.  My third would be Hillary Clinton.  However, under our present system, assuming Hillary is the Democratic  nominee, a vote for Bernie or Jill helps only Trump.

Perhaps changing the system is how we need to direct our efforts instead of trying to elect people with no chance to win because they are write-in candidates or third party candidates.

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Jun 182016
 

hedgehog-looks-binocularsFrom the New York Times I learned this week that Garrison Keillor hosted his last “A Prairie Home Companion” on May 21 and retired from the homespun Americana musical variety program he created in 1975; this time for real. If you’re not from the US, like me, you may well ask: “Garrison who?”, unless you’re familiar with his book “Lake Wobegon Days” he published in 1985. The book, and the ones that followed, is a collection of stories about the everyday life in a fictitious little town somewhere in Minnesota, resembling many small farm towns in the upper Midwest, and loosely based on his relatives, friends and neighbors of Scandinavian and German descent in the area he grew up in. To this foreigner these endearing and often humorous stories were a diorama of American country life.

It wasn’t until I traveled the Blue Ridge Parkway some 15 years ago and heard the radio broadcast of  A Prairie Home Companion, in which he rendered another story of “News from Lake Wobegon” with his unique and very recognizable voice, that I first realized Garrison Keillor was not only an author of books, but also a humorist, columnist, musician, satirist, and radio personality. Only much later I learned that the program was very popular, was broadcasted by nearly 600 radio stations across America and that Lake Wobegon had become a concept familiar to many Americans. It had even led “Professor David G Myers to coin ‘the Lake Wobegon effect’, a natural human tendency to overestimate one's capabilities. The characterization of the fictional location, where ‘all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the children are above average,’ has been used to describe a real and pervasive human tendency to overestimate one's achievements and capabilities in relation to others. The Lake Wobegon effect, where all or nearly all of a group claim to be above average, has been observed in high school students' appraisal of their leadership, drivers' assessments of their driving skill, and cancer patients' expectations of survival.” (Wikipedia)

From: http://www.garrisonkeillor.com/pressclips/

“But why are you posting an article about Garrison Keillor on Politics Plus?” I hear you ask. Because in his mild satire on anything American he’s also written some columns and items for his program on the current political landscape and the candidates in the primary election. Let’s start with Bernie Sanders. In No fogies in the Oval Office, please (Pittsburg Post-Gazette, April 17, 2016) Keillor notes that all remaining candidates (Sanders, Clinton and Trump) are of his own age: “Young people are flocking to Bernie Sanders who, given two terms in office, would be Leader of the Free World until age 83, setting a new record — Ronald Reagan was just shy of 78. Where is that new generation of leadership we keep hearing about at college commencements?”  Keillor is very tongue-in-cheek about the age of the candidates and more so of Sanders who just as old as he is himself. But he does hint at Ronald Reagan’s dementia, which may have set in before he left the Oval Office, and which is worrying to Keillor. Although it’s clear he’s not a Sanders supporter, he builds up to tearing into his true and greatest dislike: Donald Trump and Republicans. In his last line it becomes apparent whom he supports: “Good luck to the candidates and may the best woman win. She’s 68, but women age more gracefully. Just ask your mother.”

Garrison Keillor isn’t one to question the political ideas of the Democratic candidates to be divisive. Instead he satirizes those thing that have little or nothing to do with political content but nevertheless play such a large role in the debates, such as age or gender. In “What will Bill Clinton be wearing?” (Chicago Tribune, May 17, 2016) he gently mocks Hillary Clinton turning the tables on her husband and Bill’s ability to accept his new position as first gentleman: “It's good to hear that Bill Clinton will be put in charge of revitalizing the economy in a Hillary administration and be sent to troubled areas such as Appalachian coal country and inner-city Detroit, and not just promote literacy or physical fitness, the usual first lady things. But I hope that at state dinners and other major White House events, we'll be able to read about what he's wearing.” But he can’t keep himself from pointing out what it would be like if her Republican opponent were to become president: “(If the Big Snapper is elected in November, [getting no credit for how he looks from the press] will change: He’ll be wearing his own labels and product placement will be very important in his administration, even huge.)”

Which brings me to the candidate which brings out real sarcasm in the normally cool and subdued Keillor: Donald Trump. In Think moving abroad will save you from Trump? Think again. (The Washington Post, March 16, 2016) all niceties are dropped: “If you want to escape from the Great White Turtle, you could move to New York. New Yorkers saw through this guy 20 years ago, a living, breathing cartoon of a tycoon, vulgarity on wheels, a man who was very lucky that his father was born before he was, and they have closed the book. So he takes his show on the road [ ], and so the intelligentsia is working ever harder, trying to figure him out. It’s like psychoanalyzing a toasted bagel. The guy paid $29 million for a 282-foot yacht, sailed on it once, got seasick, and never sailed again. He likes tall models with foreign accents. He dyes his hair. He likes to read about himself. What else do you want to know?”

But perhaps Keillor says it best when in his role as host of “A Prairie Home Companion” he skewers Trump in Poe’s classic poem “The Raven”:

Garrison Keillor retires from hosting his program, but I think he’s not done commenting on politics yet and will have more to say about the election, and especially about Donald Trump, in the coming months. At least I hope he does.

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Jun 152016
 

I’m expecting Julie to arrive momentarily, but want to do as much as I can, as this is a very busy week.  She came, and brought sad (for me) news,  She has been having an online romance in WV and is moving there in early July.  So I nave begun the search for another caregiver.  I will consider myself blessed if I cab find one half as caring as she is.  I trust we will stay in touch.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 6:27 (average 8:57).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: In the course of delivering the commencement address at Stanford University, Ken Burns did an epic takedown of The Donald.  In addition to deriding him for his lack of experience, his bombast, and his lies, he also called his campaign a “political Ponzi scheme” and implored “those ‘Vichy Republicans’ who have endorsed him to please, please reconsider”.

 

What can I say? He’s absolutely correct, except that trump would not be where he is if Burns’ complaints were not applicable to the Republican Party in general.

From Real Clear Politics.

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

2800

1881

Delegates Won

4051

2219

1832

Superdelegates

(712)

581

49

District of Columbia

June 14

20 (25)

16

4

Primary

Closed

The primaries are over. The winner, sadly, is beyond refute.

From Alternet: California’s counties process ballots in waves, by category: those that arrive before election day; those cast on election day (including provisional ballots given to people whose names were not on polling place lists); and those that arrive in the mail afterward. Thus, in the days that followed last Tuesday’s primary, the total number of ballots processed—out of 9.2 million cast statewide—has been steadily increasing, even though 2.3 million remain unprocessed… [emphasis added]

Rather than some draconian conspiracy to cheat Bernie, the still uncounted ballots are uncounted because of when they were submitted, not because they were provisional. The article goes on to say that it will almost definitely not give Bernie a win in CA, Even it it did, it would not affect the overall delegate count enough to matter.

Cartoon:

0615Cartoon

This map is how Bloody Bullseye Barbie, aka Drill Baby Dingbat, targeted Democrats running for Congress for violence  Gabby Giffords was one.

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Jun 082016
 

As usual, I’m running late,  Julie was here.  Killer Dawg loves his service animal vest.  Julie went on a feist and did most of the housework tasks I planned for Saturday.  Now that the heat wave is finally over, my shower was especially welcome.  I’m waiting for my groceries to be delivered and for a former prisoner’s daughter to stop by.  I’m helping them with a bus ticket to Portland.  I look forward to a night’s sleep without needsing AC.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

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

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics:

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

2755

1852

Delegates Won

4051

2184

1804

Superdelegates

(712)

571

48

District of Columbia

June 14

20 (25)

Primary

Closed

California

June 7

475 (71)

257

188

Primary

Semi-closed

Montana

June 7

21 (6)

10

11

Primary

Open

New Jersey

June 7

126 (16)

73

47

Primary

Closed

North Dakota

June 7

18 (5)

5

13

Primary

Open

New Mexico

June 7

34 (9)

17

14

Primary

Closed

South Dakota

June 7

20 (5)

10

10

Primary

Semi-open

Puerto Rico

June 5

60 (7)

36

20

Primary

Open

Virgin Islands

June 4

7 (5)

7

0

Caucus

Closed

The fat lady has sung. Hillary has won enough delegates to be nominated. She has won a majority of pledged delegates. She has won the popular vote by over 3,600,000 voters.  I have been a Bernie Sanders man from day one, but the time has come for me to admit defeat and urge Bernie to throw his considerable fire and skill behind the presumptive Democratic Nominee. The only other alternative is Rump Dump Trump.

From Daily Kos: Donald Trump’s GOP nomination isn’t a hypothetical anymore and he is proving even worse than originally anticipated, what with his repeated attacks on the ability of Mexican and Muslim judges to do their jobs. Unfortunately for Republicans, they’ve all pretty much caved and endorsed Trump and now they "own" him, reports CNN:

Veteran Republican strategist Rick Wilson warned this weekend that GOP leaders who have endorsed Trump "own his politics."

"You own his politics," Wilson wrote in a column for Heatstreet, adding later, "You own the racial animus that started out as a bug, became a feature and is now the defining characteristic of his campaign. You own every crazy, vile chunk of word vomit that spews from his mouth."

The GOP’s deepest fear: A Barry Goldwater effect that could last far longer than Trump’s political aspirations.

Goldwater, the Arizona senator who was the 1964 GOP nominee and a leader of the conservative movement, alienated a generation of African-American voters by opposing the Civil Rights Act — opening the door for Democrats to lock in their support for decades. Republicans fret that Trump could similarly leave a stain with Latino voters.

On the other hand, many Republicans continued to oppose AuH2O after the nomination, but today, virtually all Republicans are goose-stepping in lock-step behind Rump Dump. He says what they pretend not to support, but do support through their policies.

From The New Yorker: Upping the ante in his quest for the White House, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders vowed on Tuesday night to continue battling for the Democratic Presidential nomination even if Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States.

“If, on November 8th of this year, Hillary Clinton is elected President, we will have only begun to fight,” Sanders told a packed rally in San Francisco.

Sanders acknowledged that continuing to fight for the nomination after Clinton is elected President would represent a “steep challenge,” but added, “When we started this race we were only at three per cent in the polls. Anything is possible.”

Oh Andy!!

FOMCROTFPIMPLMAO!!

Cartoon:

0608Cartoon

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Jun 072016
 
Keith

I received an email from Keith Ellison, Congressman from Minnesota, a true Progressive, and one of Bernie Sanders picks for the DNC Platform Committee. Since I am no one special (except perhaps to present company), I assume it was sent me because I have vocally – if you can use the term "vocally" about internet and email – supported Bernie throughout his campaign. Probably many who read and post here received it too, but not all.

[Incidentally, I also received a similar request from the DNC itself, but it was quite different.  It just had one small box for me to put my thoughts into.  I responded to it too – I said, “There isn’t room here to summarize my thoughts, but I did send them to Keith Ellison.”  Wonder what they will make of it.]

Anyway, Keith invited me to share the email, so I quote it in full here:

Joanne-

It’s an honor to have been selected as one of 15 Democrats from across the country to serve on the 2016 DNC Platform Drafting Committee.

Our platform listening forums start this week and I want your input.

After all, this is your party, and you deserve to be heard.

That’s why I wanted to make it as easy as possible for you to give me your feedback: simply click here to fill out our short survey and tell me more about your priorities.

With strong public support for criminal justice reform, raising the minimum wage, and fighting for trade deals that put American workers first, it’s clear that the progressive message is resonating.

But it’s up to all of us, together, to keep up the momentum so we make sure the Democratic Party Platform reflects the urgent needs of the American people.

So please, take our short survey and tell me more about your priorities. I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you,

Keith Ellison

The survey itself starts,

What are YOUR PRIORITIES FOR THE OFFICIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTY PLATFORM?

It's an honor to serve on the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee. Now I want to make sure your voice is heard as we draft the official 2016 Democratic Party platform

Together, I am confident that we will help to craft a platform that reflects the urgent needs of the American people.

Please fill out our short survey below and tell me about your top priorities!

It requests your email address, first and last name, and Zip code.  Then it asks for one's first priority from a drop-down list, q.v.:

Raising the minumum wage
Civil rights
Making college more affordable
Protecting women's health care choices
Immigration reform
Protecting and expanding Social Security
Overturning Citizens United
Reducing economic equality
Wall Street accountability and consumer protection
Common-sense gun reform
Affordable housing
Criminal justice reform
Other

Then it gives you a type-in box to expand on your answer.  It does the same for the second and third priorities (if you are a true ine issue voter, you can use the same one all three times), and then provides a fourth type-in box for "If your top priorities were not listed, or if you'd like to tell us more, please use the space below (optional):"

I gave as my first priority Overturning Citizens United, and used the box to explain that I include under that heading voting rights in general, civil rights, and immigration reform; and added how grieved I am that after all our work stating fifty years ago, we have so much more to accomplish.

I gave as my second priority Reducing economic inequality, adding that this includes the minimum wage, affordable college, Social Security, Wall Street accountability, and affordable housing.  I mentioned that, with roughly 80% of my own income being Social Security, I am not able to contribute as much as I would like.

My third priority was Criminal justice reform, which I said includes common-sense gun reform as well as protecting women's health care choices, which should never be made part of the criminal justice system, but are being made so by certain legislation.  (I could have chosen to include immigration reform here, but to me it's a civil rights issue first.)

Having gotten everything it, I was then able to discuss climate change and reference all the lies we have been fed by big oil, big ag, and big pharma, and state that, whether their subsidies are coming from bad tax law or from appropriations, they are obscenities. 

Readers here are more than welcome to add their opinions – Keith said so.  Don't hold back.  You'll probably want to categorize things differently than I did, or add issues I failed to mention.  That's great.  Let's give them an earful.  (Do remember that Keith is a real Progressive and be nice to him.)  I duplicated the link being given twoce in the letter, but here it is again:

http://mn.keithellison.org/page/s/dncplatform

Lona (The Napster) asked me whether I expected any feedback.  I replied, "Assuming you mean personal feedback, no.  It's not impossible, but it would surely be significant if I did.  I expect any feedback to be either in a blanket email with numbers on how many people said what, or simply reports on deliberations or on the final platform.  Believe me, if I get any more, you will hear about it!" 

And I promise all here that you will too.

Cross posted to care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/3991161

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