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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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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Jun 072016
 

My appointment with the Radiation Oncologist was very informative, and I’m proud to have resisted the temptation to use "well" in association with Dr. Hung’s name.  I won’t glow in the dark or lose my hair.  I have jumped through all my hoops.  Now it’s just a matter of working out the timing and polishing the details with Shirley, who is Allison’s (my Ocular Oncologist) anal retentive assistant.  She is better suited to a career as a Dominatrix than as a medical professional.  She is one size fits all, talks through people, not to them, and does not listen well enough to hear.  I’ve been very assertive, and have not blown up at her, but… Steaming mad  I was completely exhausted and spent the morning using up my supply from Lona the Napster.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (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

2383

1569

Delegates Won

4051

1812

1521

Superdelegates

(712)

571

48

The fat lady will sing tonight, after Hillary gets 214 or more pledged delegates, but AP was out of line to declare it over last night.

From Daily Kos: Louie Gohmert, America’s dumbest Congressman (courtesy of disgraced former Majority Leader Tom Delay) proves once again why he is worthy of his title—this time with dire warnings about gay astronauts and the end of the world:

I really wonder how many people in this body who had the ultimate power to decide whether humanity would go forward or not, whether there was an asteroid coming or something that would end humanity on Earth as dinosaurs were ended at one time—okay …

If you could decide what 40 people you would put on the spacecraft who would save humanity, how many of those would be same-sex couples?  You are wanting to save humankind for posterity—basically, a modern-day Noah. You have that ability to be a modern-day Noah. You can preserve life. How many same-sex couples would you take from the animal kingdom and from humans to put on the spacecraft to perpetuate humanity and the wildlife kingdom?

Yes, he really said that.

Go-Go-Goose-step. Does it again!! Actually, the best mix to save humanity would be to send all progressive lesbian couples with each woman pregnant from a different progressive man and also sperm samples from a completely different set of progressive men That would triple the gene pool on the space craft. The key is to keep the gene pool closed to Republican swimmers.

From Alternet: Political polarization in America is growing, and it’s not just due to the presidential election. But according to psychiatrist Gail Saltz, if we only knew how the other side’s brains work, we’d be able to communicate better.

"What’s really fascinating is that there have been a number of recent studies looking at brain structural differences between liberals and conservatives," said Saltz. "And what’s been found in several studies is that liberals tend to have a larger anterior cingulate gyrus. That is an area that is responsible for taking in new information and that impact of the new information on decision making or choices. Conservatives tended on the whole to have a larger right amygdala. Amygdala being a deeper brain structure that processes more emotional information—specifically fear-based information," Saltz explained.

We’ve seen similar studies before. Democrats tend to have brains that are better suited for problem solving and communications, while Republicans have brains that are better suited to fight of flight, or put another way, lizard brains.  That’s why the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, keeps hyping fear

Cartoon:

0607Cartoon.

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May 312016
 

Well it was a very busy day today.  I left the house at 9:30 this morning and did not return until 21:30.  I started with physio therapy, then a meeting with the financial planner who handles much of my mother's investments, and finally a visit with my mother.  After I fed her, I sat brushing her hair for two hours.  The care centre staff "don't like it" when I do that because my mother becomes so relaxed and then they have to rouse her to get ready for bed.  Truthfully, my mother becomes very relaxed such that you can see it in her face.  They truly do like to see her that relaxed.  She is one of their favourites.  Tomorrow will be much quieter.  The weather here is sunny and warm at 24 C (75 F) after a cold, wet weekend.  According to the news, Kansas and Texas are suffering through severe rain and flooding.  Too bad some of that rain couldn't fall in California where it is badly needed.  I hope all will be safe.

Short Takes

Alternet Emails obtained by The Intercept from the State Department reveal new details of Hillary Clinton's behind-the-scenes efforts to export fracking—a method of extracting oil and natural gas from underground shale deposits—to foreign countries during her tenure as Secretary of State. The emails, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, could be particularly damning in light of Clinton's recent attempts to ally herself with the anti-fracking movement.  …

The recently obtained emails appear to contradict the anti-fracking position the Democratic frontrunner takes in the spot. Recently, Clinton has tried to distance herself from the fossil fuel industry, fending off attacks from her opponent, Bernie Sanders, whose campaign argued that she "has relied heavily on funds from lobbyists working for the oil, gas and coal industry."

Several years ago now, there were protests and petitions regarding the sale of asbestos to developing countries by Canada, while the use of asbestos in Canada was banned.  Certainly in this regard, Canada was ethically challenged and deserved, in my opinion, to be censured.  Although there is considerable fracking in the US, federal and state governments and corporations are being challenged over fracking because of the many undesirable effects such as earthquakes and polluted water.  Clinton has allied herself with anti-fracking groups as part of her campaign.  Is Clinton being disingenuous about her position on fracking, or has she changed her position?

Politico — Donald Trump observed Memorial Day weekend on Sunday by speaking in front of the Lincoln Memorial at a rally of thousands of motorcyclists, where he praised veterans, called reporters “lowlifes,” thanked “the great Bobby Knight” for endorsing him and performed a derisive impression of a general he saw on television.

The presumptive Republican nominee took the occasion — the annual “Rolling Thunder” motorcycle rally, which raises awareness of unaccounted-for POWs and soldiers missing in action — to malign Hillary Clinton and tout his own electoral successes.  …

Trump spoke at a stage set up at the end of the reflecting pool closest to the Lincoln Memorial to a relatively sedate crowd of hundreds of bikers and assorted tourists, who did not entirely fill the space between the pool and the memorial. The businessman said it was not the scene he expected to encounter.

“I thought this would be like Dr. Martin Luther King, where the people will be lined up from here all the way to the Washington Monument,” said Trump. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to a quarter-million supporters in August 1963.

Trump knows no bounds of propriety!  To turn a solemn occassion into a political event and then invoke MLK Jr . . . that is totally disgusting.  Dump Trump in the trash heap of history!

MotherJones — Randy Sutton, a spokesman for Blue Lives Matter, a national law enforcement group, told CNN last week that "it's usually people committing crimes like robbery, or that are being pursued by police, that turn to shooting officers." That, notes Padilla-Goodman, is essentially a concession that people don't usually attack cops because they hate them: "Somebody committing a crime against somebody because they're black didn't mean that the black person had to do anything" to provoke it.

Only in Louisiana (or another red state) would legislators consider adding police officers and other first responders to a list of people, who if attacked, would constitute a hate crime.  Interesting when a police officer counters that position.

Alternet — In an election year that's slated to produce the most unpopular candidates in history, there is one shining light—Senator Elizabeth Warren.

The Massachusetts senator/women's advocate/campaign finance reformer/human goddess has been dishing up truth bombs all year long. Utilizing social media with the skill of a millennial San Fransisco start-up owner, Warren slammed GOP candidates repeatedly for their asinine comments.  …

"Two weeks ago, he said that he was more than happy to dodge taxes because he doesn't want to throw his money, quote, 'down the drain,'" she said. "Nurses and teachers and dockworkers, they pay their fair share to keep Trump's businesses going … Donald Trump thinks that supporting them is throwing money down the drain? Then I say we throw Donald Trump down the drain."

Go Lizzie!  A national treasure is clobbering a national disgrace!

My Universe

 

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May 242016
 

The 2016 primary season is almost over, and looking back, my most honest reaction is to scratch my head and say ‘WTF?!!?’.  When it’s over, both parties will have chosen the worst presidential nominees in my lifetime.  That said, the presumed Republican nominee is so much worse than the Democratic, that electing her is imperative for the survival of this nation, and perhaps this earth.  John Oliver satirizes ten ways in which the system is broken.

Oliver

Presidential primaries and caucuses are, according to comedian and explainer John Oliver, “the electoral foreplay that we’ve been engaging in since February which will culminate in the mass ball ejaculations of this summer’s convention.”

He does have a way with words.

"Both parties nearly have their nominee and it looks like the two parties will be choosing between Donald Trump, America’s walking, talking brushfire and Hillary Clinton — the woman who exhibits either too much or too little of every human quality depending on who you ask," Oliver stated. But there’s still a lot that can be improved in our primary and caucus processes.

Oliver explained in one of his more brilliant and clearminded rants:

1. It’s possible for winners to take fewer delegates.

In the Wyoming Democratic Caucus Bernie Sanders won Wyoming but took only 7 delegates to Clinton’s 11. And in Louisiana, when Trump beat Cruz by 3%, “he was upset to find out that Cruz could potentially get as many as 10 more delegates.”

“We have voting booths for the same reason that Friendly’s has restaurant booth – so that we can have relative privacy while we choose from a deeply unappetizing menu," Oliver said.

From <Alternet>

That’s the first of ten. Either watch the video or click through for the other nine.

Not only is he funny, but also, he’s spot on. 

However, I do have to say that the Republican Party deserves Rump Dump Trump.  Starting in the seventies, they have courted, embraced, and provided a platform for an ever-widening assortment of people who hate one group or another, and who endorse violence.  They thought they could control those people, but this time, in their lust for individual power, they fielded seventeen serious presidential candidates.  The most extreme hate mongers all rallied around Rump Dump, and to a lesser extent, TRUS pervert Cruz.  The rest split about half the electoral pie fifteen way, and none survived.

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