Aug 282014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 129.  I’m still running behind schedule, and am writing late in the day, but at least I found some better material.  Tomorrow is a Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but the Broncos  meditation will not be televised, so I won’t get to watch them ride Cowboys.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:17 (average 4:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From NY Times: After 50 days of fighting that took some 2,200 lives, leveled large areas of the Gaza Strip and paralyzed Israel’s south for the summer, Israeli and Palestinian leaders reached an open-ended cease-fire agreement on Tuesday that promised only limited change to conditions in Gaza and left unresolved the broader issues underpinning the conflict.

Hamas, the militant Islamist faction that dominates Gaza, declared victory even though it had abandoned most of its demands, ultimately accepting an Egyptian-brokered deal that differs little from one proffered on the battle’s seventh day. In effect, the deal put both sides back where they were at the end of eight days of fighting in 2012, with terms that called for easing but not lifting Israeli restrictions on travel, trade and fishing in Gaza.

As long as Israel prevents Palestinians in Gaza from conducting normal commerce, I see no chance for success. Those people will not be content to live under a permanent state of siege.

From NY Times: The trail to Rick Perry’s indictment began with way too many drinks and a drunken-driving arrest for Rosemary Lehmberg, the Travis County district attorney, that was captured in embarrassing detail on videotape.

But the conflict between Republicans who control state government and the Democratic district attorney’s office has been playing out for years, forming a complicated back story to the unfolding legal drama known as the State of Texas v. James Richard “Rick” Perry.

Mr. Perry’s powerhouse defense team filed a motion on Monday to dismiss the felony indictment, asserting that the 64-year-old governor and prospective 2016 presidential candidate was constitutionally empowered to seek Ms. Lehmberg’s resignation. Mr. Perry contends Ms. Lehmberg was unfit to remain in office after berating deputies and kicking a cell door after a drunken-driving arrest in April 2013. She served about half of a 45-day jail sentence.

Mr. Perry and his lawyers have had substantial success in the court of public opinion, contending that the charges represent an overreach that has more to do with politics than the law. But Mr. Perry’s critics note that the grand jury indictment was secured by a special prosecutor who was appointed by a Republican judge and has no clear political leanings or ties to the Travis County courthouse.

Perry is so full of it that Rachel Maddow dedicated a Debunktion Junction to him.

Those who cannot open MSNBC videos can see this on YouTube.

Did she nail him, or what?

From Politicus USA: Gallup has super bad news for Republicans. There is a link between high disapproval of congress and high voter turnout. Republicans have done a great job not only creating record high disapproval levels, their obstructionism combined with wasting money and alienating rhetoric sustained those high levels of disapproval. If you’re a Republican, you may be tempted to believe your mission was accomplished. The only problem is high levels of congressional disapproval also means high voter turnout at election time. We all know what that means in Republican land.

0828Turnout

That’s about the best news I’ve heard all week!

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May 212014
 

Today is primary day in several states, the closest thing we have to Super Tuesday on the 2014 campaign.  By the time this is posted, most of the numbers will be in, but this should still be a good guide to what happened.  Perhaps the day should be renamed Stupor Tuesday to reflect the awareness of Republican voters and all people too stupid to get off their butts and vote.

0521Wehbe

Get excited, because voters are casting ballots in six states holding high-stakes primaries. It’s the busiest primary day of the year so far — and the most consequential.

From tea party vs. establishment infighting in the West to a Democratic sprint to the left in the Northeast, there’s a lot going on. But fear not! Here’s where we come in. Below we give you the six [sic] most important things to watch:

1. Who will make the Republican runoff for U.S. Senate in Georgia?

2. What will Mitch McConnell’s margin of victory be?

3. Will Democrat Tom Wolf advance to a showdown against the nation’s most vulnerable governor?

4. It’s business versus tea party in Idaho. Business is poised for victory.

5. Will Monica Wehby hold on in Oregon after a story about "stalking" her ex-boyfriend last year?

6. Will a Clinton-backed U.S. House candidate advance in Pennsylvania?

7. There are two GOP primaries for U.S. House in Arkansas worth following.

8. Which Republican will take on the last white Democrat from the Deep South in the House?… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

I’ve shared all the headers to give you a taste of what it covers.  Click through for the meat of the article.  To me. the most interesting item is the one on Monica Wehbe.

Rachel Maddow covered the day in two videos.  I’m sorry that I can’t get the clips in an Internationally viewable format, but I’m including their titles so you can search later.  In the first she covers Oregon Republicans.

Political weirdness finds a home in Oregon

In the second, she covers the other primaries.

The upside here is that we lose a couple real jerks from GA in the House.

Next we get to sort it all out.

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Mar 132014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling tired, because it’s been a busy day.  My stovetop percolator arrived, and I must say, even though it’s not yet “broken in”, brewed coffee is far better than dripped.  I’ll need to get more tubing, though, because running an IV from the stovetop is further than from the countertop.  Store to Door delivered groceries, so I had to clean first.  It’s a beautiful 62° day, so I took an hour to go out and cat-bask in the sunshine.  I should probably go lazy, but the tomorrow’s lead article just needs doing too much.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 4:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: FL-13: After an intensely hard-fought special election where total spending likely topped $13 million, Republican David Jolly defeated Democrat Alex Sink by a margin of 48.4 percent to 46.6 percent in Florida’s 13th Congressional District on Tuesday night, holding the seat for the GOP. Libertarian Lucas Overby ended up with 4.8 percent of the vote. Even though Barack Obama narrowly carried the district in 2012 by about 1.5 points, it appears Sink couldn’t overcome the troubling tendency for key chunks of the Democratic electorate to stay home during non-presidential elections.

Republicans will crow that unhappiness with Obamacare, which was the focus of much of their advertising, led to Sink’s undoing, and it’s possible those attacks provided Jolly’s winning margin—but of course, with such a tight outcome, anything could have been responsible, such as Sink’s personal flaws as a candidate. And importantly, the November electorate will likely be less Republican, on a relative basis, than you’d find in a March special election, so Democrats should likewise exercise caution before panicking that the Affordable Care Act spells doom.

Of course, a win is still a win, but there’s a constant Beltway temptation to read far too much into a single special election. Close races also make for poor object lessons, as luck tends to play an outsize role, much like in a baseball game decided by a single run. But at the same time, even if this election augurs nothing for November, this was still very much the sort of district that Democrats need to capture in order to have a shot at some day taking back the House.

Voters, if you vote for the Democrat, you’re voting for the Democrat. If you vote for the Republican, you’re voting for the Republican. If you vote for a third party, you’re voting for the Republican. If you do not vote, you’re voting for the Republican. All the people of FL – 13 will now be punished for the stupidity, apathy, and laziness of their district. The ones who stayed home deserve it most of all.

From The New Yorker: In a preview of what promises to be a heated race for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2016, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) head-butted his rival Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on the floor of the United States Senate this morning.

The melee “came without warning,” one observer said, as Sen. Paul took to the well of the Senate to give a speech recommending a strong but measured response to the crisis in Ukraine.

Almost immediately, a furious and beet-red Sen. Cruz began heckling Sen. Paul, calling him a “Kentucky-fried Communist” and demanding that he “apologize to Ronald Reagan this very instant.”

Sen. Paul seemed to ignore the heckling at first, but as Sen. Cruz’s taunts descended into a stream of profane name-calling, the Kentuckian leapt from the well of the Senate and began throttling Sen. Cruz before administering the decisive head-butt.

Andy has reminded me of Mad Magazine’s scenes we’d love to see.

From Think Progress: The largest American multinational companies parked an additional $206 billion of profits in offshore accounts last year, according to Bloomberg, bringing the total amount of profits stashed where U.S. tax officials can’t touch them up to about two trillion dollars.

The 307 companies that Bloomberg examined now hold a combined $1.95 trillion offshore, allowing them to avoid paying U.S. taxes on those earnings. The majority of the total is concentrated in just a few corporate hands. The largest 22 of those companies hold more offshore than the other 285 combined.

General Electric leads the pack, with $110 billion held offshore. Tech companies like Microsoft ($76.4 billion), Apple ($54.4 billion), IBM ($52.3 billion), and Google ($38.9 billion) also dominate, along with drug companies like Pfizer ($69 billion) and Merck ($57.1). The tech giants have drastically accelerated their offshore holdings in recent years, with Microsoft and Google more than doubling and Apple more than quadrupling offshore profit holdings from 2010 to 2013.

I’d say it’s time for an offshore profits penalty of 90%. That would move those funds onshore in VERY short order!!

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Dec 292013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos will be worshiping at Oakland, and it will be televised here, so you what I’ll be doing tomorrow afternoon.  It’s also the last game in our Fantasy Football league.  After taking 2nd place in the regular season, the best  I can to in the playoffs is 5th, and that only if that Patty Monster doesn’t MASH me AGAIN!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:17 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

My Window – Out and In:

The first picture was out my window.  Note the red X to the right of the grocery store sign.

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The second picture was from that red X.  You can see my headboard in the window.

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The interior is not yet sufficiently organized for pictures.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Here’s a cool map from artist and urban planner Neil Freeman, who engaged in a thought experiment to rectify a serious problem with the electoral college: namely, that California has 66 times the population of Wyoming but only 18 times the electoral votes. Of course, this size disparity is an even bigger problem in the Senate, though Freeman’s radical plan would remedy both—by redrawing the 50 states to make them all equipopulous…

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Of course, this will never happen, but it sure explains the inequities in the electoral college. It also would deal with the extreme advantage in Senate influence small state residents have.

From Truthdig: Droughts by the end of this century somewhere in the world will be 20% more frequent. But the catch is that nobody right now can predict with any certainty which places will feel the effects soonest, or more frequently.

Thirty research teams from 12 countries report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that unless greenhouse gas emissions are reduced on a global scale, an extra 40% more people are likely to experience real water scarcity.

While some will have too little water, others might have too much. Of the areas investigated, more than half could also expect increases in river flooding.

Mene mene tekel upharsin!

From Crooks and Liars: Occupy Madison volunteers have been working to combat homelessness in Madison, Wisconsin. This year they launched an ambitious project to start building small, portable homes for Madison’s homeless population. The first residents moved in on Christmas Eve.

The two finished homes are both approximately 98 square feet and have a bed, kitchen, bathroom and storage.

 

Kudos to Occupy Madison. Every little bit helps, especially when it’s right under Fartfuhrer Walker’s nose!

Cartoon:

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An American tragedy!

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Nov 072013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I just returned from the building where I expect to move.  I saw the unit, and although not as large as I hoped, it’s bigger than where I am now.  It has three big windows, facing East and an elevator.  I can’t wait!  I’m coming down with a bronchial bug and feeling like something I forgot to bury in my kitty box, so this is tomorrow’s only article.  Fantasy football players, be sure you’re ready for Thursday night’s game.

Update:  I’m feeling really crappy, so I need to skip replying to yesterday’s comments, at least for now.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:40 (average 4:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: What the 1 percent thinks about you

It’s all so easy if you’re part of the one percent.

(Reuters) – I asked a financial services executive recently how our retirement saving system can be considered a success, considering that all but the highest-income households are approaching retirement with next to nothing saved.

His reply: "They don’t have any money while they’re working, so why would they have any money in retirement?"

It’s just that simple…

This is the super-rich reality upon which Republicans base their War on the 99%.

From NY Times: Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Democratic fund-raiser and ally of Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton, was elected governor of Virginia on Tuesday, narrowly defeating the state’s conservative attorney general, Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, and confirming Virginia’s evolution as a state increasingly dominated politically by the Democratic-leaning Washington suburbs.

Add Rachel!

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

The Cooch screwed the pooch!!

From Truthdig: By trumpeting economic and civil rights issues, New York Public Advocate Bill De Blasio got himself elected Tuesday night to the highest office in the biggest city in America.

The New York Times reports that De Blasio’s win “cut across all of New York’s traditional divides. He won support from voters regardless of race, gender, age, education, religion or income, according to the exit poll.”

The triumphant candidate, who easily defeated his Republican rival, will be the first Democrat to run the city in nearly 20 years. He ran against the heavy-handed police tactics and pro-business policies put in place by his predecessors, Rudolph Giuliani and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.

Great for NY,NY!!

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Nov 062013
 

By the time you read this, the results will be in, so please understand that I’m writing while the polls are still open.  The two high profile races are the gubernatorial contests in NJ and VA, and they appear to be done deals, but one can always hope and/or fear depending on the state.  There are other very important issues, especially determining who will be allowed to exercise their right to vote and who will have it stolen.

1105ElectionWelcome to Election Day 2013, where two gubernatorial contests and the race for mayor of the nation’s biggest city will be settled and a GOP primary battle for a U.S. House seat in Alabama is getting outsized attention.

But what makes most of these 2013 elections interesting is what they may tell us about 2014 midterms and the 2016 race for the White House.

Virginia and New Jersey are the only two states to hold elections for governor in the year after a presidential contest, putting them directly in the national political spotlight. In New Jersey, public opinion polls indicate tough-talking Gov. Chris Christie, one of the biggest names in the Republican Party, will easily win re-election over little known Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono.

With Christie considering a run for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, his re-election campaign is seen as a tuneup or stepping stone for that likely White House bid.

In Virginia, national issues like the government shutdown and the health care law are playing a large role in the battle between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. For months McAuliffe has held a consistent small lead in public opinion polls over Cuccinelli, who is considered a hero to many tea party supporters and other grass-roots activists thanks to his very public conservative crusades, including his push against Obamacare…

Inserted from <CNN>

Rachel Maddow covered the topic in two segments. In the first, she talked about the Republican War on Voting.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Perhaps the reason Republicans now admit that they are excluding minorities to help Republican chances is to make this seem practical rather than racist. They ignore the reason most minorities vote for Democrats. Minorities object to the racism inherent in Republican economic policy and the overt racism embraced by so many prominent Republicans in their quest to capture the hate vote.

In the second segment, she covers Republican v. Republican contests.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I’d love it if Sen. Cornhole lost to Bagger Barton!! It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Young beats Byrne in Bama.

But most of all, may the Cooch screw the Pooch!

(these should be visible in Europe, because I was able to find a back way in to MSNBC’s old video player, but it works for Rachel Maddow only. I cannot say how long it will last.)

Update: The Cooch screwed the pooch!

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Nov 062013
 

Washington TEAbuggery has kept the focus away from  several local races and measures that are worthy of note by the nation as a whole.  One is in neighboring Washington State, where I-522 will require labeling on all food containing GMO’s.  I am for it, because we have a right to know what we’re eating.

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Washington State’s I-522 would require foods that have been genetically modified, or GMOs, to be labeled as such for retail purposes in the state.

Following legal pressure from anti-GMO campaign groups such as Moms for Labeling and Yes on 1-522 and the Washington State Attorney General’s office, the pro-GMO trade group Grocery Manufacturers Association was forced to release a list of its high rolling donors who have financed the NO on I- 522 drive.

As was expected, major food corporations and GMO users such as PepsiCo, Nestle USA, The Coca-Cola Co. and General Mills, among many others, had secretly donated millions of dollars to the GMA campaign.

GMA spending made up $7 million of the $17 million dollar No on I-522 push.

A similar initiative in California, Proposition 37, lost on last year’s ballot due to a similar flood of campaign money from pro-GMO food companies.

The following is the ballot text:

Initiative Measure No. 522 concerns labeling of genetically-engineered foods.

This measure would require most raw agricultural commodities, processed foods, and seeds and seed stocks, if produced using genetic engineering as defined, to be labeled as genetically engineered when offered for retail sale…. [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

I certainly hope it passes!

As important as this issue is, it is only one of six key election day races/measures covered in the same article. Click through for the other five.

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