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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May 182016
 

While there is still a slight mathematical possibility that Bernie could go to Philly with a majority of pledged delegates, he would have to win almost all the ones left, and and there is no reason to even suspect that the ongoing pattern of virtual ties will not continue.

0518bernie-hillary

Senator Bernie Sanders prevailed over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday in the Oregon primary, according to The Associated Press, while Mrs. Clinton claimed victory in a tight race in Kentucky, the day’s other contest.

Mrs. Clinton raced around Kentucky in the two days before the primary, hoping to fend off Mr. Sanders in a state that she won easily in 2008. In unofficial results late Tuesday night, Mrs. Clinton edged Mr. Sanders by about 1,900 votes, or less than half a percentage point, with all counties reporting. The Associated Press had not declared a winner by midnight.

The close result meant that she and Mr. Sanders would effectively split the state’s delegates. Nonetheless, winning Kentucky would give her a symbolic triumph that could blunt the effect of her loss in Oregon as she turns her attention to Donald J. Trump, her likely general election opponent.

With a lead in delegates that is almost impossible for Mr. Sanders to overcome, Mrs. Clinton is moving closer each week to claiming the Democratic nomination…

Inserted from <NY Times>

Here are the latest primary results.

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

2291

1528

Delegates Won

4051

1767

1488

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

524

40

 

 

District of Columbia

June 14

20 (25)

 

 

Primary

Closed

California

June 7

475 (71)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Montana

June 7

21 (6)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Jersey

June 7

126 (16)

 

 

Primary

Closed

North Dakota

June 7

18 (5)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Mexico

June 7

34 (9)

 

 

Primary

Closed

South Dakota

June 7

20 (5)

 

 

Primary

Semi-open

Puerto Rico

June 5

60 (7)

 

 

Primary

Open

Virgin Islands

June 4

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Oregon

May 17

61 (13)

24

28

Primary

Closed

Kentucky

May 17

55 (5)

27

27

Primary

Closed

West Virginia

May 10

29 (8)

11

18

Primary

Semi-closed

Guam

May 7

7 (5)

4

3

Caucus

Closed

Indiana

May 3

83 (9)

39

44

Primary

Open

Rhode Island

April 26

24 (9)

11

13

Primary

Semi-closed

Pennsylvania

April 26

189 (21)

105

83

Primary

Closed

Delaware

April 26

21 (10)

12

9

Primary

Closed

Connecticut

April 26

55 (15)

28

27

Primary

Closed

Maryland

April 26

95 (23)

61

33

Primary

Closed

New York

April 19

247 (44)

139

108

Primary

Closed

Wyoming

April 9

14 (4)

7

7

Caucus

Closed

Wisconsin

April 5

86 (10)

38

48

Primary

Open

Washington

March 26

101 (17)

27

74

Caucus

Open

Hawaii

March 26

25 (9)

8

17

Caucus

Semi-closed

Alaska

March 26

16 (4)

3

13

Caucus

Closed

Utah

March 22

33 (4)

6

27

Caucus

Semi-open

Idaho

March 22

23 (4)

5

18

Caucus

Open

Arizona

March 22

75 (10)

42

33

Primary

Closed

Ohio

March 15

143 (16)

81

62

Primary

Semi-open

North Carolina

March 15

107 (14)

59

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Missouri

March 15

71 (13)

36

35

Primary

Open

Illinois

March 15

156 (26)

79

77

Primary

Open

Florida

March 15

214 (32)

141

73

Primary

Closed

Northern Marianas

March 12

6 (5)

4

2

N/A

N/A

Michigan

March 8

130 (17)

63

67

Primary

Open

Mississippi

March 8

36 (5)

32

4

Primary

Open

Maine

March 6

25 (5)

8

17

Caucus

Closed

Kansas

March 5

33 (4)

10

23

Caucus

Closed

Nebraska

March 5

25 (5)

10

15

Caucus

Closed

Louisiana

March 5

51 (8)

37

14

Primary

Closed

Virginia

March 1

95 (15)

62

33

Primary

Open

Vermont

March 1

16 (10)

0

16

Primary

Open

Texas

March 1

222 (30)

147

75

Primary

Open

Tennessee

March 1

67 (9)

44

23

Primary

Open

Oklahoma

March 1

38 (4)

17

21

Primary

Semi-closed

Minnesota

March 1

77 (16)

31

46

Caucus

Open

Massachusetts

March 1

91 (25)

46

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Georgia

March 1

102 (14)

73

29

Primary

Open

Democrats Abroad

March 1-8

13 (4)

4

9

Primary

Closed

Colorado

March 1

66 (13)

25

41

Caucus

Closed

Arkansas

March 1

32 (5)

22

10

Primary

Open

American Samoa

March 1

6 (4)

4

2

Caucus

Closed

Alabama

March 1

53 (7)

44

9

Primary

Open

South Carolina

February 27

53 (6)

39

14

Primary

Open

Nevada

February 20

35 (8)

20

15

Caucus

Closed

New Hampshire

February 9

24 (8)

9

15

Primary

Semi-closed

Iowa

February 1

44 (8)

23

21

Caucus

Semi-open

 

Bernie gained by four delegates, but that's not enough to help.  So what are progressives to do?  Rachel Maddow discussed the problems with Oregon's Jeff Merkley, the only Senator progressive enough to endorse Bernie.

Now, Bernie said that he would not be put in the position of Ralph Nader, who made eight years of Crawford Caligula possible.  And Bernie said that nothing is more important that keeping a Republican out of the White House.  But some people are saying things like, "But how can I vote Blue if the Democratic nominee is Hillary Clinton?"  Here's  what to do.  First, assuming Rump Dump is the Republican nominee (if not, it will be someone equally evil),.you can know with certainty that the next President will be either Rump Dump or Hillary Clinton.  Next, make a list of all the positions and policies Rump Dump has in common with Bernie.  If you write it on toilet paper, you'll get dirty fingers.  Then make a list of all the positions and policies Hillary has in common with Bernie.  The better President of the only two possible winning choices will be the one with the most positions and policies in common with Bernie.   Now, that leaves you with two choices.  You can vote for that candidate for the good of the country, and if you have to hold your nose, so be it!  Or you can hold your nose high, maintain your ideological purity, and help throw the rest of us to the wolves.  If that seems harsh, know that I love you all.  It would be an extreme disservice, if I did not share the truth, as I understand it.

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May 112016
 

Julie has been here, and I’m a polished puddy tat,  She brought her companion animal, a pup named Prince.  You’ll get to meet him today.  I’m setting up the jumps through the bunches of hoops I need to accomplish before my eye surgeries. Later:  Groceries have been delivered, and I put them away.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics: The latest delegate count

Short Takes

 

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

2239

1469

Delegates Won

4051

1716

1430

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

523

39

 

 

District of Columbia

June 14

20 (25)

 

 

Primary

Closed

California

June 7

475 (71)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Montana

June 7

21 (6)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Jersey

June 7

126 (16)

 

 

Primary

Closed

North Dakota

June 7

18 (5)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Mexico

June 7

34 (9)

 

 

Primary

Closed

South Dakota

June 7

20 (5)

 

 

Primary

Semi-open

Puerto Rico

June 5

60 (7)

 

 

Primary

Open

Virgin Islands

June 4

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Oregon

May 17

61 (13)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Kentucky

May 17

55 (5)

 

 

Primary

Closed

West Virginia

May 10

29 (8)

11

16

Primary

Semi-closed

Guam

May 7

7 (5)

4

3

Caucus

Closed

Indiana

May 3

83 (9)

39

44

Primary

Open

Rhode Island

April 26

24 (9)

11

13

Primary

Semi-closed

Pennsylvania

April 26

189 (21)

105

83

Primary

Closed

Delaware

April 26

21 (10)

12

9

Primary

Closed

Connecticut

April 26

55 (15)

28

27

Primary

Closed

Maryland

April 26

95 (23)

61

33

Primary

Closed

New York

April 19

247 (44)

139

108

Primary

Closed

Wyoming

April 9

14 (4)

7

7

Caucus

Closed

Wisconsin

April 5

86 (10)

38

48

Primary

Open

Washington

March 26

101 (17)

27

74

Caucus

Open

Hawaii

March 26

25 (9)

8

17

Caucus

Semi-closed

Alaska

March 26

16 (4)

3

13

Caucus

Closed

Utah

March 22

33 (4)

6

27

Caucus

Semi-open

Idaho

March 22

23 (4)

5

18

Caucus

Open

Arizona

March 22

75 (10)

42

33

Primary

Closed

Ohio

March 15

143 (16)

81

62

Primary

Semi-open

North Carolina

March 15

107 (14)

59

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Missouri

March 15

71 (13)

36

35

Primary

Open

Illinois

March 15

156 (26)

79

77

Primary

Open

Florida

March 15

214 (32)

141

73

Primary

Closed

Northern Marianas

March 12

6 (5)

4

2

N/A

N/A

Michigan

March 8

130 (17)

63

67

Primary

Open

Mississippi

March 8

36 (5)

32

4

Primary

Open

Maine

March 6

25 (5)

8

17

Caucus

Closed

Kansas

March 5

33 (4)

10

23

Caucus

Closed

Nebraska

March 5

25 (5)

10

15

Caucus

Closed

Louisiana

March 5

51 (8)

37

14

Primary

Closed

Virginia

March 1

95 (15)

62

33

Primary

Open

Vermont

March 1

16 (10)

0

16

Primary

Open

Texas

March 1

222 (30)

147

75

Primary

Open

Tennessee

March 1

67 (9)

44

23

Primary

Open

Oklahoma

March 1

38 (4)

17

21

Primary

Semi-closed

Minnesota

March 1

77 (16)

31

46

Caucus

Open

Massachusetts

March 1

91 (25)

46

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Georgia

March 1

102 (14)

73

29

Primary

Open

Democrats Abroad

March 1-8

13 (4)

4

9

Primary

Closed

Colorado

March 1

66 (13)

25

41

Caucus

Closed

Arkansas

March 1

32 (5)

22

10

Primary

Open

American Samoa

March 1

6 (4)

4

2

Caucus

Closed

Alabama

March 1

53 (7)

44

9

Primary

Open

South Carolina

February 27

53 (6)

39

14

Primary

Open

Nevada

February 20

35 (8)

20

15

Caucus

Closed

New Hampshire

February 9

24 (8)

9

15

Primary

Semi-closed

Iowa

February 1

44 (8)

23

21

Caucus

Semi-open

A good win for Bernie cut into Hillary’s lead by 5 delegates, but that’s not enough to close the gap. Bernie needs 913 more delegates to win. Hillary needs 143. The remaining states have 897 delegates. Vote Blue No Matter Who!!

From Daily Kos: A meme shared on Tumblr and Reddit instructs people to mix household chemicals together in order to make a glowstick.

Except the instructions are lifted from a how-to guide for making a chlorine bomb out of common chemicals. This device overpressurizes its container and explodes. The explosion releases deadly chlorine gas which when inhaled, interacts with the water in mucus membranes to transform into hydrochloric acid. It causes chemical burns in the throat, eyes, and lungs. It has been used as a chemical weapon for just over 100 years, and was first introduced by the German Empire at the second battle of Ypres in 1915, and most recently used by terrorists in Iraq and Syria who were targeting civilians with makeshift devices such as the one described in this meme.

I’ve removed the actual instructions for the device because some people are stupid and might try to see what would happen if they made one of these.

0511Deadly_Glowstick

I also found this video to see what would happen non-stupidly.

 

I found the meme on Reddit, and the people spreading it are mostly Cruz and Trump supporters, based on their other posts and comments. Please be warned! This is one of the vilest things the Republican Party has ever done!

From Upworthy: It’s pretty rare that a Department of Justice press conference will bring people to tears — today was a rare and historic exception.

Today, Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued a formal response to HB2, North Carolina’s anti-transgender law. In it, she said:

"This is not a time to act out of fear. This is a time to summon our national virtues of inclusivity, diversity, compassion and open-mindedness. What we must not do — what we must never do — is turn on our neighbors, our family members, our fellow Americans, for something they cannot control, and deny what makes them human."

"This is why none of us can stand by when a state enters the business of legislating identity and insists that a person pretend to be something they are not, or invents a problem that doesn’t exist as a pretext for discrimination and harassment."

She also urged the state not to repeat the mistakes of the past, pointing out that it wasn’t so long ago that restrooms were segregated on the basis of race.

Amen to that!

Cartoon:

0511Cartoon

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May 062016
 
furies

I only have two articles this week which really call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them – and one that announces a way that people with talent (different kinds of talent, so don't disqualify yourself without reading further) can help them out. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

The first story is happening in my home state of Colorado.  Michael Bennet's term as a Democratic US Senator is expiring, he is running for reelection, and the Republicans want him out, naturally.  Though he's kind of a DINO, he is infinitely better than any Republican.  The Daily Kos Election Digest has the race listed as "safe Democrat," so it is unlikely that whoever gets the Republican nod will win.  But apparently, whether it matters or not, they just can't seem to help cheating.

One of them, Jon Keyser, was told he didn't have enough signatures to get on that ballot, since numerous signatures were disqualified because the petition circulator's address on the petitions did not match his (I think it was a he) address of registration.  Turned out he had moved and forgotten to change his address  with the election department.  OK, technically that's illegal.  But a technicality is exactly what it is.  I have no problem with the Secretary of State deciding to go ahead and put him on the ballot after all.  Two other Republicans were told the same thing – one is not now on the ballot, the other managed to get onto the ballot but is suing the (Republican) Secretary of State anyway.  That's typical Republican circus, and not the issue.

Here's the thing: after Jon Keyser was put onto the ballot, someone looked a little harder, and discovered possible fraud – so now he's off again.  Here's the deal.  One Republican in Littleton has her name on both Keyser's petition and also that for Jack Graham.  That's kind of illegal too – you're only supposed to be supporting one candidate.  After all, you can't vote twice (legally).  But the potential for actual, tangible, provable fraud comes in when you look at both petitions and see that the same name is in totally different handwritings, with totally different signatures.

You can see this is PROBABLY not a case of two voters with the same name (who also just happen to live at the same address.)  In any case one now wonders whether ANY Republican will now make it onto the Colorado Senate ballot.  Under one of probably the ten most Republican Secretaries of State in the nation.  I'm sure this is boring for you ladies – but maybe you can crack the whip a little to encourage the people sorting through these documents to get it right.  They don't have a lot of time.

The other story comes from California, but is national in scope.  I heard it through In The Public Interest, a group which I learned about through their work on exposing private prisons and the private contractors who supply them substandard food, poor medical care, expensive prisoner-to-family communications, etc.  Now ITPI is looking at for profit schools in direct competition with public schools in kindergarten through high school.

Despite receiving hundreds of millions of dollars from California’s taxpayers, California Virtual Academies (CAVA), the state’s largest provider of online public education, is failing key tests used to measure educational success. According to an investigation by The San Jose Mercury News, fewer than half of the thousands of students who enroll in CAVA schools graduate, and almost none of them are qualified to attend the state's public universities.
 All the while, the publicly traded corporation that owns the network, K12 Inc., continues to rake in massive profits.

Just like a brick-and-mortar charter school, an on-line charter school receives taxpayer funding which would (IMO should) have gone to the local public school.  And, since those funds are based on attendance, just how does an online school take attendance?  Simple – if you log in, you are "present."  When you log out is no one's business.  And this also irks me: "(W)hile records show that the company’s employees launched each of K12 Inc.’s 17 online schools in California, the applications they filed to open the schools described the founders as a “group of parents,” none of whom were named."

Probably not that surprising for an enterprise launched by a former Goldman Sachs bankster.  Tisiphone, I usually ask for you when some vile human is being vengefully destructive.  But if you decided to vengefully destroy these corporations, I wouldn't shed a tear.

Finally, the call for entries – "Calling all painters, photographers, filmmakers, musicians, dancers, graffiti artists, fine art students, animators, sculptors, designers, actors, advertisers, poets, writers, illustrators, tech specialists, crafters and anyone with a passion for creating, we’d love to hear from you."  The topic is "Where's wetiko?"

I personally am more familiar with the Ojibway form of the word, "windingo," than the Algonquin form they chose, but I suspect they chose it because it moves faster in the mouth, like the "Waldo" they are probably alluding to in the topic title.  But, you may be asking, WHAT is it?  Well …

All over the world, there is a feeling that something is deeply wrong. It is often felt more than seen, an unnamed darkness that keeps millions (even billions) of people disconnected from the reality of authentic life-affirming experience….

Wetiko is an Algonquin word for a cannibalistic spirit that is driven by greed, excess and selfish consumption (in Ojibwa it is windingo, wintiko in Powhatan). It deludes its host into believing that cannibalizing the life-force of others (others in the broad sense, including animals and other forms of Gaian life) is a logical and morally upright way to live.
•Every time someone is seen justifying the destruction of life for profit – it is wetiko.
•Every time compassion is vitally missing during a time of suffering – it is wetiko.
•Every time a privileged person uses another as a “throw away” toy – it is wetiko.
•Every time, in every way a community or country is impoverished so that others can be rich – it is wetiko.

So the answer to "Where's wetiko?" is "EVERYWHERE – but it needs to be SEEN."

The call for entries I have linked to has itself further links for anyone who wants to go deeper – but it's a good introduction, it's short and to the point, and repays reading through even if you think you do not have a creative nerve in your body.  And maybe we can help out the furies by raising awareness of injustice and consequent opposition to it.

The Furies and I will be back.

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