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.

Share
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.

Share
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

Share
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.

Share
May 052016
 

hedgehog-looks-binocularsIf you’re a regular reader of TomCat’s blog and articles, I’m sure you’re quite aware of the fact that both Ted Cruz and John Kasich have suspended their campaign in the Republican primaries and Donald Trump seems to have secured the GOP’s nomination. Or as the BBC analyst said last night on the 10 o’clock news: ”Donald Trump has now completed his hostile takeover of the Republican party.”

This rather negative take on Trump’s victory in Indiana and the subsequent departure of his last two opponents is one that has been in the make not only in America, as TomCat’s blog has been witness to for quite some time now, but also across many countries across the globe. Chief foreign correspondent of The Sydney Morning Herald, Paul MCGeough, headed his article with: Donald Trump’s victory over Ted Cruz is more about Republican failure than candidate’s success. ABC news also quickly focused on Trump’s most likely Democratic opponent for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, and on the fact that presumptive nominee Trump will have a hard time trying to unite a fractured party around his bid for the White House.  Others think Trump’s going to have a difficult time ahead of him in getting the GOP to support him (His biggest challenge yet: Anti-Trump Republicans consider the ultimate betrayal)

My own the Dutch newspaper, NRC Handelsblad, sketched the situation yesterday (May 4, 2016) with just a hint of amusement: “What started as a comedy number less than a year ago, became a revolt in the party and ended Wednesday night with a Republican seizure of power by Trump. He demanded instantly victory on. ‘We’re going after Hillary Clinton now,’”  but the paper doesn’t fail to note that while “The Republican party goes to do battle with (probably) the Democrat Hillary Clinton with an uncontrollable, polarizing presidential candidate,” this probable Democratic candidate is equally unpopular. Both the BBC news and the Dutch media came up with numbers quoted on fivethirtyeight.com: American’s distaste for both Trump and Clinton is record breaking, where Trump is disliked by 10% more Americans than Hillary is, or as the headline in my newspaper read: "The Contest Is Between Who Has The Least Hated Candidate."

You might wonder why people abroad are so negative about the possibility of Donald Trump sitting behind the desk in the Oval Office in November. We’re only looking at it from afar and as Ben Carson said “we’re only looking at four years” if Trump’s a bust, right? That negativity may have something to do with his foreign policy which he read from teleprompter only last week. I’ll give you the translation of almost the full article my newspaper carried on its front page (NRC Handelsblad, Thursday, April 28, 2016) to show how it was received here in The Netherlands.

Trump Promises An America That Thinks Predominantly Of Itself

'America first ', will be the foundation of his foreign policy, Donald Trump said Wednesday in a speech about his probable foreign policy, after he increased his lead in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday.

In the speech, clearly intended to provide the almost-candidate with a presidential allure, he unfolded a predominantly isolationist views on America's role in the world. The political and economic motivation came at the end: “We will no longer surrender this country to the false tune of globalization. The US are the true foundation for happiness and harmony. I am skeptical about international treaties that bind our hands.”

America will no longer get the chestnuts out of the fire when other countries, as for example NATO partners, spend insufficiently on defense, said Trump.

Details on Trump’s many notorious loose statements such as building a wall along the border with Mexico were missing from the speech. Trump tried to present an overall vision by contrasting America's role at the end of the second world war and the cold war with what he called the 'complete disaster' of the foreign policy of the Presidents Clinton and Obama.

He assured the relationship with Russia and China will improve. He promised 'a deal' with Russia, China will start to respect America's power. To combat IS the US should develop both a 'coherent plan' as well as become ‘unpredictable'. Trump wants to strengthen the army with 'the best equipment in the world' but also said that the US want peace.”

Trump’s maiden policy speech wasn’t all that well received in other countries either. Pundit for The National Interest in Australia, Mark Beeson, professor of International Politics, think president Trump, following his own course on foreign policy, would be devastating to Australia:The point to emphasize is that any country that relies too heavily on another for its security is potentially hostage to its protector’s policies—no matter how ill-conceived, dangerous or inappropriate they may be. That possibility was realized in entirely predictable and disastrous fashion when Bush was president. A Trump administration threatens to be even more catastrophic on a number of levels.

Even Peter Foster in UK’s conservative The Telegraph comes to the same negative conclusion in his analysis for the United Kingdom and Europe: “No US president makes good on all their campaign-trail promises, but from ripping up America’s security alliances in Europe and the Asia-Pacific to threatening a trade-war with China, Donald Trump has promised to put “America first” by instituting an ultra-isolationist US foreign policy.

Some Brits, like the Independent, didn’t beat about the bush, not even in their headlines: Donald Trump’s incoherent speech on foreign policy shows why he’s unfit to be president, while a very serious Aussie in Financial Review slowly build up his  case to end with a Trump quote which really says it all: ‘Responding to recent criticisms that Mr Trump's current informal foreign policy advisers were not well known, he said "we have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don't know what they're doing".’ Trump will be 70 by the time he expects to be in the White House.

TrumpWorldx2

I think most other nations have a problem with Donald Trump’s vision on the world and the role America plays in it, because it is inconsistent and varies from day to day. In other words, Trump is inconsistent, untrustworthy and unpredictable, the latter to which he actually aspires in his foreign policy. America shouldn’t be so predictable, he maintains. The day after the NRC Handelsblad published the front page article cited above, it carried an article on the advisors Trump has let himself be influenced by and the inconsistencies that followed, titled Candidate without ideology with the subtitle “Trump is advised by people who want to make him ' presidential '. They give him conflicting ideas.” Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and son in law Jared Kushner should make Trump 'presidential'. But they also feed him with ideas. Those ideas are often contradictory, and that was noticeable in Trump’s speech:

“Trump wants to build a wall on the Mexican border, and Mexico has to pay for it. In the speech he did not come back to these famous statements.

Trump said that 'promoting Western civilization will contribute more to positive reforms in the world than military interventions'. But he also turned against the 'dangerous idea' that Western values can be impose on non-Western countries.

Trump promised to turn 'old enemies'  into fiends, even allies by making good deals. But, he also said, a country like Iran 'will always remain our enemy'. Obama should never have negotiated with Iran.

Trump received a lot of criticism on other statements he made about his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton last Wednesday: 'If Hillary Clinton were a man, she would get less than 5 percent of the votes,' said Trump, who believes that Clinton is campaigning on women issues. He then immediately contradicted himself: 'the great thing is that women don’t like her.'

Perhaps Trump should have stuck with his first advisor:

http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/trump-my-primary-consultant-is-myself-645588035836

Of course these are only a few of the inconsistencies as seen from afar. But Australian media were quick to point out that closer to home some people also had problems with Trump’s take on foreign affairs as in Madeleine Albright unleashes on Donald Trump’s foreign policy speech, who by takies to Twitter to poke holes in Trump’s first attempt at a foreign policy speech, “something I have experience with,” and tackles his doctrine’s flaws head on a la Trump himself.

If the political future of America looks a little bleak after reading this, cheer up, because I’ve saved the best for last. In an excellent analysis of the current political climate, history, polling data and demographics, independent pundit Anthony J. Gaughan, maintains in his article President Trump? Not likely that “The evidence suggests that Trump will likely suffer a crushing defeat in the general election” to conclude with “The bottom line is Republican leaders with an eye on the future don’t want anything to do with Trump. They know the name “Trump” will likely join Goldwater, McGovern and Mondale as names forever associated with crushing presidential election defeats.

Let's hope Mr Gaughan's analysis is correct.

Share
May 042016
 

Last night I watched the poli6tical festivities.  George is mad at me.  When Rump Dump spoke, I couldn’t help myself.  Poor George!!  Julie left a few minutes ago, so I’m a primped puddy tat.  Today is a grocery delivery day and I’ll have a big order to put away.  Later”  The groceries are stowed and I’m pooped!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:07 (average 5:51).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics: The latest delegate count:

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

2202

1400

Delegates Won

4051

1682

1361

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

520

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)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Guam

May 7

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Indiana

May 3

83 (9)

37

43

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)

9

25

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)

9

16

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 scored an impressive win in Indiana, but he cut Hillary’s lead bu only six delegates. He needs 982 more to win. Hillary needs 180 more to win. Vote blue, no matter who!!!

From NY Times: The entire community of Fort McMurray, the heart of Alberta’s oil sands region, was ordered to evacuate on Tuesday night as a fast-spreading wildfire advanced on the city and cut off its only highway link to the south.

The fire destroyed a number of homes in one neighborhood and some trailers in a trailer park, said Robin Smith, a spokesman for the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which includes Fort McMurray. According to television news reports, commercial buildings downtown were also ablaze.

There were no reports of injuries by early evening.

A video showed flames and smoke rising hundreds of feet into the sky, prompting the largest fire evacuation in Alberta’s history, The Edmonton Journal reported. The fire was expected to get worse on Wednesday, when winds were forecast to switch direction and increase in speed.

I found a video report:

Prayers are going out for the residents of Fort McMurray, I don’t think the oil sands have caught fire yet and hate to think of the toxic threat to Canadians, if that happens.

From Alternet: Following Donald Trump’s primary win in Indiana last night, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren blasted the Republican frontrunner on social media for building “his campaign on racism, sexism and xenophobia,” vowing to ensure “Trump’s toxic stew of hatred and insecurity never reaches the White House.”

Here’s the message she posted on Facebook:

Elizabeth Warren
14 hours ago
Donald Trump is now the leader of the Republican Party. It’s real – he is one step away from the White House. Here’s what else is real:
Trump has built his campaign on racism, sexism, and xenophobia. There’s more enthusiasm for him among leaders of the KKK than leaders of the political party he now controls.
He incites supporters to violence, praises Putin, and, according to a columnist who recently interviewed him, is "cool with being called an authoritarian" and doesn’t min…
See More

Democrat Warren has largely stayed on the sidelines of the nominating process for her own party this election cycle, but the progressive politician consistently slams Republican candidates for their positions on big banks, and labor laws and women’s rights.

Go Lizzie!! Rump Dump Trump deserves every bit of that!

Cartoon:

0504Cartoon

Share
Apr 302016
 

I went to Lucia's house for an English lesson but she wasn't there.  I waited a bit in my car until I saw her walking up the hill with Simon and Regina in tow.  The minute Simon saw me, he started running towards me with a big smile on his face, calling my name.  Lucia had to let go of the harness so he wouldn't get hurt.  I got a big hug and all was right in the world.  Other than that, a very ordinary day with beautiful weather.  This weekend is supposed to be warmer than usual and dry.  Good for the Alzheimer's walk on Sunday.

Short Takes

The Guardian — An Oklahoma court has stunned local prosecutors with a declaration that state law doesn’t criminalize oral sex with a victim who is completely unconscious. 

The ruling, a unanimous decision by the state’s criminal appeals court, is sparking outrage among critics who say the judicial system was engaged in victim-blaming and buying outdated notions about rape.

But legal experts and victims’ advocates said they viewed the ruling as a sign of something larger: the troubling gaps that still exist between the nation’s patchwork of laws and evolving ideas about rape and consent.  

But several legal experts declined to fault the appeals court, saying instead that the ruling should be a wake-up call for legislators to update Oklahoma’s laws.

Michelle Anderson, the dean of the CUNY School of Law who has written extensively about rape law, called the ruling “appropriate” but the law “archaic”.

“This is a call for the legislature to change the statute, which is entirely out of step with what other states have done in this area and what Oklahoma should do,” she said. “It creates a huge loophole for sexual abuse that makes no sense.”

So, will this Republican state amend its laws to close the loop hole?  I think the answer to that lies in the word "Republican".  There is a petition on Care2 — Oklahoma: Stand United Against Rape

"The bill that will stop this kind of injustice in the future is named for this young victim. “Justice for J.W. Act of 2016” aims to include unconscious persons in the list of those who can’t give consent for sexual acts. The bill’s author, Representative Scott Biggs, said: “I am horrified by the idea that we would allow these depraved rapists to face a lower charge simply because the victim is unconscious.”"

This young woman, indeed all women, should not have to be victimised by a rapist and then victimised by the law.

Truth-outHouse Judiciary Committee hearing room on April 21, when nine members of Congress, their staff and 200 activists gathered to address the present crisis in US democracy: voter suppression and the manipulation of US elections.

In 2016 – the first presidential election since the US Supreme Court's gutting of the Voting Rights Act – a slew of new malicious laws and tactics are disenfranchising millions of Americans, even as the private control of US vote-counting technology has come under renewed scrutiny in a primary season marked by allegations of fraud and election rigging.  

"The most dangerous thing in our democracy right now is the fact that partisan, for-profit corporations using secret proprietary software provide the voting hardware and the software to register us to vote, count our votes and report election results," Fitrakis said. "I want to know why these private companies who are not using open-source software are counting our votes, registering our votes and then doing the central tabulation."

I find it interesting that there are some Republicans seemingly breaking with the party and look at voter suppression and the manipulation of US elections.  Or am I not reading this correctly?  Everybody should be very concerned about the level of voter suppression.  It should be one citizen, one vote . . . and no, corporations are not people and money is not free speech.  Can the Congress have this in place for the November 2016 general election?

Raw Story — Stephen Colbert mocked Ted Cruz for selecting Carly Fiorina as his running mate after suffering another round of devastating primary losses.

“That is bold,” Colbert said. “After Tuesday’s huge wins by Clinton and Trump, Bernie Sanders saw the writing on the wall and laid off hundreds of staffers. Meanwhile, Ted Cruz saw the writing and covered it up with a ‘hang in there, baby’ poster.”

Of course he mocked them!  And now there is more reason — Mike Pence of Indiana has endorsed Cruz.  When will they learn?

Politico — The word “Lucifer” lit up the Internet in the past 24 hours — after news surfaced that former House Speaker John Boehner used the name to describe his former congressional colleague and GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Nice to see that Agent Orange has not lost his acerbic touch in retirement.

My Universe

ccat10

I have some hang ups!

ccat6

I'm hiding from the dog!

ccat13Will somebody get me a ladder please!

ccat1Working in the packaging department!

Share
Apr 272016
 

I’m getting another late start today.  Julie came, sprayed and buffed me, and did some light cleaning.  My ISP was down for a bit. I’m ready for a Lona nap, but I don’t get to take one yet as Store to Door is coming with a big grocery order.  Here’s something I have hot said in a very long time.  Tomorrow is a prison volunteer day.  I’ll be leaving mid-afternoon, and returning late night.  I haven’t5 seen my guys in over six months, and I can’t wait!!  I will probably have articles tomorrow, but not Friday.  Store to Door just lost about 1/3 of my grocery order, so I just have no more time to spend in research.  This is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:28).  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

2151

1338

Delegates Won

4051

1632

1299

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

519

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)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Guam

May 7

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Indiana

May 3

83 (9)

 

 

Primary

Open

Rhode Island

April 26

24 (9)

11

13

Primary

Semi-closed

Pennsylvania

April 26

189 (21)

95

67

Primary

Closed

Delaware

April 26

21 (10)

12

9

Primary

Closed

Connecticut

April 26

55 (15)

27

25

Primary

Closed

Maryland

April 26

95 (23)

59

32

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)

9

25

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)

9

16

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

Hillary increased her lead by 58 delegates.  At this point I see no feasible way for Bernie to win.

From Daily KosThanks to Sanders to taking a first step on the path to helping to the Democratic Party unite and win this November!

“The people in every state in this country should have the right to determine who they want as President and what the agenda of the Democratic Party should be.  That’s why we are in this race until the last vote is cast.  That is why this campaign is going to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia with as many delegates as possible to fight for a progressive party platform that calls for $15 an hour minimum wage, an end to our disastrous trade policies, a Medicare-for-all health care system, breaking up Wall Street, financial institutions, ending fracking in our country, making public colleges and universities tuition free and passing a carbon tax so we can effectively address the planetary crisis of climate change.”

According to MSNBC, for the first time I have ever heard, he sent out a message congratulating Hillary Clinton on her victories tonight.

Kudos to Bernie and his campaign.  I think they realize that they can’t win. so to begin the healing process, they are changing their focus from the nomination to the platform. 

From Alternet: Stephen Colbert got down with some bathroom humor on Tuesday night’s show.

“Here’s the thing,” he said. “I don’t care if you’re male or female, what sex or gender identity someone is, I—and I mean this sincerely—do not want to share a bathroom with anyone. For two reasons: No. 1—and No. 2.”

Of course, he was not there to make sophomoric poop jokes; his target was the ridiculous and hateful political posturing around who gets to use which bathroom with whom.

 

Does he know how to pick a weirdo. or what?

Cartoon:

0427Cartoon

Share
Apr 272016
 

So it has been almost 2 weeks since I last published an article, not because I did not want to, but because I have been very, very busy with all sorts of activities.  Something had to give and it was publishing.  Last Sunday during a church service, five of us were commissioned and anointed into the ministry of pastoral care having finished our training and police background checks.  Of course I have been teaching and attending physio.  Last Friday, I looked after Lucia's two youngest while Lucia took some "me time".  I was totally wasted by the afternoon when Lucia returned.  What's more, I managed to escape a nuclear diaper!  I'll do the same next week so Lucia can be with Loliyo at a dance competition.  There are also routine things like doctor's and dentist's appointments, and the most important, snuggles with the fur babies.  I still have to do the taxes but since neither of us owe any, it isn't a big worry.

Short Takes

The Nation — Global warming is, in the end, not about the noisy political battles here on the planet’s surface. It actually happens in constant, silent interactions in the atmosphere, where the molecular structure of certain gases traps heat that would otherwise radiate back out to space. If you get the chemistry wrong, it doesn’t matter how many landmark climate agreements you sign or how many speeches you give. And it appears the United States may have gotten the chemistry wrong. Really wrong.  

In February, Harvard researchers published an explosive paper in Geophysical Research Letters. Using satellite data and ground observations, they concluded that the nation as a whole is leaking methane in massive quantities. Between 2002 and 2014, the data showed that US methane emissions increased by more than 30 percent, accounting for 30 to 60 percent of an enormous spike in methane in the entire planet’s atmosphere.  

These leaks are big enough to wipe out a large share of the gains from the Obama administration’s work on climate change—all those closed coal mines and fuel-efficient cars. In fact, it’s even possible that America’s contribution to global warming increased during the Obama years. The methane story is utterly at odds with what we’ve been telling ourselves, not to mention what we’ve been telling the rest of the planet. It undercuts the promises we made at the climate talks in Paris. It’s a disaster—and one that seems set to spread.

The Obama administration, to its credit, seems to be waking up to the problem. Over the winter, the EPA began to revise its methane calculations, and in early March, the United States reached an agreement with Canada to begin the arduous task of stanching some of the leaks from all that new gas infrastructure. But none of this gets to the core problem, which is the rapid spread of fracking. Carbon dioxide is driving the great warming of the planet, but CO2 isn’t doing it alone. It’s time to take methane seriously.

MSNBCI found this interesting segment of The Rachel Maddow Show that showcases some of the Republican bigotry, racism and total lack of sensitivity to history.

Politico — Republicans over the past seven years have come to view Barack Obama not just as an ideological enemy but as a “dictator”—an accusation hurled most recently by both Chris Christie and Glenn Beck—a president who has unconstitutionally abused his executive power with an array of unilateral actions.

But Republicans are hardly passive victims of an overweening executive; they are, in fact, paying for their own unilateral surrender of power. The GOP-dominated Congress has sought to weaken and undermine Obama and instead has achieved the opposite. Unable to pass significant legislation after the Affordable Care Act, the Obama White House filled the vacuum by creative use of executive authority, setting a potentially risky precedent for the future balance between the branches but spurred, ironically, by the very opponents who were trying to contain him.

Is this where we get to say to Republicans "You reap what you sow!"?  Personally, I do not see Obama as a dictator, but rather a man trapped by the incompetence and beligerence of political foes . . . foes willing to ruin the country in order to stick to their idiotological principles.

My Universe — 20 Reasons You Need A Cat In Your Life

You may view cats as evil creatures, and you may not be entirely wrong with that assumption. Still, you may not realize that owning a cat actually has a variety of benefits for you and your health. These are just a few reasons why you should open your home to a cat.

BTW, people don't own cats.  Dogs have owners.  Cats have staff!

3. They Do Not Need Baths

Giving cats a bath is not a fun experience. Fortunately, unlike dogs, cats really do not need baths. They are huge neat freaks that frequently groom themselves, making bathing unnecessary. This also goes back to the whole “low maintenance thing”. If you do dare to bath a cat, be sure to wear complete padding because this can get pretty messy though the results are pretty hilarious.

7. They Make Fantastic Alarm Clocks

When cats want their breakfast, they want it now. They do not care if you are sleeping, they will wake you up. In fact, they do not even need to have breakfast for an excuse to wake you up. They will wake you up for whatever reason they have decided to wake you up and you will have to deal with that.

11. They Will Keep You Grounded

All of those jokes about how cats think humans are their slaves? These are completely accurate. Cats believe that you are merely there to serve them and their needs. This will help put you in your place whenever you feel that you are better than you are.

Click through for the other 17 reasons you need at least one cat in your life.

 

Share
Apr 232016
 

Yesterday I posted two articles, after saying I would not, because Earth Day was too important to pass by.  I had a hard workout at PT, even though I missed 1/3 of my time, because the TriMet Lift Bus was way late.  Mostly, they’re pretty good, but when they blow it, they really screw the pooch.  Julie is coming to preen my kitty feathers this morning.  I need it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:23 (average 5:50).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Recent diaries and comments have ridiculed discussion of the lawsuit filed in New York on Tuesday regarding voter purges, claiming that it’s just a bunch of whiny Independents who couldn’t be bothered to re-register as Democrats in time.  Although that is an issue — if you decided in December you wanted to vote for Clinton or Sanders, it was too late for Independents to make the change in order to be eligible — and one of the remedies requested by the lawsuit was an open primary, that was not the main cause.

Thousands of properly registered voters were purged from the voter roles, or had their registration changed from Democrat to unaffiliated, or were new voters and their registrations weren’t processed in time or again they showed up as unaffiliated instead of DEMOCRAT, and thus were unable to vote through no fault of their own.

And now Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the Board of Elections Chief Clerk in Brooklyn has been suspended and will likely be forced out because she made an error that caused more than 100,000 people to be improperly purged from the voter roles in Brooklyn.

She was trying to clean up the books — which must be periodically purged to eliminate people who die, move or are ineligible for other reasons — and skipped one of the steps that was built in to stop the system from purging eligible voters, the sources said.

Brooklyn lost 102,717 — or 8% — of its active voters from Nov. 1 2015 through April 1, 2016, according to state stats.

It’s the only county in the state that lost voters in that time period.

The high number of dropped voters — combined with other issues like long lines, late starts and inadequate equipment — prompted both the City Controller and the state Attorney General to launch investigations into the widespread irregularities.

There is no reason to believe that the Brooklyn voter purge was done intentionally to target Bernie supporters, as some have claimed. And I still consider open primaries contrary to the purpose of primaries: to allow the members of a political party to chose which candidates will represent that party in the general election. However, every state needs to have means to allow people to register as a member of their party of choice within a reasonable amount of time (hours or days, not weeks or months) and correct an accidental purge instantly. Contrarily, New York’s laws are the most archaic in the nation and need a complete overhaul.

From The New Yorker: After rattling many of his supporters by expressing tolerance toward transgender people, the Republican front-runner Donald J. Trump clarified on Friday that he still opposes women who were born women.

“The media has, per usual, tried to blow my words out of proportion,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “Just because I happen to think transgender people deserve our understanding in no way means that I feel that way about women who were born women.”

Trump said that any attempt to twist his words to apply to “women in general” was deeply offensive to him. “I have made my views about women very clear and to suggest that I have somehow changed those views is really, really hurtful,” he said.

Across the nation, Trump supporters who had been alarmed that the candidate had seemingly strayed into something resembling empathy were greatly relieved by his clarification.

Dang Andy!! I was starting to worry that Fecal Dump Trump might actually come out in support of allowing women pee in the women’s room!!

From The Boston Globe: Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage is vetoing a bill that would allow people to buy a lifesaving drug overdose antidote without a prescription.

Rachel Maddow covers this travesty in detail.

LePage made it clear that he wants people who overdose to die. Since he associates, Black people and heroin use, it doesn’t take rocket science to recognize the Republican Racism in his decision. As a former volunteer firefighter, I have administered Narcan and seen it take someone from delirious and seizing to stable in seconds. As for LePage, only one word us vile enough to describe him. Paul LePage is a Republican.

Cartoon:

0423Cartoon

Share