Jun 122016
 

I’m running way late today because Julie was here.  I’m a very pampered puddy tat.  We finalized the details for my surgeries next week.  We did a whole gamut of housekeeping tasks, including the dreaded task.  Killer Dawg helped.

0612KillerDawgDreaded

I fed her lunch, a plate of Tony Roma’s Baby Back Ribs. The down-side is that Killer Dawg has hidden three rib bones in my apartment, and I have no idea where they are.  We also took a pic of Killer Dawg in his official duds, in compliance with a European request for it.

0612KillerDawgOfficial

The parade was cold and it rained on and off.  I took a few pics, but as the bands passed us, none were playing and almost none of the girls were baton tossing, pompom shaking, or flag waving.  Everyone was just walking past, so about mid-way through, I gave up and had lunch.  I still have to resize the pictures and plan to post them tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:51 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 2/2015): The U.S. Geological Survey has backed-up what scientists have been suggesting for years–that deep injection of wastewater is the primary cause of the dramatic rise in detected earthquakes:

Keep it in the ground!!

Also from Daily Kos (classic 3/2015): DW-NOMINATE is a method for analyzing data on preferences, such as voting data, developed by political scientists Keith T. Poole and Howard Rosenthal. Unlike the scoring done by interest groups, DW-NOMINATE doesn’t rely on subjective determinations of what constitutes a liberal vote or a conservative vote–it sorts members of a population according to how similar each member’s choices are to those of other members of the population. Two senators who vote the same way 90 percent of the time will be much closer to each other than two senators who only vote the same way 10 percent of the time. Poole and Rosenthal have used this method to discover some interesting statistics and trends going back to the First Congress in 1787-89.

Using House and Senate roll call votes as inputs, DW-NOMINATE has been used to chart every member of every Congress in a two-dimensional space. The primary dimension corresponds strongly to conventional notions of the liberal-conservative axis in modern politics, while the significance of the secondary axis tends to change over time (traditionally it tended to highlight the distance between Dixiecrats and the rest of the Democratic party; today it’s kind of a more nebulous indicator of social and cultural differences and is, in my opinion, not particularly interesting). The point is that we can sort the members of a particular Congress by their scores on the primary dimension to easily rank them from most liberal to most conservative based entirely on their own voting data.

And when we do this for the period in which Hillary Clinton was in the Senate, here’s what we get:

As it turns out, with a first-dimension score of -0.391 based upon her entire service in Congress, Hillary Clinton was the 11th most liberal member of the Senate in each of the 107th, 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses. That places her slightly to the left of Pat Leahy (-0.386), Barbara Mikulski (-0.385) and Dick Durbin (-0.385); clearly to the left of Joe Biden (-0.331) and Harry Reid (-0.289)

0612hillary

This surprised me, but I can’t argue with authentic voting stats. I was not surprised that Bernie is number one!

From LA Times: A heavily armed gunman who had reportedly pledged allegiance to Islamic State stormed into a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday, and began rapidly firing into the crowd, killing at least 50 people and wounding 53 in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

The gunman was killed by a SWAT team after taking hostages at Pulse, a popular gay club, investigators said at an early morning news conference. He has been preliminarily identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Fla., a U.S. law enforcement official said.

Mateen called 911 moments before the attack, pledging allegiance to the Islamic state, a federal law enforcement official said, confirming earlier reports. Federal investigators said they also were looking into reports that he recited prayers to Allah during the attack. The investigators stressed that they have just begun digging into his background and don’t want to jump to conclusions about any links to Islamic State.

 

May their loved ones be comforted. Barack, Bernie and Hillary all tried to comfort their suffering and condemned the pseudo-Muslim from the Daesh. Rump Dump Trump wants congratulations. Some other Republicans are even condemning the victims.

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0612Cartoon

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Jun 112016
 

I was hoping to sleep-in, but Grand Floral Parade goers started staking out their spots and blowing their air horns at about 5:00 AM.  I’d guess that the parade will get here between 11:00 AM and 12:00 N.  Julie and I rescheduled shower day to tomorrow, so I’m a stinky puddy tat!!  I’ll scoot down and take a few pictures, if it isn’t raining.  Rain is bad for my chair.

My first surgery is a week from Monday.  The radioactive plaque they will be inserting behind my right eye is about the size of an old pop bottle cap.

0611melanoma_plaque

Mine will have a notch in one side to fit around the optic nerve.  The second surgery, a week from Friday, will be to remove it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:49 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Politico has an excellent piece of reporting from within the Sanders campaign on their future efforts. A great read and very encouraging for those of us who are anticipating unity within the party. It appears that staff within the Sanders group are already starting to shift their focus toward assisting Clinton in the general.

Sanders’ tech team is already expressing interest in working on Clinton’s behalf to drum up enthusiasm among young voters — a critical demographic for Democrats that Sanders dominated and Clinton struggled with during the primaries.

“Getting a bunch of kids stoked on the process is very important to ensure a Trump presidency is not possible,” said Arun Chaudhary, the Sanders videographer who joined the senator’s team at the White House on Thursday to take pictures surrounding his meeting with Obama.

As I said, the problem is not and never was Bernie. It’s the bots, who say they support him, but act at cross-purposes to what he is doing.

From Think Progress: Texas, so fond of seeing the environmental regulators in court that it has sued the Environmental Protection Agency dozens of times, wants to take the EPA to court for a brand new reason.

The Texas Railroad Commission recommended that the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, file another lawsuit targeting new EPA regulations seeking to limit methane emissions. Texas would be the first state to do so.

I don’t know why the Railroad Commission is doing this, when the Texas Republican Party is the biggest source of methane in the Southwest US.

From Alternet: A potentially massive fine levied against three telemarketing companies could finally force others in the industry to comply with federal rules—and stop nuisance calls.

Local news station KSL.com reports that the three companies—Feature Films for Families, Corporations for Character and Family Films of Utah—made more than 117 million illegal calls to consumers who had signed up with the “Do Not Call” registry. If the court assigns the regular fine amount for all of the 117 million illegal calls, the firms could end up paying over $1 trillion.

It goes without saying that the companies would not be able to afford such high fines and would be financially ground into dust by such a verdict, although the companies are still waiting for the judge’s decision on whether the full fines will be enforced. Eric Allen, an attorney for the law firm that is representing the companies, said a $1 trillion fine could have a chilling effect on other telemarketers.

Frankly, I hope the judge puts them out of business. Companies with such a Republican lack of respect don’t deserve to operate, and it would put other telemarketers on notice to respect the Do Not Call list, OR ELSE!! Enough don’t that it’s a rare day that I don’t get at least one scam robocall, usually for timeshare scams or loans

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Jun 042016
 

It saddens me to report that there was an oil spill and fire in a train carrying super-volatile Bakken Crude  adjacent to the Columbia River, and that it is now in the river itself.  Officials say it has been contained, but what they call contained never means eliminated, so it will be in the river, poisoning the ecosystem for decades.

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A Union Pacific train carrying volatile Bakken crude oil derailed in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge Friday afternoon, sparking a large blaze and prompting evacuations and road closures around the nearby town of Mosier. No deaths or injuries were reported.

KATU TV reported that as many as four rail cars ended up engulfed in flames. A Union Pacific spokesman said oil leaked from at least one car, though according to an Oregon Department of Transportation statement released last night, “no oil or fire suppression water has reached Rock Creek, the Columbia River, or its tributaries.” ODOT officials added that Union Pacific crews had placed booms across Rock Creek and the mouth of the Columbia River as a preemptive step.

The derailment generated a large fire, and plumes of smoke filled the sky. Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, observed the blaze. In a statement sent to ThinkProgress, he characterized the incident as “a terrible situation.”

From <Think Progress>

Governor Kate Brown held a press conference last night

I checked to see if they had kept it out of the river.

0604oil-train-recovery

A light oil sheen was spotted in the Columbia River near the site of Friday's oil train derailment near the Oregon town of Mosier, raising concerns about the fiery wreck's environmental impacts during peak spring chinook migration.

Environmental officials said the oil has been contained and they are investigating the source.

Crews overnight put out the blaze in the tanker cars, and Interstate 84 was re-opened to traffic. But about 100 people remained under evacuation from 74 homes…

From <The Oregonian>

Here's an interactive map, that you can use to explore the area around the spill.

In summery, this just sickens me.  Portland has an ordinance banning oil trains within the city limits.  Every city and every state needs to adopts\ such ordinances, until the only economical thing to do with crude oil is to leave it in the ground.

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Jun 022016
 

I'm rushing to to finish as much as I can before my CAT scan,  I'll say hi to the cat for you.

I'm back.  The cat made me drink a quart of cat pee called contrasting agent and then injected more.  YUCK!  I have my pre-surgery physical tomorrow morning sp expect no more than a late Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:25 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: A federal judge ordered the release of hundreds of documents related to the fraud case against Donald Trump for his now defunct (like most of Trump’s businesses) Trump University. The so-called “university” was a series of real estate seminars that promised to teach people insider secrets of the real estate business. The documents reveal high pressure sales tactics that were designed to play on people’s emotions and carefully convince people to part with their money, often encouraging them to take on huge amounts of debt to finance their “education.” The manual instructed Trump University sales staff to find out personal information and then use that to close the deal and separate already desperate people from what money they had, even if that meant taking on credit card debt…

 

Everything about Rump Dump, like his CONiversity, is also a lie.

From NY Times: A wave of prominent Republicans have announced their intention to skip the party’s national convention in Cleveland this summer, the latest sign that Donald J. Trump, who last week secured the delegates needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, continues to struggle in his effort to unite the party behind his candidacy.

The list of those who have sent regrets includes governors and United States senators — almost all facing tough re-election fights this year — and lifelong party devotees who have attended every convention for decades. Some are renouncing their seats like conscientious objectors.

“I could not in good conscience attend a coronation and celebration of Donald Trump,” wrote one Indiana delegate, Josh Claybourn, in a blog post resigning his position.

The coolness toward Mr. Trump amounts to a remarkable rebuke. A broad range of party leaders are openly rejecting the man who will be their nominee. And the July 18-21 convention, usually a moment of public catharsis for political parties after contentious primaries, is shaping up to be another reminder of the disarray and disunity that is still rocking the Republican Party after a bitter 17-way fight for the nomination.

Extinction is the only proper fate of the Republican Party.

From Alternet: The City of Portland has created and implemented strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for more than 20 years. In the early 1990s, it became the first city in the United States to adopt a comprehensive carbon dioxide reduction strategy. In 2001, Multnomah County (the most populous of Oregon’s 36 counties) and the City of Portland (which is the seat of Multnomah County and Oregon’s largest city) passed their joint Local Action Plan on Global Warming.

In 2009, Multnomah County and Portland adopted an updated climate action plan (CAP) with expanded categories for actions and more-rigorous reduction targets. The plan identifies 93 action steps in 8 categories to reach its emissions reduction goals, ranging from curbside pickup of residential food scraps to expanding the city’s streetcar and light rail system.

Thanks to strong government leadership, science-informed policy making has long been practiced in Portland. To avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change, the city set its latest emissions reduction target by referring to current science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Portland adopted an 80 percent emissions reduction target by 2050, with an interim goal of 40 percent by 2030. In line with IPCC recommendations, 1990 was set as the baseline year for the reduction target.

Oregon leads the way!

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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!

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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.

 

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Apr 242016
 

Yesterday, after my shower, Julie and I spent four hours doing the dreaded task, changing the bed linens, cleaning, dusting, sweeping and mopping.   In addition, I had risen early to finish blogging and to make a several day batch of γέεννα chili, before she arrived,  That all tired me so much that I’m getting a late start today, because I needed a morning Lona nap.  On the plus side, I’m enjoying the green cloud that’s starting to form.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today;s took me 2:23 (average 4:28).  To so it, Click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic: 11/2014): NASA has released an amazing new video: A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2. It brilliantly illustrates how carbon dioxide travels around the world. The mesmerizing computer model makes it crystal clear that all countries of the world will have to act together to combat climate change:

 

Does that deflate Republican pseudo-science, or what?

From NY Times: Hillary Clinton’s advisers and allies have begun extensive discussions about who should be her running mate, seeking to compile a list of 15 to 20 potential picks for her team to start vetting by late spring.

Mrs. Clinton’s team will grapple with complicated questions like whether the United States is ready for an all-female ticket, and whether her choice for vice president would be able to handle working in a White House in which former President Bill Clinton wielded significant influence on policy.

While the nomination fight is still fluid, Mrs. Clinton is confident enough of victory that she has described a vision of a running mate and objectives for the search, according to campaign advisers and more than a dozen Democrats close to the campaign or the Clintons.

She does not have a front-runner in mind, they said, but she is intrigued by several contenders and scenarios.

Among the names under discussion by Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Clinton and campaign advisers: Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, former governors from the key state of Virginia; Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, who represents both a more liberal wing of the party and a swing state; former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, a prominent African-American Democrat; and Thomas E. Perez, President Obama’s labor secretary and a Hispanic civil rights lawyer.

Were Hillary to choose a progressive, it might make her more palatable, but her choice should not be a Senator. We need all our progressive Senators in the Senate. However, another reason to vote for Bernie is that Bill would be the ugliest first lady in history.

From YouTube: The Worst Person in Tennessee: Jeremy Durham | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | TBS

 

LOL!!  And while we’re on the subject if bathroom behavior…

GOPCloset

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Apr 122016
 

This week is very busy again.  I have at least one event every day, but usually more.  I am trying to ready myself for the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories and raising money for research and programmes.  As in the US, it is tax preparation time so that is on my list to do.  And of course there is spring cleaning . . . always spring cleaning no matter what season it is!

Short Takes 

Politico — Dispirited over a Republican Party primary that has devolved into an ugly, damaging fight, some of the GOP’s biggest financiers are reevaluating whether to invest in the 2016 presidential contest at all.

Among those on the sidelines: Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who hosted the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring meeting at his Venetian hotel this weekend. His apparent ambivalence about 2016 was shared by many RJC members here. With grave doubts about the viability of the few remaining Republican contenders, many of these Republican donors have decided to sit out the rest of the primary entirely. And while some are reluctantly getting behind a remaining candidate, others are shifting their attention to congressional contests.  …

The jewish community and @RJC honoring the great prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper – great friend of Israel

Photo from Huffington Post

While the RJC spring meeting is traditionally a celebration of Adelson, with politicians of all stripes venturing to the Venetian to pay homage, this year’s was different.

On Thursday evening, Adelson hosted some of the organization’s top officials at his palatial mansion. While former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed how fractured parties can unite, Adelson listened but said little, according to three people who were present. And on Friday, rather than preside over the deliberations, Adelson and his wife, Miriam, departed for a wedding.

The lack of interest is partly rooted in exhaustion. After watching many of the party’s establishment prospects — from Scott Walker to Marco Rubio — go up in flames, many top donors say they’ve simply grown tired of opening their wallets. Some here have given to multiple candidates, only to watch them suffer defeat.

And you thought Canada was nasty refusing to take Cruz back!  Now Adelson is importing Canada's Republican demagogue, Stephen Harper.

Think Progress — Nearly a week after pipeline operator TransCanada shut down a section of its Keystone line over an oil leak, the company reported Thursday thousands of gallons of oil were spilled, not less than 200 as it first said.  …

After the spill was reported earlier this week, environmental groups said Keystone’s spill proves the threat that the Keystone XL expansion would have posed. They also noted that the Keystone pipeline, approved by President George W. Bush in 2008, leaked oil 12 times in its first year of operation. “TransCanada’s Keystone I disaster is a stark reminder that it’s not a question if a pipeline will malfunction, but rather a question of when. This is one of the reasons President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline and it’s why he should reject all dangerous fossil fuel pipeline proposals,” Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.

Oil transportation largely relies on trains and pipelines. Out of those two, pipelines spill more often than trains, yet train accidents can be deadlier as trains are more likely to explode. U.S. pipelines spilled three times as much crude oil as trains over the period of 2004 to 2012, …

And Trans Canada thinks it is their right to pollute with impunity?  I hope its lawsuit in federal court and their NAFTA challenge fail miserably.

Raw Story — Bill O’Reilly questioned Donald Trump’s ability to provide jobs in African-American communities during an interview on Monday by painting black Americans as being ill-equipped for the labor force.

“How are you going to get jobs for them?” O’Reilly asked. “Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it but it’s true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to give jobs to people who aren’t qualified for jobs?”

Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     

Openly racist comments . . . but that is to be expected from a pair of Republicans!

My Universe — Chilling with some friends!

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Apr 042016
 

Is there a full moon today?  Sure seems possible!  I went to see my mother and enjoyed time with her.  As we were sitting around the nursing station, a resident, Margaret, came out in her underwear.  Because staff were very busy getting some ready for bed and giving medications to others, after getting a hospital gown on her, I walked Margaret back to her room.  That's when I found Shirley in Margaret's bed.  Seems Shirley had an accident in her room so Margaret's bed was fair game.  I got the two ladies into their respective rooms and then went for help.  I heard awhile later that Shirley took a swing at the care aid.  And strange things continued to happen.  On the other hand, I took Bunny Rabbit and Lambypie, 2 small stuffed animals, up for my mother.  When I said goodnight to mother, she had Bunny Rabbit clutched tightly in her hand as she dozed off to sleep.  It was quite an evening!  I suspect my week will be somewhat like that.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — U.S. presidential candidate Ted Cruz has announced he's suspending his election campaign to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Cruz, the main challenger to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, said he never thought he would move back to Canada — he was born in Alberta in 1970 — much less get involved in its politics. But he said recent events have made him feel “obligated” to do so.

ted cruz

“Look, I understand this might come as a shock to many Americans and Canadians,” Cruz told reporters Friday. “But the truth is, though I have always wanted to help make Canada great again, I have recently started feeling morally obligated, as a Canadian, to run for the Conservative party back home.

“I must save it from Kevin O’Leary.”

OMG!!!  Say it ain't true!  This is absolutely unacceptable!

Alternet — The 2016 legislative session has been a competition between red states to see who can pass the most hateful anti-LGBT bills under the guise of “religious freedom,” but Mississippi state Republicans look like they’re going to emerge the winner. Friday, the state house passed the final version of a bill meant to protect and encourage business owners in the state to discriminate against LGBT people, while simultaneously enshrining, in violation of the Constitution, the idea that conservative Christianity is the only legitimate religion.  …

This law not only protects discrimination against LGBT people, but against any person who has sex outside of marriage. It also makes it easier for employers and schools to strictly police the way you dress to make sure it’s masculine or feminine enough. If your boss thinks proper ladies wear makeup, he can cite “religious freedom” as a reason to force you to do so, and the law will protect him for it.

I am totally flummoxed that a state can get away with such blatant unconstitutional behaviour.  Mississippi has surpassed the insanity of North Carolina.  It seems that states are getting bolder with their unconstitutional laws now that SCOTUS is generally impotent in its diminished numbers.  What can people do if their state goes too far other than waiting for the next election?

Truth-out — Montana communities won a victory against one of the world's biggest coal companies earlier in March, when Arch Coal abandoned the Otter Creek mine — the largest proposed new coal strip mine in North America. The story of how the project imploded is one of people power triumphing over a company once thought to be nearly invincible.

To many observers, the Otter Creek project once seemed unstoppable. It certainly appeared that way in 2011, the year I moved to Missoula, Montana for graduate school. Then-Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer enthusiastically supported the mine, and coal more generally. Forrest Mars, Jr., the billionaire heir to the Mars candy fortune, had just joined Arch and BNSF Railways in backing a proposed railroad spur meant to service Otter Creek. Arch and politicians like Schweitzer predicted a boom in coal demand from economies in Asia.

Protesters block a coal train from entering downtown Missoula in 2015.

But what they weren't counting on was a vocal and active region-wide opposition. The coming together of ordinary people — first in southeast Montana, then an ever-growing number of communities throughout the Northwest — to oppose the Otter Creek mine says much about how land defenders and climate activists are learning to fight back against the planet's biggest energy companies. The roots of this recent victory go back more than 30 years.

Good on them!  There are others who are trying to change things too.  In another article, Amid Price Plunge, North American Oil and Gas Workers Seek Transition to Renewable Sector​, some oil sands workers are changing things.

"…one top climate scientist has called "the biggest carbon bomb on the planet," Hildebrand came to realize that he was not the only oil worker in Alberta who felt "guilty about developing the infrastructure that is creating climate change."

… Hildebrand banded together with like-minded coworkers and began building an oil and gas worker-led nonprofit called "Iron & Earth," which officially launched this month during a press conference in Edmonton. Through the nonprofit, the oil sands workers hope to help others who have been laid off diversify their skill sets and facilitate the necessary training to transition them to the renewable energy sector. They also want to help incorporate renewable energy projects into oil sands workers' current scope of work."

My Universe — 

AmazingCats01 4This is the look I get from my Annie everyday and she is 7.5 years old, no kitten!

Melts my heart!

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Apr 032016
 

Last night I slept poorly and felt so tired this morning, that I was dozing off, while doing my research, so after I finished, I uncorked a much needed Lona nap.  That’s why I’m running late today.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with my kitty cousin Scanner.  Sadly he’s quite aloof, and every time I go in for my annual Cat Scan, he refuses to come out and play.  In any case, I may have no more that a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:46 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 9/2011): Why would anyone vote Republican? Well, here are 10 reasons.

1. You are a bigot

It’s true that not all Republicans are bigots. But if you ARE a bigot, the Republican party will be much more your group than the Democratic party. Remember that there are lots of ways to be a bigot: You could be a racist, a homophobe, an Islamophobe, or lots of other things.

2. You like eating, drinking and breathing poison.

Many Republicans are calling for or voting for shrinking or eliminating agencies that protect us against poison. They seem to think that the corporations will do the right thing, without any pressure from the government. Uh huh. Read The Jungle.  Look at the way Monsanto is hiding facts about Round Up. Look at food safety and outbreaks of E. Coli. 

Corporations exist to make money. They will do so any way they can. The government needs to stop them from doing so in ways that hurt people.

3. You think the rich don’t have enough money

The idea that giving more money to rich people (via tax breaks) will help poor people is nonsensical and has been shown wrong time and again in history. Huge tax breaks for the rich (a la George Bush) don’t work.

4. You don’t support our veterans

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran’s Association (IAVA) rates every member of congress on how well they support our veterans.  In the Senate, 9 people got A or A+: All were Democrats. 30 got D or F: 29 Republicans and one Democrat.  More on this

How little they have changed!! I shared the first four. Click through for the other six.

From NY Times: The wall of Republican opposition to the nomination of Judge Merrick B. Garland to the Supreme Court has been shored up by two Republican senators revoking their support for holding confirmation hearings.

Their moves highlight the immense pressure that Republican leaders are placing on senators as they try to build unified opposition to President Obama’s choice to replace Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February.

As the White House heralds the growing number of Republicans agreeing to meet with Judge Garland, Senators Jerry Moran of Kansas and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska have reversed themselves and say they now back the decision made by Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, not to hold hearings.

The Republicans who agreed to meet with him were trying to appear responsible, but were really, as I predicted, just stalling for time.

From Raw Story: SNL took on one of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters who frequently pops up on cable broadcasts to defend the actions and words of the consistently offensive candidate.

 

I hope you enjoyed the laugh. Sadly the blonde on the right caricatured a voter even smarter than Fecal Dump Trump’s actual supporters.

Cartoon:

0403Cartoon

The previous summer, while planning events for Vietnam Summer, he said the government would not allow him to live much longer.  Watch this excerpt.

Less than 24 hours later, he was dead.  Isn’t it clear that he knew they were closing in?

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