Jul 282015
 

I’m hurrying to get today’s articles up as early as I can, as later I’m going to prison to do volunteer work.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.  Portland us under a heat advisory.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:20 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From PRWatch: At the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) 2015 annual meeting in San Diego, California, dirty energy companies and their supporters–including ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Duke Energy–continue to dominate the funding of activities, according to a list of conference sponsors obtained jointly by the Center for Media and Democracy and Greenpeace. At the top of the agenda, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker spoke to ALEC delegates over breakfast on Thursday. Walker is now campaigning on a promise to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) if elected President in 2016, a plan which was earlier debated by ALEC at its December 2014 conference and is in line with ALEC’s long-term legislative agenda. At ALEC conferences and meetings, rhetoric against the EPA–and in particular the Obama administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan to reduce carbon pollution–is frequently extreme.

Click through for more, including a list of sponsors to boycott.

From Daily Kos: Spot the difference

Last year, a Nevada rancher who boasts that he doesn’t “recognize the United States government as even existing” become a hero of Fox News pundits and other conservative commentators for refusing to pay grazing fees he owes the government.

But when a black woman named Sandra Bland was forced out of her car and to the ground by a Texas police officer after she reportedly failed to signal during a lane switch and declined to put out a cigarette, Fox News thinks this is a time to lecture viewers on how to be respectful to law enforcement. Bland later died in police custody in what investigators ruled was a suicide. –

White men defending a criminal, facing down gubbmint agencies with many, many guns, good.

African American Woman armed with a cigarette, bad. The policeman was being exposed to second hand smoke for crissakes!

The contrast is absurd, intolerable, and Republican.

From NY Times: His family called him unstable and violent, so John R. Houser was ordered by a judge to be taken against his will to a mental hospital in 2008. Despite that sign that Mr. Houser was mentally troubled, he passed a background check and was able to legally purchase the gun he used last week to kill two people in a Louisiana movie theater, because that hospital stay was not defined by officials as an involuntary commitment.

Dylann Roof, who is charged with shooting nine people to death in a Charleston, S.C., church last month, was also able to buy the gun he used in the massacre. He should have failed a background check, federal officials said, because he had previously admitted to illegal drug possession. Yet because of a clerical error in South Carolina and the confusion that caused the federal authorities who examined his record, he was not stopped from his making his purchase.

As these two cases show, the one system that gun rights and gun control advocates both agree on, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which is supposed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, is riddled with problems. While the system, in operation since 1998, has prevented more than 2.4 million sales, it still has major gaps, with spotty cooperation from the states and a narrow definition of who is considered too mentally ill to own a gun.

Republicans work overtime to keep the system ridden with loopholes, because enabling criminal gun purchases maximizes gun industry profits.

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Jul 112015
 

Looking back to thirty four years ago, I was vaguely aware of the greenhouse effect and knew some scientists were sounding warnings, but the issue seemed distant.  At the time, I was more concerned that a second-rate actor, who had been upstaged by a chimp, had his finger on the nuclear trigger and was talking about evil empires.  But someone did know how serious the problem is.  Their identity makes their subsequent actions all the more criminal.

0711Exxon“Pope Francis blasts global warming deniers,” the Washington Post wrote last month. The Pope’s climate encyclical focused on the immorality of climate inaction — which makes the immorality of knowingly spreading disinformation for the purpose of delaying action all the more base.

Now the Union of Concerned Scientists has disclosed an email revealing that Exxon understood the scientific reality of climate change as far back as 1981. “Other companies, such as Mobil, only became aware of the issue in 1988, when it first became a political issue,” Exxon’s former in-house climate expert, chemical engineer Leonard S. Bernstein wrote last year. The 30-year veteran of Mobil and Exxon explained:

Exxon first got interested in climate change in 1981 because it was seeking to develop the Natuna gas field off Indonesia. This is an immense reserve of natural gas, but it is 70% CO2. That CO2 would have to be separated to make the natural gas usable.

And yet despite a growing understanding of the scientific reality of climate change in the 1980s and 1990s, Exxon became one of the biggest funders of scientists and think tanks and others who do little but deny and cast doubt on the scientific understanding of human-caused global warming.

As recently as February 2015, a New York Times exposé revealed that a researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who routinely casts doubt on widely accepted climate science had “accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers.” This included funding from ExxonMobil and “at least $230,000 from the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

I just can’t get my head around how criminal greed can be so pervasive that they did this for all these years, when they had a better understanding than most Americans do now.  Only one word is sufficient to describe it: Republican!

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Jul 092015
 

I trust you are aware that the Environmental Protection Agency is implementing new rules to cut carbon emissions, as they are legally empowered to do.  Several Republican governors have stated that will employ Republicans’ favorite the deal with laws they don’t like.  They plan to break the law.

0709ClimateRulesAt least five Republican governors, including two presidential hopefuls — Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana — have indicated they may defy new federal rules that are part of President Obama’s climate change agenda. The rules — which are meant to reduce the nation’s carbon emissions and speed the transition to renewable energy and a low-carbon economy — require existing power plants to reduce their carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030 (from 2005 levels). This goal is to be achieved by federally-enforceable state plans submitted to the EPA.

The gubernatorial response follows Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s campaign, launched earlier this year, to get state governors to refuse to carry out the new regulations, which are slated to be finalized this summer.

In a March letter [Bought Bitch delinked] to the nation’s governors, Sen. McConnell issued a warning:

[S]ubmitting a plan exposes states to the real danger— allowing the EPA to wrest control of a state’s energy policy if they or any other federal agency becomes dissatisfied with a state’s progress in reaching federal emissions goals. As both the EPA and other environmental groups have noted, a state plan must be “federally enforceable.” The meaning of this language is clear: as the EPA sees it, a state-issued plan would give the agency broad new authority to control that state’s energy future — not to mention the ability to place the blame for future consequences squarely on the state itself.

Inserted from <Alternet>

Here’s a description of the plan, as it was explained over a year ago.

I can only hope the the EPA follows through by referring  The Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan, Squeaky Bobby, and the rest to DOJ for criminal indictments.

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Jul 092015
 

I have some good news today that will be better news tomorrow.  Today is forecast to be the last day of the longest and worst heat wave I remember in  36 years as an Oregonian.  Friday’s high is forecast at 82° and Saturday’s at 77°!  It’s taken much too long to end.

Care2 Cares:

Most of you know that I share the articles I post here at Care2.  One of their features are Butterfly Credits that you get for various activities.  You can then spend these planting trees, offsetting carbon, helping animals and other socially conscious things.  Because I had been there over 100 days in a row, I was getting 100 credits a day, just for showing up.  I don’t think I’ve missed a day since I went to the hospital in 2013… until Tuesday, when I was so sick.  That reset my daily credits to 1, requiring me to work my way back up.  I mentioned this in the card I sent friends yesterday.  Care2Support left the following comment on my profile:

Hey there, cool cat!  I’ll get your Butterfly Rewards Totals and Daily Streak back online for you today.  Hope you are doing well my friend!!

Thank You!  I am most grateful.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:49).  To do it, click hereHow did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new player for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  Viv ans her Hillbilly Lefties are now onboard. How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos:

According to Fuel Fix, Shell has discovered a ballast hole leak in the hull of their 22 year old icebreaker, the MSV Fennica.

The 22-year-old icebreaker has since returned to the port in Dutch Harbor and is being examined by marine experts, but it is uncertain how quickly the breach in its hull can be repaired and whether this will delay Shell’s hopes to begin drilling an oil well in the Chukchi Sea later this month.

The Fennica is just one of the 29 vessels in Shell’s Arctic fleet, which includes another icebreaker, the MSV Nordica, and at least two other anchor handlers tasked with helping to keep ice away from the company’s drilling site. But Shell’s contracted Fennica is unique in that it is carrying a critical piece of the company’s Arctic containment system: a capping stack designed to fit on top of a damaged well in case of a blowout or other emergency.

Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said the company does not believe the Fennica damage will delay the company’s planned Chukchi Sea operations.

“Any impact to our season will ultimately depend on the extent of the damage,” Smith said.

This is not good news for Shell. They had hoped that with the Obama Administration approving their permits to drill for oil in the Chukchi Sea they would finally be able to destroy the arctic ecosystem in order to make a buck for their shareholders. But problems have somewhat delayed their mission in the Arctic.

While I would certainly not want any fatalities, I’m sorry the damn thing didn’t sink!

From NY Times: Medicare, the federal program that insures 55 million older and disabled Americans, announced plans on Wednesday to reimburse doctors for conversations with patients about whether and how they would want to be kept alive if they became too sick to speak for themselves.

The proposal would settle a debate that raged before the passage of the Affordable Care Act, when Sarah Palin labeled a similar plan as tantamount to setting up “death panels” that could cut off care for the sick. The new plan is expected to be approved and to take effect in January, although it will be open to public comment for 60 days.

This is a good and necessary part of medical care. Patients will get to decide for themselves what heroic measures should be taken under what circumstances, with explanation of the terminology by their own doctors. When the death panel cries come from Republicans, as they surely will, remember one thing. The proposal to include this service originally came from a Republican, before they all became drunk on InsaniTEA.

From Alternet: A video of two gay men in Morehead, Kentucky calling the police after being refused a marriage license by Rowan County went viral last night, mounting over 327,000 views in less that a day.

 

It takes about 7 minutes before the action starts. You might want to jump ahead to that point.Denting them the license was illegal. The complete disrespect these Republicans showed while doing so is intolerable.

Cartoon:

0709Cartoon

I first posted this cartoon four years ago today.  It saddens me that it is still valid.\

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Jun 222015
 

Outside there is a huge racket as the maintenance people are working on my side of the building this week.  I’m not complaining, but I do hate being blasted out of a cat nap, after sleeping poorly, and if I want to do any solar basking, I’m likely to get drenched while walking out of range.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Robert Reich: #11. WHY MEDICARE ISN’T THE PROBEM; IT’S THE SOLUTION

 

The Reich on the left pulled a fast one on me and came up with number 11, but true to form, our Reich is right, and the Reich in the right, the Republican Reich, is wrong. I could not find this on MoveOn, so please click through to Robert Reich, and share it from there.

From Daily Kos (classic: 1/2013): A reporter for NPR discovered a strange new light (see circled area above) where there used to be only North Dakota grassland.  The light is produced by a massive 15,000 square mile area of fracking natural gas flareoffs produced by over 150 companies who have determined that it’s cheaper to burn-off about 29% of the natural gas that is produced by their oil wells.  

The current levels of burning gas from the field inject two million tons of carbon dioxide into the air each year which is the equivalent amount of pollution caused by 2.5 million cars.  The flares produce carbon oxides, nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide and particulates.

The burnoff is equivalent to 30% of the total U.S. natural gas production. Currently, there is no legislation that requires fracking companies to recapture the natural gas they produce through fracking, although it’s only slightly more expensive to recapture the natural gas.  Most of the companies have obtained government permission for the flare-offs with annual renewals.  The industry argues that until the wells are completed it’s too expensive to recapture the natural gas. 

NASA image acquired April 18 - October 23, 2012

This image of the United States of America at night is a composite assembled from data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October 2012. The image was made possible by the new satellite’s “day-night band” of the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS), which detects light in a range of wavelengths from green to near-infrared and uses filtering techniques to observe dim signals such as city lights, gas flares, auroras, wildfires, and reflected moonlight.

“Nighttime light is the most interesting data that I’ve had a chance to work with,” says Chris Elvidge, who leads the Earth Observation Group at NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center. “I’m always amazed at what city light images show us about human activity.” His research group has been approached by scientists seeking to model the distribution of carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels and to monitor the activity of commercial fishing fleets. Biologists have examined how urban growth has fragmented animal habitat. Elvidge even learned once of a study of dictatorships in various parts of the world and how nighttime lights had a tendency to expand in the dictator’s hometown or province.

Named for satellite meteorology pioneer Verner Suomi, NPP flies over any given point on Earth's surface twice each day at roughly 1:30 a.m. and p.m. The polar-orbiting satellite flies 824 kilometers (512 miles) above the surface, sending its data once per orbit to a ground station in Svalbard, Norway, and continuously to local direct broadcast users distributed around the world. Suomi NPP is managed by NASA with operational support from NOAA and its Joint Polar Satellite System, which manages the satellite's ground system.

NASA Earth Observatory image by Robert Simmon, using Suomi NPP VIIRS data provided courtesy of Chris Elvidge (NOAA National Geophysical Data Center). Suomi NPP is the result of a partnership between NASA, NOAA, and the Department of Defense. Caption by Mike Carlowicz.

Instrument: Suomi NPP - VIIRS 

Credit: <b><a href="http://www.earthobservatory.nasa.gov/" rel="nofollow"> NASA Earth Observatory</a></b>

<b>Click here to view all of the <a href="http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/NightLights/" rel="nofollow"> Earth at Night 2012 images </a></b>

<b>Click here to <a href="http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/NaturalHazards/view.php?id=79800 " rel="nofollow"> read more </a> about this image </b> 

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What a bunch of mother frackers!! Since this is visible from outer space, at least aliens touring the solar system will know that the earth is not a safe place to land, without having to risk being gunned down by a Republican Ammosexuals.

From NY Times: The leader of a white supremacist group that has been linked to Dylann Roof, the suspect in the murder of nine African-Americans in a Charleston, S.C., church last week, has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Republican campaigns, including those of 2016 presidential contenders such as Ted Cruz, Rick Santorum and Rand Paul, records show.

"Uranus Inspector" said he’ll return the money, and I suspect that "Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot" and "Frothmeister" will both do likewise, although none had any objection to taking money, in the first place, from an organization widely known as White Supremacist and listed as such by SPLC. They will get the money funneled back into their campaigns through white supremacist Republicans that haven’t been caught killing anyone recently.  Click through for more Republicans in thrall to murderous white supremacists.

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0622Cartoon

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Jun 162015
 

It’s early on a very busy day.  I may be intermittent for the rest of the week.  Tonight I have a meeting g to attend.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.  Thursday I have an Orthopedist appointment.  To make matters worse, for the next two to three weeks, a contractor will be cleaning, repairing and pressure washing the exterior of my building.  It’s been ten tears.  Their equipment makes a major racket and they work from dawn to sunset.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:55 (average 6:41).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Geneticists at the University of Minnesota believe that they have isolated the gene that makes some people much more prone to failure than others.

While the research is preliminary, the scientists said that they were able to successfully identify the failure gene by studying the DNA of males in two generations of the same American family.

“If we have indeed isolated the gene that makes people fail—and we believe we have—all of the subjects in our study are carriers,” said Davis Logsdon, the geneticist who supervised the research.

According to Logsdon, those who carry the gene for failure have “absolutely no idea that they have it” and thus project the confidence and self-assurance of people whose genetic material does not make them likely to wreak havoc on a massive scale.

“Not only does this gene cause people to fail, it makes them fail to understand that they have failed,” he said. “It is a really bad gene.”

Bush Bag Alert!!

0616borowitz-failure-690

Hell Andy! I’ve been telling folks that for years. I call it DEVOLUTION.

From Alternet:

Saying the 2016 Republican presidential contest was “wide open” and launching his first attacks on Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration, Jeb Bush confirmed Monday what everybody has long known: he is a candidate for president…

…Let’s go through eight highlights from his speech, ranging from the obvious and absurd to what will be recurring themes in the 2016 campaign.

1. Anyone think he’s not a Bush? His new bumper sticker is “Jeb!” That’s what filled the posters at Monday’s kickoff. There’s no mention of his last name, which is a silly but conscious political marketing decision. Jeb clearly wants to distinguish himself from his older brother, George W., whose presidency was filled with many disasters. But Bush is part of a political dynasty and that includes certain family traits and views. For example, Jeb recently said he would have invaded Iraq as W. did after 9/11.

Strike Three etches his sketch as well as Little Lord Willard did. Click through for the other seven.

From Think Progress:

Another attempt to clean up the environment, another House hearing on why we shouldn’t do that.

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) acting assistant administrator Janet McCabe defended the updated ground-level ozone rule at a House energy and commerce subcommittee hearing. The proposed rule aims to further limit ground-level ozone pollution, which is the main ingredient of smog.

The EPA has proposed lowering the national air quality standards for ground-level ozone from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 65 or 70 ppb — a change the agency says will save millions of people from the effects of poor air quality. The agency reviewed thousands of new scientific studies on health and air quality to come up with the new guidelines, which are expected to be finalized in the fall. By law, the EPA is required to reevaluate the ozone rule every five years. The House has already scheduled two more hearings on the rule this week.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans were roundly unhappy with rule. Here are five arguments McCabe came up against.

It’s not fair.

Several lawmakers went with a favorite childhood argument: that the rule isn’t fair. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) managed to work in a reference to the Congressional softball game, likening improved public health regulations to moving the foul lines at a recreational event.

“Had we started the game, and then halfway through the game, the number of strikes changed or in the second inning, the number of outs changed… that would make for a very frustrating, impossible game, don’t you agree?” Shimkus said.

The problem with the argument is that rules for games are, in fact, made up, whereas the EPA is seeking to put new standards in place based on the best science available.

Or, as McCabe said, “Ozone is not about rules. This is about science.”

Republicans have a BS in Bullshitology! Click through for the other four.

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0616Cartoon

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Jun 102015
 

I’m off to a very late start today.  I had a bunch of volunteer paperwork to get done.  I had to complete my kitty solar basking, before it got too hot.  I had to set up our fantasy football league for the coming season.  And I had to clean house, because today is a grocery delivery day.  I’m now waiting for Store to Door to arrive, do I can put them away.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:37 (average 5:36).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: Ideas to Save the Economy: Make Polluters Pay

Let’s stop investing in dirty fuels and start charging polluters rent for poisoning our skies.

 

The Reich on the left is right again. To his solutions I would add an end to all; subsidies for polluters. This the ninth video in the series. Please click through to MoveOn and share it from there.

From Daily Kos: When Minnesota resident Jeff Gullickson:

posted a doctored image of Mr. Obama’s famous campaign poster, instead showing the president with his head in a noose, his eyes closed and his neck appearing broken as if he had been lynched

… to Twitter in response to President Obama’s first tweet from his brand-new account, he netted himself nationwide attention, a visit from the Secret Service, was fired from his automotive job, and permanently etched his own name into the pantheon of the internet’s famous Obama-era racist nutcases. This upsets him.

But the Plymouth resident insisted that his tweets were not racist.

That is not racist. The Pope is not Catholic. Bears never, ever shit in the woods.

From NY Times: A police officer in McKinney, Tex., who was seen on video pulling his gun on teenagers in swimsuits and shoving a young black girl’s face in the ground at a pool party has resigned, the police said Tuesday.

Cpl. David Eric Casebolt, who had been placed on administrative leave after the episode on Friday, remains under investigation, Chief Greg Conley said at a news conference. The corporal will keep his pension and benefits, the police chief said.

“Our policies, our training, our practice doesn’t support his actions,” Chief Conley said. “He came into the call out of control, and as the video shows was out of control during the incident.”

This does not go far enough. Not only does this Republican get to keep his pension and benefits, but also, he is eligible for hire as a police officer elsewhere. He needs to be criminally charged and convicted to keep him out of police work. If you think he should be allowed to work, he can always get a job as private security for Republican campaign events, where his employers would appreciate that kind of behavior.

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0610Cartoon

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