Mar 012015
 

On Friday evening, Rachel Maddow covered a story about how NJ Republican Governor Chris Christie, aka PIGnocchio, settles a lawsuit of many years standing against ExxonMobil for polluting the area under and around a refinery in that state for no apparent reason.  Rachel said that that if the people of NJ were getting screwed for political considerations, it could turn out to be a scandal.  First, here’s Rachel’s segment.

Now we’re learning why PIGnocchio would settal that suit for a mere three cents on the dollar.

0301PIGnocchioBefore Gov. Chris Christie’s administration abruptly settled long-running state environmental litigation against ExxonMobil for far less than originally expected, the oil behemoth donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Republican group that Christie ran and that financed his election campaigns. Additionally, the Christie administration office that engineered the settlement had been run by a former Exxon lawyer.

When the case was initiated in 2004, when Democrat James McGreevey was governor, New Jersey sought $8.9 billion in damages in a suit alleging that ExxonMobil damaged more than 1,500 acres of waterfront and meadows. Yet, according to documents reported on by the New York Times on Friday, the Christie administration is settling the suit for just $250 million. Based on ExxonMobil’s 2014 revenue of $411.9 billion, it will take the company roughly 5 hours to generate the sales to pay out the settlement.

Federal records show that the reduction, which represents a huge gift to ExxonMobil, follows a wave of campaign cash from the company to the Christie-run Republican Governors Association.

Since Christie’s first run for governor in 2009, ExxonMobil has donated more than $1.9 million to the group, according to data compiled by PoliticalMoneyLine.com. That includes $79,000 during Christie’s 2009 campaign and $200,000 during his re-election campaign in 2013. It also includes $500,000 when he chaired the organization during the 2014 election cycle.

ExxonMobil was one of the top contributors to the RGA during that election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <IB Times>

Click through.  There’s more.

We have the smoking gun.  I’d say it’s turning out to be a scandal.

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Feb 202015
 

Yesterday I took my friend with cancer to dinner.  All things considered, she has a positive attitude.  The food was excellent, and I am still a danger zone.  If only there was a Republican available. :twisted:

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 6:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: President Obama says he’ll veto the latest attempt by Congress to push through the Keystone XL pipeline, but he hasn’t yet committed to rejecting this dangerous proposal outright.

 

As always, the Reich on left, Robert Reich, is right, while the Reich on the Right, the Republican Reich, is wrong. They are bought and paid for by corporate criminals, who don’t care how much they harm YOU! Click through for the MoveOn petition.

From Media Matters: The American Thinker – "one of my most favorite and thoughtful blogs," according to Rush Limbaugh – reports that President Obama flashed a "Muslim gang sign" at an event last year by pointing his index finger upwards.

F.W. Burleigh, "author of It’s All About Muhammad, a Biography of the World’s Most Notorious Prophet," wrote [bigot delinked] for the conservative website that an "astonishing photo" of Obama during a summit with African leaders shows him "flashing the one-finger affirmation of Islamic faith to dozens of African delegates." According to Burleigh, "the one-finger display is the distinctive Muslim gang sign" and "With his forefinger in the air, Obama affirmed his membership in this tribe." He also postulates that Muslim African leaders present at the event were "all smiles" because "They knew what Obama’s upright forefinger meant."

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Dang!! You can fertilize your veggies with that load!

From Daily Kos: Why Minnesota is Doing Better than Wisconsin

We in Minnesota have a Democratic Governor. Our Mark Dayton is a rich Democrat — the heir of the family who started the Dayton’s Department Stores and B. Dalton Bookstores and Target — and he was educated at Yale, so he’s actually pretty smart for a guy who inherited money. Citizens of Wisconsin have a Republican Governor (Scott Walker, who brags about dropping out of college). In Minnesota we have a balanced budget, partly because we raised taxes on the top earners. In Wisconsin, they cut taxes on rich people and are now scrambling to cut spending (including major cuts for the once proud University of Wisconsin (which breaks my heart)).

The difference should surprise nobody.

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Republicans don’t want to know this.

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Feb 142015
 

Because the coming week looks to be so hectic, my plan is to get done early today, so I can do what cats do best.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Think Progress: A Nebraska district judge has halted TransCanada’s attempts to use eminent domain to force landowners to turn over their land for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, an act that anti-Keystone activists are calling a major win.

Nebraska State District Court Judge Mark Kozisek issued a temporary injunction against TransCanada on Thursday after a hearing during which nearly 70 landowners called on the judge to grant the injunction. The injunction will remain in place until Nebraska’s Supreme Court takes up the landowners’ case against state law LB1161, which gave TransCanada the right to use eminent domain against the landowners.

“TransCanada sees the writing on the wall,” Jane Kleeb, Director of Bold Nebraska, a group that’s supporting the holdout landowners, said in a statement. “Nebraska landowners are not going to cave to their threats and we will now see them in our Supreme Court to finally get clarity on the legality of a foreign corporation using eminent domain for private gain.”

Kudos to Nebraskans standing against Harper’s invasion of the US to unload the filth his own people don’t want.

From The New Yorker: A week of turmoil in Alabama culminated on Friday with the United States ordering the Southern state to grow up.

After a week in which Alabama exhibited various displays of childishness—including kicking, screaming, stamping its feet, and threatening to hold its breath—the United States decided to take the extraordinary action of telling the hundred-and-ninety-five-year-old state to act its age.

But any hopes that the United States’ order would be heeded were dashed when Alabama put its fingers in its ears and emitted a stream of monosyllabic nonsense sounds, claiming that the order had been rendered inaudible.

But Andy, isn’t Alabama acting over 100 years old?

From Daily Kos: A Chinese proverb comes to mind—"He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself." Ed Schultz asked Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) whether the Republican bill to redefine full-time work in the eyes of the Affordable Care Act to a 40-hour week would have a severe impact. McDermott’s answer was thoughtful and reflected what many feel will be Obamacare’s ultimate great outcome.

 

I still believe that Obama has always seen the ACA as the first step toward single payer. On the other hand RepubliCare is the first step toward an early grave.

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Feb 122015
 

Day 98.  I’m running late, because I had to walk to the Post Office to get a money order to donate to my guys in prison.  Their annual banquet comes up in March and April, and I like to help them defer that expense.  I hope to catch a few extra ZZZZs today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:40 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: In case you were unaware, the giant companies that make most major medications are diabolically, ridiculously sneaky.

 

My doctor has told me that she does not accept money from Big Pharma. Searching the website confirms it.

From Daily Kos: Many of us want to do something that makes a difference, but funds are tight. One thing that is free and easy to do, is avoid buying from companies that support the hate monger, Rush Limbaugh. The vile Conservative radio talk show host who calls women ‘femi-nazis’ and ‘semen receptacles,’ is mostly known for spreading hate and outright lies, while promoting/inciting racism, lgbt hatred, bigotry, and misogyny. And for 25 years he has gotten away with it. But for the last two years, the general public has become more and more proactive against his type of commentary. Concerned consumers have contacted and petitioned Rush Limbaugh sponsors, and asked them to pull their advertising from his show. For those companies who opt to ignore consumers, they are not only boycotted by hundreds of thousands, they are permanently associating their company’s name/brand, in the minds of many, with a hate monger. Seems a pretty foolish business move, when you think about it.

Here is a list of 10 very loyal Rush Limbaugh sponsors. To support the boycott, one only needs to avoid buying from these companies, and spread the sponsor information. Even if you haven’t heard of these sponsors and/or don’t do business with them, by circulating their names to friends, family, and on social media, you will have an impact. Together, the public is sending a message to businesses and the media, that we do not support companies that support hate speech. Rush Limbaugh has lost thousands of sponsors due to this national boycott, which means he has lost millions in ad revenue.

I fully support boycotting Limbarf. Click through for the list.

From NY Times: The House on Wednesday passed a bill approving construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, setting up a confrontation with President Obama, who has vowed to veto the measure.

The bill, which passed the Senate last month, headed to Mr. Obama’s desk Wednesday night.

The Republican Party is content with considering non productive legislation.  Their only purpose is to create a confrontation.

Cartoon:

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Feb 112015
 

Day 98.  Yesterday’s volunteer meeting in prison was excellent.  Our CoDA group talked about making amends.  Often people are not receptive, when we try.  When that happens, we should accept that without bitterness.  Obtaining a favorable response is not the purpose of making amends.  Our willingness to do so unloads the baggage; so we don’t have to carry it anymore.  The down side, as usual, is that I’m quite worn out today.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:04 (average 5:43).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Democratic Party of Oregon: 2015 Legislative Session Agendas

In November, with your help, Oregon Democrats won resounding victories in the State House and State Senate. And thanks to you, they’re already making a difference.

To learn more about what Democrats in the Oregon Legislature are working hard to accomplish right now, view the Democratic session agendas for the Oregon State House and State Senate.

Click the links for House and Senate.  It’s is what Democrats are doing in Oregon. It might well serve as a model for the nation.

From MSNBC: ‘Bears’ have own plan for Jeb Bush campaign site

 

Since MSNBC took down the video they put on YouTube, we’ll try again. We still don’t know what bears do or don’t do in the woods, but they certainly do on the Bush!!  :-D

From Upworthy: Dealing with the mess we’ve made feels overwhelming. Does swapping out your lightbulbs, writing your legislators, and sorting your trash really change anything? How can one person make a difference?

It turns out that our little actions, all added up together, do make a big difference. If everyone in the United States turned off the water while they brush their teeth, the daily savings could be up to 2.528 billion gallons. That’s more than twice as much water than the entirety of New York City uses in a day.

In this tongue-in-cheek video, a cat shows you how he makes a few tiny changes that have a big impact.

 

I have to say that cats are the wisest of creatures.

Cartoon:

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Feb 062015
 

Day 93.  I slept in, which is good.  I needed it.  This afternoon my building is having a community meeting in which management will be going over the steps they are going to start talking to help us recycle and lower our carbon footprint.  While that may see like a pain in the ass, I’m glad they care.  You folks back east had betted get ready for some nasty weather.  Although it has been unseasonably warm here, it’s been raining nonstop for over a day and is forecast to continue for two – three more.  When that mixes from cold air out of Canada, watch out!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today;s took me 2:59 (average 4:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Florida Attorney Steve Medina has been working on a case, pro bono, to expose the environmental corruption which has been taking place in Tallahassee and Putnam County, Florida.

Tons of toxic waste is being dumped into St. Johns River, daily, by the Koch Brothers company, Georgia-Pacific. Aspects of the deal allowing Georgia Pacific to massively assault the environment, were misleading, sometimes illegal, and unbeknownst to the local citizens. Florida Governor Rick Scott and former Governor (and Republican presidential hopeful), Jeb Bush, are also involved.

Click through for the dirty details. Those four are peas in a pod.

From Reuters: A senior Israeli official suggested on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been misled into thinking an invitation to address the U.S. Congress on Iran next month was fully supported by the Democrats.

Netanyahu was invited by the Republican speaker of the house, John Boehner, to address Congress on March 3, an invitation Boehner originally described as bipartisan.

The move angered the White House, which is upset about the event coming two weeks before Israeli elections and the fact that Netanyahu, who has a testy relationship with President Obama, is expected to be critical of U.S. policy on Iran.

I don’t doubt that Agent Orange lied. After all, his mouth was open, and there was no inflow of whiskey. However, if Butcher Ben were truly concerned, he would cancel the trip. He says he has no such plans.

From Right Wing Watch: Creationist leader Ken Ham is incensed that the state of Kentucky is supposedly abridging his organization’s “fundamental rights” by declining to provide around $18 million in tax incentives to his Noah’s Ark theme park. The park is a planned addition to Ham’s Creation Museum and is intended to be, according to Ham, “one of the greatest evangelist outreaches of our day.”

Since Ham’s group plans to discriminate on the basis of religion in its hiring practices, it is no surprise that it won’t get public funds. But Ham claims that he has a “right” to receive taxpayer money and has filed a lawsuit [pseudo-Christians delinked] against Kentucky, insisting that his organization, Answers in Genesis, is the real victim of discrimination.

He took his case to “Washington Watch” [pseudo-Christians delinked] yesterday, where he told host Tony Perkins that Kentucky’s decision somehow violates his organization’s right to the freedom of speech: “Anyone who wants to have freedom of speech in this nation, freedom of religion, free exercise of religion, needs to stand with us as we do this because that is what we are standing for.”

In short this Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian is saying that failure to fund his attempt to proselytize others in a manner that violates the US Constitution violates his freedom of speech and freedom of religion. He is free to spread the Republican gospel of greed, lies and hate to his heart’s content, and I defend his right to do so. But, if government pays for it, that violates our rights.

Cartoon:

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Feb 012015
 

Day 88.  I’m rushing to get my articles written and posted before services begin on this highest holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  Your sacrament will be served by Chickens and Cheats.  I’ve already collected all the data I’ll needed for tomorrow’s Monthly Report, so I’ve been working my kitty butt off all morning.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:18 (average 5:41).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: “If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”

- George Washington, letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia (1789)

This is just one statement by one of our founding fathers that contradicts the lies we hear from Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, as they attempt to overcome the separation of church and state out founding father had the wisdom to incorporate into our Bill of Rights. Click through for a bunch more.

From NY Times: If this state had an official color, it would most certainly be red. Football fans here don scarlet sweatshirts each game day, red meat is a dietary staple and, for decades, Republican presidential candidates filled Nebraska’s borders on the electoral map with their party’s hue.

But in 2008, a Nebraska quirk injected a drop of blue into that sea of red, in the form of a single, lonely electoral vote for the Democratic presidential candidate.

Nebraska is one of just two states, along with Maine, that do not award all their electoral voters to the statewide winner. And that meant that in 2008, Barack Obama picked up an electoral vote from the congressional district around Omaha, even as Senator John McCain trounced him across the rest of the state.

One electoral vote — out of five in Nebraska and 538 nationally — might seem trivial, but Republicans do not see it that way. It was the first time since Lyndon B. Johnson beat Barry Goldwater in 1964, when Mr. Obama was a toddler, that the state awarded any votes to a Democrat.

So this year, a longstanding proposal to change the state’s Electoral College system to winner-take-all may finally reach the Republican governor’s desk, amid a renewed push by conservative lawmakers hoping to have new rules in place for the 2016 presidential election.

I don’t have a problem with this, but I will point out the hypocrisy that in states like California that are blue in Presidential elections, Republicans are trying to do the exact opposite and split the electoral delegation.  I prefer it not be split, because split delegations would allow Republicans to Gerrymander the electoral college.

From LA Times: TransCanada Corp., the Canadian company behind the Keystone XL pipeline, filed eminent domain proceedings against an estimated 90 Nebraska landowners Tuesday to secure the right to build the controversial project across their property.

How impolite of them!! We need to build a border fence to defend ourselves from these illegal TransCanada immigrants, until Canadians defeat Harper, and Canuckistan becomes Canada again. ;-)

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