Aug 302014
 

I have long supported the idea of a carbon tax because it is the most direct way for corporate polluters cover the cost they are now pushing onto taxpayers.  In several nations, the carbon tax ix making inroads.  Chile, for one, is making excellent progress since throwing off the murderous Pinochet dictatorship, established by Nixon, Kissinger, and the US Republican Party in 1971.

0830chile_glacierIt’s a big year for fighting climate change in Chile. A carbon tax is set to go before its House of Representatives next week, as part of a larger tax reform package that includes measures intended to fight air pollution and climate change. Chile would become the first country in South America to institute a carbon tax, and the second in Latin America after Mexico, which imposed its carbon tax in January.

A carbon tax is what it sounds like. The government charges emitters of carbon pollution for every metric ton they release into the atmosphere. Carbon taxes are gaining popularity as a way to massively cut the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere, while creating jobs, raising incomes, and cutting deficits in countries where they’re implemented. British Columbia, Canada has had a carbon tax since 2008 and has seen success cutting energy use and carbon emissions, and giving revenue from the tax back to low-income families to offset higher energy prices.

Chile’s initial tax will be $5 per ton of CO2, and Mexico’s taxes fuels at different rates, averaging out to about $3.50 per ton. Those are both pretty low, but once a carbon tax is in place, it can be raised. British Columbia’s started at C$10 per ton in 2008, ramping up over the years to C$30 in 2012. A study in California found that even a $200-a-ton carbon price would actually help businesses and create jobs in the state, though it’s far higher than anything that has been tried yet.

There is currently no carbon tax in the United States, and any attempt to pass one would be extremely difficult, thanks in part to a pledge from the Koch-backed organization Americans For Prosperity that requires signers to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” A third of the U.S. House of Representatives and a quarter of Senators have signed the pledge… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

In 2008, Obama supported a Carbon Tax, while both Clinton and the Republican Party supported Cap and Trade.  In a misbegotten early attempt to foster bipartisanship, Obama switched to Cap and Trade, and the Republican Party disowned it immediately, calling it Cap and Tax and a Socialist, Kenyan conspiracy.  Now Republicans just support polluters, because that what the Koch Brothers want.  So we get to suck pollution, while Republican politicians suck … never mind.

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Aug 052014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 106.  It’s been a busy day.  I cleaned up a three day mess.  It was huge,  I got a haircut.  It was hot, but the barber shop is only three blocks away,  I had a big bowl of Gehenna chili.  You know, when someone in the surrounding area lights a match, the fireball can be quite dramatic.  And, of course, I researched.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:10 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: I’ll keep the commentary low, because the event speaks for itself. So much for the religious tradition the Republican party prides itself on and uses as the basis to deny so many rights. A recent bill introduced in the house suggests a resolution honoring the Pope "for his inspirational statements and actions" as well as his goals to ameliorate inequality and promote solidarity.

What do the Republicans think about this? According to reports from The Hill, it looks like they aren’t too happy.

Only 19 of the 221 co-sponsors are Republicans. The dearth of GOP members on the measure could be attributable to assertions that the pope is “too liberal,” according to a Republican backer of the legislation.

The source noted that Francis last year denounced “trickle-down economics.”

Some Republicans believe the pope is “sounding like [President] Obama. [The pope] talks about equality — he actually used the term ‘trickle-down economics,’ which is politically charged,” the GOP official said.

There is a simple enough explanation for why the Pope sounds so like Obama to Republicans that they object. Pope Francis and Obama are both Christians. Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians are NOT Christians.

From NY Times: The nation’s largest environmental group is earning money from an oil well on land it controls in Texas, despite pledging a decade ago not to permit new oil and gas drilling on land supposedly set aside for conservation.

That revelation is contained in a forthcoming book about climate change by the writer and activist Naomi Klein, and the essential facts of the case were confirmed last week by the Nature Conservancy, the environmental group in question.

The Nature Conservancy — which says it helps protect about 20 million acres in the United States — argues that it has had no choice in the case of the well. Under the terms of a lease it signed years ago with an oil and gas company and later came to regret, the group says it had to permit the drilling of the well in 2007.

But the lease contains termination clauses, and Ms. Klein argues in the book that the Nature Conservancy could most likely have stopped the 2007 drilling. The group has earned millions of dollars over the years from gas and oil production on the property, though the 2007 well was not especially lucrative.

Unless there is more about this issue that I do not know, I would suggest that there are better environmental groups to support than they are.

From TPM: An Evanston, Ill. man fatally shot himself Sunday night while showing off a shotgun he thought wasn’t loaded to a group of friends, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Police were called to an Evanston home for an accidental shooting. They found Eric Zyzanski on the floor with a shotgun wound to the head, lying next to the shotgun.

He was taken to the hospital and died about two hours later, according to police.

According to witnesses, Zyzanski was in his apartment with friends, where he took out a shotgun and "began showing it off."

His friends told him to put the gun away, so he proceeded to take two or three rounds out of the gun, according to police. He then pointed the gun at his cheek, said the gun was empty and pulled the trigger, witnesses said.

Bye Bye Gunny Boo Boo!! Any needless loss of life is tragic and regrettable, but at least that Republican Ammosexual won’t be voting in November.

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Jul 232014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 93.  I have not left for prison yet.  The plan is to crawl into bed, when I return home, and do the puzzle and upload the articles when I wake up.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.

Late (early) Update:

The meeting was great and I now have my ID.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:03 (average 5:18).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Guess who Sen. John McCain blames for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight 17? Yup, President Obama:

 

McConJob, in typical Republican fashion, has a special tool with which to hit every nail: a bomb.

From TPM: A federal appeals court dealt a huge blow to Obamacare on Tuesday, banning

the federal exchange from providing subsidies to residents of the 36 states it serves.

A divided three-judge panel on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the text of the Affordable Care Act restricts the provision of premium tax credits to state-run exchanges. The two Republican appointees on the panel ruled against Obamacare while the one Democratic appointee ruled for the law.

"We conclude that appellants have the better of the argument: a federal Exchange is not an 'Exchange established by the State,' and section 36B does not authorize the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal Exchanges," Judge Thomas B. Griffith wrote for the court in Halbig v. Burwell.

His ruling was joined in a concurring opinion by George H. W. Bush-appointed Judge A. Raymond Randolph, who said it would be a "distortion" to let the federal exchange provide subsidies. "Only further legislation could accomplish the expansion the government seeks," he wrote.

Carter-appointed Judge Harry T. Edwards voted to uphold the subsidies.

This may well be huge. Without doubt this decision will be appealed to the full DC Circuit court, and from there to the Supreme Court where the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) await. This may well mean that Republicans in red states mazy be able to prevent their citizens from receiving their federal subsidy. This should be overturned, but we need to watch this one closely.

From Think Progress: Conventional political wisdom holds that a carbon tax could never pass Congress, largely thanks to the “tax” part.

But over the last few years, a remarkable number of economists, politicians, and business leaders have stepped up to support a carbon tax as the most job-friendly way to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Now thanks to a new poll, we can confidently add “majorities of American voters” to that list of supporters as well. A July survey run out of the University of Michigan and Muhlenberg College found that when certain uses are specified for the revenue — specifically investment in renewable energy or rebate checks back to taxpayers — 56 to 60 percent of voters support a carbon tax.

I’ve favored a carbon tax for years.  This would be great news if what the American peopled want had even the slightest effect on Republican legislators. It doesn't.

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Jul 162014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 86.  Last night I lay down for what was supposed to be a short catnap,. and I was out for hours.  I’m feeling tired, still, but my groceries are unpacked and stowed, my research is done, and I just have to write tomorrow’s articles.  Cravings are severe, and I think that getting off Chantix may be behind the sleep irregularity. Sleepy smile

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:08 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Oklahoma had a very busy weekend, at least according to the richter scale.

GUTHRIE, Okla. (AP) — The U.S. Geological Survey has recorded seven small earthquakes shaking central Oklahoma in a span of about 14 hours.

The temblors are part of an increase in earthquakes across Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas that some scientists say could be connected to the oil and gas drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, and especially the wells in which the industry disposes of its wastewater.

Sunday’s quakes ranged from magnitude 2.6 to 2.9 and were centered in the Guthrie, Jones and Langston areas, 15 miles to 30 miles northeast of Oklahoma City. The USGS said the quakes were recorded between 7:57 p.m. Saturday and 9:51 a.m. Sunday. No injuries or damage were reported.

Those follow four other quakes, including a 4.3-magnitude temblor near Langston recorded shortly after noon Saturday. The other Saturday morning quakes ranged in magnitude from 2.9 to 3.2.

Prior to fracking, this part of the country used to be geologically stable. While Republicans may call this the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, the many occurrences of temblors in other tectonically stable areas after fracking help form an inductive basis for cause.

From The New Yorker: The Church of England, an institution whose origins date back to the sixth century A.D., has far more modern views about the rights of women than Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, experts said today.

“In recognizing that women are the equals of men, the Church of England has embraced a position that is centuries ahead of Scalia’s,” Davis Logsdon, a professor of religion at the University of Minnesota, said. “This is a remarkable achievement, given that Scalia was born in 1936 and the Church began in the late five hundreds.”

But Dr. Carol Foyler, a history professor at the University of Sussex, took issue with that assessment. “I date the beginning of the Church of England to 1534, when it was officially established under Henry VIII,” she said. “But regardless of whether the Church is fourteen centuries old or five centuries old, it’s unquestionably more modern than Scalia.”

Amen Andy! To find view’s on women’s rights worse than Scalia’s, one must eclipse the dawn of recorded history! Rolling on the floor laughing

From NY Times: Two Texas lawmakers say they plan to introduce a bipartisan bill on Tuesday intended to combat the humanitarian crisis at the nation’s southern border and make it easier to send migrant children from Central America back to their home countries.

The legislation is expected to encounter resistance from some congressional Democrats. It comes as the White House has signaled a willingness to work with Republicans to win passage of President Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to confront the surge of Central American migrants into the United States, with a heavy concentration of them in Texas.

The legislation by the two Texas lawmakers — Senator John Cornyn, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, and Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat — would amend a 2008 law intended to stop sex trafficking that grants migrant children from Central America extra legal protections when they cross the border, protections that Mr. Obama has said make it harder to return the children quickly to their home countries.

Those protections for refugee children need to stay right where they are.  Furthermore, calling the bill bipartisan is a crock. Cuellar is a virtual Republican, a perennial traitor to his both party and his people. He endorsed Bush over Gore in 2000, and he is the reddest Bush Dog DINO in Congress.

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Jul 022014
 

Day 72.  I’m writing for tomorrow and waiting for Safeway to deliver groceries sometime within the next four hours.  I spent the morning collecting the data for June’s Monthly Report.  Today my A/C gets it’s first major test, as the forecast is for 98° heat.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 5:27).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: If you’re the type, like me, to get super excited about anyone boldly going where no one has gone before, get excited about this. Water astronauts! (OK, OK — aquanauts.) There’s so much earth to explore!

They have built an underwater habitat, they are live-streaming the whole thing, and they’re even getting dreamy actors to visit.

 

Given the way Republicans are blocking initiatives to combat climate change, living underwater may become a highly valuable skill.

From The New Yorker: Millions of Americans awoke on Monday to the shocking news that a gigantic corporation [Facebook] with unprecedented power over their lives had allegedly abused that power for commercial gain.

Across the United States, stunned consumers were shaking their heads in disbelief after learning that a gargantuan company whose explicit goal is to make as many billions of dollars as possible through any means available would put its own interests ahead of those of its customers.

“It never would have occurred to me that an enormous corporation with the ability to track over half a billion customers would ever exploit that advantage in any way,” said Harland Dorrinson, twenty-nine, a caterer from Albuquerque. “Like a lot of other people, I feel used.”

Andy, I really am surprised, and the Pope really is Hindu, and bears really never, ever shit in the woods.

From Daily Kos: You’d think it would be persuasive to some …

 

Can you imagine the Republican reaction, if women demanded an "open carry" law for their toys? It would certainly be less dangerous that the ones for guns.

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Jun 282014
 

Day 68.  I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling somewhat better, having eaten binding foods.  But I’m still drained and thoroughly disappointed over missing the volunteer time with my guys.  Happy first day od Ramadan to our Muslim friends.

0628Ramadan

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:47 (average 4:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker:

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said today that he plans to sue President Obama for violating the United States Constitution with what Boehner called “his outrageous practice of accomplishing things.”

“The United States Constitution guarantees the American people that its government will be free from activity,” Boehner told reporters. “Again and again, President Obama has broken that sacred trust.”

Ripping the President for his “willful insistence on doing things,” Speaker Boehner said that his lawsuit was intended “to restore the inaction and inertia that have been the hallmarks of our democracy.”

The Speaker acknowledged that suing the President was an extreme measure, but added, “I take this step only after exhausting every other method to prevent him from getting anything done.”

LOL Andy!! I think that Agent Orange is just trying to find a time-wasting show-and-tell for his runaway Baggers that stops short of impeaching Obama, which Boehner knows would pull lazy lefty voters out of their lethargy. He doesn’t care how many taxpayer dollars it wastes.

From Daily Kos: I have often wondered where would be a good place for my young son to go one day to ride out catastrophic climate-changed earth. It is sounding more and more like there’s nowhere to go that is best suited to survive the coming catastrophe.

If climate change continues on its current trajectory, the report concluded, Midwesterners could see deadly heat-and-humidity pairings (which meteorologists call "wet-bulb temperature") two days every year by later this century.

"It will be functionally impossible to be outside, including for things like construction work and farming, as well as recreation," said climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer of Princeton University.

When the time comes, unless we can prevent it, we must remember to call those days Republican days.

From Media Matters: From the June 26 edition of Fox News’ Outnumbered:

 

Personally, I have never been a soccer fan, and given the abuses centered around the World Wup, I’m not inclined to become one. It would be different, if I had a personal history with the sport, but in my life, I have scored a total of one goal, and that was over fifty years ago. However, only the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, could find a way to use America’s success as a reason to trash Obama.

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Jun 112014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and listening to news coverage of the Reynolds High School Shooting a few miles away (see lead article).  I had a long talk with the Director of Public Relations at my Medical Equipment Company.  She took responsibility and admitted that there was absolutely no reason they could now have waited until next month for by blood O2 levels.  In future they will send a med-tech here to get them, which they should have done this time.  The woman who overstepped her authority and acted so imperiously to my doctor’s assistant is in trouble.  Tomorrow is grocery delivery day, and I have lots of cleaning to do.  Day 51.

Breaking:

I’m overjoyed to announce that Eric Cantor (R-VA) has been TEAbuggered!  A Bagger beat him ion the primary!!  It is the first time a sitting Majority was defeated in a primary since 1899.  Bratt said he won because of Republican Supply-side Jesus (the polar opposite of the real Jesus) and ran on hatred for Latinos.  Hid Democrat opponent and he are professors at the same college, and the Dem is more popular among the students  than the Bagger, but the district is one of the most heavily Gerrymandered in the country, so engineered to protect Cantor.  No doubt Cantor will become a well paid lobbyist.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:58 (average 5:26).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) ripped former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s new book, “Hard Choices,” today, telling reporters, “I read it, and honestly, I didn’t find anything in it worth plagiarizing.”

Calling the new book “disappointing,” Sen. Paul said, “I read a lot of books, and it’s rare that I don’t find a passage or two to lift here or there. I just read the second Harry Potter book and I thought there was some dialogue of Voldemort’s that could work well in my stump speech. But this Hillary book? Nada.”

Hillary’s book must really be horrid. Before this, nobody had ever written anything so bad that Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot wouldn’t steal it!

From Daily Kos: A new poll by Lake Research Partners finds some reasons for that. Walmart’s reputation is suffering among consumers, with 28 percent saying they have an unfavorable view of Walmart, compared to just 13 percent unfavorable for Target and just six percent unfavorable for Costco. Walmart’s low wages and bad treatment of its workers are registering on shoppers; just 27 percent say that "treats its employees well" is a good description of Walmart, while 42 percent say it is not. The numbers are even more skewed when people are asked if "well paid employees" applies to Walmart. And those views of the company are affecting how much people shop at its stores.

That’s great news. I can summarize my Wal-Fart shopping advice in one word: DON’T!

From NY Times: He is a Democrat in a marquee Senate race, pressed by a strong Republican in a state with a challenging political environment. So when a new proposal to limit power plant emissions was seen as posing a threat to allies of the Obama administration, Senator Mark Udall of Colorado acted quickly: He embraced the plan.

“Coloradans have seen firsthand the harmful effects of climate change, including severe drought, record wildfires and reduced snowpack,” Mr. Udall said in a statement shortly after the Environmental Protection Agency plan was made public last week. “The E.P.A.’s draft rule is a good start, and I will fight to ensure it complements the work we have already done in Colorado and provides states the flexibility they need to make it successful.”

The E.P.A. proposal to reduce carbon pollution from power plants was deemed a political gift from the Obama administration to Republicans running for Senate seats in the coal-producing states of Kentucky and West Virginia, and an anchor around the necks of their Democratic opponents. Elsewhere, the threat of higher electricity bills and Republican attacks about another federal power grab were supposed to send Democrats scurrying for cover and distance from the White House.

But Mr. Udall’s example shows that not all Democrats look at it that way.

Kudos to Mark Udall. The way to seal with opposition to the plan is to expose the Republican lies on which all such opposition is based.

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