May 122015
 

I had hoped to include a second article today, but there is not enough time to get it done, because I have to go to a community meeting and then go to coffee with my friend with cancer.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:33 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, a golden boy of American sports and perhaps pro football’s biggest star, was suspended Monday for four regular-season games without pay by the N.F.L., which said he had deliberately and secretly violated league rules.

The N.F.L. also fined the Patriots $1 million and took away two prized future draft picks, including a first-round choice in 2016, saying that the team, and Brady, schemed to improperly deflate footballs in the A.F.C. championship game last season on the way to securing New England’s fourth Super Bowl victory.

A deflated football is said to be easier to grip, especially in the cold and wet conditions that the Patriots faced at home against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18.

I fully support this decision. Although I am a fervent devotee of the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, I think NFL executives and players have gotten away with far too much for far too long. This will hurt Brady and the Patriots where it counts. In the wallet. May the blessed Orb shine its holy light upon you all.

From Upworthy: See what researchers found when they tested a bottle of Fiji Water against a glass of tap water.

 

The only thing you can be sure about is that the bottle is pollution. I treat tap water with filter pitchers, and carry it out with a permanent drinking bottle.

From Daily Kos: Bill Maher did not pull any punches in his justifiable ridicule of Texans in this week’s Real Time. It was his turn as Jon Stewart had his turn earlier this week. He was discussing the Jade Helm 15 military exercise conspiracy theory that has metastasized within the Texas right wing.

 
Bill Maher ridicules Texans reaction Jade Helm… by ewillies

"White Somalia" ranks with his other creation "Ammosexual".

Cartoon:

0512Cartoon

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May 082015
 

I was aware that leaking methane is a problem, both as a greenhouse gas, and as a lost source of energy and revenue.  However, I was unaware of the extent of the problem.  There are two methane clouds in particular that could boggle the mind.  Of course Republicans oppose the solution for one.  They are the cause of the other.

0508MethaneIn March, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell cited a methane gas plume the size of Delaware hovering over the Four Corners area in Northwest New Mexico as evidence that the Interior Department needs to cut “wasted gas that results from venting and flaring during oil and gas operations.”

This methane hot spot, which is located above an area that contains more than 40,000 wells, arises primarily from leaks in natural gas production and processing equipment spanning a large area of federal lands. While it may be the most visible instance of this issue, it is far from the only instance of methane — a powerful greenhouse gas that traps up to 34 times as much heat as carbon dioxide over the course of a century — being emitted into the atmosphere above public lands. A new report from the Government Accountability Office notes another unfortunate side effect of this inefficiency: the loss of tens of millions of taxpayer dollars each year.

The GAO has been urging the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), an Interior Department agency, to cut methane emissions via flared or vented gas since at least 2010, when the government office found that 40 percent of this methane could be economically captured and sold. According to the 2010 report, “such reductions could increase federal royalty payments by about $23 million annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to about 16.5 million metric tons of CO2 — the annual emissions equivalent of 3.1 million cars.” … [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Fortunately, dealing with this problem is part of Barack Obama’s greenhouse initiative, although Republicans are doing their worst to undermine it.

The other plume is far worse, and is not covered under Obama’s plan, because the noxious cloud not an energy related plume.  It comes from an overconcentration of bovine excrement.  Here’s a picture:

0508Methane2

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Apr 242015
 

The elevator is now working, but basking in the rain doesn’t quite cut it.  However, I have had a couple power naps and do have some interesting content.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

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

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: ABC News reported that it "uncovered errors" in Peter Schweizer’s upcoming anti-Clinton book, Clinton Cash. Schweizer has a long history of sloppy research and reporting — earlier this week, ThinkProgress revealed that the conservative author cites a hoax press release in the book.

On April 23, ABC News explained that their independent review of the source material used for Clinton Cash "uncovered errors in the book, including an instance where paid and unpaid speaking appearances were conflated." The book purports to reveal connections between Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, donations to the Clinton Foundation, and paid speeches given by the Clintons, but Schweizer reportedly admits in the book he cannot prove his allegations.

In this Republican pseudo-scandal there is no quid pro quo. The quid and the quo exist, but the Republican propagandist is uses the post hoc ergo propter hoc deception and substitutes innuendo for the pro. Of course, the Republican bubble machine accepts innuendo as absolute proof.

From Daily Kos: In this visually beautiful and mesmerizing piece, 27 year-old Prince Ea apologies to future generations for what we are doing, and not doing, to the planet today. The six-minute video contains so many great thought-provoking quotes, it’s bound to be shared for many years. So far, in less than 48 hours, his video has garnered over 35 million views on Facebook.

 

Extreme Kudos!

From The New Yorker: In an urgent memo to the field of G.O.P. Presidential candidates, the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, praised them for their relentless personal attacks on Hillary Clinton, but warned that their hatred for the former Secretary of State might be “peaking too early.”

Priebus called the candidates’ ongoing evisceration of Clinton “magnificent,” but expressed his concern that “no human beings, even an impressive group like yourselves, could possibly sustain such a high intensity of throbbing hatred for an entire year and a half.”

“Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint,” he wrote. “You need to leave some hate in the tank.”

In the conclusion of his memo, Priebus advised the candidates to take an occasional day off from hating Clinton so that they could “return to despising her with renewed freshness and vigor.”

Andy does have a point. The constant flood of filth from the clown car just tends to toughen Hillary, for now. I worry more about an eleventh hour lie that comes too late for the Democratic nominee to counter it effectively.

0424Cartoon

The 2016 clown car is getting crowded.

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Apr 172015
 

It feels like summer here, so my chores have left me feeling somewhat lazy, so you can be sure I’ll take a break later for purring in the sunshine.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:15 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: The sad but beautiful story of water, as narrated by Penélope Cruz

 

This cycle is what Republicans are trying to destroy.

From Media Matters: Indianapolis’ WIBC has broadcast Rush Limbaugh’s show for 22 years. Despite this long history, parent company Emmis Communications announced April 13 that they are dropping Limbaugh’s show from WIBC’s lineup.

Charlie Morgan, an executive for Emmis, indicated that the decision to drop Limbaugh was about the "long-term direction of the station," but also acknowledged that there was a "business element to the decision." Underscoring the business considerations, Morgan explained to the Indianapolis Business Journal that the absence of Limbaugh could actually help WIBC’s advertiser prospects:

And the defectors from Limbarf’s former empire keep coming. Every remaining station is one too many.

From The New Yorker: Americans took to the streets in large numbers on Thursday to show their support for a fifteen-dollar-an-hour wage for members of Congress.

In major cities across the nation, fast-food workers and other service employees held signs, shouted chants, and gave impassioned speeches to demonstrate their conviction that Congress deserves a maximum hourly wage of fifteen dollars.

“Members of Congress are people, just like you and me,” Tracy Klugian, a McDonald’s employee who took part in the Washington protest, said. “They should be paid what they deserve.”

Assuming that they continue to take off approximately two hundred and forty days a year, members of Congress earning the proposed maximum would see their average annual income adjusted from a hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars to thirteen thousand five hundred dollars, a salary that many marchers called “fair and equitable.”

Andy is on to something here, but even if paid for only the hours they actually work, they would get far more than they are worth.

Cartoon:

0417Cartoon

Republicans want a rerun.\

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Apr 132015
 

Now that I’ve finished my personal taxes, I get to do the same for my volunteer group, which involves far less money, but far more paperwork.  I should have done al this a month ago, but took sick right before receiving the reporting forms.  Therefore, today’s articles involve minimal research.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:34 (average 6:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The two major political parties’ unconscionable waste of money officially commences this weekend, as Democrats and Republicans will soon begin spending an estimated five billion dollars of their corporate puppet masters’ assets in an unquenchable pursuit of power.

The billions, which could be spent rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, improving schools, or reducing the scourge of malaria in Africa, will instead be squandered in a heinous free-for-all of slander and personal destruction, alienating voters as never before.

The media will inevitably focus on the personalities of the bloated roster of narcissists lusting after the White House, but scant attention will be paid to the Wall Street bankers, industrial polluters, and casino magnates whose grip on American democracy will remain vise-like…

Andy forgot the satire. Everything here is factual.

From Daily Kos: A recurrent fear heard by the Christian right is if gay people are widely accepted, those who disapprove of homosexuality will be shunned and treated just like racists!

See talking point #4 copied directly from National Organization for Marriage:

“If courts rule that same-sex marriage is a civil right, then, people like you and me who believe children need moms and dads will be treated like bigots and racists.”

This classic is over two years old, but it turned out to be quite correct. Those who hate gays and those who hate blacks are treated exactly alike. They are embraced and supported by the Republican Party.

From Upworthy: Is your community thinking about opening its doors to fracking? Check out this video for some images that might make that decision crystal clear.

 

This says what needs saying!

Cartoon:

0413Cartoon

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Apr 012015
 

For those of you who have not been following my daily Personal Updates, I’m on what I hope is the trailing edge of the nastiest flu I’ve had, since I was hospitalized in 2013.  Now I’m going tin try to ease myself back into a normal writing schedule.  I don’t know how long that will take, and I’m still well short of 100%, so please bear with me.  There will be no Monthly Report this month.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:41 (average 5:16).  To di it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In a history-making decision, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana has signed into law a bill that officially recognizes stupidity as a religion.

Pence said that he hoped the law would protect millions of state residents “who, like me, have been practicing this religion passionately for years.”

The bill would grant politicians like Pence the right to observe their faith freely, even if their practice of stupidity costs the state billions of dollars.

Andy, ‘stupidity’ is also known as Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity.

From Upworthy: Here’s your Hot Planet 101, courtesy of NASA. Take a minute to watch it, then we’ll see how it’s affecting life on earth right now.

 

Very well said. No wonder Republicans want to slash NASA’s funding.

From Daily Kos: I was inspired by Molly Weasley’s diary of the other day, A few products to boycott from Indiana. After combing through the items on the pages she linked I came up with 5 common items from Indiana that are probably used by Kossaks which we should be boycotting in the wake of SB 101.

Clabber Girl Baking Powder
Nestle: Nesquik, CoffeeMate, Boost
Red Gold canned tomato products
Bar Keepers Friend
Vera Bradley
Eli Lilly (hard to boycott if you need their meds. Go generic?)

The way to the simulation of a corporate heart is through their revenues.

Cartoon:

0401Cartoon

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Mar 092015
 

This week is turning out to be quite busy already.  Wednesday, my normal grocery delivery day from Store to Door, I have an appointment I cannot change, so I have to get groceries from Safeway.com.  They are coming tomorrow, moving prep for that to today.  The kitty basking weather is winding down.  Only 58° forecast today.

Per Nameless’ Request:

0309FeetUp

i-feet.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 4:86).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: For all his partisan animus toward President Obama, it is still shocking to see the Senate’s majority leader, Mitch McConnell, urge the nation’s governors to undermine the Obama administration’s efforts to regulate power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming.

Mr. McConnell, a Kentucky Republican who seems to hold Mr. Obama personally responsible for what has been the decades-long decline of coal jobs in his state, expressed his defiance in an op-ed article [Bought Bitch delinked] Wednesday in The Lexington Herald-Leader.

The administration has proposed regulations aimed at limiting emissions. Mr. McConnell urged the governors not to cooperate with a joint rule-making process aimed at developing final regulations under which Washington will set emissions targets while giving states flexibility to implement them. Sabotaging this process, he says, will give the courts time to find the plan illegal or give the Senate time to figure out a way to block it. “Without your support,” he said, the administration “won’t be able to demonstrate the capacity to carry out such political extremism.”

Bought Bitch Mitch is pursuing a plan that won’t help coal jobs. Mechanization is replacing many.  There are few left, because coal can’t compete.  Fracking has provided a surplus of unnatural gas, and the Saudis are flooding the market with cheap oil to forestall a shift to green energy.  The liar is trying to protect profits, not jobs.

From Alternet: The U.S. economy is picking up steam but most Americans aren’t feeling it. By contrast, most European economies are still in bad shape, but most Europeans are doing relatively well.

What’s behind this? Two big facts.

First, American corporations exert far more political influence in the United States than their counterparts exert in their own countries…

…The second fact is most big American corporations have no particular allegiance to America. They don’t want Americans to have better wages. Their only allegiance and responsibility to their shareholders — which often requires lower wages  to fuel larger profits and higher share prices.

Of course the Reich on the left, Robert Reich, is right about the Reich on the right, the Republican Reich, which is wrong by definition. Click through for more than this tiny taste about how RepubliCorp is screwing YOU.

From Crooks and Liars: Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver didn’t hold back when discussing the racist emails being sent by the Ferguson, MO police department and court officials which were discovered during the Department of Justice investigation of racial prejudice in the city’s police and judicial system.

 

It amazes me that Oliver can be so funny, while being spot on about racism at it’s worst.

Cartoon:

0309Cartoon

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