Jul 302016
 

Please pardon my brevity.  Nameless seems to have reached out and touched me with a case of Republicosis, so I’m making intermittent trips to the throne room.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:33 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: …According to the Pew Research Center, The pool of self-identified independent voters is larger than either Republicans and Democrats; but despite not being card-carrying members, they still tend to lean towards one party or another. With leanings factored in, 87% of Americans identify either directly or indirectly towards either the Republican or Democrat parties. That leaves 13% of the voting population to divvy up among third party, which ties into the second issue: party size and influence.

Second, the viability of a third party Presidential campaign is directly tied to the size and influence of the third party in question. A Presidential campaign timeline looks something like this (immensely simplified):

Step 1: Announce your are running.
Step 2: Win your party.
Step 3: Win enough Electoral College votes to win the national election.

If you are a Republican or Democrat, Step 3 is merely difficult—you have a pretty sizeable base, and you are pretty much guaranteed that some subset of that party base is going to vote for you no matter what, so winning means adding to that base in the right parts of the country to get enough votes. For any third party, they have no base to start from, which means their entire strategy revolves around Democrat and Republican attrition. In other words, they have to do twice as much work as your average Republican or Democratic candidate. In today’s political climate, a third party has zero chance of winning the election.

How does a third party truly have a chance? By growing the base large enough so that your built-in support base is comparable to the others. Large enough that you can win significant numbers of governor seats and Congress seats. And this is something that neither the Green Party nor the Libertarian party has done, or will have done between now and November. Instead, they treat the Presidential race as an advertising campaign for their party, hoping to draw in a few more disenfranchised Republican or Democrat voters.

Let’s put this in concrete terms for Gary Johnson, the only third party blipping on the national poll radar. The current projections at fivethirtyeight as of this writing give Gary Johnson 0.6 electoral votes—in other words, he’ll be lucky to get a single Electoral College vote anywhere in the country. But it also gives him 7.7% of the popular vote. Right now, those same projections have a  1.4% gap between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, which means that the 7.7% of the population tilting at windmills to get a single Electoral College vote for Gary Johnson could very easily put Donald Trump in the White House… [emphasis added]

Every lefty that listens to Regressives and votes for a third party is casting a vote for Donald Trump, the true beneficiary of those third party votes.

From Media Matters: Fox News ignored a speech by the father of U.S. Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in 2004 in the Iraq war, instead opting to air commercials during the speech. Fox later went live to a song by pop singer Katy Perry after the speech.

During the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA, Khizr Khan spoke about the honor he felt to be present at the convention with his wife, “as patriotic American Muslims with undivided loyalty to our country.” Khan’s speech was preceded by a video that showed Hillary Clinton calling Captain Khan “the best of America” and explaining the circumstances of his death, for which he was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

It is so typical of the Republican Rectumite Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, to hide the truth behind Benghazi bullshit!

From Alternet: In an extraordinary ruling, a federal appeals court overturned a lower court ruling and granted a broad injunction against North Carolina Republicans’ sweeping voter suppression law. Crucially, the appeals court found that the legislation, which created a strict voter ID requirement, ended same-day registration, out-of-precinct voting, and pre-registration, was “passed with racially discriminatory intent.” And unlike recent rulings against new voter ID law in Texas and Wisconsin, which only ameliorated the impact of those laws, this decision blocks North Carolina’s entire voter ID measure.

This ruling is an enormous victory for voting rights, and not just because voter ID will no longer be required at the polls. The finding of discriminatory intent is key because it could ultimately serve as future grounds for placing North Carolina back under the Department of Justice’s “preclearance” regime for 10 years.

That certainly is good news. DOJ preclearance is needed in all states, with Republican legislatures, so it should be required in all states.

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Jul 222016
 

I’m leaving shortly for my Physical Terrorist appointment, although I doubt whether Courtney and I will accomplish much.  I did sleep better last night, but an insulin delivery and a fire drill wrecked my afternoon nap.  I still have several days of sleep deficit.  In addition, George is still off kilter, and my Prosthetist appointment isn’t until Monday.  My hands still hurt, and my vision is driving me nuts.  That said, others have it far worse than I.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:37 (average 5:18).  To do it, click here..  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: …That’s right. Trump will unify the races around statements like this:

“I think that the guy is lazy. And it’s probably not his fault because laziness is a trait in blacks. It really is; I believe that. It’s not anything they can control.”

The “laziness” statement came after Donald Trump started having financial difficulties at his casinos in Atlantic City. Trump’s response? He had black accountants.

Rump Dump will unify the races, but non-whites will be unified behind barbed wire.

From NY Times: In the dark for days, Fox News staffers finally got word on Thursday about the future of their network.

The news was delivered in person by Rupert Murdoch, the 85-year-old media mogul who started Fox News with Roger Ailes 20 years ago.

It was an unexpected visit, and with stunned employees listening in Fox’s Midtown Manhattan headquarters, Mr. Murdoch announced that Mr. Ailes was out as chairman and chief executive. Mr. Murdoch himself would be taking over Fox News in the interim.

I predicted that Ailes would be replaced by someone at least equally despicable as he is. Voila!!

From The New Yorker:

Trump was jubilant Thursday night after accomplishing his goal of delivering a speech that no one will ever want to plagiarize, Trump aides confirmed.

According to his staff, Trump and his speechwriters had been working overtime during the week to create a tirade that was sufficiently bloated, unhinged, and terrifying to discourage potential plagiarists from reusing excerpts in the future.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign manager, said that, right until the hour the candidate took the stage, the billionaire’s writing team was scrubbing the speech of any marginally coherent passages that might prove tempting to plagiarists.

“There was one sentence toward the beginning that had traces of humanity and rational thought,” Manafort said. “Fortunately, we caught it in time.”

Andy, I wouldn’t watch it myself, but it sounds like you nailed it, especially the quote from Manafart.

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We still need an updated model for Republicans.

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Jul 202016
 

Wendy just left.  She shined and polished the TomCat, swept the floors, straightened the bed and cleaned the kitchen area,  Today is a grocery delivery day, so I’ll have to stay up until they arrive,  My hands have not improved.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 5:23).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In what promises to be a key issue in the 2016 general election, a majority of Americans now say that they want a President who can keep their families safe from Rudy Giuliani, a new poll finds.

According to the poll, which was conducted on Monday night by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, an unprovoked attack by Giuliani now rivals immigration, terrorism, and the economy as a top concern of likely voters.

In interviews across the country, voters expressed dismay that neither of the major political parties’ presumptive nominees had offered a coherent plan to prevent the former mayor of New York from harming them or their families in a sudden fit of rage.

Andy, with all the opportunities for satire, what drove you to report straight news again?

From Daily Kos: The feud between Fox News head Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch’s sons appears to have reached a conclusion: New York magazine is reporting that after initial investigation of Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment allegations against him, Ailes is getting the boot. The only question is whether they’ll allow him to stay on during the Republican National Convention.

Good riddance!! Nevertheless, I’m sure Murdoch will replace him with another Fascist, equally if not more detectible than Ailes.

From The New Yorker (again): The 2016 Republican National Convention became embroiled in another controversy on Tuesday, as Biblical experts accused Republicans of plagiarizing the entire Convention scenario from the Book of Revelation.

“The first thing that struck me, on Night One, was when the sun became black as sackcloth of hair and the moon like blood,” the Reverend Davis Logsdon, of the University of Minnesota’s Divinity School, said. “That was just too close to be a coincidence.”

Logsdon said that another telltale sign of plagiarism could be found in the alarming appearance of Senator Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas), Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, and retired General Michael Flynn. “The four of them didn’t ride in on horseback, but it was still clear who they were supposed to be,” he said.

By Tuesday afternoon the Trump campaign was pushing back against the plagiarism charges, as campaign manager Paul Manafort told reporters, “I swear to you that no one involved in this campaign has ever gone near a Bible.”

“Certain things that we’ve done to spice up the Convention—like having smoke rising from the Abyss like the smoke from a giant furnace, and having the sun and sky darkened by the smoke from the Abyss—have been in the planning stages for weeks,” he said. “This is just a case of ‘great minds think alike.’ “

Andy, do you think it was also plagiarism, when they nominated the Antichrist?

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Jul 102016
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how awful InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Bill O’Reilly instructs black people to hate Black Lives Matter.

0710OLiellyTrumpLike the rest of the Fox News organization, Bill O’Reilly insists that everyone must hate and fear Black Lives Matter immediately. He and other Fox Newsians spent a good deal of their post-Dallas airtime this week whipping up as much hysteria and anger as possible against a group that has a name and a message no sane person can argue with. But sane people do not sit at Fox roundtables, as an episode of “Outnumbered" clearly shows. Meanwhile, colleagues Megyn Kelly and racist ex-cop Mark Fuhrman took it upon themselves to lecture black people to stop exaggerating about problems with police. You got that, Philando Castile, Eric Garner and Alton Sterling?

But O’Reilly is just so sick and tired of black people not listening to him when he tells them what is good for them. Speaking to his guest, NAACP director Hilary Shelton on Friday, O’Reilly said, “So, you know what I think? I think that if you really want, if African Americans really want to bring the country together and have good racial relations, they have to distance themselves from Black Lives Matter. Am I wrong?”

Yeah, you’re wrong, Shelton said, explaining that the Black Lives Matter marches are occurring for a very good reason. And lots of people understand that.

But white people ha-a-a-te Black Lives Matter, O’Reilly whined, mistaking the echo chamber in his head for reality once again. “White Americans despise this crew. And if black Americans don’t understand that, we’re just going to grow further apart.”

Shelton carried on saying reasonable things that are in the spirit of bringing people together, among other things pointing out that people of all races join Black Lives Matter marches and believe in the movement and in justice for all Americans.

All on deaf ears. O’Reilly was just too busy breaking the douchebag-o-meter… [emphasis added]

From <Alternet>

Some White Americans do hate Black Lives Matter, but they are the same racists that watch Bill O’Lielly and go nuts for the presumptive Rectum of the Republican Party, Rump Dump Trump.  This is just the first of five listed awful Republican from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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Jul 102016
 

I’m running quite late, as today was a long day for Wendy.  Dang!!  She certainly is a good worker.  I let her go a half hour early, as I couldn’t find anything else for her to do.  She polished and shined the TomCat, did the dreaded task, changed the sheets, cleaned the countertops, swept and mopped the floors, dusted, and reorganized the kitchen drawers and cabinets.  The place is so clean I’m afraid to pass gas!! Angel

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:37 (average 6:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

In the Mail:

Yesterday I received a gift from a friend, who shall remain nameless.  Here it is.

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Here it is again in a more appealing environment.

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Thanks Nameless!!

Short Takes:

From The Southern Illonoisan: U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth outraised Illinois Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk for the sixth consecutive quarter, giving her a multimillion-dollar cash advantage in a race that could help determine whether Democrats retake control of the Senate.

Kirk’s campaign said late Friday he raised more than $1 million between April and June, finishing with $3.1 million in his campaign fund.

Duckworth raised $2.7 million during the same period and ended the second quarter with $5.5 million cash on hand, her campaign said earlier this week.

Sad as this is, fundraising is more predictive that polling this early in the race. Go Tammy Go!!

From Vox: On Saturday morning, Hillary Clinton released a new health care policy proposal that emphasized several major progressive priorities, including a public option and increased funding for community health centers.

In the proposal, Clinton pledged:

  • To give Americans in every state a "public option" health insurance plan
  • To let Americans as young as 55 years old opt in to Medicare
  • And to double funding for primary care services at community health centers

Now, these aren’t really new ideas for Clinton. She said at a campaign event in May that she supported "the public option, so that people can buy into Medicare at a certain age." And she’s long supported community health centers.

But the fact that she’s formally backing these progressive priorities at this moment — rather than pivoting to more centrist ideas as the general election contest approaches — is a testament to the influence of Bernie Sanders’s campaign. And it may be a prelude to an endorsement from Sanders as soon as next week.

Sanders: "The Clinton campaign and our campaign are coming closer and closer together"

That’s encouraging.  All three are steps in the right direction.

From PoliticusUSA: Megyn Kelly, sometimes the voice of reason on Fox News, switched into full-blown stupid mode again Friday by saying that “Especially in the days of iPhones…and social media where, you know, every encounter gets caught on camera. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s happening more.”

She appeared with racist Ex-LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman, who is frequently trotted out by Fox News to cover racially-charged events, like when Freddie Gray was shot in Baltimore and Fuhrman (again appearing with Kelly) called blacks “these people,” and was told by liberal guest Richard Fowler that “I really think you live in an alternate universe.”

Well, hello, Fox News.

Watch the most recent alternate reality segment from Friday’s The Kelly File, courtesy of Media Matters for America:

Barf Bag Alert!!

Not all people that support Black Lives Matter think that all cops are racist. I for one have said many times that the majority of police are professionals just doing their jobs. Here, these racists from the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, are conflating all Black Lives Matter protestors with the Dallas murderer.  How vile!

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Jul 072016
 

I have a bit of time before my brother and his wife and friends arrive for a very short visit and then a cruise up the Alaska coast.  They fly in today and I will take my brother and SIL to see my mother who they have not seen in almost 3 years tomorrow.  And speaking of mum, I had her out to the specialist for another botox treatment.  I left my house at 10:30 and did not return until 17:00 so I was very tired.  For me, it is more an emotional tired.  On Saturday, which is my brother's 39th wedding anniversary, all 5 of us (not mum) will travel up the Sea-to-Sky Highway to the Britannia Mine Museum for a tour.  The mine buildings were used a lot in movie and television filming over the years, a second life so to speak, but have now been restored to being a museum.  If you want to see a bit more, check out THIS.  Thanks for your rain Napster!  We have had quite a bit the past few days which has helped with the Burns Bog fire (see below) but has made kids house bound and a bit crazy.  As luck would have it, my physio therapist told me that my walking is much better, almost normal.  I told him to be ready on Monday after my museum visit as I'll likely be very sore.  

Short Takes

1130news.com — Eliza Olson, president of the Burns Bog Conservation Society, is expecting impacts to the wildlife living in one of North America’s largest peat bogs. “I hope most of the birds have fledged and left their nests. If they haven’t, they’re going to be burned. The deer and mammals can move,” she says.

As for the fire retardant being dropped by water bombers, Olson says “one of the ironies is some of the stuff they use actually encourages vegetation to grow.”

“In a peat bog, you want things to grow slowly. Any nutrients added to the bog encourages invasive plants because a bog is naturally nutrient-poor and acidic,” she explains.

The fire has also caused “legacy carbon” stored deep within the ground and peat for more than a thousand years to burn and release into the atmosphere, according to McMaster University earth sciences professor Mike Waddington.

“We see over 200 tons of carbon per hectare is lost in a fire of these sizes,” he says.

Olson said a bog can store carbon 10 times more efficiently than a tropical rainforest and will also release methane if disturbed.

This from Wikipedia about Burns Bog

The major characteristics of Burns Bog is that it is wet, acidic, and peat-forming.[4] It is a wetland ecosystem with a diverse array of plant, animal, and insect species. A major component of Burns Bog is sphagnum moss, which is able to hold about 30 times its weight in water. Sphagnum moss can grow under wet and acidic conditions and it is the major building block of peat in Burns Bog.

Breakdown of organic matter in the bog progresses slowly due to low oxygen content and high acidity of the water.[4]

Burns Bog plays a major role in climate regulation. It helps to maintain the health of nearby creeks, which are critical salmon-bearing sites. The peat in the bog does this by cooling and filtering rainwater that comes in. This water then leeches into these salmon-bearing creeks. Burns Bog is also a major carbon sink. Since organic matter decomposes at a very slow rate in the bog, carbon stays in the bog. High acidity and the waterlogged conditions of peatlands such as Burns Bog prevent complete decomposition of fixed carbon.[4] This prevents the carbon from escaping into the atmosphere.  …

Dry peat can catch and spread fire rapidly. Thus, fires in Burns Bog can burn underground for months in methane-rich peat. Large fires occurred in Burns Bog in 1977, twice in 1990, 1994, 1996, 2005, 2007, and 2016.  …

Another fire broke out on September 11, 2005 in Burns Bog. The fire broke out near the south eastern edge of the bog. Smoke and ash covered the entire Lower Mainland and spread all the way to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. The fire expanded to 200 hectares (490 acres) hectares after three days. Large-scale fighting methods were used to combat the blaze. This included firebreaks being bulldozed and dikes to raise the water level in the hopes of extinguishing any of the fire burning underground. BC Fire Service's Air Tanker Centre dispatched a fleet of air tankers to assist in putting out the blaze. This included four Firecats, two Convair 580s and the Martin Mars water bombers, which are the world's largest air tankers. Eight days after the fire first set blaze, Delta municipality announced that the fire was in "mop-up" stages.

Although this is a local Greater Vancouver story, the effects of bog fires has global ramifications for the environment.  As humans drain bogs to get at the peat or make them ultimately more "useful",  ancient carbon and methane are released into the atmosphere which contributes to global warming.  Even though Burns Bog is on the other side of Metro Vancouver from where I live (about 40 – 50 km away) and the prevailing wind was south-east, I could still see and smell the smoke in the north-east.  Last night, the city of Delta announced that the Burns Bog fire was contained but it is still not out.  The rain and cooler temperatures have helped.

Media Matters — New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported that the sexual harassment/retaliation lawsuit filed by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson against Fox News CEO Roger Ailes could give 21st Century Fox executives, Lachlan and James Murdoch (sons of Rupert Murdoch)  a way to oust Ailes.

Sherman quotes executives who believe 21st Century Fox’s hiring of outside counsel to investigate the allegations made against Ailes indicate “a coup” inside the network and that “this could be curtains for Ailes.” Sherman reports that “there are signs that the 76 year-old’s luck may have finally expired”:  …

Executives I spoke with over the past 24 hours said the hiring of an outside lawyer is also an indication that Murdoch’s sons may be capitalizing on the Carlson scandal to achieve a long-held goal: forcing Ailes out. “It’s a coup,” one person close to the company told me. If the investigation into Ailes’s management confirms Carlson’s account, or turns up additional episodes of harassment with other Fox women, it stands to reason the Murdoch children would have the leverage they need to push Ailes aside and install a less-right-wing chief. “This could be curtains for Ailes,” another person close to the company said. Indeed, several months after NBC hired an outside counsel in 1995 to investigate Ailes’s alleged anti-Semitic slur, he left NBC.

Well, isn't this just the cat's pajamas!  Why didn't arlson do this long ago instead of putting up with it?  I suspect she would say she was worried about her career.  Here is a petition from Ultra Violet which reads in part:

But Ailes, a serial sexual harasser who has offered promotions for sex and requires female news anchors to display their legs, has yet to face any consequences.

If Fox News does not suspend Ailes, they're sending a message that sexual harassment and the abuse of women is OK in their workplace. All people, regardless of where they sit on the political spectrum, deserve to work in a safe and harassment free workplace and Carlson needs our support.

Public pressure, starting with your signature, will push the network to get rid of Ailes–sending a powerful message that sexism anywhere won't be tolerated.

I was amused by the speculation that this might give the Murdoch's the "leverage they need to push Ailes aside and install a less-right-wing chief."  That might mean (heavy on the 'might') a lot of firings at the network.  I guess we wait and see.  There is also an excellent Alternet piece on this story which TC has covered in his Open ThreadThat piece is more about Carlson and the length of time it has taken her to take action.

CBC — Bassel Mcleash's long journey from Syria to Toronto and finally to Sunday's Pride parade was anything but smooth.

It was a road filled with war, hatred and hardship, which is why the chance to participate in his first Pride parade was so special.  

"To be honest, I'm totally speechless," he said as he moved towards the start of the parade. "The excitement and the emotion that's happening, it's overwhelming. It's too much to handle."

Moments later, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stepped in front of the large group of politicians and supporters that Mcleash had joined. At most, Mcleash had hoped to capture a glimpse of Canada's celebrity prime minister.

Standing 5-foot-1, it was easy for the 29-year-old Syrian refugee to work his way to the front of the group and next to the leader of his new country — a spot he didn't surrender for the entire parade route.

bassel6

Bassel McLeash with the broad smile and the big Canada/Pride flag walking next to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

"Not in my wildest dreams would I ever have thought about having a day like this, marching next to the prime minister or marching in a Pride," he said.

Read more in the article about Bassel McLeash's journey out of Syria and the additional challenges he has faced as a member of the LGBTQ global community.  Rainbow Railroad is a Canadian organisation helping LGBTQ refugees from around the world.  Read more about Rainbow Railroad at the link provided.  I am repeating the words of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on 01/07/2016: "This is who we are.  This is what we believe in.  This is Canada!"

Think Progress — Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is in a bit of hot water.

The trouble started in June, when the Associated Press reported that Bondi “personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump” in 2013 — right around the time she was deciding whether or not to investigate alleged fraud at Trump University. Trump University, of course, is the controversial for-profit school owned by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

It was only four days after Bondi announced she might join an investigation into Trump University when a Trump family foundation gave $25,000 to a political group supporting Bondi’s re-election. After that money came in, Bondi said she would not pursue a lawsuit against Trump University. Two years later — one day before Florida’s crucial primary election — Bondi endorsed Trump for president.

Bondi has so far denied impropriety, calling the AP’s story “false and misleading.” But the situation is not going away, and calls to investigate Bondi over the donation are piling up.

Oh my!  As Shakespeare wrote in Macbeth "Double, double toil and trouble;  Fire burn, and caldron bubble."  I wonder when Republicans are going to take Trump's firey, bubbling caldron — his business acumen, his lying, his xenophobia etc — seriously.  It is already bubbling over and threatening to infect US politics so deeply that the Republican Party is at risk of death.  IMO, as Republicans stand today, no great loss at all.

My Universe

There is something about watching kittens play infront of mirrors that makes one giggle and yes, feel good!

 

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Jul 072016
 

Yesterday my Ocular Oncologist's lead technician and head nurse both called in sick.  Therefore, I did not get my appointment until after my ride home was scheduled and did not get home from my 11:00 AM appointment until after 4:00 PM.  The good news is that the eye is healing well.  There was no apparent shrinking of the tumor, but none is expected yet.  We'll know if it was successful in six months.  The bad news is that there is very little we can do to correct my horrible vision until after my six month evaluation,  I'm 20/30+ in my left eye and 20/300 in my right.  In addition I have cataracts in both an d gave pronounced double vision  I'm getting a late start, because I tried to nap after breakfast.  Store to Door is taking this week off, so I'm got my grocery delivery from Safeway.com.  I got everything put away.  I'm very pooped.  Tomorrow I have PT with Courtney.  I'm still on light duty, but I trust she'll find some minor tortures.  Please expect no more than a personal update tomorrow.  For the record, I have nothing to cover the murder of two more innocent black men by police.  First, everything I would say is being said already.  Second, I just can't wrap myself around how many there have been without screaming.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:02 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Don Christy is a self-described “patriot” and took it upon himself to join the 4th of July parade of vehicles in the Sheridan, Indiana. Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and a blonde wig, Christy shocked parade-goers with a doll meant to look like President Obama in a toilet with the words “Lying-African” underneath. From the IndyStar:

"I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican," Christy said. "I'm a patriot."

Christy said he is tired of political correctness and was just trying to be funny. The display was not intended to be racist, he said. Christy agreed that others have a right to be offended, just as he has the right to express his views.

"I apologize to anyone I offended, which would be a total liberal. I have my right to say things," Christy said. "Isn't that what the Fourth of July's about? Freedom.”

As noted by the large Trump signs on top of the golf car, Christy is a big fan of the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. He’s just tired of all this gosh-darned political correctness these days!

Bull!!  If this Racist Republican isn't one, then why is he goose stepping with the presumptive rectum of the Republican Party?

From NY Times: On July 28, 2002, roughly eight months before the American-led invasion of Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain sent President George W. Bush a personal note that alarmed some of Mr. Blair’s top national security aides — and was greeted with relief in Washington.

“I will be with you, whatever,” Mr. Blair wrote, in what appeared to be a blanket promise of British support if the United States went to war to topple Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader. Getting rid of Mr. Hussein was “the right thing to do,” Mr. Blair wrote, predicting that “his departure would free up the region.”

Fourteen years later, Mr. Blair’s pledge was revealed publicly on Wednesday as part of a voluminous, seven-year official investigation into how and why Britain went to war in Iraq.

The main conclusions in the report, by the independent Iraq Inquiry Committee, were familiar: that Britain, like the United States, used flawed intelligence to justify the invasion, that Iraq posed no immediate national security threat, that the allies acted militarily before all diplomatic options had been exhausted and that there was a lack of planning for what would happen once Mr. Hussein was removed.

There was a reason we called Blair "Bush's poodle". Both and more should be imprisoned for life.

From Alternet: Longtime Fox News host Gretchen Carlson shocked the media world on Wednesday by filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former boss, CEO Roger Ailes.

In her suit against Ailes, she also alleged that she faced a hostile work environment from many of her male colleagues including former Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy. Looking back on some choice clips of Carlson, we can see signs that she was sending out secret cries for help for years.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I can't help but believe that, after all the years of legs, cleavage, and batting her eyes like an obedient Republican bimbo,  she had to know why she was hired. I'm not defending Faux Noise sexism.  I abhor it, but she was clearly prostituting herself on camera for so long, that to cry foul at this point is hypocritical.

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Jul 032016
 

Yesterday Julie and I shared a small feast of BBQ baby back ribs.  The store brand was nowhere as good as the Tony Roma brand, but Killer Dawg did not seem to mind.  Julie says I have created a spoiled monster, but she spoils him just as much.  I’m running a bit late, because I overslept.  I must have needed it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:33 (average 5:39).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Well there you have it…  He thinks he is King of the World and she poses like she in an auditon for a James Bond movie.  The NRA endorsed Trump..  HA.  totally classless and  they call themselves conservative.  Hypocritical  right wing trashed our First Lady because she bared her arms differently.

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Michelle Obama has more class than any Republican, let alone their Presumptive Rectum and its nearly naked wife!

From Think Progress: A report by Mic revealed that the image originated a few days ago on the white supremacist message board /pol/.

Trump later deleted the tweet, keeping the original meme created on /pol/ but crudely replacing the star with a red circle.

Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, defended Trump’s use of the white supremacist meme Sunday morning on CNN’s State Of The Union. He said that critics were “reading into a thing that is not there.” He also blasted the “mainstream media” for buying into “political correctness run amok.”

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

All claims to reading something that isn’t there disappear with the revelation that the presumptive rectum of the Republican Party plagiarized the image from a White Supremacist site.  Are the mainstream media being politically correct? Hell NO!!! Otherwise they wouldn’t be paying Rump Dump’s shill.

From Alternet: Fox Newsians got very upset about minimum wage going up.

Highly punchable, smug Fox Business Newsian Stuart Varney thinks that raising the minimum wage is just terrible, and will probably lead to Armageddon.

He made no secret of his feelings about people possibly being able to make a living wage when he kicked off a panel discussion thusly:

“How about this one? It is July the 1st, minimum wage increases go into effect today in 15 cities spread across five states. I think this is the march towards $15 an hour. Want to go around the block here with everyone. First to you, Tammy. What do you think about this march to $15 — legislated wages?”

Ooohhh, scary. A march toward $15. Legislated wages.

Then, fellow panel member Tammy Bruce brought up another scary thing: Robots. “It’s a march towards robotics, is what it is. You’re going to have kiosks that are going to be able to sell things to people.”

Don’t tell her there are already kiosks selling things to people.

It could be worse than robots, Varney suggested, we could turn into Bermuda, which is a very expensive place.

Yikes. Not Bermuda.

Several agreed it was sad that 12-year-olds don’t bag groceries for tips anymore. Those were the days.

Varney did some quick math in his head. He’s a business guy, so he’s good with numbers. “$15 an hour, for a 40-hour week, is $30,000 a year. I mean, what—“

Someone interrupted. It’s hard to know where Varney was going with that. Was he suddenly realizing you can’t support a family on that? Or even a single person, in most places?

Hard to say what thoughts blew in the wind through those ears.

Oregon has been a leader in raising the minimum wage for years, and it hasn’t hurt a bit. This is just the fourth of five worst Republican moments listed this week. Click through for the other four.

Cartoon:

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Jun 262016
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how jarringly idiotic InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

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Idiot Fox Newsians celebrate gunman in German movie theater.

Monica Crowley and Stuart Varney made themselves comfy in the fact-free zone as the incident in Germany where a gunman stormed a movie theater was unfolding. But the lack of any information whatsoever did not keep them from speculating and celebrating a little bit.

First, British ex-pat, arch-conservative business commentator Stuart Varney admitted he knew nothing, and said he was “not going to speculate,” but, “Is this another, somewhat similar, terror-related case? I don’t know that. I don’t know who the shooter is, his name, nationality, or wherever he came from. I don’t know that, but the incident is very similar. Therefore, there could be political repercussions to the shooting…”

Ooh, Monica Crowley jumped in too, also not to speculate, but, “I don’t want, I’m not going to stretch this, but a terror, if it’s a terror incident or an incident of this kind, that’s for Trump. That is a plus for Donald Trump, isn’t it?”

Yes! Varney didn’t speculate, because every bad thing that happens, including Trump himself, is good for Trump, because he projects all this leadership and decisiveness and strength and never troubles himself by actually knowing about things.

Meanwhile, Trump rode around his golf course in Scotland, wondering what the Brexit is, speculating on whether it could benefit him, and protecting his perimeter from knowledge.

Maybe we can we arrange a Vexit? (Varney exit.) And a Crexit? (Take Crowley with you too.)

Or maaayyybe, and this is just a thought, a full-scale Foxit.

Can we get a second to that motion?

From <Alternet>

I was able to find the actual video.

Barf Bag Alert!!

In fact, the shooter turned out to be just a Caucasian German teenager with no links to terrorism at all.  Foxit is a great idea!!

This is just the fourth of five listed jarringly idiotic Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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Jun 242016
 

I had a relatively quiet day doing a few loads of laundry.  Lucia called early this morning to cancel our session so time opened up.  The babes spent the day sleeping and trying to follow me to the laundry in the basement.  They are not allowed down there because they won't help folding and they leave fur all over the clean laundry.  The weekend looks quiet too.

Short Takes

The New Yorker — Across the United Kingdom on Friday, Britons mourned their long-cherished right to claim that Americans were significantly dumber than they are.

Luxuriating in the superiority of their intellect over Americans’ has long been a favorite pastime in Britain, surpassing in popularity such games as cricket, darts, and snooker.

But, according to Alistair Dorrinson, a pub owner in North London, British voters have done irreparable damage to the “most enjoyable sport this nation has ever known: namely, treating Americans like idiots.”

“When our countrymen cast their votes yesterday, they didn’t realize they were destroying the most precious leisure activity this nation has ever known,” he said. “Wankers.”

In the face of this startling display of national idiocy, Dorrinson still mustered some of the resilience for which the British people are known. “This is a dark day,” he said. “But I hold out hope that, come November, Americans could become dumber than us once more.”

Oh Andy!  And here I thought that English football (soccer) was the most precious leisure activity.  Although now that I think about it, football is a calling . . . almost a religion!  Let's hope that the final British wish does not come true.

Alternet — In a stunning and historic move, citizens of the United Kingdom voted Thursday to leave the European Union—a decision colloquially dubbed the "Brexit"—making the U.K. the first country to voluntarily withdraw from the 28-member political and economic bloc.

The vote is seen as a referendum on globalization, combining the economic impact of EU trade regulations with the fearful refrain about immigration, which, for many pro-Brexiters, is bolstered by the Schengen visa agreement that allows those who have gained entry to an EU member state to move freely among other EU countries. Supporters of the Brexit cited the EU's onerous regulations, dissatisfaction with Britain's recovery after the 2008 recession and concerns over immigrant access to Britain's strained resources as their top reasons for leaving.  …

Brexit by age

For Britons, those perhaps most impacted by the Brexit vote are the people who wanted it the least (a trend paralleled in the United States as young voters overwhelmingly declare their hatred of Trump's nationalistic bloviating). An incredible majority of younger voters opted to stay in the EU. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 75 percent voted to remain, according to a YouGov poll, as did a majority of voters aged 25 to 49.

I have seen a number of petitions asking the British government to allow 16  and 17 year olds to vote in the referendum.  The younger groups of voters are the ones that will have to deal with the results of leaving the EU.  In a Think Progress article which I read earlier, those most affected by the Brexit decision will be the working class.  Yet it is to those same people that the leave side sold the idea of increasing fortunes after leaving the EU.

"Ultimately, the British economy has suffered alongside much of the E.U. over the course of the past few years, and those most affected have been blue collar workers. The 2008 financial crisis dealt a hard blow to working families, who still earn £40 less per week than they did before the crash. They have also faced growing obstacles to higher education and increasing challenges when eyeing upward mobility. Questions about the impact of globalization, single markets, and inequality are all fair and long overdue — but so far, it’s clear that Brexit was marketed to voters as something it is not."

Another point it made was that the leaders of the leave side, like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, are wealthy individuals, not working class.  The article is well worth reading.

Think Progress — As House Democrats fed up with Congress’ lack of response to America’s gun violence epidemic continued their #NoBillNoBreak sit-in into the wee hours of Wednesday night, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) came down to the House floor to confront them about what he perceives to be the real problem.

“We are talking about radical Islam! Radical Islam killed these people!” Gohmert shouted  …

Orlando aside, many recent mass shootings haven't involved Islam at all. In fact, a recent study found that Americans are seven times more likely to be killed by a right-wing extremist than they are by a Muslim terrorist.

Thursday morning, Gohmert went on Fox News to talk about the House floor confrontation. Instead of discussing the role he believes radical Islam plays in American gun violence, he decried gun free zones and immigration, saying, "If this administration would protect us from people coming in, then we wouldn't have to worry" as much about terrorism. (None of the nearly 800,000 refugees settled in the United States since September 11, 2001 has been involved in plotting a credible terrorist attack.)

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

I had originally thought to include this video in a dedicated story about gun control but given the fast moving events this week, I'll forego that article and put it here.  Sam Bee is always good to watch.  If you want to read the base article see Politico.

Why is it that Americans are so obsessed with guns?  After all the shootings such as Colorado, Orlando and Sandy Hook, just to name three of the many, there have been calls for action.  But lawmakers seem to be paralysed by fear of the NRA or their vision is clouded by other special interests and their money.  I watch with dismay as common sense gun control laws are tossed aside in favour of anyone having a gun at any time . . . or at least that's how it seems to this Canuck.  According to Mass Shooting Tracker, there have been 295 deaths and 707 wounded in US mass shootings thus far in 2016.  Do you think there is a problem here?  In Canada, where gun laws are stricter, a Conservative MP wants to see AR-15s removed from the restricted class of weapons.  Total lunacy!

My UniverseThis was a gift from the Napster (Lona) today.  These guys are just so cute! . . . and they remind me of how my 3 often sleep, although without the plant.  Thanks Lona!

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