Jul 282015
 

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

Jig Zone Puzzle:

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

Short Takes:

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

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

From Daily Kos: Spot the difference

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

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

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

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

The contrast is absurd, intolerable, and Republican.

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

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

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

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

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Jul 042015
 

It’s Independence Day, and here in Portland the killer heat wave goes on.  I’d like to wander downstairs tonight  to see if I can watch the fireworks at Waterfront Park (11,800 shots) from the corner, by looking down Oak St., but that will have to wait until next year.  It will still well over 80°.  ARGH!  You all have a safe, happy day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took 3:16 (average 5:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Alternet: Thursday night, Jon Stewart recapped Donald Trump’s latest PR embarrassment. After calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" last week and suffering the entirely predictable and righteous backlash, Trump went on a media tour to explain his strange, racist diatribe.

 

Jon is spot on. He has Hairball pegged to the roots.

From Crooks and Liars: While discussing an admittedly flawed online poll asking whether or not the Americans responding would consider leaving the United States to go live in another country (with 55 percent of millennials responding in the affirmative due to the economy) the yappers on Fox’s The Five did their best to try to pretend that the economy hasn’t been improving during the Obama administration, and to push the latest right wing talking points about the declining labor participation rates.

Co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle also used the opportunity to attack millennials as a bunch of lazy moochers who just want free stuff. How dare they want to live in a country where they have a chance to get a good education, have adequate health care coverage and a job that pays a living wage?

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Here we have a perfect example of why people who get their information from Faux Noise are more poorly informed that people who have no access at all to news.

From Daily Kos: Looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell isn’t bowing to the wishes of Scott Walker and Jeb Bush on ending the Senate’s filibuster rule in order to ease the path to repealing Obamacare. Alexander Bolton has the details:

Sources close to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) say there’s virtually no chance he will go along with abolishing the filibuster, something he has strongly criticized in the past. […] 

Bush and Walker recently told conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt they would support lowering the threshold for major legislation from 60 votes to a simple majority. Curbing the power of the Senate minority would make it easier to repeal and replace ObamaCare in 2017.

I have to confess that I was wrong about this. I have said many times thaat Bought Bitch Mitch would use the nuclear option, if Republicans took control of the Senate. What I failed to take into account is that the odds that Democrats will retake the Senate in November 2016 are so high that Bought Bitch Mitch fears losing the ability to be a filibastard then.  When I’m wrong, I say so.

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Jun 232015
 

I seem to be coming down with a cold.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:55 (average 5:42).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

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

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: So I was minding my own business last night watching TV when I saw this amazing commercial for Tylenol. I paused the TV and yelled for my husband to come into the room and I rewound and showed it to him. We were both blown away.

 

Kudos to Tylenol. Somehow I think Republicans will be experiencing a lot more pain, as they refuse to take it to express their hatred of black-white and LGBT marriages.

From Alternet: On last night’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart ran a montage of conservative commentators and Fox hosts berating liberals for bringing up race and gun reform after the shootings in Charleston, S.C.

Barf Bag Alert!!

Jon did a great job of exposing Republican support for all things racist.

From MSNBC: Rachel Maddow reviews the history of white segregationist Citizens’ Councils in the American South and transformation into the Council of Conservative Citizens, a recurring embarrassment for GOP politicians and cited influence of the Charleston shooter.

 

Just as the White Citizens Councils morphed into the Conservative Citizens Council to hide from their violent past, the latter will escape the consequences they face now by morphing into another equally hateful, equally racist, and equally violent organization. And Republicans will flock to support that group, until it gets tied to another tragic hate crime. Then Republicans will claim they did not know. How many must die, before America realizes that the Republican Party knowingly supports white supremacist policies, hatred, and violence?

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Jun 192015
 

I’m still very tired after yesterday’s visit to the Orthopedist, but not so much so that I come empty handed.  One thing really impressed me about them.  When I was done, I had to wait for the LIFT bus for an hour and a half in a small alcove on the ground floor.  Knowing I would be stuck there people from their office came down to check on me three separate times.  I consider that superior service.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:29 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

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

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: Ideas to Save the Economy: End Mass Incarceration

 

The Reich on the left is right again, as I know so well. I would add a #5. Switch from retributive justice to restorative justice. This is the tenth and final video of the series. Click through to MoveOn to share it from there. Bringing this series to you has been a privilege.

From Daily Kos:

In 2014, I published two stories about the surreptitious attempts by the Koch brothers to bribe their way into the academic freedom and integrity of FSU/Florida State University. The most recent story can be found in this link. For several years, FSU students, along with faculty, alumni, and concerned citizens have been adamantly dissenting the Koch influence on campus. One of the many dedicated and relentless activists in the movement is Ralph Benton Wilson. This week he contacted me with some promising news:

"FSU students have released a report (May 28th) revealing new evidence regarding the university’s agreement with the CFK/Charles Koch Foundation. Not only does the report find that the Koch agreement violates FSU’s donor policy but, contrary to university claims, the agreement was found to violate academic policy by a 2011 faculty senate investigation whose numerous findings appear to have been suppressed until being published in the student report. (Other suppressed findings include the manner in which the agreement was "forced" upon the department through threats and intimidation despite severe faculty dissent.)"

"The student report makes several recommendations which have been submitted as public comment in FSU’s current review of its donor policy. As of June 4, FSU has conceded to half of the recommendations in the student report, but we are continuing to pressure them to accept the remaining recommendations. A new public comment period is open until midnight, June 25. We are calling on the public to submit comment so that we may once and for all have a donor policy that protects FSU from the undue influence of any donor."

Wilson also sent several links, which I have included below.

If the Koch Brothers are trying to steal FSU and convert it to a propaganda mill, you can be sure they are doing so all over. Check locally to make sure you’re colleges and universities are not forced to teach only how to suck … nevermind.

From Media Matters: Fox’s Steve Doocy: It’s Extraordinary That Charleston Church Shooting Is Being Called A Hate Crime

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I don’t know where they got that "pastor", but because is title is "Bishop" I have a pretty good guess. The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, is acting as if SC did not already have a long history of racist violence against black churches, so they can misrepresent this incident as part of the left wing war, which does not exist, against Christianity. Not only that, the shooter is clearly a White Supremacist.

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Jun 122015
 

I didn’t get as much sleep as I needed, but enough to write.  The heat wave is past, so kitty solar basking can wait until afternoon.  TGIF!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:41 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

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

Short Takes:

From PRWatch: Jeb Bush is the highest profile speaker at a secretive three-day retreat in Bristol, Virginia, hosted by the CEOs of six coal companies, according to materials for the invitation-only event obtained by the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) and shared with the Guardian.

The event, dubbed the "Coal & Investment Leadership Forum," which started Sunday and goes through Tuesday, is taking place at an exclusive private golf course and resort called the "Olde Farm," owned by the founder of United Coal Company, Jim McGlothlin. The private country club is known for its annual golf tournament in which players take sides in the Civil War for the South or the Union and which is described by McGlothlin as "our most cherished tradition."

In addition to United Coal, the forum is being hosted by the CEOs of five other coal companies: Alliance Resource Partners, Alpha Natural Resources, Consol Energy, Drummond Company, and Arch Coal.

Strike Three is clearly ready to suck a little nevermind.

From Daily Kos:

Alberto Iber is in hot water after took to the comments section of a Miami Herald article on the Texas pool party to defend the Texas officer who pulled a gun on unarmed teens:

The Miami-Dade County school district announced Wednesday that Alberto Iber had been removed as principal after going online to defend a white Texas police officer who waved a gun at black teens while responding to a call about an unruly pool party.

In a brief statement, the district said employees are required to conduct themselves, both personally and professionally, in a manner that represents the school district’s core values. The district said a replacement would be named shortly and that Iber would be reassigned to administrative duties.

I fully agree with this action, especially considering that 88% of the students ay Iber’s school are black. He was a Republican disaster waiting to happen.

From Media Matters: Rupert Murdoch is reportedly planning to step down as CEO of Fox News parent company 21st Century Fox "and hand that title to his son James," according to CNBC. James Murdoch previously resigned his role as the head of News International — which published several tabloids and newspapers abroad — amid the widespread scandal over phone hacking at News of the World, a since-shuttered UK tabloid he oversaw. As part of the fallout from that scandal, Murdoch also resigned his position as chairman of UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB.

According to CNBC, "Rupert Murdoch will continue to be the executive chairman of Fox, while his son Lachlan would also become an executive co-chairman of the company."

James Murdoch has reportedly drawn the ire of Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who allegedly called him a "fucking dope" over his inability to contain the hacking scandal. (Fox News media critic Howard Kurtz claims that despite James Murdoch’s new position, "Ailes will still report to Rupert.")

No matter whish Murdoch is in charge, Faux Noise will continue, as the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, to keep offering infoganda for brain dead sheeple.

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Jun 072015
 

With a forecast high of 92° and high humidity, I need to get my kitty sun basking in early, before it gets too hot.  The hallways of this building are still so hot, even in the early AM, that I cannot open the door to cook without losing the AC, so it’s lunchmeats and microwaveables today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:37 (average 5:52).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Classic: 1/2015): American Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys are disgusted that Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker chose to use their music for his intro at the Iowa Freedom Summit Saturday.

They’re especially peeved because this isn’t the first time Walker or his "cronies" have used Dropkick Murphys’ music at a political event.

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I’m not a punk fan, but I sure give them kudos for their reaction to the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan.

From NY Times: The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission has proposed expanding a telephone subsidy program to help the poor gain access to high-speed Internet service. A few Republican lawmakers — notably John Thune of South Dakota in the Senate and Fred Upton of Michigan in the House — have complained of fraud in the existing program. The complaints are overblown and are no reason to undermine an excellent idea.

The subsidy program, known as Lifeline, was created in 1985, when home telephone service was essential to all Americans. In the last decade, high-speed Internet service, or broadband, has become just as important. But many poorer Americans cannot afford broadband; the F.C.C. estimates less than half of all households earning less than $25,000 a year have high-speed service at home, while more than 95 percent of those with incomes of $150,000 or more have it.

Under the proposal by the chairman, Tom Wheeler, Americans who qualify for Lifeline could chose to apply the program’s $9.25 a month subsidy toward wired or wireless Internet service. Currently, people can use the money only for a home phone or mobile phone service. To qualify, people have to make less than 135 percent of the federal poverty level or already receive benefits like Medicaid, food stamps or federal housing vouchers.

I fully support this. Internet access is more important today than telephone access was 30 years ago.

From Crooks ands Liars: As we discussed here back in April, the CEO of a credit card processing company in Seattle, Dan Price, decided to lower his pay to $70K a year and give all of his employees a raise. Which of course had the yappers over on Faux "news" going nuts, and attacking Price as a socialist who is just out to get attention.

Their little tirade drew this response from Russell Brand, who called took apart the Cashin’ In crew apart for their callousness and utter disregard those struggling to get by in America:

On this Saturday’s Cashin’ In, the talking heads were outraged!!!… outraged I tell you that a high school sociology teacher would dare to use Russell Brand’s video as part of a class on poverty in America and how it’s treated in the media.

As we discussed here back in April, the CEO of a credit card processing company in Seattle, Dan Price, decided to lower his pay to $70K a year and give all of his employees a raise. Which of course had the yappers over on Faux "news" going nuts, and attacking Price as a socialist who is just out to get attention.

Their little tirade drew this response from Russell Brand, who called took apart the Cashin’ In crew apart for their callousness and utter disregard those struggling to get by in America:On this Saturday’s Cashin’ In, the talking heads were outraged!!!… outraged I tell you that a high school sociology teacher would dare to use Russell Brand’s video as part of a class on poverty in America and how it’s treated in the media.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Note that the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, is treating Brand’s satirical humor as literal, but Brand did go too far in one way. Comparing a Faux Noise talking head, Jonathan Hoenig, to a rat is too insulting… to the rat.

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Jun 052015
 

I’d like to say that I’m well rested, but unfortunately I have reached the level of tired that sleep does not come easily.  Maybe a low-key weekend with lots of kitty basking in the sun will help.

Cartoon:

Today’s took me 3:25 (average 4:24).  To do it, click here.  Hiw did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The Guardian UK has decided to keep a running total of ALL people killed by police in 2015, and keep a live running total that you can check on their website.

They break it down demographically and by state to make it easy to see what is happening in this nation.

It's even interactive. You can give them info, that they might not have been given by local agencies where you live.

Can you imagine any entity in our so called free press doing something like this?

Kudos to the Guardian. Click here.

From Upworthy: As you surely know by now, Caitlyn Jenner introduced herself on the cover of Vanity Fair.

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Only one group have a problem with Caitlyn being who she is: Republicans.

From Media Matters: The Fox News Primary For May

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The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, is goose-stepping early and often.

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Had Republicans not had him murdered, he probably would have won.

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