Feb 132016
 

I’m running late, because I took a nap from Lona this morning.  I’m still quite busy.  Tomorrow a friend, with whom I have done volunteer work is stopping by to learn how to collapse my power chart and see if she can load it into her car.  If she can, we will probably go out for lunch.  My guys in prison are having a Community Impact meeting later this month, and since it’s in the Visiting Room, I may be able to go.  Monday I have a Urology appointment.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:26 (average 7:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From CNN: Residents of Flint, Michigan, began getting gravely ill and in some cases dying in summer 2014 in one of the worst outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in U.S. history, and a county health director says attempts to find the source were hampered when the state wouldn’t request federal assistance.

Genesee County Health director Jim Henry tells CNN in an exclusive interview he believes deaths could have been prevented, but the health department could not get help from the state of Michigan or the Centers for Disease Control to find the source. Eventually, 87 people got Legionnaire’s and nine died.

Henry, who was a supervisor at the time of the outbreak, says state officials purposely kept the CDC away once the county wanted to look at the highly corrosive Flint River as the Legionnaire’s uptick began. The state had decided to switch the water supply source to the Flint River, and soon brown water began flowing from taps in the city… [emphasis added]

Even if Flint River water was not the source of the infection, Republican Sturmbannführer Snyder murdered nine people by covering up his water crime, because his cover-up  prevented the discovery of the source.

From Tampa Bay Times: The hedge fund manager boasted that he had traveled to "every country" in the world, studying overseas stock markets as he fine-tuned an investment strategy to capitalize on global companies’ suffering because of economic or political turmoil.

But the fund manager had an even more distinctive credential to showcase in his marketing material in June 2013: He was a "U.S. congressman," Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Now he is also among the leading Democratic candidates for one of Florida’s U.S. Senate seats.

This highly unusual dual role — a sitting House lawmaker running a hedge fund, which until recently had operations in the Cayman Islands — has led to an investigation of Grayson by the House Committee on Ethics .

The inquiry has become public, but emails and marketing documents obtained by the New York Times show the extent to which Grayson’s roles as a hedge fund manager and a member of Congress were intertwined, and how he promoted his international travels, some with congressional delegations, to solicit business.

Interviews and the documents show that Grayson told potential investors in his hedge fund that they should contribute money to the fund to capitalize on the unrest he observed around the world, and to take particular advantage when there was "blood in the streets."

I’m not going to hide from this story, because of my past support for Alan, and I do agree with the Nevada Leg Hound, Harry Reid, that Alan should leave the Senate race for Border Booter’s seat. Until and unless Alan can prove his innocence, he cannot succeed, anyway. However, Leg Hound Harry has also virtually convicted Alan. If he is guilty, he does deserve our censure, but allegations are not definitive proof, and Democrats need to stop running scared from Republicans and throwing our own under the bus, before the investigations conclude.  That said, I have to admit, it looks bad,  Maybe our readers from FL can enlighten us.

From PRWafch: In the face of the Republican-led Congress’ hostility to the IRS clarifying the rules for nonprofit political activity, the tax agency has apparently given up.

The IRS has granted nonprofit status to Karl Rove’s dark money political operation, Crossroads GPS, which for the past five years has pushed the legal envelope in order to influence elections but keep its donors secret.

Formed in the wake of Citizens United, Crossroads GPS has been one of the biggest secretly-funded political players, raising and spending $330 million on election-related ads attacking Democratic candidates or praising Republicans, but without doing anything that might be described as advancing "social welfare." Although the majority opinion in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision endorsed disclosure of donors, in the five years following the decision, spending by secretly-funded 501(c)(4) nonprofits has exploded.

If Crossroads GPS can be granted nonprofit status, there may be few limits on how political operatives can use tax-exempt groups to dodge campaign finance disclosure laws. The Koch political network, for example, will have little fear of IRS enforcement as it spends almost $889 million this election cycle through its network of nonprofit groups.

If Rove Rat represents social welfare, rather than hidden election purchase, then this cat is really a dawg!

RoveRat

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Feb 062016
 

Yesterday I was completely exhausted.  This morning I did research, and felt so tired afterwards that I snaffled-up one of the naps Lona left and went back to bed for three hours.  Then I cooked pork chops, cornbread stuffing, and mixed veggies for four meals and froze three.  Then I made and ate a chicken sandwich and a mandarin for lunch.  Tomorrow is the highest holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos are meeting the Panthers.  Even though the Panthers are fellow felines, may the Orb bless my Broncos with its divine light.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:28 (average 4:26).  Birdie for the hungry kitty?  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Because nothing says “I care about you” more than making it a little more affordable to drink unsafe water, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has presented a plan to provide $30 million in water bill discounts and retroactive credits for Flint citizens. Huffington Post reports:

Snyder, a Republican, will make the case for the $30 million plan when he presents his budget next week for the coming fiscal year. Pending the state legislature’s approval, his proposal would lower residents’ bills by about 30 percent until water is safe to drink, and credit their past bills going back to April 2014. Former residents would also be eligible for refunds.

“I agree with Flint residents, that they should not have to pay for water they cannot drink,” Snyder said in a statement.

[…]

Flint’s average monthly water and sewer bill was $140 in 2014, much higher than neighboring cities, according to the Flint Journal. Under Snyder’s proposal, a family paying $140 would get about a $40 credit.

Sturmbannführer Snyder is such a compassionate soul… NOT He’s a typical greedy Republican, who wants to charge poor people $100+ per month for poison for their children!

From The New Yorker: Scandal rocked Bernie Sanders’s Presidential campaign on Friday as the candidate was forced to admit that he received free checking from several big banks.

In a press conference in Manchester, New Hampshire, a chastened Sanders acknowledged that, over the past two decades, he received free checking from Bank of America, Citibank, and JPMorgan Chase in exchange for maintaining a five-hundred-dollar minimum balance.

“I should have acknowledged my relationship with these banks earlier,” a subdued Sanders told reporters. “For that, I am sorry.”

The Clinton campaign immediately seized on the revelation, with one senior Clinton aide alleging that Sanders’s cozy relationship with the banks “effectively strips him of the label ‘progressive.’ ”

Dang Andy!! Free Checking?!!? How could Bernie do such a thing?11? Surprised smile Winking smile

From Think Progress: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has been offering increasingly tough talk on immigration as he steadily gains on Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in New Hampshire ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation primary on February 9.

As Trump has won over angry crowds across the state with speeches linking immigration to crime and terrorism, Rubio has begun to mimic his hard-line stance.

“The first thing we must do is make sure ISIS never gets into the United States using our immigration system,” he told a crowd in Laconia on Wednesday. He added that, if elected, he would hire 20,000 new Border Patrol agents, finish 700 miles of fences and walls along the U.S./Mexico border, and strip federal funding from “sanctuary cities” like Los Angeles, New York City, and Washington, D.C. Rubio also blasted the current system for legal immigration based on family reunification, saying that “maybe that worked okay in the 1950s,” but he would institute a system based solely on work skills.

You can count on the Latino hating Latino, Border Booter, to embody Republican bigotry.

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Feb 032016
 

Today is another relatively busy day.  I have a grocery delivery coming to put away, volunteer editing to do, meals to prepare, and my helper friend coming to help me wash and change the sheets on my hospital bed.  I did managed to get a full night’s sleep last night, and I needed it.  I still feel tired today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Take a minute to celebrate and discover these 25 black "firsts" from the last 25 years.

1. First African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress: Halle Berry (2002)

0203Halle

It’s Black History Month. I shared the first Black “first” listed. Click through for the other twenty-four.

From NY Times: The state-appointed emergency manager of the Detroit Public Schools, who had also managed the city of Flint and oversaw its decision to draw its water from the Flint River, resigned on Tuesday, the day before a congressional committee hearing in Washington on Flint’s water.

Michelle Zdrodowski, a spokeswoman for Detroit Public Schools, said the manager, Darnell Earley, had declined to testify before a panel investigating the widespread contamination of Flint’s tap water after the city switched its water source, which led to elevated blood lead levels throughout the city.

On Tuesday evening, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena for Mr. Earley to testify on Wednesday, but his lawyer, A. Scott Bolden, said Mr. Earley would not be able to appear.

I’m glad this Republican race-traitor lost his job. Rachel Maddow explains why the Republican House hearings are just a smoke screen to protect Sturmbannführer Snyder. 

I bet a fiver against a donut that the goose-stepping, sham committee will blame it on Obama or Hillary.

From Crooks and Liars: Rand Paul, the libertarian-minded freshman senator who was once viewed as a formidable presidential contender, is suspending his White House bid on Wednesday, several sources close to Paul told CNN.

 

I was happy to see that the Clown Car had barfed Upchuck Huck. I’m equally happy to see that it puked Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot!

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Jan 292016
 

I’m running quite late today.  Yesterday afternoon, my helper friend and I made six meals.  Last night I filled two barf bags, trash can, my coffee cup, my shirt pocket, and George.  Today Jeannie (shower-aide) left me with soft shiny fur.  Arvilla (PT) gave me a hard workout including a toilet transfer with my quad-cane, without using the disabled rails.  Then I walked around 225 ft. with my walker.  That’s almost double my previous best.  Then I did exercises, and maneuvered from the sink, paste the range, past the counter, to the refrigerator and back without my chair or my walker, using the surfaces for support.  I’m pooped!!  TGIF!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:19 (average 5:41).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The FBI has released video tonight of the shooting death of LaVoy Finicum to dispel any rumors that he had “had his hands up” and was trying to surrender to police. The FBI’s Special Agent in Charge Gregory T. Bretzing held a press conference to explain the events surrounding the arrest of Ammon Bundy (and others), along with the fatal shooting of LaVoy Finicum. Finicum can be seen running from the initial stop in his pick-up truck, with passengers Ryan Payne, Shawna Cox and a woman the FBI declined to identify. The video was captured by aerial camera and shows Finicum driving into a snow back, barely missing a law enforcement officer. He immediately jumped from the vehicle, at first with his hands up as he yelled at law enforcement, but then clearly reaching into his pocket multiple times, where the FBI says he did have a gun (update: a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic handgun.)

Here us a shortened, edited clip instead of the 26 minute clip included with the article. No significant parts were removed.

I have no doubt that the Republican terrorist was going for his gun, based on his previous statements and the loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol in the pocket. The officer was fully justified in shooting him. However, I would like to have seen a faster response time to try to save his life, if possible, after he was down.

From Media Matters: Student loan debt in America has reached a staggering $1.3 trillion, surpassing even credit card debt. But right-wing media figures have criticized efforts to combat student loan debt by pushing misinformation and blaming students for pursuing higher education…

…Blaming students for the student loan debt crisis ignores the facts and distracts from finding real solutions to America’s skyrocketing student debt burden.

 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Students should be able to pay for their education with their choice of military, national, or community service.

From NY Times: WHILE presidential candidates from both parties feverishly pitch their legislative agendas, voters should also consider what presidents can do without Congress. Agency rules, executive actions and decisions about how vigorously to enforce certain laws will have an impact on every American, without a single new bill introduced in Congress.

The Obama administration has a substantial track record on agency rules and executive actions. It has used these tools to protect retirement savings, expand overtime pay, prohibit discrimination against L.G.B.T. employees who work for the government and federal contractors, and rein in carbon pollution. These accomplishments matter.

Whether the next president will build on them, or reverse them, is a central issue in the 2016 election. But the administration’s record on enforcement falls short — and federal enforcement of laws that already exist has received far too little attention on the campaign trail.

I just released a report examining 20 of the worst federal enforcement failures in 2015. Its conclusion: “Corporate criminals routinely escape meaningful prosecution for their misconduct.”

Amen! Click through for the rest of this fine editorial by American National Treasure. Elizabeth Warren, and be sure to read her report.

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Republicans want to take your money and give it to the 0.1%

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Jan 282016
 

Nobody has given more and better coverage of the Republican water crimes of Sturmbannführer Snyder and his token lackey, Darnell Earley, City Manager of Flint, than Rachel Maddow.  I am not going to embed her Flint Town Hall videos here, but I will provide a link to them.  I want to make sure that you do not miss the the return of a native son to his home town.  Normally I never copy an entire article, but I’ll make exceptions with Open Letters, as that format means that the author cares most about spreading the information in it.  So without further ado, here is an open letter from Michael Moore.

0128michael

Many of you have contacted me wanting to know how you can help the people of Flint with the two-year long tragedy of drinking water contaminated by the radical decisions made by the Governor of Michigan. The offer is much appreciated by those who are suffering through this and who have not drank a glass of unpoisoned water since April of 2014.

Unfortunately, the honest answer to your offer of help is, sadly, you can’t.

You can’t help.

The reason you can’t help is that you cannot reverse the irreversible brain damage that has been inflicted upon every single child in Flint. The damage is permanent. There is no medicine you can send, no doctor or scientist who has any way to undo the harm done to thousands of babies, toddlers and children (not to mention their parents). They are ruined for life, and someone needs to tell you the truth about that. They will, forever, suffer from various neurological impediments, their IQs will be lowered by at least 20 points, they will not do as well in school and, by the time they reach adolescence, they will exhibit various behavioral problems that will land a number of them in trouble, and some of them in jail.

That is what we know about the history of lead poisoning when you inflict it upon a child. It is a life sentence. In Flint, they’ve already ingested it for these two years, and the toll has already been taken on their developing brains. No check you write, no truckloads of Fiji Water or Poland Spring, will bring their innocence or their health back to normal. It’s done. And it was done knowingly, enacted by a political decision from a Governor and a political party charged by the majority of Michigan’s citizens who elected them to cut taxes for the rich, take over majority-black cities by replacing the elected mayors and city councils, cut costs, cut services, cut more taxes for the rich, increase taxes on retired teachers and public employees and, ultimately, try to decimate their one line of defense against all this, this thing we used to call a union.

The amount of generosity since the national media finally started to cover this story has been tremendous. Pearl Jam sent 100,000 bottles of water. The next day the Detroit Lions showed up with a truck and 100,000 bottles of water. Yesterday, Puff Daddy and Mark Wahlberg donated 1,000,000 bottles of water! Unbelievably amazing. They acknowledged it’s a very short-term fix, and that it is. Flint has 102,000 residents, each in need of an average of 50 gallons of water a day for cooking, bathing, washing clothes, doing the dishes, and drinking (I’m not counting toilet flushes, watering plants or washing the car). But 100,000 bottles of water is enough for just one bottle per person – in other words, just enough to cover brushing one’s teeth for one day. You would have to send 200 bottles a day, per person, to cover what the average American (we are Americans in Flint) needs each day. That’s 102,000 citizens times 200 bottles of water – which equals 20.4 million 16oz. bottles of water per day, every day, for the next year or two until this problem is fixed (oh, and we’ll need to find a landfill in Flint big enough for all those hundreds of millions of plastic water bottles, thus degrading the local environment even further). Anybody want to pony up for that? Because THAT is the reality.

This is a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. There is not a terrorist organization on Earth that has yet to figure out how to poison 100,000 people every day for two years – and get away with it. That took a Governor who subscribes to an American political ideology hell-bent on widening the income inequality gap and conducting various versions of voter and electoral suppression against people of color and the poor. It was those actions that led Michigan’s Republican Governor to try out his economic and racial experiment in Flint (and please don’t tell me this has nothing to do with race or class; he has removed the mayors of a number of black cities. This, and the water crisis in Flint, never would have been visited upon the residents of Bloomfield Hills or Grosse Pointe — and everyone here knows that). We have now seen the ultimate disastrous consequences of late-20th century, neo-conservative, trickle down public policy. That word “trickle,” a water-based metaphor, was used to justify this economic theory — well, it’s no longer a metaphor, is it? Because now we’re talking about how actual water has been used to institute these twisted economic beliefs in destroying the lives of the black and the poor in Flint, Michigan.

So, do you still want to help? Really help? Because what we need in Flint – and across the country – right now, tonight, is a nonviolent army of people who are willing to stand up for this nation, and go to bat for the forgotten of Flint.

Here’s what you and I need to do:

  1. Demand the removal and arrest of Rick Snyder, the Governor of Michigan. When the police have an "active shooter" situation in a building, they must first stop the shooter before they can bring aid to the victims. The perp who allowed the poisoning to continue once he knew something was wrong — and his minions who cooked the evidence so the public and the feds wouldn’t find out – must be removed from office ASAP. Whether it’s via resignation, recall or prosecution, this must happen now because he is still refusing to take the aggressive and immediate action needed. His office, as recently as this past Thursday, was claiming the EPA had no legal authority to tell him what to do. You know the EPA — that federal agency every Republican politician wants eliminated? Governor Snyder is not going to obey the law. He has covered up the crime, and I submit he has committed an act of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Last month I posted a meme of me holding a pair of handcuffs with the hashtag #ArrestGovSnyder:
    It went viral, so I posted a petition (
    link) to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to arrest the Governor – and asking President Obama to send help to Flint immediately. As each day brought a new revelation of the Governor’s corruption or incompetence, and with Rachel Maddow on a nightly tear, the momentum built. MoveOn.org and Democracy For America joined me in circulating our petition. We are now on our way to having a half-million signatures! Then Bernie Sanders became the first candidate to call for the Governor’s removal. That same day, President Obama issued his first emergency order for Flint. The next night, Hillary Clinton fiercely called out the racist actions of the Governor.
    You want to help?
    Sign the petition
    – and get everyone you know to sign it. Now. Another half-million signatures could become the tipping point we need. All eyes are on Flint.
  2. Make the State of Michigan pay for the disaster that the State of Michigan created. The Governor wants the President to declare Flint a federal disaster zone and have him send federal money to fix the problem. Not so fast. All relief aid for Flint currently coming from the federal government to Michigan is going through the Governor’s office to disburse. That is literally paying the fox to fix the chicken coop he destroyed. As a Michigan resident and voter, I think that the people who elected Governor Snyder must show some of that personal responsibility they’re always lecturing about to the poor. The majority of my fellow Michiganders wanted this kind of government (they elected him twice), so now they should have to pay for it. This year the state treasury posted nearly a $600 million surplus. There is also another $600 million in the state’s “rainy day fund”. That’s $1.2 billion – just about what Flint’s congressman, Dan Kildee, estimates it will cost to replace the water infrastructure and care for the thousands of poisoned children throughout their growing years.
    And before there is any talk of federal tax dollars being used (and, yes, they will be needed), the state legislature must remove the billion-dollars’ worth of tax cuts the Snyder administration gave the wealthy when he took office. That will go a long way to helping not just Flint but Michigan’s other destitute cities and school districts.
  3. The Federal Government must then be placed in charge. The State government cannot be trusted to get this right. So, instead of declaring a federal disaster zone, President Obama must declare the same version of martial law that Governor Snyder declared over the cities of Flint and Detroit. He must step in and appoint a federal emergency manager in the state capitol to direct the resources of both the state and federal government in saving Flint. This means immediately sending in FEMA in full force. It means sending in the CDC to determine the true extent of not just the lead poisoning in the water, but also the latest outbreak that has been discovered in Flint – a tenfold increase in the number of Flint people who’ve contracted Legionnaires Disease. There have now been 87 cases since the switch to the Flint River water, and ten people have died. The local hospital has also noted sharp increases in a half-dozen other toxins found in people’s bodies. We need the CDC. The EPA must take over the testing of the water, and the Army Corps of Engineers must be sent in to begin replacing the underground pipes. Like the levees in New Orleans, this will be a massive undertaking. If it is turned over to for-profit businesses, it will take a decade and cost billions. This needs to happen right now and Obama must be in charge.
  4. Evacuate any and all Flint residents who want to leave now. They’ve suffered long enough and, until the water is truly safe, no one should have to stay there who doesn’t want to. The state and FEMA should move people into nearby white townships that are still hooked up to Lake Huron water.
  5. For those who choose to stay in Flint, FEMA must create a temporary water system in each home. One idea that has been suggested is to deliver two 55-gallon drums to every home in Flint. Each day water trucks will arrive to fill them with fresh clean glacial water from Lake Huron. The drums will have taps attached to them. People can’t be expected to carry jugs of water from buildings that are miles away.

In the end, we will need to create a new economy and bring new employment to this town that created the middle class, that elected the first black mayor, and that believed in and created the American Dream. They deserved more than to be poisoned by their own Governor — a Governor who thought that, because the people in the town were politically weak, he could get away with this unnoticed and without a fight. He figured wrong.

A crime against humanity has been committed against the people of Flint, making them refugees in their own homes. Tell me honestly: if you were living in Flint right now, and you learned that your children had been drinking lead-filled water for two years, and then you discovered that the Governor knew this and the state lied about it – tell me, just how fast would your head be spinning? With your children now poisoned, and with the poisoning continuing… is the word “nonviolence” dominating your thoughts right now? Are you absolutely, stunningly amazed how peaceful the people in Flint have remained? Are you curious how much longer that can last? I hope it does. If you want to help Flint, sign the petition, demand that the federal government take action, and then get involved yourself, wherever you live, so that this doesn’t happen to you – and so that the people we elect know they can no longer break the law as they rule by fiat or indifference. We deserve much better than this.

For a better world,

Michael Moore [emphasis original]

Inserted from <MichaelMoore,com>

Here’s the link to Rachel Maddow’s Flint Town Hall.

Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed Michael Moore in two segments.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Frankly, I agree with everything Michael had to say.

US taxpayers should not be bailing out Flint, while Snyder has $1.2 billion earmarked to provide welfare for billionaires.  If we do the billionaires will get the $1.2 billion and Republicans in DC will demand the federal spending be offset through cuts in earned entitlements and spending on the poor and middle classes.  Make Snyder cough up that money first and then examine the need for federal aid.

In another thread we have been discussing the need for Ammon Bundy and his followers to have the long-term use of an 8’ by 10’ patch federal real estate, with bars on the front side.  There crimes, serious as they are,  don’t even hold a candle to what Snyder has done.  Lock him up! He has given the weapons of class warfare a whole new level of brutality.

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Jan 282016
 

This morning, when I awakened, I found that the elevator is now working, so the dreaded task is now done, and I’m pooped.  Unfortunately, now I’m too sore and tired to make half a dozen meals, which was today’s chore.  My helper friend has disappeared again as she sometimes does.  She was supposed to be here Tuesday and did not show up, and I have been unable to reach her since.  That’s frustrating!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:19 (average 7:00).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Millions of Americans are expressing their resentment and outrage at being put in the appalling position of siding with the Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, a state of affairs that many are calling “intolerable.”

“Never in a million years did I envision a situation where I would be on the same side as Megyn Kelly,” Tracy Klugian, of Butte, Montana, said. “Now that I find myself in just such a situation, let me say this: it’s horrible. Truly horrible.”

“Putting people through the ordeal of siding with Megyn Kelly could be the worst thing Donald Trump has done in this campaign,” Jervis Kentwell, of Norwalk, Connecticut, said. “I know he thinks he’s invulnerable or whatever, but it’s hard to see him recovering from this.”

Andy is so right! I may sue Hateful Hairball over the pain and suffering it has caused me.

From Daily Kos: The latest massive offense the Obama administration has done to Wall Street is to come up with a rule telling financial services companies that their first duty is to their clients. That’s such an offensive requirement, Republicans in Congress have even been trying to derail it. Because nothing should stand in the way of profits for Wall Street, including the nest eggs of senior citizens. To prove how awful the whole idea is, American International Group Inc. (AIG)  decided they had to sell off, admitting that if they can’t screw old people out of money, then why bother?

"It’s a business we are not the best owner of, particularly in the light of potential Department of Labor rules," [CEO Peter] Hancock said Tuesday in a conference call updating investors on AIG’s strategy. "With the new DOL rules, that was a big factor in thinking whether this was better owned by somebody independent of us." […]

Hancock said the broker-dealer network earned about $40 million in 2014, yet consumed a "disproportionate amount" of AIG’s compliance cost.

Considering that the taxpayers of America loaned AIG over $67 billion in TARP funds to keep them out of bankruptcy, their attitude that they don’t want to play, unless they are allowed to rip-off seniors can best be described as Republican.

From Alternet: A series of exposés released this week shed further light on an often-overlooked form of war profiteering: charity organizations that raise millions of dollars under the auspices of serving wounded military veterans, only to inappropriately spend those funds.

Specifically, the Wounded Warrior Project is under the microscope, with a New York Times investigation finding that the well-heeled organization has spent “millions a year on travel, dinners, hotels and conferences that often seemed more lavish than appropriate.”

Such spending is no small matter, notes journalist David Philipps, as the charity “has evolved into a fund-raising giant, taking in more than $372 million in 2015 alone—largely through small donations from people over 65.” In fact, according to Philipps, the group is the largest and most rapidly-expanding organization in the country.

I’ve been emotionally tempted to give to them on a couple of occasions. I’m glad that I didn’t. Isn’t it a shame that Republicans have infested secular charities and are just as corrupt as they have been for ages in pseudo-Christian charities?

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Jan 272016
 

Ammon Bundy and his Republican Ammosexual terrorists invaded Oregon from red states like Arizona, Idaho, Nevada and Utah,.  They have been infesting our fair state for fat too long.  One of those thugs, LaVoy Finicum, is dead.  Several more Republican terrorists, including Ammon “Dumber than Al” Bundy are in custody.  Oregon is a little safer now, but I fear this will make America more dangerous.

0127Lavoy-Finicum-jpgOregon standoff spokesman Robert "LaVoy" Finicum was killed and other leaders of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation were arrested Tuesday after the FBI and state police stopped vehicles about 20 miles north of Burns.

Authorities did not release the name of the person who died at the highway stop, but Finicum’s daughter confirmed it was Finicum, 55, of Cane Beds, Arizona, one of the cowboy-hat wearing faces of the takeover.

"My dad was such a good good man, through and through," said Arianna Finicum Brown, 26, one of Finicum’s 11 children. "He would never ever want to hurt somebody, but he does believe in defending freedom and he knew the risks involved."

Ryan Bundy, 43, of Bunkerville, Nev., suffered a minor gunshot wound in the confrontation about 4:30 p.m. along U.S. 395. He was treated and released from a local hospital and was in FBI custody, authorities said.

Also arrested during the stop were his brother, Ammon Bundy, 40, of Emmett, Idaho, Ryan W. Payne, 32, of Anaconda, Mont., Brian Cavalier, 44, of Bunkerville, Nevada, and Shawna J. Cox, 59, of Kanab, Utah. They were charged with conspiracy to impede federal officers, a felony…

Inserted from <The Oregonian>

Here’s a brief video report from the area.

Considering how police have been so much less likely to kill armed Republican terrorists making threats than the are to kill unarmed black children, I have little doubt that the Republicans instigated the violence.  And while I do feel sorry for and offer condolences to Finicum’s family, I do so with the plea that they turn away from their father’s violence, terrorism and sedition.  His death means Oregon is a little safer that we were before, although the Ammosexual Republican terrorists that remain at the wildlife sanctuary seem to be spoiling for a fight.

Now that the Republican terrorist militias have a martyr, America may be more dangerous, as the praise and fame Republicans heap on Finicum may well prompt other deluded Republican wing-nuts to become terrorists.

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Jan 272016
 

Yesterday I learned that I’m making such good progress that I will no longer qualify for home health care after February 12th.  I can go out for PT and OT, but I’ll have to do it much less frequently, because of the copay and having to pay for transit,  The big hurt is that I’ll lose my shower-aide.  Medicare does not pay for long term personal care, and I make just  little too much too much to qualify for Medicaid.  I’m searching for a solution.  The dreaded task did not get done, because the building’s elevator has been out since Sunday night.  It was supposed to be fixed yesterday afternoon, but it was not.  We’ve actually had three day’s of relatively nice weather, and I’ve been trapped here.  ARGH!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 5:28).  Do I get a double dawgburger?  To di it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Carrie: Donald Trump Fan ?

A teacher asked her 6th grade class how many of them were Donald Trump fans.
Not really knowing what a Donald Trump fan is, but wanting to be liked by

the teacher​, all the kids raised their hands except for smart Little Johnny.

The teacher asked Little Johnny why he has decided to be different…

Little Johnny said, "Because I’m not a Donald Trump fan."

The teacher asked, "Why aren’t you a fan of Donald Trump?"

Johnny said, "Because I’m a Democrat."  The teacher asked him why he’s a Democrat.

Little Johnny answered, "Well, my Mom’s a Democrat and my Dad’s a Democrat, so I’m a Democrat."

Annoyed by this answer, the teacher asked, "If your mom was a moron and your dad was an idiot, what would that make you?"

With a big smile, Little Johnny replied, "That would make me a Donald Trump fan".

FOMCROTFPIMPLMAO!!!

From Daily Kos: This has been a difficult diary to write—not because it is a difficult subject, but because it was so hard to narrow it down to just four governors. Describing the damage that the 31 current Republican governors have done to the United States (and to their own states) would likely take a tome the length of War and Peace. You don’t have the time to read that, and as these men and women are still in office it would be impossible to keep up with the garbage legislation they keep unleashing on their citizens. So let’s just keep it to the top (er, bottom) four:

4. — Maine Gov. Paul LePage. This is a man who does not have the qualifications to be the county dog catcher. Yet inexplicably, he’s the governor of Maine. He is so petty that shortly after he took office he ordered murals representing working men and women taken down, as they were “pro-union.”

Now, if that was all he did he would not have made this list. But Gov. LePage is the gift that just keeps on giving. He has no filter when talking about his opponents—think Donald Trump, but worse. In short, he is a bully. Oh, and a racist too.

But no, we aren’t done yet: He used his political power to have an opponent fired from a job at a charter school. This brief write-up only scratches the surface of Gov. LePage. He is an awful human being, on top of being a lousy governor.

LePage is just number four. Click through for the bottom three Governors in the US, Republicans, of course.

From Upworthy: One of the first women of country to really "tell it like it is" was singer Loretta Lynn. She was never shy about her life.

Her song "The Pill" — released in 1975, 15 years after the birth control pill was introduced— was no exception. Take a listen:

 

I loved her music. Forty years later, the Republican Party would organize a boycott of her music. Don’t forget what they did to the Dixie Chicks!

Cartoon:

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Global warming, caused mostly by burning fossil fuels and Republican flatulence, causes extreme weather of all kinds, not just hot weather,

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Jan 262016
 

Republican Videographers Indicted!

Think back, if you will to the murders committed by Republican Ammosexual, Robert Dear, at the Planned Parenthood location in Colorado Springs.  He admitted that he did so over Planned Parenthood selling body parts, something they do not do.  Here are the seemingly unrelated findings of a Harris County grand jury.

0126PPVictims

A grand jury here that was investigating accusations of misconduct against Planned Parenthood has instead indicted two abortion opponents who made undercover videos of the organization.

Prosecutors in Harris County said one of the leaders of the Center for Medical Progress — an anti-abortion group that made secretly recorded videos purporting to show Planned Parenthood officials trying to illegally profit from the sale of fetal tissue — had been indicted on a charge of tampering with a governmental record, a felony, and on a misdemeanor charge related to purchasing human organs.

That leader, David R. Daleiden, 27, the director of the center, had posed as a biotechnology representative to infiltrate Planned Parenthood affiliates and surreptitiously record his efforts to procure tissue for research. Another center employee, Sandra S. Merritt, 62, was indicted on a felony charge of tampering with a governmental record.

The record-tampering charges accused Mr. Daleiden and Ms. Merritt of making and presenting fake California driver’s licenses, with the intent to defraud, for their April meeting at Planned Parenthood in Houston.

Abortion opponents claimed that the videos, which were released starting in July, revealed that Planned Parenthood was engaged in the illegal sale of body parts — a charge that the organization has denied and that has not been supported in numerous congressional and state investigations triggered by the release of the videos.

On Monday, the Harris County district attorney, Devon Anderson, said in a statement that grand jurors had cleared Planned Parenthood of any wrongdoing

Inserted from <NY Times>

You’ll fond the connection between the two crimes in Chris Hayes’ report and interview of Cecile Richards. President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund,

First, kudos to the Republican DA, who did her job and did not suppress the truth.  This is so uncommon among Republicans, that it is an occasion for high praise.  Her political career, as a Republican, is over.

The report confirmed that that the Republican terrorist, who committed the Colorado Springs murder admitted that the belief Planned Parenthood was selling body parts, occasioned by the  video, was the reason for his crime.

When a lesser felony leads to the commission of a murder by another person the perpetrator of the lesser felony is also charged with murder.  Therefore Daleiden and Merritt should be indicted for the murder of the three people pictured above.

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Jan 262016
 

Yesterday I finally found a way to exchange my sharps.  I cannot use the Metro facility, because it is hazardous for people in wheelchairs.  The Lift bus won’t wait for me.  Fortunately I found a private company that actually costs less than Metro, and they come right to my door.  Jeannie (shower-aide), just left, so I’m a perfumed pussycat with shiny fur again.   Arvilla (PT) will be here within the hour.  She’ll set-up my quad cane and work me out,  Tomorrow I hope to do part of the dreaded task, while Tracey (OT) checks me for safety.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:28 (average 5:32).  To do it click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The most hated man in America just gave another reason to be hated. As you know, there is a medical crisis going on in Michigan with every child in Flint potentially poisoned with lead. People, especially the poor, are still desperate for clean water. Ted Cruz has entered to do the Christian thing and donate—

But only for those who work in ultra-right wing, fake pregnancy “crisis” centers.

Likely, none of Ted’s water donation will get to the children who actually need the water. That would require working with a real charity, like the Red Cross. Instead, Ted’s campaign is coordinating water donations through Flint Right to Life only to be delivered to the ideologically-aligned wingnuts who work at these awful anti-abortion centers.

For those who don’t know, pregnancy "crisis" centers are places run by pro-life extremists, which are designed to fool women into thinking they are actual medical facilities. Instead, pregnant woman are bombarded with fake information in an attempt to trick them out of having an abortion. The people who work at these centers have no qualms about lying, instilling fear, or encouraging women in abusive relationships to stay put as long as there is no abortion.

It should be no surprise that, even in so-called charity, Uranus Inspector, however you spell it, acts just like a Republican.

From The New Yorker: On Saturday, the Times reported that the former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg “has instructed advisers to draw up plans for a potential independent campaign in this year’s presidential race.” From one perspective, that isn’t too surprising. The former mayor has long been eyeing a possible run at the White House, and there has been a lot of speculation about his intentions in 2016. Last week, a well-connected New York Republican told me that he thought Bloomberg would jump in if Donald Trump won the G.O.P. nomination.

While third party candidates on the left hurt progressives and only help elect Republicans, right-wing third party candidates are a blessing to America. They help elect Democrats.

From Alternet: Nationwide blowback targeting Muslim places of worship has now reached South Milwaukee, Wisconsin–where a group calling itself the Christian Civil Liberties Union (CCLU) is aggressively opposing the construction of a new mosque.

The religious facility–Masjid Al-Hudad–does not require prior approval from the city and has already acquired the property on which it will be built.

But that is not stopping the far-right, Christian fundamentalist group CCLU from mobilizing fierce opposition, including at a Common Council meeting last Tuesday.

At the public meeting, CCLU member Bob Braun issued an unclear–but highly alarming–warning. "There’s going to be, I predict, bloodshed one of these years coming up," he said, according to local media.

Here we have one more in the long list of examples of Republican domestic terrorism.

Cartoon:

0126Cartoon

Vulture Capitalism is the Republican way!

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Jan 252016
 

Since the Preamble to the Constitution of The Unites States includes “promote the general welfare”: as a purpose for  our government, it is clear that, at all levels, government should take on the tasks, called public goods, that do so.  On the other hand, there are two ways to describe it, when government, at any level, abandons public goods to the detriment of its citizens: criminal and Republican.

0125flint

In the 1850s, London, the world’s largest city, still didn’t have a sewer system. Waste simply flowed into the Thames, which was as disgusting as you might imagine. But conservatives, including the magazine The Economist and the prime minister, opposed any effort to remedy the situation. After all, such an effort would involve increased government spending and, they insisted, infringe on personal liberty and local control.

It took the Great Stink of 1858, when the stench made the Houses of Parliament unusable, to produce action.

But that’s all ancient history. Modern politicians, no matter how conservative, understand that public health is an essential government role. Right? No, wrong — as illustrated by the disaster in Flint, Mich.

What we know so far is that in 2014 the city’s emergency manager — appointed by Rick Snyder, the state’s Republican governor — decided to switch to an unsafe water source, with lead contamination and more, in order to save money. And it’s becoming increasingly clear that state officials knew that they were damaging public health, putting children in particular at risk, even as they stonewalled both residents and health experts.

This story — America in the 21st century, and you can trust neither the water nor what officials say about it — would be a horrifying outrage even if it were an accident or an isolated instance of bad policy. But it isn’t. On the contrary, the nightmare in Flint reflects the resurgence in American politics of exactly the same attitudes that led to London’s Great Stink more than a century and a half ago.

Let’s back up a bit, and talk about the role of government in an advanced society…

Inserted from <NY Times>

Photo credit: Rolling Stone

Click through.  In this fine editorial, Paul Krugman goes on to explain how the Flint catastrophe is not the exception, but the norm of how Republicans govern.  We can expect more disasters, short and long term, anywhere Republicans have sufficient power to eliminate public goods,

Every Republican in office is one Republican too many!

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Jan 232016
 

The more Republicans come to realize that they can’t win elections fairly, the more they resort to one of their alternate election strategies.  The first is lying, and that they do in virtually all elections.  The second is cheating, like disenfranchising Black and Hispanic legal voters, guiding people to the wrong precincts, etc.  And more and more often, they steal the election outright.  The following is an extreme example.

0123TullosMississippi is the reddest state in the Union, but there are still some Democrats who serve in their state legislature. And until recently, there were enough of those Democrats to stop Republicans from having a supermajority in both branches of their state Legislature.

But not any more. Incumbent Democrat Blaine Eaton ran against Republican Mark Tullos. It was a close race. So close, in fact, that the certified results yielded a tie — each candidate had 4,589 votes.

Under Mississippi law, a tie is broken by drawing straws. Yes, I know. It’s a bizarre way to settle a tie, but there it is. Eaton drew the long straw, and that’s where the story should have ended.

But this is a Republican state, and it’s governed by greedy Republicans. (As an aside, it’s also one of the poorest states in the Union. Is there a correlation there?) They wanted their supermajority, and by God, they were going to get it.

On Tuesday, the Republican majority tossed out five provisional ballots in an election where the counts had already been certified in order to award the seat to Mark Tullos and complete their supermajority… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

Usually Republicans aren’t so blatant about stealing election, but in districts where Republicans control the vote-counting, there is a consistent deviation of 4% to 7% between raw exit polling data and the election result, always in the Republicans’ favor.  In districts where Democrats control the vote-counting the deviation is under 2%, in neither party’s favor.  We need to demand that all electronic voting machines have a paper trail.  Consider this:

Fair Voting Elects Fewer Republicans!

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