Jul 212014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 91.  I feel quite tired, because, between aches and cravings, I have been unable to sleep since people in the building woke me up at 3:00 AM to ask me if the dead cat they found in front of the building is mine.  Poor cat.  Hopefully I can catch a few Zzzz this afternoon. (I did).

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:54 (average 5:19).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) dropped his plans to sue President Obama on Friday, explaining to reporters, “I realized it would mean doing something.”

In a brief appearance before the press, Speaker Boehner talked about his gradual realization that “filing a lawsuit requires effort and, yes, work.”

“I came to the conclusion that while suing the President would be the best thing for the American people, it would also require that I do something,” he said, struggling to retain his composure. “And that would be a betrayal of everything I stand for.”

As right on as Andy is about Agent Orange, he forgot that the purpose of the3 lawsuit is to do nothing, while merely appearing to do something.

From Daily Kos: As I introduce my new Center Against Religious Extremism report Hobby Lobby Case Linked To Secretive National Prayer Breakfast Group, "The Family"),

"In 2010 on MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, author Jeff Sharlet publicly accused "The Family", which hosts the National Prayer Breakfast, of being directly responsible for the notorious Uganda Anti Homosexuality Bill, signed into law in early 2014. As this Center Against Religious Extremism (CARE) special report demonstrates, The Family is also tightly linked, through its affiliate The Gathering [fascist pseudo-Christians delinked], to the controversial Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case which gave broad new religious freedom rights to private corporations." 

Last September, three generations of the Green family – owners of the Hobby Lobby craft store chain and central plaintiffs in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Supreme Court Case – attended The Gathering 2013 along with a Christian nonprofit that played a supporting "air traffic control" role in the Hobby Lobby case and also litigated Conestoga Woods v. Sebelius. Also present at The Gathering 2013 was the National Christian Foundation, which has funded the law nonprofits that litigated both the Conestoga and Hobby Lobby cases.

Because gay rights was the initial analytic vantage point from which I began studying "The Gathering [fascist pseudo-Christians delinked]", this new CARE report of mine is packed with with material on The Gathering as a central hub of evangelical anti-LGBTQ activism. But this concerns far more than gay rights.

This is the same group operates C Street, helps Republican politicians cover up their own scandals. Sen. Ensign’s bribery of his mistress’ husband is one notorious example. They also have advised GOP Pootie on how to better discriminate against Russian LGBT people. They are Dominionists, so they reject the First Amendment. Their attempt to make being gay a capital offense in Uganda was a test bed for doing the same here. Click through for an extensive exposé.

From Think Progress: Rep. Tom Marino’s (R-PA) press secretary was arrested on Friday for bringing a gun into the U.S. Capitol building. Ryan Shucard, press secretary for the congressman, allegedly brought a 9mm handgun and magazine into one of the House office buildings, reports Roll Call, but was promptly stopped by Capitol Police and detained. He is being charged with carrying a pistol without a license, a felony.

This is a new level of Republican ammosexuality.

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Jul 102014
 

The closer to an election we get, the greater the likelihood that the Republican bubble machine will invent an eleventh hour scandal.  More often than not, Republicans just invent the lies that they present as news.  However, in 2012, it’s possible that a foreign government may have used the Republican bubble machine to propagate a lie that almost cost an innocent Senator his job.

0710Menendez

Sen. Robert Menendez is asking the Justice Department to pursue evidence obtained by U.S. investigators that the Cuban government concocted an elaborate plot to smear him with allegations that he cavorted with underage prostitutes, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In a letter sent to Justice Department officials, the senator’s attorney asserts that the plot was timed to derail the ­political rise of Menendez (D-N.J.), one of Washington’s most ardent critics of the Castro regime. At the time, Menendez was running for reelection and was preparing to assume the powerful chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

According to a former U.S. official with firsthand knowledge of government intelligence, the CIA had obtained credible evidence, including Internet protocol addresses, linking Cuban agents to the prostitution claims and to efforts to plant the story in U.S. and Latin American media… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Rachel Maddow provided in depth coverage of the history of political hooker scandals, focusing on the hypocrisy of Republicans, and demonstrating how Republicans create news.

 

Internationals, for whom MSNBC video is blocked, can see this clip on YouTube.

It’s a shame I lost content on Blogger prior to 2010, because I had some great fun with the Jeff Gannon incident.  A couple old timers might remember me saying that perhaps he gave Cheney poo fun times in an undisclosed location.  Prior to this family-values Republican being outed, Ann Coulter, the Coultergeist, had gone on about how hot he is.

The hypocrisy of Tucker Carlson’s transformation between Diaper Dave Vitter and Menendez is a perfect example of hypocrisy the Republican Party personifies.  And consider this.  If that “former US official” cited in the Post article is a Republican, I consider it quite probable that this source was just trying to deflect blame to Cuba for what was just another Republican attempt to steal an election with an invented eleventh-hour scandal.

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Jul 092014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 79.  It’d 89° outside, but my A/C is keeping me in cool cat mode.  Stepping into the hallway of the building is like walking into an oven.  Tomorrow is grocery delivery day from Store to Door.  I’ll have ice water ready for Mary.  She deserves it.  On Friday I have physical therapy, and on Saturday I have a meeting I can’t postpone.  Both involve a few blocks walk in the heat, so I’ll probably be pooped this weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:11 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: The below video from Vice News has me feeling pretty apoplectic. That’s right, I had to use a 5-cent word for angry because I’m afraid the landlords below will evict me from this post if I don’t.

 

As a former landlord, I can appreciate the plight of property owners, when tenants become squatters, who refuse to pay. However, Arkansas is on the other extreme, and it’s gross injustice. Although the video maker evades assigning blame, Republicans control the AR legislature.

From TPM: House Republicans escalated their confrontation with President Barack Obama on climate change Tuesday with the release of government funding legislation that reverses the administration’s new rules to limit coal pollution.

The legislation, released by the House Appropriations subcommittee on interior and environment, is one of 12 appropriations bills to keep the government running when money expires on Sept. 30…

…Page 129 and 130 of the bill state: "None of the funds made available by this Act shall be used to propose, finalize, implement, or enforce" any regulation under the two key sections of the Clean Air Act "establishing any standard of performance for emissions of any greenhouse gas from any modified or reconstructed source that is a fossil fuel-fired electric utility generating unit." The sections, 111(b) and 111(d), are the ones that the EPA cited as legal justification for its carbon pollution standards.

Republicans seem bound and determined to kill us for the Koch Brothers and their ilk. What this means is that, barring a continuing resolution, Republicans are refusing to fund the government unless they can hamstring the EPA in the process. As I predicted, this is the next round of Republican sedition.

From Think Progress: Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R), who is facing a tough re-election fight against former Gov. Charlie Christ (D) kicked off a tour on Monday highlighting his tough-on-crime law enforcement credentials and his support for 85 percent mandatory minimums [GOP criminal delinked] for anyone convicted of a crime. But while the presence of uniformed police officers at the event made it appear that they were there to support his approach, many apparently were simply on-duty officers who thought they were there to provide security — in violation of state’s ethics law.

The Tampa Tribune reported Monday that Scott’s Tampa “Let’s Keep Florida Safe [GOP criminal delinked]” event at Patrick’s Uniforms featured “at least a half-dozen on-duty law officers in uniform” providing the Governor with a “backdrop of uniformed law officers.” Their presence apparently was in violation of Section 104.31 of the Florida Statutes, which explicitly prohibits any “employee of the state or any political subdivision” from participation “in any political campaign for an elective office while on duty.”

Once again, a Republican has demonstrated that they consider the law mandatory for others, but optional for themselves.

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Jul 012014
 

Day 71.  I’m writing for tomorrow and have been working like a Dog face, since I woke up, because there is so much going on.  I’ll be posting more articles that normal.  Tomorrow, I have a grocery delivery from Safeway, because Store to Door is closed for the 4th.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:59 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Just weeks before Blackwater guards fatally shot 17 civilians at Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007, the State Department began investigating the security contractor’s operations in Iraq. But the inquiry was abandoned after Blackwater’s top manager there issued a threat: “that he could kill” the government’s chief investigator and “no one could or would do anything about it as we were in Iraq,” according to department reports.

American Embassy officials in Baghdad sided with Blackwater rather than the State Department investigators as a dispute over the probe escalated in August 2007, the previously undisclosed documents show. The officials told the investigators that they had disrupted the embassy’s relationship with the security contractor and ordered them to leave the country, according to the reports.

Now known as Academi (formerly Xe), Blackwater, aka the GOP SS, remain the heavily armed thugs that Republican leaders keep ready to unleash upon the American people, as they did during Katrina, should Republicans ever regain the White House.

From Daily Kos: Last night, Bill Maher had a New Rule about the current conflict in Iraq, boiling it down to revenge.

I planned to show the video, but it has already disappeared, so I removed it before posting this. Click through for the transcript.

From The New Yorker: A ten-year European plan to gradually phase out American football in the United States and replace it with soccer is “very much on track,” a spokesman for the European Union confirmed today.

The E.U. spokesman, Alf-Jergen Holmboe, said the replacement of American football with soccer was the third in a three-step plan to transform the U.S. into a European country.

“The first two steps were electing a socialist President and instituting national health care,” he said. “Once soccer replaces football, our work will be done.”

Dang Andy! This will show up on Breitfart, World Nut Daily, and the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, as real news.

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Jun 292014
 

Day 69, an especially problematic number.  I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling tired, but well enough to blog.  The Republicosis is under control, and now I need to catch up on sleep missed because of it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:32 (average 4:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: In their fervor to ensure that the least amongst their citizens keep getting kicked in the teeth, the Republicans of Virginia have stooped to breaking and entering an executive office in order to block Medicaid expansion.

There is a time limit between delivery of documents and the Governor’s need to authorize them. So the Republican House Speaker William J. Howell authorized security to illegally enter the Governor’s office during a holiday break to ensure the clock started ticking before the Governor even knew the bill was delivered.

Is there anything the Republicans won’t do to harm the 47%?

No, there isn’t.

From The New Yorker: After announcing, on Thursday, that it would seek $500 million to help “train and equip appropriately vetted elements of the moderate Syrian armed opposition,” the White House today posted the following Moderate Syrian Rebel Application Form:

Welcome to the United States’ Moderate Syrian Rebel Vetting Process. To see if you qualify for $500 million in American weapons, please choose an answer to the following questions:

As a Syrian rebel, I think the word or phrase that best describes me is:
A) Moderate
B) Very moderate
C) Crazy moderate
D) Other

I became a Syrian rebel because I believe in:
A) Truth
B) Justice
C) The American Way
D) Creating an Islamic caliphate

If I were given a highly lethal automatic weapon by the United States, I would:
A) Only kill exactly the people that the United States wanted me to kill
B) Try to kill the right people, with the caveat that I have never used an automatic weapon before
C) Kill people only after submitting them to a rigorous vetting process
D) Immediately let the weapon fall into the wrong hands

LOL Andy! Click through. There are three more questions. Moderate Syrian rebels are like moderate Republicans in Congress. There’s a rumor that one exists.

From Crooks and Liars: Sources have confirmed that attorney Mark Mayfield has died of an apparent suicide.

Mayfield, vice chairman of the Mississippi Tea Party, and is one of the three men charged with conspiring with Clayton Kelly to photograph U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s bedridden wife in her nursing home and create a political video against Cochran.

Mark Mayfield of Ridgeland, an attorney and state and local tea party leader, was arrested last month along with Richard Sager, a Laurel elementary school P.E. teacher and high school soccer coach. Police said they also charged John Beachman Mary of Hattiesburg, but he was not taken into custody because of "extensive medical conditions." All face felony conspiracy charges.

It seldom happens but fore once a Republican murdered a guilty person with his gun, instead of an innocent one.

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Jun 282014
 

Yesterday the Supreme Court handed down a rather surprising decision, disallowing the eight foot buffer zone around the entrances to Massachusetts women’s health centers that perform abortions.  I understand that it may well be Constitutionally correct, but from a practical point of view the decision could have tragic ramifications.  I do not understand why a much larger exclusion zone that protects the four Justices of SCOTUS and the five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) is not also unconstitutional.  The plaintiff claimed that they just wanted to have “quiet conversations” with their neighbors and fellow citizens.

0628Abortion-Hate

The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously struck down a Massachusetts law that barred protests, counseling and other speech near abortion clinics.

“A painted line on the sidewalk is easy to enforce, but the prime objective of the First Amendment is not efficiency,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote in a majority opinion that was joined by the court’s four-member liberal wing.

The law, enacted in 2007, created 35-foot buffer zones around entrances to abortion clinics. State officials said the law was a response to a history of harassment and violence at abortion clinics in Massachusetts, including a shooting rampage at two facilities in 1994.

The Massachusetts law was challenged on First Amendment grounds by opponents of abortion who said they sought to have quiet conversations with women entering clinics to tell them about alternatives. “Petitioners are not protesters,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote.

The court was unanimous about the bottom line but divided on the reasoning, with Chief Justice Roberts writing a narrow opinion. The law blocked too much speech, he said, “sweeping in innocent individuals.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

I can understand their point that it is not Constitutional to exclude people with no intent to violate the women’s rights and innocent passers by, who may be transiting the zone for reasons that have nothing to do with the clinic.  Of course the problem, is that Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians are fanatical believers in a right to life that begins at conception and ends at birth.  They do not believe that abortion providers and others who assist women to exercise their rights have the right to life.   We know this, because they have murdered several.  If you believe that the extent of their “speech” will be those “quiet conversations”, see me about the wonderful bridge I am selling.  The one plus is that the decision leaves the door open to similar legislation that does not “block too much speech”.

The best coverage I have seen on this subject is from Rachel Maddow.  Sadly I cannot take credit for the added portrayal of Scalia at the beginning.

That covers it well.  I do not have a quick solution for this dilemma, but I do have an idea.  Someone needs to file a suit claiming that the exclusion zone around the Supreme Court violates the Consxtitution, because it “blocks too much speech” and is “sweeping in innocent individuals”.  Then we can see if the Justices and the Injustices think they should get to have “quiet conversations” with crazed wing-nuts with guns.

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Jun 242014
 

Since many of our readers are animal rights activists, I trust they will know a lot more about this subject than I do and provide us with additional info.  I’ve been a meat lover for too many years to go vegetarian, and attempts to do so in the past have led to wet dreams about hamburger and fried chicken fantasies.  However, I do believe that food animals have a right to be treated humanely, and when they are not, the public has a right to know.  However Republican legislatures in many states are making it a crime to blow the whistle on the meat industry.  They are called ag-gag laws.

0624AgGag

In 2008, the Humane Society  released a shocking video taken in a Southern California slaughterhouse. The footage depicted workers using chains and forklifts to drag cows that were too sick to stand across the floor. The abuse was appalling; the cows’ condition, which indicated a food safety risk, led the USDA to order a recall of 143 million pounds of beef. It was the largest meat recall in U.S. history — and it was all brought about by the work of an undercover whistleblower.

Since then, Big Ag has been hard at work preventing this sort of thing from happening again, but not by actually working to stop abuse — at least, not completely. Instead, the industry’s been pushing states to implement laws, known collectively as “ag-gag,” aimed at silencing activists.

Nine states  currently have ag-gag laws on the books, the most recent of which, in Idaho, takes anti-whistleblower legislation to a worrisome new extreme.  Under the law, signed by Gov. C . L. “Butch” Otter, it is illegal for anyone not employed on the farms — and undercover activists don’t count — to make recordings of what goes on there without the owner’s explicit consent. In practice, that means videos taken of factory farms’ illegal practices — like  this one, which depicts three workers at an Idaho dairy farm beating cattle with a cane, kicking and stomping on them once they’ve fallen and dragging one cow across the floor via a chain around its neck — can no longer legally be made public.

But that these laws effectively allow animal cruelty to go undetected and unreported only scratches the surface of why critics find them so appalling. In the interest of protecting the agriculture industry, ag-gag laws criminalize whistleblowers and, ultimately, ensure consumers remain in the dark… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Alternet>

Photo credit: Mother Jones (the graphic there is interactive.  Click through.)

In my younger days, I hunted for meat, not sport.  I considered it an obligation to have sufficient respect for the animal I hunted to send it to my table without suffering.  I passed up shots, because I was not fully confident in a clean kill.  I consider torturing food animals criminal.

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