Sep 162014
 

I heard an interesting argument lately. No matter how much we work to get out the vote, it won’t matter, because Republicans will win anyway, due to rigged voting machines.  Therefore, why should we even bother to vote.  It is true that in areas when Republicans control vote counting or voting machines with no paper trail, we can expect a discrepancy between raw exit data and official vote counts of 3% to 5%, always favoring Republican candidates.  No such discrepancy exists in areas that Democrats control.  This is probably because Democrats believe in the integrity of the electoral process, while Republicans do not.  We should never stop fighting to ensure an honest vote count, but the notion that we should disenfranchise ourselves because of Republican election crime is pure stupidity.  Here is the cost of stupidity.

0916Vote!

Staying home on Election Day carries a heavy cost.

In Ferguson, Mo., where only 12 percent of voters showed up in the last city election, the cost of nonparticipation was a City Council wholly unrepresentative of the town’s population. On the national level, Democrats and independents — most of whom did not vote in the 2010 midterm Congressional elections — were swamped by Republicans who voted in much larger proportions. The result was a Republican House dominated by the hard right, which over four years became the largest impediment to economic growth and equality. The same thing has happened in many statewide elections.

It’s now seven weeks from the midterms. Will voters realize that decisions made on Nov. 4 will reverberate in laws not passed, roads not built and jobs not created?

The biggest prize at stake in November is the Senate, where Democrats are in serious danger of losing control to a Republican Party determined to roll back much of the social progress of the last six years, and to block as many of President Obama’s judicial appointments as possible. There is little chance that Democrats will win back the House this year, in part because of Republican redistricting, but many statehouses and governorships that control districting and voting regulations are also in the balance.

All of that makes it imperative that the demographic groups that turned out in relatively large numbers during the last two presidential elections show up at the polls this year. According to Catalist, a data analysis company, the groups with the biggest declines in turnout between 2008 and 2010 were voters younger than 30, down nearly 35 percentage points; black and Hispanic voters, down 27 points each; and single women, down 26 points. Those groups have historically been the most resistant to the right’s message of lower taxes, sharply reduced spending on social programs and job creation, and tighter restrictions on women’s reproductive rights… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Click through for much more detail on the cost of stupidity.

Give up?  NEVER!  The more criminal practices Republicans use to steal elections, the harder we must work to overcome it.

Get out the VOTE!!

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Sep 072014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 139.  What a rude awakening!  I took a cat nap after breakfast and did not wake up until after supper. :-(  Fortunately, I did my research before breakfast, so all I have to do is compose.  Tomorrow is a Holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, and the mighty Broncos will be honored with the first Sunday night meditation.  They hope to dine on small horse, but last time they tried, the small horses’ Luck was amazing.  This time, it’s our pasture.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: A special Upworthy partnership with the UN Climate Summit 2014. Made possible by Unilever Project Sunlight. Read more.

When you see photographs of the Earth from far away, the implications may not immediately be clear. This puts it all into perspective.

 

Amen!

From Daily Kos: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—the same birther guy who thought it was a good idea to get President Obama’s birth certificate before considering a challenge to putting him on the ballot in 2012—is trying to help incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts win reelection by refusing to allow the former Democratic candidate to remove his name from the ballot…

…Taylor, however, says he spoke with the head of the state’s elections division who told him that he’d done everything he needed to do in order to withdraw. Taylor’s withdrawal boosts the independent campaign of Greg Orman, who has a very good chance of unseating Roberts in November’s election.

Assuming Taylor is telling the truth—and given Kobach’s history as a bigoted right-wing lunatic I’d trust him over Kobach any day of the week—then Kobach is going to have a hard time explaining what appears to be a nakedly partisan move.

There is no crime Republicans will not commit to steal an election they cannot win legally. Get out the vote!!

From Think Progress: Canada leads the world in forest degradation, according to a new mapping project.

The project, put together by World Resources Institute, Greenpeace and multiple other groups, uses interactive maps to display forest degradation and destruction around the world between 2000 and 2013. According to WRI, more than 104 million hectares (about 401,546 square miles) — a chunk of land the group notes is three times the size of Germany — of the world’s remaining large, undisturbed forests, or Intact Forest Landscapes, were degraded in the last 13 years. The Northern boreal region of Canada, Russia and Alaska had some of the largest area of degraded forests, with the Amazon having the second-largest and the Congo basin the third.

In Canada’s tar sands region, forest fires and industrial development have destroyed or degraded almost two million acres of boreal forest since 2000, according to Peter Lee, Director of Global Forest Watch Canada. Lee told ThinkProgress in an email that Canada’s main driver of forest destruction is an “increased frequency and extent of forest fires” driven by climate change. These fires are likely converting areas that were once heavily forested into shrublands. Logging and road-building are the second-biggest causes of forest destruction and degradation, Lee said, and “massive increases in the pace and scale of energy developments, especially non-conventional oil and gas developments in northern Alberta’s tar sands region and also in north-eastern British Columbia with the shale plays,” is the third.

I almost always have reason to compare Canada favorably to the US the, but in this case Harper and his Harlots are outdoing us. They must have taken a course in Koch … never mind.

Cartoon:

0907Cartoon

I have mixed feelings about the pageant.  Because I grew up in Atlantic City, it was the source of several pleasant childhood memories adolescent fantasies.  I understand that it tends to objectify women, but at the same time, it provided more scholarship money to women than any other organization in the country.  For me, it engendered respect for the beauty within women, not just without.

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Sep 062014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 138.  Last night I fell asleep while meditating on the Holy Ellipsoid Orb on the Day of Blessed Illumination Return.  As penance I shall have to watch Faux Noise.  Woe is me!! :-(  I leave for physical therapy shortly, and I’m writing now, so I will have this Open Thread to post.  The next few days will be busy.  Sunday is a Holy day.  Monday is a Holy night.  Tuesday is a prison volunteer day.  I need to complete the dreaded chore between now and then, because nekkid is not included in the volunteer dress code.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:57 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: There are 45,000 wildfires per year in the southeastern U.S. alone, and since 2000, we’ve had eight of the worst years for wildfires. Now, of course, it’s not just climate change that’s causing this, but after you watch this video, you’ll understand reason number gazillion for us needing to do something about what’s happening to our planet.

 

Since Republicans represent the polluters that exacerbate this problem, they must be removed from office. Get out the vote!

From NY Times: Former Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia and his wife, Maureen, were convicted of corruption in federal court on Thursday, after a trial that shattered the political career of the onetime Republican star and peeled back the couple’s private life to the bone.

As he was pronounced guilty on 11 counts of conspiracy, bribery and extortion, Mr. McDonnell covered his face with his hands and his head fell nearly to the defense table. His wife, convicted on nine counts, looked straight ahead. There were sobs from the seats behind them where their five adult children and other family members sat.

Isn’t it ironic that this Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hypocrite, who campaigned on the sanctity of his family, tried to save his own cowardly butt by trashing his wife. May he be probed with his own internal ultrasound wand!

From AlterNet: Obscene Device Laws in Alabama and Sandy Springs, Georgia

The sale of sex toys is legal in most of the U.S.: any local politician who tried to outlaw the sale of vibrators in Seattle, Philadelphia or Los Angeles would be laughed out of office. But parts of the Bible Belt still have so-called “obscene device” laws, including Alabama (where the sale of sex toys was outlawed in 1998 and Christian fundamentalists continue to defend that law). Texas had a ban on the sale of sex toys, but it was rendered unenforceable when a 5th Circuit ruling declared the law unconstitutional in 2008. In Sandy Springs, Georgia, a city ordinance has stated, in effect, that one needs a doctor’s prescription to acquire a sex toy. In May, a local woman named Melissa Davenport filed a lawsuit against the city of Sandy Springs on the grounds that the law was unconstitutional.

Bubba Bagger knows that, if a gal has a toy, she has no reason to mate with him. This is just one of ten Inhumane Republican Laws. Click through for the other nine.

Cartoon:

0906CartoonTCPhysio

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Aug 292014
 

I certainly stand my opinion that Ron Paul should have had himself neutered before polluting America with Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot.  My opinion that Ron Paul is a racist and misogynist, who disguises John Birch Society dementia for libertarianism remains unchanged.  But those of you, who have known me over several years, will remember the one thing I have said about him most: “Ron Paul has never mattered, and never will.”  In that, I may have been wrong.  Ron Paul actually may matter, because his criminal behavior during the last Iowa caucus may have an effect in who controls the Senate in 2014.

0829SorensonA former Iowa state senator concealed payments he received in exchange for defecting from one presidential campaign to another ahead of Iowa’s 2012 caucuses and then obstructed an investigation into the incident.

Kent Sorenson of Milo now faces up to 25 years in prison, after pleading guilty on Wednesday to two counts in federal court in Des Moines.

The case revolves around Sorenson’s dramatic jump from the presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann to then-U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s rival campaign in late December 2011, just days before the Iowa caucuses.

According to a statement of facts [broken link removed] accompanying Sorenson’s plea agreement, he secretly negotiated with the Paul campaign over a period of months to join the campaign and received $73,000.

The payments included several monthly payments, ranging in size from $8,000 to $33,000, routed through a film production company and a second company before being received by Sorenson. Those circuitous routes circumvented reporting requirements of the Federal Election Commission, ensuring the payments were kept hidden from the public…

Inserted from <Des Moines Register>

Now on the surface, it appears that this is nothing more that a squabble between two extremist fools that were going nowhere, except for one thing.  Bribery needs a person taking the bribe and a person doing the bribing.  Who was that? In addition to Ron Paul himself, the decision maker in  Paul’s campaign was his Campaign Manager, Jesse Benton.  A key candidate for the US Senate was so impressed with the criminal way in which Benton managed Ron Paul’s campaign that he made Benton his own Campaign Manager.  Guess who!

0829jessrebenton

It was Rachel Maddow that made this connection.

If you cannot watch MSNBC video where you live, you can see the clip on YouTube.

Benton is likely to be indicted as well, but his criminal behavior certainly reflects on the character of Bought Bitch Mitch and we need to keep reminding Kentucky voters about yet another reason to Ditch Bought Bitch: Ditch Mitch!!

As for Ron Paul, were he not such a  dishonest walking, talking sphincter, we would not have this criminal record, so in this one small way. Ron Paul may have mattered.

Late Update: I just learned that the bag man who delivered the check to Sorenson for Paul And Benton also went to work for Bought Bitch Mitch!

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Aug 282014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 129.  I’m still running behind schedule, and am writing late in the day, but at least I found some better material.  Tomorrow is a Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but the Broncos  meditation will not be televised, so I won’t get to watch them ride Cowboys.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:17 (average 4:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From NY Times: After 50 days of fighting that took some 2,200 lives, leveled large areas of the Gaza Strip and paralyzed Israel’s south for the summer, Israeli and Palestinian leaders reached an open-ended cease-fire agreement on Tuesday that promised only limited change to conditions in Gaza and left unresolved the broader issues underpinning the conflict.

Hamas, the militant Islamist faction that dominates Gaza, declared victory even though it had abandoned most of its demands, ultimately accepting an Egyptian-brokered deal that differs little from one proffered on the battle’s seventh day. In effect, the deal put both sides back where they were at the end of eight days of fighting in 2012, with terms that called for easing but not lifting Israeli restrictions on travel, trade and fishing in Gaza.

As long as Israel prevents Palestinians in Gaza from conducting normal commerce, I see no chance for success. Those people will not be content to live under a permanent state of siege.

From NY Times: The trail to Rick Perry’s indictment began with way too many drinks and a drunken-driving arrest for Rosemary Lehmberg, the Travis County district attorney, that was captured in embarrassing detail on videotape.

But the conflict between Republicans who control state government and the Democratic district attorney’s office has been playing out for years, forming a complicated back story to the unfolding legal drama known as the State of Texas v. James Richard “Rick” Perry.

Mr. Perry’s powerhouse defense team filed a motion on Monday to dismiss the felony indictment, asserting that the 64-year-old governor and prospective 2016 presidential candidate was constitutionally empowered to seek Ms. Lehmberg’s resignation. Mr. Perry contends Ms. Lehmberg was unfit to remain in office after berating deputies and kicking a cell door after a drunken-driving arrest in April 2013. She served about half of a 45-day jail sentence.

Mr. Perry and his lawyers have had substantial success in the court of public opinion, contending that the charges represent an overreach that has more to do with politics than the law. But Mr. Perry’s critics note that the grand jury indictment was secured by a special prosecutor who was appointed by a Republican judge and has no clear political leanings or ties to the Travis County courthouse.

Perry is so full of it that Rachel Maddow dedicated a Debunktion Junction to him.

Those who cannot open MSNBC videos can see this on YouTube.

Did she nail him, or what?

From Politicus USA: Gallup has super bad news for Republicans. There is a link between high disapproval of congress and high voter turnout. Republicans have done a great job not only creating record high disapproval levels, their obstructionism combined with wasting money and alienating rhetoric sustained those high levels of disapproval. If you’re a Republican, you may be tempted to believe your mission was accomplished. The only problem is high levels of congressional disapproval also means high voter turnout at election time. We all know what that means in Republican land.

0828Turnout

That’s about the best news I’ve heard all week!

Cartoon:

0828Cartoon

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Aug 262014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 127.  Some of my comments last night were a bit out of kilter, because I fell asleep at the keyboard for two hours, and when I awakened I was not fully functional.  Today was a slow day for news.  Finding material took double the normal time, so I’m writing in the evening, not the morning as usual.  Tomorrow I have a grocery delivery coming in the morning.

Late Update:

I fell asleep at the keyboard again. :-(

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:22 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: G.O.P. chief Reince Priebus ripped President Obama on Sunday for consuming three meals a day while on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

“With international crises boiling over in Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine, it’s unconscionable that the President is having breakfast, lunch, and dinner,” he said…

LOL Andy. I bet the reason Obama does that is to keep people from discovering that he’s black ;-)

From McClatchy DC: One day after losing a major airbase to Islamic extremists, Syria said Monday it was willing to work with other countries to fight terror groups in Syria provided they show respect for the Syrian regime and operate only with its permission.

At least one third of Syrian territory is said to be in the hands of the radical Islamic State, and the loss of Tabqa airbase Sunday put the entire east Syrian province of Raqqa in the militant’s hands, a severe setback for the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Walid Al Moallem, the Syrian Deputy Prime Minister, told reporters that Syria is willing to cooperate with other countries “as long as this cooperation is approached in a serious manner, without double standards” and does not “weaken Syria.”

Effectively Syria is asking the US to partner with the brutal Assad regime, that employed chemical WMD against their own people, against ISIS, that murdered thousands. McConJob, Lindsey Poo and other Republicans have berated Obama for taking an active role in only Iraq, but not in Syria. This article illustrates the Syrian dilemma. We have no viable ally in Syria. It’s like being asked to side with either Neocons or Baggers.

From The Nation: When Gogebic Taconite LLC began moving in November 2010—the same month Scott Walker was elected governor of Wisconsin—to develop an open-pit iron mine in one of the most environmentally sensitive regions of northern Wisconsin, the Florida-based mining firm got a lot of pushback. Residents of the region objected, along with Native American tribes. So, too, did citizens from across Wisconsin, a state that has long treasured the wild beauty of the Penokee Range. Environmental and conservation groups voiced their concerns, as did local and state officials from across the political spectrum.

The outcry heightened as Gogebic Taconite and its allies promoted a radical rewrite of existing mining regulations in order to promote a project that could grow to be four miles long, more than a mile wide and 1,000 feet deep. Democratic and Republican legislators began to ask tough questions. Yet Governor Scott Walker remained “eager to advance a mining bill,” according to Wisconsin media that reported extensively on the governor’s determination to overrule objections to the grand schemes of an out-of-state corporation that newly released documents show secretly steered $700,000 to “independent” efforts to provide political cover for the embattled governor.

I always like seeing more evidence surface that should be used to convict Scott Walker, the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan!

Cartoon:

0826Cartoon

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Aug 172014
 

Republicans regularly commit crimes while in office, but they do so only on days that begin with the letter T.  That’s Tuesday, Thursdays, Taturday, Tunday, Today and Tomorrow.  However they are rarely called to account for their crimes as David “Diaper Dave” Vitter (R-LA) will attest.  However, a Grand Jury has handed down incitements against Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) that could send him to prison for up to 99 years, even though I doubt that he’ll ever serve a day.

PerryHatA grand jury indicted Gov. Rick Perry on two felony counts on Friday, charging that he abused his power last year when he tried to pressure the district attorney here, a Democrat, to step down by threatening to cut off state financing to her office.

The indictment left Mr. Perry, a Republican, the first Texas governor in nearly 100 years to face criminal charges and presented a major roadblock to his presidential ambitions at the very time that he had been showing signs of making a comeback.

Grand jurors in Travis County charged Mr. Perry with abusing his official capacity and coercing a public servant, according to Michael McCrum, the special prosecutor assigned to the case.

The long-simmering case has centered on Mr. Perry’s veto power as governor. His critics asserted that he used that power as leverage to try to get an elected official — Rosemary Lehmberg, the district attorney in Travis County — to step down after her arrest on a drunken-driving charge last year. Ms. Lehmberg is Austin’s top prosecutor and oversees a powerful public corruption unit that investigates state, local and federal officials; its work led to the 2005 indictment of a former Republican congressman, Tom DeLay, on charges of violating campaign finance laws… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Now it’s true that Perry does have the right as governor to use a line item veto for items in the Texas budget, but he does not have the right to use that veto as a threat to prevent other elected officials from representing the people that elected them.

Rachel Maddow provided excellent coverage of Perry’s crimes.

In closing, 99 years is not enough hard time, but if he does go to prison, I think justice will be served, if he is the bottom, and his prison lover (below) is the top:

ChristiePig

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