Nov 262014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, Day 21.  This is my only article.  I have to leave early and meet my ride to prison several miles away to avoid the Ferguson protests.  Tomorrow the cooking begins.

Excellent meeting.  Exhausted.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:24 (average 5:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

12Scores

That was a last minute shock! :-(

Standings:

12Standings

There are only two weeks left before our playoffs begin.  Can I toast the toester?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: From NPR station KCUR:

Although gay and lesbian couples are getting married in at least 24 Kansas counties, Gov. Sam Brownback won’t allow any state recognition of the unions.

Brownback said Thursday that he won’t offer any of the benefits heterosexual couples get, such as name changes on a driver’s license or employee benefits for gay and lesbian state workers.

“There is still considerable legal ambiguity on the topic of same-sex marriage,” said Eileen Hawley, a Brownback spokeswoman. “Once that ambiguity is gone, the governor will direct state agencies to comply with applicable laws.”

When the Supreme Court refused to extend the temporary stay, he said [pseudo-Christians delinked]:

I swore an oath to support the Constitution of the State of Kansas. I will review this ruling with the attorney general and see how best we continue those efforts.

In other words: Marriage discrimination now, marriage discrimination tomorrow, marriage discrimination forever!

Is it realistic to think he is impeachable? This is the Theocracy that the idiots who elected him want.

From NY Times: Months of anger and frustration, in the end, led only to more anger and frustration.

Shops were looted and burned on Ferguson’s main street. There were smoke bombs, tear gas, thrown rocks and random gunshots. In Ferguson, the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown was almost as bitter and hollow as his killing itself.

Brien Redmon, 31, stood in the cold watching a burning police car and sporadic looting after the announcement that there would be no indictments for Mr. Brown’s death at 18.

While I cannot support rioting, I understand the outrage. Even here, a major demonstration is planned. I lave to leave early and meat my ride to prison five miles away from my home, because the march will be under my window. I almost wish I weren’t going.

From Upworthy: How we treat individuals with disabilities is often colored by how we perceive them and the judgments we make upon first meeting someone with a disability. For this woman, that includes being thought of as a 2-year-old when she’s actually a college student who’s smart as a whip and just happens to have a physical disability. It doesn’t make her less than "normal."

 

One word: Kudos

Cartoon:

1126Cartoon

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Nov 252014
 

I have several reasons for opposing capital punishment.  One is that killing a defenseless person is the most hypocritical way there is to tell people not to kill.  Another is that nobody is beyond redemption.  Life without possibility of parole protects the public.  One of the men with whom I do volunteer work will never breathe free air, but he’s completely dedicated to helping other prisoners learn mental fitness to help them from making the same mistakes that he committed on the way to becoming a serial killer.  For this reason, I would not favor the death penalty, even for Republican war criminals, who are responsible for more innocent deaths than any death row prisoner.  In addition, far too many innocents have been executed.  Furthermore, there is no way to administer it fairly.  Texas Republicans know the man they want to kill is insane.  But Republicans are the Party of Death.

1125PanettiOn Dec. 3, Texas plans to execute an inmate named Scott Panetti, who was convicted in 1995 for murdering his in-laws with a hunting rifle. There is no question that Mr. Panetti committed the murders. There is also no question that he is severely mentally ill, and has been for decades.

During his capital murder trial, at which he was inexplicably allowed to represent himself, Mr. Panetti dressed in a cowboy suit and attempted to subpoena, among others, John F. Kennedy and Jesus Christ. A standby lawyer said his behavior was “scary” and “trance-like,” and called the trial “a judicial farce.”

It was not an act. Mr. Panetti, now 56, was first diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was 20, and in the years before the murders he was hospitalized several times for delusions and psychotic episodes.

In this respect, he is no different from the estimated 350,000 inmates around the country with mental illness — 10 times the number of people in state psychiatric hospitals. But Mr. Panetti is not just another insane prisoner; his name is synonymous with the Supreme Court’s modern jurisprudence about mental illness on death row. In Panetti v. Quarterman, decided in 2007, the justices held that it is not enough for a defendant simply to be aware that he is going to be executed and why — the previous standard the court had used in permitting the execution of the mentally ill. Rather, he must have a “rational understanding” of why the state plans to kill him.

Noting Mr. Panetti’s “well-documented history of mental illness,” the court held that capital punishment serves no retributive purpose when the defendant’s understanding of crime and punishment is so distorted that it “has little or no relation to the understanding of those concepts shared by the community as a whole.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

The Justices did not declare Panetti insane.  They just referred the matter back to the lower court.  Texas courts deferred to Republican blood lust, and unless SCROTUS intervenes, Rick Perry will murder this man on 12/3.  He and the Texas Republican Party are just drooling for more death.

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Nov 242014
 

Let me begin this with a Hat-Tip to Joanne Dixon.  Even though I’m not using the article she sent me, she’s been hoping I’d cover this story, involving her Senator, for a while now.  For me, it goes much further back.  I was calling for the criminal prosecution of Republican war criminals, during Texas Torquemada’s first term, long before Obama took office.  Anyone who has followed me long term knows that this has been an ongoing issue for me.  One of my pet peeves about the Obama administration has been their failure to pursue this.  Therefore, I feel quite angry that they are now acting to protect Republican war criminals.  I support the Udall plan.

war criminal3White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough met with Senate Democrats Thursday to provide a briefing on President Obama’s immigration plans. But once the immigration talk was over, the meeting reportedly devolved into chaos as an angry lawmaker confronted McDonough over the White House’s foot-dragging and obstruction over releasing the committee’s report on CIA torture.

"It was a vigorous, vigorous and open debate — one of the best and most thorough discussions I’ve been a part of while here," said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.).

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who served as intelligence committee chair before Feinstein, was furious after the meeting, and accused the administration of deliberately stalling the report.

“It’s being slow-walked to death. They’re doing everything they can not to release it," Rockefeller told HuffPost.

war criminal2"It makes a lot of people who did really bad things look really bad, which is the only way not to repeat those mistakes in the future," he continued. "The public has to know about it. They don’t want the public to know about it."

As negotiations continue, Rockefeller said Democrats were thinking creatively about how to resolve the dispute. "We have ideas," he said, adding that reading the report’s executive summary into the record on the Senate floor would probably meet with only limited success. "The question would be how much you could read before they grabbed you and hauled you off."

A question following that is who exactly is going to grab a lawmaker and haul him or her off? A senator on the floor of the chamber is protected by the Constitution. For a sitting senator, the consequences could be severe—loss of committee assignments, of security clearance to have access to classified materials, or even expulsion from Congress. But for an outgoing senator, like Mark Udall, there would be no ramifications… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Go for it, Udall!  We may not realize the hope expressed in the top graphic, but at the very least, I hope it may spur an international response so intense that such heinous criminals as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzales, Tenet, Feith, Yoo and many more will be unable to set foot outside the US without a permanent trip to The Hague, and they will not ne able to brag about it, as they now do, without prompting sufficient outrage, here in the US, to shame them into silence.

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Nov 202014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 15.  Tomorrow is almost here, and I just woke up.  Fortunately I had my research done this morning, but due to unpacking groceries, putting them away, and several other tasks, I just couldn’t get back to it before now.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

The Jig Zone website is currently down.  Assuming that this is a temporary situation, I’ll include today’s puzzle with tomorrow’s.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Here in the U.S., lots of politicians have pointed to China as the reason the U.S. should not sign climate treaties. What will opponents of climate change action use as an excuse now? Check out this spot-on video from Climate Desk of what the excuses sound like:

 

This is the 3rd of 8 reasons President Obama and the Democratic Party have made the world a better place by negotiating a greenhouse gasses agreement with China. Click through for the other seven. A must-read article.

From Daily Kos: When Congress voted to approve the Keystone Pipeline they committed an act of war against the Great Sioux Nation. Apparently they completely forgot to check with the Sioux who live on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, who in February adopted tribal resolutions opposing the Keystone XL project. Or maybe Congress didn’t forget but rather chose to ignore them.

Of course the U.S. government has hardly ever taken Native American concerns seriously, so it would be a surprise if that happened now, but Rosebud Sioux (Sicangu Lakota Oyate) Tribal President Scott said his nation has yet to be properly consulted on the project, which would cross through tribal land. Concerns brought to the Department of Interior and to the Department of State have yet to be addressed, he said in a statement.

Kudos and thanks to the Rosebud Sioux. No doubt this will pass the Senate when it reconvenes with a Republican majority. Hopefully, Obama will veto it, but if not, I hope the Sioux sue.

From PRWatch: Leaked documents expose a plan by Edelman for TransCanada to launch an "aggressive" American-style policy/politics PR campaign to persuade Canadians to support a Canada-based alternative to the stalled Keystone XL pipeline to get controversial tar sands oil to refineries in eastern Canada for export.

But, according to the documents, this Canada-centric campaign would actually be run out of an office in Washington, DC. And the digital campaign is being led by a rightwing American political operative employed by the world’s largest public relations firm.

The documents were obtained by Greenpeace.

Ian Austen of The New York Times published some excerpts from the planning documents on November 17 that show how a new PR operation is in the works to persuade skeptical Canadians the "Energy East Pipeline" from Alberta to Quebec and to New Brunswick is a good idea.

Watch out Canada. They should be calling that Pollution East. It will be3 as bad for you as keystone XL would be for us.

Cartoon:

1120Cartoon

We still need one of these for Bush, Cheney, et al.

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Nov 032014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 196.  It’s early in the morning, and I invested my fall back hour wisely.  ZZZZzzzz!  Hopefully I can catch up now, because I have no major outside commitments until I pick up my coat on Thursday {furiously knocking on wood}.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 4:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Agony:

1102-Broncos21-Patriots43

Who knows what might have happened, had I not been Seachickened. :-(

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: James Chao, father of Mitch McConnell’s wife Elaine, has a lot of questions to answer after 40 kilograms of cocaine (about $6.7 million worth) was found on the Ping May, a ship owned by the Foremost Group, a company James Chao founded and led to a tidy fortune. But was that fortune built on honest movement of legitimate bulk trade goods, or has Mr. Chao been trading in less than legal goods?

The cocaine, found in 40 separate packages, was discovered during a routine inspection hidden among a load of coal bound for Europe from the port of Santa Marta, Columbia onboard the Ping May, one of 15 ships Foremost currently operates, with another 8 under construction. The final destination for the ship was to be the Netherlands, likely one of the port cities surrounding Amsterdam. It is known that the Ping May has been witnessed at the port of Zaanstad, one of these cities, in the past.

Foremost Group is the source of most of Senator McConnell’s fortune through gifts and inheritance from his in-laws. It is a shadowy corporation, utilizing a complex scheme of shell companies to skip out on millions in taxes annually.

So that explains the horrid appearance of Bought Bitch Mitch’s nose! And I thought he was just Repugly!!

From TPM: Bill Maher ripped into Democratic candidates on his HBO show Friday night for distancing themselves from President Barack Obama and their own achievements on the 2014 campaign trail.

 

He said the same things I’ve been saying for months, with one key difference. He’s funnier.

From Blue Oregon: Even as Monica Wehby circles the drain, the Koch Brothers can’t resist one more parting shot before they slither away, via their American Future Fund. AFF is bankrolled by the Koch boys.

The two have dropped $200k on a new anti-Merkley ad, because apparently they can’t think of anything nice to say about Monica Wehby. Not that I can blame them for that.

It’s the same old recycled crap they’ve been dealing out all over the country.

My own Senator is the one race I’m not worried about. Come Wednesday morning all my personal representatives will be progressive Democrats. Why? I and thousands more like me earned it

Cartoon:

1103Cartoon

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Oct 312014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow day 193.  It’s very early in the morning, and I could not sleep because I feel so pissed off at Care2 that it took 22 attempts to upload an article.  No doubt, I’ll be exhausted when I return from my medical appointment.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: She Says 4 Words At The Very Beginning, And That’s All You Need To Know

 

This is right in line with what I was discussing in prison last week at the Victims Impact meeting. At the same time, the political party that considers bullying others their Constitutional right must be removed from all elected offices.

From Think Progress: On Tuesday, Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from civil rights advocates to force Georgia’s Secretary of State to process an estimated 40,000 voter registrations that have gone missing from the public database.

Though early voting is well underway in the state, Judge Brasher called the lawsuit “premature,” and said it was based on “merely set out suspicions and fears that the [state officials] will fail to carry out their mandatory duties.”

Angela Aldridge, an organizer with the group 9 to 5 Atlanta Working Women who has been working to register voters for several months, told ThinkProgress she was “furious” when she learned of the outcome: “That impedes people’s rights,” she said. “People need information before they go out to vote and they don’t even know if they’re registered or not. They were discouraged, upset, kind of frazzled, not really knowing what was going on. What can you even say to people who want to vote but possibly can’t? They might get disengaged and say, ‘Why vote? It doesn’t matter.’ It’s really disheartening.”

One Republican judge just stole the right to vote to 40,000 Americans.

From NY Times: It would be the Wall Street equivalent of a parole violation: Just two years after avoiding prosecution for a variety of crimes, some of the world’s biggest banks are suspected of having broken their promises to behave.

A mixture of new issues and lingering problems could violate earlier settlements that imposed new practices and fines on the banks but stopped short of criminal charges, according to lawyers briefed on the cases. Prosecutors are exploring whether to strengthen the earlier deals, the lawyers said, or scrap them altogether and force the banks to plead guilty to a crime.

That effort, unfolding separately from a number of well-known investigations into Wall Street, has ensnared several giant banks and consulting firms that until now were thought to be in the clear.

Why is it that I’m not surprised? I’ll tell you. One of the biggest failings of the DOJ under Obama is that not one single Bankster is in prison. As long as they get away with their crimes with fines far smaller than their obscene profits, where is the incentive for them to stop? Perhaps if we treated these millionaires the way we treat poor people that rob a convenience store, we’d be better off.

Cartoon:

1031Cartoon

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Oct 292014
 

I’m in a rush today, but I found an excellent article for you that describes why the Republican Party should not exist.  I could not agree with this author more.  The Republican Party needs to follow the way opf the Whig Party and be dumped on history’s garbage heap.

GOPVoting

…The point is this:  Regardless of the individual candidates, their contributors, bone-head debate statements, ads with backlash, etc., we really need to understand that the Republican party – by virtue of their behavior over the past 6 years alone – should be disqualified from holding any office, anywhere.

Honestly, this is not a political party – not any more.  They are a zombie cult army, and they see us as an enemy, not political opposition.  Listen to the language, and look at what they are willing to do.  They have their own consultants, their own pollsters, their own schools and even their own media.  They talk to themselves in the same language over and over and never, ever leave the reservation.  That’s not government.  And that’s disqualifying.

Not enough for some of you?  You want more?

This political "party" thinks that it is OK to use the law to deny people the right to vote so they have a better shot at winning.  That’s clearly unconstitutional (whether Scalia agrees or not).  Never mind the fact that it’s immoral.  And when the courts say "no" to the new Jim Crow, they send intimidation squads into polling places to try to cut off votes that way.  People fought and died for that right, so how about we don’t sit this one out because President Obama’s new war on ISIS annoys you?

This is the GOP that decided the best opposition strategy was to never compromise with President Obama on anything, to demean him with a wink and a nod to the crazy (and racist) birther people.  Not clear enough?  How many news stories have we seen of GOP operatives sending around emails that show watermelons growing on the White House lawn, and the like?  The cultural racism of the party is bad enough, but – honestly – the opposition HAS to compromise.  The constitution says the government works that way.  Not filibuster till you drop.  So, how about we drop the idea that Charlie Baker, Alan Fung (or insert another Republican "moderate" here) wouldn’t be so bad and we stick with the plan and vote the party line.  After all, do you think they won’t drink the same Kool-Aid?

The last Republican to publically tell a racist to STFU was John McCain during one of his campaign rallies in 2008 – and that was before President Obama won the election.  Since then – birthers, Tea Party and Donald Trump speak?  From the GOP leadership we hear crickets, and watch them wink and nod at the lunatics they have no business cavorting with – because they know those are guaranteed GOP votes.

Is this disqualifying enough for you?  Motivating enough?…

…Today’s GOP sees our democratic system as a toy.  And that – more than anything else – makes the entire party disqualified for office.

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Click through to read the rest of this fine piece.  Then…

Get Out the VOTE!!!

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