May 202015
 

Of course I’m still buried with work to do.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries.  Tomorrow I have an appointment to get my MRI results.  It’s with my doctor that moved across town, so I’ll be gone most of the day.  Expect a Personal Update at most.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:39 (average 5:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes: (all Kos to save me time)

From Daily Kos: Bill O’Reilly is a terrible, dumb, vicious, hypocrite. Now you might add wife-beater to that litany of the obscenities that come to mind when O’Reilly crosses your radar. Gawker is reporting that, according to documents from O’Reilly’s recently lost custody case against his ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy, O’Reilly is not just a vulgar verbally and mentally abusive, bullying type—he’s also a physically assaulting type of bully:

According to a source familiar with the facts of the case, a court-appointed forensic examiner testified at a closed hearing that O’Reilly’s daughter claimed to have witnessed her father dragging McPhilmy down a staircase by her neck, apparently unaware that the daughter was watching.

O’Lielly must have a Republican reason for such a Republican crime. Could it be that she demanded to wear shoes?

From Daily Kos: Today the Arizona legislature did what no other state in the nation has been mean-spirited enough to do: they cut lifetime welfare benefits to one year for everyone — adults and children, the physically and mentally disabled. Most states have a five-year limit, while thirteen others impose a two-year cutoff. Texas (of course) has a flexible limit that can be as short as one year, but even children are exempt in the Lone Star State. Not so for Arizona! We’re Number 1!

As a result, the Arizona Department of Economic Security will drop at least 1,600 families — including more than 2,700 children — from the state’s federally funded welfare program when the budget year begins in July.

It does not matter to Arizona Republicans that the federal government is paying for the aid. What does is that they get to starve hungry children.

From Daily Kos: Wired put together a very interesting piece on the renewable energy company Vortex. They are now field testing bladeless wind energy turbines.

Instead of capturing energy via the circular motion of a propeller, the Vortex takes advantage of what’s known as vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that produces a pattern of spinning vortices. Vorticity has long been considered the enemy of architects and engineers, who actively try to design their way around these whirlpools of wind. And for good reason: With enough wind, vorticity can lead to an oscillating motion in structures, which, in some cases, like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, can cause their eventual collapse.

Wooo Hooo!!! Some good news for a change!!

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The attackers were the people the Republican Party embraced and supported, as part of their Southern Strategy.

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May 162015
 

It’s another thoroughly busy day.  I pulled out my old notebook computer.  It’s been sitting in the suitcase without being touched for the last six months.  So far, I’ve updates my AV program, Firefox, Flash, Java, CCleaner, Glary Utilities.  Then Microsoft Update stared, and that might take a couple days.  I figure it will take six days of wok to use it on a three day trip.  ARGH!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today‘s took me 3:21 (average 4:43).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: This reporter turned the tables on a group of men who tried to disrupt her work, and it’s awesome.

 

 

And I thought Canadians were so polite! 😉 They acted like Republicans.

From Daily Kos: What does it take to make Republicans want to keep religious leaders out of politics? A pope who disagrees with them, apparently. Pope Francis’ recognition of a Palestinian state is just the latest of the pontiff’s positions that have Republican politicians trying to put him in his place.

“It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), a hawkish defender of Israel.

So … Republicans get to use religion as a political club, but actual religious leaders should stay the hell out. We’ve got Texas Republicans trying to block marriage equality from being enacted, whatever the Supreme Court decides. We’ve got House Republicans passing yet another anti-abortion bill based more on religion than science. We’ve got an avalanche of bills legalizing discrimination in the name of religious freedom.

Republicans object to political action that stems from authentic faith, especially when it counters their own hatred. It is legal, because it is not imposed on others. Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity is the polar opposite.

From NY Times: The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office is combing through more than 150 criminal cases of black suspects arrested by Miami Beach police officers who wrote or received racist emails, the latest in a series of high-profile episodes around the nation that have raised troubling questions about the relations between the police and the communities they serve.

Two ranking officers at the Miami Beach Police Department sent about 230 emails that contained racist and sexist jokes and pornography from 2010-12, Chief Dan Oates announced Thursday. A former police captain, who had been demoted to lieutenant, was fired, and a major retired before the investigation was made public.

Fourteen other officers received the emails, the police department said.

Police Officer is clearly too responsible a position to give to Republicans like these.

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May 142015
 

I’m thoroughly swamped with tasks to complete, and needed to sleep late, after yesterday.  Pardon my brevity.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:35 (average 4:36).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Last Thursday (May 7) here at Daily Kos, I published the first public disclosure of a shocking collapse of the state’s voter registration system here in North Carolina under Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. Our analysis of State Board of Elections data revealed that, beginning on or about the time of McCrory’s inauguration in January 2013, new voter registrations originating via the state’s public assistance (welfare) offices had suddenly and inexplicably collapsed by 66%.

Federal law – specifically the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 – requires states to actively encourage and enable every patron of state offices, including public assistance and motor vehicles offices, to register to vote on the spot. The sudden meltdown in North Carolina’s effort to do so, and its continuing failure for more than two years, right up to today, has been responsible for the possible disenfranchisement of up to 40,000 poverty-level citizens (and still counting).

 

Republicans will do anything to keep minorities and poor people from voting.

From NY Times: It may take a while to learn exactly why an Amtrak train speeding out of Philadelphia Tuesday night suddenly derailed on a sharp curve. Whether the train was going too fast or the equipment failed or it was something else entirely, the horrifying accident left at least seven people dead and more than 200 injured on one of the busiest train routes in the country.

Yet, Wednesday morning, while the wreckage lay on the tracks, the Republican majority on the House Appropriations Committee voted to cut Amtrak’s budget by about $260 million. That would reduce Amtrak’s already inadequate appropriations from $1.4 billion to about $1.1 billion.

As a result of meager financing, railroad experts estimated last month that it would take a $21.1 billion just to repair and replace existing assets in the Northeast Corridor that have outlived their “design life” — tracks, ties, electric wires, communications networks, major bridges and tunnels. That does not include new stations, bullet trains or expanding the system. That’s only fixing what’s already in use.

Among the system’s greatest needs is updated safety equipment, including new systems such as positive train control that can slow a train automatically as it comes to a dangerous curve like the one in Philadelphia. The tracks, especially those along severe curves, also need to be adjusted and repaired so that trains can go at higher speeds.

Republicans claim that it’s wrong to blame them when we don’t know exactly what caused the accident. The head of the NTSB has verified that a positive train control system would have prevented this accident. Although required by law to do so, Amtrak is unable to implement positive control, because Republicans keep slashing Amtrak’s budget, So Republicans can provide more welfare to billionaires and corporate criminals.  Republicans consider dead Americans a small price to pay for 0.1% welfare.

From Alternet: Jon Stewart took aim at the easy pickings of Republican presidential candidates on Tuesday night.

 

He nailed Upchuck Huck, Bagger Ben, The Cruzin’ Canadian, and Rabid Rubio, and Strike three. He also got Hillary, but he had far less ammo to work with, because she tells the truth more often than not.

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May 022015
 

It’s afternoon and writing today’s Monthly Report has occupied most of the day.  So please color me in rush mode..

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:16 (average 5:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Sen. Merkley: We Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Two Budgets for the Best Off

 

Oregon’s Jeff Merkley still leads the way.

From Upworthy: On the latest episode of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver takes a look at the fashion industry’s repeated promises to stop using child labor.

 

In my opinion, all clothing made using child labor should be seized at the border and burned. All Republicans who help the corporate criminals gut the regulations should be seized at the ballot box and unemployed.

From NY Times: No matter how Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey spins the George Washington Bridge scandal as he eyes a run for president, one thing should be clear: These are his people, charged with a conspiracy to exact revenge against a local mayor by closing lanes to one of the world’s busiest bridges.

David Wildstein, a Christie associate who once held a top job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to the incident. Two others indicted on Friday for allegedly participating in the scheme were also members of Mr. Christie’s inner circle.

Their behavior shows Mr. Christie’s inability to choose employees, to manage them and, most important, to keep them from abusing their power. His failure to do so created a culture that allowed his underlings to bully the mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, by creating a monster traffic jam in 2013 and then lying about it.

I still hope that, after formal indictments are handed down, and the real plea bargaining starts, PIGnocchio will be spitted and served with an apple in his mouth.

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Apr 262015
 

Tomorrow I have my semi-annual appointment with my primary care doctor.  She is the one that moved to the far side of town.  I have to take the lift bus, so my half hour appointment will probably take me 5 – 7 hours.  Today I need to prepare for that, and do tomorrow’s chores in addition to today’s.  Expect only a Personal Update tomorrow, please.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:15 (average 4:04).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: No, I don’t want to take my clothes off to board the plane, and no, I really don’t want to surrender my civil liberties in the name of what they call security.

I’d heard about the TSA’s S.P.O.T. (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) program before and was aware that they were using it, but I had no idea how much it costs (over $1 billion) or that, scientifically, it’s bunk.

Next time you go to the airport, stand in line and just TRY to not be nervous as you see TSA agents look at you to decide if you’re sweating too much, or if you’re just a wee bit too jumpy. Or have the wrong skin color.

 

I can spot a terrorist. Here’s one.

BonerOrange

From Daily Kos: So mere hours after the Supreme Court struck down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, Texas wasted no more time and re-instituted the same redistricting plan the courts had already ruled as unconstitutional.  The same with their new voter suppression bill.

Attorney General Holder was having none of it, however.  Texas was the first lawsuit to be filed by the Justice Department under Section 2 of the Voting Right Act. 

And now Texas is presenting its defense. It is using two main arguments.

And boy, are they doozies….

…1st, says Attorney General Greg Abbott, the redistricting is not about race.  Oh no.  It’s about not allowing DEMOCRATS to vote.  White Democrats too.

From their brief:

DOJ’s accusations of racial discrimination are baseless. In 2011, both houses of the Texas Legislature were controlled by large Republican majorities, and their redistricting decisions were designed to increase the Republican Party’s electoral prospects at the expense of the Democrats….The redistricting decisions of which DOJ complains were motivated by partisan rather than racial considerations, and the plaintiffs and DOJ have zero evidence to prove the contrary. It is perfectly constitutional for a Republican-controlled legislature to make partisan districting decisions, even if there are incidental effects on minority voters who support Democratic candidates.

Translation:

"So, basically, we just want to fuck over all Democrats, and if the Black and Brown people are also hurt, well, they shouldn’t vote for Democrats, should they?  It’s only collateral damage"

This is a classic from 8/13/2013. Nothing had changed.

From NY Times: Nine declared or likely Republican candidates descended on a large church in Iowa on Saturday to court evangelical Christians, the voters who played the starring role in the state’s two most recent caucuses.

They included the winners of those two contests (Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee), newcomers whose biographies lend themselves to evangelical support (Ted Cruz and Scott Walker), and candidates who would like to win some support from the Christian right but are eyeing broad coalitions (Rand Paul and Marco Rubio).

The nine-candidate lineup in the worship hall of Point of Grace Church [pseudo-Christians delinked] in Waukee, a Des Moines suburb, was proof of evangelical power in Iowa, but also a warning that the script may be rewritten in 2016, with so many candidates competing for social conservatives that their votes splinter.

We need to take note of the promises Republicans make to throe pseudo-Christian base, pandering to their greed, bigotry and intolerance. Then we get to impale them on the quotes they make in Iowa all the nay to election day.

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Apr 252015
 

I have a very busy day with volunteer projects to get done, and a three day volunteer trip to Salem to plan for next month.  I hope you are all enjoying tour Spring weekend.  It’s still rainy here.

Jug Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From AP: John Legend has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration.

The Grammy-winning singer announced the multiyear initiative, FREE AMERICA, on Monday. He will visit and perform at a correctional facility on Thursday in Austin, Texas, where he also will be part of a press conference with state legislators to discuss Texas’ criminal justice system.

"We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country," Legend said in an interview. "It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration."

Legend, 36, will also visit a California state prison and co-host a criminal justice event with Politico in Washington, D.C., later this month. The campaign will include help from other artists — to be announced — and organizations committed to ending mass incarceration.

Kudos! This is so necessary!

From Blue Oregon: Stand up to the gun lobby and pass SB 941

Gun violence claims too many lives. In the past two years, reasonable gun safety proposals haven’t even gotten a vote in the Oregon Legislature.

But it’s a new day. The Oregon Firearm Safety Act would expand the background checks system to individual sales (in addition to gun shops and gun shows). It will close a loophole that is used by those who want to circumvent background checks.

It’s reasonable. It’s modest. And it doesn’t infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners.

Sign the petition and let’s make Oregon safer.

This for mainly Oregonians, and I support it fully! Click through to sign.

From Daily Kos:On November 26, 2013, 38-year-old Ervin Edwards, partially deaf and mentally ill, was arrested by police for sagging his pants and taken to the West Baton Rouge Parish jail in Louisiana. He only lived for a few more minutes inside of the cell.

For 18 months, police have lied over and over again about what happened the night Ervin Edwards died in their custody. Now that a video of their despicable actions has been released, it’s clear they murdered this man and left him to die all alone in his jail cell. The Advocate has provided an annotated video.

 

Click through for the lies. This is how Republican police handle the crime of saggy pants.

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Apr 212015
 

I’m still quite tired after doing the dreaded task and another noisy night, but I did get some daytime sleep yesterday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Notoriously addled butt munch Pat Robertson took a question today from a woman worried about her 11-year-old son who "started listening to music that speaks of the ‘beast within’ and the ‘infection in people.’" Consequently, his behavior has this poor woman "to the point of me giving up trying to parent him." Thank goodness she took her concern to that master oracle of parenting advice, good ol’ Pat.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Robertson remains the poster boy for Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity (the exact opposite of authentic Christianity).

From The New Yorker: Delivering a stirring populist message at a campaign appearance in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton vowed that as President she would help everyday Americans obtain large cash payments from foreign governments.

“Like a lot of everyday Americans, many of you are struggling to pay your bills,” she told an audience here. “As President, I will work tirelessly to help you make ends meet—by getting foreign governments to pay you.”

“In cold, hard cash,” she added, to a standing ovation.

Growing emotional, the former Secretary of State spoke of the “transformative power of foreign money,” calling it “nothing short of magical.”

Andy is back to satire for a change. The people behind the foreign money meme have a repeatedly demonstrated resume as liars.

From Alternet: Forget the top one percent, the top 0.01 percent of Americans gave nearly 42 percent of all political donation dollars in the 2012 election cycle. Just over 30,000 individuals contributed nearly half of all money. It is no coincidence that this proportion has increased steadily as economic inequality has increased. In 1990 when I was born, the figure was just under 13 percent. If we expanded the scope to the full one percent, you can be damn sure they gave the overwhelming majority of dollars in recent years.

And don’t forget that this does not even include the $billions more in secret donations to bogus Republican 501(c)4 organizations.

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