Oct 242014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 186.  I’m rushing to get this finished before I leave for my volunteer work in prison.

The Victims Impact meeting went very well, and my presentation was well received.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

1023-Broncos35-Chargers21

As penance for missing it, I must say 513 Hail Peytons. :-)

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Republican Gov. John Kasich got a lot of attention on Monday for acknowledging reality when he said that Obamacare repeal is "not gonna happen." Then he went even deeper, saying that the "political or ideological" opposition to Obamacare—and, in particular, Medicaid expansion—doesn’t "hold water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives." Two thoughts spring to mind reading that. Either John Kasich has given up any presidential aspirations or Kasich is seeing a shift in his party away from Obamacare insanity.

As it turns out, it’s neither of those things, because Kasich immediately "clarified" his position.

"I don’t back Obamacare. I never have. I want it to be repealed," he told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. "If the House and the Senate [are Republican-controlled] and we have a Republican president, Obamacare will be repealed flat out. Flat out. And it will be replaced."

So much for "real improvements in people’s lives." But that’s not the best part. He goes full McConnell in his backtracking talk with Politico.

Even when one acknowledges the need to feign sanity, the need to suck … nevermind … for money requires that they goosestep first.

From NY Times: Four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards were convicted and immediately jailed Wednesday for their roles in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square that marked a bloody nadir in America’s war in Iraq.

A jury in Federal District Court found that the deaths of 17 Iraqis in the shooting, which began when a convoy of the guards suddenly began firing in a crowded intersection, was not a battlefield tragedy, but the result of a criminal act.

The justice here, although commendable, is incomplete, as long as the company exists in any form. Because it became known as the Republican Gestapo, it changed it’s name to Xe and then to Academi. as it remains as part of Constellis Holdings.

From Upworthy:

She’s already America’s sweetheart, and now she’s won an award for her anti-bullying work. As someone who was bullied herself, Julia Roberts can really relate to the teens she works with.

 

Kudos to Julia. And she’s right. It’s wrong to stand by and do nothing. But even worse, the Republican Party demands that bullying LGBT people is part of their right to religious expression.  How hateful!

Cartoon:

1024Cartoon

Share
Oct 232014
 

Republicans refuse to accept the inevitable when they have lost on an issue.  This is especially true of bigoted hate mongers.  Now the issue of whether a state may nullify a federal law was decided in the civil war.  Now North Carolina wants to extend the power to nullify to individual government employees.

1023gay-hate-signSince marriage equality’s arrival in North Carolina this month, at least two magistrates have resigned from their roles in the state judicial system to avoid having to officiate marriages for same-sex couples. This week, Senate Leader Phil Berger (R) said he will introduce legislation that allows officiants [sic] to refuse to perform marriages that violate their religious beliefs.

According to Berger, who is continuing to fight the marriage equality ruling with House Speaker and Senate candidate Thom Tillis (R), “The court’s expansion of the freedoms of some should not violate the well-recognized constitutional rights of others.” He doesn’t believe complying with marriage equality should “require our state employees to compromise their core religious beliefs and First Amendment rights in order to protect their livelihoods.”

In his resignation letter, Rockingham County Magistrate John Kallam, Jr. said that he believes marrying same-sex couples “would desecrate a holy Institution established by God Himself.” Swain County Magistrate Judge Gilbert Breedlove said that he resigned because performing a same-sex marriage “was just something I couldn’t do because of my religious beliefs.” According to his reading of the Bible, “marriage is between a man and a wife; any other type of sexual activity other than that is what is defined as fornication.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

When it comes to Judge Breedlove, I disagree completely with his beliefs, but I respect his right to have his beliefs.  However, his job is performing a service, and same sex couples are Constitutionally guaranteed the right to have that service performed.  If he cannot do that job without violating his beliefs, he was absolutely right to resign.  I respect that.

On the other hand, Berger is trying to say that the right to freedom of religion congers the right to demy the rights of others, and it just does not work that way.

Leviticus 25:44 gives me the right to possess slaves as long as they are purchased from a neighboring country.  Now if Berger is right, than I get to exercise my right to own a Canadian, but sadly,  Canadians have the right not to be held as slaves, so I must sadly accept that their right to freedom supersedes my religious right to own one.  Dang!!

A political party, whose politicians would confer the right to violate the rights of the others is not fit to govern.

Get Out the VOTE!!!

Share
Oct 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 181.  I’m sorry about yesterday.  I just ran out of gas and had to recharge.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Ord.  My Broncos’ have the featured Sunday night service with the the Fortyniners.  I’m glad it’s at home.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 4:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Right now, income inequality is the highest it’s been in our society since 1928. A lucky few in America make billions, while millions of others struggle just to get by. Nowhere is this gap more apparent than in the 4,100 plus Walmart stores across the country. Rob Walton and his family have amassed an empire of riches, and they built it on the backs of the working poor. The consequences of such skewed earning potential – where the family on top is worth $150 billion while their employees earn less than $25,000 per year – are significant and unsustainable.

As the nation’s largest employer, with $15 billion in profits annually, Walmart can afford to pay their employees a livable wage. Instead, they choose to manipulate schedules and hours to pay the majority of their workers abysmal wages. Sandra Sok, who works in Phoenix Walmart Store #5331 is a perfect example. After eight years of service to the company, she still struggles for enough work and income to make ends meet. She pleads with management every week for additional shifts because the 30 hours she is usually scheduled for simply aren’t enough. Sandra’s done her part to help Walmart succeed – she deserves more than poverty pay in return.

Many workers like Sandra are forced to rely on food stamps, health care assistance and other taxpayer-funded programs to get by. So while the Walton family alone has as much wealth as 43% of American families combined, the American people still have to pick up the tab for the Walton’s appalling business practices. And it’s not cheap: Walmart is estimated to cost the taxpayers $6.2 billion annually through public assistance costs, with expenses ranging between $3,015 and $5,815 per worker. All the while, Walmart and the Waltons are taking $8 billion a year in tax breaks that subsidize their low-wage business – and add to their profits. It is estimated that the family has avoided paying $3 billion in taxes by using special trusts to dodge estate taxes.

It’s time to end this charade and shut down the Walmart scam.

Click through for more. If you must enter Wal-fart, go to leave methane, not money.

From Upworthy: I come from a Caribbean immigrant household. Even with all the advances gay rights have made in America in the last few years, my family is still pretty much stuck in 1950. There are, of course, a few exceptions — shoutout to my sister Loree!

After watching this clip and hearing the crazy things this family says, this scenario playing out in the lives of every gay person with a less-than-accepting family would be a beautiful, absurd, and hilarious step forward.

That’s hilarious, but I can see it happening.

From TPM: The Supreme Court has rejected an emergency appeal from the Justice Department and civil rights groups who were trying to prevent the Texas voter ID law from being enforced in the November election. As you’ll recall, a district judge found the law to be unconstitutional last week because it intentionally discriminated against minority voters. But the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and now the Supreme Court have blocked that ruling from going into effect while appeals are pending. That clears the way for Texas to enforce the law in the upcoming election.

You’ve got it fight. A District Judge has ruled that this law is racist. It INTENTIONALLY discriminates against minority voters. But the Fascist Five Injustices from SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) say, go ahead and discriminate, as long as it’s on appeal.

Cartoon:

1019Cartoon

Share
Oct 152014
 

For many years I have referred to the Republican Party as the Pro Death Party, because they have blood on their hands from the many people they have killed by slashing the funding for the services people need to stay alive.  In fact I originally made the graphic I am using below on March 8, 2011.  I’m thoroughly pleased that someone big is finally telling it like it is.

GOPDeathFlame.gif

The Agenda Project Action Fund has come up with the most brutal, direct political ad I think I've ever seen.  It ties the Republican budget-cut mantra directly to the disastrous slashing of CDC and NIH funds, and then ties that directly to the Ebola crisis and needless human death.  Have a look…

…Apparently this is showing on TV in key Senate battleground states right now.  Seems to be what the Doctor ordered.

Between you and me, I would like to see Mr. Obama going around the country linking conservative government to all of these problems, every week, in appearance after appearance, making the message slowly sink in…

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Here’s the ad:

I fully agree with this author. and Kudos to the Agenda Project.  This is the first I’ve hears of them, but they rate watching.

Share
Oct 042014
 

RepublicansOnParade4

Here is the sixty-second article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is fugitive Eric Frein. He is so honored for ambushing and killing a police officer.

1004eric-freinFox News is increasingly fixating on the gruesome workplace beheading last week in Moore, Oklahoma by a recent Muslim convert, suspect Alton Nolen. Perhaps sensing a way to once again fan its patented flames of Islamophobia while simultaneously blaming President Obama for being indifferent to the threat of terrorism, Fox is treating the murder as a national story with sweeping political implications.

Sounding the jihadist alarms, Fox News and the right-wing media are eager to label the ghastly crime an act of Islamic terror. Law enforcement officials, however, aren't in the same rush, noting that the attack came immediately after Nolen was fired and stating that they've yet to find a link to terrorism. While that story continues to play out, it's worth noting that an actual act of political terror remains in the news. It's just not a priority for Fox.

On the night of September 16, 31-year-old marksman Eric Frein was allegedly laying in wait outside the Blooming Grove police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania, preparing to assassinate state troopers. Shortly before 11 p.m., Bryon Dickson was shot and killed as he walked towards his patrol car. Moments later, as he approached the barracks to begin his overnight shift, trooper Alex Douglass was shot and seriously wounded by a bullet fired from a .308-caliber rifle.

Described as a  "survivalist," Frein disappeared into the Poconos Mountains woods where he's been hiding ever since, eluding law enforcement and its massive manhunt, which includes hundreds of law enforcement officers with assistance from the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives…

Inserted from <Media Matters>

Here’s a video clip, in case you’re not familiar with the issue.

Now you’re probably wondering how I can tell this monster is a Republican.  I base it on three things.  First, if he were not a Republican, The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda would not be projecting to cover-up the incident.  Second, if he were not a Republican, Republican Ammosexual websites and blogs would not be calling the incident a false flag, perpetrated by the evil Kenyan, to use as an excuse to take away their guns.  Third, if he were not a Republican, Republican hatemongers would not be celebrating his act and calling him a hero.

Share
Oct 022014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 164.  I spent most of the day collecting and formatting data for the Monthly Report.  I also spent some time at Care2 deleting a bunch of “friends” that do not seem to be there anymore.  It has gotten so bad that I have to delete over two hundred notices a day in my email that my eCard (used to forwards links) from a couple days earlier had not been picked up.  If you’re reading this, and I deleted you by accident, appease add me again.  Store to Door will be delivering groceries this afternoon.  I have an extra large order to put away, because I had no delivery last week.  I was doing prison-volunteer work.  Tomorrow is my physical with fasting blood work with my primary care physician.  I will be leaving early in the morning.  God only knows when the Lift bus will get me back.  So in all probability, I will have only a Personal Update for Friday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 5:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Wendell Pierce, who played one of my favorite cops on HBO’s "The Wire," decided to share this personal story of the day he was dressed in a suit, had two toddlers in the backseat of his car, and was heading to a funeral. It was 100 degrees outside, he had the air-conditioner on and a police officer pulled him over. At 0:47, he starts sharing his story. At 2:28, he gets to the heart of the matter.

 

Ludicrous as that story is, it’s actually mild compared to other’s we’ve heard of late. Perhaps out police have been getting their information from Faux Noise. That would explain why they are so afraid.

From the New Yorker: President Barack Obama has decided to move his family into a full-service doorman building in Washington, D.C., saying that “it just makes more sense right now.”

“It really will work better for us,” Obama said in a press conference Tuesday morning. “In addition to the doorman, there’s a guy at the front desk, and, if anyone comes to see you, the desk guy will call up to your apartment first to make sure it’s O.K.”

The senior doorman at the Obamas’ new building, Alex Kornash, seemed unfazed about providing security for the President. “I’ve been a doorman for twenty-three years,” Kornash said. “Someone doesn’t belong here, you tell them to go away. What’s so hard about that?”

Sure, Andy’s being funny, but in light of recent events, it might actually be a pretty good idea!

From Daily Kos: Within minutes of the Kansas Supreme Court’s decision to leave Democrat Chad Taylor off the Kansas ballot for U.S. Senate (dealing a blow to Kris Kobach–worst secretary of state in the nation) a Kansas City-area Democrat named David Orel filed a challenge trying to force Democrats to name a new candidate. David Orel also happens to be the father of a Alexander Orel, regional director for ultra-conservative Sam Brownback’s re-election campaign.

Kris Kobach once again tried to intervene by joining the lawsuit, but the district court ruled against him and refused to let him join the suit.

Kris Kobach’s week was about to get worse. Yesterday, David Orel was set to have his day in court, but his case took a serious hit after he failed to appear before the Shawnee County District Court:

Poor Kobitch! Could it be that this so-called Democrat, who I have no doubt just registers that way, misses the court date, because someone forgot to remove his fur lined handcuffs, after rewarding him for his intended perjury with Gov. Brownback’s toy collection.

Cartoon:

1002Cartoon

Share
Oct 012014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 163.  It’s a busy day, and I have much to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:46 (average 5:43).  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:

4Scores

Standings:

4Standings

Since my best players have returned from a bye week, I hope to do better.

Short Takes:

From Rolling Stone (Hat-Tip Daily Kos): [T]he enormity of the Koch fortune is no mystery. Brothers Charles and David are each worth more than $40 billion. The electoral influence of the Koch brothers is similarly well-chronicled. The Kochs are our homegrown oligarchs; they’ve cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House. Their political network helped finance the Tea Party and powers today’s GOP. Koch-affiliated organizations raised some $400 million during the 2012 election, and aim to spend another $290 million to elect Republicans in this year’s midterms. So far in this cycle, Koch-backed entities have bought 44,000 political ads to boost Republican efforts to take back the Senate.

What is less clear is where all that money comes from. Koch Industries is headquartered in a squat, smoked-glass building that rises above the prairie on the outskirts of Wichita, Kansas. The building, like the brothers’ fiercely private firm, is literally and figuratively a black box. Koch touts only one top-line financial figure: $115 billion in annual revenue, as estimated by Forbes. By that metric, it is larger than IBM, Honda or Hewlett-Packard and is America’s second-largest private company after agribusiness colossus Cargill. The company’s stock response to inquiries from reporters: "We are privately held and don’t disclose this information."

But Koch Industries is not entirely opaque. The company’s troubled legal history – including a trail of congressional investigations, Department of Justice consent decrees, civil lawsuits and felony convictions – augmented by internal company documents, leaked State Department cables, Freedom of Information disclosures and company whistle­-blowers, combine to cast an unwelcome spotlight on the toxic empire whose profits finance the modern GOP…

Click through for the rest of this inclusive exposé on the evil brothers Republicans love to … nevermind.

From Slate (Hat-Tip Daily Kos): Many of the police officers present during protests that followed the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, did not wear nametags and refused to identify themselves to members of the public when asked, a practice that is prohbited by law in some places and by department policy in many others. Per a Department of Justice letter sent to Ferguson police on Tuesday, Ferguson officers are in fact required to wear identification by the department’s own regulations. The DOJ instructed officers to begin following this requirement immediately. From Reuters: 

… the Justice Department said its investigators had observed Ferguson police officers not wearing, or obscuring, their name tags on their uniforms, a violation of the police department’s rules.

"The failure to wear name plates conveys a message to community members that, through anonymity, officers may seek to act with impunity," the letter said.

The Justice Department then reiterated the identification requirement in a second letter to Ferguson police (whose main purpose was demanding that officers stop wearing "I Am Darren Wilson" solidarity bracelets):

It further was reported to us that some officers affirmatively displaying these bracelets had black tape over their name plates. The practice of not wearing, or obscuring, name plates violates your own department’s policies, which we advised you earlier this week when we requested that you end the practice imrnediately.

The second letter is dated Friday.

Indict the pigs! (I use this not a generic term for police officers, but an insult to these racists, who should not be wearing the uniform.)

From NY Times: The Supreme Court on Monday blocked an appeals court ruling that would have restored seven days of early voting in Ohio.

The Supreme Court’s order was three sentences long and contained no reasoning. But it disclosed an ideological split, with the court’s four more liberal members noting that they would have denied the request for a stay of the lower court’s order extending early voting. Dale Ho, a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union, said the court’s action “will deprive many Ohioans of the opportunity to vote in the upcoming election as this case continues to make its way through the courts.”

The ruling, which reflected a partisan breakdown in many court decisions nationwide on voting issues, saw the five Republican-appointed justices uphold the voting restrictions enacted by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature in February. The new limits removed the first week of Ohio’s 35-day early voting period, in the process eliminating the only week that permitted same-day registration, a feature most often used by minorities.

The Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) just took another bite out of Democracy. Only Democrats can occupy the White House until these totalitarian bastards are gone!

Cartoon:

1001Cartoon

Share