Jun 302016
 

After staying here nine nights, Julie and Killer Dawg moved out yesterday.  I’m feeling lonely.  After a while I‘ll get used to my routine again.  She will be back for about four hours on Saturday and will help train her replacement for a couple hours on Tuesday.  I felt too tired to sleep well last night, so I took a Lona Nap this morning and I am running late.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Because that is what Jesus would do, right? No, wrong. Assault weapons are meant for one thing — to kill. Jesus was against killing.

The Globe reports on a church in Joplin, Missouri, that held a raffle and gave away two Black Rain AR-15 assault rifles on Father’s Day. Fathers were given one free ticket and another for each child they brought in. (I wonder if you could bring in someone else’s child for extra tickets…) Ignite says it was part of a marketing strategy to “lure”  young men between 18-35 to follow Jesus. Because that’s what Jesus would do right? No, wrong. No where [sic] does it say Jesus “lured.”

It would appear that church exists to worship Republican Supply-side Jesus, who Republicans invented to justify their false gospel of violence, lies, hate and greed. Republican Supply-side Jesus is the polar opposite of the real Jesus.

From MSNBC: Rachel on Benghazi BS

 

 

Republican Benghazi BS had one purpose only, to propagandize against Hillary Clinton. And Nameless was right. It STILL isn’t over.

From Alternet: Donald Trump has been showered with accusations of financial impropriety, from fraud suits levied against his now-defunct Trump University, to charges that the presidential candidate drastically inflates his charitable donations. To add fuel to the monetary fire, Trump is now facing repercussions for poor fundraising acumen; on Wednesday, the Federal Elections Committee filed a complaint against Donald J. Trump for President for “soliciting contributions from foreign nationals” in a series of emails the campaign sent to “foreign nationals in Iceland, Scotland, Britain and Australia.”

Following reports earlier this month that Trump’s fundraising numbers are severely lagging, the presumptive Republican nominee sent emails to members of the British parliament, Talking Points Memo reports.

Sir Roger Gale, British Member of Parliament (MP) complained about the correspondence to the Speaker of the House Commons, Politics Home notes. "Members of Parliament are being bombarded by electronic communications from Team Trump on behalf of somebody called Donald Trump,” Gale said Tuesday. ”Mr Speaker, I’m all in favour of free speech but I don’t see why colleagues on either side of the House should be subjected to intemperate spam."

Click through for more details. Trump has not even tried to hide his criminal foreign fundraising behind bogus nonprofits, the way Republicans normally do.

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They need to Vote Blue!

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Jun 172016
 

It’s almost time for me to leave for my blood test.  There probably won’t be time to post this before I return this afternoon.

I’m back.  I’m done.  I’m so tired I hear Lona calling from my pillow,.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:02 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Fox’s Geraldo Rivera Shames Orlando Victims For Not Fighting Back

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Isn’t it just like the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, to blame the victims?

From Daily Kos: Though the outcomes of the legislative votes are far from sure, the filibuster begun by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has succeeded in bringing Republicans to the table for a pair of votes.

Senate Democrats ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster early Thursday after Republican Party leaders reportedly agreed to allow votes on two proposed gun control measures.

The votes will supposedly include a proposal to provide universal background checks, and another to prevent those on the no-fly list from obtaining weapons. The second bill apparently addresses the no-fly list, not the much larger terrorist watch list. These are both positions that have wide, bipartisan support in the public, but which Republicans have either blocked from a vote or voted down in the past.

As wonderful as this sounds, Senate Republicans caved in, while secure in the knowledge that House Republicans will never allow either bill to come to the floor.

From NY Times: A member of Parliament was gunned down outside a library in northern England as she was wrapping up a meeting with constituents on Thursday afternoon, a rare act of gun violence in a nation that strictly regulates firearms.

The lawmaker, Jo Cox, 41, who was considered a rising star in the opposition Labour Party and a passionate advocate for victims of the civil war in Syria, was shot in Birstall, a town about six miles southwest of the city of Leeds. A 77-year-old man was slightly injured in the attack.

A 52-year-old man was arrested in Ms. Cox’s killing, and the police said they were not looking for any other suspects. No motive has been established, officials said.

The suspect was identified in the British news media as Thomas Mair.

On Thursday night, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported on its website that Mr. Mair was a “dedicated supporter” of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi organization in the United States. The center, which tracks hate groups, said Mr. Mair bought a manual from the alliance in 1999 that included instructions on how to build a pistol. It based its reporting on invoices it said it had obtained, copies of which were published on its website…

Please offer Prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones of Jo Cox, who may well be the first UK victim of terrorism by a Republican-supporting fascist.

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0617Cartoon

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Jun 162016
 

It’s another busy day as I had to find a replacement fort Julie.  A woman she recommended has agreed to take the job, and another woman she recommended, has agreed to be on-call backup.  Both are registered with the same agency.  I have to use it, because the state pays for six hours per month of my care through their disabled seniors program. I have to pay for the rest, but every little bit helps. Tomorrow, I have my last pre-surgery blood tests, so please expect no more than a Personal Update tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:46 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The Dixie Chicks are back, and they’re already making trouble. The much-loved liberal bad girls of country/pop kicked off their North American tour this month with a nice big flip-off to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

Unabashed in their political views, the three Grammy-winning musicians have taken the long way getting back on tour, after dissing George W. Bush in 2003 while on stage in London. The trio suffered a backlash not many artists can or will survive. Like millions around the world, they were angry at “W” for starting the Iraq War. In comparison to the racist and incredibly disrespectful remarks made publicly about President Obama on the likes of Fox News every day, the Dixie Chicks’ lead singer Natalie Maines merely said she, "Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas."… [emphasis original]

The article did not include a picture of what they did to Rump Dump. Here it is.

0616trump-dixie-chicks

The article did include the song they played right after dissing Crawford Caligula. Here it is.

I love that tune!! Kudos to the Dixie Chicks!!

From NY Times: After the Central Intelligence Agency transferred Abu Zubaydah to the American military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and he was brought before a panel of officers for a hearing in March 2007, he described in broken English how he had been tortured in the agency’s black-site prisons.

He said his body had shaken when he stood for hours, naked and shackled in a cold room and unable to shift his weight to an injured leg. He spoke of his humiliation at having to relieve himself in a bucket in front of other people, “like an animal.” And he described being waterboarded until he stopped breathing and required resuscitation.

“They shackle me completely, even my head; I can’t do anything,” Mr. Zubaydah said. “Like this, and they put one cloth in my mouth and they put water, water, water.” At the “last point before I die,” he said, interrogators stood the board back up and “make like this” — he made breathing noises — “again and again they make it with me, and I tell him, ‘If you want to kill me, kill me.’ ”

Mr. Zubaydah’s testimony was contained in newly declassified transcripts of military hearings for the C.I.A.’s former prisoners. The government disclosed the accounts this week in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, which provided the documents to The New York Times.

Bush, Chaney, Rice, Rumsfeld Gonzalez, Yoo and more belong behind bars for this.

From Alternet: At first blush it seems almost un-American—a universal basic income (UBI) that grants an income to every US citizen without any obligation to work or perform a socially mandated task. In a country that celebrates hard work as the path to fulfillment and riches, the idea of getting money for nothing—even if it’s just enough to keep you and your family off the debt collector’s call list and above the poverty line—is heresy. And yet, in some ways, UBI is as idealistic, optimistic, and American as the Declaration of Independence and its foundational principle that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Even with our current economic problems, we live in a land of abundant wealth and resources. And UBI is rooted in the belief that every human being should have at least the basic means to choose the life they want for themselves and their families. At a time when the tried-and-true twentieth-century solutions are failing us, UBI has the potential to give our troubled economy a twenty-first-century shot in the arm by transforming the technological disruption that’s been causing us so much anxiety into a force for self-fulfillment and the common good.

If these sentiments sound lofty and gilded, as I’m sure they do, my hope is that the conversations here will inspire you to see UBI as a policy that can raise the floor and reinvigorate our nation’s founding principles while providing new scaffolding for the American Dream.

Click through for his detailed support for his position. I agree with him.

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0616Cartoon

We need it back!

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Jun 022016
 

I'm rushing to to finish as much as I can before my CAT scan,  I'll say hi to the cat for you.

I'm back.  The cat made me drink a quart of cat pee called contrasting agent and then injected more.  YUCK!  I have my pre-surgery physical tomorrow morning sp expect no more than a late Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:25 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: A federal judge ordered the release of hundreds of documents related to the fraud case against Donald Trump for his now defunct (like most of Trump’s businesses) Trump University. The so-called “university” was a series of real estate seminars that promised to teach people insider secrets of the real estate business. The documents reveal high pressure sales tactics that were designed to play on people’s emotions and carefully convince people to part with their money, often encouraging them to take on huge amounts of debt to finance their “education.” The manual instructed Trump University sales staff to find out personal information and then use that to close the deal and separate already desperate people from what money they had, even if that meant taking on credit card debt…

 

Everything about Rump Dump, like his CONiversity, is also a lie.

From NY Times: A wave of prominent Republicans have announced their intention to skip the party’s national convention in Cleveland this summer, the latest sign that Donald J. Trump, who last week secured the delegates needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, continues to struggle in his effort to unite the party behind his candidacy.

The list of those who have sent regrets includes governors and United States senators — almost all facing tough re-election fights this year — and lifelong party devotees who have attended every convention for decades. Some are renouncing their seats like conscientious objectors.

“I could not in good conscience attend a coronation and celebration of Donald Trump,” wrote one Indiana delegate, Josh Claybourn, in a blog post resigning his position.

The coolness toward Mr. Trump amounts to a remarkable rebuke. A broad range of party leaders are openly rejecting the man who will be their nominee. And the July 18-21 convention, usually a moment of public catharsis for political parties after contentious primaries, is shaping up to be another reminder of the disarray and disunity that is still rocking the Republican Party after a bitter 17-way fight for the nomination.

Extinction is the only proper fate of the Republican Party.

From Alternet: The City of Portland has created and implemented strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for more than 20 years. In the early 1990s, it became the first city in the United States to adopt a comprehensive carbon dioxide reduction strategy. In 2001, Multnomah County (the most populous of Oregon’s 36 counties) and the City of Portland (which is the seat of Multnomah County and Oregon’s largest city) passed their joint Local Action Plan on Global Warming.

In 2009, Multnomah County and Portland adopted an updated climate action plan (CAP) with expanded categories for actions and more-rigorous reduction targets. The plan identifies 93 action steps in 8 categories to reach its emissions reduction goals, ranging from curbside pickup of residential food scraps to expanding the city’s streetcar and light rail system.

Thanks to strong government leadership, science-informed policy making has long been practiced in Portland. To avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change, the city set its latest emissions reduction target by referring to current science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Portland adopted an 80 percent emissions reduction target by 2050, with an interim goal of 40 percent by 2030. In line with IPCC recommendations, 1990 was set as the baseline year for the reduction target.

Oregon leads the way!

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May 282016
 
furies

Just one article this week which seems to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with it. As a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."

I doubt whether the Furies need to eat, you know, being immortal and all, and if that's correct, they probably do not barf.  But if any story could do it, it's this one.  For the rest of us, you have been warned.  Barf bags are in order

A young black man with "mental disorders including learning disabilities," who is a player on the footballl team at Dietrich High School in Dietrich, Idaho, was sexually assaulted by teammates last October 23, after football practice, the Washington Post has learned.  The report was written by Michael E. Miller, a foreign affairs reporter for the Post, who also blogs for their Morning Mix.  [If you want to keep your breakfast down, you may want to avoid the Post’s “Morning Mix” every day] 

The Post does not print names of sexual assault victims, nor of suspects charged as juveniles (both policies with which I heartily concur), so I can't use names when I say that, after practice on that date, the youthful suspect held out his arms to the victim as if to hug him.  Instead, the suspect restrained the victim so that the other two suspects could attack.

There is both a criminal case and a civil suit regarding this incident.  Both say that as the victim was restrained, another teammate, Tanner Ward, 17, who is being charged as an adult, used force to insert a coat hanger into the victim's rectum, after which the third teammate, John R. K. Howard, also being charged as an adult, kicked the coat hanger several times (five or six?), causing "rectal injuries" that required hospital treatment.

This John R. K. Howard sounds like a real jewel.  According to the lawsuit, which describes all manner of harassment to which the victim was subjected, he is "a large and aggressive male who had been sent to live with his relatives in Idaho due to his inability to keep out of trouble in Texas."  Ummm – how much of a menace does one have to be to be kicked out of Texas, if one is white?  The lawsuit also says, "Mr. Howard is a relative of prominent individuals in the community and, at least in part due to his athletic ability and community connections, the Defendants ignored or were deliberately indifferent to the behavior of Mr. Howard which included aggression, taunting and bullying of The Plaintiff and other students in the District." 

The community referred to, by the way, is a town of 334 people, and predominatly white.  The victim was adopted by his white parents when he was four years old.

The amount and types of abuse doled out should be shocking – but even if we have seen so much now not to be shocked, they are certainly repugnant.  I won't list everything, but I will quote this from the article: "It was Howard who, with his bare fists, knocked out the victim, who was made to wear boxing gloves, as teammates and coaches formed a circle around them, the suit says."

Excuse me?  Teammates and coaches formed a circle around them?

Sounds like that $10 million lawsuit is pretty solid.

Instead of going into more detail on the abuse, I would like to quote some comments from the Daily Kos diary on the case.

CharlesCurtisVotes:  "This makes my heart [hurt] so much. I'm in the verge of tears. My brother (who I lost 4 years ago) was special needs and I can see his face lighting up at the thought of getting a hug only to see it turn so horrible. I can't even begin to describe my sadness."

jusducky:  "My brother too….same. Like his health issues were not a big enough hurdle, the bullying was terrible, but it was nothing like this."

Kela5283:  "The idea that teachers and other school officials were complicit and cheered this on is just so morally repulsive to me. It just sickens me. They should be fired."

rainmanjr:  (in response to Kela 5283) "No. They should be prosecuted as accessories."

Local news and views can be found in what is apparently the major news source in Dietrich, "Magic Valley."

Dear Alecto, dear Megaera, dear Tisiphone, I hope I'm right that you do not barf.  I feel like I need a shower just asking you to even be in the same state as these – people.  Let alone to pay close enough attention to sort out the guilt.  Because I am sure there is plenty of guilt to go around, and plenty of guilty parties who have not even been mentioned.  May the Force be with you.  (Yeah, I know, different mythology, but this will need all the mythology it can get.)

BTW, my husband had a suggestion for one way the perps might be treated, but if you don't eat or barf, you probably don't do that either.

The Furies and I will be back.

Cross-posted to Care2 at

http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/3987590

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May 112016
 

Julie has been here, and I’m a polished puddy tat,  She brought her companion animal, a pup named Prince.  You’ll get to meet him today.  I’m setting up the jumps through the bunches of hoops I need to accomplish before my eye surgeries. Later:  Groceries have been delivered, and I put them away.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics: The latest delegate count

Short Takes

 

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

2239

1469

Delegates Won

4051

1716

1430

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

523

39

 

 

District of Columbia

June 14

20 (25)

 

 

Primary

Closed

California

June 7

475 (71)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Montana

June 7

21 (6)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Jersey

June 7

126 (16)

 

 

Primary

Closed

North Dakota

June 7

18 (5)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Mexico

June 7

34 (9)

 

 

Primary

Closed

South Dakota

June 7

20 (5)

 

 

Primary

Semi-open

Puerto Rico

June 5

60 (7)

 

 

Primary

Open

Virgin Islands

June 4

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Oregon

May 17

61 (13)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Kentucky

May 17

55 (5)

 

 

Primary

Closed

West Virginia

May 10

29 (8)

11

16

Primary

Semi-closed

Guam

May 7

7 (5)

4

3

Caucus

Closed

Indiana

May 3

83 (9)

39

44

Primary

Open

Rhode Island

April 26

24 (9)

11

13

Primary

Semi-closed

Pennsylvania

April 26

189 (21)

105

83

Primary

Closed

Delaware

April 26

21 (10)

12

9

Primary

Closed

Connecticut

April 26

55 (15)

28

27

Primary

Closed

Maryland

April 26

95 (23)

61

33

Primary

Closed

New York

April 19

247 (44)

139

108

Primary

Closed

Wyoming

April 9

14 (4)

7

7

Caucus

Closed

Wisconsin

April 5

86 (10)

38

48

Primary

Open

Washington

March 26

101 (17)

27

74

Caucus

Open

Hawaii

March 26

25 (9)

8

17

Caucus

Semi-closed

Alaska

March 26

16 (4)

3

13

Caucus

Closed

Utah

March 22

33 (4)

6

27

Caucus

Semi-open

Idaho

March 22

23 (4)

5

18

Caucus

Open

Arizona

March 22

75 (10)

42

33

Primary

Closed

Ohio

March 15

143 (16)

81

62

Primary

Semi-open

North Carolina

March 15

107 (14)

59

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Missouri

March 15

71 (13)

36

35

Primary

Open

Illinois

March 15

156 (26)

79

77

Primary

Open

Florida

March 15

214 (32)

141

73

Primary

Closed

Northern Marianas

March 12

6 (5)

4

2

N/A

N/A

Michigan

March 8

130 (17)

63

67

Primary

Open

Mississippi

March 8

36 (5)

32

4

Primary

Open

Maine

March 6

25 (5)

8

17

Caucus

Closed

Kansas

March 5

33 (4)

10

23

Caucus

Closed

Nebraska

March 5

25 (5)

10

15

Caucus

Closed

Louisiana

March 5

51 (8)

37

14

Primary

Closed

Virginia

March 1

95 (15)

62

33

Primary

Open

Vermont

March 1

16 (10)

0

16

Primary

Open

Texas

March 1

222 (30)

147

75

Primary

Open

Tennessee

March 1

67 (9)

44

23

Primary

Open

Oklahoma

March 1

38 (4)

17

21

Primary

Semi-closed

Minnesota

March 1

77 (16)

31

46

Caucus

Open

Massachusetts

March 1

91 (25)

46

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Georgia

March 1

102 (14)

73

29

Primary

Open

Democrats Abroad

March 1-8

13 (4)

4

9

Primary

Closed

Colorado

March 1

66 (13)

25

41

Caucus

Closed

Arkansas

March 1

32 (5)

22

10

Primary

Open

American Samoa

March 1

6 (4)

4

2

Caucus

Closed

Alabama

March 1

53 (7)

44

9

Primary

Open

South Carolina

February 27

53 (6)

39

14

Primary

Open

Nevada

February 20

35 (8)

20

15

Caucus

Closed

New Hampshire

February 9

24 (8)

9

15

Primary

Semi-closed

Iowa

February 1

44 (8)

23

21

Caucus

Semi-open

A good win for Bernie cut into Hillary’s lead by 5 delegates, but that’s not enough to close the gap. Bernie needs 913 more delegates to win. Hillary needs 143. The remaining states have 897 delegates. Vote Blue No Matter Who!!

From Daily Kos: A meme shared on Tumblr and Reddit instructs people to mix household chemicals together in order to make a glowstick.

Except the instructions are lifted from a how-to guide for making a chlorine bomb out of common chemicals. This device overpressurizes its container and explodes. The explosion releases deadly chlorine gas which when inhaled, interacts with the water in mucus membranes to transform into hydrochloric acid. It causes chemical burns in the throat, eyes, and lungs. It has been used as a chemical weapon for just over 100 years, and was first introduced by the German Empire at the second battle of Ypres in 1915, and most recently used by terrorists in Iraq and Syria who were targeting civilians with makeshift devices such as the one described in this meme.

I’ve removed the actual instructions for the device because some people are stupid and might try to see what would happen if they made one of these.

0511Deadly_Glowstick

I also found this video to see what would happen non-stupidly.

 

I found the meme on Reddit, and the people spreading it are mostly Cruz and Trump supporters, based on their other posts and comments. Please be warned! This is one of the vilest things the Republican Party has ever done!

From Upworthy: It’s pretty rare that a Department of Justice press conference will bring people to tears — today was a rare and historic exception.

Today, Attorney General Loretta Lynch issued a formal response to HB2, North Carolina’s anti-transgender law. In it, she said:

"This is not a time to act out of fear. This is a time to summon our national virtues of inclusivity, diversity, compassion and open-mindedness. What we must not do — what we must never do — is turn on our neighbors, our family members, our fellow Americans, for something they cannot control, and deny what makes them human."

"This is why none of us can stand by when a state enters the business of legislating identity and insists that a person pretend to be something they are not, or invents a problem that doesn’t exist as a pretext for discrimination and harassment."

She also urged the state not to repeat the mistakes of the past, pointing out that it wasn’t so long ago that restrooms were segregated on the basis of race.

Amen to that!

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May 022016
 

Yesterday and today have been unseasonably warm and quite humid with highs in the 80°s.  That has interfered with my sleep, as I still have not gotten used to the loud A/C next to my head.  In addition to that,. I missed a nap yesterday, collecting the data for today’s Monthly Report.  After doing my research this morning, I felt so tired that I uncorked a Lona-nap, so I’m running late today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:38 (average 4:39).  To do it click here,  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY TimesIt is an old congressional ritual: loading up vital spending bills that are meant to keep the government running with dangerous amendments aimed at satisfying ideological causes and benefiting special interests.

The Republicans have become adept at this practice in recent years, and this year is no different. Legislative riders attached to appropriations bills would undermine the Iran nuclear deal, weaken highway safety and reduce the Food and Drug Administration’s authority over tobacco products.

These measures would be unlikely to succeed as stand-alone bills, either because they could not get enough votes on their own or because President Obama would veto them. So better to sneak them in without even holding hearings to make a case on their behalf.

Thankfully, Democratic lawmakers and public interest groups are calling attention to these stealth attacks. In the Senate, Democrats managed on Wednesday to block a vote on a water and energy spending bill after Senator Tom Cotton, Republican of Arkansas, tried to attach a provision that would have dealt a severe blow to the Iran nuclear deal. Mr. Cotton’s measure would have blocked the administration from purchasing heavy water used in Iran’s nuclear facilities. Iran has to get rid of the water to comply with the deal. By denying Iran an American market, Mr. Cotton and other Republicans hoped to undermine the deal, which they hate.

Click through for more. One big irony here is that by trying to block Iran’s sale of heavy water to the US, Republicans are actually helping to enable the development of an Iranian nuke.

From Think Progress: Teachers across Detroit called in sick to work on Monday — a “sick-out” protest that ultimately shut down all but three public schools in the city because there weren’t enough teachers in class.

The coordinated protest, which was organized by the Detroit Federation of Teachers, came soon after the school district’s emergency manager, Judge Steven Rhodes, announced that there won’t be enough money to pay teachers after June 30.

“Detroit teachers deserve to be paid fairly for their work like every other working person… But Detroit Public Schools has just informed us that it cannot guarantee to pay these dedicated men and women for their work. This isn’t right. It isn’t fair,” the president of the teachers union, Ivy Bailey, told the Detroit News.

In January, in an effort to bring attention to the condition of Detroit schools, teachers used the same “sick-out” tactic to shut down many schools. They posted photos to social media of inedible food, dead rodents, and cracks in the floors, among other problems. After the sick-outs, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan (D) called for inspections of all of the schools and found evidence of many of the same problems teachers cited.

Detroit Public Schools is in major financial distress, and lawmakers and educators have been concerned the school system will go bankrupt. After being sued by the teachers union and dealing with weeks of sick-outs, DPS filed a lawsuit against the state last month, claiming that the state violated the civil rights of students through its emergency manager law.

How many more examples do we need before American voters know that the mix of greed and incompetence Republicans bring to public office invariably spells tragic deprivation for those they govern.

From Liberals Unite: Wayne Simmons, a frequent Fox News “CIA expert,” pleaded guilty on Friday after being indicted last October by a federal grand jury on charges lied about his service with the CIA.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a press release announcing the plea:

Simmons, 62, of Annapolis, Maryland, a former Fox News commentator who has falsely claimed he spent 27 years working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), pleaded guilty today to major fraud against the government, wire fraud, and a firearms offense.

“Wayne Simmons is a convicted felon with no military or intelligence experience,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Simmons admitted he attempted to con his way into a position where he would have been called on to give real intelligence advice in a war zone.  His fraud cost the government money, could have put American lives at risk, and was an insult to the real men and women of the intelligence community who provide tireless service to this country.  This case is a prime example of this office’s ongoing commitment to vigorously prosecute government fraud and threats to national security.”

“Mr. Simmons lied about his criminal history and CIA employment in order to fraudulently obtain government contracts, and separately, defrauded a victim through a phony real estate investment deal,” said Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.  “With these criminal actions, Mr. Simmons abused the trust of others, both in and outside of government, for his own personal financial gain.  I commend the work of the talented FBI personnel and prosecutors who vigorously pursued this case and brought about today’s guilty plea.”

Nevertheless Simmons still met the standards needed for employment by the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, and for them to present him to their sheeple as an expert.

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May 012016
 

It’s already been a very busy day, as I have been working since early this morning, changing the poll, preparing the graphics and collecting all the data I will need for tomorrow’s Monthly Report, and researching today’s articles.  Needless to say, I’m getting tired.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 5:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: President Obama poked fun at Hillary Clinton’s lack of appeal among young people Saturday night, joking at the annual White House press corps dinner that Mrs. Clinton was like an aging relative who cannot figure out how to use Facebook.

“Did you get my poke? Is it on my wall?” he said, imagining Mrs. Clinton trying to use the popular social media site. “I’m not sure I’m using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary.”

 

Policies aside, when it comes to the White House Correspondents Dinner, Obama stands heads and shoulders over every other President in my lifetime.

From Think Progress: On Thursday, 98 members of Congress wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the Chairman of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TEN), asking that they disband the panel and end the investigation into Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue research.

The investigation into Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue practices began last summer, when a heavily edited video surfaced claiming that the organization was “selling aborted baby parts.” Conservatives, especially former Presidential candidate and current Ted Cruz “running mate” Carly Fiorina — called for a formal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices.

But the claims made in the video have been repeatedly debunked, and in January, after a three-month-long investigation, a Texas Grand Jury decided not to indict Planned Parenthood. Instead, the jury moved to indict the videographers who were responsible for the video in the first place.

However, the select panel has continued to operate, going after not only Planned Parenthood, but also the scientists who are researching fetal tissue as they search for cures for diseases such as Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis.

That the basis for the investigation has been proven to be devoid of factual basis does not matter to Lyin’ Ryan and his misogynist Republican cronies. They simply want a platform from which to broadcast lies,

From Daily Kos: A group of the nation’s most important defenders of LGBT rights have written to ask the Obama administration to pull federal education funding from states that pass laws legalizing transgender discrimination in their schools.

It was sent by the American Civil Liberties Union, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center. A Justice Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, “The department has received and is reviewing the letter.” […]

“We are talking about official discrimination required by the state,” said [ACLU LGBT Project director James Esseks], arguing North Carolina should lose federal education funds. “This is something that is egregious and demands a different kind of response.”

This isn’t an idle threat. The Obama administration has been aggressive in enforcing transgender rights in individual districts; a law like North Carolina, that requires public schools to engage in discrimination specifically barred by the federal government, states must either choose to follow the state law or the federal one. That runs afoul of the $4.5 billion of education funds that North Carolina could otherwise expect to get from the federal government; we can only presume that the North Carolina legislature will then have to cover the cuts with the proceeds of their personal swear jars.

This sounds to me like a perfectly reasonable response to states where bigoted Republicans have written discrimination in schools into the law.

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The Republican elephant rides the rest of us.

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Apr 142016
 

Yesterday Lu came for the last time.  She was about four hours late, but getting the day right was an improvement.  So I’m a perfumed puddy tat.  My groceries came.  I put them away.  I also did the dreaded task! Eye rolling smile  Tomorrow I have an appointment with a Retinal Ophthalmologist to check out my choroidal nevi.  The appointment will take three hours, and I’ll be unable to use a computer afterwards until late tomorrow night.  So expect only a Personal Update, please.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 4:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily KosWhen Scott Walker came into office, he claimed that he had no interest in trying to get “Right to Work” laws passed. Unfortunately for the people of Wisconsin, Scott Walker is a liar and a terrible person. In fact, he and his fellow Republican legislators introduced an ALEC inspired written bill making Wisconsin a Right to Work state. Since the bill was signed into law, Wisconsin’s workforce has diminished by at least 10,000. Wisconsin is hemorrhaging jobs because Right to Work laws don’t have anything to do with generating living wage jobs, or much in the way of real work, at all. Three unions filed lawsuits against the bill, arguing that the law posed an unconstitutional seizure of union property, and on Friday they received some good news:

Dane County Circuit Judge William Foust agreed. He said the law amounts to the government taking union funds without compensation since under the law they must represent people who don’t pay dues. That presents an existential threat to unions, Foust wrote.

"While (union) losses today could be characterized by some as minor, they are not isolated and the impact of (the law) over time is threatening to the unions’ very economic viability," he wrote.

This judgement, [sic] calling the law unconstitutional on the grounds that it is an “existential threat,” could have some far-reaching ramifications in the many Republican-backed legislatures that really want to put the screws to the working folk of this country. The importance of this ruling also means that there will be further appeals.

This issue is far from settled, but any day the Koch-sucking Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan takes a loss at any level is a better day for America.

From Real Clear Politics:

Polling Data

Poll

Date

Sample

MoE

Cooper (D)

McCrory (R)

Spread

RCP Average

1/18 – 4/11

44.0

41.0

Cooper +3.0

WRAL-TV/SurveyUSA

4/8 – 4/11

701 LV

3.8

47

43

Cooper +4

Elon University

2/15 – 2/17

1530 LV

2.5

42

40

Cooper +2

PPP (D)

1/18 – 1/19

948 RV

3.2

43

40

Cooper +3

It looks like the Religious Reichsfuhrer of the Theocratic Republican Dictatorship of McCrorystan is also experiencing backlash from his hatred and bigoted policies.

From TPM: Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, will not be prosecuted in Florida for battery after he allegedly manhandled a reporter, Politico reported on Wednesday night, citing unnamed sources.

CNN also reported that Lewandowski will not be prosecuted early Thursday morning, citing unnamed sources.

What a travesty!  Don’t get me wrong!  I have no bias favoring his victim.  The reporter he assaulted worked for Breitfart, a source for which I have so little regard, that I refuse to embed links to it.

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Apr 132016
 

I’m waiting for Lu to come for her last appointment.  I have found a certified replacement through the Oregon Home Care Commission.  She starts Saturday, and assuming we get along, she’ll be long term.  I have a big grocery order coming today, that I’ll need to put away.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:32 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: No one in the United States has taken note of the total disappearance of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who vanished from view several weeks ago.

In interviews with residents across the country, few if any Americans displayed interest in, or concern about, the whereabouts of Christie, who, until he disappeared, had been a once-prominent political figure.

“I hadn’t really thought about him until you mentioned it,” said Trenton resident Carol Foyler, echoing the opinions of many others in the Garden State.

“Huh,” she added.

Great catch Andy!! PIGnocchio has disappeared, and that’s a LOT of disappearing! What diet was he on?

From Daily Kos: A Beaumont, Texas, high school teacher was arrested last week after video emerged online of her smacking a student. Here’s the video:

 

Here we have another demonstration of Republican education.

From Crooks and Liars: With Ted Cruz battling it out for the Republican nomination with Donald Trump, it seems like a good time for SuperPAC head and fake historian David Barton to take a break and teach Americans how to "take back" their country, right?

And that is what he’s doing, according to Right Wing Watch.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I won’t say that’s Dominionist Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian policy from the horse’s mouth. It’s Dominionist Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian policy from the horses ass.

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