Mar 012015
 

On Friday evening, Rachel Maddow covered a story about how NJ Republican Governor Chris Christie, aka PIGnocchio, settles a lawsuit of many years standing against ExxonMobil for polluting the area under and around a refinery in that state for no apparent reason.  Rachel said that that if the people of NJ were getting screwed for political considerations, it could turn out to be a scandal.  First, here’s Rachel’s segment.

Now we’re learning why PIGnocchio would settal that suit for a mere three cents on the dollar.

0301PIGnocchioBefore Gov. Chris Christie’s administration abruptly settled long-running state environmental litigation against ExxonMobil for far less than originally expected, the oil behemoth donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to a Republican group that Christie ran and that financed his election campaigns. Additionally, the Christie administration office that engineered the settlement had been run by a former Exxon lawyer.

When the case was initiated in 2004, when Democrat James McGreevey was governor, New Jersey sought $8.9 billion in damages in a suit alleging that ExxonMobil damaged more than 1,500 acres of waterfront and meadows. Yet, according to documents reported on by the New York Times on Friday, the Christie administration is settling the suit for just $250 million. Based on ExxonMobil’s 2014 revenue of $411.9 billion, it will take the company roughly 5 hours to generate the sales to pay out the settlement.

Federal records show that the reduction, which represents a huge gift to ExxonMobil, follows a wave of campaign cash from the company to the Christie-run Republican Governors Association.

Since Christie’s first run for governor in 2009, ExxonMobil has donated more than $1.9 million to the group, according to data compiled by PoliticalMoneyLine.com. That includes $79,000 during Christie’s 2009 campaign and $200,000 during his re-election campaign in 2013. It also includes $500,000 when he chaired the organization during the 2014 election cycle.

ExxonMobil was one of the top contributors to the RGA during that election cycle, according to the Center for Responsive Politics… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <IB Times>

Click through.  There’s more.

We have the smoking gun.  I’d say it’s turning out to be a scandal.

Share
Mar 012015
 

I’m running late today, because I had to collect all the data and prepare the graphics for tomorrow’s Monthly Report.  My helper did not show up yesterday either.  She probably had to work.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:29 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The pension woes in NJ are, to a great extent, the result of past governors’ actions, but IMO Christie owned it as of his 2011 law/union negotiation package (that he is trying to renege on this year).

His argument that "I don’t have to abid by my own agreement because my own agreement is unconstitutional!!!  Ha, ha, suck it, ya liberal union pensioners, gotta pay for dem tax cuts!" is a pretty bizarre argument for a lawyer/ex state’s attorney to make.

I don’t think it is going to fly. How’d you like this guy as your President?

Christie gets schooled by judge

In January, attorneys for the state argued that Christie could not make full payments because the 2011 law was violated a debt limitation clause and an appropriations clause in the state constitution.

But in today’s ruling, Jacobson said Christie "now takes the unusual position in this court of claiming that this legislative contractual guarantee, which embodied significant reforms for which he took substantial credit with great national fanfare, violates the New Jersey constitution."

Jacobson also ruled that the state must reimburse the unions for legal costs.

It’s a shame that they can’t charge PIGnocchio with the legal fees, instead of the NJ taxpayers.

From USA Today: Rand Paul won a high-profile straw poll for a third straight year Saturday, capping an annual conservative conference at which delegates argued about how to turn their ideas into a presidential victory in 2016.

The Kentucky senator carried 25.7% in the Conservative Political Action Conference poll, while Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker finished second with 21.4% — a closer-than-expected tally in this early test of political strength among conservative Republican activists.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, finished third with 11.5%, followed closely by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson with 11.4%.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush — perhaps the most criticized candidate at this conservative conclave — finished fifth at 8.3%.

Other potential presidential candidates — including Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, and Rick Perry — had less than 4% in the straw poll. Paul also won CPAC contests in 2013 and 2014.

This about what I’d expect from CPUKE. What a foul collection od sold souls they are!

From Right Wing Watch:

An anti-abortion panel at CPAC this afternoon was clearly gunning for a spot on the main stage next year. Americans United for Life President Charmaine Yoest, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser, and Darla St. Martin, co-executive director of the National Right to Life Committee, made the case that their movement is winning and that they can fill a room with activists.

Dannenfelser started the discussion by declaring that "abortion-centered feminism is dead."

The three credited their carefully formulated, incremental strategy that has brought them a slew of state-level victories cutting back on abortion access and pushing narrowly-tailored abortion bans meant to push back on Roe v. Wade in the courts while winning public opinion to their side.

I think these dress wearing Republicans are unworthy to be called women.

Cartoon:

0301Cartoon

Share
Feb 232015
 

I’m pretty buried with preparing my grocery list for this week, housework, and getting ready for my volunteer day in prison on Thursday.  My mail-order pharmacy got back to me.  They admitted that they were at fault, apologized for my inconvenience, have removed the charge for the wrong medication, and are not charging me for the correct medication, which they mailed this morning.  They exceeded my expectations.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How dod you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Why would anyone vote Republican? Well, here are 10 reasons.

1. You are a bigot

It’s true that not all Republicans are bigots. But if you ARE a bigot, the Republican party will be much more your group than the Democratic party. Remember that there are lots of ways to be a bigot: You could be a racist, a homophobe, an Islamophobe, or lots of other things.

2. You like eating, drinking and breathing poison.

Many Republicans are calling for or voting for shrinking or eliminating agencies that protect us against poison. They seem to think that the corporations will do the right thing, without any pressure from the government. Uh huh. Read The Jungle.  Look at the way Monsanto is hiding facts about Round Up. Look at food safety and outbreaks of E. Coli. 

Corporations exist to make money. They will do so any way they can. The government needs to stop them from doing so in ways that hurt people.

3. You think the rich don’t have enough money

The idea that giving more money to rich people (via tax breaks) will help poor people is nonsensical and has been shown wrong time and again in history. Huge tax breaks for the rich (a la George Bush) don’t work.

These aye just the top three. Click through for the other seven.

From NY Times: It was a memorable political ad [Barf Bag Alert!!]: Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin spoke directly into the camera in a 30-second spot last fall and called abortion an “agonizing” decision. He described himself as pro-life but, borrowing the language of the abortion rights movement, pointed to legislation he signed that leaves “the final decision to a woman and her doctor.”

That language was gone when Mr. Walker met privately with Iowa Republicans in a hotel conference room last month, according to a person who attended the meeting. There, he highlighted his early support for a “personhood amendment,” which defines life as beginning at conception and would effectively prohibit all abortions and some methods of birth control.

Mr. Walker has quickly vaulted into the top tier of likely Republican candidates in the presidential race, surging on the reputation he earned by taking on labor unions and surviving a bitter recall election in a swing state.

Was the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan lying in that political ad last fall? Was he lying to Iowa Republicans? Has he ever told the truth?

From Crooks and Liars: Unlike CNN’s Gloria Borger who brought Paul Wolfowitz on this Sunday for some Republican rehab, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry took former governor and GOP 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush to task for seeking advice from the former Deputy Secretary of Defense and reminded us of the fact that he was wrong about just about everything when he was working for Bush’s brother.

 

MHP and I have something in common. I also slammed Strike Three for tapping Wrong Way Wolfie.

Cartoon:

0223Cartoon

Share
Feb 062015
 

Day 93.  I slept in, which is good.  I needed it.  This afternoon my building is having a community meeting in which management will be going over the steps they are going to start talking to help us recycle and lower our carbon footprint.  While that may see like a pain in the ass, I’m glad they care.  You folks back east had betted get ready for some nasty weather.  Although it has been unseasonably warm here, it’s been raining nonstop for over a day and is forecast to continue for two – three more.  When that mixes from cold air out of Canada, watch out!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today;s took me 2:59 (average 4:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Florida Attorney Steve Medina has been working on a case, pro bono, to expose the environmental corruption which has been taking place in Tallahassee and Putnam County, Florida.

Tons of toxic waste is being dumped into St. Johns River, daily, by the Koch Brothers company, Georgia-Pacific. Aspects of the deal allowing Georgia Pacific to massively assault the environment, were misleading, sometimes illegal, and unbeknownst to the local citizens. Florida Governor Rick Scott and former Governor (and Republican presidential hopeful), Jeb Bush, are also involved.

Click through for the dirty details. Those four are peas in a pod.

From Reuters: A senior Israeli official suggested on Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been misled into thinking an invitation to address the U.S. Congress on Iran next month was fully supported by the Democrats.

Netanyahu was invited by the Republican speaker of the house, John Boehner, to address Congress on March 3, an invitation Boehner originally described as bipartisan.

The move angered the White House, which is upset about the event coming two weeks before Israeli elections and the fact that Netanyahu, who has a testy relationship with President Obama, is expected to be critical of U.S. policy on Iran.

I don’t doubt that Agent Orange lied. After all, his mouth was open, and there was no inflow of whiskey. However, if Butcher Ben were truly concerned, he would cancel the trip. He says he has no such plans.

From Right Wing Watch: Creationist leader Ken Ham is incensed that the state of Kentucky is supposedly abridging his organization’s “fundamental rights” by declining to provide around $18 million in tax incentives to his Noah’s Ark theme park. The park is a planned addition to Ham’s Creation Museum and is intended to be, according to Ham, “one of the greatest evangelist outreaches of our day.”

Since Ham’s group plans to discriminate on the basis of religion in its hiring practices, it is no surprise that it won’t get public funds. But Ham claims that he has a “right” to receive taxpayer money and has filed a lawsuit [pseudo-Christians delinked] against Kentucky, insisting that his organization, Answers in Genesis, is the real victim of discrimination.

He took his case to “Washington Watch” [pseudo-Christians delinked] yesterday, where he told host Tony Perkins that Kentucky’s decision somehow violates his organization’s right to the freedom of speech: “Anyone who wants to have freedom of speech in this nation, freedom of religion, free exercise of religion, needs to stand with us as we do this because that is what we are standing for.”

In short this Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian is saying that failure to fund his attempt to proselytize others in a manner that violates the US Constitution violates his freedom of speech and freedom of religion. He is free to spread the Republican gospel of greed, lies and hate to his heart’s content, and I defend his right to do so. But, if government pays for it, that violates our rights.

Cartoon:

0206Cartoon

Share
Jan 172015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 73.  I have a friend coming over to help me with laundry and heavy cleaning today.  (Later: she called and rescheduled for Saturday, screwing up both days).

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Joanne’s Humor:

0117JoanneHumor

Short Takes:

From The Nation (Hat-Tip Joanne Dixon): …The true measure of Democrats’ sincerity will determine how hard they push for these policies in the near term, and also to what extent these ideas will become part of the Democratic agenda in 2016. Should the party retain the White House and maybe even win back Congress in two years, this might decide whether Washington can actually act to slow down dangerous Wall Street trading and exorbitant CEO pay while funneling the benefits back to the middle class.

Really, it goes beyond those particular policies—are Democrats ready to take on the wealthy and corporate classes at full steam, Citizen’s United be damned?

It’s a question where progressives should resist easy answers. Loyal partisans will dutifully tell you Democrats mean business. Cynical progressives trained to thoroughly distrust the motives of any elected Democrat will tell you otherwise…

This is a tiny snippet from an extensive article.  Click through.  I can only hope that democrats are learning from and not just trolling the left, because the only other alternative, for now, is the Republicans.

From CREW: More than four years after Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) alleging former Republican Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell had converted more than $20,000 of campaign funds to her personal use, the FEC finally sued O’Donnell and her campaign treasurer, Matt Moran, for exactly that. Most astonishingly, we’ve learned that in November, the current slate of commissioners voted 6-0 – a nearly unprecedented display of unanimity – to find probable cause to believe O’Donnell and Moran had violated the law. Then last week – again in a 6-0 vote – the Commission authorized the filing of a lawsuit to recover the money.

CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan stated, “Contrary to all of Christine O’Donnell’s whining, she is not and never was an innocent victim of partisan attacks. Rather, she was an otherwise jobless scam artist who fleeced donors to support herself.”

CREW’s September 2010 complaint, which formed the basis of the FEC’s lawsuit, alleged O’Donnell violated the Federal Election Campaign Act by illegally using campaign funds to pay rent and utility bills for a townhouse, where she lived and out of which her campaign operated.

In case you’ve forgotten Christine O’Dingbat… Barf Bag Alert!!

Kudos to CREW. Click through for details and documents. This goes to show that even the most insane Republicans consider themselves above the law. I liked Elvira’s version better.

From Daily Kos: One of the first things the new Republican-led Senate has done is moved a bill forward to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Ten Democratic senators and independent Angus King of Maine voted Yea, as seen above.

Five of the eleven are from states won by Mitt Romney in 2012. Angus King, Tom Udall, and Tom Carper, however, are from states President Obama won by more than 10 points.

0117DemsSenKeystone

If you own one, tear them a new asshole. Obama intends to veto the bill.

Cartoon:

0117Cartoon

Share
Jan 152015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 71.  Yesterday’s group in prison went very well.  Our CoDA group doubled in size, so I have some new guys that I had never met before.  We discussed making lists of people we have harmed and the importance of authenticity in our willingness to make amends.  Many fear this process, because people have a tendency to guilt trip ourselves.  However, done truly, it works to free us from self-crippling guilt.  It’s now late evening.  I’ve had some sleep but need more, as I had to be up for Store to Door to deliver groceries and put them away, so I’m more than ready for more sleep.  This is tomorrow’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:24 (average 5:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The Albuquerque PD has shot another victim and this time its one of their department’s own officers working undercover. The circumstances surrounding this latest shooting have yet to be released.

$60 meth bust led to shooting of officer

By Ryan Boetel

It was an undercover operation to bust two men for selling $60 worth of methamphetamine, but things didn’t go as planned.

An Albuquerque police lieutenant shot a fellow officer who was working undercover in a McDonald’s parking lot near Central and Tramway just before noon Friday.

Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden said Saturday the male officer remained in critical condition at University of New Mexico Hospital. He is in the intensive care unit and has undergone multiple surgeries.

Vester went into a room at the motel and came back to the vehicle with the meth, according to the complaint.

Garcia then drove to the McDonald’s nearby and gave the bust signal. It was then that the shooting took place. Witnesses said they heard around five shots. Police said the officer was shot multiple times, but the exact number wasn’t known.

In the aftermath of the shooting, the car doors where Bailey and Vester were sitting were open, but police haven’t released details about any perceived threat or why the lieutenant opened fire. The complaint makes no mention of the suspects having a gun at the scene.

Albuquerque PD were notorious for police who abuse their power, even back in the 1970s, when I used to go there on business. If you believe that it is really not known how many times police shot their fellow officer, talk to me about buying my glacier in Miami. I’m selling it for just a few $million.  They can’t use all their standard lies in this case, unless they knew he was undercover and thought he’d been talking to IA or DOJ.

From NY Times: To choose a jury in the trial of the man charged with killing 12 people in a packed Colorado movie theater, court officials mailed notices to 9,000 people in suburban Arapahoe County, casting such a wide net that residents ran about a one-in-50 chance of being tapped as potential jurors. An uncle, a father, husbands and friends of people who work in the prosecutor’s office received jury summonses. So did 12 people who are slated to be prosecution witnesses.

The numbers speak to the huge scale of a murder trial set to begin next week, more than two and a half years after a gunman sprayed bullets into a crowd of people at a midnight screening of the Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises.”

The defendant, James E. Holmes, has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. After multiple delays, Colorado is bracing for the start of his trial, one of the most complicated and emotionally wrenching judicial proceedings the state has faced.

Isn’t a shame that the NRA and the Republican party are not codefendants in this case?

From Upworthy: The president’s a busy guy, so he only had three and a half minutes to explain what’s up. Here’s what you need to know:

Growing up, we all hear rumors about magical places.

Fantastic places. Places where the Internet actually works well. Where you can download a movie in under a minute. Where your Wi-Fi doesn’t stop working for no apparent reason whatsoever.

Maybe you read about them in storybooks. Maybe your friends whispered about them to you on the playground. Maybe your grandma told you old tales about them as she tucked you in at night. But as you grew older, more and more people told you that it was all made up, a myth for children. Those places didn’t really exist. Can you believe we all thought they did? And you nodded and laughed about how silly it all sounded in retrospect. But secretly, deep down, you always believed.

Well, those places are real. There are places that have reliable, fantastic, extremely zippy Internet!

 

To all the Internet junkies, who have Republican government, and who did not get off your butt to vote, or cast a protest vote for an independent with no chance, when a Democrat could have won: You probably won’t get this. You did this to yourselves.

Cartoon:

0115Cartoon

Share
Jan 122015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 68.  I’m hurrying to finish before it’s time to meditate on the Holy Ellipsoid Orb.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Ultimate Religious Agony:

p0111-Broncos13-Colts24

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: George Zimmerman, 31, made his first court appearance on Saturday morning after being arrested by Lake Mary police on Friday evening.

According to Zimmerman’s attorney, the arrest was due to allegedly throwing a wine bottle at a girlfriend "several days ago."

Zimmerman was arrested in 2013 for alleged domestic violence against a girlfriend, although a Lake Mary police spokeswoman said "this alleged "victim is not the same (woman) as in 2013.

 

I wonder if this Republican hero used one of the guns Republican Ammosexuals gave him to replace the gun he used to murder Trayvon.

From NY Times: For all the clichés about pistol-packing Texas, the state is one of the few that has not yet succumbed to the gun lobby’s big push to let citizens carry handguns at the hip wherever they go. That may be about to change as the State Legislature convenes next week with open carry a top priority of the Republican majority and with Governor-elect Greg Abbott pledging to sign it into law. The result could produce a far from reassuring civic tableau if even a modest number of the 800,000 Texans who have concealed-carry licenses choose to strap their weapons on in public.

Who would have ever thought I’d have an opportunity to say that Texas is about to get more insane?!!?

From Washington Post: Mitt Romney sent a very clear message to a group of major donors in New York City on Friday: I’m thinking about running for president in 2016.  Then, as he knew they would, those donors spread that message to every media outlet in the country.

It’s a stunning reversal from public — and private — assertions from Romney and his allies that, after two runs for president in 2008 and 2012, he was absolutely, 100 percent done with running.

He etched his sketch and poof!! His is a face we know well.

Romney2Face

In fact, both are.

Cartoon:

0112Cartoon

I bet they’re about to try it again.

Share