Aug 042014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 105.  I got a very late start on the day.  As I was cooking up a batch of my infamous chili, I broke my only can opener.  I has to dress and go out, because tomato sauce is a key ingredient.  Of course the corner store was closed, so I walked to another almost a half mile away.  I made it back and finishes cooking.  Although I am very tired, I have the power to produce a green cloud that sets off smoke detectors in my wake. Angel

Late/Early Update:  I overslept big time.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:23 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Neil deGrasse Tyson is more than just an excellent tour guide through the cosmos — he’s a true voice for our endangered space program. In this piece, he reminds us how our passion for space missions began and makes a compelling case that we must not abandon our quests and dreams.

Let us renew our commitment to lead the world in space exploration and let us resolve to reach to the heavens once again so that our species may one day truly go where no one has gone before.

 

I fully agree with George Takei’s introduction and Neil deGrasse’s presentation. We need to invest in the future, not the 1%’s Republican greed.

From Daily Kos: Since Rep. Steve King says that Central American families have been lured by U.S. policies to "give their daughters birth control pills and send them down a rape path all the way through Mexico, and it’s a death path on the death train" to get to the United States, a more observant person than Steve King might wonder what is going on in some parts of Central America that would cause anyone to contemplate taking the "death train" that Steve King warns about.

According to fellow Congressional Three Stooges member Louie Gohmert, the answer is nothing. Those children aren’t fleeing from anything, they’re all are just filthy liars.

“Texas and the United States is [sic] being invaded and we’re in danger,” Gohmert said, before alleging that most of the unaccompanied minors are lying when they tell border patrol agents that they are escaping gang violence in Central America and have been coached to make such claims. Gohmert said minors end up telling officers that “we were told to say that we were fleeing gang violence.”

The author calls Go-Go Goosestep the dumbest Congressman in America. There is too much competition for that title for certainty, but Loony Louie is certainly in the running.

From TPM: Rep. Steve King (R-IA) refused to utter the word "impeachment" on Sunday, but warned that if President Obama used executive action to defer more deportations of undocumented immigrants, it might be the only option left for Congress.

"None of us want to do the thing that’s left for us as an alternative," King said on "Fox News Sunday" when host Chris Wallace asked if Obama delayed more deportations could lead to impeachment.

"I think Congress has to sit down, have a serious look at the rest of this constitution, and that includes that ‘i’ word that we don’t want to say," King continued, explaining that executive actions would trigger impeachment talk. "And I only say that now on this program because I want to encourage the president, ‘Please don’t put don’t put America into a constitutional crisis.’"

When Wallace pressed King on whether impeachment was "on the table," King echoed his concerns on immigration.

At the same time they Republicans claim that Democrats’ concern about impeachment is an Obama conspiracy.

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Jul 302014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 100.  I’m feeling better, and have recovered from the evil task.  Temperatures here have been high for the last few days, and the laundry room has no A/C, so I imagine that contributed.  In addition to that, the arthritis in my hands was so severe that I could barely type.  I guess the next obstacle is physical therapy on Friday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:39).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football:

The information I gave you a couple days ago is incorrect.  We have two openings in our fantasy football league, not one.  We can play with either eight or ten players, so we don’t have to fill them, but more is more fun for all, so please let me know if you’d like to play.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: In April 2009, after a court ruling, gay marriage became legal in the state of Iowa. On Jan. 11, 2011, a young man named Zach Wahls went before the Iowa Legislature to speak on behalf of his two moms after the legislature took up a bill to ban gay marriage. Over 18 million people watched and shared it. At 2:50, he nails what family really means.

 

Wahls is stunning, but you can tell who the Republicans in the background are by watching the hate on their faces.

From The New Yorker: Sarah Palin’s online video service starring herself had a hugely successful launch on Monday, as millions of Americans paid $9.95 for the rare opportunity of hearing the former Alaska Governor speak.

The Web site for The Sarah Palin Channel reportedly crashed several times during the day, as it was overwhelmed by subscribers seeking a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse of the reclusive Palin sharing her opinions.

At the corporate headquarters of the Palin Channel, the marketing director Tracy Klugian attributed the site’s mammoth success to “the simple law of supply and demand.”

I’m not sure what Andy has been smoking, but it’s clearly premium grade.

From NY Times: House and Senate negotiators announced an agreement Monday on legislation that would allocate about $17 billion to overhaul the Department of Veterans Affairs’ sprawling and beleaguered health care system. But the deal does not give the department everything that officials there have said is needed to fix its problems.

The agreement set off a frantic rush on Capitol Hill to gather signatures from members of the conference committee working on the bill so that it could be put to a vote of the full House and Senate before lawmakers adjourn for an August recess on Friday.

If approved, the legislation would end a sometimes rancorous standoff over how much to spend to begin to fix the department, and it would help ensure that veterans who face long waits to see doctors at the department’s facilities could get appointments more quickly with private physicians. A few details were still being worked out even after the chairmen of the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees announced the agreement Monday at an afternoon news conference.

Click through for more details. Sadly, this appears little more than an attempt to treat cancer with a Band-Aid. On the other hand, getting anything at all for vets from Republicans is a minor miracle.

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Jul 272014
 

Corporations are taking advantage of a tax loophole that Republicans created to kelp them avoid paying their fair share of taxes.  Democrats have made several attempts to close that loophole, and of course Republicans blocked them.  Barack Obama and one of America’s national treasures are calling them out on it.

0727CorporateInversionU.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday hammered U.S. companies that avoid federal taxes by shifting their tax domiciles overseas in deals known as "inversions" and called on Congress to pass a bill to end the practice.

During remarks to a rowdy crowd at the Los Angeles Technical College, Obama promoted what he called "economic patriotism" and made clear he believed the companies that were engaging in such practices were not being patriotic. The president is in California on a three-day fund-raising swing for Democrats.

So-called inversion deals occur when a U.S. company acquires or sets up a foreign company, then moves its U.S. tax domicile to the foreign company and its lower-tax home country.

Nine inversion deals have been reached this year by companies ranging from banana distributor Chiquita Brands International Inc to drugmaker AbbVie Inc, and more are under consideration. The transactions are setting a record pace since the first inversion was carried out 32 years ago…

Inserted from <Chicago Tribune>

Photo credit: Nation of Change

I do disagree with Obama on one point.  There is only on corporate emotion.  It is not patriotism.  It is greed.

Ed Schultz interviewed our national treasure on this issue and on the Republican attempt to stall VA funding.

According to the article, Republicans say they support closing the Inversion Loophole, but only as part of restructuring the tax code.  That’s RepubliSpeak for raising your taxes and giving massive tax cuts to billionaires and giant corporations.

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Jul 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, say 88.  I’m rushing, because I have physical therapy in the morning, I’m tired, and I’m running out of day.  Depending on how badly the PT wipes me out, I may be AWOL for Saturday articles.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:48 (average 4:37).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Having cash in the bank, stocks, a 401(k), and a house (or houses) full of stuff worth money — that’s all wealth. And it’s great to have for two basic reasons: (1) It’s handy when the goin’ gets tough (e.g., expensive medical emergencies, car troubles, making tuition, etc.), and (2) having more wealth means having more freedom to think about and plan for the future, including retirement.

But over the last several decades, rule changes that benefit the rich have made wealth harder to come by for most of us. Take a look below.

0718rich

If you haven’t guessed, in the GOP War on the poor and middle classes, they’re winning.

From Daily Kos: If you think House Speaker John Boehner’s pre-impeachment lawsuit against President Obama for failing to implement Obamacare quickly enough makes him look like an obstructionist jackass who is more interested in political stunts than doing the right thing for the country, you’re not alone:

A majority of Americans view House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) lawsuit over President Obama’s delayed implementation of ObamaCare’s employer mandate as a “political stunt,” according to a new poll released Monday.

The survey, commissioned by liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change, found that 51 percent of voters don’t believe the lawsuit is legitimate, versus just 41 percent who do.

Moreover, 56 percent say the lawsuit is wasteful spending, with just 36 percent saying it is a good use of taxpayer dollars.

That’s exactly what I said, when Agent Orange first announced it.

From AlterNet: The Associated Press is reporting that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane was allegedly shot down in Ukraine near the Russian border Thursday. An advisor to the Ukraine’s Interior Minister confirmed the report at 11:40am. The plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, Ukraine officials are reporting on Facebook.

A Russian aviation industry source told Reuters news service that the 777 did not enter Russian airspace when it was expected, but crashed in eastern Ukraine.

The Boeing 777 had 280 passengers and 15 crew members,  Interfax reported citing an an aviation industry source. It is reported that all passengers and crew have been killed. Twenty-three Americans were reportedly on the flight. 

Political tensions and violence have been high in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border. The Ukranian government is alleging that separatist rebels shot down the plane, and the separatists are blaming Kiev. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families. Of course Republicans say they know who is at fault.

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Jul 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 87.  It’s largely a rest day for me, except for cooking, cleaning and the many hours I spend in research and writing.  I am tired from being unable to sleep this morning.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 4:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: One Quote From Abraham Lincoln Might Just Surprise You

0717lincolnLaborQuote

It’s hard to believe that once, Republicans were the liberal party, not the class warriors for the greediest billionaires that they are today.

From Daily Kos: Boy, Dick Cheney really is determined to caricature himself:

During an event sponsored by Politico, Cheney said the next president needs to "turn around the whole trend" of cutting defense dollars.

"That ought to be our top priority for spending. Not food stamps, not highways or anything else," Cheney said. "Your No. 1 responsibility as president is to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. [Obama] is the commander-in-chief and he’s absolutely devastating the United States military today.”

War always was ChickenHawk Cheney’s highest priority, except when he was hiding behind five deferments.

From The New Yorker: A new study released Tuesday indicates that wearing glasses does not make a person look smarter, but standing next to Texas Governor Rick Perry does.

In the study, when participants were shown photos of a person with and without glasses, they registered little or no change in their view of the person’s intelligence.

However, when the photo of the same person was juxtaposed with a photo of Governor Perry, participants suddenly said that the person looked “much smarter” or “brilliant,” with some participants even using the phrase “like a genius.”

While Andy is certainly correct, wouldn’t comparing folks to Crawford Caligula have an even greater effect?

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Jun 042014
 

Marie Antoinette got a bad rap for the statement “Let them Eat Cake.”  The statement was actually made my the wife of Louis XIV, Marie Thérèse.  So even if she is the wrong Marie. she still ende3d up a head shorter because of it.  The statement itself represents a callous disregard for the suffering of the common people.  That disregard is reflected by many in the 1% and the Republican Party represents them.  I found a fascinating article analyzing nine questions 1% Republicans use to blame the poor for the suffering that they cause.  Here is just one of them.

0604Marie-AntoinetteShouldn't we cut public assistance and force people into the job market?

At some point in any discussion of jobs, someone will drop the nuclear option: cut federal and state benefits and do away with most public assistance. That'll motivate people to find jobs — or starve. Unemployment money and food stamps (now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) encourage people to be lazy. Why should tax dollars be used to give food to people who won't work for it? “If you’re able-bodied, you should be willing to work,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said discussing food stamp cuts.

The problem with such statements is 73% of those enrolled in the country’s major public benefits programs are, in fact, from working families — just in jobs whose paychecks don’t cover life’s basic necessities. McDonald’s workers alone receive $1.2 billion in federal assistance per year.

Why do so many of the employed need food stamps? It’s not complicated. Workers in the minimum-wage economy often need them simply to survive. All in all, 47 million people get SNAP nationwide because without it they would go hungry.

In Ohio, where I did some of the research for my book Ghosts of Tom Joad, the state pays out benefits on the first of each month. Pay Day, Food Day, Mother’s Day, people call it. SNAP is distributed in the form of an Electronic Bank Transfer card, or EBT, which, recipients will tell you, stands for “Eat Better Tonight.” EBT-friendly stores open early and stay open late on the first of the month because most people are pretty hungry come the Day.

A single person with nothing to her name in the lower 48 states would qualify for no more than $189 a month in SNAP. If she works, her net monthly income is multiplied by .3, and the result is subtracted from the maximum allotment. Less than fifty bucks a week for food isn’t exactly luxury fare. Sure, she can skip a meal if she needs to, and she likely does. However, she may have kids; almost two-thirds of SNAP children live in single-parent households. Twenty percent or more of the child population in 37 states lived in “food insecure households” in 2011, with New Mexico (30.6%) and the District of Columbia (30%) topping the list. And it's not just kids. Households with disabled people account for 16% of SNAP benefits, while 9% go to households with senior citizens.

Almost 22% of American children under age 18 lived in poverty in 2012; for those under age five, it’s more than 25%. Almost 1 in 10 live in extreme poverty.

Our system is trending toward asking kids (and the disabled, and the elderly) to go to hell if they're hungry. Many are already there…

Inserted from <Alternet>

As long as this excerpt appears, it is just a very small part of a very large article.  You owe it to yourselves to read it in it’s entirety to prepare you to handle the Republican lies you will hear over and over again.  I urge you to click through.

Finally the quote falsely attributed to Marie Antoinette is no longer appropriate.  It should be upgraded to Let Them Eat Koch!

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May 242014
 

I’ve been writing for tomorrow in spurts, while preparing a chicken, rice, broccoli, beans, onions, and chili dish.  Beware downwind!! :-)  I’ve also been boiling water, as the city water is infected with e coli.  We have a boil water alert on until further notice.  In all the years I’ve lived here, that’s a first.  I’ve also cat napping.  I started this morning, and it’s now evening.  Yesterday’s prison meeting went quite well.  It was the second half of the annual banquet, and my role was quite similar to last month.  The pride my guys take in introducing their families just puts a smile on my face.  Day 32.

Late (early) Update: That last cat nap was a doozie!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Some of the best practical advice, or just one of those things that we all eventually learn? Either way … wise words, Louis.

0524Up

He’ll never make the Republicans on Parade list.

From The New Yorker: In response to the international uproar created when he reportedly compared Russian President Vladimir Putin to Hitler, His Royal Highness Prince Charles today issued the following letter of apology to the Russian people.

My dear Russians,

Yesterday, it was reported that I compared your President Putin to Hitler. If by making this comment I have in some way offended you, I am deeply sorry. Adolf Hitler was one of the horrible villains in world history, and comparing President Putin to him was uncalled for.

What I should have said, and what I say to you now, is that this Putin chap can be a bit Hitlery at times.

Let’s take, for example, his penchant for taking territory that doesn’t belong to him and then adding it to his country and so forth. Would you call that behavior Hitlery or not Hitlery? From where I sit, it’s more like something Hitler would do than something he wouldn’t do, and so the verdict must be, yes, the chap is being rather Hitlery when he does that…

LOL Andy!! But you messed-up! GOP-Pootie is more like Mussolini. Hitler’s follow-on will be announced at the 2016 Republican Convention.

From Daily Kos: This might just be the most ridiculous thing Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said during the entire 2014 campaign:

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell says he would try to repeal the Affordable Care Act if he’s elected Senate majority leader.

But the veteran senator won’t say what would happen to the 421,000 Kentuckians who have health insurance through the state’s health care exchange.

McConnell told reporters Friday that the fate of the state exchange is unconnected to the federal health care law. Yet the exchange would not exist, if not for the law that created it.

If Mitch wants to say he’s for Obamacare repeal, he’s got to acknowledge what repealing Obamacare would really mean, and that includes dismantling things like Kynect, the new health care exchange created because of Obamacare.

Is it time to change his name to "Bought Bullshit McConArtist", or should we just keep "Bought Bitch Mitch"?

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