Jan 262015
 

We’ve had many years to learn the Republican response to illness.  It’s the RepubliCare Death Benefit.  Those who cannot pay for care get to die free.  The Republican response to hunger is very similar.  With the elections safely past, Republican governors, like Paul LePage (R-ME) are celebrating their victories by kicking citizens off SNAP,

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More than 6,000 people in Maine have been kicked off the food stamp rolls since October, according to an investigation by local CBS affiliate WGME. Maine is one of a handful of states to make food assistance harder to get, and the cut-offs offer a preview of how safety net opponents around the country are planning to knock about a million Americans off of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) next year.

Gov. Paul LePage (R) decided last year to prematurely reinstate tougher eligibility rules requiring food stamps recipients to work. The state agency that maintains SNAP in Maine launched the change in October, and reports that 6,500 of the state’s roughly 215,000 SNAP beneficiaries had been booted from the program as of the end of 2014, WGME’s investigation found.

A Maine official portrayed the decision as “complying with federal requirements” in an interview with the station, but the federal government offered to waive those requirements for Maine and 36 other states back in May. In those 37 states, economic conditions are so bad that the federal government invited state officials to suspend the work requirement that usually applies to able-bodied adults without dependents who want SNAP benefits. When the economy is healthy and jobs are plentiful, a person with no disability and no one to look after must demonstrate that they are working or in job training at least 20 hours a week in order to get food stamps for more than 90 days in any three-year period. If economic conditions are dire, though, federal officials allow state administrators to waive the work rules for SNAP…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Of course Republicans are trying to blame the feds.  But the Obama Administration has waived that requirement.  The reason is simple.  Every penny the federal government spends feeding hungry people is a penny Republicans can’t spend on welfare for billionaires.

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Dec 272014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 52.  This is the only article, because I found very little content that I have not already covered.  However, I had the Christmas dinner mess to keep me occupied.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:45 (average 4:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: …They are, roughly speaking, the home equity loans of subprime auto. In these loans, which can last as long as two years or as little as a month, borrowers turn over the title of their cars in exchange for cash — typically a percentage of the cars’ estimated resale values…

…More than 1.1 million households in the United States used auto title loans in 2013, according to a survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation — the first time the agency has included the loans in its annual survey.

Title loans are an increasingly prevalent form of high-cost, short-term credit in subprime finance, as regulators in a number of states crack down on payday loans.

For many borrowers, title loans, also sometimes known as motor-vehicle equity lines of credit or title pawns, are having ruinous financial consequences, causing owners to lose their vehicles and plunging them further into debt.

A review by The New York Times of more than three dozen loan agreements found that after factoring in various fees, the effective interest rates ranged from nearly 80 percent to over 500 percent. While some loans come with terms of 30 days, many borrowers, unable to pay the full loan and interest payments, say that they are forced to renew the loans at the end of each month, incurring a new round of fees.

Click through for an in depth exposé of how super-rich Republican vulture capitalists, having been driven in disgrace from the sub-prime housing market, are now preying on gullible poor and middle class borrowers through title equity loans.

From SPLC: It has been quite the year at Hatewatch. We’ve identified those who hide in anonymity while financing the racist right. We’ve kept you abreast of events that have plotted the course of the antigovernment movement as it tries to make headway into the mainstream. And we’ve documented in detail the fallacies spread far and wide by major anti-LGBT leaders, especially as they move to advance their agenda abroad.

Before we take a break, we thought we’d give you something of a year in review—the posts on Hatewatch in 2014 that were the most pivotal in understanding the future of the radical right. But don’t worry, Hatewatch will return on Jan. 1, 2015 with more impactful coverage and analysis.

Click through for their year in review, because the SPLC does such fine work. They are an excellent resource.

From Crooks and Liars: Politico writer Jennifer Epstein is quite concerned about how often the President and First Lady attend church.

“The president’s Christian faith is not connected to or dependent upon anyone else’s beliefs about him, any particular policy issue, any moment in the news cycle or anything else,” DuBois said. “The president’s faith existed long before the While House and will continue after he closes the door to the White House for the last time.”

Critics say that wouldn’t be readily apparent from watching his public comings and goings. After disavowing his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, and leaving Wright’s Chicago church during the 2008 campaign, Obama was widely expected to seek out a church in Washington that he’d attend with some frequency. Instead, he’s attended Sunday services only occasionally, visiting a patchwork of congregations 19 times in all since taking office, according to a POLITICO analysis of White House pool reports.

Evidently Epstein and her employer have failed to discern the difference between religion and faith.

I can really identify with this, because I have attended church zero times in the same time period. Is the true Christians the Republicans who attend church several times a week, but practices racism, intolerance and greed, or the people who try to reflect what Jesus taught, whether or not they reject organized churches?

Cartoon:

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Dec 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 44.  This is my only article.  I’m still mostly down, and having to fight the Care2 Glitch Monster last night cut into my sleep.  What’s going to be your Christmas storm back east is coming in and it’s going to be a nasty one.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:31 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Following months of secret negotiations with the Cuban government, President Obama on Wednesday announced sweeping changes to normalize relations with Cuba, a bold move that ends one of the most misguided chapters in American foreign policy.

The administration’s decision to restore full diplomatic relations, take steps to remove Cuba from the State Department list of countries that sponsor terrorism and roll back restrictions on travel and trade is a change in direction that has been strongly supported by this page. The Obama administration is ushering in a transformational era for millions of Cubans who have suffered as a result of more than 50 years of hostility between the two nations.

Mr. Obama could have taken modest, gradual steps toward a thaw. Instead, he has courageously gone as far as he can, within the constraints of an outmoded 1996 law that imposes stiff sanctions on Cuba in the pursuit of regime change.

“These 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s time for a new approach.”

I fully support Obama’s decision to do this. Needless to say, Republicans are using this as an occasion to promote hate.  See below.

From Media Matters: Right-Wing Media React Angrily To Agreement With Cuba

Triple Barf Bag Alert!!!

Revoltin’ Bolton

 

Limbarf

 

Bush’s Brain (Jeb’s too!)

 

Dang!!  I hope three barf bags were enough!

From Think Progress: The wealth disparity between upper and middle income Americans has hit a record high, according to a new Pew Research Center Report. On average, today’s upper-income families are almost seven times wealthier middle-income ones, compared to 3.4 times wealthier in 1984. When compared to lower income family wealth, upper income family wealth is 70 times larger.

It has come to the point where only the top 10 percent of Americans are seeing their wealth grow while the bottom 90 get less and less of the pie each year. The driving force of this wealth chasm are the top 0.1 percent, who have seen their share of the nation’s wealth grow the most over the past decades, from 7 percent in 1979 to 22 percent today. In fact, the top 0.1 percent are now worth more than the entire bottom 90 percent of the U.S. population, according to the report, which adjusts for the shrinking size of the American family so as to enable comparisons across time periods.

Republicans are succeeding at one of their two main goals.

Cartoon:

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When GW was pResident, we hired a gal to give him a BJ for impeachment purposes.  She couldn’t find it.

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Dec 032014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 28.  It’s a busy day, but that describes any day I write a Monthly Report, I also had to go out in the cold to run errands.  The temperature did not reach 32°, F until after I returned, so needless to say, it’s also a bad air day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:15 (average 5:08).  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:

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Standings:

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Oh how the mighty hath fallen!  Because this coming week is the last before our playoffs begin, our resident sasquatch, Lynn Squance, a Canadian woman, is invincible for the regular season title  Congrats and kudos to Lynn and her Size 9 Stompers.  In two weeks the playoffs begin and everyone has a chance to win.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Republican congressional aide Elizabeth Lauten said on Sunday morning that she “deeply regretted” her attack on Sasha and Malia Obama because it “completely overshadowed the vicious insults I hurled at their parents.”

Appearing on Fox News, Lauten said, “If I had to do it over again, I’d leave the girls out of it so that the horrible things I said about their parents would have had a chance to shine through. I’m kicking myself about that.”

Saying that she had “learned my lesson” from the incident, she added, “I put a lot of work into crafting malicious insults about Barack and Michelle Obama, and those insults have largely been ignored. That’s the real tragedy here.”

Dang! What will it take to get Andy back to comedy? But seriously, I bet she quit to parley her fame for hatemongering into cash.

From Daily Kos: How Walmart’s owners give thanks and give back

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Could anything be more clear?  This is the Waltons’ Republican vulture philanthropy to go with their Republican vulture capitalism.

From Upworthy: Kim Jong Un Would Really Hate For You To Watch This, Which Is Exactly Why You Should.

 

What a courageous young woman. Her story about Kim’s extreme right-wing dictatorship needs telling. We also need to take care that Republicans never get enough power to make this a similar place, ruled by the .01%.

Cartoon:

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Nov 142014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 9, and it’s cold enough to freeze the tea bags off a brass idiot.  Our weather is rapidly spreading into the rest of the country, and I hate to say it, but you folks are in for some misery.  On stories that I’m not covering today, congrats to Obama on his climate deal with China.  Note the hypocrisy of Republicans, who say the deal isn’t good enough to solve the problem, while denying that the problem exists.  Also Kudos to the little space ship that could.  My COPD is still a mess, but I’m more ready for it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 4:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Increasingly teachers are speaking out against school reforms that they believe are demeaning their profession, and some are simply quitting because they have had enough.

Here is one resignation letter from a veteran teacher, Gerald J. Conti, a social studies teacher at Westhill High School in Syracuse, N.Y.

Chick through, Because we are careening into national stupidity at an exponentially increasing speed, we need to attend to what this teacher has to say.

From Upworthy: On Nov. 5, 2014, police in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, arrested a 90-year-old man for feeding the homeless. Needless to say, Russell Brand’s anger is totally called for.

 

Have you ever seen a more perfect example of an authentic Christian persecuted by Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians?

From The New Yorker: The United States of America, a nation with a population of approximately three hundred million people, totally accepts that the next President of the United States can only be selected from two families.

In interviews conducted across the country, Americans acknowledged that, while the United States boasts many exceptional people in the fields of technology, business, public policy, and government, none will be offered to voters as candidates because they do not come from one of the two families deemed eligible.

LOL Andy! I’d love a ban on Bushes and Clintons.

Cartoon:

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Oct 272014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 189.  I’ve just been so dang busy that I’m half dazed.  When I received my ballot, it took me four days to allocate enough time to vote.  If you’re guessing I voter for Democrats across the board, you guessed right.  I predict Monica will have to go back to full time stalking and plagiarizing.  I voted against an open primary, for GMO labeling, for legalization of marijuana and against an Oregon Constitutional amendment outlawing discrimination based on sex.  The Oregon Constitution already outlaws all discrimination (“No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.”)  If that one fails, the sheep in eastern Oregon, where Republicans dominate, can come out of hiding. ;-)

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 5:06).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Raw Story (Hat-Tip [Shoe-Tip?] Lynn Squance): [O]n Friday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow took Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly to task for a deeply inaccurate story Kelly ran on Tuesday alleging that Democrats in Colorado are stealing the 2014 election by allowing people to print their ballots at home and hand them over to political operatives.

Mediaite reported that on Tuesday, Kelly breathlessly reported on “a new law” in Colorado that would allow Democrats to sway “a critical Senate race” because it “literally allows residents to print ballots from their home computers, then encourages them to turn ballots over to collectors.”

According to Maddow, the only people who can print their ballots on home computers and mail them in are active duty military personnel who are stationed abroad. This option is available to service personnel from all 50 states.

What else would one expects from the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise?  I’m glad Rachel keeps going when I can’t!!

From The New Yorker: Amid concerns that the spreading fear of Ebola has become a greater threat than the virus itself, a new poll shows that a majority of Americans favor a quarantine of the CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.

While poll respondents supported quarantining more than a dozen cable-news personalities, including the entire cast of “Fox & Friends,” a full seventy-two per cent gave the nod to a quarantine of Blitzer.

Great idea, Andy! Can we quarantine Limbarf too?

From Daily Kos: Bobby McKenzie, the Democratic candidate for Congress in Michigan’s 11th District is up with his first ad this cycle and it’s a doozy. It is a hard-hitting ad that shows what it looks like when Republican David Trott evicts people, in this case an elderly woman, from their home.

David Trott is known as Michigan’s "Foreclosure King". I prefer "Parasitic leech on the jugular vein of society". This man has built an entire vertically-integrated empire that profitizes the misery of down-on-their-luck Michiganders. You can read more about that HERE.

McKenzie’s new ad, which the Washington Post calls "one of the most brutal attack ads you’ll ever see"

 

Chick through to learn how this Republican bastard had her left in the rain in mid winter and had her meds thrown in the trash. Then Get Out the VOTE!!!

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This figure has since increased to 2.4 million.

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Oct 142014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 176.  I spent most of the day finding a video made by the newest board member of my prison volunteer group.  He was speaking against the death penalty, from perspective of the murder of his father.  I’m used to getting things converted to use ON the web, not to use OFF the web , but I had to convert it and burn it onto a DVD.  It’s for my group’s Victim Impact Meeting on 23rd, which he is unable to attend. To get it approved I have to turn it in to the prison tomorrow, when I’m there for my normal volunteer work.  I never play DVDs so, when done,  I had to find a neighbor with a DVD player to make sure it would work somewhere other that my computer.  Tonight is a Holy Night in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, and my fantasy team has to beat back the thunder-toed Canuck.  I’m hoping that I can get articles for Wednesday prepared before I leave tomorrow.  Then when I get back from prison, I can crash and post them when I wake up.  We’ll see.

(Late update:  she sasquatched me in the last minute of the last game) :-(

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:51 (average 4:43).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: This is incredible:

All German universities are now free to Americans and all other international students. The last German state to charge tuition at its universities struck down the fees this week.

Why are they offering such a generous plan?

In explaining why Germany made this move, Dorothee Stapelfeldt, a Hamburg senator, called tuition fees "unjust" and added that "they discourage young people who do not have a traditional academic family background from taking up study. It is a core task of politics to ensure that young women and men can study with a high quality standard free of charge in Germany."

Major Kudos to Germany!  Click through for more.

From NY Times: Among the rolling hills and Spanish moss of Florida’s panhandle, voters have long demanded that politicians walk a wobbly tightrope between the two dominant political parties: Lean too far one way and a tumble is all but certain.

Navigating that kind of crossing in this part of Florida, which looks to the South for cultural kinship but still has a solid core of Democratic-leaning voters, is particularly treacherous these days. More than two dozen Blue Dog House Democrats, a near-extinct group of socially moderate, fiscally conservative lawmakers, have been defeated by Republicans or left office since 2010. The congressional district here, Florida’s Second, has followed that pattern: Four years ago, Representative Steve Southerland II, a political novice backed by the Tea Party, defeated a longtime moderate Democrat.

But in an election season full of dire predictions for Democrats, the party is pinning one of its few genuine chances to reclaim a House seat on a little-known northwest Florida woman with a well-known name. Voters know her just as Gwen, but it is her last name, Graham, that resonates — a marquee Florida brand brimming with centrist political currency. And her father, Bob Graham, who was a popular longtime United States senator and governor, is usually by her side these days, chewing on pork at a fund-raiser, gobbling peanuts at a rally and extolling his eldest daughter’s pledge to put people before party as a Graham Democrat.

She has my support, my endorsement, and if she wins, my deepest condolences over the company she will have to keep for the following two years.

From AlterNet: On Average, Most of Us Got ONE DOLLAR for Every BILLION DOLLARS of New Wealth

A look at the numbers compiled by  Us Against Greed shows how personal it really is. Out of that $5,350,000,000,000 ($5.35 trillion) made since the start of 2013, the bottom 80 percent of America took an average of less than $5,000 each. The richest 6 to 20 percent fared better, taking an average of about $65,000.

Now it begins to heat up. From that $5.35 trillion, the richest 2 to 5 percent took an average of about $343,000. The one-percenters need to be split up into the rich, the super-rich, and the filthy-rich:

—-The more common members of the one-percent (1,068,000 families) made over $1,000,000 each ($1,068 billion total)

—-The .1 percent (108,000 families) made about $4 million each ($480 billion total)

—-The .01 percent made about $40 million each ($480 billion total)

The unimaginably rich Forbes 400 each took, on average, almost $1,500,000,000 ($1.5 billion) since January, 2013.

That brings us to the Final 9 (Gates, Buffett, 2 Kochs, 4 Waltons, Zuckerberg). Each of them  has accumulated, on average, over $13,000,000,000 ($13 billion) since January 2013.

This is just one of four reasons why we should be taking America’s inequality very seriously. Click through tor the other three.

Cartoon:

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In Like manner, the Republican Party hates the UN and has tried to get us out of it.

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