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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0501Cartoon

The Republican elephant rides the rest of us.

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Apr 302016
 
furies

I only have one article this week which I feel calls 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." But I have a little bonus at the end.

I'll quote a lot of the article with just a few comments at the end –  it's from the Sikh Coalition and passed on by Wired for Change.  H/T JL.

April 27, 2016 (Amarillo, TX) – The Sikh Coalition filed a complaint with Texas law enforcement agencies on behalf of Mr. Daljeet Singh today, demanding that criminal charges be brought against individuals who falsely accused Mr. Singh of making a bomb threat and who unlawfully restrained him on a bus.  Mr. Singh was a passenger on a Greyhound bus traveling through Amarillo, Texas on February 21, 2016, when he was falsely accused by a fellow passenger of making a terroristic threat.

“The only crime I committed was wearing a turban, having a beard, and speaking in a different language to another brown man on a bus,” said Mr. Singh. “I still cannot believe that this happened to me in America.” Mr. Singh, a limited English proficient asylum seeker from India, wears a turban and beard as part of his Sikh articles of faith.

The allegations, which were made by a fellow passenger, were completely fabricated. The passenger profiled Mr. Singh and then alleged that he had been discussing a bomb threat with a second passenger. Mr. Singh was jailed for approximately 30 hours. During that time, local news outlets linked Mr. Singh’s name to terrorism charges.

“When you actually see something you should say something,” said Sikh Coalition Senior Staff Attorney, Gurjot Kaur. “However, what happens when you see nothing and concoct a story that is completely baseless because you don’t like the color of someone’s skin, their religious headwear, and the fact that they speak a different language? There must be consequences when bigotry and xenophobia trump common sense on a bus deep in the heart of Texas.”

The Sikh Coalition filed a complaint in Potter County against the first passenger for knowingly filing false charges against Mr. Singh, and an additional complaint was filed against two other passengers who unlawfully detained him on the bus. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Potter County prosecutors' offices cleared Mr. Singh of all criminal wrongdoing.

“Nobody deserves to be treated this way in our country,” said Ms. Kaur. “We trust that local law enforcement will treat our complaint with the same vigilance and vigor as the initial complaint received.”

One wonders, doesn't one, how an English-only speaker, listening to a conversation in Punjabi, could tease a bomb out of what was heard.  In fact, I mentioned to JL that the story reminded me a little of a story by Isaac Asimov, without Asimov's sanity.

Asimov's eavesdropper's first language was Russian, and the story was writtten while the Cold War was alive and well.  This Russian eavesdropper was holding his own conversation in Russian with a friend, while at the same time listening to a conversation in English between two Columbia University students.  He was absolutely convinced that these students were plotting in broad daylight and before witnesses to grab a third person, tie him up in a dark place, and murder him.

In this series, the "Black Widowers," each story takes place in a restaurant.  All the club members try to figure out what really happened, and all fail.  Only the waiter, Henry, can see through the mystery – because, as he claims, he has no sense of drama and therefore doesn't get distracted.  You can find the story on line here, or if you have access to physical books, it's the fifth story in the second collection. 

Henry's explanation of how he solved it is, I think, very revealing of the state of mind which leads to false reports like this:  "You felt New York to be a jungle, so you heard jungle sounds. For myself, I prefer to suppose college students would sound like college students.”

Dear Furies, I do believe the passenger who made this false report, as well as the two who didn't but who physically restrained Mr. Singh to keep him on the bus, need some re-educating.  However, it is also possible that the local authorities will need some prodding and/or persuasion to pursue charges.

I have one other item to share which is not directly a job for the furies, but is an educational tool for all of us.  It's being Podmade available now in advance of June being Torture Awareness Month.  It's really designed for smartphones, and to be viewed through a cardboard "blinder" to enhance the sense of isolation.  It is a simulation of solitary confinement.  Because descriptions are not enough.  Since not everyone has a smartphone (I don't), there is also a PC version.

I heard about it from the National Religious Campaign Against Torture.  But the app and 360-degree video were created by The Guardian (Kudos to them).

The Furies and I will be back.

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Apr 282016
 

The more we think of words like hate, hypocrisy, lies and racism, the more the Republican Party comes to mind.  The Republican Racist Dictatorship of Bamastan display their hatred openly, but when challenged, use self-reliance as an excuse to deny their racist hate.  Could there be any truth to their self-reliance claim?  Lets examine the evidence.

0428confederate

Alabama is currently celebrating Confederate Heritage Month with a state-wide holiday and a series of public events aimed at remembering and honoring those who fought on the side of southern, slave-owning states during the Civil War. At one such event this week, organized by the Ladies’ Memorial Association, Alabama’s Secretary of State John Merrill lamented recent calls to remove Confederate symbols from government buildings.

“The next question that has to be asked is so what’s the next thing you are going to do,” he asked, “are you going to take a bulldozer to the monument and forget what people fought for to preserve a way of life that makes us special and unique?”

Civil rights groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center, slammed the remark as “shameful.” But in a follow-up conversation with ThinkProgress, Merrill explained that the “way of life” he celebrates is based on Confederate soldiers’ independent spirit, not their advocacy for slavery.

“When we have things happen in our state, we don’t rely on the federal government to come take care of us,” he said. “We take care of ourselves. For example, after the tornadoes in 2011, or after the massive flooding we had. That’s who we are. That’s who these people were. I’m proud of that.”

Alabama, however, is the ninth most reliant on federal aid out of the 50 states, taking far more in aid than the state pays back in taxes. As for the 2011 tornado damage Merrill mentioned, an auditor recently found that the state improperly received about $1.2 million in federal aid that it now must pay back. Antebellum Alabama’s “self-reliance,” meanwhile, depended from its founding on the unpaid labor of hundreds of thousands of slaves… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

There it is!  like most of the reddest states, the rest of is are supporting them with our tax dollars.  I for one, do not want my tax dollars spent to support racist policies.  That’s why I keep saying that

Every Republican in office

is one Republican too many!!

 

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Apr 282016
 

Pardon my brevity.  I needed a morning nap. and I need to get this done and up in time to go to the prison.  That’s actually a huge sacrifice, because today is a Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  The draft is tonight.  I hope my Broncos get a good first round pick.  Store to Door just left, so I have the rest of my groceries.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:35 (average 4:16).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Just how desperate is North Carolina GOP Gov. Pat McCrory to lay the blame for HB2 on anyone but himself? Well, this sitting governor has now released an attack email against a sitting mayor: Charlotte’s Jennifer Roberts. Nothing like punching downward—that’s what all the political analysts recommend. Jim Morrill has the details on McCrory’s latest re-election strategy, starting with the email’s headline:

“Roy Cooper Ally Jennifer Roberts Admitted She Thought About Leaving Out The Bathroom Mandate, But Pushed It Through Anyway,” a headline says. […]

McCrory’s email includes TV and radio clips of Roberts talking about House Bill 2. […]

“The clips … should help refresh your memory that the topic of bathrooms was first raised by the radical left when – over warnings from the governor and other state leaders that they should have left restroom norms way they were and focus on things … Roy Cooper’s allies decided to push through Charlotte’s radical bathroom mandate anyway,” said McCrory campaign spokesman Ricky Diaz.

Fact: Charlotte passed a measure that affirmed people’s judgment in making the appropriate bathroom choice.

Fact: North Carolina lawmakers passed a Big Brother bill dictating to people which bathrooms they must use, because apparently The People can’t be entrusted with such a decision.

This whole “Charlotte made us do it!” shtick is just ridiculous.

There is only one man who opted to sign HB2 into law, Hatefuhrer of the Republican Theocratic Dictatorship of McCrorystan, Par McCrory,

From The New Yorker: In choosing the former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O. Carly Fiorina as his running mate, Senator Ted Cruz hopes to tap into the immense popularity of one of the most beloved public figures in America.

Minutes after the news of Cruz’s selection leaked, political insiders called the choice of the wildly adored Fiorina a game-changer for the Cruz campaign.

“It’s no secret that Ted Cruz has some trouble with likeability,” the Republican strategist Harland Dorrinson said. “What better way to fix that than by choosing Carly Fiorina, a person everyone is absolutely crazy about?”

Fiorina’s reputation for winning the hearts of everyone she comes in contact with dates back to her days as the incredibly well-liked C.E.O. of Hewlett-Packard and, before that, Lucent Technologies.

Andy may have screwed the pooch here. The HP employees, with whom I dealt regularly for years, all spoke of her in profane uncomplimentary terms, the most common rhyming with stitch. I think that TRUSed Uranus Cruz is so desperate that he’s offering a chance at the VP slot in hopes of getting lucky with Carly. His taste is as extreme as his policies.

From NY Times: Battered by four defeats in Tuesday night’s primaries, Bernie Sanders is planning to lay off hundreds of campaign staffers across the country and focus much of his remaining effort on winning the June 7 California primary.

That confirms the end of the nomination fight, but I will still vote for him in the Oregon Primary. On to the platform fight.

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0428TCPrison

I hope they let me out!!

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Apr 262016
 

I slept poorly last night, because the druggies partied into the wee hours on the street below and made a lot of noise.  So I took another Lona nap this morning.  Store to door called and I gave them my grocery order.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:18 (average 5:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Charles and David Koch, the billionaire industrialists who have spent decades acquiring a world-class collection of Republicans, revealed over the weekend that they are considering purchasing their first Democrat.

“We’ve always bought Republicans, and our father bought Republicans before us,” Charles, the elder Koch, said. “They’re bred to be obedient, and they respond to simple commands.”

He said that he and his brother had considered acquiring a Democrat only after determining that none of the Republicans on offer this year was worth adding to their collection.

Fortunately, Andy, both Bernie and Hillary are too principled to become Koch suckers.

From Daily Kos: James Van Kuilenburg, a trans teenager, attended a Ted Cruz rally with his mother on Thursday. His goal was to hear what Ted Cruz had to say, but also, as The Frederick News-Post reported, "to show Cruz supporters that rhetoric about gay and transgender rights hurts real people, like him."

 

Republicans consider the First Amendment their exclusive property. Nobody else may exercise it.

From Upworthy: Witness this amazing letter he wrote in 1790 to the largest Jewish community in America at the time, the Hebrew congregation of Newport, Rhode Island. The Newport Jews had sent a message to Washington, basically congratulating him on being awesome.

A few days later, Washington responded (emphasis mine):

Gentlemen:

While I received with much satisfaction your address replete with expressions of esteem, I rejoice in the opportunity of assuring you that I shall always retain grateful remembrance of the cordial welcome I experienced on my visit to Newport from all classes of citizens.

The reflection on the days of difficulty and danger which are past is rendered the more sweet from a consciousness that they are succeeded by days of uncommon prosperity and security. If we have wisdom to make the best use of the advantages with which we are now favored, we cannot fail, under the just administration of a good government, to become a great and happy people.

The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship.

It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.

It would be inconsistent with the frankness of my character not to avow that I am pleased with your favorable opinion of my administration and fervent wishes for my felicity.

May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid. May the father of all mercies scatter light, and not darkness, upon our paths, and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in His own due time and way everlastingly happy.

G. Washington

Now try to imagine a similar epistle coming from a President Fecal Dump Trump or a President TRUSed Uranus Cruz to America’s largest Muslim community.  Then vote in November!

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Apr 222016
 

I’m rushing to get as much done as I can, before leaving for PT with Courtney.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:58).  To do it. click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Joe Walsh thought he was scheduled to play a benefit concert for American veterans and their families. He later found out the event is actually part of the Republican National Convention and is refusing to play:

Kudos to Joe Walsh. I'm including this instead of Prince, because his tragic death already crowding most other content from most media.

From Media Matters: Fox News host Steve Doocy couldn't find a single person to support his claim that many are "wondering" whether the U.S. Treasury Department is "pandering to the PC police" by adding Harriet Tubman to the front of the $20 bill, and moving former President Andrew Jackson to the back. While several right-wing pundits criticized the move as "Democrats using our currency as a political weapon to pander to their constituents," New Yorkers told Doocy "it's a great idea to put a woman on the currency," and "it's probably time to get rid of Andrew Jackson."

Since Faux Noise had just made a big stink over this, Doocy's failure has to be embarrassing for the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda.  This os clearly Republican racism, considering that Andy Jackson was the founder of the Democratic Party.

From Alternet: If you’re following the election, you’re probably aware that the Republican National Convention is swiftly approaching or as 'Late Show" host Stephen Colbert puts it, “The toboggan ride is rapidly approaching the oak tree.”

 

Seeing Reince go up in flames is a good thing for America.

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Apr 212016
 

I slept very poorly last night.  I had a lot on my mind.  I scheduled my visit with Casey Eye Institute on 5/9.  Dr. Skalet is an Ocular Oncologist, and she deals exclusively with eye cancer.  Megan’s office called.  they want me to get an MRI on my hands and see a Rheumatoid Arthritis Specialist.  One might think I already had enough on my plate.  Then, just as I was about to go to bed, my ISP went down.  I don’t know why, but every time I dozed off, I woke up again and felt compelled to see, if I was reconnected.  That went on until my Internet came  back early this morning.  Tomorrow I have PT with Courtney.  Rain is forecast, so I have to take the lift bus.  I may have no more than a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 4:54).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Chris Sevier is suing the Harris County, Texas district clerk, Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton for not allowing him the right to marry his Mac laptop. He’s going to have to get in line for Mr. Paxton, who is busy trying to dodge fraud charges. Why would you want to marry your laptop?

He is trying to prove that, essentially, marriage between a same-sex couple can be equated to marriage between a man and a machine. He is trying to prove that, under Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage, people are now allowed to do morally disgusting things like marry whomever they are attracted to, whether that be inanimate objects or the same gender. Essentially, he is trying to give courts an ultimatum: Agree that this is what they have done and allow him to make vows to a piece of expensive chrome, or, realize that this is morally wrong and undo Obergefell.

It’s interesting that the only people every trying to marry things that are not human—the slippery slope so often referred to by conservatives everywhere—are conservatives themselves.

Dang!! Only a total pervert would want to marry his Mac! Baring teeth smile  Any real red-blooded straight American would only marry a laptop running Windows!! Smile with tongue out

From NY Times: Curt Schilling, a former All-Star pitcher and one of the highest-profile baseball analysts on ESPN, was fired from the network Wednesday, a day after he drew intense criticism for promoting offensive commentary on social media.

Schilling, who had worked for the network since 2010 and most recently offered analysis on “Monday Night Baseball,” was dismissed after sharing a Facebook post this week that appeared to respond to the North Carolina law that bars transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not correspond with their birth genders.

The post showed an overweight man wearing a wig and women’s clothing with parts of the T-shirt cut out to expose his breasts. It says: “LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die.”

To that, Schilling added: “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”

Kudos to ESPN!!

From Alternet: Wednesday night, Stephen Colbert opened a segment on the New York primary with these words: "Speaking of things money can buy, the 2016 election."

 

He thrashed the TRUSed Uranus quite well!

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Apr 192016
 

I’m getting a late start today, because I needed a cat nap, and I had a lot of scheduling to get done.  I’m pleased to announce that the Squatch, Nameless and I have agreed to promote another person to our staff in the position of Author.  I won’t actually come out and say who it is, but our new Author must get confused about whether to plant a bulb or kiss a roo.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Better than a transcript, here is an actual video of Hillary Clinton giving a speech at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women: Proving the Case for Women Entrepreneurs dinner. The video was posted October 22, 2014. I’m not sure if this is what Bernie Sanders is demanding (snark), but it does fit the three criteria, yes? Hillary Clinton, Goldman Sachs, and Speeches. This particular Hillary Clinton “unpaid” speech is about the empowerment of women — an issue the former U.S. Secretary of State has made a priority throughout her political career.

To be fair there were two ways this speech did not meet Bernie’s criteria. He wanted the speech to be paid. This was free. He wanted the speech to have been presented behind closed doors. This was not.

From TPM: Rep. Pete King (R-NY) went on a tear against the Republican presidential frontrunners in a blistering Tuesday interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” joking that he would commit suicide if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) earns the nomination.

“I’m not endorsing Ted Cruz, in case anyone is confused,” King said. “I think I’ll take cyanide if he got the nomination.

Cyanide? He will?!!? Dang!! Maybe there actually is a valid reason to support the TRUSed Uranus!!

From Common Dreams: The U.S. Supreme Court reportedly appeared divided on a challenge to President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions, as a 90-minute oral argument session wrapped up on Monday afternoon.

The case, brought by 26 Republican-led states and spearheaded by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, concerns two deportation protections that would shield roughly 5 million undocumented parents of American citizens and legal residents, as well as about 100,000 people brought to the U.S. as children.

Now, with only eight members sitting on the panel following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, the court could end in a 4-4 deadlock—which would leave in place a previous ruling by a lower court that blocked the plan, without setting a Supreme Court precedent.

This is a case where 4 – 4 equals SCROTUS, (Republican Constitutional VD).

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0419Cartoon

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Apr 152016
 
furies

It was a rough week.  I was truly challenged to limit myself to three stories and a reference in passing which really call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with them.  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."

Did you know that the CIA has a "Venture Capital Arm"?  I didn't, but I do now.  It's called In-Q-Tel.  You can read about it at its own website or on Wikipedia (probably less self-serving).  I'm sure it will surprise no one that this entity is investing in tools to mine technology such as cell phones and social media, but my eye was caught by a deal it has going with a skin care company.  Skin care?  WTF?

Yes, Skincential Sciences is getting funding from In-Q-Tel for a product they call "Clearista."  It is, or is based on, and I quote, "a patented technology that removes a thin outer layer of the skin, revealing unique biomarkers that can be used for a variety of diagnostic tests, including DNA collection."  It is, quote, "said to require only water, a special detergent, and a few brushes against the skin, making it a convenient option for restoring the glow of a youthful complexion — and a novel technique for gathering information about a person’s biochemistry."

Now, you may be wondering – I know I am – how in the world they expect to harvest this stuff in any way that is traceable to any particular person.  However – I have little faith in the CIA's ethics, but I have great faith in their ability to dream up ideas like harvesting DNA.

The names of several other firms funded by In-Q-Tel have come out this week, and if anyone decides to try to follow the money, you will find it is quite a Pandora's Box (I'm sure the Furies are familiar with those LOL).  The CIA, on its own and through In-Q-Tel, seems always to be messing with things that don't concern them.  It just never quits.  So I think, maybe Alecto, you might be the one to look into this.

And while we are speaking of spying and intrusion (and sometimes it seems that those are one and the same – a class action suit has been filed by the Michigan chapter of CAIR on behalf of 18 named plaintiffs and thousands of unnamed plaintiffs against the Terrorist Screening Center, which comes under the FBI.  One of the named plaintiffs – well, the court has his name but his identity is being protected – is a young man, an American citizen, now four, whose name was placed on the watch list when he was seven months old.  Numerous current and former employees of the Terrorist Screening Center are also individually named in the suit.  Apparently any one of us could get onto the list if someone is having a bad day and happens to see our names.  "No accountability" hardly seems to cover it, does it?  But I'm happy to let CAIR handle this for now.  We can always jump in later.

Now I have a situation in Arizona.  Seems their state Speaker of the House, David Gowan, has come up with a New Rule, as speakers are wont to do.  Under this rule, any reporter who wants access to the floor of the house will have to submit to a background check.  Anyone with certain offenses on their record will be disqualified from the floor of the house for up to ten years.

Quote: The new policy goes as far as to list specific offenses, including misdemeanor ones like trespassing, which automatically disqualify a reporter from being on the House floor for up to 10 years. That’s significant because misdemeanor trespass is an offense that Arizona Capitol Times reporter Hank Stephenson was convicted of following a bar fight a couple years ago.

Early this year, Stephenson wrote a piece scrutinizing Gowan’s use of a state vehicle during a 19-day period last October during which he logged nearly 4,800 miles of windshield time. Some of the events he traveled to were related to his congressional campaign, and using a state vehicle for that purpose is unlawful. Gowan has since reimbursed the state more than $12,000, and his is office is now under investigation by Arizona’s Attorney General for misuse of public resources.

And, as Hunter at Daily Kos says,

Yes, what ARE the odds that the only House reporter who seems to be disqualified by these new, very specific rules is the one whose reporting cost David Gowan $12,000 worth of free state vehicle time. It is uncanny, and so forth, and so on.

To their credit, state reporters are refusing to go along with the "background" checks, because there doesn't seem to be anyone in the state who really believes this is about anything other than David Gowan being peeved that reporters caught him doing something blatantly illegal.

That's vengeful indeed.  So, Tisiphone, this one's for you.

As I said, it's been a busy week, and I could give another voter ID story, but this story on a different subject just seemed so grudging I had to put it in for you, Megaera.  Readers Digest version:  "If you had an abortion in Missouri between 2010 and 2015, you’re on Missouri State Senator Kurt Schaefer’s hit list."

Schaefer (need I say he is a Republican?) is demanding that Planned Parenthood, and a St. Louis area pathologist, turn over to him all medical records of all women who had abortions in Missouri  between 2010 and 2015.  (Need I say this would be a blatant violation of HIPAA?)  Doesn't phase him.

He hasn't mentioned what he would do with the names if he got them, but I'm thinking suboenas to a House hearing, which would also result in publication, which would certainly resuly in shaming, if not harassment, if not dangerous physical violence.

Even the main stream media (in the form of the St. Louis Post Dispatch) says his demand is “…a thinly veiled effort to expose the identities of abortion patients as a means of shaming and discouraging other women from exercising their constitutional rights.”  But he is not backing down, and has managed to seduce or extort the Missouri Senate's Rules and Ethics committee to approve a resolution to compel Planned Parenthood's CEO to “appear before the whole Senate to explain why they should not be punished for failing to comply with the demand.”  (Spoiler: It's HIPAA, stupid) 

Did I mention he is running for Attorney General?

He has also threatened to hold her in contempt if she fails to produce the list he wants.  Personally, I think she would be rationally able to rejoin, "What a coincidence.  That's exactly how I feel about you."  But she probably has better manners than I do.  Besides getting him, Megaera, I hope you will have her back.  Many thanks.

The Furies and I will be back. 

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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.

Cartoon:

0414Cartoon

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