Dec 082014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 33.  I spent most of the day in bed.  I still feel feverish and congested.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:03 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

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A bad day for Peyton.  His touchdowns in consecutive games streak ran out at 151.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Here we go again with a bill protecting the religiously persecuted from evil LGBT citizens hoping to pay for services and participate in the U.S. economy. Michigan’s GOP House Speaker Jase Bolger pushed through a "Religious Freedom Restoration Act," which is now headed to the state Senate for consideration.

It’s a similar bill to the one we saw in Arizona earlier this year. Michigan Republicans apparently felt a real sense of urgency after they quashed an effort the day before to help LGBT individuals hold down jobs and be productive members of society.

No matter how caring and moderate Republicans try to sound for the mainstream, focus on what they keep doing.

From NY Times: The letter to the Environmental Protection Agency from Attorney General Scott Pruitt of Oklahoma carried a blunt accusation: Federal regulators were grossly overestimating the amount of air pollution caused by energy companies drilling new natural gas wells in his state.

But Mr. Pruitt left out one critical point. The three-page letter was written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of Oklahoma’s biggest oil and gas companies, and was delivered to him by Devon’s chief of lobbying.

“Outstanding!” William F. Whitsitt, who at the time directed government relations at the company, said in a note to Mr. Pruitt’s office. The attorney general’s staff had taken Devon’s draft, copied it onto state government stationery with only a few word changes, and sent it to Washington with the attorney general’s signature. “The timing of the letter is great, given our meeting this Friday with both E.P.A. and the White House.”

Mr. Whitsitt then added, “Please pass along Devon’s thanks to Attorney General Pruitt.”

Click through for more examples about how Republican State Attorneys General are conspiring with polluters against the interest of the people they are supposed to represent.

From The New Yorker: Two days after the release of an unusually strong jobs report, prominent Republicans appeared on the Sunday morning talk shows to question President Obama’s “suspicious motives” for repairing the economy.

“When there have been so many months of job growth, it does make you wonder what he’s up to,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “You add in the rising stock market and falling gas prices, and the whole thing doesn’t pass the smell test.”

Appearing on Fox News, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused the President of “cynically fixing the economy to distract the American people.”

“This country faces serious problems, and I don’t think they can be swept under the rug by creating prosperity,” he said.

But the sternest rebuke came from House Speaker John Boehner, who warned, “If President Obama doesn’t stop fixing the economy, Congress has ways to make him stop.”

Andy may be on to something. It’s a Kenyan, socialist conspiracy.

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They’re making a list.  They’re checking it Twice.  We’d be better off, if we could trade them for lice.

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Dec 062014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 31.  Groceries have come and are put away.  I should be on bed, but my O2 delivery is late.  I think I’m coming down with a winter flu bug, as my COPD is worse than normal, and I’m running a fever, so this will be the only article.

Jug Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Republicans, ever on the lookout for ways to express how very outraged they are at President Obama for daring to do something about immigration reform after they refused, hit upon the idea of not inviting the president to deliver the State of the Union address to Congress. The idea seemed crazy when it was first mentioned—probably because it’s crazy—but it seems to be gaining steam:

Late Tuesday, Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-Ga.) called for Boehner to not invite Obama to deliver the State of the Union address next year. […]

On the State of the Union, [Rep. Tim Huelskamp] added: “In the spirit of George Washington, he could send it to us in writing. It’d save some time.”

What petty, vindictive cretins! Call the WAAAAambulance!

From Alternet: House cats often appear aloof and indifferent toward their human companions. But it’s not just an act — they actually don’t care. A recent study of the domestic cat genome reveals why.

Scientists from the Genome Institute at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis sequenced the first house cat reference genome, and discovered that house cats may not be that genetically different from wild cats. This may explain why house cats seem to ignore their human companions and instead behave like they have their own agenda. Maybe they’re acting like wild cats.

Evidently these scientists didn’t include the experience of living with a cat in their studies. We care, but we want humans to know that we own them, not the other way around. Fortunately the cats in the study outsmarted the scientists. It wasn’t too hard. They’re just humans.

From Right Wing Watch: Bryan Fischer was out sick yesterday, so the American Family Association’s news director, Fred Jackson, filled in as guest host on Fischer’s "Focal Point" radio program where he interviewed [AFA delinked] the ACRU’s Robert Knight [hate group delinked] about the protests that have erupted after two separate grand juries failed to indict police officers for killing unarmed black men.

Knight declared that the activists who have protested these decisions are "trying desperately to start a race war" and blamed President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for fanning the flames by supposedly suggesting that all police officers are racist.

 

How absurd! Some Republicans actually do appear to be siding with the black victims of police murder, but it’s all show for the mainstream, while the bubble machine plays their true position.  If they were concerned at all with minority rights, the3y would not be working overtime to tale away their right to vote. Note how the AFA, an organization concerned with killing LGBT and women’s rights, are happy to goose-step with the racist white “civil rights” group.

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This is ones of the ones Republicans prefer to ignore

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Dec 052014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 30. My COPD is still acting up.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day and an O2 delivery day.  I may be scarce.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:18 (average 5:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos:

One can only imagine Hooks Independent School District board member Chris Harris won’t be working for the district much longer after he posted the image above. The image has rightfully garnered a lot of attention, not the kind Mr. Harris was likely hoping for when he posted it.

He’s since apologized, but it may be too late:

Harris posted messages saying in part that he realizes what he posted was inappropriate and offended people. He went on to say he’s deeply sorry and not a racist.

According to Superintendent Thompson, Harris’ future with the school district  will be up to the school board members.

"They govern me. That is who I answer to," said Thompson. "They govern each other. It is in their hands."

That Republican is not a racist. The Pope is not Catholic. Bears never, ever shit in the woods.

From The New Yorker: On the heels of an initiative to provide police departments with body cameras, there is growing support for a plan to supply grand-jury members with eyes, advocates for the plan said on Wednesday.

“Body cameras are an important part of the solution,” said Harland Dorrinson, who is lobbying Washington to equip grand juries with the sense of sight. “But I strongly believe that if you take video evidence and add eyes, the combination would be unstoppable.”

Some critics of Dorrinson’s proposal say that it does not go far enough, and that in order to process information sent from their eyes grand juries would also need to be fitted with working brains.

For once I disagree with Andy. When Grand Jurors make garbage decisions, it’s because prosecutors feed them garbage.

From NY Times: A federal appeals court on Wednesday struck down a 2011 Florida law requiring drug tests for people seeking welfare benefits even if they are not suspected of drug use, a measure pushed by Gov. Rick Scott in his first term in office.

The three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in Atlanta, ruled that the law, one of the strictest in the country, was an unreasonable search because Florida officials had failed to show a “substantial need” to test all people who applied for welfare benefits. Applicants were required to submit to urine tests, a measure that Mr. Scott said would protect children of welfare applicants by ensuring that their parents were not buying and using drugs.

“The state has not demonstrated a more prevalent, unique or different drug problem among TANF applicants than in the general population,” the panel said in its unanimous decision, using an acronym for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

Rick Scott is going to hate this because he founded the company getting rich off of doing the drug testing.  He claims he no longer owns it, which is true.  Now, his wife does.

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Nov 302014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 25.  This is the only article, because today is a dead news day and a lazy day for a TomCat.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos’ service is with the Kansas City Chiefs, but in these circumstances, they’re just Officer Wilson’s team.  They have the Sunday Night game and will be nationally televised.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:46 (average 4:16).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Alternet: One of the ways reformers are trying to reduce the use of excessive police force is by requiring police officers to wear body cameras. Cities like Cleveland are moving toward requiring more officers to wear cameras to ensure accountability.

But a case out of Denver shows that not all police are so keen to be recorded. This past August, a group of police officers attempted to arrest David Nelson Flores for suspected drug possession. When he stuffed a sock in his mouth and refused to open his mouth, one of the officers struck him in the head repeatedly. “Those were the hardest punches I have ever heard, said Levi Frasier, a bystander who witnessed the beating. 

But police did not limit their use of force to Flores. They also tripped his girlfriend, who was almost eight months pregnant at the time. Luckily for Flores and his girlfriend, Frasier recorded the entire incident on his tablet. But the police took his tablet and deleted the video. At least they thought they deleted it. When Frasier got home he discovered the video file reappeared once the tablet synced with the cloud server.

 

I’m surprised that the local Fox affiliate is not goose-stepping with the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise.  This account makes it painfully clear that all police need to be wearing a camera that record their actions.

From Crooks and Liars: I’ve been arguing with fellow progressives for more than a decade about our lack of outreach to the white working class. It’s time. If we want to get a solid majority that lasts long enough to make real change, we’d damn well better start:

ATLANTA (AP) — Southern Democrats are joining others in the party who say that a return to advocating to lift people out of economic hardship and emphasizing spending on education and public works will re-energize black voters and attract whites as well.

"It’s time to draw a line in the sand and not surrender our brand," Rickey Cole, the party chairman in Mississippi, said. He believes candidates have distanced themselves from the past half-century of Democratic principles.

Amen.

From Raw Story: A staffer for Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher (TN) took to Facebook this week to attack Sasha and Malia Obama, President Barack Obama’s daughters, for failing to show what she deemed to be sufficient respect for their father’s annual pardoning of a Thanksgiving turkey.

According to Gawker, Elizabeth Lauten, former new media political director for the Republican National Committee, wrote an open letter to the two girls, attacking their facial expressions and clothing choices.

Nothing is despicable for Republicans.

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Nov 262014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, Day 21.  This is my only article.  I have to leave early and meet my ride to prison several miles away to avoid the Ferguson protests.  Tomorrow the cooking begins.

Excellent meeting.  Exhausted.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:24 (average 5:58).  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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That was a last minute shock! :-(

Standings:

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There are only two weeks left before our playoffs begin.  Can I toast the toester?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: From NPR station KCUR:

Although gay and lesbian couples are getting married in at least 24 Kansas counties, Gov. Sam Brownback won’t allow any state recognition of the unions.

Brownback said Thursday that he won’t offer any of the benefits heterosexual couples get, such as name changes on a driver’s license or employee benefits for gay and lesbian state workers.

“There is still considerable legal ambiguity on the topic of same-sex marriage,” said Eileen Hawley, a Brownback spokeswoman. “Once that ambiguity is gone, the governor will direct state agencies to comply with applicable laws.”

When the Supreme Court refused to extend the temporary stay, he said [pseudo-Christians delinked]:

I swore an oath to support the Constitution of the State of Kansas. I will review this ruling with the attorney general and see how best we continue those efforts.

In other words: Marriage discrimination now, marriage discrimination tomorrow, marriage discrimination forever!

Is it realistic to think he is impeachable? This is the Theocracy that the idiots who elected him want.

From NY Times: Months of anger and frustration, in the end, led only to more anger and frustration.

Shops were looted and burned on Ferguson’s main street. There were smoke bombs, tear gas, thrown rocks and random gunshots. In Ferguson, the aftermath of the shooting death of Michael Brown was almost as bitter and hollow as his killing itself.

Brien Redmon, 31, stood in the cold watching a burning police car and sporadic looting after the announcement that there would be no indictments for Mr. Brown’s death at 18.

While I cannot support rioting, I understand the outrage. Even here, a major demonstration is planned. I lave to leave early and meat my ride to prison five miles away from my home, because the march will be under my window. I almost wish I weren’t going.

From Upworthy: How we treat individuals with disabilities is often colored by how we perceive them and the judgments we make upon first meeting someone with a disability. For this woman, that includes being thought of as a 2-year-old when she’s actually a college student who’s smart as a whip and just happens to have a physical disability. It doesn’t make her less than "normal."

 

One word: Kudos

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Nov 252014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 25.  It’s a good thing I did my research early, because, except for a three hour cat nap, I haven’t stopped since 1 AM.  Tomorrow is a prison volunteer day, and Thanksgiving cooking starts Wednesday.  Color me scarce. 

Late (early) Update:

Just woke up.  Ugh!  It looks like Darren Wilson may get away with murder.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Koch industries and its subsidiaries are expansive—their holdings include everything from gas stations to pipelines, paper products for everyday use, greeting cards, chemicals used to make materials, and the fabric that makes your clothing.

With an interest in almost everything and status as the number two privately held company in the country–behind Cargill—Koch industries is a behemoth that is hard to avoid.

But knowledge is power and your dollar is your vote. We can become informed purchasers and refuse to support their political agenda by refusing to purchase their wares.

Don’t suck nevermind! Click through to sign the pledge and for a complete list of Koch Brothers Products to boycott.

From VOX: A new poll from finds that 89 percent of Latino voters support President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

80 percent of Latino voters say they’ll oppose any attempt by Republicans to block Obama’s executive actions

Worryingly for the GOP, that includes 60 percent of Latino Republicans.

I have the same question for Latino Republicans that I have for fay Republicans. Are you a billionaire or a masochist?

From Alternet: Making the Highest Profit Margin in the Corporate World — And Demanding a Tax Cut 

The trading volume on the  Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) reached $1 quadrillion in  notionalvalue [sic] last year. That’s a thousand trillion dollars, about ten times greater than the  world economy.

With the  collection of transfer fees, contract fees, brokerage fees, Globex fees, clearing fees, and surcharges, the company achieved a  profit margin (54%) higher than any of the top 100 companies in the nation from 2008 to 2010, and in the past three years it’s risen to  nearly 60%.

Despite being the most profitable big firm, CME complained that its taxes were too high, and they demanded and received an  $85 million tax break from the State of Illinois. 

This is just one of the seven biggest corporate rip offs of this year. Click through for the other six.

Cartoon:

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What I need!

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Nov 242014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 19.  It’s early in the morning, and I plan to finish in time for some intense meditation on the Holy Ellipsoid Orb.  I may be scarce next week as I have a very busy schedule.  Store to Door is closed for Thanksgiving week, so I have a grocery delivery coming from Safeway tomorrow, and I’ll have to stow and put them away.  Tuesday is a prison volunteer day.  Wednesday and Thursday I’ll be cooking up a storm, so I’m not sure how much content I’ll be able to deliver.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 5:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

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Was that a nail-biter or what!  Wooo Hooo! :-D

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: These guys went across the world because there's a natural wonder that needs saving.

 

Kudos to Upworthy, but nothing is as clickable and shareable as a cat video. Nevertheless, I'd be honored to bring you more #reefreels.

From Right Wing Watch: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a leader in the anti-immigrant movement, said during his Sunday radio program [fascist delinked] that it’s possible that a Hispanic majority in the U.S. could conduct an “ethnic cleansing.”

Kobach made his remarks in response to a caller who asked, “What happens, if you know your history, when one culture or one race or one religion overwhelms another culture or race?”

Claiming that immigrant rights groups are “calling for the return of the Spanish territory, which could be almost half of the United States,” the caller warned, “When one race or culture overwhelms another culture, they run them out or they kill them. And it’s a bigger issue than just being Democrats. And they know in numbers, once the numbers are so bad, they can pretty much do whatever they want to do.”

Here's the Audio. Barf Bag Alert!!

Kobitch is employing projection. If what he were saying about ethnic cleansing were true, there would be no Anglo communities in Mexico or other Latin American countries when Latino people took over. On the other hand, Republicans are the ones who love to threaten and employ violence when they don't get their way.

From NY Times: GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, Mont. — What will they call this place once the glaciers are gone?

A century ago, this sweep of mountains on the Canadian border boasted some 150 ice sheets, many of them scores of feet thick, plastered across summits and tucked into rocky fissures high above parabolic valleys. Today, perhaps 25 survive.

In 30 years, there may be none.

A warming climate is melting Glacier’s glaciers, an icy retreat that promises to change not just tourists’ vistas, but also the mountains and everything around them.

I found some appropriate video.

I visited Glacier National Park in 1961. I remember my amazement at walking on glaciers in August and my awe at their number and immensity. It's a personal sorrow that most of the places, were I walked on glaciers, are now completely ice free.

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