Sep 292016
 

Getting my Lift permit renewed this morning took ten minutes.  Factoring-in waiting for rides, it took three and a half hours.  ARGH!!  I’m very tired, but as the effects of the Cymbalta are starting to wear off, I’m feeling a bit more human, and I know tomorrow’s appointment with Megan will limit me to a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:50 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: PPP has put up a number of tweets this morning, which can be seen here

The descriptive story is here from which we learn

Colorado    4-way  Clinton 46, Trump 40, Johnson 6, Stein 2
                     2-way  Clinton 51, Trump 44

Florida        4-way  Clinton 45, Trump 43, Johnson 3, Stein 1
                      2-way   Clinton 48, Trump 45

North Carolina     4-way  Clinton 44, Trump 42, Johnson 7
                      2-way   Clinton 49, Trump 45

Pennsylvania       4-way Clinton 45, Trump 39, Johnson 6, Stein 2
                       2-way Clinton 49, Trump 44

Virginia                4-way  Clinton 46, Trump 40, Johnson 7, Stein 1
                       2-way  Clinton 49, Trump 43

Further, they polled who won the debate, in each case it was Clinton

CO  53-31
FL   52-35
NC  53-31
PA  51-32
VA  54-30

That’s great news for America, especially since it shows a shift in support away from the minor candidates, whose candidacies help Trump.

From NY Times: Congress averted a government shutdown Wednesday as the Senate and then the House approved a short-term spending bill, allowing lawmakers to avoid a crisis and return home to campaign.

The stopgap spending bill, which would fund the government through Dec. 9, had been ensnarled in a debate over financing for the lead-tainted water system in Flint, Mich.

But an agreement between congressional leaders late Tuesday — which would authorize aid for Flint as part of separate legislation for water infrastructure projects — appeared to ameliorate Democratic concerns, clearing the way for the Senate to pass the spending bill, 72 to 26. The House followed suit late Wednesday, approving the measure 342 to 85.

I’m glad a government shutdown was avoided, but I am skeptical of any measure that includes the Democratic benefits as part of future legislation, especially when Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Gary Peters (D-MI) oppose it. I am skeptical,because of the Republican track record for honoring agreements: virtually never.

From Think Progress: Donald Trump’s campaign manager appeared to unwittingly confirm an explosive Newsweek story on Thursday, telling ABC’s The View that a Trump company did indeed spend money in Cuba in 1998, in violation of a longstanding U.S. embargo that Trump has vociferously defended.

Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald reported on Thursday that Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts spent at least $68,000 in 1998 in Cuba, “at a time when the corporate expenditure of even a penny in the Caribbean country was prohibited without U.S. government approval.” The story notes that “with Trump’s knowledge, executives funneled the cash for the Cuba trip through an American consulting firm.” After the consultants traveled to Cuba and spent the funds, the consultants instructed Trump’s company on “how to make it appear legal by linking it after the fact to a charitable effort.”

As I have opposed the embargo of Cuba for many years, I would have supported doing business with that nation as an act of civil disobedience, as Michael Moore did, but Trump violating the law, at the same time that he campaigns to reinstate the embargo, is both hypocritical and criminal. It should disqualify his candidacy without further ado.

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Sep 122016
 

Yesterday I was so busy and so tired that I had little time left for the Ellipsoid Orb, but I did check to seed that I’m getting my kitty-butt handed to me in fantasy football.  I napped an hour this morning, but still have had little sleep.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:57 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: First, a brief recap on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s painful and pathetic history of dealing with the hatred and venom that Donald Trump spews on a regular basis:

  • When Trump refused to repudiate support from former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke, Ryan said that the GOP doesn’t “prey on people’s prejudices” … and still supported the Republican nominee.
  • When Trump called an Indiana-born judge unqualified because of his Mexican heritage, Ryan said the comment was “from left field” and that it was ”textbook racism” …  and still supported the Republican nominee.
  • When Trump called for a ban on Muslims coming into the country, Ryan said it was not “reflective of our principles, not just as a party, but as a country” … and still supported the Republican nominee.
  • When Trump attacked a Gold Star Family, Ryan said he “rejects this idea” … and still supported the Republican nominee.
  • When Trump suggested a “Second Amendment” remedy if Hillary Clinton is elected, Ryan said he was “too busy” to pay attention to Trump’s “jokes” … and still supported the Republican nominee.

And after that “joke,” Ryan was asked if there was anything that Trump could say that would cross the line and Ryan insisted that Trump doesn’t get a “blank check” and that “Where that line gets crossed, I don’t know where that is.”

Well, now we know

Click through to discover just what it would take to outrage a hypocritical Republican purveyor of hatred like lyin’ Ryan.

From The New Yorker: In a positive development for the Democratic nominee for President, a new poll released on Sunday reveals that likely voters find an unconscious Hillary Clinton “substantially more fit” to be President than a conscious Donald Trump.

In a hypothetical matchup between a Clinton who has been rendered completely unconscious and a fully sentient Trump, voters chose an inert Clinton over an ambulatory Trump by a margin of nine percentage points.

A spokesperson for the Clinton campaign hailed the findings. “We have every reason to believe that Hillary Clinton will be a fully conscious President,” the spokesperson said. “But even if she is not, she is still the far better choice.”

The same poll revealed that a broad majority of voters found an unconscious Donald Trump more fit to be President than a conscious one.

Dang, Andy!! A deceased dawg is more fit to be President than Rump Dump Trump!!  If Trump were running against a drunken macaque, that had  mange, BO and halitosis, and that masturbated in public and threw feces at passers by, I’d vote for the monkey!

From The Sun-Sentinel: After they stood by kneeling, after they spoke loudly saying nothing, long after four Miami Dolphins players became a national story by their protest during the national anthem, they were joined by a fifth Dolphin.

Steve Ross, the team owner, went up to safety Michael Thomas in the locker room and shook his hand.

"Let’s get ready to do something about this," he said, even in the emotionally crushing aftermath of the Dolphins’ season-opening loss to Seattle, 12-10.

Kudos. At the same time all the Seattle players linked arms during the anthem to signal their unified opposition to the protesting players. Damn Seachickens!!

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Aug 092016
 

I actually got to watch the Olympics for a few minutes last night.  I hope I live through the 2020 games.  I’d hate for my last Olympics to be the one I could not see well.  It’s a busy day with lots of paperwork to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:57 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: At a speech in Detroit on Monday, the Republican Presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, spelled out the details of his economic plan, which calls for every American to inherit millions of dollars from his or her father.

“There are people at my rallies, desperate people, desperate because they want jobs,” he told his luncheon audience at the Detroit Economic Club. “Once they inherit millions from their father, they will never want a job again.”

Using an anecdote to show how his economic plan would work, Trump explained, “A man with zero dollars who inherited forty million dollars from his father would become forty million dollars wealthier.”

“We are going to make America rich again,” he said.

So, Andy, do you plan to return to doing satire?

From Daily Kos: And now for some friendly advice for my Republican friends. If you want to criticize President Obama on anything having to do with Iran, don’t waste your energy seething about "Iran" and "ransom" and "hostages" and what Ronald Reagan would do. It won’t end well for you. After all, it wasn’t Reagan’s inauguration that secured the release of 52 Americans held captive in Tehran, but months of negotiations by the Carter administration. And as it turned out during the Iran-Contra scandal, the American president who actually paid a "ransom" and "negotiated with terrorists" was none other than St. Ronnie himself.

In the midst of Republican accusations about Iran, don’t forget that Republicans love to project, accusing Democrats of vile sins against God, nature, and their patron Saint Ronnie, when the one who actually committed them was Saint Ronnie Ray Gun, himself.

From Alternet: “None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” a letter signed by 50 of the right’s top national security officials read. Dozens of top aides and cabinet members for President George W. Bush issued the letter Monday to warn against the Republican presidential nominee as a “risk” to America’s national security.

“From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief,” read the letter drafted by legal adviser at the National Security Council and the State Department under former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. Several of Rice’s many of closest aides at the White House and the State Department are all signatories to the anti-Trump letter, although the former secretary of state has issued no public statements on Trump’s White House bid.

In March, more than 100 GOP national security advisers signed a similar anti-Trump letter, calling the political neophyte “fundamentally dishonest” who “would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe.” Monday’s letter, however, is signed by several, even more prominent national security officials who cited Trump’s recent remarks about Russia as a catalyst for action. More on the signatories from the New York Times:

Among the most prominent signatories are Michael V. Hayden, a former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency; John D. Negroponte, who served as the first director of national intelligence and then deputy secretary of state; and Robert B. Zoellick, another former deputy secretary of state, United States trade representative and, until 2012, president of the World Bank. Two former secretaries of homeland security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, also signed, as did Eric S. Edelman, who served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser and as a top aide to Robert M. Gates when he was secretary of defense.

I hate to say it, but that’s 100 endorsements we don’t want, considering that around ninety of them should be tried for war crimes.

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It’s either Republicitis or Republicosis!!

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Jul 252016
 

It was very hot and muggy today — 30 C (86 F) — so I tried to stay quiet in some air conditioning for as long as possible, then home to the heat.  It is 23:00 hours and the temperature is still 22 C (72 F) with high humidity.  This week will be busy as I have physio, pastoral care calls to make, teaching and 2 medical appointments.  I hope it doesn't stay hot and humid this week.  Later — My wi-fi connection shut down before I could finish and post last night so this is 10 hours late in getting up.

Short Takes

Politicususa — Donald Trump is facing a new complaint that his use of the Trump Organization to do his campaign work is a violation of federal law.

The Democratic Coalition Against Trump announced their FEC complaint against the GOP nominee in a statement:

This morning the Democratic Coalition Against Trump filed a federal campaign complaint against Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign with the Federal Elections Commission. The complaint alleges five violations including illegally accepting direct corporate contributions, accepting services from a volunteer that were actually compensated, use of the Trump corporate name or trademark to facilitate campaign contributions, illegal use of corporate facilities by a campaign volunteer, and knowingly allowing volunteers to exceed the transportation expense limit.

The question is, will the FEC recognise this as the violation it is, or will it be bullied by Trump?  If I recall correctly, the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan, Scott Walker, faced similar charges.

CBC — It is difficult to imagine that a democratic system has ever existed without some amount of exaggeration, cynicism and frivolity. For that matter, politics should not exclusively be the domain of serious wonkery. Some amount of theatre is natural and useful. Generous amounts of humanity are welcome. Anger and conflict are inevitable.

But ideally a nation's politics would not be predominantly cynical and frivolous, would not be defined by its worst aspects. What excesses of rhetoric or action did occur would be corrected for. And, over time, the system would improve, not fall into disrepair or despair.

An untrusted or unserious system is perhaps ripe for revolt or abuse.  …

Trump is destroying the generally accepted norms of American politics, and expanding the parameters of what a politician could get away with saying in a way that will have lasting impact on the United States. That suggests our democracies are more fragile than we might otherwise appreciate.

Some say that Canada and the US are the same, few differences at all.  I see the two countries as being quite different with some commonalities.  In the article, my former Member of Parliament, James Moore, Conservative, was "asked about Trump's relevance to Canadian conservatives and offered two other observations. First, that Trump isn't a conservative. Second, that the Conservative Party learned in 2015 that conservatism needs to be matched with optimism."  Looking south, I certainly do not see the optimism of which Moore speaks.  What I see is more doom and gloom, outright fear, coming from Republicans.

Alternet — The GOP’s new big dog blew the whistle Thursday night for nearly an hour and a half and it was loud and shrill enough to reach the ears of every angry, resentful, disaffected white American. The tone was divisive, dark, dystopian and grim. Here was the alpha dog of the von Trump family, baying at a blood-red moon that the hills are alive with the sounds of menace. According to Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, this land is rapidly becoming as bleak and dangerous as one of those twisted, vicious kingdoms in Game of Thrones, a place filled with violent crime and despair, a smoldering ruin overrun with foreigners out to take our jobs and terrorists bent on destroying our villages. It’s mourning in America. And only he can save us. This has been his message all year: I alone can fix it. Remember his tweet on Easter morning? “Another radical Islamic attack, this time in Pakistan, targeting Christian women & children. At least 67 dead,400 injured. I alone can solve."  …

But as Washington Post fact checkers Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee noted: “The dark portrait of America that Donald J. Trump sketched… is a compendium of doomsday stats that fall apart upon close scrutiny. Numbers are taken out of context, data is manipulated, and sometimes the facts are wrong. “When facts are inconveniently positive — such as rising incomes and an unemployment rate under 5 percent — Trump simply declines to mention them.

Here is a video from the Washington Post fact checking Trump's Thursday evening convenmtion speech.  Click HERE to view video.  Unfortunately, I could not imbed it.  Elizabeth Warren commented to Stephen Colbert that she didn't think Democrats were taking Trump seriously enough and that he is a dangerous individual, especially when he is so divisive and hateful.  I was amused by some of his early words in his acceptance speech at the RNC: (full transcript from syracuse.com incase you want to scan it without having to listen to his voice)

"It is finally time for a straightforward assessment of the state of our nation. I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore.

So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths—the Democrats are holding their convention next week. But here, at our convention, there will be no lies. We will honor the American people with the truth, and nothing else."

When did Drumpf become acquainted with any truth?

VOTE BLUE ALL THE WAY DOWN THE LINE!

being all in for hillaryAll in with Hillary!

My Universe —

cat8Hi! How ya doin'!

52f180dc-7b40-4fb4-8928-2449da34548dCat trap working!

 

 

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Jul 212016
 

Last night my hands continues to hurt and I gad a severe bout of phantom leg pain that kept me up most of the night, so I’m very tired today.  Tomorrow, I go to see Courtney, my Physical Terrorist, so please expect no more that a personal update from me.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:33 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Alternet: A Lot of People Are Looking for Gay Sex During the RNC

Craigslist is brimming with ads from horny men looking for hot hookups.

A picture is worth 1,000 words

GOPCloset

From Crooks and Liars: That thing did actually happen. At the end of her speech, Laura Ingraham appeared flew [sic] the Nazi salute in honor of her hero, Führer Drumpf.

 

Heil Rectumite Reich!

From Raw Story: In a special episode of Saturday Night Live that aired after the Republican National Convention on MSNBC, castmember Kate McKinnon reprised her role as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to give Donald Trump and the rest of the GOP the ultimate slam.

 

I’m sorry, but as hard as SNL tries, they can’t anywhere near as ridiculous as the real thing.

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Jul 162016
 

A lot has happened in the world since my last post a week ago and much of it saddens me — Nice, Turkey, racial anger in the US.  But there are also things that inspire hope — kids getting excited about a day trip to a mine, purring kitties, a young woman succeeding at learning to walk again after a traumatic brain injury.  My brother, his wife and their friends dock tomorrow here in Vancouver and then immediately fly home.  I am sure that they enjoyed their trip and will be sorry when the ship docks.  So far in July, temperatures have been about 3 C (5.5 F) below normal, which for me is great — no super hot days and nights — and we've had needed rain.  I had someone approach me at physio about doing some more ESL teaching.  I'll have to make sure I don't take on too much.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — It's so hot that the door to The Depanneur restaurant is propped open for air circulation. The smell of frying onions and then stewed chicken wafts outside into the steamy Toronto afternoon.

It's hard not to stop and peer at what's going on inside the crowded open kitchen in the back.

About a dozen women — some wearing headscarves, others in jeans — are busy cooking a three-course meal. But none are staff; they're Syrian refugees who have been in their new home of Canada for just three months.

"I like the smell of cooking," said Majda Mafalani. "It feels great to be cooking again. I feel that I was born again."

So far removed from their homeland torn apart by civil war, this natural and simple act of cooking has given them back a semblance of community and identity, and an unexpected foray into entrepreneurship.

newcomer kitchen syrian

Senater said: "She said to me, 'I like coming here because I am learning new recipes and learning more about being Syrian' and I said 'I like having you guys here because I learn more about being Canadian."

From refugees to entrepreneurs with some support from the local community.  Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a community to support refugees.  And that support leads to a stronger community, one filled with a great multitude of peoples.

Raw Story — A Kentucky county judge refused to officiate a couple’s wedding after they requested he respect their lack of religious beliefs, the Friendly Atheist reported.

Trigg County Judge/Executive Hollis Alexander confirmed that he turned away Mandy Heath and her fiancee when Heath went to file the necessary paperwork at the local courthouse on the day before their wedding.

Move over Kim Davis — you have company!  I guess it shouldn't surprise me that a judge, charged with upholding the constitution, doesn't understand it.  I'm going to go out on a limb, but Alexander must be a Republican.

Daily Kos — [Ten-year-old Carter Beckhard-Suozzi of New York] was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lymphoma in May 2015. He underwent five months of grueling chemotherapy and surgeries before being told by doctors he had beaten the cancer, according to his mom, Jane Beckhard-Suozzi.

While Carter was in the hospital, he was visited by officials from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Months later, out of the blue, he told his mom what he wanted his wish to be.

Screen_Shot_2016-07-15_at_4.37.13_PM.png

“He said, ‘Mom, I figured it out. I want to meet President Jimmy Carter,’” Beckhard-Suozzi recalled. “When I asked why, he said, ‘We have three things in common. We have the same name. We both have survived cancer and we both love helping people.’

A moment of hope in a bleak week!  I just loved this so I had to share it.  Can't you just feel that awesome hug!  There is also a petition to sign thanking Jimmy Carter.

Washington Post — Mike Pence was a young lawyer on the rise, challenging a longtime Democratic congressman in a Republican-leaning Indiana district.

And then, scandal.

Campaign finance records from the 1990 effort showed that Pence, then 31, had been using political donations to pay the mortgage on his house, his personal credit card bill, groceries, golf tournament fees and car payments for his wife.

The spending had not been illegal at the time. But it stunned voters — and undermined Pence’s strategy to portray the incumbent, Rep. Philip R. Sharp, as tainted by donations from special-interest political action committees.

“It was a brazen act of hypocrisy,”…

Pence_drug_Ad_1988_composite21468605731.wdp

Pence was unapologetic at the time, telling reporters that he had taken a 30 percent pay cut to run for office and needed the money. “I’m not embarrassed that I need to make a living,” he said.

Finally, we have another extreme right wing politician to expose on a national level for all to see.  Trump = disaster.  Pence = disaster.  Trump + Pence = a disaster of monumental proportions whose destruction supercedes that of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

VOTE BLUE ALL DOWN THE LINE!!!

The New Yorker — Over the past couple of months, Donald Trump hasn’t done much right, but in picking Mike Pence, the staunchly conservative governor of Indiana, as his running mate, he probably made a wise choice. History suggests that Vice-Presidential candidates don’t make much, if any, difference to the outcome of Presidential elections, but here are some reasons why, from Trump’s perspective, Pence was the best bet: …

3. He’s a Midwesterner. Further to my previous point, Trump’s only realistic, or semi-realistic, chance of getting to two hundred and seventy electoral votes is to storm through the Midwest and the Rust Belt, racking up huge majorities of white votes. To this end, his ideal choice would have been John Kasich, the popular governor of Ohio, but Kasich didn’t want the job. Nor did Rob Portman, the Ohio senator who served in the Bush Administration, or Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin. And no one in Michigan or Pennsylvania was particularly suitable, either. That left Pence, who runs the most staunchly Republican state in the region. Although his ardent social conservatism may turn off some people in the suburbs of Detroit and Cincinnati, he can claim to be a Midwesterner through and through.

This is the third of seven reasons it made sense for Drumpf to pick Pence as his VP running mate.  Now it is up to voters to permanently retire these two Republican misfits who have absolutely no concern for the average American.

UltraViolet —

Gov. Mike Pence: 5 things you should know

Pence has been a big mistake for Indiana, and will be an even bigger mistake for the nation.

My Universe —

cat and rubiks cubeAfter the mental stimulation of Rubik's Cube . . .

cat traps workingafter the physical stimulation of escaping cat traps . . .

5733a.giftime for a satisfying Lona nap!!!

 
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