Apr 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling quite tired.  Store to Door delivered groceries, and I’m still not recovered from my schedule.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:45 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Special Events:

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Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: TeaParty Militia Leader, Richard Mack has been pretending he’s a bad ass for years. But when he and his TeaParty brethren went to help millionare rancher, Cliven Bundy violently violate a Court order, they proved they are nothing but a bunch of gun-toting, wimpy-ass loud mouths who planned to use women as human shields against any potential gun battle they initiated with the Federal government.

 

What craven cowards these seditious Republicans are to hide behind the skirts of their women.

From MoveOn: Check out this Tax Day message from Robert Reich:

 

As usual, the Reich on the left is right, and the Reich on the right is Republican. Sign the petition to tax the bastards!!

From Crooks and Liars: The next frontier in corrupt election politics: Is it permissible for candidates to run ads that are outright lies?

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in another election law case. This one concerns an ad run by Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-birth organization, against Rep. Steven Driehaus. In the ad, SBA List accuses Driehaus of voting to allow taxpayer funds to be used to fund abortions, despite the last-minute protections built in to ensure that didn’t happen.

 

Sadly, I’m pretty sure about how the fascist five Injustices at SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) will rule: IOKIYAR

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Apr 162014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling quite tired, after yesterday’s activities, and groggy, because I just awakened from a nap.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:46 (average 4:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Millions of Americans were in a state of shock this past week after learning that Congress had accomplished something fifty years ago.

Although the incident was widely reported throughout the week, the revelation that Congress had achieved something positive and substantial for the country a half century ago left many incredulous and baffled.

Adding to their disbelief were reports that the accomplishment came as the result of collaboration between a Democrat in the White House and Republicans in Congress.

Making the scenario even more far-fetched, politicians of both parties came to an agreement without the interference of corporate paymasters operating them like puppets.

Dang, Andy!! I’m not sure whether to believe that or not!! ;-)

From Upworthy: There are so many gems in this, but you’re probably busy, so I’m highlighting the best two minutes of this smackdown. (But realtalk, the whole 15-minute speech is the best part.)

 

Nuke those filibastards!! Click through for more.

From NY Times: The insurance expansion under the Affordable Care Act will cost $1.383 trillion over the next decade, more than $100 billion less than previous forecasts, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday.

The nonpartisan budget office’s report, an update to projections from February, shows the law costing less than in previous estimates in part because of the broad and persistent slowdown in the growth of health care costs. The news might come as welcome to Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the White House who are struggling to defend the law in an election year.

How many of you remember all the Republican claims that health care costs would skyrocket?

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Apr 122014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and hurrying to go out to run errands this afternoon.  I actually feel fairly well rested, so far.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 5:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: RUSH is Furious COLBERT’s going to CBS! – Chris Hayes

 

I for two cannot wait!

From Upworthy: Watch this disturbing yet funny video. At 1:54, one of these dudes starts to realize the repercussions of his actions.

 

Sadly, this satire is completely accurate.

From Daily Kos:

Former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, who left government in order to spend more time with other people’s money, has some curious notions about American slavery, the Civil War and the government. Specifically, he doesn’t think the American government had much of a role in ending slavery, it was just some stuff that happened.

Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like [British abolitionist William Wilberforce] who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God. [emphasis original]

While Abe was the first Republican President, Republicans were liberals then, and Democrats were conservatives. Lincoln massively increased the size of government to fight the Civil War, and that big government freed the slaves by winning the war. So DeMint has his head so far up his butt, that he has a great view of his own tonsils.

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Apr 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling quite groggy, having just awakened from a much needed cat nap.  I did research early this morning, so I have articles now.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:46 (average 5:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A new poll released today shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans would support the idea of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush taking up painting.

According to the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, seventy-four per cent of those surveyed “strongly agreed” with the statement: “Jeb Bush painting would be a really good thing for the United States and also for the rest of the world.”

A spokesman for Mr. Bush said that, as of yet, the former governor had made no decision to start painting but would “try to make up his mind by the end of the year” at the latest.

The last thing the US needs is another "painter” from this Nazi loving family.

From AlternetA new documentary titled “The Principle” is the latest from creationists and geocentrists.  The film perpetuates the long disproven notion that the sun revolves around the Earth. It is narrated by “Star Trek’s” Kate Mulgrew, who starred as Capt. Kathryn Janeway in both “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Nemesis.” From the looks of the trailer, this film is the antithesis of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s scientific look at the universe in “Cosmos.”

The film was funded by the ultra-conservative, ultra-Roman Catholic Robert Sungenis, who also appears in the film. Sungenis is also known for denying the Holocaust, and for his  anti-Semitic articles, which his bishop demanded he stop writing.

According to  Raw Story, the film features several scientists — some without permission.

Click through for more. Sometimes you have to shake your head in disbelief that people could be so stupid. Many of the scientists quoted were taken out of context to represent the opposite of what the scientists actually believe. This ruins Voyager for me.

From Crooks and Liars: Pat Robertson is either drinking heavily before each broadcast, swilling a ton of prescription pills or hitting his head with a hammer. Because if not, he’s a very sick man and needs a long rest someplace. [BARF BAG ALERT!!]

 

In context, Obama was calling for religious tolerance and respect, the proper demonstration of authentic Christianity, and the polar opposite of the deception, hatred, and veiled calls for violence from this Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian.

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In spite of this convention signed by the US, the USSR and seventy other countries, Republicans still sold biological weapons technology to Saddam Hussein.

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Apr 082014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and missing sleep because they are upgrading my building’s main entrance directly below my window.  The racket is horrid.  I guess this will be going on for about three weeks, but when they’re done, there will be much better disabled access, a plus for me.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:40).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A riveting scene unfolded in Congress today as a tearful Speaker John Boehner took to the floor of the House to tell his colleagues, “I don’t want to live in a world where seven million people get affordable health care.”

Tears streaming down his cheeks, Rep. Boehner appeared unable to maintain his composure as he delivered a speech interrupted by blubbering and sharp intakes of breath.

“What kind of a world is it where anyone can go on the Internet and get health care they can afford?” he said. “Not a world I’d care to live in, or leave to my children.”

In his satire, Andy has captured the Republican dream, a world where the labor of the people goes to fulfill the whims of the 1%, not to meet people’s needs.

From Daily Kos: Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

The Southern Strategy is a strategy for gaining political power by exploiting the greatest number of ethnic prejudices. Kevin Philips, Republican and Nixon campaign strategist, speaking about this strategy in a 1970 interview with the New York Times:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

This strategy has been used since President Johnson and Democrats in Congress passed the Civil Rights Act to build the Republican party.

Examples of this strategy were evident as recently as 2008 and 2012 as Republicans took up their assault on Medicaid, Social Security, labor unions, and Obamacare – programs which, though they benefit more white seniors, retirees, women, and children, have been sold to many Americans as handouts to lazy, undeserving blacks and minorities.

Yet you never hear the "liberal media" (at least since the 1970 NY Times) talking about the use of this strategy. At least not like this:

"P (President) emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." – H.R. Haldeman’s diary, President Richard Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff

This is just one of 15 things everyone would know, if there were a liberal media. Click through for the other 14.

From NY Times: The Senate is expected to easily approve legislation Monday restoring unemployment benefits to nearly three million people, throwing the bill to a divided House where Republicans favor starkly different approaches to the issue.

Six Senate Republicans joined all 55 Democrats last week to end debate on legislation that retroactively restores benefits cut off Dec. 28 and extends them through June 1, clearing the way for passage Monday.

Seven House Republicans from high-unemployment regions or swing districts plan to send the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio, a letter coinciding with Senate passage to urge him to take up the Senate bill or a similar measure.

Other House Republicans are pressing to attach to the Senate bill what they call job-creation measures: building the transcontinental Keystone XL pipeline; consolidating job training programs; or raising employer-mandated health care coverage to employees who work 40 hours a week, rather than 30, as written in President Obama’s health care law.

But many House Republicans oppose passing the unemployment benefits under any circumstances, arguing that such “emergency” benefits are no longer needed nearly six years after they were first extended at the outset of the recession.

First group of Republicans are ones in didtricts that are noy Gerrymandered to the hilt. They fear for their jobs now, but they will join the second and third group as soon as the elections are over. Under no circumstances should Democrats cave-in to the Republican sedition of the second group.

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Apr 062014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and feeling the need to confirm that I still exist.  The training went well.  I didn’t learn much, but more than anything, I’m making what I do official, although I’ve been doing it as a “guest” for years.  The next step is an institution-specific orientation, that will be sometime in the next two months.  A couple weeks after that, I get my access card.  The trip to and fro went much quicker.  I listened to an audio book (Shogun) on my Kindle.  I stayed at a Super 8, which was far better than the horrid experience I had at Motel 6 that last time down.  The only problem was a runaway alarm clock that woke me at 5:30 AM and told me it was 7:00 AM.  Even the continental breakfast was quite good.  However, on a scale of 1 to ten, I’m still quite pooped.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:26).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Tuesday’s announcement by President Obama that 7.1 million people have signed up for Obamacare set off a firestorm of controversy among opponents of math in the U.S. Congress.

Representative Michele Bachmann, a leading member of the anti-math caucus, told reporters, “Throughout the debate on Obamacare, there has been a tacit agreement to leave math out of it. Today, President Obama broke that agreement.”

Senator John Barrasso, an anti-math Republican from Wyoming, agreed. “It’s very disappointing to see the President use arithmetic for political purposes,” he said.

I have a few of Andy’s pieces in reserve now.  Andy’s humor aside, we know Republicans are anti-math, because of their policy of minority-rule, while they are in the minority.

From NY Times: A push to give legal status to young undocumented immigrants who serve in the military is roiling the immigration debate in the House, dividing Republicans and reviving some movement toward substantive immigration legislation this year.

Republican advocates of loosening immigration laws are moving to attach the measure to the annual defense policy bill. It would offer a path to permanent residency for undocumented immigrants who came to the country before the age of 15 and enlist in the military. But they are running into vociferous opposition from anti-immigration hard-liners.

This may result in more conflict between Republicans trying to hide their racism and Republicans bragging about theirs.

From Crooks and Liars: Confession: If I could have reached through the monitor and slapped Rand Paul, I would have. Since I couldn’t do it in real life, I’m going to do it virtually.

All day long, Fox News has been slamming the enrollment numbers announced by the Obama administration. Rand Paul’s appearance was just icing on the ignorance cake. [Idiot size BARF BAG ALERT!!]

 

Everything Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot said was based on lies. The article goes on to debunk them. Click Through.

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Apr 012014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and getting ready for a hellacious week.  Tomorrow I will be collecting the data for and writing the Monthly Report for March.  Wednesday I have to pack and run errands.  Thursday I leave to get my volunteer training.  Friday I return and unpack.  Saturday I have a meeting that cannot be postponed.  On a scale of one to ten, ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: A few months ago, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, and Marlene Seltzer, the chief executive of Jobs for the Future, published an article in Politico titled “Closing the Skills Gap.” They began portentously: “Today, nearly 11 million Americans are unemployed. Yet, at the same time, 4 million jobs sit unfilled” — supposedly demonstrating “the gulf between the skills job seekers currently have and the skills employers need.”

Actually, in an ever-changing economy there are always some positions unfilled even while some workers are unemployed, and the current ratio of vacancies to unemployed workers is far below normal. Meanwhile, multiple careful studies have found no support for claims that inadequate worker skills explain high unemployment.

But the belief that America suffers from a severe “skills gap” is one of those things that everyone important knows must be true, because everyone they know says it’s true. It’s a prime example of a zombie idea — an idea that should have been killed by evidence, but refuses to die.

And it does a lot of harm. Before we get there, however, what do we actually know about skills and jobs?

Click through to see how Paul Krugman debunks this Republican lie. What we have is a Republican gap: the separation Republicans cause between where we are and a more healthy economy.

From Alternet: Equal Opportunity is an American Mandate

In the 1954 Supreme Court decision  Brown vs. the Board of Education, Chief Justice Earl Warren said that education "is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms." Equally eminent future Justice Thurgood Marshall insisted on "the right of every American to an equal start in life."

But now, as  The Economist points out, "Whereas most OECD countries spend more on the education of poor children than rich ones, in America the opposite is true." Poverty, of course, is of all colors, but it’s disproportionately black. The  Civil Rights Project at UCLA shows that "segregated schools are systematically linked to unequal educational opportunities," while the Economic Policy Institute tells us that "African American students are more isolated than they were 40 years ago."  New York City is the best example of that.

Charters and vouchers are the ‘choice’ of the free market. But the  National Education Policy Center notes that "Charter schools…can shape their student enrollment in surprising ways," through practices that often exclude "students with special needs, those with low test scores, English learners, or students in poverty." Stanford’s updated  CREDO study found that  fewer special education students and fewer English language learners are served in charters than in traditional public schools.

This is one of four Arguments on why we must save public education from the Republican onslaught. Click through for the other three.

From Crooks and Liars: I’ve had a lot of good teachers in my life, but there have been a few really great ones who will always stand out. They were the teachers who took the extra steps and showed just how much they cared about their students. At Red Bank High School in Tennessee, Jennifer Mitts was that kind of teacher.

When one of her students got sick, she drove the student to the ER. When that student couldn’t pay her bill, Mitts took care of it herself. Instead of a pat on the back, however, she was forced to resign.

According to the [Republican] school board, Mitts had done similar things in the past and was asked to stop. She had also received several other infractions, though the school wasn’t clear on what those were.

The school board also says that Mitts was only suspended but willingly resigned. Mitts says she was forced to resign.

Leave it to Republicans to fire a grade A teacher for doing right. What vile TEAbuggery!!

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