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.



The Republican elephant rides the rest of us.

Apr 302016

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.

Apr 282016

I'm back again.  I have my course in liberal biblical studies tonight which is interesting but somewhat time intensive — 4 hours of homework in addition to 3 hours of class time plus dinner each week.  The course goes for another four weeks after tonight.  Tomorrow is teaching at Lucia's house, and then Sunday is the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories and a visit with my mother.  Once the course is done, I'll have a bit more time.

Short Takes

NY Times — Senator Ted Cruz of Texas often casts himself as the rightful heir to Ronald Reagan’s mantle of conservatism, and on Wednesday he took a page directly out of the former president’s playbook.

By tapping Carly Fiorina to be his running mate, Mr. Cruz becomes the first presidential candidate since Reagan to name a vice-presidential pick without having the nomination locked up. In 1976, Reagan teamed up with Richard S. Schweiker, a Pennsylvania senator, in a desperate attempt to grab the nomination from President Gerald R. Ford as it was slipping away. At that point, Mr. Ford’s delegate lead had become virtually insurmountable.

Rachel had this to say about Cruz's announcement.

Carly Fiorina??  The word 'dafted' comes to mind as a description for Cruz.  He is trying to reignite his campaign but he may just blow it up!  After all, this tactic didn't work so well for the patron saint of Republicans, Saint Ronnie Reagan in 1978.  He lost to Gerald Ford who then lost the general election to Jimmy Carter.

Daily Beast — As the self-proclaimed Islamic State trumpets its global terrorist campaign, U.S. special operations forces have quietly killed more than three dozen key ISIS operatives blamed for plotting deadly attacks in Europe and beyond.

Defense officials tell The Daily Beast that U.S. special operators have killed 40 “external operations leaders, planners, and facilitators” blamed for instigating, plotting, or funding ISIS’s attacks from Brussels and Paris to Egypt and Africa.

That’s less than half the overall number of ISIS targets that special operators have taken off the battlefield, one official explained, including top leaders like purported ISIS second-in-command Haji Imam, killed in March.

The previously unpublished number provides a rare glimpse into the U.S. counterterrorist mission that is woven into overall coalition efforts to defeat ISIS, and which is credited with crippling ISIS efforts to recruit foreign fighters and carry out more plots like the deadly assault on Paris that killed 130 last fall.

As proof of the campaign’s overall success, Pentagon officials this week said the influx of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria had dropped from up to 2,000 a month last year to just 200, and the overall size of ISIS from a high estimate of 33,000 a year ago to between 19,000 to 25,000 fighters.

I spoke with an Iraqi woman yesterday who said that she hoped Trump would become POTUS for only one reason . . . he'd go after ISIS.  Well I don't support her choice of Trump and told her so.  But no worries, she lives in Canada. She is sick of the destruction of her native country by ISIS and is quick to say that ISIS does not believe in Islam. They are about power and greed, nothing more.

Alternet — White, who’d been sickened by the debilitating, irreversible and often fatal disease at work in a foundry, watched in disgust as Republicans attempted to overturn the rule that the Labor Department said could save more than 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis annually.

Last week, GOP House members conducted a hearing to further their case against saving those lives. They did that just days before Workers Memorial Day, April 28, when organized labor renews its solemn pledge to strive for workplace safety rules and formally commemorates those who have died on the job in the previous year.

The totals aren’t in for 2015 yet, but the year before, 4,679 workers died on the job. That’s nearly 90 a week, 13 a day, seven days a week. Twenty-eight members of my own union, the USW, died on the job since Workers Memorial Day 2015.

But the GOP position is clear. Republicans will do whatever it takes to ensure that corporations can sicken and kill workers with impunity. (emphasis added)  If the argument is that workers’ lives and lungs must be sacrificed to ensure that foundries and fracking operations and construction companies can make bigger profits by releasing silica particles under 40-year-old standards now considered dangerous, then the GOP will take the side of CEOs who value workers as trivial.

This one image from TC says it all:


My UniverseThere is nothing cuter than baby animals.  Be prepared for the Aww factor!  Here are just a few but click through for the rest of them.

The smiley bunch . . .

baby giraffe

baby sloth

The hungriest . . . 

baby hippo

The cuddliest . . .   ?

baby alligator

The most timid . . . 

baby foxes

Aw shucks . . .

baby duck

Y'all come back now, ya hear!

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.


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!!


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.



I hope they let me out!!

Apr 162016


Here is the eighty-fourth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Governor and Presidential also ran, John KKKasich (R-OH). He is so honored for his Republican views on women’s role in society.

KKKasichAt a town hall in Watertown, Pennsylvania on Friday, a local college student asked Ohio Governor and presidential candidate John Kasich what he would do as president to make young women like her feel safer on campus. She cited what many consider a current epidemic of “violence, harassment and rape” at colleges and universities.

Kasich at first ignored the student’s question and turned to his staffer, joking that he had to go and didn’t want to miss his ride. He then suggested that all colleges offer victims of sexual assault “confidential reporting,” rape kits, and “the opportunity to be able to pursue justice after you have had some time to reflect on it all.” He concludes by telling the woman, a first-year at New York’s Saint Lawrence University: “I will give you one bit of advice. Don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol.”…

…The Democratic National Committee blasted Kasich for “blaming victims of sexual and domestic violence,” and noted, “It is no wonder women are turning away from the Republican field in huge numbers.”


Inserted from <Think Progress>

Barf Bag Alert!!


He actually sounded almost reasonable until the end, but this was not a case of simple misspeaking. Rachel Maddow covered his issues in much more detail.

KKKasich’s attitude on a woman’s place could not be clearer.


Apr 162016

I’m waiting for Julie to come fore my first appointment with her.  My appointment yesterday went poorly.  In less than five tears my nevus has grown from nothing to 3.6mm and thick, so the Retinal Ophthalmologist thinks that I have a 75% chance that it’s a choroidal melanoma, and is referring me to the two specialists at Casey Eye Institute that do nothing else.  You’ll know more when I do.  tomorrow my articles may be late or missing, because I can’t do anything else before my taxes are done.  Later:  Julie came.  She’s fantastic.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The Senate Republicans’ most vulnerable member is running awfully hard away from his party, as he runs for reelection. Illinois’ Mark Kirk is running furiously from his party, now that voters are actually paying attention in race against Democrat Tammy Duckworth.

Kirk is one of just two outliers in the Senate GOP Conference on whether the chamber should vote on Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court this year and has bent over backward to show he disagrees with his fellow Republicans. Aside from telling other Republicans to "man up" and vote on President Barack Obama’s nominee, Kirk has circulated memos to Republicans touting Garland and boasted about a personal note from Obama thanking Kirk for advocating for his nominee.

Just this week, Kirk co-sponsored a criminal justice reform bill that would loosen some mandatory minimum sentences, despite complaints within the GOP that it would unwittingly release violent criminals early from prison. And he joined with five of the most liberal senators to urge the NBA to move its 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte, North Carolina, in response to the state’s controversial new law that bans anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people. […]

He’s so full of Republican, that his eyes are brown. Before election season, Kirk was goose-stepping with the Reich, and if elected, he will be again. Yay Tammy Duckworth!!

From NY Times: It was the sort of question — Does Israel have a right to defend itself as it sees fit? — that had often caused candidates, especially those with designs on winning a primary in New York, to produce paeans to the strength of the Israeli-American relationship and a stream of pro-Israel orthodoxy.

But Senator Bernie Sanders dug in.

“There comes a time when if we pursue justice and peace, we are going to have to say that Netanyahu is not right all of the time,” Mr. Sanders said, referring to the Israeli prime minister, amid cheers from the crowd at Thursday’s Democratic debate in Brooklyn. He added: “All that I am saying is we cannot continue to be one-sided. There are two sides to the issue.”

I agree with Bernie 100%. Sadly, Most liberal US Jews, are ultra-conservative on maintaining an "Israel. Right or wrong" stance. J Street supporters, Jews who recognize Bibi as the butcher he is, are far too few and far between. Sadly, Bernie’s integrity will cost him dearly in NY, but I admire and commend him for it.

From TPM: Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders enjoyed a visit with Pope Francis Saturday during his trip to the Vatican.

According to NBC News, Sanders met with the pope just outside the Vatican’s breakfast room at 6 a.m. The New York Times reported the meeting lasted just five minutes.

"In terms of economic justice, the need to combat climate change — nobody in the world has been more profound and articulate than the pope, and I’m delighted to go forward with him on those issues," Sanders told NBC News.

So, is Francis feeling the BERN?



Apr 122016

This week is very busy again.  I have at least one event every day, but usually more.  I am trying to ready myself for the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories and raising money for research and programmes.  As in the US, it is tax preparation time so that is on my list to do.  And of course there is spring cleaning . . . always spring cleaning no matter what season it is!

Short Takes 

Politico — Dispirited over a Republican Party primary that has devolved into an ugly, damaging fight, some of the GOP’s biggest financiers are reevaluating whether to invest in the 2016 presidential contest at all.

Among those on the sidelines: Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who hosted the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring meeting at his Venetian hotel this weekend. His apparent ambivalence about 2016 was shared by many RJC members here. With grave doubts about the viability of the few remaining Republican contenders, many of these Republican donors have decided to sit out the rest of the primary entirely. And while some are reluctantly getting behind a remaining candidate, others are shifting their attention to congressional contests.  …

The jewish community and @RJC honoring the great prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper – great friend of Israel

Photo from Huffington Post

While the RJC spring meeting is traditionally a celebration of Adelson, with politicians of all stripes venturing to the Venetian to pay homage, this year’s was different.

On Thursday evening, Adelson hosted some of the organization’s top officials at his palatial mansion. While former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed how fractured parties can unite, Adelson listened but said little, according to three people who were present. And on Friday, rather than preside over the deliberations, Adelson and his wife, Miriam, departed for a wedding.

The lack of interest is partly rooted in exhaustion. After watching many of the party’s establishment prospects — from Scott Walker to Marco Rubio — go up in flames, many top donors say they’ve simply grown tired of opening their wallets. Some here have given to multiple candidates, only to watch them suffer defeat.

And you thought Canada was nasty refusing to take Cruz back!  Now Adelson is importing Canada's Republican demagogue, Stephen Harper.

Think Progress — Nearly a week after pipeline operator TransCanada shut down a section of its Keystone line over an oil leak, the company reported Thursday thousands of gallons of oil were spilled, not less than 200 as it first said.  …

After the spill was reported earlier this week, environmental groups said Keystone’s spill proves the threat that the Keystone XL expansion would have posed. They also noted that the Keystone pipeline, approved by President George W. Bush in 2008, leaked oil 12 times in its first year of operation. “TransCanada’s Keystone I disaster is a stark reminder that it’s not a question if a pipeline will malfunction, but rather a question of when. This is one of the reasons President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline and it’s why he should reject all dangerous fossil fuel pipeline proposals,” Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.

Oil transportation largely relies on trains and pipelines. Out of those two, pipelines spill more often than trains, yet train accidents can be deadlier as trains are more likely to explode. U.S. pipelines spilled three times as much crude oil as trains over the period of 2004 to 2012, …

And Trans Canada thinks it is their right to pollute with impunity?  I hope its lawsuit in federal court and their NAFTA challenge fail miserably.

Raw Story — Bill O’Reilly questioned Donald Trump’s ability to provide jobs in African-American communities during an interview on Monday by painting black Americans as being ill-equipped for the labor force.

“How are you going to get jobs for them?” O’Reilly asked. “Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it but it’s true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to give jobs to people who aren’t qualified for jobs?”

Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     

Openly racist comments . . . but that is to be expected from a pair of Republicans!

My Universe — Chilling with some friends!

Apr 102016

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how unhinged InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Glenn Beck celebrates Easter in a very bizarre way.

BeckHatGlenn Beck often seems to mix his biblical metaphors when speaking about his pal Ted Cruz, a man Beck believes has been chosen by God to lead us out of the darkness.

Speaking again about God’s chosen one, Ted, Beck compared the Texas senator to Moses. On Easter. He made this comparison when he talked about sending a sympathetic note to the Cruz family about those nasty tabloid rumors of Ted’s alleged infidelity (the least unlikable thing about him).

"These guys actually believe it like we believe it," Beck said quasi-incoherently, referring to Heidi and Ted Cruz. "Imagine being in a position to where you believe it, you believe the country is at the end, you believe that God is telling you, ‘Step up to the plate.’ You believe that you, just like Moses, may be slow in speech and not the perfect guy, but you know if you get in there, you can actually do something and you’ve tried to stay loyal. Do you know what that life is like for two years of tearing yourself apart, of please Lord, just tell me, just tell me, just tell me, I’ll do it, just tell me. And the burden of I blew it? Oh my gosh, I don’t want to be them."

Now, granted, Beck could have gone full tilt and compared Cruz to Jesus, but he went with Moses this time. Presumably, Jesus will come later. Maybe for Passover. Or is that Elijah? Stay tuned.

Inserted from <Alternet>

The  evil Beck polluted the radio waves for years, before progressives organized so many boycotts of his sponsors, that that we have relegated him to Internet radio.  I made the graphic in way back in 2011.  This is just the fifth of five listed unhinged Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

Apr 042016

Is there a full moon today?  Sure seems possible!  I went to see my mother and enjoyed time with her.  As we were sitting around the nursing station, a resident, Margaret, came out in her underwear.  Because staff were very busy getting some ready for bed and giving medications to others, after getting a hospital gown on her, I walked Margaret back to her room.  That's when I found Shirley in Margaret's bed.  Seems Shirley had an accident in her room so Margaret's bed was fair game.  I got the two ladies into their respective rooms and then went for help.  I heard awhile later that Shirley took a swing at the care aid.  And strange things continued to happen.  On the other hand, I took Bunny Rabbit and Lambypie, 2 small stuffed animals, up for my mother.  When I said goodnight to mother, she had Bunny Rabbit clutched tightly in her hand as she dozed off to sleep.  It was quite an evening!  I suspect my week will be somewhat like that.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — U.S. presidential candidate Ted Cruz has announced he's suspending his election campaign to run for the leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada.

Cruz, the main challenger to Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, said he never thought he would move back to Canada — he was born in Alberta in 1970 — much less get involved in its politics. But he said recent events have made him feel “obligated” to do so.

ted cruz

“Look, I understand this might come as a shock to many Americans and Canadians,” Cruz told reporters Friday. “But the truth is, though I have always wanted to help make Canada great again, I have recently started feeling morally obligated, as a Canadian, to run for the Conservative party back home.

“I must save it from Kevin O’Leary.”

OMG!!!  Say it ain't true!  This is absolutely unacceptable!

Alternet — The 2016 legislative session has been a competition between red states to see who can pass the most hateful anti-LGBT bills under the guise of “religious freedom,” but Mississippi state Republicans look like they’re going to emerge the winner. Friday, the state house passed the final version of a bill meant to protect and encourage business owners in the state to discriminate against LGBT people, while simultaneously enshrining, in violation of the Constitution, the idea that conservative Christianity is the only legitimate religion.  …

This law not only protects discrimination against LGBT people, but against any person who has sex outside of marriage. It also makes it easier for employers and schools to strictly police the way you dress to make sure it’s masculine or feminine enough. If your boss thinks proper ladies wear makeup, he can cite “religious freedom” as a reason to force you to do so, and the law will protect him for it.

I am totally flummoxed that a state can get away with such blatant unconstitutional behaviour.  Mississippi has surpassed the insanity of North Carolina.  It seems that states are getting bolder with their unconstitutional laws now that SCOTUS is generally impotent in its diminished numbers.  What can people do if their state goes too far other than waiting for the next election?

Truth-out — Montana communities won a victory against one of the world's biggest coal companies earlier in March, when Arch Coal abandoned the Otter Creek mine — the largest proposed new coal strip mine in North America. The story of how the project imploded is one of people power triumphing over a company once thought to be nearly invincible.

To many observers, the Otter Creek project once seemed unstoppable. It certainly appeared that way in 2011, the year I moved to Missoula, Montana for graduate school. Then-Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer enthusiastically supported the mine, and coal more generally. Forrest Mars, Jr., the billionaire heir to the Mars candy fortune, had just joined Arch and BNSF Railways in backing a proposed railroad spur meant to service Otter Creek. Arch and politicians like Schweitzer predicted a boom in coal demand from economies in Asia.

Protesters block a coal train from entering downtown Missoula in 2015.

But what they weren't counting on was a vocal and active region-wide opposition. The coming together of ordinary people — first in southeast Montana, then an ever-growing number of communities throughout the Northwest — to oppose the Otter Creek mine says much about how land defenders and climate activists are learning to fight back against the planet's biggest energy companies. The roots of this recent victory go back more than 30 years.

Good on them!  There are others who are trying to change things too.  In another article, Amid Price Plunge, North American Oil and Gas Workers Seek Transition to Renewable Sector​, some oil sands workers are changing things.

"…one top climate scientist has called "the biggest carbon bomb on the planet," Hildebrand came to realize that he was not the only oil worker in Alberta who felt "guilty about developing the infrastructure that is creating climate change."

… Hildebrand banded together with like-minded coworkers and began building an oil and gas worker-led nonprofit called "Iron & Earth," which officially launched this month during a press conference in Edmonton. Through the nonprofit, the oil sands workers hope to help others who have been laid off diversify their skill sets and facilitate the necessary training to transition them to the renewable energy sector. They also want to help incorporate renewable energy projects into oil sands workers' current scope of work."

My Universe — 

AmazingCats01 4This is the look I get from my Annie everyday and she is 7.5 years old, no kitten!

Melts my heart!