Aug 012015
 

I won’t be too verbose. because I’ve been up since 4:00 this morning, making the graphs and collecting the data for tomorrow’s Monthly Report.  I also made a rice, eggs, veggies, and chili concoction for two or three dinners.  After I get my articles up, it’s nap time.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:27 (4:32 Average).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Republican insiders are complaining that the right-wing media "is shaping the party’s agenda in ways that are impeding Republicans’ ability to govern and to win presidential elections," according to a new Harvard report.

New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes, a Joan Shorenstein fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, spent nearly four months researching how the conservative media is increasingly influencing the Republican Party. She found "unanimity among establishment Republicans — many of them conservatives by the definition of anyone but purists — that rightwing media has become a big problem for the party, and their readiness to talk about it, was something of a surprise to this reporter of three decades’ experience in Washington."

Since its founding in 2004, Media Matters has documented the increasingly extreme rhetoric and policy positions of conservative media. But party Republicans are now complaining that conservative commentators, many of whom are lining their pockets with big salaries, are making it difficult for Republicans to govern and win national elections.

Dave Schnittger, a longtime former top aide to House Republican leaders, told Calmes that conservative media are loudest in opposing actions "that leaders have to get done as part of governing," such as meeting basic fiscal deadlines.

Another top Republican aide, who asked for anonymity, complained of the conservative media: "There’s no money, ratings or clicks in everyone going along to get along." Calmes added, "Asked whether he could offer examples of legislative outcomes affected by conservative media, this Republican all but snapped, ‘Sure. All of ’em.’ Does he worry more broadly then about the small-d democratic process? ‘Yeah, absolutely. Because the loudest voices drown out the sensible ones and there’s no real space to have serious discussions.’"

While what they say is essentially true, the article misses the real point. The biggest reason that the Republican Bubble Machine is so harmful to establishment Republicans is that by saying what the rabid base, recruited by those same establishment Republicans, wants to hear, they are making it more difficult for those establishment Republicans to mislead voters about their true intentions.

From Daily Kos: In one simple quote, Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. sums up the hypocrisy of some in the ‘pro-life’ movement:

"I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

This quote applies well to many Republican lawmakers and anti-choice extremists who continue to introduce/pass misogynist laws restricting a woman’s reproductive rights.

While I may disagree with the Sister’s views on a woman’s right to choose, I have to respect her belief. No respect is warranted for the beliefs of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, who preach that the right to life ends at birth, because they would impose their will on people who do not share their beliefs.

From YouTube: Hillary Clinton: ‘Racial disparities go against everything I believe in’

During a speech at the National Urban League conference, Hillary Clinton talks about racial inequality in America, saying unfortunately, race determines who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind. She says this occurs because of discrimination that is still ongoing.

 

You decide for yourselves, but I found her speech brilliant. I particularly like her political savvy in choosing Strike Three as the occupant of the Clown Car important enough to call out for his lies.

Cartoon:

0801Cartoon

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Jul 272015
 

I’m trying to take advantage of the last relatively temperate day, before the new heat wave begins in earnest.  I got up early and cooked a 3-day spaghetti with hot Italian sausage dinner.  Then I made a big breakfast of fried eggs and potatoes.  Because my friend with cancer is taking a rare trip to the prison tomorrow, I get to take a volunteer day with a small group of my guys for a CoDA meeting.  Then on Friday, I have to go out into the extreme heat for the routine quarterly surgery on my foot, so please expect me to be somewhat scarce for the rest of the week.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Tips:

Our season opens on Thursday, September 10, but there’s a lot to do between now and then.  Get to know your players.  Check for Bye week conflicts.  Keep track of injuries.  Follow your players’ progress during preseasons. Use Add/Drop to make needed changes from unclaimed players or propose trades with competitors.  If you have any questions ask.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 6/2014): America’s gun death rates — both nationwide and in the states — dwarf those of most other Western industrialized nations. The gun death rate in the United Kingdom in 2011 was 0.23 per 100,000 while in Australia it was 0.86 per 100,000.

States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates 

(Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000)

1 Louisiana 45.6 percent 18.91

2 Mississippi 54.3 percent 17.80

3 Alaska 60.6 percent 17.41

4 Wyoming 62.8 percent 16.92

5 Montana 61.4 percent 16.74

States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates

(Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000)

50 Rhode Island 13.3 percent 3.14

49 Hawaii 9.7 percent 3.56

48 Massachusetts 12.8 percent 3.84

47 New York 18.1 percent 5.11

46 New Jersey 11.3 percent 5.46

For a list of gun death rates in all 50 states, Visit Here.

This is what I’d expect except for one thing. NJ hadn’t caught up to PIGnocchio’s policies yet.

From The New Yorker: The Republican National Committee has released the format for its first 2016 Presidential debate, to be broadcast by Fox News on August 6th:

1. Question from moderator to Donald Trump;

2. Ignoring of question by Donald Trump, followed by personal attack on Jeb Bush;

3. Feeble attempt at rebuttal by Jeb Bush;

4. Interruption by Donald Trump, followed by attack on other eight candidates on stage;

Andy has it pegged. Click through for the rest.

From NY Times: Rick Perry’s voice softens when he talks about the joy he gets from looking at his iPad and seeing “that 20-week picture of my first grandbaby.” Marco Rubio says ultrasounds of his sons and daughters reinforced how “they were children — and they were our children.” Rand Paul recalls watching fetuses suck their thumbs. And Chris Christie says the ultrasound of his first daughter changed his views on abortion.

If they seem to be reading from the same script, they are.

With help from a well-funded, well-researched and invigorated anti-abortion movement, Republican politicians have refined how they are talking about pregnancy and abortion rights, choosing their words in a way they hope puts Democrats on the defensive.

The goal, social conservatives say, is to shift the debate away from the “war on women” paradigm that has proved so harmful to their party’s image.

The Republican war on women has changed little, as barefoot and pregnant is still the objective. They are just using an even less honest tactic.

Cartoon:

0727Cartoon

Apologies to the snake.

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Jul 262015
 

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 absurd InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Bobby Jindal does not think a mass shooting should be used as an excuse to talk about gun control.

GOPGuns (2)Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who thankfully has suspended his run for president, freeing up his seat in the Republican clown car for some perhaps bigger clown, does not want to talk about guns. Some innocent people watching a movie were just gunned down in his state by a right-wing extremist who expressed his hatred for feminists and liberals—but why should that occasion a discussion about how obscenely easy it is to get guns in this country? What do you want to do? Prevent more tragedies or something?

"We are less than 24 hours out, we’ve got two families that need to bury their loved ones. We’ve got families waiting for their loved ones to leave the hospital and are praying for their recovery," Jindal said at a press conference Friday. "There will be an absolute appropriate time for us to talk about policies and politics, and I’m sure that folks will want to score political points off this tragedy, as they’ve tried to do on previous tragedies."

Hmmm, political points. Is that what they’re calling keeping guns out of the hands of mass killers and toddlers these days?

Jindal told reporters he might be happy to discuss gun policy later. How about never? he asked. Is never good for you?

Inserted from <Alternet>

For Republicans, Ammosexuals nearly all, it is never appropriate to talk about gun control on days that begin with a T: Tuesday, Thursday, Taturday, Tunday, Today or Tomorrow. This is only the sixth of six Republican doozies form last week alone. Click through for the other five.

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Jul 262015
 

I’m enjoying the cool weather, but not looking forward to the heat wave.  Tuesday will be high 80°s, followed by 90°s through the following Tuesday, at least.  I’d better take advantage while the cool is here.  I hope you’re enjoying your weekend

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:51 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 10/2011): What he’s gloating [see below] over is this news report.

COLUMBIA — South Carolina’s new voter photo identification law appears to be hitting black precincts in the state the hardest, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

For instance, nearly half the voters who cast ballots at a historically black college in Columbia lack state-issued photo identification and could face problems voting in next year’s presidential election, according to the analysis of precinct-level data provided by the state Election Commission.[…]

[A]mong the state’s 2,134 precincts, there are 10 where nearly all of the law’s affect falls on nonwhite voters who don’t have a state- issued driver’s license or ID card, a total of 1,977 voters.

The same holds true for white voters in a number of precincts, but the overall effect is much more spread out and involves fewer total voters: There are 44 precincts where only white voters are affected, or 1,831 people in all.

The precinct that votes at Benedict College’s campus center has 2,790 voters, including nine white voters. In that precinct, 1,343 of the precinct’s nonwhite voters lack state identification, but only five white voters do. The former group accounts for 48 percent of the precinct’s voters.[…]

A precinct at South Carolina State University has 2,305 active voters, including 33 white voters. There, 800 nonwhite voters and 17 white voters there lack state IDs. More than a third of the voters in the precinct lack state photo identification.

Disenfranchising huge groups of people—African Americans—is thus "EXACTLY" why Republicans created this law, according to Wesley Donehue.

0726scgoptweet

Even four years ago, we heard if from the elephant’s mouth. The purpose of voter ID laws to keep black people from being able to vote.  Republicans also target other vulnerable people for disenfranchisement. 

From NY Times: “I don’t want people thinking we are trying to get these regs done so we can influence the election,” Mr. Koskinen declared later to reporters. The statement was remarkable for blessing further procrastination at the I.R.S., whose clear obligation is to enforce existing law in a way that would end the current flood of “dark money” financing politics. The commissioner said the earliest that tighter rules could take effect would be 2017. The I.R.S. has been increasingly timorous on this issue ever since House Republicans opened partisan hearings into complaints that I.R.S. officials have been biased against conservative political groups that claim tax exemptions as nonprofit social welfare groups.

I’m sad to sy that the Republican pseudo-scandal worked to help them buy elections, using even foreign money.  It’s especially frustrating because Republican lies about it were thoroughly debunked.

From Raw Story: [P]erhaps predictably, the Westboro Baptist Church has vowed to protest the funerals of two victims that died in the Lafayette theater shooting this week. But they may meet quite a bit of resistance.

Hundreds of counter-protesters are planning to form a human chain to protect mourners, the New York Daily News reports. The event page for the Lafayette Human Barrier shows at least 15,000 listed as “going.”

Kudos to the Human Barrier against the Westboro Republicans. I only wish the victims had been better protected from the Republican criminal that murdered them.

Cartoon:

0726Cartoon

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Jul 242015
 

Jeb Bush, aka Strike Three, has plans, if elected, to unravel the social safety net, so he can finish the job his brother started: to transform the US into a society with two classes: the super rich and the poor.  Tell me if this doesn’t sound like a page right out of Lyin’ Ryan’s playbook.

0724JebJeb Bush, who is being sold to America as the moderate from the almost twenty Republicans now running to be the GOP's presidential nominee, told an audience at a Koch Brothers event in New Hampshire, he's squarely with those that want to dismantle Medicare, one of America's most important safety net programs for the elderly.

On Wednesday, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told a crowd in New Hampshire that Americans need to consider ways to "phase out" Medicare.

The former Florida governor, who was speaking at an event hosted by the Koch-brothers supported group Americans for Prosperity, also suggested "people understand" and agree with him on the issue.

"They know, and I think a lot of people recognize that we need to make sure we fulfill the commitment to people that have already received the benefits, that are receiving the benefits," Bush said. "But that we need to figure out a way to phase out this program for others and move to a new system that allows them to have something—because they're not going to have anything."

It doesn't matter to conservatives that the costs of Medicare have been significantly lower than what the experts had previously predicted ten years because their main goal in life is to do away with all government programs that helps its citizens going back to the New Deal.

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

Bush Barf Bag Alert!!

My Mama had s special word for people, who actually believe the part about keeping benefits for current recipients: FOOL!

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Jul 232015
 

Most of you should remember that Rick Santorum has been so hateful to gay people that the gay community gave his name a special meaning.  His positions have not changed one iota, but he’s so desperate to gain recognition that he actually appeared on Rachel Maddow’s show.  He tried to hide his frothiness.

0723santorumMSNBC host Rachel Maddow on Wednesday night sat down with former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) for an interview on same-sex marriage, which led to a heated debate over the Supreme Court's recent ruling that gay couples have the right to marry.

Santorum told Maddow that the Supreme Court "is not a superior branch of government" and argued that Congress can still pass a law regarding same-sex marriage.

Yet Maddow insisted that Congress could only pass a constitutional amendment that directly contradicts a Supreme Court ruling. Santorum disagreed and said that all three branches of government can determine what is constitutional…

Inserted from <TPM>

First, let me note that virtually everything he says about his past is a lie.  Rachel actually had two frothy segments. Here's the first.

Because his policies are so horrific, I never realized he can come off as more affable than he is.  Here's the second.

It will be interesting to see if this segment gets him enough attention to get him a top ten seat at the Faux Noise Festival of Lies.

Speaking about reversing the Supreme Court decision guaranteeing LGBT people the right to marry, he dis say one thing that is true.  "If you have a new group of Justices, you might get an entirely different decision."  What better warning could we have.  If Frothy, or any other Republican, gets to make the next round of Supreme Court appointments, the decisions that Court makes will spell the end of America.  It MUST be prevented.

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Jul 202015
 

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 evil InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Iowa tea partier Steve King makes a very bizarre claim.

English001_080212.JPGHousing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro recently had the audacity to suggest that the GOP has alienated and continues to alienate Latino voters. This may have something to do with Donald Trump’s recent statement that Mexican immigrants are “rapists and murderers” and the fact that not that many GOP-ers backed away from that assertion.

It may also have to do with the fact that Republicans have fought tooth and nail against Obama’s attempt to grant amnesty to the children of undocumented immigrants.

So Castro recently told MSNBC that the GOP can “kiss the Latino vote goodbye.”

In response, the GOP’s chief immigrant-basher-before-Trump, Iowa’s Steve King, who notoriously accused immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America of having “cantaloupe calves” from all the dope they are smuggling, took offense.

He shot back, cluelessly: What does Julian Castro know? Does he know that I’m as Hispanic and Latino as he?

Nope, we’re willing to wager Castro did not know that. Nor did we. Nor did anyone in the universe. 

Inserted from <Alternet>

If Steve “Cantaloupes” King is Hispanic and Latino, than I am a dawg, not a cat.  This is just the fifth of five Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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