Aug 252016
 

Yesterday the heat returned, groceries were delivered, and Wendy came for kitty-primping.  When I got out of the shower and dried, by the time I got back to my apartment, I had to dry off the sweat.  Finally, the site turned to mud, so I spent the first couple hours after breakfast on the phone with tech support.  The problem was that PP was chocking the cache system designed to speed up page load, because we have thousands of graphics that are poorly optimized.  She turned off the cache system and that fixed the problem.  However, cobbling the site together by someone who isn’t an IT pro (me) has taken its toll over the years.  The tech sent me detailed instructions on how to optimize all aspects of the site.  It looks like I have many hours of work to do in the coming months.  Tomorrow, I need to venture into the heat to submit to torture from Courtney, my Physical Terrorist.  Therefore I will probably have no more then a Personal Update for you tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Another Earth could be circling the star right next door to us.

Astronomers announced on Wednesday that they had detected a planet orbiting Proxima Centauri, the closest neighbor to our solar system. Intriguingly, the planet is in the star’s “Goldilocks zone,” where it may be neither too hot nor too cold. That means liquid water could exist at the surface, raising the possibility for life.

Although observations in recent years, particularly by NASA’s Kepler planet-finding mission, have uncovered a bounty of Earth-size worlds throughout the galaxy, this one holds particular promise because it might someday, decades from now, be possible to reach. It’s 4.2 light-years, or 25 trillion miles, away from Earth, which is extremely close in cosmic terms.

When I first heard this, I thought it might be a good place to put Republicans, but on further consideration, a mere 4.2 light years is just too damn close!!

From Daily Kos: Many people who are prone to allergic attacks are also prone to having their throat air passages close from the internal swelling and inflammation. Without immediate treatment this can cause many children and adults to suffocate and die. They die a terrifying death of asphyxiation.

In 1977, the life-saving Epi-Pen was created. The self-injecting shot of adrenaline can sometimes halt the air passages from closing further, for a brief period, which gives the victim more time to seek emergency care.

A pharmaceutical company called Mylan [capitalist pig delinked] acquired the EpiPen in 2007, and immediately began hiking up the prices to a whopping 600%. That’s wonderful for the multi-billion dollar company, and it’s been awesome for Mylan CEO Heather Bresch who gave herself a big fat pay raise. Reports show that from 2007 to 2015, Bresch’s total compensation went from $2,453,456 to $18,931,068 [capitalist pig delinked] — yet she can’t afford to offer her “generic” drug at a fair price in order to save the lives of those who are in need and don’t know how to obtain the life-saving medication any other way.

As a former volunteer firefighter, I have used an EpiPen to save a life. I have seen what it does and now necessary it is for someone suffering a life-threatening allergic reaction. Heather Bresch’s Republican greed is obscene!

From The New Yorker: Calling it “the best use of our resources at this time,” the Republican National Committee has decided to pull money originally earmarked for Trump campaign ads and spend it on alcohol instead.

According to the R.N.C. chairman Reince Priebus, the decision to reallocate the funds from television advertising to alcoholic beverages came after careful review of the polling in crucial battleground states.

“With about seventy days to go until the election, we had to consider what was the optimal way for us to get through those seventy days,” he added. “We are confident that we have found that way.”

“The decision was unanimous,” he added.

Dang Andy!! If you’re right, that’s the most intelligent idea for Republicans I’ve heard.

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Jul 122016
 

It’s a muggy day, as it was yesterday, so I’m really looking forward to Wendy’s return tomorrow.  It did interfere with my sleep last night, so I’ll be brief.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:48 (average 4:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: President Obama will travel to Dallas on Tuesday to mourn the deaths of five white police officers gunned down by a black Army veteran, his latest effort to help bridge one of the starkest divides in American society.

He huddled with his speechwriters for much of Monday, hoping to find words that would not only console the officers’ grief-stricken families but also reassure a nation fearful that racial divisions are worsening after the Dallas slaughter and the killing days before of black men by the police in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Mr. Obama approached the effort with the frustration of a man who has poured his heart and soul into similar speeches, only to later feel that nothing has changed and no one is listening. This will be the 11th time in his presidency that he has sought to comfort a city after a mass killing, and the second time in a month that such a killing grew out of bias.

“The president recognizes that it’s not just people in Dallas who are grieving, it’s people all across the country who are concerned about the violence that so many Americans have witnessed in the last week or so,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said on Monday.

Republicans have criticized Obama for not leaving Europe to go to Dallas sooner. For the record, Obama asked the Speaker of the House to accompany him. Lyin’ Ryan is too busy with bogus investigations and spreading hate to go to Dallas.  Hypocrite!!

From Alternet: Election lawyers in academia are wringing their hands over comments Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg made to the New York Times about how she doesn’t want to consider what America—and the Court—would be like under a President Trump.

“I can’t imagine what this place would be—I can’t imagine what the country would be—with Donald Trump as our president,” Ginsburg told the Times. “For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be—I don’t even want to contemplate that.”

The Washington Post, which is perpetually infected with a self-assigned puritanical streak, was quick to question whether Ginsburg had “crossed a very important line,” because it’s possible the 2016 presidential election could end up before the Court in a vote count dispute.

“Generally, though, you don’t hear a Supreme Court justice talking like this,” wrote WaPo’s Aaron Blake. “In fact, you generally don’t hear a Supreme Court justice talking at all—much less about the big political issues of the day.”

I agree that it is certainly uncommon for a Justice to weigh-in, but for a monster like the presumptive Rectum of the Republican Party to be in such a position is unprecedented. Ginsburg actually went even further, saying that she would consider relocating to New Zealand, if Rump Dump wins the White House.

From Politicus USA: This is that time that Republicans stopped Americans from getting protection from the Zika virus because they feel they must first have the right to fly the Confederate flag over cemeteries.

I wish I were kidding. But behold. Yesterday, Senator Harry Reid excoriated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for his cowardice after McConnell stabbed the American people in the back by allowing House Republicans to ruin the bipartisan MilCon-VA-Zika conference report.

You see, after Senate Republicans and Democrats hashed out a compromise on Zika funding that was less than what scientists asked for and thus less than what Democrats wanted but more than Republicans wanted, they sent that to the House. What came back?

Oh, sorry an American died from Zika and so sorry to the nearly 3,700 people in the U.S. (and territories) who have it, but Republicans will only fund the Zika emergency if they can fly the Confederate flag, create more abortions by refusing to fund birth control provided by Planned Parenthood, poison more water by exempting pesticides from the Clean Water Act, cut veterans funding and more.

Republicans care nothing for protecting the American People. We need protection from the Republican Party!

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Jul 102016
 

I’m running quite late, as today was a long day for Wendy.  Dang!!  She certainly is a good worker.  I let her go a half hour early, as I couldn’t find anything else for her to do.  She polished and shined the TomCat, did the dreaded task, changed the sheets, cleaned the countertops, swept and mopped the floors, dusted, and reorganized the kitchen drawers and cabinets.  The place is so clean I’m afraid to pass gas!! Angel

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:37 (average 6:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

In the Mail:

Yesterday I received a gift from a friend, who shall remain nameless.  Here it is.

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Here it is again in a more appealing environment.

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Thanks Nameless!!

Short Takes:

From The Southern Illonoisan: U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth outraised Illinois Republican U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk for the sixth consecutive quarter, giving her a multimillion-dollar cash advantage in a race that could help determine whether Democrats retake control of the Senate.

Kirk’s campaign said late Friday he raised more than $1 million between April and June, finishing with $3.1 million in his campaign fund.

Duckworth raised $2.7 million during the same period and ended the second quarter with $5.5 million cash on hand, her campaign said earlier this week.

Sad as this is, fundraising is more predictive that polling this early in the race. Go Tammy Go!!

From Vox: On Saturday morning, Hillary Clinton released a new health care policy proposal that emphasized several major progressive priorities, including a public option and increased funding for community health centers.

In the proposal, Clinton pledged:

  • To give Americans in every state a "public option" health insurance plan
  • To let Americans as young as 55 years old opt in to Medicare
  • And to double funding for primary care services at community health centers

Now, these aren’t really new ideas for Clinton. She said at a campaign event in May that she supported "the public option, so that people can buy into Medicare at a certain age." And she’s long supported community health centers.

But the fact that she’s formally backing these progressive priorities at this moment — rather than pivoting to more centrist ideas as the general election contest approaches — is a testament to the influence of Bernie Sanders’s campaign. And it may be a prelude to an endorsement from Sanders as soon as next week.

Sanders: "The Clinton campaign and our campaign are coming closer and closer together"

That’s encouraging.  All three are steps in the right direction.

From PoliticusUSA: Megyn Kelly, sometimes the voice of reason on Fox News, switched into full-blown stupid mode again Friday by saying that “Especially in the days of iPhones…and social media where, you know, every encounter gets caught on camera. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s happening more.”

She appeared with racist Ex-LAPD Detective Mark Fuhrman, who is frequently trotted out by Fox News to cover racially-charged events, like when Freddie Gray was shot in Baltimore and Fuhrman (again appearing with Kelly) called blacks “these people,” and was told by liberal guest Richard Fowler that “I really think you live in an alternate universe.”

Well, hello, Fox News.

Watch the most recent alternate reality segment from Friday’s The Kelly File, courtesy of Media Matters for America:

Barf Bag Alert!!

Not all people that support Black Lives Matter think that all cops are racist. I for one have said many times that the majority of police are professionals just doing their jobs. Here, these racists from the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, are conflating all Black Lives Matter protestors with the Dallas murderer.  How vile!

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May 112016
 

The the come that Bernie needs more delegates than the remaining states have, so the only way he can now win the nomination is to convince Superdelegates to switch.  That is not likely, because they are almost all either DNC members,who Bernie has sued, or Democratic Senators, Reps, and Governors.  Hillary has raised funds for all their reelections, while Bernie has done so for only four.  You may think I’m saying Bernie has lost.  I know Bernie has won,  because he has moved the party to the left, and that even includes Hillary.

0511Hillary

For months during the Democratic presidential nominating contest, Hillary Clinton has resisted calls from Senator Bernie Sanders to back a single-payer health system, arguing that the fight for government-run health care was a wrenching legislative battle that had already been lost.

But as she tries to clinch the nomination, Mrs. Clinton is moving to the left on health care and this week took a significant step in her opponent’s direction, suggesting she would like to give people the option to buy into Medicare.

“I’m also in favor of what’s called the public option, so that people can buy into Medicare at a certain age,” Mrs. Clinton said on Monday at a campaign event in Virginia.

Mr. Sanders calls his single-payer health care plan “Medicare for all.” What Mrs. Clinton proposed was a sort of Medicare for more.

The Medicare program covers Americans once they reach 65. Beneficiaries pay premiums to help cover the cost of their coverage, but the government pays the bulk of the bill. Mrs. Clinton’s suggestion was that perhaps younger Americans, “people 55 or 50 and up,” could voluntarily pay to join the program.

She made the remarks as she continues to face a determined challenge on the left from Mr. Sanders, forcing her to essentially fight a two-front war as she seeks to turn her attention to Donald J. Trump and the general election. While Mr. Sanders trails by a substantial number of delegates, his effect continues to be felt in the race as he pressures Mrs. Clinton to adopt more progressive positions… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Thank you Bernie!

Bernie has also moved Hillary to the left on Social Security (making the rich pay on more of their income and raising benefits) and TPP (opposing it)

Vote Blue No Matter Who

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May 052016
 

I have another late start today,because I needed a morning nap.  Someone on my floor left the water running in one of the showers.  Somehow the concentration of steam set off the fire alarm, and I had to get up, get dressed, and prepare to be evacuated in the middle of the night.  Tomorrow afternoon I have an appointment with Sarah, my Prosthetist.  George has forgiven me, because he’s getting a shiny new ankle, but I may not have time for research and writing, before I have to leave.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:37).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: So this evening the GOP lizard brains at the Arizona legislature refused to renew a program called KidsCare. It’s a small agency that provides vital services to at least 30,000 children. It costs the state nothing to operate the federally-funded program, which provides low-income families affordable medical, dental and vision insurance for children under 19. For $50 a month a child is insured. Every other friggin’ state in the country has one, because it costs those states nothing and it does good things.

I can see why it wouldn’t fly in Arizona.

These monsters just passed another $8 million tax cut for businesses, when the previous $4 billion in corporate BJs hasn’t resulted in the “creative” growth they promised, unless you count call centers and Walmarts. Hey, GOP brain trust: Google didn’t pass on Arizona because the taxes are too high; they said adios because there’s no political commitment to education.

Or the welfare of children, apparently.

The cost of [KidsCare] is covered by federal dollars at least through 2017 and possibly through 2019.

Gov. Doug Ducey had been non-committal on restoring KidsCare. But he has not been a fan of accepting federal dollars for health insurance.

In his 2014 run for governor, Ducey questioned the financial viability of the Medicaid program. As governor, he introduced a Medicaid reform plan that would kick 350,000 people off the rolls.

Can you even begin to wrap your head around that pile of diarrhetic [sic] thinking?

Is it time to rename Brewerstan as Duceystan? The Brewerstan Death Angel, Jan Brewer, refused free federal benefits and cancelled the surgeries already scheduled for transplant patients, causing several to die. This is life under a Republican Reich, and for evil, neither Brewer, nor Ducey can hold a candle to Rump Dump Trump!

From The New Yorker: The United States Senate declared an official day of mourning on Wednesday to mark the impending return of Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to the legislative body.

Ordering all flags at the U.S. Capitol to half-staff, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, announced the day of mourning in a somber proclamation. “We mark this day with a deep personal sense of loss that will never completely heal,” he said.

To recognize Cruz’s return, which is expected to be imminent, McConnell said that the Senate would suspend all work for the day. “Ordinarily our members would welcome a day off,” he said. “But not for this.”

In a rare moment of consensus for this bitterly divided chamber, both Republicans and Democrats expressed their sorrow, but the news of Cruz’s return seemed to cut the deepest among Republicans, many of whom now regret their decision not to endorse the Texas senator for President.

It looks like Andy is doing straight news again.

From Alternet: Donald Trump gave what some saw as an oddly “presidential” speech upon winning Indiana, in which he actually called for more love and applauded former nemesis Ted Cruz, for making the race competitive. “We’re going to cherish each other, we’re going to take care of each other,” Trump told the crowd in New York late Tuesday. Never mind that earlier in the day he had floated the baseless claim that Cruz’ father was involved in the Kennedy assassination.

Stephen Colbert opined that Trump’s weird commends were, “Basically all the things you do when you think the world is going to end,” and Trump didn’t end the meaningless promises with spreading "love" around.

If Rump Dump becomes President, God won’t be the only one moving to Canada, and it would serve Canada right. They should have sent us something better than that Canadian TRUS pervert. Devil

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Jan 182016
 

Today was an uneventful day . . . church, lunch, snuggling with the furbabes, short nap, snuggling with the furbabes, reading and preparing this post, snuggling with the furbabes, and so on.  This coming week will be busy with various appointments/commitments as was last week, so relaxing was the order of the day.  I hope you all did some relaxing too!

Short Takes

The Nation — The whole mess has also cost Planned Parenthood millions of dollars—so the organization claims in a major lawsuit filed Thursday against CMP and affiliated individuals. The 65-page complaint accuses the group of racketeering, fraud, and a variety of other charges. It seeks compensation for financial losses due to the videos and the public backlash, as well as other damages. Although Planned Parenthood has sued a handful of states that sought to revoke public funding in the wake of the videos, this is the first legal challenge the organization has made directly to the makers of the videos. Planned Parenthood waited months to file the suit because it was a “very complex conspiracy,” according to Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens, who spoke with reporters Thursday. “It really has taken some time to investigate the network of people who perpetrated this fraud and the multiple laws that they broke in the process.”

I for one am extremely happy that Planned Parenthood is taking this step.  It should not be necessary, but extremists have made it so.  As to the first amendment rights of CMP, surely those rights do not extend to the fabrication of erroneous claims!

Washington Post — Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders would raise income taxes across the board — and by substantially more on high earners — to pay for an ambitious single-payer health-care plan, under details released Sunday night.

The senator from Vermont said the $1.38-trillion-a-year plan, which was outlined before a Democratic debate here, would ultimately save most families thousands of dollars a year on out-of-pocket health-care costs.

Sanders would pay for it largely through higher income taxes. Those making more than $250,000 a year would pay a marginal tax rate of 37 percent, up a few percentage points from what they now pay.

Sanders would add three more tax brackets, with marginal rates topping out at 52 percent for those making $10 million a year — significantly more than the current top rate of 39.6 percent.

Do I like the idea of universal health care? . . . absolutely!  Assuming that Sanders' numbers are correct, go for it.  However, I also know that the Congress as it stands, will never approve it.  There has to be a wholesale political revolution that says 'No' to the party of 'No' before universal health care can rise.

Foreign Policy — It has been more than a decade since warring parties signed a deal to end Liberia’s bloody conflict. Fueled by the pillaging of the country’s rich natural resources — diamonds, gold, iron, and timber — the two civil wars that raged across 14 years left more than 250,000 people dead and displaced more than 1 million others. When the final peace deal was signedin 2003, however, the resources that had sustained the war for so long were not mentioned at all. The oversight, though common, has often proved disastrous for countries trying to break free from years of violence.

According to a new report by the international nonprofit Forest Trends, which analyzed more than 800 peace agreements signed since 1945, fewer than 15 percent mentioned natural resources. Even fewer take the necessary steps to prevent these resources from being used to sustain — or even restart — fighting. It is a glaring omission considering that the U.N. Environment Program estimates that at least 40 percent of conflicts have a link to natural resources. About half of all peace agreements fail within five years, often because the warring factions exploit resources in order to fuel the return to conflict.

As globalization drives growing markets for more commodities and a changing climate upsets existing patterns of resource use, the international community must take the governance of natural resources much more seriously — simply as a matter of peace and security. Restarting resource extraction post-conflict before rebuilding broken governments not only fails to deliver on promises of a revitalized national economy — often a primary goal in rebuilding war-torn countries — but also threatens the peace. And without the safeguards of governance, unregulated extraction risks returning countries to conflict by reviving the unsustainable and inequitable practices that fueled grievance in the first place.

What are most, if not all, wars about? . . . power . . . the acquiring of and maintaining of power.  To do that requires money for manpower and  materiel.  And money is generated by exploiting natural resources.  Natural resources must be acknowledged in the peace process.

My Universe

cute-baby-and-cats-love-milk

Who needs Brauny papertowel when you have a toddler and 3 cats?

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