Jan 262015
 

It’s day 82.  Here goes the new schedule.  I tried to watch the Pro Bowl last night.  I forgot how badly they have screwed it up and turned it off before the first quarter was over.  I feels very strange to have slept part of last night.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:51 (average 5:32).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Republican Presidential candidates descended on Iowa over the weekend, giving Iowans a rare opportunity to evaluate all thirty thousand hopefuls in one place.

The candidates were a big hit with their G.O.P. audience, who attempted to determine which of the thirty thousand would do the best job of eviscerating Obamacare and deporting college students.

Andy always has been a master of understatement.

From NY Times: Alexis Tsipras, leader of the left-wing Syriza coalition, is about to become prime minister of Greece. He will be the first European leader elected on an explicit promise to challenge the austerity policies that have prevailed since 2010. And there will, of course, be many people warning him to abandon that promise, to behave “responsibly.”

So how has that responsibility thing worked out so far?

To understand the political earthquake in Greece, it helps to look at Greece’s May 2010 “standby arrangement” with the International Monetary Fund, under which the so-called troika — the I.M.F., the European Central Bank and the European Commission — extended loans to the country in return for a combination of austerity and reform. It’s a remarkable document, in the worst way. The troika, while pretending to be hardheaded and realistic, was peddling an economic fantasy. And the Greek people have been paying the price for those elite delusions.

Click through for the remainder of this Paul Krugman Editorial. Austerity work for the super rich only. That’s why Republicans love it so.

From USA Today: Thousands of flights were canceled, schools were closing early and snow trucks were rolling Monday in anticipation of a monster storm expected to roar across a wide swath of the Northeast with up to 3 feet of snow and near-hurricane force winds.

A blizzard warning was issued for the New York and Boston areas and more than 5,200 flights had been canceled before the storm cranked up. The storm will impact more than 40 million people, according to the National Weather Service.

The treacherous, 24-hour-plus snow odyssey was expected to be most severe late Monday and deep into Tuesday. AccuWeather senior meteorologist Tom Kines said Philadelphia, New York City and much of New England could see 1-2 feet of snow. Parts of central Massachusetts and central Connecticut could be in the 2-3 foot range, he said.

feel so sorry for you guys! Please take extra precautions to keep yourselves warm and safe. Here, when the sun burns through the fog, and it warms up, I’ll go bask my kitty butt in 58°.

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Jan 252015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 81.  Yesterday I spent almost the entire day in bed.  I’m still quite worn, but not so much that I can’t write.  I am running somewhat late, because we had a beautiful sunny day today with a 60° high, and as we cats often do, I could not resist basking in the sun for a bit.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:26 (average 5:49).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: This MLK greatest hits album doesn’t actually exist *yet*, but it’s a pretty damned good idea.

 

Amen to this. "Beyond Vietnam" is a speech everyone should have heard more than once.

From NY Times: Jorge Ramos, the Univision and Fusion television anchor who is often called the Walter Cronkite of Latino America, was in his suburban Miami broadcast studio when he all but pounced on the chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, who was appearing from Washington. The Republicans’ immigration policy is “deportations, deportations, deportations,” Mr. Ramos said. “Why?”

Mr. Priebus, who stared out from multiple screens in a control room here looking as if he would rather have been doing anything but talking to Mr. Ramos, insisted it was not so. But Mr. Ramos would not have it.

“The message,” he retorted, “is anti-immigrant.”

It appears that making the official Latino Republican Response to the SOTU the opposite of the of the official Pig Nuts Republican Response didn’t work.

From The New Yorker: President Obama’s proposal to give workers six weeks of paid leave is meeting strong opposition from a group of people who annually receive thirty-three weeks of paid leave…

…The opponents of paid leave, who show up for work a hundred and thirty-seven days per year and receive paid leave for the other two hundred and twenty-eight, were baffled by other moments in the President’s speech.

For example, they were confused by Obama’s challenge to try to survive on a full-time job that pays fifteen thousand dollars, since they all currently hold a part-time job that pays a hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars.

Dang it Andy!! I do news commentary. You do comedy. You’re in MY turf AGAIN!! ;-)

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Jan 232015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 79.  I’m hurrying, because I have to leave soon for volunteer work in prison.  I’ll be meeting with around 100 guys.  This is the only article.  I’ll probably be scarce for a couple days.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:29 (average 4:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes: (All Andy)

From The New Yorker: A new Oxfam report indicating that the wealthiest one per cent possesses about half of the world’s wealth has left the richest people in the world “reeling with disappointment,” a leading billionaire said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters in Davos, Switzerland, where he is attending the World Economic Forum, the hedge-fund owner Harland Dorrinson said, “I think I speak for a lot of my fellow billionaires when I say I thought we were doing a good deal better than that.”

Calling the Oxfam findings “sobering,” he said that he hoped they would serve “as a wake-up call to billionaires everywhere that it’s time to up our game.”

“Quite frankly, a lot of us thought that by buying politicians, rewriting tax laws, and hiding money overseas, we were getting it done,” said Dorrinson, who owns the hedge fund Garrote Capital. “If, at the end of the day, all we control is a measly half of the world’s wealth, clearly we need to do more—much more.”

Andy has them pegged, and they have the Republican Party working hard to increase their share to 100%.

From The New Yorker: In a poll taken on Tuesday night, a wide majority of Americans said that they now believe that they could be elected to the United States Senate.

The results reflected a renewed sense of the inclusiveness of the American political system, as those surveyed said that they believed that anyone could serve in the Senate regardless of intelligence, the ability to speak, or any other qualifications whatsoever.

While those responses indicated that, as of Tuesday night, at least, Americans were energized about the possibility of their future careers in Washington, other results were not so encouraging.

Andy knows that a pig’s nuts would be a better Senator than Pig Nuts.

From The New Yorker: Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) shared more folksy stories of her childhood on Wednesday, telling reporters that she used to wear a bucket on her head for no apparent reason.

“I’d be walking outside our house and see a bucket lying there, and I’d say to myself, ‘That’s a perfectly good bucket, I think I’ll put it on my head,’ ” she said. “It wasn’t because I needed a hat or anything. I must have had, oh gosh, a half-dozen hats or so. I just wanted to wear a bucket.”

Ernst said that during her youth, she was known for poking a hole in a large piece of corrugated cardboard and wearing it as a poncho.

“I can’t for the life of me tell you why I did that,” she said. “I just liked the look of it, I guess. Nobody paid much attention to it. People sure don’t notice your cardboard poncho when you’re wearing a bucket on your head.”

Andy, I think people liked it, because the bucket muffled what she was saying.

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Jan 222015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 78.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver my groceries and listening to Republicans bluster and whine about yesterday’s SOTU address.  Tomorrow is a prison volunteer day.  I will write before I leave to upload after I return, if there is time.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:03 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: President Obama is courting controversy with his decision to address a group that has become dominated in recent years by extremists.

Some have questioned the appropriateness of the President speaking to such an extremist group, especially because in the past it has issued threats against the United States government.

As recently as 2013, for example, the extremists threatened to shut down the entire federal government if their demands were not met.

Andy does raise a valid point. Should Obama be criticized for negotiating with these terrorists?

From Daily Kos: Recently, I was sitting at my computer, typing away, when I heard the door opening and closing in the next room. It was around lunchtime, so I figured it was my brother (he came home for lunch, once in awhile). I turned toward the doorway, and was stunned to see a uniformed Pennsylvania state trooper striding into the room.

He began peppering me with questions, asking if I lived there, for example, and for me to identify myself. Of course I did (because I did not really want to die or anything like that, the guy was packing a gun, you know?) I was brought up to fear the police; I was taught at an early age that the state police force was originally formed to break the unions, by any means necessary. Also, I knew a lot of people who had been hassled by the cops. My parents had the talk with me (no, not that one, the one about how to survive an encounter with the police). Yeah, poor white boys get that talk too. Yes, I know that racism is a much bigger factor than classism, but that does not matter when a cop is in your house.

After I answered every question he had, I did venture a very polite question, basically, why are you here and why didn’t you knock? The police officer then informed me that he had probable cause to enter my house, because I had posted a "No Trespassing" sign.

In a Republican Reich, scenes like this become daily events.

From NY Times: …Perhaps no organization commands more deference in Republican politics nowadays than the sprawling operation established by the Koch brothers. And this week, the intense competition among Republicans for their embrace and attention will break out into the open. An invitation-only group of 2016 hopefuls will travel to a resort near Palm Springs, Calif., for the Koch brothers’ annual winter seminar, kicking off the so-called Koch primary.

Its that time again. Will Scalia and Thomas be in attendance again? And which Republican will prove best at sucking … nevermind.

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Jan 162015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 72.  I’m getting a late start, because I slept late and I’ve been busy with other things, but I do have articles for you.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 5:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Mitch McConnell was full of promises last November about how things were going to be different in the Senate when he was in charge. Like how the Senate was going to start working on Fridays. That promise was broken last Thursday, the first week of the session. The other thing the Senate was going to do under his watch—open amendments. Republicans had grumbled incessantly over the last six years about how Harry Reid was a dictator who refused to allow them to offer up their amendments, almost all of which were poison pills that had little or nothing to do with the underlying legislation. Well, the worm has turned with Republicans now in power, and McConnell doesn’t like it one bit. In fact, he’s pretty whiny about it.

"Some of our colleagues on the other side continue to filibuster the motion to proceed to this bill. All senators should know that we will get on this bill today and begin the amendment process—either this afternoon by consent, or shortly after midnight without consent,” he said. […]

McConnell vowed he would not let Democrats use their ability to offer amendments to stretch out floor debates for weeks simply to burn up the calendar.

"We will conduct a fair and open amendment process but not an open-ended one," he said.

And so much for open amendments. That fair and open process apparently won’t include one proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) intended to put Republicans on the record about the connection between humans’ greenhouse gas emissions and global warming in the Keystone XL debate.

Speaking of greenhouse gas emissions, one of the biggest sources of methane in Washington, DC is Bought Bitch Mitch.

From The New Yorker: Citing what he called “security concerns,” House Speaker John Boehner said on Wednesday that he would do all of his drinking at the office for the foreseeable future.

Boehner said that he may have to stay at work later in order to get his drinking done, but added, “I’m doing it for the American people. They need to know that their Speaker is safe.”

I wonder if Andy equates “safe” with preserved by pickling.

From Media Matters: Fox News hosts have repeatedly denied that moderate Muslims denounce violent extremists following terror attacks, ignoring that on their very network, Muslim guests have condemned terrorism and defended their faith. Watch five Muslim guests make their case on Fox:

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

When a Muslim makes a good point, when Faux is live, we see it once only, and they hate it when anything like that slips through, as their reactions divulge.

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Jan 142015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 70.  This will be a brief article.  I’m about to leave for prison.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:39 (average 5:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: I wonder what would happen if these ads replaced the 500 fake ones that we see every day? Would people still judge women based on their skin tone, size, height, waistline, hair length, shoe size?

 

These real women are not what we see on the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise.

From The New Yorker: In a possible setback for Mitt Romney’s latest Presidential ambitions, a new poll reveals that a majority of Americans now regard the former Massachusetts governor as a stalker.

The poll results suggest that Romney’s presence in every Presidential campaign in recent memory has taken its toll on the American people, who have expressed disbelief that he would return after being repeatedly told in no uncertain terms that he was not wanted.

Additionally, many of those surveyed said that they previously felt harassed by the Massachusetts governor’s relentless e-mails and phone calls, and favored some form of intervention to keep Romney from contacting them in the future.

In an indication of how much Romney’s serial candidacies have traumatized the American people, more than fifty per cent said that they would support a restraining order to keep the former nominee five hundred feet from the United States until the 2016 election had safely passed.

Does Andy have Little Lord Willard pegged or what?

From Daily Kos: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and would-be president has a new book out, since that’s the thing that presidential candidates do. Politico excerpts 10 key quotes that demonstrate, according to the paper, how Rubio "tries hard to come across as an ‘ideas guy.’" They include his quote on Social Security and Medicare, which demonstrates that he is basing his ideas on total ignorance of actual policy.

"It is hard for me to imagine retiring at 65 and spending the next quarter century not working. I expect to be working, doing something productive and fulfilling."

Rubio supports raising the retirement age for Social Security as a way to ensure the system’s solvency and to reflect longer life expectancies. It’s perhaps the most politically risky territory he treads in the book. He says acting soon will allow people currently over the age of 55 to be spared. Rubio also advocates reducing the growth of benefits to upper-income seniors as well as eliminating the payroll tax on workers who have already reached retirement age.

On Medicare, he supports a voucher-like system in which seniors would get a set amount of money and can choose between traditional fee-for-service Medicare and private providers.

In other words this lying, Latino-hating Latino is a … Republican.

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Jan 112015
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 67.  I’m still quite tired, after yesterday’s outing, but it was worth it.  The pain in my foot is completely gone and will be for a couple months, when the cyst will be growing back.  Today is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, and I will be meditating, but tomorrow is my main concern, because my Broncos are entertaining the Colts in the late service.  May big horses overwhelm little ones.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:59 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Fox News contributor and radio talk show host Erick Erickson declared that "the terrorists won in Atlanta" after right-wing media falsely claimed that Atlanta’s anti-gay fire chief was terminated for his religious beliefs.

On January 6, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed dismantled conservatives’ claims that Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired over a book that he wrote which contains anti-gay remarks, explaining that Cochran’s lack of judgment in distributing the book to his employees, and not following instructions regarding his month-long suspension over publishing the book without notice to the city, is what led to his termination.

On January 7, hours after a horrific terrorist attack against staffers of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris that left 12 people dead, Erickson wrote [fascist delinked] a blog post that likened the LGBT community to terrorists for objecting to the former Atlanta fire chief’s book, and stated that "the terrorists won":

The Bottom line is this Republican hatemongers don’t get to use freedom of religion as an excuse to violate others’ legally guaranteed rights.  However, comparing LGBT Americans to the French terrorists is beyond obscene.

From The New Yorker: President Obama’s plan to offer Americans two years of college for free has come under fire from congressional Republicans, who are calling it a blatant plot to make Americans smarter.

The G.O.P., which has benefited from the support of so-called “low-information voters” in recent years, accused Obama of cynically trying to make people smarter as a way of chipping away at the Republican base.

“You take low-information voters and give them information, and pretty soon they’re Democrats,” Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said.

Andy is right. It’s one of those socialist, Kenyan conspiracies!!

From Daily Kos: Last week Jon Stewart had an "impromptu theme" of social injustice. In one his skits he enumerated all the black males that were killed by police recently. In the process of his enumeration he had a bad call. It turned out according to the coroner’s report that Dante Parker died from from drugs in his body and not from police action. This was according to San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos.

 
Fox News just has to be right once by ewillies

Jon makes an excellent point in a hilarious manner.

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