Apr 242015
 

The elevator is now working, but basking in the rain doesn’t quite cut it.  However, I have had a couple power naps and do have some interesting content.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:50 (average 5:50).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: ABC News reported that it "uncovered errors" in Peter Schweizer’s upcoming anti-Clinton book, Clinton Cash. Schweizer has a long history of sloppy research and reporting — earlier this week, ThinkProgress revealed that the conservative author cites a hoax press release in the book.

On April 23, ABC News explained that their independent review of the source material used for Clinton Cash "uncovered errors in the book, including an instance where paid and unpaid speaking appearances were conflated." The book purports to reveal connections between Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state, donations to the Clinton Foundation, and paid speeches given by the Clintons, but Schweizer reportedly admits in the book he cannot prove his allegations.

In this Republican pseudo-scandal there is no quid pro quo. The quid and the quo exist, but the Republican propagandist is uses the post hoc ergo propter hoc deception and substitutes innuendo for the pro. Of course, the Republican bubble machine accepts innuendo as absolute proof.

From Daily Kos: In this visually beautiful and mesmerizing piece, 27 year-old Prince Ea apologies to future generations for what we are doing, and not doing, to the planet today. The six-minute video contains so many great thought-provoking quotes, it’s bound to be shared for many years. So far, in less than 48 hours, his video has garnered over 35 million views on Facebook.

 

Extreme Kudos!

From The New Yorker: In an urgent memo to the field of G.O.P. Presidential candidates, the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, praised them for their relentless personal attacks on Hillary Clinton, but warned that their hatred for the former Secretary of State might be “peaking too early.”

Priebus called the candidates’ ongoing evisceration of Clinton “magnificent,” but expressed his concern that “no human beings, even an impressive group like yourselves, could possibly sustain such a high intensity of throbbing hatred for an entire year and a half.”

“Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint,” he wrote. “You need to leave some hate in the tank.”

In the conclusion of his memo, Priebus advised the candidates to take an occasional day off from hating Clinton so that they could “return to despising her with renewed freshness and vigor.”

Andy does have a point. The constant flood of filth from the clown car just tends to toughen Hillary, for now. I worry more about an eleventh hour lie that comes too late for the Democratic nominee to counter it effectively.

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The 2016 clown car is getting crowded.

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Apr 222015
 

I actually got some sleep last night, but I’m still feeling pretty pooped.  I’m cleaning and waiting for my grocery delivery so I can put them away.  I’d like to spend some time in the sun, but the elevator is out of commission.  I hope it’s fixed, before Store to Door gets here, so the volunteer does not have to lug them up two flights of steps.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 4:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Koch Industries is defending its acquisition of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker against charges that it overpaid for the Midwestern politician.

After co-owner David Koch revealed that Walker had become a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, he set off a firestorm of criticism that the company had spent too much for a worthless asset.

“There was absolutely no bidding war for Walker,” an industry analyst familiar with the market value of politicians said. “Even Sheldon Adelson had no interest in acquiring him.”

While Koch Industries did not disclose the purchase price of the Walker subsidiary, it said that Koch Industries would spend nine hundred million dollars between now and November, 2016, for a variety of upgrades to the Wisconsin governor.

Andy should have added that, even if they paid only fifty cents for the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan, they paid fifty cents too much.

From Daily Kos: On the latest Daily Show, Jon Stewart blasted Dick Cheney’s criticism of President Obama’s negotiations with Iran. Calling the former vice president "a man rotten to his very core, which is in itself a tiny black hole from which no joy or light can escape" and "the jagged-toothed forest demon who steals our children," Stewart went on to say that "now and then he [Cheney] slithers out from his lair inside a mountain of kitten corpses and goes on TV or radio saying awful things. Usually we ignore it … but sometimes, we just can’t."

 

Humor aside, Stewart demonstrated that Benedict Arnold seems like a patriot compared to ChickenHawk Cheney.

From NY Times: In her first week as a 2016 presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton seemed to channel another high-profile Democrat. “The deck is stacked in their favor,” Mrs. Clinton said of the wealthy and powerful. “My job is to reshuffle the cards.”

The line echoed a phrase that helped make Senator Elizabeth Warren the populist icon of her party. “The game is rigged,” Ms. Warren often says. “Rigged to work for those who have money and power.”

Before that, there was Mrs. Clinton’s tribute to Ms. Warren in Time magazine. “She never hesitates to hold powerful people’s feet to the fire,” Mrs. Clinton wrote in the issue honoring the top 100 influential people.

For anyone who wondered what kind of economic message Mrs. Clinton would deliver in her campaign, the first few days made it clear: She is embracing the ideas trumpeted by Ms. Warren and the populist movement — that the wealthy have been benefiting disproportionately from the economy while the middle class and the poor have been left behind. And the policies Mrs. Clinton is advancing, like paid sick leave for employees and an increase in the minimum wage, align with that emphasis.

I must confess that Hillary’s rollout is a pleasant, albeit dubious, surprise, but even if this is mostly lip-serviced to the liberal/progressive base, the best of the Republicans is less progressive than Benito Mussolini.

Cartoon:

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He’s still a Republican hero.

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Apr 212015
 

I’m still quite tired after doing the dreaded task and another noisy night, but I did get some daytime sleep yesterday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Notoriously addled butt munch Pat Robertson took a question today from a woman worried about her 11-year-old son who "started listening to music that speaks of the ‘beast within’ and the ‘infection in people.’" Consequently, his behavior has this poor woman "to the point of me giving up trying to parent him." Thank goodness she took her concern to that master oracle of parenting advice, good ol’ Pat.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Robertson remains the poster boy for Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity (the exact opposite of authentic Christianity).

From The New Yorker: Delivering a stirring populist message at a campaign appearance in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton vowed that as President she would help everyday Americans obtain large cash payments from foreign governments.

“Like a lot of everyday Americans, many of you are struggling to pay your bills,” she told an audience here. “As President, I will work tirelessly to help you make ends meet—by getting foreign governments to pay you.”

“In cold, hard cash,” she added, to a standing ovation.

Growing emotional, the former Secretary of State spoke of the “transformative power of foreign money,” calling it “nothing short of magical.”

Andy is back to satire for a change. The people behind the foreign money meme have a repeatedly demonstrated resume as liars.

From Alternet: Forget the top one percent, the top 0.01 percent of Americans gave nearly 42 percent of all political donation dollars in the 2012 election cycle. Just over 30,000 individuals contributed nearly half of all money. It is no coincidence that this proportion has increased steadily as economic inequality has increased. In 1990 when I was born, the figure was just under 13 percent. If we expanded the scope to the full one percent, you can be damn sure they gave the overwhelming majority of dollars in recent years.

And don’t forget that this does not even include the $billions more in secret donations to bogus Republican 501(c)4 organizations.

Cartoon:

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Apr 172015
 

It feels like summer here, so my chores have left me feeling somewhat lazy, so you can be sure I’ll take a break later for purring in the sunshine.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:15 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: The sad but beautiful story of water, as narrated by Penélope Cruz

 

This cycle is what Republicans are trying to destroy.

From Media Matters: Indianapolis’ WIBC has broadcast Rush Limbaugh’s show for 22 years. Despite this long history, parent company Emmis Communications announced April 13 that they are dropping Limbaugh’s show from WIBC’s lineup.

Charlie Morgan, an executive for Emmis, indicated that the decision to drop Limbaugh was about the "long-term direction of the station," but also acknowledged that there was a "business element to the decision." Underscoring the business considerations, Morgan explained to the Indianapolis Business Journal that the absence of Limbaugh could actually help WIBC’s advertiser prospects:

And the defectors from Limbarf’s former empire keep coming. Every remaining station is one too many.

From The New Yorker: Americans took to the streets in large numbers on Thursday to show their support for a fifteen-dollar-an-hour wage for members of Congress.

In major cities across the nation, fast-food workers and other service employees held signs, shouted chants, and gave impassioned speeches to demonstrate their conviction that Congress deserves a maximum hourly wage of fifteen dollars.

“Members of Congress are people, just like you and me,” Tracy Klugian, a McDonald’s employee who took part in the Washington protest, said. “They should be paid what they deserve.”

Assuming that they continue to take off approximately two hundred and forty days a year, members of Congress earning the proposed maximum would see their average annual income adjusted from a hundred and seventy-four thousand dollars to thirteen thousand five hundred dollars, a salary that many marchers called “fair and equitable.”

Andy is on to something here, but even if paid for only the hours they actually work, they would get far more than they are worth.

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Republicans want a rerun.\

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Apr 152015
 

This is today’s only article, because an unusual situation has me running behind.  This morning I was awakened by a bang on my door.  I woman who lives on the floor could not breathe well, and was trying to use an Advair dispenser.  I tried to help her, but saw that she had no doses left.  I called 911, notified building staff, and cared for her until help arrived.  I was pleased that the EMTs arrived in under 15 minutes.  I lay back down to rest for just a few minutes, and slept a couple hours past the time I planned to arise.  Today is a grocery delivery day, and I’m waiting for Store to Door to arrive.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: When a self-proclaimed "white redneck" starts a video with "white people are racists," it’s hard not to listen.

 

He looks like Bubba Bagger. He sounds like Bubba Bagger. But there is nothing Republican about him.

From Daily Kos: 1. You want to finance the wealthy?

You think the banking bailout wasn’t enough for the elite? They need tax breaks to invest more in the developing world so their companies become more profitable? Pleas give them tax cuts to do so.

Do you want to decrease unemployment overseas, give corporations tax cuts and breaks to finance their move to the land of cheap labor of their choice? So what if the workers are to young or kept in dormitories and the conditions resemble those of forced labor. You really want that stuff to be so cheap that you can afford it on the unemployment line? Well then:

Vote Republican

2. You believe victims of crime are whiners?

Two wrongs make a right?

Women who are raped and become pregnant should be forced to carry the baby of a crime?

That those complaining of sexual and moral abuse at work are just lazy and have no right to be treated equally at the workplace?

Vote Republican.

Here are just two things voting Republican will help you get. Click through for the other eight.

From The New Yorker: With a stop in Iowa on Tuesday, the Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton officially embarked on a nineteen-month marathon of looking concerned.

Sitting with patrons at Jones Street Java House, in Le Claire, the former Secretary of State listened intently, sipped from a cup of coffee, and nodded her head at appropriate junctures, flawlessly reënacting a brief scene from her first campaign video.

After about twenty minutes of virtually nonstop displays of empathy, a Clinton aide said, “we decided to shut it down.”

“Hillary is staring down nineteen months of sipping coffee and nodding her head,” the aide continued. “We want to make sure she paces herself.”

Andy is probably more accurate that we want to consider. We need to pressure her to make the kinds of commitments on issues that we can live with.

Cartoon:

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Apr 142015
 

When I dug into my corporate reporting for my volunteer group, I discovered I have until mid-May to get that done, so I decided to blog instead, in addition to delving into the mess I need to tackle for grocery delivery day tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:38 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: South Carolina wants to be able to continue to ban gays and lesbians from marrying each other. They want to do that so much that they filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court that they should continue to be able to do so. In it, they make an "originalist" argument that if the Constitution is read just as its drafters understood it, gays can be discriminated against because women can be discriminated against. Mark Joseph Stern at Slate has all the crazy.

Here’s the gist of South Carolina’s fascinatingly sexist argument. The state wants to prove that the 14th Amendment—which guarantees "equal protection of the laws" to every "person"—was not intended to displace state marriage laws. And what did those laws look like at the time? One major feature: In many states, married women were not permitted to own property or enter into contracts and had no legal existence apart from their husbands. According to South Carolina, the framers of the 14th Amendment explicitly preserved the rights of states to deprive married women of the ability to function independently from her husband. This right to deprive married women of basic liberties, South Carolina argues, is enshrined in the 10th Amendment and is not at all undercut by the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equality.

Were SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) to agree with this brief, not only would gays become the subjects of continued discrimination, but also, "barefoot and pregnant" laws would sweep those states, where Republicans have complete control.

From The New Yorker: Hillary Clinton has followed up the official announcement of her candidacy with a new campaign ad featuring nothing but kittens.

The sixty-second spot stars an assortment of kittens—tabbies, calicoes, Siamese, and a dozen other breeds—in a variety of adorable vignettes.

At various points in the advertisement, the kittens are shown playing in a sock drawer, tangled up in yarn, and chasing a duckling.

Clinton herself appears only in the final seconds of the ad, saying merely, “Hi. I’m Hillary.”

Andy, I certainly hope my kitty cousins are not exploited in such a shameful manner. Wouldn’t it be better to portray the kittens using Republicans as a cat box? I might get in on that action myself!!

From NY Times: One by one, four former Blackwater security contractors wearing blue jumpsuits and leg irons stood before a federal judge on Monday and spoke publicly for the first time since a deadly 2007 shooting in Iraq.

The men had been among several private American security guards who fired into Baghdad’s crowded Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007, and last October they were convicted of killing 14 unarmed Iraqis in what prosecutors called a wartime atrocity. Yet on Monday, as they awaited sentences that they knew would send them to prison for most if not all of their lives, they defiantly asserted their innocence…

…The judge, Royce C. Lamberth, strongly disagreed, sentencing Mr. Slatten to life in prison and handing 30-year sentences to the three others.

My only regret is that the top war criminals, Bush and Cheney, were not sentenced with them.

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Apr 132015
 

Now that I’ve finished my personal taxes, I get to do the same for my volunteer group, which involves far less money, but far more paperwork.  I should have done al this a month ago, but took sick right before receiving the reporting forms.  Therefore, today’s articles involve minimal research.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:34 (average 6:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The two major political parties’ unconscionable waste of money officially commences this weekend, as Democrats and Republicans will soon begin spending an estimated five billion dollars of their corporate puppet masters’ assets in an unquenchable pursuit of power.

The billions, which could be spent rebuilding the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, improving schools, or reducing the scourge of malaria in Africa, will instead be squandered in a heinous free-for-all of slander and personal destruction, alienating voters as never before.

The media will inevitably focus on the personalities of the bloated roster of narcissists lusting after the White House, but scant attention will be paid to the Wall Street bankers, industrial polluters, and casino magnates whose grip on American democracy will remain vise-like…

Andy forgot the satire. Everything here is factual.

From Daily Kos: A recurrent fear heard by the Christian right is if gay people are widely accepted, those who disapprove of homosexuality will be shunned and treated just like racists!

See talking point #4 copied directly from National Organization for Marriage:

“If courts rule that same-sex marriage is a civil right, then, people like you and me who believe children need moms and dads will be treated like bigots and racists.”

This classic is over two years old, but it turned out to be quite correct. Those who hate gays and those who hate blacks are treated exactly alike. They are embraced and supported by the Republican Party.

From Upworthy: Is your community thinking about opening its doors to fracking? Check out this video for some images that might make that decision crystal clear.

 

This says what needs saying!

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