Jun 282015
 

I may be starting to feel slightly better.  This run of extreme heat is coupled with high humidity that really sets off my COPD, so it’s hard to tell where how much of my severe congestion and discomfort belongs to each.  Even with A/C, weather like this cam set off my COPD sufficiently to prevent sleep.  Today, I’m adding an all Andy Short Takes section, and trying not to doze.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:45 (average 4:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need two (maybe just one) new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Many Americans are tired of explaining things to idiots, particularly when the things in question are so painfully obvious, a new poll indicates.

According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, while millions have been vexed for some time by their failure to explain incredibly basic information to dolts, that frustration has now reached a breaking point.

Of the many obvious things that people are sick and tired of trying to get through the skulls of stupid people, the fact that climate change will cause catastrophic habitat destruction and devastating extinctions tops the list, with a majority saying that they will no longer bother trying to explain this to cretins.

Coming in a close second, statistical proof that gun control has reduced gun deaths in countries around the world is something that a significant number of those polled have given up attempting to break down for morons.

Finally, a majority said that trying to make idiots understand why a flag that symbolizes bigotry and hatred has no business flying over a state capitol only makes the person attempting to explain this want to put his or her fist through a wall.

Andy is right. Republicans, lost in the insane throes of TEAbuggery, will never understand.

From The New Yorker: The number of official candidates for the 2016 Republican Presidential nomination has risen to thirteen, according to officials at the Centers for Disease Control.

The count had stood at twelve since the announcement last week by the reality-show host Donald Trump, leading many at the C.D.C. to privately hope that the epidemic was losing steam.

But with the entry of Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal into the race on Wednesday, the C.D.C. was forced to hold a press conference to announce the worrisome news that the number of candidates had increased yet again.

Actually, Andy, there are 95.

From The New Yorker: The Supreme Court’s decision to preserve Obamacare subsidies has drawn sharp rebukes from Republican Presidential hopefuls, who warn that the victory for health care might eventually pave the way for similar advances in education and the environment.

“The Supreme Court has decided, apparently, that every American should have access to quality health care,” said Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas). “What if it decided to say the same thing about education? I don’t mean to be an alarmist but, after today, I believe that anything is possible.”

Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) also blasted the Court, telling reporters that “a government that protects health care is one small, dangerous step away from protecting the environment.”

“The nightmare that I have long feared is now suddenly upon us,” Paul said. “Mark my words, we are on a slippery slope toward clean air and water.”

On the campaign trail in Iowa, the former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee raised another doomsday scenario, telling his audience, “If the Court thinks people should be allowed to see a doctor when they want, they probably also think that people should be able to marry anyone they want. My friends, that is not what God intended when He created America.”

Looks like Andy is back to reporting news. It they aren’t actually saying those things, they are thinking them.

Cartoon:

0628Cartoon

Share
Jun 202015
 

Yesterday I completed all the little tasks that I have been putting off and paid bills.  I also cleaned my email boxes, a herculean task in itself, as I typically receive over 300 items on any given day.  The plan for the weekend is to blog, relax and do some solar basking.  Maybe I’ll even feel rested by Monday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:12 (average 4:45).  To di it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The Presidential candidate Donald Trump blasted Pope Francis on Friday, arguing that the Pontiff’s recent call to save the planet had largely overshadowed his “far more reckless” call to feed the poor.

“Look, if the Pope wants to spout off about climate change, that’s his prerogative, I guess,” Trump said. “But when he starts talking about feeding the poor, that is totally dangerous and irresponsible.”

“Every other candidate is ripping the Pope’s comments about climate change,” he added. “I’m the only one in this race who seems to have noticed his truly crazy talk about feeding people.”

Trump said that, as President, it would be his job not to feed the poor “but to keep them from getting into the country in the first place.”

“We need to build a wall they’re too hungry to climb,” he said.

Andy has found the place where Trump’s soul should be. But Republicans have ass-souls instead of souls.  Trump must think that Jesus fed 5,000 billionaires.

From Daily Kos: On Wednesday night, nine African-Americans were gunned down by a vile, racist killer as they attended a Bible study class at Charleston’s historic Emanuel AME church. And now Charles Cotton, a "dedicated" board member of the NRA—perhaps tiring of his political soul mates’ attempts to shift the blame from racism to religious intolerance for the mass murder—decided to weigh in with his own explanation of who was really to blame for this horrific act of domestic terrorism: One of the murder victims. In a discussion on TexasCHLforum, it is pointed out that one of the victims was State Senator Clementa Pinckney. Said Cotton of the murdered public servant and pastor of the church:

And he voted against concealed-carry. Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead. Innocent people died because of his position on a political issue.

I think I’m going to puke.

From Crooks and Liars: I’ll bet this is not that unusual. What’s unusual, I think, is that the student finally refused to comply:

A former Delaware State University volleyball player is now suing her old school for allegedly serving up religious discrimination.

Natalia Mendieta claims she lost her athletic scholarship after she refused to attend church or participate in Bible studies – optional activities that were reportedly made mandatory by her coach.

Had this been a religious institution or religious college, this would not be an issue. The focus of this lawsuit is on a taxpayer supported state university.

The allegation is that a newly hired coach violated a student’s first amendment rights.

The coach should be immediately fired. However, I worry that, if she is, she might end up in Congress.

Cartoon:

0620Cartoon

Share
Jun 172015
 

I’m feeling quite tired after last night’s meeting, although I did sleep well.  Today is a grocery delivery day, and tomorrow, I have my first appointment with an Orthopedist to treat my rotator cuff.  I will be gone for at least five hours, so expect no more than a Personal Update, please.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:39 (average 5:46).  To do it. click here.  Hoe did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From NPR: This afternoon, the U.S. House voted 236 to 189 to give itself six more weeks to sort out tangled legislation involving trade.

The House Republican leaders prodded their members to approve a rule change that extends time for a second vote on one part of a trade package. This portion, called Trade Adjustment Assistance, failed on Friday.

That outcome tripped up the entire package, which also would have granted Trade Promotion Authority to the president. Now lawmakers have until July 30 — just before the August recess — to try to find compromises to pass the entire package and get it to President Obama for his signature.

When that second vote might happen is far from clear at this point. Democrats were virtually united in opposing the six-week extension to reconsider the matter, even though that’s what Obama wanted. [emphasis added]

This is a bad development. It gives Republicans six more weeks to figure out how to pass Trade Adjustment Assistance, while assuring their rabid InsaniTEA base that they will actually assist billionaires only.

From Daily Kos: Did I say advocate? I meant nutjob.

An Iowa mall cop — with a Facebook account loaded with open-carry and right-wing memes and photos of multiple weapons — is under arrest for shooting and killing a fellow mall worker because she filed sexual harassment complaints against him.

– – –

KCJJ reports that a cousin of Farrington’s said that Kozak had been harassing the victim for at least six weeks and that she had complained to his superiors about unwanted advances he had made toward her.

So he shoots her 3 times in the back.

She was 20 years old.

Another day, another Republican Ammosexual.

From The New Yorker: A spokesman for ISIS said on Tuesday that its leaders were “genuinely confused” by the abundant hotel analogies in Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s announcement speech, acknowledging that they were having a difficult time understanding how his colorful anecdotes about running a hotel empire translated into a strategy to defeat the terror group.

In a prepared statement, the ISIS spokesman said that Trump’s pronouncements about such hotel-industry concerns as air-conditioning and renting the proper-sized ballroom were creating confusion within ISIS, as the group’s leaders struggled to determine how any of the examples applied to them.

“We’re having a very hard time making sense of the speech,” the ISIS spokesman said. “He talked about defeating us, but it seemed like what he was saying was pretty specific to hotels.”

Minutes after the statement was released, Trump responded that the fact that he had confused ISIS “means I’m already winning the war against it.”

Somehow I think Andy knows better. I’m sure Hairball will offer ISIS leaders a suite in the Trump Towers. I want to see his birth certificate. It’s not about where he was born. It’s about whether he was born.

Cartoon:

0617Cartoon

How little things change, in some ways.

Share
Jun 162015
 

It’s early on a very busy day.  I may be intermittent for the rest of the week.  Tonight I have a meeting g to attend.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.  Thursday I have an Orthopedist appointment.  To make matters worse, for the next two to three weeks, a contractor will be cleaning, repairing and pressure washing the exterior of my building.  It’s been ten tears.  Their equipment makes a major racket and they work from dawn to sunset.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:55 (average 6:41).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Geneticists at the University of Minnesota believe that they have isolated the gene that makes some people much more prone to failure than others.

While the research is preliminary, the scientists said that they were able to successfully identify the failure gene by studying the DNA of males in two generations of the same American family.

“If we have indeed isolated the gene that makes people fail—and we believe we have—all of the subjects in our study are carriers,” said Davis Logsdon, the geneticist who supervised the research.

According to Logsdon, those who carry the gene for failure have “absolutely no idea that they have it” and thus project the confidence and self-assurance of people whose genetic material does not make them likely to wreak havoc on a massive scale.

“Not only does this gene cause people to fail, it makes them fail to understand that they have failed,” he said. “It is a really bad gene.”

Bush Bag Alert!!

0616borowitz-failure-690

Hell Andy! I’ve been telling folks that for years. I call it DEVOLUTION.

From Alternet:

Saying the 2016 Republican presidential contest was “wide open” and launching his first attacks on Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration, Jeb Bush confirmed Monday what everybody has long known: he is a candidate for president…

…Let’s go through eight highlights from his speech, ranging from the obvious and absurd to what will be recurring themes in the 2016 campaign.

1. Anyone think he’s not a Bush? His new bumper sticker is “Jeb!” That’s what filled the posters at Monday’s kickoff. There’s no mention of his last name, which is a silly but conscious political marketing decision. Jeb clearly wants to distinguish himself from his older brother, George W., whose presidency was filled with many disasters. But Bush is part of a political dynasty and that includes certain family traits and views. For example, Jeb recently said he would have invaded Iraq as W. did after 9/11.

Strike Three etches his sketch as well as Little Lord Willard did. Click through for the other seven.

From Think Progress:

Another attempt to clean up the environment, another House hearing on why we shouldn’t do that.

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) acting assistant administrator Janet McCabe defended the updated ground-level ozone rule at a House energy and commerce subcommittee hearing. The proposed rule aims to further limit ground-level ozone pollution, which is the main ingredient of smog.

The EPA has proposed lowering the national air quality standards for ground-level ozone from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 65 or 70 ppb — a change the agency says will save millions of people from the effects of poor air quality. The agency reviewed thousands of new scientific studies on health and air quality to come up with the new guidelines, which are expected to be finalized in the fall. By law, the EPA is required to reevaluate the ozone rule every five years. The House has already scheduled two more hearings on the rule this week.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans were roundly unhappy with rule. Here are five arguments McCabe came up against.

It’s not fair.

Several lawmakers went with a favorite childhood argument: that the rule isn’t fair. Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) managed to work in a reference to the Congressional softball game, likening improved public health regulations to moving the foul lines at a recreational event.

“Had we started the game, and then halfway through the game, the number of strikes changed or in the second inning, the number of outs changed… that would make for a very frustrating, impossible game, don’t you agree?” Shimkus said.

The problem with the argument is that rules for games are, in fact, made up, whereas the EPA is seeking to put new standards in place based on the best science available.

Or, as McCabe said, “Ozone is not about rules. This is about science.”

Republicans have a BS in Bullshitology! Click through for the other four.

Cartoon:

0616Cartoon

Share
Jun 042015
 

After 6 hours of heavy cleaning and everything else, I’m completely pooped, so I’ll be brief.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 5:17).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Some are calling Robert Minjarez Jr. the Latino Eric Garner. Sadly, the comparison is uncanny—including the failure of the system to indict the officers who killed Minjarez.

For about five minutes, the report said, Minjarez is heard on dashcam audio screaming, "Help! Help! Help me! Get off! You’re going to kill me!" The report also quotes him as saying "You’re going to suffocate…" and "I can’t breathe" three times. He cried and screamed, his voice becoming "increasingly muffled, hoarse and strained" while repeating "I can’t breathe," the report added.

About five minutes after he was restrained, the report said, Minjarez groaned and gurgled, and an officer said, "You got 265 pounds on your back, you’re not going anywhere." The suspect groaned "and no more sounds are heard from him," the report said.

The report from the Lafayette, Louisiana, coroner lists the cause of death as "compressional asphyxia due to face-down physical restraint by law enforcement officers."

As was the case with the officers who killed Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, the grand jury proceedings in this case are sealed and prosecutors are not obligated to say a single word.

Republican Florida cops are making sure that Latinos get their fair share of police murder. They are equal-opportunity racist Republican criminals.

From Upworthy: FIFA World Cup gets red-carded by John Oliver for the death, slavery, and bribery things.

 

The US guy did have one thing going for him. He put his cat up in Trump Towers. Convict the guy, but reserve funds to keep the cat where he is.

From The New Yorker: Just hours after the United States Senate voted to reverse key provisions of the Patriot Act, former President George W. Bush said that he regretted that the law had been partially repealed before he ever got a chance to read it.

“At the time when it was being passed and whatnot, people around the White House were saying it was a really good law,” Bush said at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. “I remember saying to myself, ‘I really need to read that.’ ”

Bush said that right after he signed the Patriot Act into law, “I wrote on a little Post-It note, ‘READ PATRIOT ACT.’ So it was definitely something I was meaning to do. But I guess it was one of those things I never did get around to.”

Now that the law has been partially reversed, Bush said, “I suppose it’s a little late in the game to start reading it,” but he indicated that he still “might check it out just to see what all the fuss was about.”

I trust Andy realizes that no Senator or Representatives has ever read it either.

Cartoon:

0604Cartoon

Share
Jun 022015
 

I’m waiting for my helper friend to arrive and do some heavy duty cleaning.  I’m still feeling quite worn out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 5:09).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual housing report has been released and it once again shows the dramatic divide between average housing prices and income in the United States.

In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment in the U.S., renters need to earn a wage of $19.35 per hour. In 13 states and the District of Columbia they need to earn more than $20 per hour. The Housing Wage for a two-bedroom unit is more than two and a half times the federal minimum wage of $7.25, and $4 more than the estimated average wage of $15.16 earned by renters nationwide.

Take a look at the NLIHC maps to see how your state stacks up:

0602-2Bedroom

It’s more than just one wage slave can afford.

From Alternet: On Sunday, the NSA briefly stopped the bulk collection of metadata after certain provisions of the Patriot Act temporary expired.

Freed from the fetters of NSA eavesdropping, Jon Stewart took advantage of his free speech rights, gleefully whipping out a landline and shouting, "Penis penis penis!"

 

To Jon’s clarion call, there can only be one valid response, "Vagina, vagina, vagina!"

From Raw Story: Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee joked that he wished he was young again — so he could pretend to be transgender and watch girls shower in locker rooms.

Who says Upchuck Huck was joking? It’s a rare moment, when a Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian Presidential candidate tells the truth like that!

Cartoon:

0602Cartoon

Share
Jun 012015
 

Another month has arrived and it promises to be a very busy one.  I’ve decided not to do a Monthly Report for May.  Activity was a little down, which was not surprising between volunteer work and medical mayhem.  I’m still feeling very tired out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:15 (average 4:19).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: A mere 240 people live in the rural northeast Iowa town of Kensett, so when more than 300 crowded into the community center on Saturday night to hear Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, many driving 50 miles, the cellphones of Democratic leaders statewide began to buzz…

…The first evidence that Mrs. Clinton could face a credible challenge in the Iowa presidential caucuses appeared late last week in the form of overflow crowds at Mr. Sanders’s first swing through that state since declaring his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. He drew 700 people to an event on Thursday night in Davenport, for instance — the largest rally in the state for any single candidate this campaign season, and far more than the 50 people who attended a rally there on Saturday with former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland.

Considering Iowa’s record of picking losers, I’m not sure whether this is a good sign for Bernie or not.

From The New Yorker: The National Security Agency is compensating for the expiration of its power to collect the American people’s personal information by logging on to Facebook, the agency confirmed on Monday.

The director of the N.S.A., Admiral Michael S. Rogers, said that when parts of the Patriot Act expired at midnight on Sunday, intelligence analysts immediately stopped collecting mountains of phone metadata and started reading billions of Facebook updates instead.

“From a surveillance point of view, the transition has been seamless,” Rogers said.

While the N.S.A. has monitored Facebook in the past, it is now spending twenty-four hours a day sifting through billions of baby pictures, pet videos, and photographs of recently enjoyed food to detect possible threats to the United States.

“Those status updates contain everything we want to know,” Rogers said.  “In many cases, a good deal more than we want to know.”

Dang! Andy has documented the death of privacy!!

From Right Wing Watch: Former Pennsylvania senator and GOP presidential hopeful Rick Santorum said yesterday at a campaign stop in Iowa that he worries “about anti-government rhetoric,” according to a local paper and to Washington Post reporter James Hohmann, who tweeted about the remark:

Really? The Santorum we know has spent the entire Obama presidency stoking mistrust of the federal government. Here are just fifteen examples, in no particular order, of Santorum’s anti-government rhetoric in the past few years.

Barf Bag Alert!! Santorum Bag Alert!

 

This article has a bunch of video and audio clips of Rich "Google my name" Santorum spewing anti-government froth. Click through, if you can stomach it.

Cartoon:

0601Cartoon

Share