Apr 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling quite tired.  It’s been a busy day, and I’m up well past my bedtime, waiting for a delivery that cannot be made unless I am up to receive it.  They came two days in a row and could not get in, because the front desk was unattended.  Now they have instructions to call me to let them in.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:54 (average 4:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: With an eye toward a Presidential run in 2016, Rick Perry, the Texas governor, is hoping that a two-pronged strategy of wearing glasses and not speaking will make him appear smarter to voters, aides to the Governor confirmed today.

“After the 2012 Republican primary, we knew that we needed to solve what we called the Governor’s smartness problem,” said Harland Dorrinson, an aide to Perry. “The fix that we came up with was glasses, but, as it turned out, that was only half the solution.”

After outfitting Perry with designer eyewear, aides sent him on the road to reintroduce himself to voters, but the response, Mr. Dorrinson said, was underwhelming: “The problem was, he was still talking.”

A round of focus groups convinced aides that only through a combination of wearing glasses and not emitting any sounds could Perry overcome voters’ initial impressions of him.

He’ll never maintain the silence. Verbal TEAbuggery is an integral part of InsaniTEA.

From Daily Kos:

The Washington Post has published an opinion piece from Justice John Paul Stevens in which he analyzes the history of the second amendment, and recent Supreme Court decisions to support his contention that the interpretation of the Second Amendment advanced by the NRA (and recently accepted by the courts) is contrary to the intent of the framers.   According to Stevens:

For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in United States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.”

When I joined the court in 1975, that holding was generally understood as limiting the scope of the Second Amendment to uses of arms that were related to military activities. During the years when Warren Burger was chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge or justice expressed any doubt about the limited coverage of the amendment, and I cannot recall any judge suggesting that the amendment might place any limit on state authority to do anything.

Excellent piece. Click through for the the rest of what the NRA, The Republican Party, and the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS don’t want you to know.

From NY Times: President Obama announced Thursday that eight million people have signed up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, including what the White House said were a sufficient number of young, healthy adults, a critical milestone that might counter election-year attacks by Republicans on the law’s success and viability.

The total number of enrollees exceeds by a million the target set by the administration for people to buy insurance through government-run health care exchanges. In particular, the number of young people signing up appears to have surged during the final weeks of enrollment.

That does not even count the three million who are receiving healthcare through expanded Medicaid or the three million young people now covered on their parents’ policies. In short, Republicans are trying to take healthcare away from fourteen million people.

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Apr 162014
 

Although I do not always agree with Bill, his sense of humor is so outrageous that it reminds me of my own.  He invariably leaves me in stiches.  Therefore, I bring him to you, whenever I can find him in a video format available to all.

Maher

Last night [Friday], Bill Maher closed with a New Rule explaining just why right-wing radio is so abundant.

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

 

"They don’t want to go to the moon. They want to howl at it!" I could not have said it better.

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Apr 162014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling quite tired, after yesterday’s activities, and groggy, because I just awakened from a nap.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:46 (average 4:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Millions of Americans were in a state of shock this past week after learning that Congress had accomplished something fifty years ago.

Although the incident was widely reported throughout the week, the revelation that Congress had achieved something positive and substantial for the country a half century ago left many incredulous and baffled.

Adding to their disbelief were reports that the accomplishment came as the result of collaboration between a Democrat in the White House and Republicans in Congress.

Making the scenario even more far-fetched, politicians of both parties came to an agreement without the interference of corporate paymasters operating them like puppets.

Dang, Andy!! I’m not sure whether to believe that or not!! ;-)

From Upworthy: There are so many gems in this, but you’re probably busy, so I’m highlighting the best two minutes of this smackdown. (But realtalk, the whole 15-minute speech is the best part.)

 

Nuke those filibastards!! Click through for more.

From NY Times: The insurance expansion under the Affordable Care Act will cost $1.383 trillion over the next decade, more than $100 billion less than previous forecasts, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday.

The nonpartisan budget office’s report, an update to projections from February, shows the law costing less than in previous estimates in part because of the broad and persistent slowdown in the growth of health care costs. The news might come as welcome to Democrats on Capitol Hill and in the White House who are struggling to defend the law in an election year.

How many of you remember all the Republican claims that health care costs would skyrocket?

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Apr 112014
 

If you are will be voting in a Democratic area of a Republican controlled state, you can count on experiencing long lines with hours of waiting.  Republicans are doing everything they can to keep you from voting.  However, I came across a new Republican tactic so egregious that it boggles the mind.

GOPClosetDuring the 2012 presidential election, voters reportedly waited on line for upwards of six hours. That wait alone is enough to deter would-be voters from going to the polls. But now residents in Florida’s most populous county will have another disincentive: they won’t be able to go to the bathroom.

Earlier this year, the Miami-Dade County Elections Department quietly implemented a policy to close the bathrooms at all polling facilities, according to disability rights lawyer Marc Dubin. Dubin said the policy change was in “direct response” to an inquiry to the Elections Department about whether they had assessed accessibility of polling place bathrooms to those with disabilities.

“I was expecting them to say either yes we have or yes we will,” Dubin said.

Instead, he received a written response announcing that the county would close all restrooms at polling places “to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not treated unfairly,” a January email stated. “[T]he Department’s policy is not to permit access to restrooms at polling sites on election days,” Assistant County Attorney Shanika Graves said in a Feb. 14 email. Elections Department officials did not immediately respond to ThinkProgress inquiries.

Dubin said he was “shocked” at this response, and not just because it suppresses the vote for everybody. The Americans with Disabilities Act also requires entities to make “reasonable accommodations” to those with disabilities. For those with a number of conditions, including diabetics and those taking diuretics, closing the restroom will make standing in that line impossible, and thus discriminate against disabled voters… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Once upon a time, Only the Larry Craig Wing of the Republican Party wanted to get you into the bathroom.  If this spreads, as bad Republican ideas always do, Republicans will be trying to get you to get you to into the bathroom to get you out of the voting lines.

Here’s where to go on Election Day.  Go on a Republican. ;-)

0411PeeOnGOP

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Apr 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling quite groggy, having just awakened from a much needed cat nap.  I did research early this morning, so I have articles now.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:46 (average 5:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A new poll released today shows that an overwhelming majority of Americans would support the idea of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush taking up painting.

According to the poll, which has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points, seventy-four per cent of those surveyed “strongly agreed” with the statement: “Jeb Bush painting would be a really good thing for the United States and also for the rest of the world.”

A spokesman for Mr. Bush said that, as of yet, the former governor had made no decision to start painting but would “try to make up his mind by the end of the year” at the latest.

The last thing the US needs is another "painter” from this Nazi loving family.

From AlternetA new documentary titled “The Principle” is the latest from creationists and geocentrists.  The film perpetuates the long disproven notion that the sun revolves around the Earth. It is narrated by “Star Trek’s” Kate Mulgrew, who starred as Capt. Kathryn Janeway in both “Star Trek: Voyager” and “Star Trek: Nemesis.” From the looks of the trailer, this film is the antithesis of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s scientific look at the universe in “Cosmos.”

The film was funded by the ultra-conservative, ultra-Roman Catholic Robert Sungenis, who also appears in the film. Sungenis is also known for denying the Holocaust, and for his  anti-Semitic articles, which his bishop demanded he stop writing.

According to  Raw Story, the film features several scientists — some without permission.

Click through for more. Sometimes you have to shake your head in disbelief that people could be so stupid. Many of the scientists quoted were taken out of context to represent the opposite of what the scientists actually believe. This ruins Voyager for me.

From Crooks and Liars: Pat Robertson is either drinking heavily before each broadcast, swilling a ton of prescription pills or hitting his head with a hammer. Because if not, he’s a very sick man and needs a long rest someplace. [BARF BAG ALERT!!]

 

In context, Obama was calling for religious tolerance and respect, the proper demonstration of authentic Christianity, and the polar opposite of the deception, hatred, and veiled calls for violence from this Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian.

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In spite of this convention signed by the US, the USSR and seventy other countries, Republicans still sold biological weapons technology to Saddam Hussein.

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Apr 082014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and missing sleep because they are upgrading my building’s main entrance directly below my window.  The racket is horrid.  I guess this will be going on for about three weeks, but when they’re done, there will be much better disabled access, a plus for me.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:40).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A riveting scene unfolded in Congress today as a tearful Speaker John Boehner took to the floor of the House to tell his colleagues, “I don’t want to live in a world where seven million people get affordable health care.”

Tears streaming down his cheeks, Rep. Boehner appeared unable to maintain his composure as he delivered a speech interrupted by blubbering and sharp intakes of breath.

“What kind of a world is it where anyone can go on the Internet and get health care they can afford?” he said. “Not a world I’d care to live in, or leave to my children.”

In his satire, Andy has captured the Republican dream, a world where the labor of the people goes to fulfill the whims of the 1%, not to meet people’s needs.

From Daily Kos: Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

The Southern Strategy is a strategy for gaining political power by exploiting the greatest number of ethnic prejudices. Kevin Philips, Republican and Nixon campaign strategist, speaking about this strategy in a 1970 interview with the New York Times:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

This strategy has been used since President Johnson and Democrats in Congress passed the Civil Rights Act to build the Republican party.

Examples of this strategy were evident as recently as 2008 and 2012 as Republicans took up their assault on Medicaid, Social Security, labor unions, and Obamacare – programs which, though they benefit more white seniors, retirees, women, and children, have been sold to many Americans as handouts to lazy, undeserving blacks and minorities.

Yet you never hear the "liberal media" (at least since the 1970 NY Times) talking about the use of this strategy. At least not like this:

"P (President) emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." – H.R. Haldeman’s diary, President Richard Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff

This is just one of 15 things everyone would know, if there were a liberal media. Click through for the other 14.

From NY Times: The Senate is expected to easily approve legislation Monday restoring unemployment benefits to nearly three million people, throwing the bill to a divided House where Republicans favor starkly different approaches to the issue.

Six Senate Republicans joined all 55 Democrats last week to end debate on legislation that retroactively restores benefits cut off Dec. 28 and extends them through June 1, clearing the way for passage Monday.

Seven House Republicans from high-unemployment regions or swing districts plan to send the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio, a letter coinciding with Senate passage to urge him to take up the Senate bill or a similar measure.

Other House Republicans are pressing to attach to the Senate bill what they call job-creation measures: building the transcontinental Keystone XL pipeline; consolidating job training programs; or raising employer-mandated health care coverage to employees who work 40 hours a week, rather than 30, as written in President Obama’s health care law.

But many House Republicans oppose passing the unemployment benefits under any circumstances, arguing that such “emergency” benefits are no longer needed nearly six years after they were first extended at the outset of the recession.

First group of Republicans are ones in didtricts that are noy Gerrymandered to the hilt. They fear for their jobs now, but they will join the second and third group as soon as the elections are over. Under no circumstances should Democrats cave-in to the Republican sedition of the second group.

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Apr 072014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and feeling as though I have  a hangover from getting sleep.  I’m heading into another busy week, ending with a Board Meeting at my place on Saturday.  Between now and then, I need to do taxes for myself and for my volunteer organization.  A good pest control company can handle Norway Rats and roof rats, but God save us from bureaucrats!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took us 3:38 (average 4:31).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Hat-Tip to JL A at Care2): My Cat’s Number One Priority is His Own Needs.

Geoffrey has a routine. As cats go, and I have had many, he’s the most routine-driven feline I have ever met. He’s deeply conservative that way. If I’m not up by 7am, he sees to it that I am and then flumpity flump down the stairs to the door. Out he goes just long enough for me to freshen his food and water, which I have paid for. He doesn’t care if I have to pee first, or forgot to put out the garbage on garbage day, he has his routine and nobody is going to change it. The next thing he does is come in and eat that food, that FREE food, and he’s smug and entitled when he does it. He then makes a commentary on his human companion:

The author on to to describe a list of reasons why he knows his cat is a Republican. Click through. How horrid! Now as attached as I am to my own kitty dingles, I really hate to wish the big snip on any cat. However, unless yours is a DemoCAT, take it to the vet to be neutered!!

From The New Yorker: By a five-to-four decision, the United States Supreme Court today defended the right of the wealthiest Americans to own the United States government.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts summarized the rationale behind the Court’s decision: “In recent years, this Court has done its level best to remove any barriers preventing the wealthiest in our nation from owning our government outright. And while the few barriers that remained were flimsy at best, it was high time that they be shredded as well.”

Citing the United States Constitution, Justice Roberts wrote, “Our founding fathers created the most magnificent democracy in human history. Now, thanks to this decision, the dream of owning that democracy is a reality.”

This time, Andy’s satire is so accurate that tears are a more appropriate response than laughter.

From NY Times: After months of wincing in the face of negative ads funded by the industrialists David and Charles Koch, Democrats believe they have finally found a way to fight back: attacking the brothers’ sprawling business conglomerate as callous and indifferent to the lives of ordinary people while pursuing profit and power.

By drawing public attention to layoffs by subsidiaries of Koch Industries across the country — a chemical plant in North Carolina, an oil refinery in Alaska, a lumber operation in Arkansas — Democrats are seeking to make villains of the reclusive billionaires, whose political organizations have spent more than $30 million on ads so far to help Republicans win control of the Senate.

Portraying the Koch Brothers as villains is functionally equivalent to portraying The College of Cardinals as Catholics, or portraying bears as woods-shitters.

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