Jun 242016
 

I had a relatively quiet day doing a few loads of laundry.  Lucia called early this morning to cancel our session so time opened up.  The babes spent the day sleeping and trying to follow me to the laundry in the basement.  They are not allowed down there because they won't help folding and they leave fur all over the clean laundry.  The weekend looks quiet too.

Short Takes

The New Yorker — Across the United Kingdom on Friday, Britons mourned their long-cherished right to claim that Americans were significantly dumber than they are.

Luxuriating in the superiority of their intellect over Americans’ has long been a favorite pastime in Britain, surpassing in popularity such games as cricket, darts, and snooker.

But, according to Alistair Dorrinson, a pub owner in North London, British voters have done irreparable damage to the “most enjoyable sport this nation has ever known: namely, treating Americans like idiots.”

“When our countrymen cast their votes yesterday, they didn’t realize they were destroying the most precious leisure activity this nation has ever known,” he said. “Wankers.”

In the face of this startling display of national idiocy, Dorrinson still mustered some of the resilience for which the British people are known. “This is a dark day,” he said. “But I hold out hope that, come November, Americans could become dumber than us once more.”

Oh Andy!  And here I thought that English football (soccer) was the most precious leisure activity.  Although now that I think about it, football is a calling . . . almost a religion!  Let's hope that the final British wish does not come true.

Alternet — In a stunning and historic move, citizens of the United Kingdom voted Thursday to leave the European Union—a decision colloquially dubbed the "Brexit"—making the U.K. the first country to voluntarily withdraw from the 28-member political and economic bloc.

The vote is seen as a referendum on globalization, combining the economic impact of EU trade regulations with the fearful refrain about immigration, which, for many pro-Brexiters, is bolstered by the Schengen visa agreement that allows those who have gained entry to an EU member state to move freely among other EU countries. Supporters of the Brexit cited the EU's onerous regulations, dissatisfaction with Britain's recovery after the 2008 recession and concerns over immigrant access to Britain's strained resources as their top reasons for leaving.  …

Brexit by age

For Britons, those perhaps most impacted by the Brexit vote are the people who wanted it the least (a trend paralleled in the United States as young voters overwhelmingly declare their hatred of Trump's nationalistic bloviating). An incredible majority of younger voters opted to stay in the EU. Among 18- to 24-year-olds, 75 percent voted to remain, according to a YouGov poll, as did a majority of voters aged 25 to 49.

I have seen a number of petitions asking the British government to allow 16  and 17 year olds to vote in the referendum.  The younger groups of voters are the ones that will have to deal with the results of leaving the EU.  In a Think Progress article which I read earlier, those most affected by the Brexit decision will be the working class.  Yet it is to those same people that the leave side sold the idea of increasing fortunes after leaving the EU.

"Ultimately, the British economy has suffered alongside much of the E.U. over the course of the past few years, and those most affected have been blue collar workers. The 2008 financial crisis dealt a hard blow to working families, who still earn £40 less per week than they did before the crash. They have also faced growing obstacles to higher education and increasing challenges when eyeing upward mobility. Questions about the impact of globalization, single markets, and inequality are all fair and long overdue — but so far, it’s clear that Brexit was marketed to voters as something it is not."

Another point it made was that the leaders of the leave side, like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson, are wealthy individuals, not working class.  The article is well worth reading.

Think Progress — As House Democrats fed up with Congress’ lack of response to America’s gun violence epidemic continued their #NoBillNoBreak sit-in into the wee hours of Wednesday night, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) came down to the House floor to confront them about what he perceives to be the real problem.

“We are talking about radical Islam! Radical Islam killed these people!” Gohmert shouted  …

Orlando aside, many recent mass shootings haven't involved Islam at all. In fact, a recent study found that Americans are seven times more likely to be killed by a right-wing extremist than they are by a Muslim terrorist.

Thursday morning, Gohmert went on Fox News to talk about the House floor confrontation. Instead of discussing the role he believes radical Islam plays in American gun violence, he decried gun free zones and immigration, saying, "If this administration would protect us from people coming in, then we wouldn't have to worry" as much about terrorism. (None of the nearly 800,000 refugees settled in the United States since September 11, 2001 has been involved in plotting a credible terrorist attack.)

Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!     Barf Bag Alert!           

I had originally thought to include this video in a dedicated story about gun control but given the fast moving events this week, I'll forego that article and put it here.  Sam Bee is always good to watch.  If you want to read the base article see Politico.

Why is it that Americans are so obsessed with guns?  After all the shootings such as Colorado, Orlando and Sandy Hook, just to name three of the many, there have been calls for action.  But lawmakers seem to be paralysed by fear of the NRA or their vision is clouded by other special interests and their money.  I watch with dismay as common sense gun control laws are tossed aside in favour of anyone having a gun at any time . . . or at least that's how it seems to this Canuck.  According to Mass Shooting Tracker, there have been 295 deaths and 707 wounded in US mass shootings thus far in 2016.  Do you think there is a problem here?  In Canada, where gun laws are stricter, a Conservative MP wants to see AR-15s removed from the restricted class of weapons.  Total lunacy!

My UniverseThis was a gift from the Napster (Lona) today.  These guys are just so cute! . . . and they remind me of how my 3 often sleep, although without the plant.  Thanks Lona!

batch_of_catnaps_zpszdm5op8k

 

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Jun 242016
 

It has been a relatively quiet day.  I overdid things yesterday as far as my knee goes and so spent the night in some pain courtesy of swelling.  Now things are good after staying with my leg elevated much of today.  And thanks to Lona for the nap!  It came in handy today.  My second ESL student made me an Iranian dish for dinner yesterday — an excellent stew-like dinner of lamb, leeks, spinach, onion, red beans and dried lemons served over saffron rice.  I had some last night and the remainder tonight.  It was soooooooo good!  Tomorrow I will see little Simon while I work with Lucia, his mother.

Short Takes

Alternet — The Court’s 4-4 ruling, which will elevate the issue of immigration reform and the need to fill a high court vacancy on the presidential campaign trail, came as a simple nine-word sentence: “The [lower-court] judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.”

With that split, the controlling law is a November 2015 decision of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which covers Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas, and ruled against the administration. That ruling was from a judge who showed hostility to the White House's executive orders and the Justice Department's defense, according to legal scholars.  …

The case centered on the program known as Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA. After years of lobbying from pro-immigrant activists, President Obama created the program by executive order in November 2014.

Texas and 25 other states, all led by Republican governors, immediately challenged the program—even though the percentage of undocumented immigrants affected was the same as under executive orders issued by former Republican presidents George H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan.

This isn't the first decision, nor the last, to be rendered as what I will call a non decision.  It is past time that the Senate undertake confirmation hearings for Judge Merrick Garland to bring SCOTUS to full strength and thereby avoid split decisions.  Of course that is no guarantee that the court would rule in favour of the government.  At least this decision does not set a precedent.

CBC — Britain entered uncharted waters Friday after the country voted to leave the European Union, according to a projection by all main U.K. broadcasters. The decision shatters the stability of the project in continental unity forged after the Second World War in hopes of making future conflicts impossible.

The decision raises the likelihood of years of negotiations over trade, business and political links with what will become a 27-nation bloc. In essence the vote marks the start — rather than the end — of a process that could take decades to unwind.

Results released early Friday show the Leave side prevailed 52 per cent to 48 per cent in Thursday's vote as tallied by British broadcasters, with a Remain win a mathematical impossibility.

The vote had a turnout of 72 per cent of the more than 46 million registered voters.

The vote is in and Britons have elected to leave the EU under article 50.  It won't be a quick exit.  Markets have already reacted with a decline in stocks and the value of the pound.  The effects will be felt to varying degrees globally.  There may also be ramifications for NATO and consequences for dealing with Russia.  I guess it is a wait and see for now.

Rawstory — Rep. Alan Grayson (D-WI) ripped House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) for dismissing Democrats’ sit-in protest as “a publicity stunt.”

“To people who don’t know how to legislate, any effort looks like a publicity stunt,” Grayson said in a brief interview with TMZ. “That doesn’t make it so.”

Grayson was part of the group of Democratic legislators who sat on the House floor while calling for a vote on a measure that would expand background checks on gun sales, as well as a proposal to bar anyone on the federal “no fly” list from being able to buy a firearm.

Ryan responded by calling the protest “nothing more than a publicity stunt” and adding, “This is not about a solution to a problem. This is about trying to get attention." 

Note: Rep Alan Grayson is (D-FL) not Wisconsin.  I sent a correction in to the publisher.

I'll say it again, compare the Dem sit-in against the Republican government shutdown.  Shame on Lyin' Ryan for calling the sit-in a publicity stunt when his own party shut down the government for their own petty reasons, reasons not rooted in the public good.

My Universe

In our house, bananas are highly prized edibles by the four leggers, my cats.

 

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Jun 232016
 

It is late, very late, and I am just finishing off the Open Thread for today.  And yes, my computer is still acting up, although either I am becoming accustomed to its antics, or it isn't happening as much.  It has been a very busy day with 2.5 hours of physio and an extended teaching session helping my student ready herself for an English test on Friday.  It has rained a bit late this afternoon but we are scheduled for thunder storms tonight and Thursday.  Last week we were told that our local reservoirs were at 91% of capacity and that the snow pack had not made it down from the mountains yet.  We are looking good for water this year but we still have water restrictions in place.  Summer is here and it is a long time until the cooler temperatures of autumn.

Jig Zone Puzzle

Today’s took me 3:50 (average 5:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes

The New Yorker In what some are calling a sign of its desperation to raise cash, the Presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump is auctioning off New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the popular e-commerce site eBay, campaign officials have confirmed.

Christie, who is described on the site as being in lightly used but good condition, is believed to be the first sitting governor ever to be auctioned on the Internet.

According to the description of Christie on eBay, the governor can perform a full range of escort duties and has “extensive experience in chauffeuring, door-opening, umbrella-holding, reflexive clapping, and soothing end-of-the-day foot massages.”

Speaking at Trump Tower, in Manhattan, the presumptive Republican nominee said that he was still considering financing his general-election campaign himself, but he added, “First I wanted to see what I could get for Chris.”

I think Drumpf is in for a surprise — Christie is damaged goods and not likely to bring in much even from the staunchest Republicans!

Daily Kos — Georgia Rep. Rep. John Lewis, the heart, the soul of congressional Democrats, is leading his colleagues in a sit-in for a vote on gun safety legislation. You won't see it televised, because the Republicans controlling the House also control the cameras. C-SPAN, however, is replaying the speeches of Democrats leading up to the action.

Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, who led the talking filibuster to force the votes in the Senate earlier this week is on the House floor in solidarity.

 

This courtesy of Raw Story

As I travelled about today, I kept hearing news of the Democratic sit-in in the House of Representatives over bringing gun control bills up for a vote.  The Republicans, who control the House, attempted to bring order but ended up shutting off the cameras and calling a recess.(Raw Story)  According to a story in Politico, when Paul Ryan slammed his gavel, Democrats started chanting.  Members of the public in the gallery joined Democrats in the chanting.  According to some sources, 80% of Americans favour some common sense gun control measures but Republicans continue to obstruct.  The people's House?

CBC — Contagious cancers are a scary idea to begin with, but scientists have made some startling new discoveries about them – they are likely more common in nature than originally thought, and some can even spread between species.

A new study has found a contagious, leukemia-like disease appears to be widespread among shellfish with hinged shells, called bivalves, such as clams, mussels and cockles. And, for the first time, researchers have found evidence of the cancer spreading from one species to another.

Spanish scientists collected cockles (Cerastoderma edule) in the ria of Arousa in Galicia, Spain. Contagious leukemia was found in cockles, mussels and golden carpet shell clams.

Mussels living off the coast of British Columbia, along with cockles and golden carpet shell clams in Spain, are all prone to the contagious cancer, similar to one that has devastated soft-shell clam farming operations in P.E.I., the Canadian, U.S. and Spanish scientists reported Wednesday in Nature.

"It may be more widespread in nature than we know," said Jim Sherry, an Environment Canada scientist based in Burlington, Ont., who co-authored the study.

Because cancers originate from the mutated cells of an individual and are genetically similar to that individual, genetic analysis of the cancer cells allows scientists to figure out their origin.

I thought it would be appropriate to have a short break from US politics — one can only take so much Drumpf!  This contagious cancer  crossing between species is interesting, and presents the possibilities of cancer cell transfer with other species.

My Universe — OK, so I figured I'd have to give some page time to dawgs!  From Petcha.com

The dogs take turns scoring the ice and making it hail all over the kitchen floor. The video is called Ice Cube Jackpot, and that’s exactly what it looks like.

 

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Jun 212016
 

Sam Bee knows how to bring the orange out in today's US politics. 

On "Full Frontal" Monday night, Samantha Bee pointed out that the GOP made the vaguest of efforts toward becoming a more racially inclusive party after Obama’s second win. As of late, though, Republican presidential nominee and “orange supremacist” Donald Trump has pretty much put the kibosh on that (super weak and hardly sincere) outreach plan.

Bee showed a few clips of Trump speaking after the Orlando mass shooting, during which he went full-throttle with the nativist, paranoid, anti-immigration, Islamaphobic nonsense his base loves so much.

“Let me see now,” said Bee, checking off a list of hateful code-words Trump rattled off. “Papers, blood-sucking, undeserving people, ban—oh dang! If only he’d said purity, I would’ve won Gestapo Bingo.”

From Alternet

Does Sam hit the mark or what.?

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Jun 212016
 

I hope you all saw TomCat's Personal Update which he posted here and to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/527046926/3994080

Today has been another difficult computer day and I might yet commit computercide!  I was typing away and suddenly everything since my previous save disappeared.  This is so very annoying!  We have been having a lot of rain of late, including earlier today.  In Dawson Creek which is in northern BC and where I lived from 1983 to 1987, they declared a state of emergency after receiving over 100 ml of rain in one day.  That may not sound like a lot, but it washed out roads and bridges in this rural community.  Tomorrow I have physio and teaching so I will be very late in posting.

Jig Zone Puzzle

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes

Alternet — A new report by Politico’s Ben White reveals major donors to Hillary Clinton’s campaign may revoke their support of the candidate if she chooses Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren as her running mate for the general election.

Several donors, interviewed under the condition of anonymity, told Politico that Clinton’s Wall Street base would “leave her” if she picks Warren. “They would literally just say, ‘We have no qualms with you moving left, we understand all the things you’ve had to do because of Bernie Sanders, but if you are going there with Warren, we just can’t trust you, you’ve killed it,’” one donor said.

I was one that said a few years ago that I'd like to see Elizabeth Warren run for POTUS in 2016.  But now, I see things differently.  Even having Warren as VP would tend to muzzle her, making her impotent at what she does best.  The reaction of some of Clinton's Wall Street donors shows just how tenuous Clinton's hold on Wall Street could be.

Think Progress — A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that internet providers must abide by the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality regulations, which prohibit them from blocking or slowing broadband connections, and providing special access through paid fast lanes.

The White House-backed net neutrality rules issued last year came with a promise to treat all internet access equally. But those rules, and how the FCC justified them, drew major criticism from Republicans and broadband companies.

Very good news!  However the decision does not prevent future challenges.  And I'm sure that the telecoms will be biting at the bit to overturn that decision supported by their Republican servants.

Huffington Post — Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump on Tuesday questioned the faith of Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama, insinuating that neither may really be a Christian.

He told a group of evangelical leaders that he doesn’t believe there is enough public information about Clinton’s religious beliefs.

“She’s been in the public eye for years and years, and yet there’s no, nothing out there. There’s like nothing out there,” he said. “It’s going to be an extension of Obama, but it’s going to be worse, because with Obama you had to have your guard up. With Hillary you don’t and it’s going to be worse.”

Drumpf is at it again! . . . or should that be still?  When did a religious test become necessary for the right to hold public office?  There is nothing in the Constitution about it.  If we equate a religious test with a poll tax, then the 24th amendment certainly covers voters, but what about aspirants?  Additionally, the US was not created as a Christian nation.  The founding fathers left Europe, particulary England, because of religious strife.  They would not set the new nation up for the types of wars and battles that they left behind.  Drumpf needs to "put a sock in it"!  Drumpf might want to consider his own position before throwing mud.

Some Drumpf humour from the pages of Huffington Post.  See more at the end of the article above.

The artist TABBY has dropped several Trump-inspired stencils across Vienna in recent weeks. "Trump is everything that's right and wrong with America and the world," TABBY told The Huffington Post. "He's the American Dream of being super wealthy and saying what you want, while being totally out of touch with reality."

TABBY says "Don't Feed The Trolls," also in Vienna, was created because the GOP front-runner can "say anything and the more that people get angry and talk about him because of it, the more known and stronger he becomes."

My Universe —

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Jun 202016
 

Well it has been a while since I posted and my laptop is acting up thereby taking me longer . . . and resulting in an incomplete post.  It has been very busy lately.  Teaching progresses and little Simon is a little monkey as usual.  Last Friday, he learned "ABCDE" as I was doing flashcards with Lucia.  At church he learned AMEN so says the word often.  My brother and his wife will be travelling from Toronto to Vancouver to board a cruise to Alaska.  They will come out 2 days early to see mother whom they have not seen since 2013.  Her condition will be a real shock.  I saw my mother last night and spent almost 3 hours brushing her hair.  At almost 88 years, she has had quantity of life so now my goal is strictly quality and brushing her hair fills the bill.  My furbabes always send a message to Nana — meow, meow, meow! — which makes her smile.  As many will know, TomCat's surgery was successful.  He posted a brief statement which I will post over to Care2 so everyone will know.

Jig Zone Puzzle

Today’s took me 3:47 (average 5:27).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes

NY Times — It was April 1990, and Mr. Trump was officially opening his third gambling resort in Atlantic City, the biggest project of his career: the, and $1 billion Trump Taj Mahal.

“It’s truly going to be an incredible place,” he told reporters. “We’re calling it the eighth wonder of the world.”  …

Then Mr. Trump bought Hilton’s nearly completed casino in the marina district for $320 million, calling it Trump Castle. His company issued $352 million in bonds to finish construction and open the casino, and tacked on an additional $32 million. That casino opened in 1985 and competed directly against his partner’s first casino, Harrah’s Marina.

The following year, Harrah’s scuttled its partnership with Mr. Trump and sold him its stake in Trump Plaza for more than $220 million.

Next Mr. Trump went after the biggest casino of all, the Taj Mahal, which Resorts International, builder of Atlantic City’s first casino, was erecting. After buying a controlling interest in Resorts from the estate of its founder, Mr. Trump battled the talk show host Merv Griffin for control of the company.

In the end, Mr. Griffin got the company, while Mr. Trump won the still-unfinished Taj Mahal.

Even before the Taj opened, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission was concerned about the casino’s viability given its rapidly escalating costs and considered revoking its operating license. Regulators closely monitored the financial performance of the Trump casinos and the developer’s empire.

Mr. Trump told the commission in 1988 that he could rein in expenses, because conventional lenders were lining up to give him money at low interest rates. He said he abhorred junk bonds, which were then popular, because they carried a bigger risk of default and thus came with higher interest rates.

Within months, he reversed course, issuing $675 million worth of junk bonds, with a 14 percent interest rate, to finish construction and get the Taj open. In recent interviews, Mr. Trump has said that with each financing he routinely took money out of the casinos to invest in Manhattan real estate. Total debt on the Taj exceeded $820 million.

Less than two weeks before the casino opened, Marvin B. Roffman, a casino analyst at Janney Montgomery Scott, an investment firm based in Philadelphia, told The Wall Street Journal that the Taj would need to reap $1.3 million a day just to make its interest payments, a sum no casino had ever achieved.

“The market just isn’t there,” Mr. Roffman told The Journal.

Mr. Trump retaliated, demanding that Janney Montgomery Scott fire Mr. Roffman. It did.

“It was doomed way before the start,” said W. Bucky Howard, who was promoted by Mr. Trump to president of the Taj five days after it opened, in a recent interview. “I told him it was going to fail. The Taj was underfunded.”

Almost immediately, Mr. Trump had trouble making the debt payments on the Taj and his other casinos. It was also clear that the Taj was cannibalizing the Castle and the Plaza, whose combined gambling revenues dropped by $58 million the year it opened.

Video from Democracy Now.  Click on the link for a transcript.

While I was out at physio, I heard a report, or perhaps it would be better put as a prediction, that a Trump presidency would be a disaster for the US economy and indeed the global economy.  Think Progress has an excellent article on this prediction. 

The heart of Trump’s economic proposals come down to tax, trade, and immigration policy. He’s put forward a tax package that experts have found would cost $9.5 trillion and hand nearly all of the benefits to the wealthiest. He’s promised to levy huge tariffs on imports from countries like China and Mexico and he’s railed against trade deals. And he says he’ll deport 11 million undocumented immigrants while building a wall along the Mexican border.

If all of that were to happen just how Trump proposes it, Moody’s analysis finds that the American economy would dip into a recession beginning in 2018 that would last through 2020 — longer than the Great Recession. It estimates there would be 3.5 million fewer jobs and the unemployment rate would rise to a peak of 7.4 percent, as opposed to the current rate of 4.7.

This post is a detailed article by Russ Buettner and Charles V Bagli outlining Trump's "business acumen", something touted by his supporters as being very important to them.  If they only knew that Trump, in venture capital fashion, transferred debt to his properties, cheated contractors, investors and employees, and then declared bankruptcy, not once but four times.  He made millions while he left others holding the bag.  Is this the kind of performance that supporters want?  Unfortunately, his supporters won't understand what he has done or will do.  They believe and like his "straight talk", but it is all show and no go.  It is pure unadulterated bullshit!

CBC — Donald Trump suggested Sunday that the United States should "seriously" consider profiling Muslims inside the country as a terrorism-fighting tool, the latest example of the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting increasingly backing positions that could single out a group based on their religion.

"Well I think profiling is something that we're going to have to start thinking about as a country," Trump said in an interview broadcast Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation. "It's not the worst thing to do."

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee added that he "hate(s) the concept of profiling, but we have to use common sense" over "political correctness."

And the hate just keeps on!  The Republicans allowed this travesty to happen so now they must own it even if it means the destruction of the party.  We can hope can't we?

Think Progress — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday that police can still arrest someone for an outstanding warrant even if they had no right to stop the person in the first place.  …

“This Court has given officers an array of instruments to probe and examine you,” she writes. “This Court has allowed an officer to stop you for whatever reason he wants — so long as he can point to a pretextual justification after the fact. That justification must provide specific reasons why the officer suspected you were breaking the law, but it may factor in your ethnicity, where you live, what you were wearing, and how you behaved. The officer does not even need to know which law you might have broken so long as he can later point to any possible infraction — even one that is minor, unrelated, or ambiguous.”

IMO, Sotomayor is correct and the Injustices, particularly Teabag Thomas, are wrong.  The 4th amendment to the US Constitution reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

What part of "unreasonable searches and seizures" doesn't Teabag Thomas understand?  I suppose he would argue that it is all in the meaning of the word "unreasonable", which I have to admit is rather subjective.  I wonder what would happen if a cranky old whirte man were stopped and searched.  Can we please have a fair impartial justice to replace Scalia!

My Universe —

 

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Jun 192016
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how despicable InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

0619lewisSterling public servant in Florida’s “inspirational message.”

Hours after the Orlando shooting, Florida Assistant State Attorney Kenneth Lewis found it appropriate to post this on Facebook:

“The entire city should be leveled. It is void of a single redeeming quality. It is a melting pot of 3rd world miscreants and ghetto thugs. It is void of culture. If you live down there you do it at your own risk and at your own peril. If you go down there after dark there is seriously something wrong with you.”

He was promptly suspended, apparently for violating the esteemed office’s social media policy, not for being an incredibly insensitive, dumb a**hole.

Notably, Lewis went to “sensitivity training” after a deeply offensive post two years ago on Mother’s Day, in which he suggested “crack hoes” should get their “tubes tied” and other warm and fuzzy thoughts he termed “inspirational.”

Might want to hire new sensitivity trainers.

From <Alternet>

How typically Republican!!  This is just the fifth of five listed despicable Republican moments from last week alone!  Click through for the other five.

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Jun 172016
 

It’s almost time for me to leave for my blood test.  There probably won’t be time to post this before I return this afternoon.

I’m back.  I’m done.  I’m so tired I hear Lona calling from my pillow,.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:02 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Fox’s Geraldo Rivera Shames Orlando Victims For Not Fighting Back

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Isn’t it just like the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, to blame the victims?

From Daily Kos: Though the outcomes of the legislative votes are far from sure, the filibuster begun by Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has succeeded in bringing Republicans to the table for a pair of votes.

Senate Democrats ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster early Thursday after Republican Party leaders reportedly agreed to allow votes on two proposed gun control measures.

The votes will supposedly include a proposal to provide universal background checks, and another to prevent those on the no-fly list from obtaining weapons. The second bill apparently addresses the no-fly list, not the much larger terrorist watch list. These are both positions that have wide, bipartisan support in the public, but which Republicans have either blocked from a vote or voted down in the past.

As wonderful as this sounds, Senate Republicans caved in, while secure in the knowledge that House Republicans will never allow either bill to come to the floor.

From NY Times: A member of Parliament was gunned down outside a library in northern England as she was wrapping up a meeting with constituents on Thursday afternoon, a rare act of gun violence in a nation that strictly regulates firearms.

The lawmaker, Jo Cox, 41, who was considered a rising star in the opposition Labour Party and a passionate advocate for victims of the civil war in Syria, was shot in Birstall, a town about six miles southwest of the city of Leeds. A 77-year-old man was slightly injured in the attack.

A 52-year-old man was arrested in Ms. Cox’s killing, and the police said they were not looking for any other suspects. No motive has been established, officials said.

The suspect was identified in the British news media as Thomas Mair.

On Thursday night, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported on its website that Mr. Mair was a “dedicated supporter” of the National Alliance, a neo-Nazi organization in the United States. The center, which tracks hate groups, said Mr. Mair bought a manual from the alliance in 1999 that included instructions on how to build a pistol. It based its reporting on invoices it said it had obtained, copies of which were published on its website…

Please offer Prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones of Jo Cox, who may well be the first UK victim of terrorism by a Republican-supporting fascist.

Cartoon:

0617Cartoon

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Jun 152016
 

RepublicansOnParade

Here is the eighty-sixth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honorees are Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian Talibangelists Don and Mary Colbert. . They are so honored for their so-called prophetic endorsement of Rump Dump Trump and proclamation that Hillary Clinton is the Anti-Christ.

0615don-mary-colbertWith Trump at the top of the Republican ticket, evangelicals are really having to step up the rhetoric in order to cover their candidate’s deficiencies. A few are stepping up to the task.

Snake oil salesmen Don and Mary Colbert appeared on Jim Bakker’s television show to warn viewers about Hillary Clinton and her inheritance of President Obama’s title as the antiChrist.

"That spirit of Antichrist is majorly on one of these candidates, and that’s Hillary Clinton," warned Colbert. "Jesus even said there will be many Antichrists in the world; well that spirit of Antichrist is on our president right now. So as Christians, we have got to turn out and vote. If we don’t turn out and vote, we are electing Hillary Clinton."

From <Crooks and Liars>

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Note the snake-oil they’re selling on display. 

However irrational, they are likely to quoted as a credible source by a very small minority on the left, possibly even by some who are atheists.

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Jun 122016
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how insane InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

0612reublican-jesus
Good Christian Republican senator just has a teeny tiny request for God.

Boy, those evangelicals sure do know how to have a good yuck-fest, with biblical jokes and everything! But we’re pretty sure Jesus Christ would not have been amused by the prayer offered by Republican Senator Frank Perdue, who made a hilarious joke about Obama at this week’s Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Road to Majority conference.

“I think we are called to pray,” the junior senator from Georgia told those who were gathered. “I think we are called to pray for our country, our leaders, and yes, even Barack Obama."

Specifically, he suggested, “we should pray like Psalms 108:9 [sic] says. It says ‘May his days be few.’"

Oh, titter, titter, chuckle, chuckle went the crowd.

Yes, it is the Christian thing, to pray for the death of a president whose politics you don’t like.

The cited psalm goes:

Let his days be few; Let another take his office.
Let his children be fatherless And his wife a widow.
Let his children wander about and beg; And let them seek sustenance far from their ruined homes.
Let the creditor seize all that he has, And let strangers plunder the product of his labor.

Yes, Republicans have plunder in mind.

From <Alternet>

The author made a typo in the verse.  It’s actually 109:8

Barf Bag Alert!!

This pseudo-Christian purveyor of hatred is only the second of five listed insane Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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