Apr 282016
 

I'm back again.  I have my course in liberal biblical studies tonight which is interesting but somewhat time intensive — 4 hours of homework in addition to 3 hours of class time plus dinner each week.  The course goes for another four weeks after tonight.  Tomorrow is teaching at Lucia's house, and then Sunday is the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories and a visit with my mother.  Once the course is done, I'll have a bit more time.

Short Takes

NY Times — Senator Ted Cruz of Texas often casts himself as the rightful heir to Ronald Reagan’s mantle of conservatism, and on Wednesday he took a page directly out of the former president’s playbook.

By tapping Carly Fiorina to be his running mate, Mr. Cruz becomes the first presidential candidate since Reagan to name a vice-presidential pick without having the nomination locked up. In 1976, Reagan teamed up with Richard S. Schweiker, a Pennsylvania senator, in a desperate attempt to grab the nomination from President Gerald R. Ford as it was slipping away. At that point, Mr. Ford’s delegate lead had become virtually insurmountable.

Rachel had this to say about Cruz's announcement.

Carly Fiorina??  The word 'dafted' comes to mind as a description for Cruz.  He is trying to reignite his campaign but he may just blow it up!  After all, this tactic didn't work so well for the patron saint of Republicans, Saint Ronnie Reagan in 1978.  He lost to Gerald Ford who then lost the general election to Jimmy Carter.

Daily Beast — As the self-proclaimed Islamic State trumpets its global terrorist campaign, U.S. special operations forces have quietly killed more than three dozen key ISIS operatives blamed for plotting deadly attacks in Europe and beyond.

Defense officials tell The Daily Beast that U.S. special operators have killed 40 “external operations leaders, planners, and facilitators” blamed for instigating, plotting, or funding ISIS’s attacks from Brussels and Paris to Egypt and Africa.

That’s less than half the overall number of ISIS targets that special operators have taken off the battlefield, one official explained, including top leaders like purported ISIS second-in-command Haji Imam, killed in March.

The previously unpublished number provides a rare glimpse into the U.S. counterterrorist mission that is woven into overall coalition efforts to defeat ISIS, and which is credited with crippling ISIS efforts to recruit foreign fighters and carry out more plots like the deadly assault on Paris that killed 130 last fall.

As proof of the campaign’s overall success, Pentagon officials this week said the influx of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria had dropped from up to 2,000 a month last year to just 200, and the overall size of ISIS from a high estimate of 33,000 a year ago to between 19,000 to 25,000 fighters.

I spoke with an Iraqi woman yesterday who said that she hoped Trump would become POTUS for only one reason . . . he'd go after ISIS.  Well I don't support her choice of Trump and told her so.  But no worries, she lives in Canada. She is sick of the destruction of her native country by ISIS and is quick to say that ISIS does not believe in Islam. They are about power and greed, nothing more.

Alternet — White, who’d been sickened by the debilitating, irreversible and often fatal disease at work in a foundry, watched in disgust as Republicans attempted to overturn the rule that the Labor Department said could save more than 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis annually.

Last week, GOP House members conducted a hearing to further their case against saving those lives. They did that just days before Workers Memorial Day, April 28, when organized labor renews its solemn pledge to strive for workplace safety rules and formally commemorates those who have died on the job in the previous year.

The totals aren’t in for 2015 yet, but the year before, 4,679 workers died on the job. That’s nearly 90 a week, 13 a day, seven days a week. Twenty-eight members of my own union, the USW, died on the job since Workers Memorial Day 2015.

But the GOP position is clear. Republicans will do whatever it takes to ensure that corporations can sicken and kill workers with impunity. (emphasis added)  If the argument is that workers’ lives and lungs must be sacrificed to ensure that foundries and fracking operations and construction companies can make bigger profits by releasing silica particles under 40-year-old standards now considered dangerous, then the GOP will take the side of CEOs who value workers as trivial.

This one image from TC says it all:

RepubliCare

My UniverseThere is nothing cuter than baby animals.  Be prepared for the Aww factor!  Here are just a few but click through for the rest of them.

The smiley bunch . . .

baby giraffe

baby sloth

The hungriest . . . 

baby hippo

The cuddliest . . .   ?

baby alligator

The most timid . . . 

baby foxes

Aw shucks . . .

baby duck

Y'all come back now, ya hear!

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Apr 272016
 

There has been and is so much talk by Drumpf about building a wall, a BIG wall, on the US – Mexico border.  Here is John Oliver on Drumpf's southern wall.

And at one time, Scott Walker floated the not so new idea of building a wall on the Canada – US border, which Drumpf momentarily supported.  This 09/2011 Huffington Post article should make you wonder.  Walker was just the most recent iteration of that debate.

"The United States is looking at building fences along the border with Canada to help keep out terrorists and other criminals."

This is all in support of national security.  But I would rather think of it as being in support of national xenophobia.

But what is the Canada – US border?  It really is quite funny and interesting.

"The Canada–United States border (FrenchFrontière entre le Canada et les États-Unis), officially known as theInternational Boundary, is the longest international border in the world. It is shared between Canada and the United States of America, the second and fourth largest countries by area respectively. The terrestrial boundary (including small portions of maritime boundaries on the AtlanticPacific, and Arctic coasts, as well as the Great Lakes) is 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi) long, of which 2,475 kilometres (1,538 mi) is with Alaska."  — Wikipedia

The line between Canada and the United States is renowned for being the longest undefended border in the world but, as Canadian photographer Andreas Rutkauskas discovered on an epic road trip, there's more to it than meets the eye.  

"My goal was to present the border as something which is bucolic and porous and that's not necessarily the way it is," he said. "Most of the photographs in the project, they look benign and innocent as if you could just walk from one nation to another. But that's really not the case."

Before or after almost every shot Rutkauskas had an encounter with someone from U.S. Border Patrol, the RCMP or the Canada Border Services Agency.

Some were helpful, even moving their cars so he could get the shot he wanted, and giving him recommendations on where to go next. They made it clear, however, what he could and could not take pictures of because of security restrictions.

With others, he had "heated conversations" and those came when Rutkauskas stood in "no man's land."

Inserted from CBC

The most eastern border crossing is  Lubec – Campobello Border Crossing connecting the towns of Lubec, Maine and Welshpool, New Brunswick.

LubecMaine FDRBridge.jpg

While the main western crossing is The Peace Arch crossing at Surrey, BC and Blaine, WA, there is a small crossing at Point Roberts, WA — Point Roberts being a "mistake" made by the Border Commission.  And of course there are crossings with BC – Alaska and the Yukon – Alaska.

And then there are the towns of Stanstead, Que., and Derby Line, Vermont.  The border runs through these two adjoined communities, sometimes even through buildings.

A thick, white line separating Canada and the U.S. runs between the towns. Not only does it appear on streets and properties, but it also runs through some buildings, like the Haskell Free Library and Opera House (left), which was intentionally built on the boundary in 1904 so that both Canadians and Americans could use it.  From Canadian Geographic

Borderline-landscape

Andreas Rutkauskas shot this photo of the Okanogan National Forest at the Washington State-British Columbia border on his cross-country journey of the border, which he said brought his childhood geography lessons to life. (Andreas Rutkauskas)

Borderline-x-ray

At this border crossing between Emerson, Man., and Pembina, N.D., X-ray imaging scanners are used to inspect railway cars. (Andreas Rutkauskas)

Please check out the photos in the CBC article.  There are some magnificent shots.

Will this border, the 49th parallel, endure?

America's less-famous first Constitution included an invitation to Canada to join the U.S. It remained open from 1781 until the U.S. Constitution everyone knows was finalized in 1789. A 2004 poll from Leger marketing found just 7 per cent of Canadians were even vaguely interested in merging with the U.S. So obviously, Canada made the right call. America didn't learn its lesson.  Huffington :Post

Probably.

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Apr 272016
 

So it has been almost 2 weeks since I last published an article, not because I did not want to, but because I have been very, very busy with all sorts of activities.  Something had to give and it was publishing.  Last Sunday during a church service, five of us were commissioned and anointed into the ministry of pastoral care having finished our training and police background checks.  Of course I have been teaching and attending physio.  Last Friday, I looked after Lucia's two youngest while Lucia took some "me time".  I was totally wasted by the afternoon when Lucia returned.  What's more, I managed to escape a nuclear diaper!  I'll do the same next week so Lucia can be with Loliyo at a dance competition.  There are also routine things like doctor's and dentist's appointments, and the most important, snuggles with the fur babies.  I still have to do the taxes but since neither of us owe any, it isn't a big worry.

Short Takes

The Nation — Global warming is, in the end, not about the noisy political battles here on the planet’s surface. It actually happens in constant, silent interactions in the atmosphere, where the molecular structure of certain gases traps heat that would otherwise radiate back out to space. If you get the chemistry wrong, it doesn’t matter how many landmark climate agreements you sign or how many speeches you give. And it appears the United States may have gotten the chemistry wrong. Really wrong.  

In February, Harvard researchers published an explosive paper in Geophysical Research Letters. Using satellite data and ground observations, they concluded that the nation as a whole is leaking methane in massive quantities. Between 2002 and 2014, the data showed that US methane emissions increased by more than 30 percent, accounting for 30 to 60 percent of an enormous spike in methane in the entire planet’s atmosphere.  

These leaks are big enough to wipe out a large share of the gains from the Obama administration’s work on climate change—all those closed coal mines and fuel-efficient cars. In fact, it’s even possible that America’s contribution to global warming increased during the Obama years. The methane story is utterly at odds with what we’ve been telling ourselves, not to mention what we’ve been telling the rest of the planet. It undercuts the promises we made at the climate talks in Paris. It’s a disaster—and one that seems set to spread.

The Obama administration, to its credit, seems to be waking up to the problem. Over the winter, the EPA began to revise its methane calculations, and in early March, the United States reached an agreement with Canada to begin the arduous task of stanching some of the leaks from all that new gas infrastructure. But none of this gets to the core problem, which is the rapid spread of fracking. Carbon dioxide is driving the great warming of the planet, but CO2 isn’t doing it alone. It’s time to take methane seriously.

MSNBCI found this interesting segment of The Rachel Maddow Show that showcases some of the Republican bigotry, racism and total lack of sensitivity to history.

Politico — Republicans over the past seven years have come to view Barack Obama not just as an ideological enemy but as a “dictator”—an accusation hurled most recently by both Chris Christie and Glenn Beck—a president who has unconstitutionally abused his executive power with an array of unilateral actions.

But Republicans are hardly passive victims of an overweening executive; they are, in fact, paying for their own unilateral surrender of power. The GOP-dominated Congress has sought to weaken and undermine Obama and instead has achieved the opposite. Unable to pass significant legislation after the Affordable Care Act, the Obama White House filled the vacuum by creative use of executive authority, setting a potentially risky precedent for the future balance between the branches but spurred, ironically, by the very opponents who were trying to contain him.

Is this where we get to say to Republicans "You reap what you sow!"?  Personally, I do not see Obama as a dictator, but rather a man trapped by the incompetence and beligerence of political foes . . . foes willing to ruin the country in order to stick to their idiotological principles.

My Universe — 20 Reasons You Need A Cat In Your Life

You may view cats as evil creatures, and you may not be entirely wrong with that assumption. Still, you may not realize that owning a cat actually has a variety of benefits for you and your health. These are just a few reasons why you should open your home to a cat.

BTW, people don't own cats.  Dogs have owners.  Cats have staff!

3. They Do Not Need Baths

Giving cats a bath is not a fun experience. Fortunately, unlike dogs, cats really do not need baths. They are huge neat freaks that frequently groom themselves, making bathing unnecessary. This also goes back to the whole “low maintenance thing”. If you do dare to bath a cat, be sure to wear complete padding because this can get pretty messy though the results are pretty hilarious.

7. They Make Fantastic Alarm Clocks

When cats want their breakfast, they want it now. They do not care if you are sleeping, they will wake you up. In fact, they do not even need to have breakfast for an excuse to wake you up. They will wake you up for whatever reason they have decided to wake you up and you will have to deal with that.

11. They Will Keep You Grounded

All of those jokes about how cats think humans are their slaves? These are completely accurate. Cats believe that you are merely there to serve them and their needs. This will help put you in your place whenever you feel that you are better than you are.

Click through for the other 17 reasons you need at least one cat in your life.

 

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Apr 242016
 

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.

Was904598

Pat Boone has completely lost touch with reality.

In case you were wondering what singer and actor Pat Boone has been doing lately, the answer is losing his mind. The celebrity-turned-conservative activist has made it his mission in life to destroy a very great evil in the world: Saturday Night Live.

Now, we’re the first to admit that Saturday Night Live has not been up to snuff for a while in the comedy department. Kate McKinnon is great and does a pretty good Hillary, but hasn’t Kenan Thompson reached his sell-by date yet? Weekend Update is getting better, but still pretty meh.

But it turns out Boone’s criticism is just a tad harsher than the show’s failure to tickle his funny bone. After viewing a recent skit about how "God is definitely gay," Boone called the show “blasphemy,” and said the cast is “Satanic” and “bound for hell.”

Nothing unhinged about that.

Here’s more from RightWingWatch:

In an interview [pseudo-liberal delinked] last night with Alan Colmes, Boone said that “there should be regulations that prohibit blasphemy” and that the Federal Communications Commission should punish networks that air such blasphemous programming.

When Colmes asked if he would “like the FCC to declare that a show like Saturday Night Live or any other show can’t do that kind of humor,” Boone agreed: “You cannot do blasphemy, yes.”

Boone, insisting [pseudo-liberal delinked] that “at least 90 percent of the American public” wants this kind of censorship, specifically said that SNL or any program that calls “God by some profane name” would be in violation of such a blasphemy restriction.

Boone spent the rest of his interview time wondering why Donald Trump is not still calling for President Obama’s birth certificate.

Inserted from <Alternet>

This is the clip that brought Boon into a Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian (the total opposite of authentic Christian) seizure.

You’ve seen it here before.  It is hilarious!  It does not blaspheme God in any way.  It simply ridicules those, who claim falsely that they represent God.

This example is only the fifth of five despicable Republican moments listed from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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Apr 212016
 

I slept very poorly last night.  I had a lot on my mind.  I scheduled my visit with Casey Eye Institute on 5/9.  Dr. Skalet is an Ocular Oncologist, and she deals exclusively with eye cancer.  Megan’s office called.  they want me to get an MRI on my hands and see a Rheumatoid Arthritis Specialist.  One might think I already had enough on my plate.  Then, just as I was about to go to bed, my ISP went down.  I don’t know why, but every time I dozed off, I woke up again and felt compelled to see, if I was reconnected.  That went on until my Internet came  back early this morning.  Tomorrow I have PT with Courtney.  Rain is forecast, so I have to take the lift bus.  I may have no more than a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

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

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Chris Sevier is suing the Harris County, Texas district clerk, Governor Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton for not allowing him the right to marry his Mac laptop. He’s going to have to get in line for Mr. Paxton, who is busy trying to dodge fraud charges. Why would you want to marry your laptop?

He is trying to prove that, essentially, marriage between a same-sex couple can be equated to marriage between a man and a machine. He is trying to prove that, under Obergefell v. Hodges, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that legalized same-sex marriage, people are now allowed to do morally disgusting things like marry whomever they are attracted to, whether that be inanimate objects or the same gender. Essentially, he is trying to give courts an ultimatum: Agree that this is what they have done and allow him to make vows to a piece of expensive chrome, or, realize that this is morally wrong and undo Obergefell.

It’s interesting that the only people every trying to marry things that are not human—the slippery slope so often referred to by conservatives everywhere—are conservatives themselves.

Dang!! Only a total pervert would want to marry his Mac! Baring teeth smile  Any real red-blooded straight American would only marry a laptop running Windows!! Smile with tongue out

From NY Times: Curt Schilling, a former All-Star pitcher and one of the highest-profile baseball analysts on ESPN, was fired from the network Wednesday, a day after he drew intense criticism for promoting offensive commentary on social media.

Schilling, who had worked for the network since 2010 and most recently offered analysis on “Monday Night Baseball,” was dismissed after sharing a Facebook post this week that appeared to respond to the North Carolina law that bars transgender people from using bathrooms and locker rooms that do not correspond with their birth genders.

The post showed an overweight man wearing a wig and women’s clothing with parts of the T-shirt cut out to expose his breasts. It says: “LET HIM IN! to the restroom with your daughter or else you’re a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving racist bigot who needs to die.”

To that, Schilling added: “A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don’t care what they are, who they sleep with, men’s room was designed for the penis, women’s not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic.”

Kudos to ESPN!!

From Alternet: Wednesday night, Stephen Colbert opened a segment on the New York primary with these words: "Speaking of things money can buy, the 2016 election."

 

He thrashed the TRUSed Uranus quite well!

Cartoon:

0421Cartoon

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Apr 202016
 

Julie just left. and I am a pleased and pristine puddy tat.  She also gets a lot more done than  Lu used to, so I’m thrilled with her.  I have a grocery delivery coping this afternoon, so I’ll get to put everything away.  It’s another hot muggy day, not at all normal for April in Oregon, where April showers bring May rain.

Cartoon:

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

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics:

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

1930

1189

Delegates Won

4051

1428

1151

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

502

38

 

 

District of Columbia

June 14

20 (25)

 

 

Primary

Closed

California

June 7

475 (71)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Montana

June 7

21 (6)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Jersey

June 7

126 (16)

 

 

Primary

Closed

North Dakota

June 7

18 (5)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Mexico

June 7

34 (9)

 

 

Primary

Closed

South Dakota

June 7

20 (5)

 

 

Primary

Semi-open

Puerto Rico

June 5

60 (7)

 

 

Primary

Open

Virgin Islands

June 4

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Oregon

May 17

61 (13)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Kentucky

May 17

55 (5)

 

 

Primary

Closed

West Virginia

May 10

29 (8)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Guam

May 7

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Indiana

May 3

83 (9)

 

 

Primary

Open

Rhode Island

April 26

24 (9)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Pennsylvania

April 26

189 (21)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Delaware

April 26

21 (10)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Connecticut

April 26

55 (15)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Maryland

April 26

95 (23)

 

 

Primary

Closed

New York

April 19

247 (44)

139

106

Primary

Closed

Wyoming

April 9

14 (4)

7

7

Caucus

Closed

Wisconsin

April 5

86 (10)

38

48

Primary

Open

Washington

March 26

101 (17)

9

25

Caucus

Open

Hawaii

March 26

25 (9)

8

17

Caucus

Semi-closed

Alaska

March 26

16 (4)

3

13

Caucus

Closed

Utah

March 22

33 (4)

6

27

Caucus

Semi-open

Idaho

March 22

23 (4)

5

18

Caucus

Open

Arizona

March 22

75 (10)

42

33

Primary

Closed

Ohio

March 15

143 (16)

81

62

Primary

Semi-open

North Carolina

March 15

107 (14)

59

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Missouri

March 15

71 (13)

36

35

Primary

Open

Illinois

March 15

156 (26)

79

77

Primary

Open

Florida

March 15

214 (32)

141

73

Primary

Closed

Northern Marianas

March 12

6 (5)

4

2

N/A

N/A

Michigan

March 8

130 (17)

63

67

Primary

Open

Mississippi

March 8

36 (5)

32

4

Primary

Open

Maine

March 6

25 (5)

9

16

Caucus

Closed

Kansas

March 5

33 (4)

10

23

Caucus

Closed

Nebraska

March 5

25 (5)

10

15

Caucus

Closed

Louisiana

March 5

51 (8)

37

14

Primary

Closed

Virginia

March 1

95 (15)

62

33

Primary

Open

Vermont

March 1

16 (10)

0

16

Primary

Open

Texas

March 1

222 (30)

147

75

Primary

Open

Tennessee

March 1

67 (9)

44

23

Primary

Open

Oklahoma

March 1

38 (4)

17

21

Primary

Semi-closed

Minnesota

March 1

77 (16)

31

46

Caucus

Open

Massachusetts

March 1

91 (25)

46

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Georgia

March 1

102 (14)

73

29

Primary

Open

Democrats Abroad

March 1-8

13 (4)

4

9

Primary

Closed

Colorado

March 1

66 (13)

25

41

Caucus

Closed

Arkansas

March 1

32 (5)

22

10

Primary

Open

American Samoa

March 1

6 (4)

4

2

Caucus

Closed

Alabama

March 1

53 (7)

44

9

Primary

Open

South Carolina

February 27

53 (6)

39

14

Primary

Open

Nevada

February 20

35 (8)

20

15

Caucus

Closed

New Hampshire

February 9

24 (8)

9

15

Primary

Semi-closed

Iowa

February 1

44 (8)

23

21

Caucus

Semi-open

In New York, Hollary posted an impressive 15 point spread. To win, Bernie needs 1193 more delegates. Hillary needs 452. To have the majority of pledged delegates, Bernie needs 875 more. Hillary needs 598 more.

From Daily Kos: Fox and other right-wing outlets have always used certain “go-to" logical fallacies in their ideological arguments: ad hominem, straw man, and non sequitur. (Actually, if you listen to any one of Trump’s speeches, you can usually hear examples of all three in the same speech.) Although the right wing still uses these the most, lately I have noticed the increased use of several uncommon fallacies that are becoming more and more common in conservative circles. Although there are literally hundreds of logical fallacies, I’m just going to focus on these few. Let’s begin …

1. ONUS IMPROBATIONIS (“Burden of disproof”)

This is a type of Ad ignorantiam, which is to claim something is true because it cannot be proven false. What this subcategory refers to is putting the burden on you to disprove their belief. The problem is that this is impossible. Decades ago, my statistics teacher gave me an example that I still remember: the Loch Ness Monster. Even if you somehow managed to drain the entire loch, and had teams of people scouring the ground, would that satisfy the believers? Of course not. They’d argue that the mythical beast just went into hiding, or was transported, or some other such nonsense.

I always think about this fallacy when I hear the Birthers. They are a PERFECT example. No amount of evidence will ever satisfy them: experts, analysis of the document, records, birth announcements in newspapers—nothing. I recalled seeing the segment below years ago and specifically searched for this because I really want you to hear what birther Alan Keyes says immediately after  the host read through ALL of the evidence of Obama’s birth in Hawaii. It starts at the 1:10 mark. He says two words that blew my mind—and prove my point.

I promise it’s worth it:

 

TEAbuggery most foul!! This is the first of several logical fallacies (also called criminal thinking errors in my volunteer work in prison, or InsaniTEA in politics). Click through for the rest.

From The New Yorker: America’s racists, who have long viewed New York with a mixture of hostility, contempt, and fear, are suddenly feeling much more positive about the Empire State a cross-section of racists confirmed on Tuesday night.

In interviews conducted shortly after 9 P.M., racists from coast to coast echoed the opinion of Fresno, California, bigot Harland Dorrinson, who remarked, “You know, maybe New York isn’t such a bad place after all.”

“I always thought that New York seemed like a hellhole to be avoided at all costs,” Dorrinson said. “Now I’m thinking I might want to take the family there on vacation. Maybe even take in a few Broadway shows.”

Andy, most folks don’t realize that less then 10% of New York State residents are registered Republicans. This racist idiot fringe has been getting extra attention, because of the primary,

Cartoon:

0420Cartoon

The birthday of the first modern Republican.

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Apr 192016
 

I’m getting a late start today, because I needed a cat nap, and I had a lot of scheduling to get done.  I’m pleased to announce that the Squatch, Nameless and I have agreed to promote another person to our staff in the position of Author.  I won’t actually come out and say who it is, but our new Author must get confused about whether to plant a bulb or kiss a roo.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:02 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Better than a transcript, here is an actual video of Hillary Clinton giving a speech at the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women: Proving the Case for Women Entrepreneurs dinner. The video was posted October 22, 2014. I’m not sure if this is what Bernie Sanders is demanding (snark), but it does fit the three criteria, yes? Hillary Clinton, Goldman Sachs, and Speeches. This particular Hillary Clinton “unpaid” speech is about the empowerment of women — an issue the former U.S. Secretary of State has made a priority throughout her political career.

To be fair there were two ways this speech did not meet Bernie’s criteria. He wanted the speech to be paid. This was free. He wanted the speech to have been presented behind closed doors. This was not.

From TPM: Rep. Pete King (R-NY) went on a tear against the Republican presidential frontrunners in a blistering Tuesday interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” joking that he would commit suicide if Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) earns the nomination.

“I’m not endorsing Ted Cruz, in case anyone is confused,” King said. “I think I’ll take cyanide if he got the nomination.

Cyanide? He will?!!? Dang!! Maybe there actually is a valid reason to support the TRUSed Uranus!!

From Common Dreams: The U.S. Supreme Court reportedly appeared divided on a challenge to President Barack Obama’s immigration executive actions, as a 90-minute oral argument session wrapped up on Monday afternoon.

The case, brought by 26 Republican-led states and spearheaded by Texas Governor Greg Abbott, concerns two deportation protections that would shield roughly 5 million undocumented parents of American citizens and legal residents, as well as about 100,000 people brought to the U.S. as children.

Now, with only eight members sitting on the panel following the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February, the court could end in a 4-4 deadlock—which would leave in place a previous ruling by a lower court that blocked the plan, without setting a Supreme Court precedent.

This is a case where 4 – 4 equals SCROTUS, (Republican Constitutional VD).

Cartoon:

0419Cartoon

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Apr 172016
 

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 bad InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

0417reublican-jesus

And from the lunatic Christian fringe, this just in.

The mystery of Stonehenge has been solved, at long last. Turns out that giants created by Satan built it.

Yeah, that makes sense.

This exciting revelation—and when we say "revelation" we mean it in the biblical sense—comes courtesy of televangelist Jim Bakker, who hosted one Dennis Lindsay [pseudo-Christian talibangelist delinked]on his program on Wednesday [pseudo-Christian talibangelist delinked] in order to discuss Lindsay’s latest "discovery" in the realm of Creation Science.

So what happened was, Satan made these giants who moved those big ol’ rocks into the structure we now call Stonehenge. That was pretty smart of Satan to create a supersized labor force.

That’s the reasonable part. Here’s how Lindsay explained how the devil wants to destroy God’s creation, Israel, and "contaminate the whole human race," per RightWingWatch:

Satan wants to “have his own seed and make his own family,” Lindsay explained, and so he created a race of giants who would attack Israel.

“He build his little squatter’s hut up there on the Temple Mount, you know that temple, because he knows what the Bible says about that place,” he said. “I weaved through why and what is the evidence for giant beings on this earth. We all know about Stonehenge, right? That’s just one of hundreds and hundreds of gigantic places around the world that testify that some sort of supernatural power or giants were involved in its construction.”

So there you have it. Satan has a "squatter’s hut" and you have Satan’s giants to thank for those all those "gigantic places in the world."…

Inserted from <Alternet>

I have one major bone to pick with this author for calling these nut-jobs “the lunatic Christian fringe”.  They are Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians.  Nothing could be further from authentic Christians.  They are as representative of Christianity as the Daesh is of Islam: not at all!

That said, this is the fifth of five worst Republican moments listed from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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Apr 122016
 

This week is very busy again.  I have at least one event every day, but usually more.  I am trying to ready myself for the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories and raising money for research and programmes.  As in the US, it is tax preparation time so that is on my list to do.  And of course there is spring cleaning . . . always spring cleaning no matter what season it is!

Short Takes 

Politico — Dispirited over a Republican Party primary that has devolved into an ugly, damaging fight, some of the GOP’s biggest financiers are reevaluating whether to invest in the 2016 presidential contest at all.

Among those on the sidelines: Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who hosted the Republican Jewish Coalition’s spring meeting at his Venetian hotel this weekend. His apparent ambivalence about 2016 was shared by many RJC members here. With grave doubts about the viability of the few remaining Republican contenders, many of these Republican donors have decided to sit out the rest of the primary entirely. And while some are reluctantly getting behind a remaining candidate, others are shifting their attention to congressional contests.  …

The jewish community and @RJC honoring the great prime minister of Canada Stephen Harper – great friend of Israel

Photo from Huffington Post

While the RJC spring meeting is traditionally a celebration of Adelson, with politicians of all stripes venturing to the Venetian to pay homage, this year’s was different.

On Thursday evening, Adelson hosted some of the organization’s top officials at his palatial mansion. While former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper discussed how fractured parties can unite, Adelson listened but said little, according to three people who were present. And on Friday, rather than preside over the deliberations, Adelson and his wife, Miriam, departed for a wedding.

The lack of interest is partly rooted in exhaustion. After watching many of the party’s establishment prospects — from Scott Walker to Marco Rubio — go up in flames, many top donors say they’ve simply grown tired of opening their wallets. Some here have given to multiple candidates, only to watch them suffer defeat.

And you thought Canada was nasty refusing to take Cruz back!  Now Adelson is importing Canada's Republican demagogue, Stephen Harper.

Think Progress — Nearly a week after pipeline operator TransCanada shut down a section of its Keystone line over an oil leak, the company reported Thursday thousands of gallons of oil were spilled, not less than 200 as it first said.  …

After the spill was reported earlier this week, environmental groups said Keystone’s spill proves the threat that the Keystone XL expansion would have posed. They also noted that the Keystone pipeline, approved by President George W. Bush in 2008, leaked oil 12 times in its first year of operation. “TransCanada’s Keystone I disaster is a stark reminder that it’s not a question if a pipeline will malfunction, but rather a question of when. This is one of the reasons President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline and it’s why he should reject all dangerous fossil fuel pipeline proposals,” Sierra Club’s Executive Director Michael Brune said in a statement.

Oil transportation largely relies on trains and pipelines. Out of those two, pipelines spill more often than trains, yet train accidents can be deadlier as trains are more likely to explode. U.S. pipelines spilled three times as much crude oil as trains over the period of 2004 to 2012, …

And Trans Canada thinks it is their right to pollute with impunity?  I hope its lawsuit in federal court and their NAFTA challenge fail miserably.

Raw Story — Bill O’Reilly questioned Donald Trump’s ability to provide jobs in African-American communities during an interview on Monday by painting black Americans as being ill-equipped for the labor force.

“How are you going to get jobs for them?” O’Reilly asked. “Many of them are ill-educated and have tattoos on their foreheads, and I hate to be generalized about it but it’s true. If you look at all the educational statistics, how are you going to give jobs to people who aren’t qualified for jobs?”

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

Openly racist comments . . . but that is to be expected from a pair of Republicans!

My Universe — Chilling with some friends!

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Apr 102016
 

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 unhinged InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Glenn Beck celebrates Easter in a very bizarre way.

BeckHatGlenn Beck often seems to mix his biblical metaphors when speaking about his pal Ted Cruz, a man Beck believes has been chosen by God to lead us out of the darkness.

Speaking again about God’s chosen one, Ted, Beck compared the Texas senator to Moses. On Easter. He made this comparison when he talked about sending a sympathetic note to the Cruz family about those nasty tabloid rumors of Ted’s alleged infidelity (the least unlikable thing about him).

"These guys actually believe it like we believe it," Beck said quasi-incoherently, referring to Heidi and Ted Cruz. "Imagine being in a position to where you believe it, you believe the country is at the end, you believe that God is telling you, ‘Step up to the plate.’ You believe that you, just like Moses, may be slow in speech and not the perfect guy, but you know if you get in there, you can actually do something and you’ve tried to stay loyal. Do you know what that life is like for two years of tearing yourself apart, of please Lord, just tell me, just tell me, just tell me, I’ll do it, just tell me. And the burden of I blew it? Oh my gosh, I don’t want to be them."

Now, granted, Beck could have gone full tilt and compared Cruz to Jesus, but he went with Moses this time. Presumably, Jesus will come later. Maybe for Passover. Or is that Elijah? Stay tuned.

Inserted from <Alternet>

The  evil Beck polluted the radio waves for years, before progressives organized so many boycotts of his sponsors, that that we have relegated him to Internet radio.  I made the graphic in way back in 2011.  This is just the fifth of five listed unhinged Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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