Oct 042015

It must be the weekend because the summary of the ravings of the lunatic fringe, aka Republicans and their media cohorts, are "rolling off the presses" so to speak.  But nothing the rabid right says or does is cogent, nor truthful.


The week began with an attempted massacre of Planned Parenthood and ended with another horrific mass shooting. Conservatives grilled the head of a organization that provides healthcare to poor women as if she were a criminal, and then threw up their hands saying nothing can be done about gun violence. Poor healthcare and random gun deaths are just the price you pay for freedom, they say. Or as Jeb Bush so brilliantly articulated: "Stuff happens." Here are five low-lights from the week that was: 

5. Republican Congressman: Planned Parenthood is not necessary, because as a guy with great health insurance from the taxpayers, I have plenty of healthcare options.

During this week’s Planned Parenthood hearings, the tin-eared award goes to Republican Congressman Glenn Grothman, a Republican congressman who told the CEO of the women’s healthcare provider that he just does not find her organization necessary. As a man enjoying great government-funded health insurance, he has plenty of other options. Bully for him.

When I look at cities around me that have a Planned Parenthood clinic … usually in those cities, as a guy, I could go to many clinics locally that have all the machines that one would need, all these clinics as far as I know take Medicaid dollars, so you could go to any of those clinics to get any medical service you could. . . . I guess what I’m getting at is if Planned Parenthood disappeared tomorrow in those towns, there would still be three or four or five clinics or hospitals providing all the … medical care you would want.

Grothman's general outlook on Medicaid is almost as dim as his view of Planned Parenthood. He has then claimed in the past that people who use the public safety net are fleecing taxpayers by living high on the hog, and not having to pay deductibles like those with private insurance do.

Women and poor people have all the luck! 

Read about the other four Right Wing Idiocies in Alternet.  I'd say they'd amaze you, but I don't think anything that Republicans or Faux say or do amazes anyone anymore.  It is SSDD . . . Stupid is as stupid does!

Oct 032015

It has been a busy day!  I did two hours of physiotherapy followed by 3 hours of teaching ESL.  Once I arrived home, it was straight to the computer to get the 02/10/15 articles posted to Care2 and links distributed. I took advantage of one of Lona's cat naps . . . soooooooo relaxing! and then had a late dinner.  As a result, this is today's only article.  Tomorrow won't be so busy outside the house, but I need to do laundry before I start scaring the neighbourhood!

Puzzle — Today’s took me 2:31 (average 4:24). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

Upworthy — Female genital mutilation, also known as FGM or FGC (female genital cutting), is performed in several African countries and parts of the Middle East, and less frequently in Malaysia, Indonesia, India, and Pakistan. It also occurs in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Europe — despite being illegal in many places.

FGM is barbaric, inhuman and a violation of human rights and dignity. Please sign this petition to end FGM.

Read the rest of the article and see how five young men react to this proceedure.

Rachel Maddow — h/t Jim PhillipsA look at Kevin McCarthy, poised to be the new Speaker of the House when Congressional Republicans vote next week.

As things sit now, the Speaker, 2nd in succession to the White House behind the Vice President should something happen to the President, is elected by only 247 members of the House of Representatives.  Scary! Does Kevin McCarthy represent the level of competence that the Republicans, or more specifically the Teabaggers, bring to the Congress? Even scarier!!  If so, then God help the US.

NY Times — Ever since it became public that Pope Francis met in Washington with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples, the questions have been swirling: Why did he meet with her, and was it meant as a political statement?

As it turns out, the Vatican said on Friday, the pope did not mean to endorse Ms. Davis’s views. It also said he gave her no more than a typical brief greeting, despite what her lawyer described.

Instead, the Vatican said that Francis gave only one “real audience”: to someone later identified as one of his former students, Yayo Grassi, a gay man in Washington who says he brought his partner of 19 years to the Vatican’s embassy in Washington for a reunion. They even shot video.

This is a portion of a Faithful America e-mail that Joanne brought to my attention:

After days of speculation, the truth has finally come out: Pope Francis did not hold a private meeting to express his support for Kim Davis's efforts to block gay marriage licenses.

According to an official Vatican statement, Kim Davis was among "several dozen persons" attending a reception at the Vatican embassy, "the pope did not enter into the details of the situation," and "his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support."

Moreover, it seems that the pope did not request Kim Davis be invited.

According to press reports, one man was likely responsible for Davis's invitation: Carlo Maria Vigano, a conservative church official who was appointed by Pope Benedict as Vatican ambassador to the United States (formally called the "apostolic nuncio").

Having created an opportunity for right-wing evangelicals to dishonestly hijack the message of the pope's visit to the United States, Vigano must now resign.

If you are interested in the Faithful America petition, you can find it HERE. 

I believe that Kim Davis is being used as a political bullet within the Vatican in a dispute between the very conservative factions and the more liberal Pope Francis.  I have no sympathy for her whatsoever.  Davis has a job to do . . . act in accordance with the laws of the land . . . and if she cannot do that for any reason, she should resign.

Mother Jones — While speaking to reporters during a campaign stop in Greenville, South Carolina, on Friday, Jeb Bush weighed in on the latest school shooting to take place in the United States, this time in Oregon, just a day before.

You can read a transcript of his comment HERE.  Mr Compassionate speaks out . . . what a farce!

My Universe — 


Give these boys a remote control and they will be attending services

at the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb!

Sep 292015

As Puddy Tat always says "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 nutty InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception."

3. Jeb manages to insult black voters a la Romney’s 47 percent gaffe.

At a campaign stop in South Carolina, Jeb Bush was jawing away in front of one of his typical lily-white crowds, when someone asked him how Republicans might appeal to African-American voters. First, Bush mentioned that some of his best staff members are black, and explained how when he speaks Spanish, he does not mean it as an insult to America. Then he proceeded to insult black people in a way that immediately conjured up Mitt Romney’s infamous 47 percent remark.

Here’s what he said:

Think about it this way, Republicans get 4-7 percent of the African-American vote…If you double that, you win elections in Ohio, Virginia. And we should make that case, because our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division, “get in line, we’ll take care of you with free stuff.” Our message is uplifting, that says, “You can achieve earned success. We’re on your side."

You gotta hand it to him. Bush packed a remarkable amount of insulting and offensive racial stereotyping in that one little tone-deaf statement. Romney’s 47 percent theory was bad, but not explicitly about black voters, though certainly that code was embedded in his theorizing about the 47 percent of people who would vote for Obama no matter what and are dependent on the government.

Nope, Bush just came right out and said that black voters like free stuff, and they don’t know about “earned success,” so we'll teach them about it.

That "uplifting" message is bound to win over African-American voters big-time.


No doubt Bush, a la Romney, will attempt to explain how he did not actually say what he said, was quoted out of context, or perhaps did not understand the question, or was himself, misunderstood.

This is the third of 5 Nutty Right Wing Moments This Week.  Read the rest at Alternet.  If they were notso pathetic, they might be funny in their total stupidity!

Sep 272015

Isn't it simply amazing how the conservative mind can spin lies and deception like a spider's web out of a simple matter that should not be contentious. Here five right wing hoaxes that show the right to be the wing nuts they are.

2. Planned Parenthood. You have to hand it to the hoaxsters who made a splash over the summer by claiming, with zero evidence, that Planned Parenthood is selling fetal body parts for profit: They clearly know their audience, because that lie quickly became a truism in the Republican Party that every political candidate repeats like scripture, even though it is undeniably false.

What makes the entire thing so amazing is that, from day one, the claims made by the Center for Medical Progress — a front group launched to perpetuate the hoax — had every red flag for a right-wing urban legend. The claim that a secret cabal of organ traffickers was operating behind Planned Parenthood’s sunny exterior was eerily reminiscent of previous conservative Christian accusations that Dungeons and Dragons was a secret plot to lure teenagers into suicide or that Procter and Gamble was trying to convert people to Satanism with the power of their soap products. But conservative voters want to believe, so Republican politicians act like they actually believe this crap (and some might) to hustle for votes.

Read the other four examples in Alternet.  And we thought it couldn't get any more weird after dealing with Batshit Crazy Bachmann.  I think that Fiorina raising this lie to the level of Republican presidential candidates, is despicable and shows just how desperate Republicans are.

Sep 262015

Today has been a very busy day for me.  After 2.5 hours of physio therapy which includes weights, bicycling, ultra sound etc, I was off to teach ESL. My student was upset from a meeting last Monday and a letter she received, so I spent some time advocating for her with a provincial government office. Once that was done, she was calmer and better able to concentrate on the lesson.  I finally came home about 4 pm, did some prep work for TC's blog, and then indulged in one of Lona's cat naps. Thank goodness she sends those by the gross!  So here we are.  My oldest boy just came into the den and is lying on the floor beside me.  If the chair were empty, he'd be in the chair!

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:26 (average 4:57).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?  For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

Short Takes 

RSN — You are going to be hearing a lot about “Bernie Sanders, the Radical Socialist” in the coming months. So before that bandwagon rolls off down the great American highway let’s pin a little truth to its tail.

“This country has socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the poor.”
– The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“A basic principle of modern state capitalism is that costs and risks are socialized to the extent possible, while profit is privatized.”
– Noam Chomsky

Socialism for working people, maybe not so radical. Want to really make America great again? Do it the way FDR did it in the 1930s. That is where Sanders is leading the 99%.

Socialism in the US is a very misunderstood term, but it exists and possibly in places you never thought of before.  Read the rest of this short piece to learn more. The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Jr had it right!

Raw Story — Prior to being fired herself, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina used tax incentives from the federal government, intended to increase research and development and employee hiring, to buy back stock before firing thousands of HP workers.

According to The Daily Beast, Fiorina — whose troubled tenure at HP has come under more scrutiny as she moves up in the polls for the GOP presidential nomination — was not the only high-ranking executive to take advantage of a corporate “tax holiday” and work it to her own advantage.

Is Fiorina the kind of leadership that the Republicans want in the White House?  She has failed in spectacular fashion in business; she allowed her company to commit fraud against the federal government all the while laying off tens of thousands of workers while shareholders were enriched (including herself); she managed to get one hell of a golden parachute despite tanking her company; she has lied about "Planned Parenthood" videos; and she thinks that she's done nothing wrong. 

Alternet — In addressing a question about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, Chomsky assessed the political landscape: "Today’s Democrats are what used to be called moderate Republicans. The Republicans have just drifted off the spectrum. They’re so committed to extreme wealth and power that they cannot get votes … So what has happened is that they’ve mobilized sectors of the population that have been around for a long time. … Trump may be comic relief, but it’s not that different from the mainstream, which I think is more important."

…[Republican Party] It’s a radical insurgency; it’s not a political party.

I am a Chomsky fan and have been for a number years.  This 4 minute video is worth the time to listen.  The audience certainly gets into Chomsky's humour.

My Universeh/t Dandelion — It's Saturday and time to partay!

Sep 212015

OGIM!! as TC would say!  Actually, it is Sunday afternoon and I am back from church and working on this post for Monday.  I asked the congregation to pray for TomCat's healing and lit a candle for him.  I had a number of people acknowledge that they would pray for him.  Otherwise, Sunday afternoon is pretty mellow.  I did have a good laugh at a radio commercial for a home equity lending company though.  Seems the fellow wanted to borrow money to set up a sasquatch farm with tennis courts and a swimming pool.  Sasquatch is a nickname that TC gave me, so I think he would appreciate the humour.  I will likely have dinner, finish this off and have an early date with my pillow.  Monday will be busy!

PLEASE NOTE: I have made the post title the hyperlink to the original article with the exception of the puzzle.

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:10 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?  For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

The New Yorker — Two days after asserting that President Barack Obama was a foreign-born Muslim, a guy who asked Donald Trump a provocative question at a New Hampshire rally is now the front-runner in the Republican race for President, according to a new poll.

The poll, which was conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, shows Muslim Question Guy leading the G.O.P. field with thirty-four per cent as opposed to nineteen per cent for Trump.

I know this is Andy's satire, but with all the Republican BS and the Islamophobes coming out from under rocks, this could actually be real reporting.

The Guardian — The Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has said no Muslim should be president of the United States of America.

In an interview with NBC for broadcast on Sunday morning, the retired neurosurgeon said: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

This week, Ellison carried a clock around Congress to show support for Ahmed Mohamed, a 14-year-old boy who was arrested at his school in Irving, Texas over suspicions a homemade clock was in fact a bomb.

On Sunday Ellison, the first Muslim ever elected to Congress, released a statement in answer to Carson’s comments.

“For Ben Carson, Donald Trump, or any other Republican politician to suggest that someone of any faith is unfit for office is out of touch with who we are as a people,” he said.

“It’s unimaginable that the leading GOP presidential candidates are resorting to fear mongering to benefit their campaigns, and every American should be disturbed that these national figures are engaging in and tolerating blatant acts of religious bigotry.” (my emphasis)

I happen to agree with Ellison.  But I also agree with Kasich when he says "“But, for me, the most important thing about being president is you have leadership skills, you know what you’re doing, and you can help fix this country and raise this country. Those are the qualifications that matter to me.”"  I would also add integrity.  So considering the 1st and 14th amendments to the Constitution and considering the skill sets and qualities for POTUS, being Muslim should not hold anyone back.  However, I do think that the anti-Muslim feeling within the country, almost a hysteria in some areas, would make being a Muslim POTUS almost untenable.  If the Republican/Teabaggers and the entire right wing render the Congress totally dysfunctional because POTUS is an African American Christian, what would the Congress be like with a POTUS that is Muslim?  It should not be this way.

NY Times — I’ve been going over what was said at Wednesday’s Republican debate, and I’m terrified. You should be, too. After all, given the vagaries of elections, there’s a pretty good chance that one of these people will end up in the White House.

Why is that scary? I would argue that all of the G.O.P. candidates are calling for policies that would be deeply destructive at home, abroad, or both. But even if you like the broad thrust of modern Republican policies, it should worry you that the men and woman on that stage are clearly living in a world of fantasies and fictions. And some seem willing to advance their ambitions with outright lies.

Another fine article by Paul Krugman.  I want to do a piece on the recent debate, but I just can't find a big enough barf bag.  To be sure, much of the press I have seen has declared Fiorina the winner, but nobody is sure of just what!  One thing is for sure, this is SSDD Republican/Teabagger style.

My Universe — h/t JL — That's me today!  How did I manage to work full time in a middle management job, do volunteer work and not feel as tired as I am tonight?  This is definitely a good word!


Sep 202015

As Puddy Tat always says "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 nutty InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception."

1. Sarah Palin rants about how Ahmed Mohamed was up to no good when he brought that clock to school.

Mama Bear Palin actually managed to make her dim-witted daughter Bristol look almost reasonable this week. While Bristol went on record on her blog saying that 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed should probably not have been arrested for bringing a clock to school, Sarah ranted thusly on Facebook:

“Yep, believing that’s a clock in a school pencil box is like believing Barack Obama is ruling over the most transparent administration in history. Right. That’s a clock, and I’m the queen of England.” 

Her deranged comments hardly ended there:

“Friends, consider the kids disciplined and/or kicked out of school for bringing squirt guns to school or taking bites out of a pop tart until it resembled (to some politically correct yahoo) a gun. Or the student out deer hunting with his dad early one morning who forgot he had a box of ammo in his truck when he parked in the school’s lot later that day. Kids humiliated and intimidated for innocent actions like those real examples are often marked the rest of their lives and made to feel really rotten. Whereas Ahmed Muhammad, [sic] an evidently obstinate-answering student bringing in a homemade 'clock' that obviously could be seen by conscientious teachers as a dangerous wired-up bomb-looking contraption (teachers who are told 'if you see something, say something!') gets invited to the White House.”

On this Mama and Baby Grizzly agreed. President Obama had no business inviting wrongly arrested Ahmed to the White House. Who does he think he is, the president of the United States? Maybe the queen of England? That would be just like him, you know.

“By the way, President Obama’s practice of jumping in cases prematurely to interject himself as the cool savior, wanting so badly to attach himself to the issue-of-the-day, got old years ago,” Palin wrote.

Yeah, Bristol blogged, this is “the kind of stuff Obama needs to STAY out of.”

Why does she think that? “This encourages more racial strife that is already going on with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crowd and encourages victimhood,” she wrote. 

It’s a familiar right-wing trope, racial strife is somehow created by those who point out racism, instead of those perpetuating racism.

Of course, that is a concept that goes whizzing by both Palin women's heads.

Read the rest at Alternet

What movie was it that coined the phrase "They're ba-ack!"?  I'm sure it was some horror movie.  Oh wait, "It's As The Stomach Turns" starring the Republican/Teabaggers.