Mar 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling angry, because my fourth automatic drip coffee maker in under a year died last night.  I’ve had it.  I’m going back to an old fashioned manual percolator, but until it arrives on Tuesday, I have to hand-drip water through the maker’s filtration system.  NOT fun!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:14 (average 6:09).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: A majority of small business owners want to see the minimum wage raised to $10.10 an hour and then tied to inflation, according to a new poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Small Business Majority. Not only did 57 percent of small business owners say they think the minimum wage should be raised, but 61 percent of those in the typically low-wage retail and restaurant industries agreed.

Aside from basic morality, these business owners have good reasons for supporting a minimum wage increase:

More than half of small business owners (52%) agree with this statement: “Increasing the minimum wage would be good for small businesses. It means people will have a higher percentage of their income to spend on goods and services and it is proven that low-wage earners tend to spend money at local businesses who will be able to grow and hire new workers.” What’s more, more than one-third (35%) say raising the minimum wage would help make their business more competitive because business competitors won’t be able to undercut them on labor costs.

Since 82 percent of those surveyed said they pay all of their employees more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the concerns about being undercut by competitors could be significant.

The Republicans falsely claim that raising the minimum wage will cost jobs are based solely on their desire to subsidize 0.1% billionaires with YOUR tax dollars.

From Alternet: Megyn Kelly scoffs at atheist’s claim that the cross is a religious symbol.

Somebody was not paying proper attention in Sunday school, and has been very, very naughty. We’re talking to you, Megyn.

There is a steel beam cross in the center of the World Trade Center memorial. It was found in the wreckage and seen as a miracle by some Christians. The activist group American Atheists are suing to have the cross removed, claiming that as an inherently religious symbol, it has no place in a publicly funded monument. They point out that people of multiple faiths, and even those without faith at all, died in the disaster.

“The cross is Christian," said David Silverman of the American Atheists during his appearance on the Kelly Files. "It was installed in a religious service on consecrated ground, which makes it a working shrine on public land in the World Trade Center, and we think the atheists who also died on 9/11, and the Muslims and the Jews, should all have their equal presence,”

Nope, Megyn Kelly said. The cross is not religious. It’s just a historical artifact. Nothing Christian about it. Tough luck, atheists, Jews and Muslims.

Got it, the cross is not Christian. Next week: the Bible, not a book.

Watch the entire interview posted online by Cruciefiction.

This is one of eight statements made by Republican colossal jackasses in just the last week alone. Click through for the other seven.

From Bill Moyers: As the tea party celebrates its fifth birthday this month, Ian Haney López, author of Dog Whistle Politics, talks to Bill about how the movement has used strategic racism to get voters to the polls.

 

I have to agree to a great extent, with the caveat that sheeple, who commit TEAbuggery, do so because they are too lazy and/or fearful to do their own thinking.

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He had more to say, but the operator cut in and demanded $2.65 for the next three minutes. ;-)

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Feb 242014
 

I’m working for tomorrow and rushing because I have so much work to do preparing for tomorrow’s board meeting in my apartment.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 5:19).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said today that she was reluctant to sign an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill passed by the Arizona state legislature this week, telling reporters, “I believe that bigotry and hatred should be free of government regulation.”

She said that while many Arizona business owners currently enjoy employing hateful practices, “I worry that if big government gets involved, that’ll ruin everything.”

“Don’t get me wrong—I think the anti-gay bill that the legislature passed was well-meaning,” she said. “All I’m saying is, let’s leave it to the private sector.”

I think Andy’s satire missed the boat on this one. Brewerstan’s Death Angel, Jan Brewer, infamous for killing her own citizens by refusing them life saving transplants for which they were already scheduled, is a strong supporter of government-based hatred. Consider her support for racial profiling in "papers please".

From Alternet: Ted Cruz: Pray for discrimination.

What is Texas’s Tea Party senator seeking now? This week Cruz called on supporters to “simply pray” that LGBT Americans did not get equal legal rights because same-sex marriage was “heartbreaking.” Yes, pray for a new Jim Crow.

In an interview with conservative radio host Janet Mefferd, Cruz started by saying that he introduced the “State Marriage Defense Act” to undo the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down parts of the federal government’s ban on marriage equality. He accused liberal groups of using “brute power” to wage an assault and “subvert our democratic system.” Then the Harvard Law School graduate, who forgets that an elite Republican lawyer argued for expanding gay rights before the court, issued his hateful hope.

Cruz said that gay marriage threatened liberty and he urged people to pray to God that gays and lesbians don’t get equal marriage rights. “I think the most important thing your listeners can do is simply pray, because we need a great deal of prayer,” he said. “Because marriage is really, really being undermined by a concerted effort. And it’s causing significant harm.”

When right-wingers like Cruz pray for discrimination, a curious thing happens. God doesn’t RSVP ASAP. But other right-wingers do.

Cruz’ Republican hate mongering is just on of six examples of Republican psychosis from the last week alone. Click through for the other five.

From Crooks and Liars: Homeland Security warned us in 2009 that right wing extremism is on the rise–something we are seeing in recent conservative pushes to overthrow the government. The report stated, among other things, that  “Heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms…may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements,” as we have seen exemplified in a Tea Party attempt to construct an anti-Muslim death ray.

Now, Three Georgia “Patriots” tried to buy pipe bombs and other explosives to aid in their effort to attack power grids, water treatment facilities, and other infrastructure. Brian Edward Cannon and Cory Robert Williamson appeared in court on Friday, and Terry Eugene Peace is due for his first appearance on Monday.

The three are charged with conspiring to acquire firearms, pipe bombs, and thermite grenades. Between Jan 23 and Feb 15, the three militia members chatted on Facebook about plans to launch guerrilla-style attacks on government facilities, according to the FBI…… [emphasis original]

Once again, we see Republicans too stupid to realize that plotting a Republican terrorist conspiracy on Facebook just might have legal ramifications. Once again, we see that the party that embraces them is not competent to run a lemonade stand, let again a government.

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Was this decision Constitutional?

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Feb 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and although my COPD is still severe, I did get more sleep and feel less drained.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 5:33).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: …So according to Cruz:

  1. Republican politicians are a bunch of liars
  2. Most Republicans were bluffing all along on the debt limit
  3. Republicans think the GOP base consists of a bunch of gullible fools

I’ve gotta’ say, pretty hard to argue with any of that.

Dang!! I agree with Cruz!! Would someone please check me for fever?

From Alternet: Clarence Thomas: Funny, race never even came up in the 60s.

It’s always comforting when a lifetime member of the highest court in the land says something that leaves your jaw hanging agape.

Justice Clarence Thomas does not make a lot of public statements, but when he does, well, it makes you realize why he does not make a lot of public statements.

Thomas recently told a bunch of college students that race relations in America were better when he was a kid in the 1960s. Yes, he did. He said that.

“My sadness is that we are probably today more race- and difference-conscious than I was in the 1960s when I went to school. To my knowledge, I was the first black kid in Savannah, Georgia, to go to a white school. Rarely did the issue of race come up.”

Hmmm. Perhaps the subject of race did not come up because you could be lynched for bringing it up. Let’s see, it was the height of the Civil Rights Movement when Thomas was a kid. Segregation was pretty much the norm, throughout the south, and parts of the north—certainly in Georgia. and African-Americans who protested racial injustice put themselves in grave danger. But little Clarence Thomas was a happy little camper.

The real problem, Thomas continued, is that everyone is just too dang sensitive these days.

“If I had been as sensitive as that in the 1960s, I’d still be in Savannah,” he said. “Every person in this room has endured a slight. Every person. Somebody has said something that has hurt their feelings or did something to them — left them out.”

Yeupp, that’s all institutional racism is, Clarence. Just a bunch of black people getting their feelings hurt.

If my memory serves, Teabag Thomas was sure quick to play the race card, when he was confronted with his criminal harassment of Anita Hill. This is just one of seven deranged Republican comments from last week alone. Click through for the other six.

From Crooks and Liars: Hundreds of students formed a human wall around the basketball stadium at the University of Missouri on Saturday because the Westboro Baptist Church had pledged to protest gay football player Michael Sam.

After Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam came out last week last week, anti-LGBT members of the Westboro church vowed to show up at Missouri’s game against Tennessee. But a group of students wearing "Stand with Sam" pins made the extremist group’s demonstration impossible by surrounding the stadium.

 

Anything that stymies these Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, as they spread their Republican gospel of hate, works for me. Kudos to those students.

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Feb 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and my COPD is still severe.  It’s been a slow day for news, so I’m just going to kick back and enjoy being ice bound.  Portland is, for all intents and purposes, shut down.  The MAX transit train is not running.  Buses are barely running on very few routes.  Even cabs are operating for emergencies only.  I have not heard a siren in over a day.  Four or five a day are average.  Looking out the window from time to time, I have see only three moving cars.  Two of those were moving sideways.  So I hope you enjoy this article and a look at the box, where I bury Republicans.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:27 (average 5-14:).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: We can’t say Seymour Hersh didn’t warn us. It’s looking like the IRS Inspector General, J. Russell George, a Dubya appointee, is the ultimate stay-behind. In the middle of last year, he was caught meeting exclusively with Issa and his Goposaur gang to drum up phony IRS scandal claims. Well now, he’s been caught doing the exact same thing, but regarding an IRS ‘audit’ of the Affordable Care Act.

Thank goodness for Rep. Elijah Cummings and Rep. Gerald Connelly, who wrote the ‘honorable’ IRS IG a letter, which they cc’ed to Issa, and is posted in full…

How many times have I warned against Republican moles? They are temporary political appointees from the failed Bush Regime, who burrowed into "nonpartisan" career positions throughout our government, before we evicted Potomac Pinocchio from the White House. Now they devote their time to sabotaging our nation, while YOU pay their salaries. Click through to read the letter.

From Alternet: Ben Shapiro: Liberalism killed Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The terrible disease of addiction and a potentially lethal batch of heroin emerged as the leading theories of what killed actor Philip Seymour Hoffman last weekend.

But there is something far more insidious going on, as it turns out. And thank goodness conservative thought leader Ben Shapiro shared his deep thoughts [propaganda delinked]on the tragedy, by helpfully pointing the blame where it really belongs. It’s those damn liberals again. They’re killing everybody.

“…his self-inflicted death is yet another hallmark of the broken leftist culture that dominates Hollywood, enabling rather than preventing the loss of some of its greatest talents,” Shapiro wrote in the National Review.

The math, or the logic, goes something like this. Hoffman was a liberal. He died of a drug overdose. Therefore, liberalism causes drug abuse and death. Liberalism quickly devolves into “libertinism” and a “penchant for sin,” Shapiro argued. No one in Hollywood has any spirituality, principles or standards.

Except maybe the scientologists. We’re not sure where they fit in with Shapiro’s cosmology.

This is just one of the offerings from Republican psychopaths in the last week alone. Click through for the other nine.

From Crooks and Liars: It was just a couple of weeks ago that Glenn Beck had a weirdly lucid and suspiciously self-aware moment and admitted to Megyn Kelly that he realized that he had been contributing to tearing the country apart and that wasn’t who we were.

That was so two weeks ago, apparently.

Because Lonesome Rhodes Beck is back to scaring the crap out of his pea-brained listeners, telling them that if they dared to disagree with global warming, abortion or Obamacare, they would be rounded up and placed in internment camps, just as Justice Antonin Scalia warned this week [propaganda delinked]:

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Both Beck and Scalia are engaging in projection. They are accusing Obama of intending to implement a purely Republican plan. While it’s true that internment camps have been built in the US, it was Halliburton that built them under contract from the Bush Regime.

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Jan 232014
 

If you’re wondering how I put up such a normal Open Thread on a travel day, I admit to a bit to trickery.  I am writing this article, in its entirety, on Wednesday morning, before leaving on my volunteer trip.  I will upload it to the blog as a draft, so the only things I have to do in Salem are do the puzzle and update the time taken to do it.  Slick, huh?

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:32 (average 5:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From TPM: Earlier this month, Bob McDonnell became former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. On Tuesday, he became indicted former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Just days after he left office, the Republican and and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were charged in federal court with more than a dozen counts related to the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and loans they accepted from a wealthy Virginia businessman. (The ex-governor maintained on Tuesday that he had done nothing illegal.)

The fact that the McDonnells were under scrutiny from prosecutors was no secret. Stories about the investigation, and the relationship between the McDonnells and the businessman, Jonnie Williams, had been appearing in the press for months. We knew (thanks in large part to stellar reporting from The Washington Post) about the Rolex, and the Oscar de la Renta dress, and the Ferrari joyride, and the golf outings. But the 43-page indictment filed on Tuesday did reveal numerous new details about the scandal, and confirmed several other points which had been fuzzy or in dispute.

Click through for the details of Gov. Ultrasound's indictment. It is a shocking revelation of standard operating procedure for Republican politicians, and it may even be a window to what's ahead for PIGnocchio.

From Think Progress: It seemed like all anyone in Washington could talk about on Tuesday was Ezra Klein’s departure from the Washington Post. But another journalist’s new job caught my eye: Stephen Moore, the Wall Street Journal’s notorious economics columnist, joined the Heritage Foundation as its “chief economist. [InsaniTEA delinked]”

Moore’s hiring cements the emerging case that the Heritage Foundation, far from being a traditional think tank, has become a Tea Party lobby with a big research budget. It also tells us a lot about the real role that economic thought plays in a movement obsessed with its opponents’ supposed economic ignorance [Faux Noise delinked].

This isn’t Moore’s first dance at Heritage — he was a fellow there during the heyday of the Reagan Revolution. But as chief economist, Moore will wield far more influence over the direction of Heritage’s economic research than he did thirty years ago.

My bold prediction: this will end in terrible embarrassment. Moore is much more conservative activist than journalist. In 1999, he founded the Club for Growth, one of the hardest of hard-line conservative PACs, and served as its President until 1999. Moore, who had described [Propagandist delinked] his goal in founding the Club to be creating “the tax cut enforcer of the party,” called [InsaniTEA delinked] the Club’s birth “the defining moment of his career.”

That's a trip from Murdoch's Faux Print to DeMint. It will mean even more TEAbuggery from Heritage Foundation, and Murdoch will surely find an equally deranged 1% class warrior for his propaganda rag.

From Salon.com: The NOAA’s annual State of the Climate report is in, and it confirmed what anyone who’s been paying attention probably noticed: 2013 was one for the record books.

We ended the year with a globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature .62 degrees Celsius (1.12 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average, tying with 2003 as the fourth warmest year since record keeping began in 1880. This means that global temperature was above the 20th century average for the 37th year running, and that all 13 years of the 21st century officially rank among the 15 warmest in recorded history.

That's no surprise to me, because I have noticed a distinct change in Portland, Oregon, since I first moved here over 30 years ago. Summers are hotter, and winters are colder than they were then. There are more frequent extremes in both directions.

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And the Rockefeller Group and other vulture capitalists sure are paying for it!!

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Jan 202014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, preparing for my two day trip for prison volunteer work this week, and getting ready to meditate upon the Ellipsoid Orb.  By this time this is posted I will be either a Fantabulous Feline or a Pissed Pussycat.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:41).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious High Ecstasy:

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Short Takes:

From CREW: Campaign contributions follow power, and special interests aren’t subtle about currying favor with the powerful.

New research by CREW shows after control of the House flipped in 2010 Democratic committee chairmen demoted to ranking members saw campaign contributions plummet from industries their committees oversee. Conversely, Republican ranking members who assumed House committee chairmanships in the wake of the shift saw a corresponding increase in contributions.

CREW’s analysis also found 80% of the chairs and ranking members included in our study reported receiving a growing share of their campaign contributions from industries overseen by their committees. This trend raises questions about whether committee leaders are overly dependent on the campaign contributions of those over which they have regulatory authority.

In 2011, CREW released its first Funds for Favors report, which analyzed campaign contributions to the chairmen and ranking members of ten House committees. Our analysis, which included data from the 1998 through the 2010 election cycles, revealed that as members’ power and seniority increased, the industries they were responsible for regulating steered more and more money into their campaign coffers. This new edition of the report compares campaign finance data from the 2010 election cycle to the 2012 election cycle, and shows industries are continuing to shower campaign cash on lawmakers who oversee them. Both editions of the report rely on federal campaign contribution data provided by MapLight.

Under no circumstances should members of committees, let alone the Chairmen and Ranking Members, be permitted to receive campaign contributions from the companies they oversee and/or lobbyists for those companies. This must be true for both parties despite the fact that Republicans are more inclined to offer quid pro quo.

From Daily Kos: On Wednesday this week, Robert Reich — labor secretary under President Clinton — was a guest on CNN’s "Crossfire" for a segment that asked the question "who’s blocking good-paying jobs?"

Again, S.E. Cupp was nothing but a huge example of why we can’t have nice things.

 

Once again, Robert Reich owned the Republican Reich.

From Alternet: Nancy Grace: People on pot shoot, stab and strangle each other.

Nancy Grace made it extremely clear, in case anyone did not know, that she has never smoked, or known anyone who smoked marijuana this week. How did she do this? By hysterically claiming without a scintilla of evidence that marijuana is highly addictive, and that it causes people to go on bloody killing sprees.

Her guest, Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), tried to inject some reason into the conversation, by pointing out that “marijuana’s addictive properties have been found to be actually pretty mild compared to alcohol and tobacco, and even caffeine.”

Grace interrupted him to say: “So you — you are admitting it is addictive.”

Oohhhhh, madame prosecutor! Gotcha!

When Tvert again tried to reason with her by saying that potsmokers are not so unlike people who might have a cocktail at the end of the day to unwind, she could not resist interrupting again. (Where are your manners, Nancy Grace? Honestly.)

“The reason I’m against legalization is that I’ve seen too many felonies — felonies,” she said. “I mean people on pot that shoot each other, that stab each other, that strangle each other, that kill whole families — wipe out a whole family.”

So, we’ve established that Nancy Grace views "Reefer Madness" as a Ken Burns documentary.

Never has there been a greater gulf between the character of a person and the meaning of their last name. She should change her name to Nancy Mercylessness. This is just one of ten nutty, nasty Republican statements from last week alone. Click through for the other nine.

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Jan 072014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling more rested after my partial day off yesterday  Today I’m back to the grind of finishing with the apartment.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:52 (average 5:16).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: One of the first votes the Senate plans to take when it returns Monday is on restoring unemployment benefits to 1.3 million people who lost them on Dec. 28. It’s hard to imagine a more important action for those who have been out of work the longest and for the economy.

And what’s at the top of the House’s agenda? Yet another vote to undermine the health care reform law. (In this case, a bill to impose unnecessary security requirements on the health care website, though there is not the slightest indication of security problems.)

Nothing could show the priorities of the two chambers — and the slog that lies ahead this year — better than these votes. At one end of the Capitol, lawmakers are actually trying to help people in deep financial distress, continuing a vital Washington practice. The other end is holding a meaningless symbolic vote, designed solely to embarrass the Obama administration and continue its politically motivated attacks on the health law.

Somehow, I’m not surprised. However, Republican Senators are talking about the need to pay for it with entitlement cuts. Pay for it with 1% revenue increases.

From TPM: Nebraska Senate candidate Ben Sasse has a proposal: move the Capitol from Washington D.C. to Nebraska.

"That’s it, the way to cure the incredible ineffectiveness and dysfunction of both parties in Washington — we move the Capitol to Nebraska where they can experience family, conservative values, living within a budget, and pulling together, not pulling apart," Sasse said in a new campaign ad.

Sasse needs to learn the Eleventh Commandment: Thou shalt not commit TEAbuggery!!

From Raw Story: Alien species have been visiting earth for thousands of years, says Canada’s former defense minister, and they’re worried that humans are going to wreck the planet.

“Something dreadful is going to happen to it if we don’t smarten up and change our ways,” said Paul Hellyer, who served as defense minister in the 1960s.

He’s the first top official from a G8 nation to claim that extraterrestrial life has been confirmed, and he discussed his beliefs Tuesday on Russia Today.

Hellyer said up to 80 different species regularly visit earth, from the “short grays” seen in cartoons and illustrations to species called “Nordic blondes” and “tall whites” who could almost pass as humans.

He claimed the “tall whites” are working with the U.S. Air Force in Nevada, and that two women from that species had dressed as nuns and went to Las Vegas to shop.

They come from all over the galaxy — including from Venus, Mars and Saturn’s moon, Andromedia – and other star systems, Hellyer said.

This Progressive Conservative (what Canada calls their Republicans) gives us a whole new dimension of loony!  I bet he advises both Harper and Cruz!!

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Republican were furious that nobody offered them a BJ! ;-)

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