Aug 252015
 

After the stresses of the last few days, I am feeling quite tired.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day, and I have some extra cleaning to do for that.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:21 (average 4:37).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: They don’t pay taxes. They circumvent our laws. They get free stuff from the government. They are America’s billionaires, and many would like to see them gone.

According to a new survey by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, the American people hold the nation’s billionaires in lower esteem than ever before, and a majority would like to see new laws enacted to deport them.

“They come here, take thousands of our jobs, and export them overseas,” one respondent said, in an opinion echoed by many others in the survey.

“They are part of a shadow economy that sucks billions of dollars out of the United States every year and puts it in Switzerland and the Caymans,” another said.

Images of hedge-fund managers arriving via helicopter in the Hamptons this summer have only reinforced the impression that authorities have turned a blind eye to their movements.

“Many of these people should be in prison, and the government is looking the other way,” one respondent said.

Stirring even more controversy is the billionaires’ practice of having babies in the United States and using the nation’s porous estate-tax laws to pass down untold wealth to the next generation.

“They should leave and take their children with them,” one respondent said.

At times, Andy makes a brilliant suggestion. This is one of those times. Lets start with the nevermind brothers.

From Daily Kos: "Ted Cruz Criticizes Carter Day After Wrenching Talk on Cancer," says the Bloomberg headline, and so we are obliged to take another rubbernecking glance at the most repellent man in politics.

A day after Jimmy Carter appeared on national television to talk about the cancer that's ravaging his body, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz criticized the former president's administration in a speech in Iowa.

"I think where we are today is very, very much like the late 1970s," the senator from Texas said on the Des Moines Register's political soapbox stage at the Iowa State Fair.

"I think the parallels between this administration and the Carter administration are uncanny: same failed domestic policies, same misery, stagnation and malaise, same feckless and naïve foreign policy," Cruz said. "In fact, the exact same countries—Russia and Iran—openly laughing and mocking at the president of the United States."

Uranus Inspector could not be further from the truth. The real similarities are that Carter and Obama both are decent men, doing their best, and were sabotaged by Republicans. Republicans even made a secret deal with Iran, giving them better terms on the hostage release, in return for KEEPING OUR HOSTAGE CITIZENS CAPTIVE, so they could win the election. I think that covering up proof of which individuals committed this treason is one of the reasons that Republicans oppose the Iran deal now.

From MoveOn: If you have friends who’ve been tricked, duped, or bamboozled by the war lobby into opposing the Iran nuclear deal, share this new ad with them from our friends at Americans United for Change:

 

Please click through to share this wherever you can.

Cartoon:

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…then buy my bridge from me!

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Aug 192015
 

It’s another very hot very humid day.  After today, we should get two temperate days, before the 90°+ weather returns on Saturday.  Yesterday afternoon, I learned that my friend with cancer was in recovery, after a successful mastectomy.  I feel quite relieved about that.  Store to Door delivered groceries early.  I have them put away.  Now, if I can just stay conscious until after my articles are up and out, it’s A/C hunker time again.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:21 (average 4:24).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker:

On the evening of August 6th, when the news broke that Senator Charles Schumer would vote against the Iran accord, the Democratic Senate leader, Harry Reid, was as stunned as the rest of his caucus. The two men are close friends. When Reid became the leader, in 2005, Schumer was a backbencher, who mused about running for governor of New York. Reid took an interest in him, came to rely on both his fund-raising prowess with Wall Street and his counsel on a range of matters, and always advised his ambitious protégé, “Be patient, be patient.” Last March, when Reid announced that he would retire at the end of 2016, he endorsed Schumer to succeed him and announced that another contender, Richard Durbin, the Democratic whip (and Schumer’s former roommate), would stand down. For those progressives who questioned whether Schumer should be leader, Reid said that Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders would keep the caucus honest. Now, because of Schumer’s position as presumptive leader, Reid felt that Schumer should have informed him of his decision on the Iran deal, given its importance, according to a Senate aide. Still, when a White House official called Reid that night to ask if he would announce his support of the deal to counter Schumer’s opposition, Reid refused, saying he wasn’t ready, a close associate said. (A spokesman for Senator Reid later issued a statement denying that Reid was surprised by Schumer’s announcement. “Their relationship is as close as ever. On Iran, Senator Reid respects the decision of conscience Senator Schumer made and he did not raise concerns with the announcement or the timing.”)*

More than a week has passed, and Reid still wonders why Schumer decided to announce his opposition when he did. Schumer was the first Democratic senator to oppose the deal. And it was his timing, perhaps even more than the substance of his decision, that has upset his pro-deal colleagues and, most unmistakably, the White House. Josh Earnest, the President’s press secretary, said he wouldn’t be surprised if some members of the Senate Democratic caucus “consider the voting record of those who say they would like to lead the caucus,” and he went on to liken Schumer’s decision to oppose the Iran deal to his support for the Iraq War, in 2003. It always seemed implausible that Schumer—an AIPAC stalwart who boasted that he is Benjamin Netanyahu’s best friend on Capitol Hill—would oppose AIPAC and Netanyahu on a deal they both claim is an existential threat to Israel. (I have written about AIPAC’s influence on politicians for the magazine.) “Chuck was always among the least likely Democrats to support the deal,” a longtime close friend of Schumer’s told me. And, after Schumer’s announcement, Durbin said, “I always expected him to be against the agreement.”…

Click through for the rest of this highly informative piece. If your Senator(s) are Democrats, call them regularly to tell them to strip this Bankster-bought traitor of any and all party leadership positions.

From NY Times: Russians are experiencing the first sustained decline in living standards in the 15 years since President Vladimir V. Putin [R-RU] came to power. The ruble has fallen by half against the dollar, driven by the plunging price of oil, the lifeblood of Russia’s economy. As a result, prices of imported goods have shot up, making tea, instant coffee, children’s clothes and back-to-school backpacks suddenly, jarringly expensive.

The Russian people are learning first hand the steep price they have to pay for putting a Republican in charge of their nation.

From Alternet: Ann Coulter knows who she wants to be the Democratic nominee for president, and who that person is, well, it may surprise you.

She wants Hillary Clinton to be the nominee, and thinks that if Bernie gets the nod, he’ll beat whoever the Republicans come up with to run against him.

You won’t hear me say this often, but Ann Coulter is right.

If Bernie Sanders ends up being the Democratic nominee for president, and it looks more and more every day like he will be, his Republican opponent is going to have a very hard time beating him.

And that’s because of all the Democratic candidates running, Bernie Sanders has the best chance of capturing Republican votes.

I’ve seen how Bernie does this, up close and personal.

Despite its reputation as a place filled with liberal hippies, Vermont, like most of rural northern New England, is home to a lot of conservatives.

Anyone running for statewide office there needs to win these conservatives’ votes, and Bernie is great at doing that.

As much as I’d like to echo this author’s optimism, northern NH Republicans are more like the old time back woods Republicans that were somewhat progressive in their views and opposed to the old time Dixiecrats, that now hold the Republican Party in thrall. To get lots of Republican support, nationwide, Bernie would have to convince a lot of willfully ignorant voters, too lazy to want to learn, not to be afraid of media-hyped "Socialism". That’s a tall order, not because Bernie lacks skill, but because he would be trying to plow a swamp.

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Aug 172015
 

It’s official.  The NWS has issued an excessive heat warning for Portland through Wednesday evening.  It’s a good thing I rescheduled those medical appointment, because I accidentally avoided the surprise heat wave.  On the other hand, I’m sure I rescheduled them to coincide with the next surprise heat wave.  ARGH!! I slept most of the evening, so I was up moist of the night.  I’ll need to hunker down under the A/C soon, but I have a ton of volunteer work to get done.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:20 (average 4:40).  To do it. click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Living with a cat for the first time, you quickly pick up on its behavioral quirks, many of which are common among other cats. What you soon find out is that cats aren’t Republican. Here are 12 reasons why not:

1. Cats are curious about what you do in your bedroom, but they don’t try to legislate away your freedom to do it.

2. Cats may take away your cushion, but they’ll give it back to you with a gentle push.

3. Cats give you attention and sympathy when you’re sick.

4. Females are treated with importance in the cat world.

5. Cats make use of solar power, often all day long.

6. Cats lick their own problems and take care of other cats too.

What purrrrfect logic! I shared six reasons. Click through for the other six. Cat face

From TPM: As we move closer to next month’s vote on the Iran nuclear deal, I wanted to note some parts of the story that are not getting sufficient attention in the mainstream press. Even in Israel, where the the P5+1 deal is quite unpopular, there is increasing concern, at least among elites, at just how far Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to go in damaging US-Israel ties in his war against the Obama administration over the Iran deal. As JJ Goldberg aptly puts it, the campaign of incitement and maliciously phony charges of anti-Semitism against the White House are "effectively turning American Jews into Netanyahu’s cannon fodder" in war against Obama.

Too true.

As Goldberg notes, charges that the President is a crypto-Muslim or an anti-Semite have remained until now at the very fringes of American political discourse. But as the anti-deal forces have struggled to make their case on the merits, they have now resorted to pulling the anti-Semitism canard deep into the mainstream, with almost comically tendentious claims that the President is "dog whistling" or Jew-baiting in his campaign to win support for the deal in Congress.

The big irony here is that the same Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, who are screaming anti-Semitism loudest, are campaigning to bring about the "end times". They preach that 144,000 Jewish witnesses, 12,000 from each tribe, will be saved. Other that those, they preach that all Jews, everywhere, that had not converted to follow Republican Supply-side Jesus, prior to the big-poof, will become crispy critters!  It speaks volumes that “Butcher Bibi” (R-IS) is willing to ally himself with these Dominionist Republican hypocrites.

From Crooks ands Liars: [Jeb Bush keeps forgetting] That outside the wingnut bubble (and outside the Beltway Media bubble that enfolds it) not everyone has agreed to go along with the fairy tale that history began on January 20, 2009.

Kudos to Rachel! Believe it or not, I made today’s cartoon several hours before seeing this. With Strike Three having advisors like "Any Lie for War" Wolfowitz, I think I’m spot on!

Cartoon:

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Aug 082015
 

I’m still recovering from the barf bath I had to take, while covering the Criminal Clowns.  The forecast has already changed for the next few days.  While 80°s weather is not a heat wave, it’s not the more comfortable 70°s weather I was expecting.  I want to catch up on rest this weekend, because Tuesday is a volunteer day in prison.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From J Street (Iran Deal Facts): Media Coverage

Opponents are pouring millions into television and print ads attacking the agreement. Right-wing media have blasted the deal with extreme vitriol, doing everything they can to drown out the facts. But J Street is leading the fight to make sure that the voices of responsible journalists, leaders, and experts that support the deal are being heard loud and clear.

 

J Street is the organization for American Jews that represents their real interests and not the interests of the Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian war mongers that control AIPAC. They have two more excellent video clips on the page. Click Through.

From The New Yorker: The billionaire Donald Trump shocked the American people Thursday night by proving to be considerably more heinous than they had previously thought, an instant poll taken after the debate shows.

According to the poll, viewers who went into tonight’s debate thinking that Trump was one of the most horrible people that they had ever seen were still totally unprepared for the depths of awfulness he displayed during the televised contest.

When presented with the descriptors “loathsome,” “appalling,” and “monstrous,” viewers who witnessed Trump’s interaction with Fox News’s Megyn Kelly said that none of those words did justice to how odious Trump was.

OK, Andy, if you say so. But isn’t saying that Hairball is more heinous than previously thought a lot like saying that the Pope is more Catholic than previously thought?

From Daily Kos: John Kasich sure has a convenient memory. Asked about how he’d respond to Hillary Clinton’s presumptive attacks, Kasich mentioned his father was a mailman (drink!), then digressed to talking about balanced budgets:

I was the chairman of the budget committee and the lead architect the last time it happened in Washington, and when we did it, we had great economic growth, we cut taxes, and we had a big surplus.

Oh yeah, mofo? You know what else led to that balanced budget in the late 1990s? Bill Clinton’s tax hikes in 1993, which Republicans absolutely howled would destroy this country. Of course they were wrong, and they helped usher in an unprecedented era of growth and prosperity.

John "KKK" Kasich doesn’t like the kind of prosperity that benefits the 99%, and for him to try to take credit for Clinton’s budget surplus is an absurd Republican lie.

Cartoon:

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Aug 062015
 

Recently, Barack Obama has given some thoroughly impressive speeches, and in my view, he has clearly outdone himself once again in his defense of his Iran Policy at American University.  I found myself so impressed that I consider the speech a “must watch” event for Americans who want to know how to overcome seditious Republican attempts to destroy the world’s efforts to deny Iran nuclear arms, so Republicans can deny success to Obama.

0806irannonukes

President Obama took on critics of the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers in an aggressive speech on Wednesday, saying they were the same people who created the “drumbeat of war” and played on public fears to push the United States into the Iraq war more than a decade ago.

“Let’s not mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some sort of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon,” Mr. Obama told about 200 people in a speech at American University. “How can we in good conscience justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives?”

Mr. Obama, opening a new, more overtly political phase of his public campaign for the accord, portrayed the coming vote in Congress to approve or reject the deal as the most consequential foreign policy decision for lawmakers since Congress voted in 2003 to authorize the invasion of Iraq. He implored them to “shut out the noise” and back the deal… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Photo credit: Hopes and Dreams

Here’s the complete video.

For the transcript, click here.

The video is almost an hour in length, but in it, Obama demolished every possible argument against the international policy.  That’s why I said, it’s “must watch” for those who want peace, as opposed to the Republican path to war.

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Aug 012015
 

Here are the results of our “Republicns Blocking Peace” poll.  Politics Plus Polls are not scientific, because those who respond are not balanced according to demographic categories.   Therefore, we do not accurately reflect the makeup of the US population.  Nevertheless, our polls are usually factually accurate, and more often than not, they reflect thinking or will of the national majority.

0801Poll

Our Polling Host no longer allows us to copy and paste your comments made when taking the poll.  To read them, click here.

I voted no.  Although I strongly suspect that Congress will pass a bill to block the deal, Obama will veto it.  Republicans will not have enough votes to override the veto.

The new poll is up.  Please vote.

Editing error corrected.

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Jul 272015
 

The more I have thought about it, the more I have come to the conclusion that, although I expect Republicans to pass a bill to block the international effort to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands, they will not be able to overcome the presidential veto that will follow.  Then why is Benjamin Netanyahu (R-IS), aka Butcher Bibi, investing so much of himself in the Republican effort?  I’ve gotten pretty close, but the following author understands.

0727ButcherBibi…On the battle to come the headline over a story in The Times of Israel put it this way. AIPAC girds for rare high-noon showdown with White House.

The first question arising is this. Does Netanyahu really believe that with AIPAC’s assistance he can mobilize Zionism’s election campaign funders and those in Congress who do their bidding to kill the deal?

Unless he is completely out of touch with the way things are moving in Washington D.C, Netanyahu must know there is no chance of Congress coming up with the two-thirds majority necessary to over-ride an Obama veto of legislation to kill the deal.

So what, really, is Netanyahu’s game plan for America?

The only answer I can think of is that he is reconciled to the fact that a growing number of Democrats in Congress are no longer prepared to do the Zionist state’s bidding when doing it is clearly not in America’s own best interests. Even Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for the 2016 race to the White House, felt that gave her the freedom to endorse the deal with Iran. She said, "With vigorous enforcement, unyielding verification and swift consequences for any violations, this agreement can make the United States, Israel and our Arab partners safer."

In that light it seems to me Netanyahu’s game plan is to say and do whatever he thinks will assist the Republicans to rubbish President Obama and win the White House in 2016, in the hope that a Republican president will kill the deal.

If that is the hope in Netanyahu’s deluded mind it is no doubt being encouraged by the statements of all the Republicans who are offering themselves as presidential candidates… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Op-Ed News>

Effectively what we had here is the Republican Party conspiring with a foreign power to undermine America’s foreign policy and influence an American election.  This is nothing short of criminal sedition.

American Jews have been more likely to vote for Democrats, because so many are social liberals.  But that has been with both Republicans and Democrats supporting Israel, even against our own self interest.  Therefore Butcher Bibi’s partisan stance will shift some Jewish voters to the Republicans in 2016.

However, I think we need to stress that killing the deal would lead to a nuclear armed Iran with nothing to lose.  That is the most dangerous scenario for the people of Israel, so American Jews can support Israel best by opposing Butcher Bibi (R-IS), and abandoning AIPAC, which is now dominated by Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians (the opposite of real authentic Christians).

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