Aug 092016
 

I actually got to watch the Olympics for a few minutes last night.  I hope I live through the 2020 games.  I’d hate for my last Olympics to be the one I could not see well.  It’s a busy day with lots of paperwork to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:57 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: At a speech in Detroit on Monday, the Republican Presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, spelled out the details of his economic plan, which calls for every American to inherit millions of dollars from his or her father.

“There are people at my rallies, desperate people, desperate because they want jobs,” he told his luncheon audience at the Detroit Economic Club. “Once they inherit millions from their father, they will never want a job again.”

Using an anecdote to show how his economic plan would work, Trump explained, “A man with zero dollars who inherited forty million dollars from his father would become forty million dollars wealthier.”

“We are going to make America rich again,” he said.

So, Andy, do you plan to return to doing satire?

From Daily Kos: And now for some friendly advice for my Republican friends. If you want to criticize President Obama on anything having to do with Iran, don’t waste your energy seething about "Iran" and "ransom" and "hostages" and what Ronald Reagan would do. It won’t end well for you. After all, it wasn’t Reagan’s inauguration that secured the release of 52 Americans held captive in Tehran, but months of negotiations by the Carter administration. And as it turned out during the Iran-Contra scandal, the American president who actually paid a "ransom" and "negotiated with terrorists" was none other than St. Ronnie himself.

In the midst of Republican accusations about Iran, don’t forget that Republicans love to project, accusing Democrats of vile sins against God, nature, and their patron Saint Ronnie, when the one who actually committed them was Saint Ronnie Ray Gun, himself.

From Alternet: “None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” a letter signed by 50 of the right’s top national security officials read. Dozens of top aides and cabinet members for President George W. Bush issued the letter Monday to warn against the Republican presidential nominee as a “risk” to America’s national security.

“From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief,” read the letter drafted by legal adviser at the National Security Council and the State Department under former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. Several of Rice’s many of closest aides at the White House and the State Department are all signatories to the anti-Trump letter, although the former secretary of state has issued no public statements on Trump’s White House bid.

In March, more than 100 GOP national security advisers signed a similar anti-Trump letter, calling the political neophyte “fundamentally dishonest” who “would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe.” Monday’s letter, however, is signed by several, even more prominent national security officials who cited Trump’s recent remarks about Russia as a catalyst for action. More on the signatories from the New York Times:

Among the most prominent signatories are Michael V. Hayden, a former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency; John D. Negroponte, who served as the first director of national intelligence and then deputy secretary of state; and Robert B. Zoellick, another former deputy secretary of state, United States trade representative and, until 2012, president of the World Bank. Two former secretaries of homeland security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, also signed, as did Eric S. Edelman, who served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser and as a top aide to Robert M. Gates when he was secretary of defense.

I hate to say it, but that’s 100 endorsements we don’t want, considering that around ninety of them should be tried for war crimes.

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It’s either Republicitis or Republicosis!!

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Mar 012016
 

I’m continuing to improve, but I’m so far behind on everything that I’m completely swamped.  Therefore this is today’s only article.  Hugs!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:14 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Adding a new wrinkle in an already unpredictable election year, Donald Trump saw his poll numbers plummet on Monday after receiving a surprise endorsement from President Barack Obama.

The long-awaited downfall of the abrasive billionaire came in startling fashion, as few had expected the President to offer a full-throated endorsement of Trump, especially on the eve of the all-important Super Tuesday primaries.

Praising the Republican front-runner during a nationally televised address, the President said that, despite media reports to the contrary, Trump shared his views on such important issues as immigration and religious tolerance. “In every way that matters, Donald and I are on exactly the same page,” Obama said, pointing to a framed picture of the billionaire on his Oval Office desk.

Uh Oh!! Andy put InsaniTEA in his Wacky Tobacky!! Dang!!

From Daily Kos: Only hours ago, in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN, Donald Trump repeatedly refused to repudiate a political endorsement of Trump’s candidacy from KKK leader David Duke, pleading ignorance of Duke and what he represents (white supremacy):

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Hateful Hairball has already demonstrated his racism.

From NY Times: Nearly three years after Iran’s reform-minded president was elected, the most reactionary voices in Iranian politics are losing ground to moderates buoyed by the sweeping nuclear deal with big powers, including the United States.

Though hard-liners still control the most powerful positions and institutions of the state, two national elections last week appeared to build on the slow but unmistakable evolution toward a more moderate political landscape — now and into the future.

It’s a pleasure to report good news for a change.

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Feb 292016
 

I have stayed low for the weekend hoping my foot would do some healing.  And it has!  Tomorrow is physio and teaching.  My physiotherapist will be taking another shot at my foot.  Starting 07/03/2016 Lucia will be taking an ESL class with other students and she won't have her 2 youngest to worry about.  I am going to see if I can sit in on a class or two so that I can tailor our Friday 1-on-1 to her classroom needs.  I am really excited for her as she will have a much better time learning without her 2 youngest children interrupting.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — Iranian President Hassan Rouhani won a strong vote of confidence and reformist partners secured surprise gains in parliament in early results from elections that could speed up the Islamic Republic's emergence from years of isolation.

Foad Izadi, an assistant professor at the Faculty of World Studies in Tehran University said the reformists' strong showing was prompted by Rouhani's success in reaching a nuclear agreement between Iran and international powers, the removal of most of the sanctions that had strangled the country's economy over the past decade and restoration of relations with the West.

"It is a sweeping victory for Tehran but for other cities it is not yet clear cut. It is beyond expectations," he added.

Etemad, a reformist newspaper whose managing-editor Elias Hazrati won a seat in Tehran, chose the headline of "clean up in the parliament."

Along with hope of a parliamentary clean up comes hope for better economic times.  As noted in a Foreign Policy article,

Hassan Rouhani had been president for almost a year, and Iran and the group of six world powers — the United States, France, Britain, China, Russia, and Germany — had inked an interim nuclear agreement in Geneva. For the first time in years, Kaveh no longer felt hopeless about the future of his country. Members of the business community, like him, believed Rouhani had the political grit necessary to fight corruption and bring economic change. The prospects of a nuclear deal had them revitalized, he told me. Kaveh had become a senior executive at a private aviation firm and was especially excited because sanctions for aviation had been relaxed; his company had launched talks with a European firm to buy new airplanes. International delegations were trickling in for business talks, and there was even talk of trade with America, Kaveh said excitedly.  …

… in 2016, Kaveh’s attitude has again shifted. Although there are glimmers of hope on the horizon of the Iranian economy, he tells me true change will take longer than he once thought.

There is change, but it will take time to reconnect economically.  When there are 2 intractable players like the US and the Iranian hardliners, it will take that much longer to repair the economic damage.  Click through for the remainder of these two related articles.

Right Wing Watch — After vowing to go after journalists who write critical stories about him at a rally in Texas today, Donald Trump bragged about the support his presidential campaign has received from conservative evangelical voters, touting endorsements from televangelist Paula White, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr., and Sarah Palin.

Trump even brought Robert Jeffress, the conservative televangelist notorious for his anti-gay, anti-Catholic and anti-Mormon preaching, onto the stage to sing his praises. Jeffress called Trump a patriot “who is truly pro-life,” unlike Hillary Clinton, whom he warned would be “the most pro-abortion president in history.”

“God bless Donald Trump,” Jeffress declared. Trump had a much bleaker message: “Christianity is under siege. Every year it gets weaker and weaker and weaker.”

He said he would restore Christianity to greatness by scrapping IRS regulations pertaining to church engagement in partisan political activity on behalf of candidates or campaigns.

Listening to this ass is frightening.  He panders . . . panders to the evangelicals and the haters.  He panders to their fears without true regard to the consequences.  In an Alternet article, "…McConnell reportedly told colleagues that the party will drop Trump “like a hot rock” if he is the nominee."  I guess we wait a little longer.

Truthdig — “There is a clear contrast between our two candidates with regard to my strong belief that we must end the interventionist, regime change policies that have cost us so much,” she [U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii] wrote. “This is not just another ‘issue.’ This is THE issue, and it’s deeply personal to me. This is why I’ve decided to resign as Vice Chair of the DNC so that I can support Bernie Sanders in his efforts to earn the Democratic nomination in the 2016 presidential race.”

From the beginning, it seems that the deck has been stacked against Bernie.  Not only has the press virtually ignored him, but the DNC has as well.  I question whether the chairperson of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has been equally concerned about neutrality since she was a Clinton 2008 national campaign co-chair.

My Universe

I hate that animals are brutalised like Duffy was, but I love the transformations!

Now if people could only get the message that animals and people should not be brualised, not abused but LOVED!

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Jan 212016
 

Yesterday stayed busy.  After my shower-aide left, Safeway.com delivered groceries, which I put away.  Then my helper friend came.  We did laundry, and I tried on everything in my closet to determine what to keep and what to throw away.  The goal is to make the clothes I wear more accessible.  This morning I spent a couple hours doing volunteer work, researching two potential appointees to the Parole Board.  We want thee board to diversify.  A Board consisting only of Prosecutors, Parole Officers, and Victims’ Rights Advocates insures bias against prisoners, rather than a fair hearing.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: In a clip from her upcoming special "Marriage Material," Esposito tackles gun culture.

 

This is a big take-down of Republican Ammosexuals.

From Daily Kos: Rachel Maddow points out the inconvenient truths about Ronald Reagan as GOP candidates attempt to live vicariously through a misremembered idol. It has been the modus operandi of Republican candidates as they wrap themselves in their parties icon. It is no different than Hillary Clinton wrapping herself in President Obama during the 4th Democratic Debate.

Recently GOP candidates have been attacking President Obama on the deal he made to bring the hostages home from Iran. Marco Rubio told Chuck Todd he would be like Ronald Reagan in dealing with Iran. Unfortunately Rubio is severely misremembering a Ronald Reagan who traded arms for hostages in Iran. He admitted it on national TV. Many of his National Security team were indicted. It was known as the Iran Contra scandal.

 

This is Rachel’s original video, as the clip included with the article did not embed. Today’s Republicans prefer not to remember either the crimes or the “librul” tax increases perpetrated by Saint Ronnie Ray Gun.

From NY Times: Scientists reported Wednesday that 2015 was the hottest year in the historical record by far, breaking a mark set only the year before — a burst of heat that has continued into the new year and is roiling weather patterns all over the world.

In the contiguous United States, the year was the second-warmest on record, punctuated by a December that was both the hottest and the wettest since record-keeping began. One result has been a wave of unusual winter floods coursing down the Mississippi River watershed.

Scientists started predicting a global temperature record months ago, in part because an El Niño weather pattern, one of the largest in a century, is releasing an immense amount of heat from the Pacific Ocean into the atmosphere. But the bulk of the record-setting heat, they say, is a consequence of the long-term planetary warming caused by human emissions of greenhouse gases.

“The whole system is warming up, relentlessly,” said Gerald A. Meehl, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo.

The faster we convert top green energy, the less catastrophic the effects will be.

The faster we convert top green energy, the less catastrophic the effects will be.

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Jan 172016
 

Today is another high holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  Congrats to the Patriots and the Cardinals who the Orb blessed yesterday.  The later game was a nail biter, but I have to say, as a disinterested party, that the Cardinals had extraordinary assistance from the Zebras on more than one occasion.  Today I suspect that the Panthers will dine on Fricassee of Seachicken.  My Broncos can beet the Steelers, if the right Broncos show up and stay for all 60 minutes.  I don’t have to tell you my plans for the day.

Jig Zoned Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:43 (average 6:03).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A fact checker who has vetted all of the 2016 Republican Presidential debates was hospitalized for exhaustion during the sixth G.O.P. forum in Charleston on Thursday evening.

Martin Slessky, a former journalist who works for HonestyWatch, a Minnesota-based fact-checking organization, was resting comfortably after suffering what his doctors called a “total physical and mental collapse” during Thursday’s debate.

Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of HonestyWatch, said he first became concerned about Slessky’s health when the fact checker started having heart palpitations and shortness of breath every time Texas senator Ted Cruz spoke.

“I turned to Martin and said, ‘Are you all right? Are you going to be able to make it through this?’ ” Dorrinson said. “And he said, ‘I’ll be fine. Ben Carson is starting to talk now, that’ll be soothing.’ ”

But moments later, when New Jersey governor Chris Christie falsely claimed that he never supported the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Slessky experienced acute dizziness and blurry vision, and was immediately rushed to the hospital.

Andy, I’m amazed his job didn’t kill him.

From Daily Kos: Charles Carter and Vincent Smith were right-wing extremists planning a "Paul Revere 2016 Final March to Restore America" [Republican Ammosexuals Delinked] — a cross-country caravan to “remove the corrupt leadership that has taken over our beloved country and ousted her God and constitution.“

On Monday, police in Grayson County, Texas reported one person was dead as the result of a gunshot wound to the head. Although they didn’t name the victim or the suspect, Raw Story​ notes that right-wingers on Facebook were quick to identify the victim as Charles Carter and the shooter as Vincent Smith: [Republicans delinked]

Posthumous Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Throw the book at the Republican murderer. I shall not mourn the victim.

From NY Times: The United States and European nations lifted oil and financial sanctions on Iran and released roughly $100 billion of its assets after international inspectors concluded that the country had followed through on promises to dismantle large sections of its nuclear program.

So far diplomacy has worked, and Iran has taken steps that Republicans predicted would never happen. Nevertheless, Republicans are still beating the drums of war.

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Jan 032016
 

Well I spent yesterday doing laundry and the Politics Plus Monthly Report so I pooped out before doing an Open Thread.  Today, the end of the laundry!  As I sit here, I can hear the fog horn blowing out in the inlet.  Tomorrow is physio, teaching, and a doctor's appointment so it will be a long day.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — But 2016 Republican candidate Carly Fiorina dismissed Iran’s reaction to the death of the leading anti-government protester.

“I take the Iranian condemnation with a huge grain of salt,” Fiorina told CNN’s "State of the Union" on Sunday. “This is a regime that tortures citizens routinely, that thinks nothing of executions, that still holds four Americans in jail.”  

Retired neurosurgeon and presidential hopeful Ben Carson went further, suggesting that the nuclear deal struck last July between Iran, the U.S. and five world powers pushed Saudi Arabia to violently repress its Shiite population.

“The Saudis have been one of our strongest allies in the Middle East, and I think it’s unfortunate that we put them in the position we have by showing the support to Iran that we have with this foolish deal,” Carson told ABC’s “This Week." 

These Republicans call Saudi Arabia an ally of the US yet Saudi Arabia, according to the Human Rights Watch World Report 2015. continues to "… try, convict, and imprison political dissidents and human rights activists solely on account of their peaceful activities. Systematic discrimination against women and religious minorities continued. … subjected hundreds of people to unfair trials and arbitrary detention. New anti-terrorism regulations that took effect in 2014 can be used to criminalize almost any form of peaceful criticism of the authorities as terrorism."  In addition, Saudi Arabia is the world's #1 importer of arms as at 2014.  What does it do with all these arms when it only has a standing armed forces of 239,000?  The Saudi's have not assisted in the placement of refugees from anything I have heard, and in the past were thought to be supporting ISIS in various ways.

The US is seen as the "boogeyman" in the Middle East, contributing substantially to the instability in the region.  But Saudi Arabia is destabilising force as well.  By executing Shiite dissident cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, Saudi Arabia has upped the ante.  The Iranian response has not helped either, but it is a direct response to Saudi Arabia's provocative action.

Count on Republicans to throw gasoline on a fire.

The Guardian — Speaking in Biloxi, Mississippi, the Republican presidential hopeful implied that the Obama administration should have heeded his call for the US to seize oil assets controlled by Isis but had instead allowed the terror group to prosper.

“I’ve predicted a lot of things, you have to say, including, ‘Get the oil, take the oil, keep the oil.’ Right? I’ve been saying that for three years, and everybody said, ‘Oh, I can’t do that. I mean, this is a sovereign country. There is no country!” Trump said.

They’ve created Isis. Hillary Clinton created Isis with Obama,” Trump said.

As I understand, ISIS was "created" by Baby Bush and Cheney when they invaded Iraq for oil, toppled Sadam Hussein and left a vacuum in Iraq.  Out of the sectarian violence came ISIS to fill the vacuum.  And leave it to Trump not to acknowledge the role his inflamatory rhetoric has played in recruitment videos.  He probably wants an OSCAR nomination for his work.

Alternet — "Fear," a great Jedi master named Yoda once said, "leads to anger," which leads to hate, which leads to suffering, which, of course, leads to the Dark Side.  

In other words, it went down exactly the way Republicans wanted it to go down. They've always used fear to win elections.

Whether it's fear of same-sex couples getting married, fear of the government taking away the people's guns or fear of Black men, they've always understood that fear works to motivate their white base.

IMO, Thom Hartmann is spot on.  Time to get the progressive vote out and talk down the fear.

My Universe — 

10683509"Please sir, might I have more?"

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