Apr 142014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow early in the morning.  Because I’m swamped with prison volunteer Board Meeting preparations, this is today’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:43 (average 4:18).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Why Birth Control Needs To Be Covered By All Insurance Plans, In One Simple Graphic

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In addition, nothing else prevents more abortions.

From Daily Kos: Rick Wiles is one of the more prominent talk show hosts on the right-wing fringe.  Among his guests in the past have been Tom Tancredo, John Fleming, Matt Barber, Harry Jackson and other big names on the far right.  They’ve continued to troop to his show even though he claims, among other things, that expanded rights for gays prompted North Korea to threaten nuclear war, that Columbine and Sandy Hook were carried out by "mind control assassins" and that North Korea threatened nuclear war with us because we’re moving toward expanded rights for gays.

Well, yesterday Wiles outdid himself even by his standards.  He called for President Obama to be thrown out of office by a military coup.  People for the American Way got a clip.

I warned in 2008 that Barack Obama’s mission is to instigate a second Civil War in America. His regime is deliberately ripping the country apart and if the US Military doesn’t take action soon to arrest Barack Obama and remove him and his regime from the White House, there will be no country left for the military to defend. We are on the edge of collapse as a nation. Jesus Christ is America’s only hope. Let us pray that Almighty God delivers us from this very real tyranny that seeks to persecute the saints of God.

If I had time, I’d give this seditionist Republican scumbag a "parade".  Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity is NOT Christian.  It is the opposite.

From Alternet: Detroit columnist Nolan Finley: Woman candidate is “milking the vagina business.”

Detroit News’ editorial page editor and columnist Nolan Finley displayed his ability to keep it real classy this week. Notoriously anti-Democratic and pro-corporate, he has long been using his perch to rabidly oppose the candidacy of Democrats, most recently Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Schnauer and his running mate, Lisa Brown. This week Finley wrote:

[Brown’s] confrontational style will give the ticket the spunk the colorless Schauer lacks, but won’t broaden his appeal. Brown could help bring in campaign cash, however. She’s still milking the vagina business, and is a minor celebrity among feminists.

Wait, there’s a vagina business that can be milked? How come we did not know that?

What that curious term means to Finley is that Lisa Brown favors reproductive rights for women, which in his world (roughly the 1950s) makes her an extreme left-wing liberal.

Milking the vagina business.

What will the Republican woman haters club come up with next?

This is just one of seven Republican absurdities from last week alone. Click through for the other six.  Thou shalt NOT commit TEAbuggery!!

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Ben Franklin was its first President.

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Apr 022014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I spent the entire morning collecting the data for the Monthly Report.  I still have errands to run.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:03 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: It begins at 1:28 when a bunch of young go-getters band together to battle a nationwide stigma. We learn about a neat strategy to get people to vote — called a “dorm storm” — at 4:58. At 9:05, she considers what’s at stake if they lose the battle. And, yup, the moment you were waiting for happens at 10:02. Keep your tissues handy.

…and they call millennials lazy. Pffft.

 

We need more kids like those!!

From The New Yorker: The casino billionaire and Republican kingmaker Sheldon Adelson met several 2016 G.O.P. candidates available for purchase over the weekend, but decided to buy none of them, Adelson confirmed today.

After hearing speeches by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and several others who were for sale, Mr. Adelson concluded that none of them are worth owning.

“I don’t want to spend millions on another loser,” said Adelson, who purchased both Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in 2012.

The casino magnate was scathing in his assessment of the candidates he declined to buy, calling them “a third-rate grab bag of has-beens and dimwits.”

Funny as Andy is with his satire, you can be sure Adelson will buy at least one of them.

From Washington Post: A report by the Senate Intelligence Committee concludes that the CIA misled the government and the public about aspects of its brutal interrogation program for years — concealing details about the severity of its methods, overstating the significance of plots and prisoners, and taking credit for critical pieces of intelligence that detainees had in fact surrendered before they were subjected to harsh techniques.

The report, built around detailed chronologies of dozens of CIA detainees, documents a long-standing pattern of unsubstantiated claims as agency officials sought permission to use — and later tried to defend — excruciating interrogation methods that yielded little, if any, significant intelligence, according to U.S. officials who have reviewed the document.

“The CIA described [its program] repeatedly both to the Department of Justice and eventually to Congress as getting unique, otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped disrupt terrorist plots and save thousands of lives,” said one U.S. official briefed on the report. “Was that actually true? The answer is no.”

Current and former U.S. officials who described the report spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue and because the document remains classified. The 6,300-page report includes what officials described as damning new disclosures about a sprawling network of secret detention facilities, or “black sites,” that was dismantled by President Obama in 2009.

I trust you probably knew this. Now we know that we know. Soon what we know will be officially public. Thank God Obama kept his word and tore it down.  Click through.

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Mar 312014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and it’s hard to believe that this month has gone so quickly.  I’ll continue to be scarce in April.  My schedule makes this month’s seem tame, by comparison.  Please pardon my brevity, lest I run out ofday, before running out of tasks.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 5:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: When Chuck Herrin, who runs a large farm labor contracting company, looks out at the hundreds of workers he hires each year to tend to the countless rows of asparagus, grapes, tomatoes, peaches and plums, he often seethes in frustration.

It is not that he has any trouble with the laborers. It is that he, like many others in agriculture here, is increasingly fed up with immigration laws that he says prevent him from fielding a steady, reliable work force.

“What we have going on now is a farce — a waste of time and money,” said Mr. Herrin, a lifelong Republican who grew up in central California, adding that the country should be considering ways to bring workers in, not keep them out. “We need these people to get our food to market.”

Even Republicans recognize the need to enact comprehensive immigration reform, but the Republican Party continues to sabotage it. To intentionally harm our economy for political gain, however ineptly done, is sedition.

From Think Progress: Last month, Uganda made international headlines when President Yoweri Museveni signed the controversial Anti-Homosexuality Act, calling for the imprisonment of gay citizens. But one religious leader refuses to discriminate against people for their sexual orientation, and has become a hero to the country’s gay community.

In defiance of the legislation, commonly referred to as the “Kill the Gays” bill, Rev. Christopher Senyonjo hosts weekly prayer sessions and counseling services to LGBT worshipers and supporters. He also critiques fellow clerics’ “healing” approach to addressing the gay community, whereby church leaders attempt to fix people through prayer. “They said I should condemn the homosexuals,” he said, referring to Anglican leaders in Uganda. “I can’t do that, because I was called to serve all people, including the marginalized. But they say I am inhibited until I recant. I am still a member of the Anglican church.”

Citing questionable evidence provided by Ugandan scientists, the President justified signing the Anti-Homosexuality Act in February by arguing that being gay is a choice. According to the harsh law, first-time offenders can spend at least 14 years in jail, while others can serve lifelong sentences. As a result, LGBT people are ostracized and subjected to violence.

Reverend Senyonio aptly illustrates the difference between authentic Christians and Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, like the members of the US Congress, who coined this legislation, and even intended it to include capital punishment for gay people.

From Daily Kos: Mississippi has not been what you’d call a pro-union state, but it’s really hammering that point home this week, with the state Senate passing not one, not two, but THREE anti-union bills and sending them to Gov. Phil Bryant for his signature:

Senate Bill 2473 would make it illegal to coerce a business into staying neutral in a union drive or to allow workers to choose union representation by signing cards instead of by secret ballot. It’s not clear what would constitute coercion, but businesses could sue anyone they believed engaged in it. [...]

Senate Bill 2653 tries to restrict mass picketing of a residence or place of business. It says pickets would be legal as long as they weren’t violent and didn’t block entrances. But it also makes getting a court stop order against picketing easier.

Senate Bill 2797 says the Legislature would have to pass a law to allow any state or local government to make an agreement to use unionized workers on a project. Such a project labor agreement was used to build the Toyota Motor Corp. plant in Blue Springs.

So basically, "unions GTFO. We will sue you for breathing."

The Republican Party is dedicated to create slave labor that the 1% can exploit without having to build in the third world.  You’re it.

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Mar 282014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow very early in the morning, before leaving for prison volunteer work, so these articles will be ready for me to post some time tomorrow morning.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:40 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: I went to the doctor for the first time in five years today. Although I’m young, I had neglected a couple of health issues for at least a year. I couldn’t afford care and was left hoping none of them developed into anything more serious. As a small business owner who narrowly missed the threshold for buying on the exchanges, I’m enrolled in Medicaid for this year until I can bump my income up a bit. The day my confirmation of benefits and card came was among the best of my life. I nearly broke down in tears.

But that isn’t what this diary is about. Today, I went to the doctor for the first time in five years and saw first hand why Republicans have fought tooth and nail for a system that was so broken for every single stakeholder – except the insurers and the politicians who enable them.

What I found made my blood boil. Follow below the fold for a living example of what our "health care system" could have done to me and millions of others before the ACA. Let’s just say the cheesy poof holding the fold would have been more than the food in my pantry.

Click through for a most excellent read. Like the author says in the last sentence, lets go to work.

From Alternet: Eight-year-old Sunnie Kahle’s family says that she has never had any disciplinary problems. They say that as a student at Virginia’s Timberlake Christian School she has maintained a 4.0 academic average. School administrators confirm this. But Kahle’s great-grandmother and legal guardian Doris Thompson says that the child was nonetheless recently invited to leave the school anyway. Why? Because she’s not feminine enough.

Sunnie has short hair, a style she first adopted when she turned five and declared she wanted to donate her long locks for kids with cancer. Since then, she’s preferred jeans and t-shirts and has decided, Thompson says, “She didn’t want to wear her frilly dresses anymore.” Today, she likes teddy bears and bracelets — as well as collecting autographed baseballs and playing “rough and tough. And sadly, in a world in which the pressure on little girls and boys to conform to rigid gender roles is more ramped up than ever and eschewing pink is somehow suspect, Sunnie’s style would likely be questioned almost anywhere. (And yes, I am saying this as a parent whose daughters have attended hippy-dippy New York City public schools.) But in a strictly conservative environment, her demeanor could be interpreted as tantamount to revolution. Last month the school sent home a letter, which has been obtained by local news station WDBJ7, reminding Sunnie’s caregivers of its right to decline students who do not follow a “biblical lifestyle.”

When Republicans push for school vouchers, they are demanding that YOU pay for this kind of illegal discrimination with your tax dollars.

From Crooks and Liars:

The GOP says they pride themselves on fiscal responsibility, but they have been exposed as frauds because a Pentagon report said they’ve wasted millions and millions of dollars on the trumped up Benghazi investigations.

If you ever hear Rep. Darrell Issa say he’s a fiscal conservative, just laugh in his face and ask him how can he then explain wasting millions of dollars of taxpayers money on repetitive and wasteful hearings on Benghazi? Not only has he spent millions like a drunken sailor, but they’ve also put a huge strain on our military. [BARF BAG ALERT!]

 

Issa continues to parrot the same lies that have all been thoroughly proven false. I fully agree with the author. And lets not forget that it was Republicans who slashed the funding for embassy security.

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Mar 122014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I’m feeling most unhappy, because my bad leg acted up, and I could not go for my volunteer meeting in prison, because I cannot handle the stairs today.  The one plus is that I’m here to write for you.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:02 (average 7:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: We all know the rainforest is being destroyed. Heck, the entire planet’s in distress! But is there really anything we can do about it? Actually, yes.

 

I can’t speak for or against the credibility of "rainforest certified", so I leave that to those of you who are in the know, but I love this ad for them.

From Daily Kos: The extent to which Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s office worked with legislators to tweak the language of "religious liberty" bill SB 1062 shows, according to Arizona governor Jan Brewer’s office, nothing at all. To the rest of us it’s another reminder of just how close Arizona’s newest legislative fiasco came to becoming a state reality.

Documents obtained by Capitol Media Services show gubernatorial counsel Joe Sciarrotta and adviser Michael Hunter met with staffers from the Center for Arizona Policy as early as January about the legislation. The documents, mainly e-mail exchanges before and after meetings, show the alterations made in the legislation at the behest of the Brewer advisers. [...]

“But the intent of the meetings, the purpose of the meetings, was to thoroughly vet the language, address their concerns, and make changes in the language pursuant to their concerns,” [CAP President Cathi Herrod] said. She said her organization addressed every concern raised by Hunter and Sciarrotta with the idea that this year’s version would not meet the same fate as a similar bill Brewer vetoed last year.

There it is. The Brewerstan Death Angel, vetoed this bill only because the Republican Party could not get away with it. Her claim to object to the content was a lie, because it was content that she had helped to formulate.

From NY Times: Democrats have for too long been passive in the face of the vast amounts of corporate money, most of it secret, that are being spent to evict them from office and dismantle their policies. By far the largest voice in many of this year’s political races, for example, has been that of the Koch brothers, who have spent tens of millions of dollars peddling phony stories about the impact of health care reform, all in order to put Republicans in control of the Senate after the November elections.

Now Democrats are starting to fight back, deciding they should at least try to counter the tycoons with some low-cost speech of their own. Democrats may never have the same resources at their disposal — no party should — but they can use their political pulpits to stand up for a few basic principles, including the importance of widespread health-insurance coverage, environmental protection and safety-net programs.

Corporations are NOT people!! Money is NOT speech!! Therefore, we must use people to trump corporations and speech to trump money!!

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Mar 052014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and am feeling quite tired, because, between personal business, volunteer business, and research, I’ve been going strong for six hours.  Two pounds of you know what in a one pound bag is a constant around here.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:05 (average 6:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Uganda’s anti-homosexuality law is so extreme it’s almost unbelievable. But it is very real for the lesbian and gay community living there. And if you want to organize a movement against the law in Uganda? You could go to prison too. That’s why the rest of the world must speak up, and loudly.

0305Uganda

When Republican Representatives and Senators from the US originally travelled to Uganda to propose and promote this law, it also contained the death penalty.

From Daily Kos: You know how experiencing personal tragedy can make some Republicans very nearly human? Like when Sen. Mark Kirk had a stroke and the epiphany that low-income residents on Medicaid wouldn’t get the same chance at rehabilitation that he got? And that that was bad? Well, that doesn’t work with every Republican. Meet Arkanasas [sic] state Rep. Josh Miller, one of the Republicans trying to take Medicaid away from what is now about 100,000 people who’ve gained it through the state’s Medicaid expansion.

Miller, 33, was on an alcohol-fueled drive with a friend about 11 years ago (he can’t remember who was driving) when their pickup plunged off a ravine near Choctaw. He was rescued, but suffered a broken neck and was paralyzed. Miller was uninsured. [...]

Months of hospitalization and rehabilitation followed, including a long stretch in intensive care at St. Vincent Infirmary. There was a $1 million bill. Medicaid paid most of it. Miller was placed on disability and checks began. In time, between Medicaid and Medicare, all his health costs were covered by the federal government. For that reason, he need not be among the 82 Arkansas legislators (61 percent of the body) who enjoy heavily subsidized and comprehensive state employee health insurance.

Health insurance isn’t Miller’s only government benefit. Another federal Medicaid program for which he qualifies provides daily personal care assistance…

Click through for more. How do you spell hypocrite? R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C-A-N!!

From The New Yorker: Russian President Vladimir Putin received “strong, unqualified words of support” last night in a ninety-minute conversation with himself, Mr. Putin confirmed today.

The invasion of Crimea was the main topic of the conversation, which Mr. Putin described as “extremely collegial and enthusiastic.”

“We discussed a wide range of issues, including how everyone in Ukraine had invited us to come to Ukraine, and also how the soldiers reported to be in Crimea were not actually Russian soldiers but, in fact, local volunteers who looked a lot like Russian soldiers,” he said. “There was strong agreement on all of these matters.”

But Andy, Putin (R-RU) dies not need himself for praise. He has the Republican Party!

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Note here that the lawyer who volunteered to defend the British soldiers was John Adams, because he believed that all accused have the right to a vigorous defense.  If only Republicans would recognize this.

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Mar 042014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I’m between naps.  The medical appointment tired me out.  All in all, I spent over two hours waiting for the lift bus, and because the medical complex is so huge, I still walked about a mile.  Fortunately I did the research for this article before I left.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:40 (average 5:36).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Salon.com: Old, white, wrinkled and angry, they are slipping from polite society in alarming numbers. We’re losing much of a generation.  They often sport hats or other clothing, some marking their status as veterans, Tea Partyers or “patriots” of some kind or another. They have yellow flags, bumper stickers and an unquenchable rage. They used to be the brave men and women who took on America’s challenges, tackling the ’60s, the Cold War and the Reagan years — but now many are terrified by the idea of slightly more affordable healthcare and a very moderate Democrat in the White House.

We’re losing people like my father to the despair of Fox News, and it’s all by design.

My dad is 67 years old, a full year younger than the average Fox viewer, who is 68, according to an analysis in New York magazine by columnist Frank Rich. I’ve read accounts of people my age — 40 or so — losing parents to cancer or Alzheimer’s, but just as big a tragedy are the crops of grandmothers and grandfathers debilitated by Fox News-induced hysteria.

This is a fascinating read on how the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda brainwashes people to promote irrational hatred. Click through.

From NY Times:

Recently the Federal Reserve released transcripts of its monetary policy meetings during the fateful year of 2008. And, boy, are they discouraging reading.

Partly that’s because Fed officials come across as essentially clueless about the gathering economic storm. But we knew that already. What’s really striking is the extent to which they were obsessed with the wrong thing. The economy was plunging, yet all many people at the Fed wanted to talk about was inflation.

Matthew O’Brien at The Atlantic has done the math. In August 2008 there were 322 mentions of inflation, versus only 28 of unemployment and 19 of systemic risks or crises. In the meeting on Sept. 16, 2008 — the day after Lehman fell! — there were 129 mentions of inflation versus 26 mentions of unemployment and only four of systemic risks or crises.

Historians of the Great Depression have long marveled at the folly of policy discussion at the time. For example, the Bank of England, faced with a devastating deflationary spiral, kept obsessing over the imagined threat of inflation. As the economist Ralph Hawtrey famously observed, “That was to cry ‘Fire, fire!’ in Noah’s flood.” But it turns out that modern monetary officials facing financial crisis were just as obsessed with the wrong thing as their predecessors three generations before.

Click through for most interesting analysis by Paul Krugman. What Krugman did not cover is the reason Banksters fear inflation so much. It devalues the stored wealth of the 0.1%.

From Crooks and Liars: Last month, “Christians” launched the next great hate-based initiative in the guise of a beneficial community program: Trail Life. The organization says it is the “premier national character development organization for young men which produces Godly and responsible husbands, fathers and citizens,” but really amounts to just another attempt by the Christian right to discriminate against America’s LGBT youth.

The Trail Life Scout Oath includes an order to be “morally straight.” Ron Orr, whose almost-Eagle Scout son left BSA to join Trail Life, explains that “As Christians from a scriptural basis, we love all folks, but the Scripture is very clear that being homosexual is a sin.” He says that it’s important to “hold a strong line” and “set a consistent example for our young men,” though some would question what positive example a youth organization based in hatred can possibly provide.

I disagree with the author on one key point.  These are not “Christians”.  They are Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, making them completely anti-Christian.  This is a picture of the Trail Life scouts’ salute. Need I say more?

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