Feb 032016
 

Today is another relatively busy day.  I have a grocery delivery coming to put away, volunteer editing to do, meals to prepare, and my helper friend coming to help me wash and change the sheets on my hospital bed.  I did managed to get a full night’s sleep last night, and I needed it.  I still feel tired today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Take a minute to celebrate and discover these 25 black "firsts" from the last 25 years.

1. First African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Actress: Halle Berry (2002)

0203Halle

It’s Black History Month. I shared the first Black “first” listed. Click through for the other twenty-four.

From NY Times: The state-appointed emergency manager of the Detroit Public Schools, who had also managed the city of Flint and oversaw its decision to draw its water from the Flint River, resigned on Tuesday, the day before a congressional committee hearing in Washington on Flint’s water.

Michelle Zdrodowski, a spokeswoman for Detroit Public Schools, said the manager, Darnell Earley, had declined to testify before a panel investigating the widespread contamination of Flint’s tap water after the city switched its water source, which led to elevated blood lead levels throughout the city.

On Tuesday evening, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee issued a subpoena for Mr. Earley to testify on Wednesday, but his lawyer, A. Scott Bolden, said Mr. Earley would not be able to appear.

I’m glad this Republican race-traitor lost his job. Rachel Maddow explains why the Republican House hearings are just a smoke screen to protect Sturmbannführer Snyder. 

I bet a fiver against a donut that the goose-stepping, sham committee will blame it on Obama or Hillary.

From Crooks and Liars: Rand Paul, the libertarian-minded freshman senator who was once viewed as a formidable presidential contender, is suspending his White House bid on Wednesday, several sources close to Paul told CNN.

 

I was happy to see that the Clown Car had barfed Upchuck Huck. I’m equally happy to see that it puked Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot!

Cartoon:

0203Cartoon

Share
Jan 282016
 

Nobody has given more and better coverage of the Republican water crimes of Sturmbannführer Snyder and his token lackey, Darnell Earley, City Manager of Flint, than Rachel Maddow.  I am not going to embed her Flint Town Hall videos here, but I will provide a link to them.  I want to make sure that you do not miss the the return of a native son to his home town.  Normally I never copy an entire article, but I’ll make exceptions with Open Letters, as that format means that the author cares most about spreading the information in it.  So without further ado, here is an open letter from Michael Moore.

0128michael

Many of you have contacted me wanting to know how you can help the people of Flint with the two-year long tragedy of drinking water contaminated by the radical decisions made by the Governor of Michigan. The offer is much appreciated by those who are suffering through this and who have not drank a glass of unpoisoned water since April of 2014.

Unfortunately, the honest answer to your offer of help is, sadly, you can’t.

You can’t help.

The reason you can’t help is that you cannot reverse the irreversible brain damage that has been inflicted upon every single child in Flint. The damage is permanent. There is no medicine you can send, no doctor or scientist who has any way to undo the harm done to thousands of babies, toddlers and children (not to mention their parents). They are ruined for life, and someone needs to tell you the truth about that. They will, forever, suffer from various neurological impediments, their IQs will be lowered by at least 20 points, they will not do as well in school and, by the time they reach adolescence, they will exhibit various behavioral problems that will land a number of them in trouble, and some of them in jail.

That is what we know about the history of lead poisoning when you inflict it upon a child. It is a life sentence. In Flint, they’ve already ingested it for these two years, and the toll has already been taken on their developing brains. No check you write, no truckloads of Fiji Water or Poland Spring, will bring their innocence or their health back to normal. It’s done. And it was done knowingly, enacted by a political decision from a Governor and a political party charged by the majority of Michigan’s citizens who elected them to cut taxes for the rich, take over majority-black cities by replacing the elected mayors and city councils, cut costs, cut services, cut more taxes for the rich, increase taxes on retired teachers and public employees and, ultimately, try to decimate their one line of defense against all this, this thing we used to call a union.

The amount of generosity since the national media finally started to cover this story has been tremendous. Pearl Jam sent 100,000 bottles of water. The next day the Detroit Lions showed up with a truck and 100,000 bottles of water. Yesterday, Puff Daddy and Mark Wahlberg donated 1,000,000 bottles of water! Unbelievably amazing. They acknowledged it’s a very short-term fix, and that it is. Flint has 102,000 residents, each in need of an average of 50 gallons of water a day for cooking, bathing, washing clothes, doing the dishes, and drinking (I’m not counting toilet flushes, watering plants or washing the car). But 100,000 bottles of water is enough for just one bottle per person – in other words, just enough to cover brushing one’s teeth for one day. You would have to send 200 bottles a day, per person, to cover what the average American (we are Americans in Flint) needs each day. That’s 102,000 citizens times 200 bottles of water – which equals 20.4 million 16oz. bottles of water per day, every day, for the next year or two until this problem is fixed (oh, and we’ll need to find a landfill in Flint big enough for all those hundreds of millions of plastic water bottles, thus degrading the local environment even further). Anybody want to pony up for that? Because THAT is the reality.

This is a catastrophe of unimaginable proportions. There is not a terrorist organization on Earth that has yet to figure out how to poison 100,000 people every day for two years – and get away with it. That took a Governor who subscribes to an American political ideology hell-bent on widening the income inequality gap and conducting various versions of voter and electoral suppression against people of color and the poor. It was those actions that led Michigan’s Republican Governor to try out his economic and racial experiment in Flint (and please don’t tell me this has nothing to do with race or class; he has removed the mayors of a number of black cities. This, and the water crisis in Flint, never would have been visited upon the residents of Bloomfield Hills or Grosse Pointe — and everyone here knows that). We have now seen the ultimate disastrous consequences of late-20th century, neo-conservative, trickle down public policy. That word “trickle,” a water-based metaphor, was used to justify this economic theory — well, it’s no longer a metaphor, is it? Because now we’re talking about how actual water has been used to institute these twisted economic beliefs in destroying the lives of the black and the poor in Flint, Michigan.

So, do you still want to help? Really help? Because what we need in Flint – and across the country – right now, tonight, is a nonviolent army of people who are willing to stand up for this nation, and go to bat for the forgotten of Flint.

Here’s what you and I need to do:

  1. Demand the removal and arrest of Rick Snyder, the Governor of Michigan. When the police have an "active shooter" situation in a building, they must first stop the shooter before they can bring aid to the victims. The perp who allowed the poisoning to continue once he knew something was wrong — and his minions who cooked the evidence so the public and the feds wouldn’t find out – must be removed from office ASAP. Whether it’s via resignation, recall or prosecution, this must happen now because he is still refusing to take the aggressive and immediate action needed. His office, as recently as this past Thursday, was claiming the EPA had no legal authority to tell him what to do. You know the EPA — that federal agency every Republican politician wants eliminated? Governor Snyder is not going to obey the law. He has covered up the crime, and I submit he has committed an act of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter. Last month I posted a meme of me holding a pair of handcuffs with the hashtag #ArrestGovSnyder:
    It went viral, so I posted a petition (
    link) to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to arrest the Governor – and asking President Obama to send help to Flint immediately. As each day brought a new revelation of the Governor’s corruption or incompetence, and with Rachel Maddow on a nightly tear, the momentum built. MoveOn.org and Democracy For America joined me in circulating our petition. We are now on our way to having a half-million signatures! Then Bernie Sanders became the first candidate to call for the Governor’s removal. That same day, President Obama issued his first emergency order for Flint. The next night, Hillary Clinton fiercely called out the racist actions of the Governor.
    You want to help?
    Sign the petition
    – and get everyone you know to sign it. Now. Another half-million signatures could become the tipping point we need. All eyes are on Flint.
  2. Make the State of Michigan pay for the disaster that the State of Michigan created. The Governor wants the President to declare Flint a federal disaster zone and have him send federal money to fix the problem. Not so fast. All relief aid for Flint currently coming from the federal government to Michigan is going through the Governor’s office to disburse. That is literally paying the fox to fix the chicken coop he destroyed. As a Michigan resident and voter, I think that the people who elected Governor Snyder must show some of that personal responsibility they’re always lecturing about to the poor. The majority of my fellow Michiganders wanted this kind of government (they elected him twice), so now they should have to pay for it. This year the state treasury posted nearly a $600 million surplus. There is also another $600 million in the state’s “rainy day fund”. That’s $1.2 billion – just about what Flint’s congressman, Dan Kildee, estimates it will cost to replace the water infrastructure and care for the thousands of poisoned children throughout their growing years.
    And before there is any talk of federal tax dollars being used (and, yes, they will be needed), the state legislature must remove the billion-dollars’ worth of tax cuts the Snyder administration gave the wealthy when he took office. That will go a long way to helping not just Flint but Michigan’s other destitute cities and school districts.
  3. The Federal Government must then be placed in charge. The State government cannot be trusted to get this right. So, instead of declaring a federal disaster zone, President Obama must declare the same version of martial law that Governor Snyder declared over the cities of Flint and Detroit. He must step in and appoint a federal emergency manager in the state capitol to direct the resources of both the state and federal government in saving Flint. This means immediately sending in FEMA in full force. It means sending in the CDC to determine the true extent of not just the lead poisoning in the water, but also the latest outbreak that has been discovered in Flint – a tenfold increase in the number of Flint people who’ve contracted Legionnaires Disease. There have now been 87 cases since the switch to the Flint River water, and ten people have died. The local hospital has also noted sharp increases in a half-dozen other toxins found in people’s bodies. We need the CDC. The EPA must take over the testing of the water, and the Army Corps of Engineers must be sent in to begin replacing the underground pipes. Like the levees in New Orleans, this will be a massive undertaking. If it is turned over to for-profit businesses, it will take a decade and cost billions. This needs to happen right now and Obama must be in charge.
  4. Evacuate any and all Flint residents who want to leave now. They’ve suffered long enough and, until the water is truly safe, no one should have to stay there who doesn’t want to. The state and FEMA should move people into nearby white townships that are still hooked up to Lake Huron water.
  5. For those who choose to stay in Flint, FEMA must create a temporary water system in each home. One idea that has been suggested is to deliver two 55-gallon drums to every home in Flint. Each day water trucks will arrive to fill them with fresh clean glacial water from Lake Huron. The drums will have taps attached to them. People can’t be expected to carry jugs of water from buildings that are miles away.

In the end, we will need to create a new economy and bring new employment to this town that created the middle class, that elected the first black mayor, and that believed in and created the American Dream. They deserved more than to be poisoned by their own Governor — a Governor who thought that, because the people in the town were politically weak, he could get away with this unnoticed and without a fight. He figured wrong.

A crime against humanity has been committed against the people of Flint, making them refugees in their own homes. Tell me honestly: if you were living in Flint right now, and you learned that your children had been drinking lead-filled water for two years, and then you discovered that the Governor knew this and the state lied about it – tell me, just how fast would your head be spinning? With your children now poisoned, and with the poisoning continuing… is the word “nonviolence” dominating your thoughts right now? Are you absolutely, stunningly amazed how peaceful the people in Flint have remained? Are you curious how much longer that can last? I hope it does. If you want to help Flint, sign the petition, demand that the federal government take action, and then get involved yourself, wherever you live, so that this doesn’t happen to you – and so that the people we elect know they can no longer break the law as they rule by fiat or indifference. We deserve much better than this.

For a better world,

Michael Moore [emphasis original]

Inserted from <MichaelMoore,com>

Here’s the link to Rachel Maddow’s Flint Town Hall.

Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed Michael Moore in two segments.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Frankly, I agree with everything Michael had to say.

US taxpayers should not be bailing out Flint, while Snyder has $1.2 billion earmarked to provide welfare for billionaires.  If we do the billionaires will get the $1.2 billion and Republicans in DC will demand the federal spending be offset through cuts in earned entitlements and spending on the poor and middle classes.  Make Snyder cough up that money first and then examine the need for federal aid.

In another thread we have been discussing the need for Ammon Bundy and his followers to have the long-term use of an 8’ by 10’ patch federal real estate, with bars on the front side.  There crimes, serious as they are,  don’t even hold a candle to what Snyder has done.  Lock him up! He has given the weapons of class warfare a whole new level of brutality.

Share
Jan 222016
 

When Bernie used the word “establishment” in reference to Planned Parenthood and HRC, I understood how he meant it. by the context he used.  Since then,. Hillary Clinton and a score of Bernie bashers have ignored the context.  Several spread the word that Bernie lumps these organizations with Wall Street Banksters and Vulture Capitalists.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

USA-ELECTION/SANDERS

Tuesday over the decision by progressive groups like Planned Parenthood and the Human Rights Campaign to endorse Clinton.

In an interview on MSNBC on Tuesday night, Sanders responded to a question about Clinton’s endorsements with a broad criticism of the "establishment," explaining, "What we are doing in this campaign — and it just blows my mind every day, because I see it clearly, we’re taking on not only Wall Street and the economic establishment, we’re taking on the political establishment."

"And so I have friends and supporters in the Human Rights Fund, in Planned Parenthood," Sanders continued. "But you know what, Hillary Clinton has been around there for a very, very long time and some of these groups are, in fact, part of the establishment."… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <CNN>

Photo credit: Salon.com

When Bernie separated economic establishment and political establishment, he made it clear that he meant something else.  I understood his frustration that, despite his perfect voting record on both LGBT and women’s reproductive rights, they endorsed Hillary before the primary season even kicked off.  Bernie had thought he had a chance for those endorsements, because they endorsed the upstart, Obama, in 2008.  However, they waited until Obama had a significant lead in delegates to do so.  HRC endorsed him in June, and Planned Parenthood, in August.  For Bernie, I thought “political establishment” implied that they assumed Hillary would win, and supported the established candidate.  I think that implication was correct.  Fortunately, Rachel Maddow, clarified it with Bernie.

Frankly, I think HRC and Planned Parenthood were wrong to endorse Hillary so early in the contest.  They should have waited, like they did in 2008.  However, that does not mean that I will stop supporting their initiatives, and donating to them.  They do too much good work to hold one mistake against them.

Share
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.

Cartoon:

0121Cartoon

Share
Jan 102016
 

How many times each day do we go to the water tap, run cold water, fill a glass, and then quench our thirst?  I drink about 4 litres of water every day, about 16 cups.  Do I even think about whether the water is fit to drink?  Not usually. But what happens when the water becomes unfit to drink , , , like in Flint, Michigan?

Flintwater

Democracy Now — In Flint, Michigan, a growing number of residents are demanding the arrest of Governor Rick Snyder over the ongoing water contamination crisis. Snyder declared a state of emergency for Flint Wednesday, after learning federal prosecutors had opened an investigation into lead contamination in the drinking water. The poisoning began after an unelected emergency manager appointed by Governor Snyder switched the city’s water source to the long-polluted Flint River in a bid to save money. Lead can cause permanent health impacts including memory loss and developmental impairment. Researchers at Virginia Tech who have been testing Flint water say the city could have corrected the problem by better treating the water at a cost of as little as $100 a day. On Thursday, the mayor of Flint revealed it could now cost as much as $1.5 billion to fix the city’s water infrastructure. We speak to Curt Guyette, investigative reporter for the ACLU of Michigan, who has closely covered the story.

YouTube

Common Dreams — The Republican governor appointed Flint emergency manager Darnell Earley who enforced the April 2014 decision to switch from the Detroit system to the Flint River to source water. In an angry letter to Snyder, filmmaker and Flint native Michael Moore wrote:

Your staff and others knew that the water in the Flint River was poison — but you decided that taking over the city and "cutting costs" to "balance the budget" was more important than the people's health (not to mention their democratic rights to elect their own leaders.) So you cut off the clean, fresh glacial lake water of Lake Huron that the citizens of Flint (including myself) had been drinking for decades and, instead, made them drink water from the industrial cesspool we call the Flint River — a body of "water" where toxins from a dozen General Motors and DuPont factories have been dumped for over a hundred years. And then you decided to put a chemical in this water to "clean" it — which only ended up stripping the lead off of Flint's aging water pipes, placing that lead in the water and sending it straight into people's taps.

Moore, in fact, is circulating a petition calling on U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to arrest Snyder for "corruption and assault."

Michael Moore's Arrest Governor Snyder Petition

Al Jazeera — This emergency goes beyond simply a public health problem. (Lead is a potent neurotoxin, which can cause irreversible brain damage in children.) It is something much worse: a human rights abuse in an American city. In 2010, the United Nations declared that “ … clean drinking water … [is] essential to the realization of all human rights.” Flint’s contaminated water will prevent children from realizing their human right to health, enumerated in Article 25 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Public reaction is understandably very heated.  This crisis is totally man made — Republican man made — and the result of Republican ineptitude, greed, and bigotry.  In Flint, 40% of the people live in poverty.  Many of the people are African American.  The old lead city water distribution pipes were corroded by the Flint River toxic water, so much so that a return to getting water from Lake Huron through Detroit is not working.  The pipes were corroded and continue to leach lead into the water.  The only solution is the replacement of the city water pipes at a cost of $1.5 – $2 BILLION.  On top of that, I would expect a class action lawsuit against the state, Snyder and a whole spate of other administrative persons who failed in their fiduciary responsibility to the people.

Share
Jan 092016
 

Yesterday my Prosthetist adjusted George, so he no longer leans me to the left, putting excessive pressure on the outside of my knee.  My friend that had a mastectomy called last night.  She had let worrying compound into the beginnings of panic.  I was able to help her restore calm.  Then I had trouble getting back to sleep, so I feel a bit pooped today. My helper-friend may be coming to do laundry. May the holy Ellipsoid Orb bless your team.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:58 (average 4:37).  To do it, click here.  Hoe did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A day after President Obama held a nationally televised town hall about guns in America, a new poll shows that a majority of Republicans would rather actually be shot by a firearm than agree with him.

In an indication of the challenges facing the President in persuading Republicans, those surveyed named a wide variety of specific guns that they would choose to be personally shot by rather than seeing eye to eye with Obama.

When asked to state their preference, forty-three per cent stated “handgun,” twenty-seven per cent replied “shotgun,” twenty-one per cent responded “assault rifle,” while only two per cent named “agreeing with Obama.”

Andy, with tongue deeply embedded in cheek, I think these Republicans should be accommodated.

From Daily Kos: There is new divide in the Oregon Y’all Qaeda militants who’ve taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. RawStory.com has the details:

Joe Oshaugnessy, an Arizona militiaman, has been actively seeking volunteers through social media to join the occupation of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

But his friends tearfully announced that Oshaugnessy, who is known as “Capt. O,” had left the refuge Wednesday and was instead staying at a motel nearby — as some others associated with the militants have apparently been doing, according to sources.

Some of the militants have reportedly been spotted eating at area restaurants during the standoff, as well.

A Y’all Qaeda spokesperson said he drank away the donations:

Peltier said Ritzheimer had confirmed that Oshaugnessy had kept the money he had raised through social media for himself and had spent at least some of it on a drinking binge.

Y’all Qaeda supporter Cai Irvin posted a tearful video (which has since been removed) saying Oshaugnessy’s betrayal “is like finding out there is no such thing as Santa.”

FOMCROTFPIMPLMAO!! Smile with tongue out

From NY Times: A combative Gov. Paul R. LePage of Maine, who has a history of making blunt, sometimes racially tinged remarks, found himself in a familiar position on Friday as he sought to walk back a comment that had drawn widespread condemnation for its racial overtones.

On Wednesday, he said out-of-state drug dealers come to Maine and “impregnate a young white girl” before leaving.

“These are guys with the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty — these types of guys,” he said while discussing the state’s heroin crisis at a town-hall-style meeting in Bridgton, Me. “They come from Connecticut and New York, they come up here, they sell their heroin, then they go back home. Incidentally, half the time they impregnate a young white girl before they leave, which is a real sad thing because then we have another issue that we’ve got to deal with down the road.”

On Friday, Mr. LePage, a Republican, characterized the statement as a slip of the tongue.

Rachel Maddow covered this well.

Rachel has him dead to rights. The rest of my comment is today's cartoon.

Cartoon:

0109Cartoon

Share
Jan 082016
 

I’m hurrying to leave in two hours to see my Prosthetist.  Tomorrow and Sunday are high holy days in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  I will be worshiping, but my Broncos have a first round bye.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 4:18).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Me: The following is an email conversation with Pat A.

Hi Pat,
We’re all worried about you, because we have not heard frim you in so long.  Are you OK?
Hugs!!
TC

Dear TC
I’m still here, though not at all well (surprise!) – just lots and lots of things draining the energy out of me for decades.  I have spent years online typing cheerful encouraging things and so often it is with tears of pain and exhaustion running down my face, and I have quite run out of puff, and just don’t seem able to do it for the time being.  I do hope you are better – mind you with the support network you have, and all the prayers sent up for you by those who love and care for you, I should hope you are positively levitating with buoyant health!
Please give everyone my love, and if it is possible could you ask for some prayers for me –
Many thanks
Hugs
Pat

Hi Pat,
Just so you know, we who love you do not require you to say cheerful and encouraging things.  As much as you love to support others, we would consider it a privilege to support you.  So please stop in, even if only to say you’re alive and bitch a bit.  I’ll relay your message to the group.
As for me, I am gradually learning how to live as an amputee.  My brush with death was so close, that I’m just grateful to be alive.
Hugs, prayers, and love,
TC

I trust that you will all pray or however you connect with the infinite) for her.

From Media Matters: MSNBC’s Maddow Highlights WND’s Profitable Relationship With Trump And His Attacks Against Obama’s Citizenship

Rachel Maddow: "WorldNetDaily Has Proclaimed That Its Man Of The Year For 2015 Was Donald J. Trump"

 

Hairball’s World Nut Daily endorsement defines him as insane.  Rachel, as always, is spot-on.

From Think Progress: Young undocumented immigrants, beware: Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz will unabashedly tell you to your face that if he’s president, he would deport people like you.

At a campaign event in Iowa on Wednesday, Ofelia Valdez — an undocumented immigrant brought to the country as a teenager from Mexico — explained to Cruz that she was covered under President Barack Obama’s executive action known as the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which provides temporary deportation reprieve and work authorization to some undocumented individuals. Almost 700,000 undocumented immigrants have been approved by the DACA program since its inception in 2012.

But Cruz has previously stated that he would strip the DACA program using any means necessary, including leading a government shutdown. Valdez told the GOP candidate that she’s worried about the 2016 election’s potential consequences for her future.

“As a DACA holder myself, I worried about whoever comes next to the presidency and what’s going to happen to people like us,” Valdez said in the video uploaded by the Democratic Party. “I think of myself as a part of this community and you know, first day of presidency, you decide to deport, you know, people like myself, you know, it’s just very difficult to process it.”

With Rep. Steve King (R-IA) standing in the background, Cruz nodded through her explanation, then told her that there were consequences for breaking the law — like deportation.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Coming from a fellow immigrant, that’s heartless.

Cartoon:

0108Cartoon

Share
Nov 242015
 

It has been a busy day, first with physio and then teaching.  All was going well, although I was very tired, until we received a call from from my student's 10 year old son.  His middle school was in lock down because there was one, maybe two men with guns near the school.  That put everybody on edge until it was over and I could get over to the school to pick him up.  That stretched out my day and my planned cat nap had to wait.  But all is well that ends well.  Men with guns, other than police constables, is not something we are used to, thankfully.

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

Fantasy Football

              Points
Rank Team Status W-L-T Pct Stk Waiver For Against
1

Monster MashersMonster Mashers

009

7-3-0 .700 L1 7 1,002.34 748.84
2

BALCO BombersBALCO Bombers

018

7-3-0 .700 W4 9 950.96 793.22
3

Progressive UnderdogsProgressive Underdogs

027

6-4-0 .600 W2 8 1,016.66 906.92
4+1

Lefty HillbilliesLefty Hillbillies

018

6-4-0 .600 W1 6 948.50 844.04
5-1

MittsMagicJockMittsMagicJock

018

6-4-0 .600 W1 5 926.22 796.88
6+2

Purple DemonPurple Demon

018

5-5-0 .500 W3 4 948.16 970.96
7-1

Size 9 StompersSize 9 Stompers

018

5-5-0 .500 L1 3 851.08 851.16
8-1

Playing without a helmetPlaying without a helmet

036

4-6-0 .400 L3 2 824.80 953.40
9

TomCat Teabag TrashersTomCat Teabag Trashers

009

3-7-0 .300 L3 10 884.98 1,059.66
10

endthegopendthegop

009

1-9-0 .100 L9 1 633.20 1,061.82

* Rank change shown is from week 9 – 10

Short Takes

Truth in Mediah/t Lona Goudswaard — In this episode of Truth in Media, Ben Swann explores the origin of ISIS that has already been long forgotten by American media. Swann takes on the central issue of whether or not ISIS was created by "inaction" by the United States government or by "direct" action.

Although this video is 8 months old, it bears watching again and again until we get it straight and can hold politicians, no matter the party, accountable.

Alternet — “The Pfizer-Allergan merger would be a disaster for American consumers who already pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs,” Sanders said, in a statement issued by his U.S. Senate office. It also would "allow another major American corporation to hide its profits overseas.”

Click through for the rest of the story.  I kept hearing about this proposed sale on the radio as I went about my business.  What makes this deal different from most so far (I'm sure that others will follow) is that Allergan, the Irish company, is making the purchase thereby getting around US laws regarding "inversions".  Bernie is right to call on Obama to squash this.

Think Progress — The mayor of Dallas is pushing back against politicians who say Americans should be skeptical ofSyrian refugees, saying he is “more fearful” of armed white men than people fleeing civil war in the Middle East.

Speaking to MSNBC on Saturday morning, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings was asked to discuss the growing anxiety over Syrian refugees entering the United States, purportedly over concerns they could be potential agents for militant groups such as ISIS. Rawlings staunchly rejected the assertion that Syrians are somehow uniquely prone to violence, saying he is more concerned with the rise of white supremacy and the recent flurry of mass shootings committed by white men.

Click through for the rest and a video from the Rachel Maddow Show.  

My Universe — h/t to John Gray, Care2

Share
Nov 102015
 

Well it seems that after several very late nights and very busy days, my cold is back with a hacking cough. Fortunately I see my doctor this afternoon.  I wonder if he'll nail me with the flu shot?  I get it every year but have not had this year's yet.  Yesterday was all missions accomplished and then some.  In a few days, when I am feeling up to it, I am going to be sitting down with the young lad who had problems last weekend and having a chat.  There is never a shortage of things to do it seems.

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:44 (average 5:53). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

Fantasy Football

            Points
Rank Team W-L-T Pct Stk Waiver For Against
1

Monster MashersMonster Mashers

7-2-0 .778 W2 10 912.10 646.92
2+2

BALCO BombersBALCO Bombers

6-3-0 .667 W3 9 849.04 702.98
3+3

Progressive UnderdogsProgressive Underdogs

5-4-0 .556 W1 8 869.74 829.72
4-1

MittsMagicJockMittsMagicJock

5-4-0 .556 L1 7 841.32 737.42
5-3

Lefty HillbilliesLefty Hillbillies

5-4-0 .556 L1 6 808.62 805.66
6+1

Size 9 StompersSize 9 Stompers

5-4-0 .556 W1 5 791.62 766.26
7-2

Playing without a helmetPlaying without a helmet

4-5-0 .444 L2 4 763.60 882.54
8

Purple DemonPurple Demon

4-5-0 .444 W2 3 877.30 909.76
9

TomCat Teabag TrashersTomCat Teabag Trashers

3-6-0 .333 L2 2 807.78 912.54
10

endthegopendthegop

1-8-0 .111 L8 1 594.62 921.94

* Rank change shown is from week 8 – 9

Short Takes

Alternet — On "Last Week Tonight," Oliver broke down the almost insurmountable obstacles faced by ex-cons after release, which helps explain  America's high rates of recidivism. Over 50 percent of released prisoners end up back in jail. 

Click through for the rest of the short article but most is in the video.

Huffington Post — Speaking at the National Religious Liberties Conference in Iowa, Cruz joined other GOP presidential candidates for a discussion about the persecution of Christians in the U.S. and around the world. After some very extreme, very weird comments about homosexuality, right-wing pastor Kevin Swanson introduced Cruz to the stage to ask him how important it was for candidates to submit to Jesus Christ as "the king of the President of the United States."

Barf Bag Alert!!!          Barf Bag Alert!!!

Unfortunately I cannot embed the video for you so click through to see the it. 

Right Wing Watch — On her program last night, Maddow filled her viewers in on Friday’s Republican campaign event, showing videos of Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal and Mike Huckabee engaging in question-and-answer sessions with extremist pastor Kevin Swanson, who then went on to say that he would smear cow dung over his body to protest a gay couple’s wedding and urged the government to execute gays in the future if they don’t repent.

As Maddow also pointed out, Swanson’s views on homosexuality were well-known even before he hosted the weekend’s National Religious Liberties Conference, and he wasn’t the only speaker at the conference who had called for homosexuality to be treated as a capital crime.

Barf Bag Alert!!!          Barf Bag Alert!!!

Her remarks on the right-wing conference start at the 5:55 mark.  

Unfortunately I cannot embed the video for you so click through to see the it.  I did watch the video and as a Christian, I can say I have never seen such a display of raw hate.  Swanson is NOT a true Christian, and in my opinion is inciting violence and murder.

My Universe — courtesy of the Animal Rescue Site

Now, if this had been one of my cats, there would be meowing into the receiver!

Share
Nov 022015
 

It is pouring rain right now and I can here wind gusts whipping around my building.  My babes are snuggled in bed together having feasted on fresh cooked cod, their 3rd favourite dinner after chicken and turkey (white meat only thank you very much).  I have managed 2 loads of laundry so the world is a safer place.  I have physio in the morning followed by teaching.  I think I can say that my cold is gone, but I still intend to indulge in some cat naps.  Thanks to Lona for the supply!  You're such a sweetheart for those cat naps.

Puzzle — Today’s took me 2:56 (average 5:02). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

Short Takes

The Guardian — Carol’s grim demise forms the plot of Unexpected, one of hundreds of evangelical Christian theatrical twists on haunted houses that are produced by American churches each year in the run-up to Halloween. They aim to scare the wayward on to the path of righteousness with a rather more serious question than “trick or treat?” – heaven or hell?

I was taken aback by the whole idea of churches promoting a hell house to offer twists on haunted houses before Hallowe'en.  And their goal . . . to scare people to Jesus.  I should preface my comment here.  I am a Christian, a very liberal Christian, but I will not stand infront of someone and tell them what to believe.  I will not be as the very conservative fundamentalist Christians in the US, and elsewhere, forcing my beliefs down the throats of others, and trying to legislate that faith as the faith of the nation.  What to believe is a very personal choice. Creating a climate of fear to "scare souls to Jesus" is ludicrous, and only adds to the general fear in society.  When fear is the motivator, no matter the area of life, then we stop listening to each other.

Mother Jones — The massive size of the fire trucks' engines, combined with their inefficient combustion in cold weather, means that the air reaching us is replete with fine and ultrafine particles—specks of waste at least 36 times finer than a grain of sand, often riddled with toxic combinations of sulfate, nitrate and ammonium ions, hydrocarbons, and heavy metals. Though we have long known that these tiny particles cause and exacerbate respiratory problems—like asthma and infections and cancers of the lungs—they are also suspected to contribute to a diverse range of disorders, from heart disease to obesity. And now cutting-edge research suggests that these particles play a role in some of humanity's most terrifying and mysterious illnesses: degenerative brain diseases.

The good news is that air pollution is one of the United States' greatest environmental success stories. Particle emissions have been dropping steadily since the 1970s, along with other pollutants governed by laws like the Clean Air Act. The EPA regulates levels of coarse- and fine-particle pollution, and two years ago it strengthened the national standards for fine particles. But there is still no regulation for ultrafine-particle pollution, here or in any other country. 

Click through for the rest of the article.  As I read this long but interesting article, I could not help but think of my mother, succumbing to dementia. For 40 years, she lived in a mill town where the rotten egg smell of the pulp and paper mill was always prevalent.  Add to that the ever present thick coating of greasey black ash which burned paint off of vehicles and buildings.  I can't help but find the information in the article compelling.  I remember several years ago reading about a town in Wisconsin (?) where whole neighbourhoods had higher than average cancer diagnois and death rates thought to be brought on by high toxic pollution in the river that runs by a Koch Industries plant. We know from their actions that Republicans don't give a tinker's damn about clean air and water if it comes at the expense of their profits.  Just read The Fall of King Coal which I posted here on 05/10/15 to look at profit versus people.  It is past time to demand more be done . . . to put people before profits.

Alternet — In this, Wallace was using the classic definition of the word “fascist”—the definition Mussolini had in mind when he claimed to have invented the word. (It was actually Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile who wrote the entry in the Encyclopedia Italiana that said: “Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” Mussolini, however, affixed his name to the entry, and claimed credit for it.)

fascist america

As the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is, “A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”

Click through for the rest of this interesting article.  The word "fascist" is thrown about a fair amount, but do we have the correct context and meaning?   For some, this discussion is not new.  For others, it may well be.

Think Progress — Ben Carson is seeking to rally Republican candidates to end most actual debating at future Republican debates. Instead, candidates would spend most of their time taking turns delivering speeches.

Click Rachel Maddow to see Friday's segment where Rachel explores the fallout from the last Republican debate and what is likely ahead.  She certainly does become very animated.

GOP candidates plot RNC mutiny over debates

Sorry, I can't embed the show as it isn't on YouTube yet.

My Universe —

CAT - REUPHOLSTERY REQUIRED

I found IT!!!

Share
Oct 232015
 

Well, it seems that I have come down with a cold, sore throat and flu.  Just getting this Open Thread done has been an exercise in "write some, sleep a lot" and repeat.  I am not a happy camper. Tomorrow, Nameless will be producing the Open Thread which is so good!  I'll be back on Sunday.

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:52 (average 6:42). To do it, click here. Diamonds are not necessarily a girl's best friend!

Short Takes 

Alternet — After Trey Gowdy called for proper decorum to be observed — then promptly broke it himself when he went directly after “Democrats” on the committee for performing a “lousy” investigation during his opening statement — ranking minority member of the House Select Committee on Benghazi Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) ripped into his Republican colleagues with an opening statement that painstakingly laid out clear evidence that this latest investigation into the attacks in Benghazi is a political charade meant to undercut Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Hear "A visibly upset Rachel Maddow slammed House Republicans on Thursday for their handling of the Benghazi commission investigation, calling it a first for congressional probes of its kind."

Unfortunately, I can not embed the Rachel Maddow piece so you'll have to click on "Hear".  She certainly shows a historical perspective, and also the Republicans for what they are . . . a partisan band of maurading thugs! And isn't it just like a Republican to 'do as I say, not as I do'.

Mother Jones — Donald Trump loves to tweet about how climate change is a hoax, especially when he personally feels cold. Because, you know, if global warming is really real, then it will never be cold anywhere ever again. (Just kidding. Winter is still a thing.)

He was at it again on Monday, tweeting that since it was "really cold outside," we "could use a big fat dose of global warming!" Sick burn, Donald!

I wonder what this bloviating blowhard would say to anyone standing beside him who dared say they were warm when he was cold?  He has a total disregard for science.  And I haven't even mentioned Hurricane Patricia, a category 5 storm, which is bearing down on SW Mexico with one-minute sustained winds of up to 325 kilometres an hour, the strongest on record, according to meteorological officials.  Not only that, but the storm is expected to affect Texas.  This from the CBC

Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said Patricia also poses problems for Texas. Forecast models indicate that after the storm breaks up over land, remnants of its tropical moisture will likely combine with and contribute to heavy rainfall that is already soaking Texas independently of the hurricane, he said.

A flash flood watch is in effect through Sunday morning for the Dallas area, Austin and San Antonio, while a coastal flood warning was in effect through Friday night in Corpus Christi. Galveston was under a coastal flood advisory until Saturday night.

And tell us again Trump how global warming and climate change don't exist.  What a putz!  Please keep the people affected by this montrous hurricane in your thoughts and prayers.

The Guardian — Those hoping for a U-turn in Canada’s climate change policy after Stephen Harper’s crushing defeat are in for a reality check.

Trudeau has repudiated Harper’s vision of Canada as an “energy superpower”, promised to reverse devastating cuts to government science budgets, and fix the country’s reputation as a carbon bully in international climate negotiations.

But it would be a mistake to see Trudeau or the Liberals as climate champions. In his victory speech on Monday, there was no mention of climate change, and he was criticised for being vague on the issue during campaigning. 

This from a CBC article 

"I indicated to Mr. Obama that I felt it was important that Canada demonstrates a level of positive engagement on the environmental file on the international stage.

"I look forward to demonstrating that we have a Canadian government now that understands the way to build a strong economy is to protect and defend our environment at the same time."

It is hard to know exactly where Canada's new Prime Minister designate will fall on climate change. The Guardian makes one point that won't endear Trudeau to the environmental crowd, while the CBC shows a different side.  It will be 'hold his feet to the fire' time. 

My Universe

This is sooooooooo true!  

In my house, there is a steady parade behind me.  I had to give up shutting the door because otherwise, my three would make their own kitty door!

Share
Oct 152015
 

Well, here I am and very, very late.  I took advantage of Lona's proferred cat nap from yesterday and ended up sleeping through until now, 12:30 pm on Thursday.  Not good as I have a dentist appointment at 2 pm. Fortunately it is close by.  My furbabes didn't even wake me up!  Have a great day everyone!

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:08 (average 5:04). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

Fantasy Football

Rank Team W-L-T Pct Stk Waiver For Against
1+2

Monster MashersMonster Mashers

4-1-0 .800 W3 7 451.84 354.16
2-1

MittsMagicJockMittsMagicJock

4-1-0 .800 L1 6 515.18 405.54
3+4

BALCO BombersBALCO Bombers

3-2-0 .600 W3 10 402.60 369.96
4-2

Progressive UnderdogsProgressive Underdogs

3-2-0 .600 L1 9 473.58 415.78
5-1

Size 9 StompersSize 9 Stompers

3-2-0 .600 W1 5 432.20 381.58
6

TomCat Teabag TrashersTomCat Teabag Trashers

2-3-0 .400 L2 4 437.96 481.86
7+1

Playing without a helmetPlaying without a helmet

2-3-0 .400 W1 3 444.44 572.70
8-3

Lefty HillbilliesLefty Hillbillies

2-3-0 .400 L1 8 415.96 399.72
9+1

Purple DemonPurple Demon

1-4-0 .200 W1 2 418.24 483.46
10-1

endthegopendthegop

1-4-0 .200 L4 1 373.80 501.04

* Rank change shown is from week 4 – 5

Short Takes

Huffington Post — Conservative Party advertising targeted at Chinese and Punjabi-speaking voters in Vancouver and Toronto is raising concerns in the Liberal Party.

The advertisement characterises Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau as supporting the sale of marijuana to children, and the establishment of safe-injection sites and neighbourhood brothels.

Embedded image permalink

"It's absolutely not true," said Harjit Sajjan, the Liberal candidate for Vancouver South. 

This kind of fear based campaigning is much like the fear based rhetoric that is the hallmark of Conservatives and Harper.  Why is it that conservatives, no matter Canada or the US, feel the need to be so fear based when addressing constituents? Read on to see other instances of Harper's fear tactics.  The election is Monday 19/10/2015.

Raw Story — MSNBC host Rachel Maddow went from being bemused on Wednesday over Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) broadcasting himself on the campaign trail to suggesting some sympathy for him.

Unfortunately, I can't embed the video for you so you'll have to watch it at Raw Story.  The phrase "war weary" comes to mind.  There is no doubt in my mind that political campaigning is very tiring . . . being on top of the game while in public, the travel, often being away from home.  But the minute a candidate shows too much weariness, electors are going to start to wonder about their fitness for the job.  I think that is what is happening to Paul.  That and the circus that is the GOP right now.

The New Yorker — In a major slip that may prove fatal to his Presidential ambitions, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont treated his principal opponent for the Democratic nomination with dignity and respect on Tuesday night.

Me thinks that Andy is back to truth in reporting!  What a novel idea!

My Universe — 

Share