Mar 262016
 

I wanted very much to reschedule my PT yesterday to go see Bernie here in Portland.  I did not do so, because rain was forecast, the waiting line was hours long, and I was unwilling to risk exposing either me or my electric wheelchair to a prolonged soaking.  However, I have complete video of his speech here.  I did, however, have my first substantive disagreement with Bernie about anything at all.

0326BernieBird

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his message of economic populism to the Moda Center Friday afternoon, where a crowd of about 11,500 supporters [full venue] enthusiastically cheered policy pronouncements most had probably heard before.

The event comes one day before Washington’s caucuses, where Sanders and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, are locked in a close race.

If Sanders was looking for any additional symbolism to boost his bid for the White House, he may have gotten it when a small bird flew out of the rafters and alit on the lectern directly in front of him.

"I think there may be some symbolism here," said Sanders, not seeming to mind that the bird interrupted his call for free college and university tuition. "I know it doesn’t look like it, but that bird is actually a dove asking for world peace."

Sanders, as he has in rallies across the country in past months, took on Wall Street billionaires, big oil companies and Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opened the door to massive spending on political campaigns… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Oregonian aka Oregon Live>

I searched for a transcript, but was unable to find one.  If you have a link to one, please put it in a comment.  Here is the complete video.

Rachel Maddow explained why the bird is specially significant in Portland.

 

Bernie had another event in a less important city. Winking smile   I covered this one, because Oregon leads the way!

Some of you may not like it, that I have predicted that Hillary will win the nomination.  Please understand that being honest about what I think and supporting what I want are two completely different things.  Integrity demands that I do not lie about my prediction.   Patriotism demands that I continue to support Bernie in every way I can. and I shall.

Oh yes!  My disagreement with Bernie…  I’m not just a Democrat.  I’m a DemoCAT!! Cat face  Therefore, I would have eaten Birdie!! Smile with tongue out

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Mar 232016
 

The Daesh, political extremists that are hijacking Islam for their own perverse ends, just committed a horrific act of terrorism, by attacking the the Brussels airport and subway station, killing over 30.  Whenever such attacks happen, their counterparts, political extremists hijacking Christianity for their own perverse ends, call for religious discrimination and a crackdown on civil liberties.  They are wrong about the problem.  In Brussels, the problem was, at least in part, inadequate preparation.

0323Brussels-attack

A week after the attacks early last year in Paris against the magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher grocery, Belgian police officers were fired on as they executed a search warrant in the town of Verviers. Officials learned that the assailants were members of a terrorist cell that had been planning a significant attack on Belgian police officers or civilians.

The incident changed the way counterterrorism officials perceived the Islamic State threat in Europe and made clear that Belgium itself had a greater problem on its hands than it realized.

Before the plot was disrupted, the United States Department of Homeland Security would later explain, nearly all of about a dozen Islamic State plots and attacks in the West had involved lone assailants or small groups. But, the report presciently warned, “the involvement of a large number of operatives and group leaders based in multiple countries in future ISIL-linked plotting could create significant obstacles in the detection and disruption” of new plots.

Indeed, that is now the case, and as the investigation of the even more brutal November attacks in Paris showed, Belgium is a major source of the threat. The attacks on Tuesday in Brussels raised the most serious questions about how prepared the nation was for that threat…

Inserted from <NY Times>

Click through for more detail on how Brussels was unprepared to defend their inhabitants against a terrorist attack.

While Rachel Maddow did not come to a conclusion on preparation, she does provide some excellent background.

Republican responses to the attack have been what we would expect from the pseudo-Christian version of the Daesh.  Fecal Dump Trump would close our borders, infiltrate mosques, and torture suspects.  TRUSed Uranus Cruz blamed Obama for the attack, and called for closing the borders, increasing support for Israel,  and carpet bombing civilian populations where the Daesh has fighters.  KKKsich called for closing the borders.

Those are not the answer.  Whenever we, whichever nation we are, respond to terrorism by making ourselves less fess free, the terrorists win.  Every time we respond to terrorism by discriminating against the religious population that the terrorists are hijacking, the terrorists win.  That guarantees them new recruits.  The best thing we can do is to harden our targets, vet potential immigrants carefully without ethnic profiling, and build a discrimination-free economy where all ethnic groups can thrive.  And as for the people of Brussels…

Je Suis Bruxelles

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Mar 202016
 

Somehow, I have managed to pick up a sore throat and likely a cold . . . again.  My chiropractor had one and that is the only person I can think of to whom I have been close.  Arrggghhhh!  I am still awaiting my laptop so that I can join Nameless in frustration with learning Windows 10.  I have W7 on my desk top and like it but that will have to change sooner or later.  Because I have a bug, I won't be going to see my mother tomorrow.

Short Takes

CBC — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's recent trip to the U.S. appears to have made quite an impression on our American friends — perhaps too good an impression, judging by these videos of two New York men literally begging him to run for president.  …

Fortunately for Canada, Prime Minister Trudeau declined an invitation from these men begging him to run for U.S. president. 'I don't know if you noticed, but I actually have a job,' he said. 'And it's a pretty good one.'

In another video, Trudeau declines the invitation to run for president on the grounds that he's not U.S.-born.

The American men were quick to counter by pointing out that Republican presidential hopeful Ted Cruz was born in Calgary. 

"I have tremendous confidence in the American people," Trudeau told the men, but they weren't convinced. 

Just a little bit of humour to start your read.  Since Trudeau's visit to Washington just over a week ago, I have seen various positive posts about Trudeau, one even asking him to run for President of North America.  I think a modern Trudeaumania has been born.  From Wikipedia

Trudeaumania was the nickname given in early 1968 to the excitement generated by Pierre Trudeau's entry into the leadership race of the Liberal Party of Canada. Trudeaumania continued during the subsequent federal election campaign and during Trudeau's early years as Prime Minister of Canada

I remember it well!

National Law Journalh/t Barbara K, Care2 — A group of more than 350 legal scholars on Monday called upon senators to fulfill their constitutional obligation to consider a U.S. Supreme Court nominee submitted by President Barack Obama.

In a letter sent to Senate leaders, 356 professors and scholars said that leaving an eight-justice court in place would have dire consequences. They asserted that allowing Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat to remain unfilled until after the presidential election could cripple the court and set bad precedent.

“This preemptive abdication of duty is contrary to the process the framers envisioned in Article II, and threatens to diminish the integrity of our democratic institutions and the functioning of our constitutional government,” reads the letter, addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky; Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada; Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa; and ranking Judiciary Committee member Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont.

Reached for comment, a spokesman for McConnell wrote in an email, “The Leader’s position is well-known.”

Alliance for Justice, a liberal organization focused on the federal judiciary, circulated the letter.

Scalia Quote

The letter reads in part:

As scholars deeply committed to the fair administration of justice, upholding the rule of law, and educating future generations of the legal profession, the undersigned professors of law urge you to fulfill your constitutional duty to give President Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee a prompt and fair hearing and a timely vote.

The Senate’s obligation in this circumstance is clear. Under Article II of the Constitution, the president “shall appoint . . . judges to the Supreme Court,” and the Senate’s role is to provide “advice and consent.” Yet before the president has even made a nomination to fill the current vacancy, a number of senators have announced that they will not perform their constitutional duty. Instead, they plan to withhold advice and consent until the next president is sworn in nearly a year from now. This preemptive abdication of duty is contrary to the process the framers envisioned in Article II, and threatens to diminish the integrity of our democratic institutions and the functioning of our constitutional government.

President Obama was elected to a four-year term in 2012. According to the Constitution, that term has more than 300 days remaining. There is no exception to the Constitution holding that the president lacks the authority or duty to appoint justices to the Supreme Court because he is in the last year of his presidency. In fact, six justices have been confirmed in presidential-election years since 1900, including Louis Brandeis, Benjamin Cardozo, and Republican-appointee Anthony Kennedy, who was confirmed by a Democratically-controlled Senate during President Ronald Reagan’s last year in office. 

6 scotus justices_for email

Here is a petition from the Alliance for Justice to Tell Senators to #Do Your Job

Rachel Maddow spoke with Nan Aron, president of the AFJ, back in mid February on the conundrum.

IMO, McTurtle and Grassley, nor any other Republican for that matter, should not be in any leadership position.  I hope this Republican stupidity hurts them in the election, regardless of whether the matter is solve or not.

Raw Story — In November, many Americans who didn’t vote in 2014 or 2015 will be casting a vote for president of the United States. Midterms and off-year elections are often ignored by registered voters, but anyone who doubts the importance of voting in every election need only look at the type of damage far-right Republicans can do at the state or local level when they are in control. Although Democrats have won the popular vote in five of the last six presidential elections, and President Barack Obama was reelected decisively in 2012, Republicans fared extremely well during the 2010 and 2014 midterms, not only in Congress, but in the state and local races. The result has been an obscene amount of destructive legislation, from anti-union laws to harsh anti-abortion and anti-contraception measures to laws that harm the environment.

Below are 10 terrible laws or bills brought to you by some of the more obscure GOP politicians wielding way too much power in statehouses and state legislatures around the country.  …

11. Senate Bill 4: Kentucky’s New Anti-Abortion Law

Signed into law by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin last month, Senate Bill 4 requires that women in Kentucky receive in-person counseling 24 hours before an abortion. The Kentucky ACLU describes SB 4 as “an unnecessary barrier to safe and legal abortion practices,” and Derek Selznick (director of the Kentucky ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project), said, “Legislators were not elected to provide medical advice or care to Kentucky women.” This is the same Bevin who began dismantling Kentucky’s successful, state-run Obamacare exchange, Kynect, right after taking office in January. So the health of Kentucky women is not high on his list of priorities.

Click through for the other ten laws pushed by right-wing Republican nutters.  If you don't want this kind of BS, then take a stand and get out the vote.

NY Times — Republican leaders adamantly opposed to Donald J. Trump’s candidacy are preparing a 100-day campaign to deny him the presidential nomination, starting with an aggressive battle in Wisconsin’s April 5 primary and extending into the summer, with a delegate-by-delegate lobbying effort that would cast Mr. Trump as a calamitous choice for the general election.

Recognizing that Mr. Trump has seized a formidable advantage in the race, they say that an effort to block him would rely on an array of desperation measures, the political equivalent of guerrilla fighting.

There is no longer room for error or delay, the anti-Trump forces say, and without a flawlessly executed plan of attack, he could well become unstoppable.

But should that effort falter, leading conservatives are prepared to field an independent candidate in the general election, to defend Republican principles and offer traditional conservatives an alternative to Mr. Trump’s hard-edged populism.

perry

Some prominent Republicans have considered Mr. Perry as a possible independent candidate for the general election if Mr. Trump receives the party’s presidential nomination.

Are Republicans making one Oops after another?

My Universe — I asked TC to do a special report from a local farm.

TC hanging out in barnTC in the barn assessing the needs!

Tucked away in Spokane, WA, there is a shelter for cats that sets itself apart from the pack with its novel, and incredibly successful, approach to caring for cats in need of help. Instead of a life of cages, occasional adoption events, and possible euthanasia, these cats are brought into SpokAnimal shelter as feral or stray, and end up leaving gainfully employed!

Click through The Animal Rescue Site for the rest of his report.  Excellent report Puddy Tat!!

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Mar 182016
 

For the first time, since he began murdering and maiming the residents of Flint, Sturmbannführer Rick Snyder (R-MI) testilied [sp. intentional] before Congress.  Even though it is well documented that Snyder’s aids knew the water was poisonous before hew switched the water supply to the Flint River, Snyder claimed ignorance until just recently.  It should come as no surprise that Congressional Republicans defended him.  I suspect that some were envious enough that he got to kill and injure blacks, that they want to help him get away with it, as there is certainly no valid justification for defending him.

SnyderHatThe good news for Flint, Mich., residents who attended the third and final House Oversight Committee hearing on their town’s water crisis was that Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy were both castigated on a public stage.

The bad news: The hearing was as divided as ever, with Democrats almost exclusively focusing their ire on Snyder, and Republicans going so far as to praise him. During three hearings on Flint over February and March, only three individual members of Congress have broken partisan ranks in the blame game.

At Thursday’s hearing, Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) called on McCarthy to resign, while ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.) called on Snyder to resign.

All three hearings in the committee have been partisan tugs-of-war over whether to focus on Snyder’s shortcomings (Democrats’ preference) or the EPA’s (Republicans’ preference). Chaffetz has noted multiple times that Congress has jurisdiction over EPA’s funding, not over Michigan’s state government. Hence, Republicans feel that EPA is the appropriate target.

On Thursday, three Republicans not only defended Snyder, but praised him.

“You’ve accepted far more blame for this problem than you deserve,” Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) told Snyder, adding that Flint’s economic problems date back “long before you took office.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Morning Consult>

Perhaps McCarthy could have done more to push the issue. such as declaring a federal emergency in Flint sooner than she did, but the truth is that Snyder’s she did inform Snyder’s aides on multiple occasions, and they hindered the EPA’s ability to stop the crisis.  Shifting blame to her, is just a smoke screen.

Rachel Maddow covered the story quite well.

An article in Mother Jones has several more video excerpts.

Herr Snyder is using a “poor me” stance, saying that he will have to live with the deaths and disabilities for the rest of his life.  I know authentic remorse, when I see it from my volunteer work with prisoners, and Snyder was just trying to evoke pity.  If his remorse was authentic, he would be spending the State’s money on his victims, not on his own civil and criminal defense.  If his remorse was authentic, he would resign.  For now he should be charged, tried, convicted, and imprisoned.  And every Republican that has praised and defended his crimes should join the ranks of the unemployed in November.

Every Republican in Office

Is One Republican Too Many!!!

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Mar 132016
 

Many years ago I started dealing with birthdays following the example of Jack Benny.  I’m 39.  If you don’t get it, rejoice!! You’re still comparatively young.  My birthday present to me is a Dominos pizza for supper.  Tomorrow I have a follow up appointment with Megan, my Primary Care Physician, so expect no more than a Personal Update, please.  Note:  Due to server issues with out HSP, the site was down for about two hours this morning.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:19 (average 5:26).  (Who sent them a pic of me?)  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan hired a law firm using up to $800,000 in taxpayer money to help his administration navigate through a throng of civil and criminal investigations. Both candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination have called for him to resign.

On Thursday he faces a grilling by a congressional committee in Washington. And as voters went to the polls on the state’s Primary Day last Tuesday, a group led by a Detroit pastor began an effort to recall him in a statewide referendum, a repeat of the movement that in 2012 targeted a fellow Republican, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Using taxpayer funds for his own criminal defense is itself a crime. May the recall of Sturmbannführer Snyder be more successful than it was with the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan.

From Raw Story: Rachel Maddow: It is ‘impossible’ to call clash at Trump’s Chicago rally an accident

Enough Hairball to necessitate Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I agree with Rachel. Hateful Hairball intentionally provoked the criminal violence his supporters are now committing.

From Addicting Info: On Friday night, Megyn Kelly decided to weigh in on the protest in Chicago that sent Donald Trump packing. She, like must conservatives, accused the protestors of denying Trump and his supporters their first amendment rights.

Bimbette Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I knew that the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, would not withhold their support from Hateful Hairball for long. What their favorite low-cut blonde fails to recognize is that the First Amendment guarantee to freedom of speech does not extend to speech violating the rights of others by inciting violence against them.

Cartoon:

0313Cartoon\

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Mar 132016
 

I haven't posted since 08/03/2016 having felt overwhelmed by a number of things which I won't go into.  Physio is good and I am making good progress with my foot . . . almost healed, but don't worry, I won't be doing a marathon or the high jump again in this lifetime.  I have another student starting on Monday afternoon and will likely be listening to her young daughter read some French as well.  This is the wife of my physiotherapist so the situation is very different from my other student.  As he said, she might even cook a Persian dish for me, although I don't know if he mentioned that to her.  The rest of the week is fairly busy as well.  Hope you're having a great weekend and remember to spring forward!

Short Takes

Huffington Post — Mauril Bélanger dreamed of becoming Speaker of the House of Commons, of trying to make Canada's Parliament and politics a bit better from his perch in that big, green chair.

Those hopes were cruelly dashed last November when the veteran Liberal MP wasdiagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

mauril belanger

Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger gives a thumbs up as he sits in the Speaker's chair Wednesday. (Photo: Fred Chartrand/Canadian Press)

Awhile back, I posted about Mauril Bélanger, long time Liberal MP who was in the running for Speaker of the House of Commons.  Before the choice was made, he was diagnosed with ALS and withdrew.  A new Speaker was chosen, but Bélanger was made honourary Speaker for a day. Over the past several months, the disease has moved rather quickly.  But last Wednesday, his longtime dream came true and Bélanger was the Speaker for the day.  A triumph of his spirit and passion for his job.

Huffington Post — Adolf Hitler Hates Being Compared To Donald Trump.  Der Führer is der furious.

A short lighthearted look at Drumpf.

Raw Story —  MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued on Friday that the unrest surrounding Donald Trump’s cancelled campaign rally in Chicago has its roots in political science.

“When you look at the way that Mr. Trump has been talking about the organic existence of both protesters against him and violence toward those protesters at his event, when you look at the way that he has encouraged it in an escalating way leading to this inevitable event tonight in Chicago, I think that it is impossible to say that this is an accident,” she said.

 

Rachel-Maddow-112712-300x168

The Rachel Maddow Segment from MSNBC.com

Unfortunately, I don't know how to bring Rachel's video's over for direct viewing, so click above (it is set to open in a new window).  I agree with Rachel in her thesis that the violence at Trump rallies, particularly in Chicago, is no accident.  I venture to say, the violence will continue.  Assuming that Drumpf is the Republican nominee, will the violence continue through into November?  I pose that question because we have seen elections in other countries where partisan factions have interrupted elections.  Is that where the US is heading?  Or will cooler heads and the rule of law prevail?

Huffington Post — Ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president on Tuesday, social media has been abuzz with the story of his shaggy doppelgänger — a poisonous blonde toupee caterpillar found in the Americas.  …

The caterpillar's "hair" is actually a set of hollow, venomous spines. According to the University of Florida, the insect is one of the most poisonous caterpillars in the United States.

celeb,animals

The Flannel Moth is Drumpf's animal doppelganger!

Well it seems that the flannel moth is not the only one that is poisonous!  Drumpf's rhetoric is totally toxic if not outright poisonous!  Click through for 10 more of Drumpf's animal doppelgangers.  The third cat looks just like my Winnie but Winnie would be totally disgusted with Drumpf.  He's a social democrat like me.

NY Times  POLITICAL parties are mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, and the party nominating process offers few of the protections associated with the ideal of “one man one vote.” Voters in early states have far more influence than voters in later ones. Votes in hard-to-attend caucuses effectively count more than votes in high-turnout primaries. Some primaries are open to party loyalists; others to all comers. The rules that assign convention delegates are byzantine, the delegate selection process is various, and a few states rely on conventions and cut the voters out entirely.

As Donald Trump attempts to clamber to the Republican nomination over a still-divided opposition, there will be a lot of talk about how all these rules and quirks and complexities are just a way for insiders to steal the nomination away from him, in a kind of establishment coup against his otherwise inevitable victory.

This one is for TC . . . 

celeb,animals

Peyton Manning and his animal doppelganger!

I want to leave you with this that Dave C from Care2 shared with me.  It is the antidote to Drumpf and many more things.

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Mar 022016
 

Today was one of those days dealing with time consuming medical issues.  As  a result, the monthly report will be delayed one day.  Tomorrow I have physio and then it is report time.  On the home front, I have a lady bug invasion! This one bug keeps dive bombing my computer.  I have yet to be successful capturing the little beast and the furbabes so far have been totally disinterested in helping.

Short Takes

Common Dreams — A new study confirms what many activists have suspected for a long time: The private courts set up by international “trade” deals heavily favor billionaires and giant corporations, and they do so at the expense of governments and people.

A large anti-TPP demonstration took place in New Zealand in February. (Photo: Dominic Hartnett/flickr/cc)

The “investor-state dispute settlement” process, or ISDS, is built into treaties like NAFTA and the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It allows foreign investors to sue participating governments if they do anything that harms their investment in that nation. Corporations can sue governments through this process, but governments can’t sue corporations.  

But that doesn’t appear to be the case. Virtually all of the financial benefits of the ISDS have gone to the rich and powerful. Nearly 95 percent of all award money went to giant corporations or extremely wealthy individuals.

The ISDS industry scored big, too. The authors found that ISDS “lawyers, arbitrators, experts and other actors” had earned an estimated $1.7 billion from these hearings by the spring of 2015.

You can read a copy of the York University Osgoode Hall study.  If for some reason you have trouble with this link, please click on the link within the article.  Many of us have known that the ISDS was problematic, especially in non US countries with other agreements like NAFTA.  The TPP and similar agreements must be stopped.  In the US, the wealthy and large corporations already have so much influence in government with the large sums they can use to "buy" politicians and elections.  They don't need more.

Huffington Post — But Ryan said he had to speak out when he sees "something that runs counter to who we are as a party and as a country."

"If a person wants to be the nominee of the Republican Party, there can be no evasion and no games," he said. "They must reject any group or cause that is built on bigotry."

Ryan continued on to say that Republicans should not "prey on people's prejudices."

"We appeal to their highest ideals," he said. "This is the party of Lincoln. We believe all people are created equal in the eyes of God and our government."

Ryan said that point was fundamental. "And if someone wants to be our nominee, they must understand this," he said.

When I read this, I had to speak out!  First, I seem to recall that during the 2012 campaign, Paul Ryan was the Republican VP candidate for Romney and they courted the white supremacist vote.  The difference, they weren't as loud mouthed about it as Trump.  Second, there are a lot of Republican Congress critters who are openly bigots. Thirdly, the current Republican Party is the party of Lincoln in name only.  I am sure you can add to the points.

Common Dreams — Reigniting calls for Rick Snyder's resignation, emails released Friday reveal that advisers to the Michigan governor knew that Flint's water was toxic as far back as October 2014.

"My Mom is a City resident. Nice to know she's drinking water with elevated chlorine levels and fecal coliform," the governor's chief legal counsel said in an email sent just three weeks before the Republican governor's re-election, according to the Detroit Free Press.

After examining over 500 emails released by the governor's office, the Detroit Newsreported that "[t]wo top advisers to Gov. Rick Snyder urged switching Flint back to Detroit’s water system in October 2014, after General Motors Co. said the city’s heavily chlorinated river water was rusting engine parts."

"There's no reasonable person who can believe at this point that every top adviser to Rick Snyder knew that there was an issue, but Snyder knew nothing," said Lonnie Scott

Rachel Maddow comments on the ongoing saga.  Nothing short of Snyder's successful prosecution will be acceptable.  Snyder truly is a Republican.

My Universe — 

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Feb 102016
 

I’m running late, because I had several tasks to complete this morning, leaving little time to write.  I’m also waiting for a grocery order to arrive and have to put those items away.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 5:55).  To do it click here.  How did you do?\

Short Takes:

From NY Times: By law, dating back to 1921, the president of the United States must submit an annual budget request to Congress. On Tuesday, President Obama submitted his eighth and final budget. And like all presidential budgets, it is a statement of values and priorities, a blueprint for turning ideas into policies, a map of where the president wants to lead the country.

This week, even before the president’s budget was released, the Republican chairmen of the budget committees announced they would not even hold hearings with the White House budget director to discuss the proposal.

Their decision is more than a break with tradition. It is a new low in Republican efforts to show disdain for Mr. Obama, which disrespects the presidency and, in the process, suffocates debate and impairs governing.

The dismal consequences of Republican failure to govern has to be blamed on Republicans, not Obama or Democrats.

From The New Yorker: After suffering a poor showing in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday night, the former Hewlett-Packard C.E.O. Carly Fiorina cheered herself up by firing her entire campaign staff, fired staffers confirm.

Minutes after the returns started coming in, revealing that Fiorina had no chance of making a respectable showing, the former business executive acknowledged that she was “sad at first—but then I realized that every failure is an opportunity, and in this case I had an opportunity to give some people the axe.”

After delivering pink slips to her entire campaign staff, Fiorina said, “I started feeling better already.”

Andy has pegged her heart of stone. People I knew in HP’s research department used to call her the Bankrupt Bitch.

From Crooks and Liars: After the 2016 New Hampshire primaries called Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders the winners, Steve Schmidt came on MSNBC to lend his expert political analysis to explain how this happened. Unfortunately, the former senior John McCain campaign advisor confused Trump’s campaign beliefs with Marco Rubio’s and Rachel Maddow immediately pounced to correct his very flawed opinions.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Isn’t it a blessing to have a moderator, who isn’t afraid to call Republicans on their BS?

Cartoon:

0210Cartoon

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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

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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.

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