Apr 282016
 

I'm back again.  I have my course in liberal biblical studies tonight which is interesting but somewhat time intensive — 4 hours of homework in addition to 3 hours of class time plus dinner each week.  The course goes for another four weeks after tonight.  Tomorrow is teaching at Lucia's house, and then Sunday is the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories and a visit with my mother.  Once the course is done, I'll have a bit more time.

Short Takes

NY Times — Senator Ted Cruz of Texas often casts himself as the rightful heir to Ronald Reagan’s mantle of conservatism, and on Wednesday he took a page directly out of the former president’s playbook.

By tapping Carly Fiorina to be his running mate, Mr. Cruz becomes the first presidential candidate since Reagan to name a vice-presidential pick without having the nomination locked up. In 1976, Reagan teamed up with Richard S. Schweiker, a Pennsylvania senator, in a desperate attempt to grab the nomination from President Gerald R. Ford as it was slipping away. At that point, Mr. Ford’s delegate lead had become virtually insurmountable.

Rachel had this to say about Cruz's announcement.

Carly Fiorina??  The word 'dafted' comes to mind as a description for Cruz.  He is trying to reignite his campaign but he may just blow it up!  After all, this tactic didn't work so well for the patron saint of Republicans, Saint Ronnie Reagan in 1978.  He lost to Gerald Ford who then lost the general election to Jimmy Carter.

Daily Beast — As the self-proclaimed Islamic State trumpets its global terrorist campaign, U.S. special operations forces have quietly killed more than three dozen key ISIS operatives blamed for plotting deadly attacks in Europe and beyond.

Defense officials tell The Daily Beast that U.S. special operators have killed 40 “external operations leaders, planners, and facilitators” blamed for instigating, plotting, or funding ISIS’s attacks from Brussels and Paris to Egypt and Africa.

That’s less than half the overall number of ISIS targets that special operators have taken off the battlefield, one official explained, including top leaders like purported ISIS second-in-command Haji Imam, killed in March.

The previously unpublished number provides a rare glimpse into the U.S. counterterrorist mission that is woven into overall coalition efforts to defeat ISIS, and which is credited with crippling ISIS efforts to recruit foreign fighters and carry out more plots like the deadly assault on Paris that killed 130 last fall.

As proof of the campaign’s overall success, Pentagon officials this week said the influx of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria had dropped from up to 2,000 a month last year to just 200, and the overall size of ISIS from a high estimate of 33,000 a year ago to between 19,000 to 25,000 fighters.

I spoke with an Iraqi woman yesterday who said that she hoped Trump would become POTUS for only one reason . . . he'd go after ISIS.  Well I don't support her choice of Trump and told her so.  But no worries, she lives in Canada. She is sick of the destruction of her native country by ISIS and is quick to say that ISIS does not believe in Islam. They are about power and greed, nothing more.

Alternet — White, who’d been sickened by the debilitating, irreversible and often fatal disease at work in a foundry, watched in disgust as Republicans attempted to overturn the rule that the Labor Department said could save more than 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis annually.

Last week, GOP House members conducted a hearing to further their case against saving those lives. They did that just days before Workers Memorial Day, April 28, when organized labor renews its solemn pledge to strive for workplace safety rules and formally commemorates those who have died on the job in the previous year.

The totals aren’t in for 2015 yet, but the year before, 4,679 workers died on the job. That’s nearly 90 a week, 13 a day, seven days a week. Twenty-eight members of my own union, the USW, died on the job since Workers Memorial Day 2015.

But the GOP position is clear. Republicans will do whatever it takes to ensure that corporations can sicken and kill workers with impunity. (emphasis added)  If the argument is that workers’ lives and lungs must be sacrificed to ensure that foundries and fracking operations and construction companies can make bigger profits by releasing silica particles under 40-year-old standards now considered dangerous, then the GOP will take the side of CEOs who value workers as trivial.

This one image from TC says it all:

RepubliCare

My UniverseThere is nothing cuter than baby animals.  Be prepared for the Aww factor!  Here are just a few but click through for the rest of them.

The smiley bunch . . .

baby giraffe

baby sloth

The hungriest . . . 

baby hippo

The cuddliest . . .   ?

baby alligator

The most timid . . . 

baby foxes

Aw shucks . . .

baby duck

Y'all come back now, ya hear!

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Apr 272016
 

So it has been almost 2 weeks since I last published an article, not because I did not want to, but because I have been very, very busy with all sorts of activities.  Something had to give and it was publishing.  Last Sunday during a church service, five of us were commissioned and anointed into the ministry of pastoral care having finished our training and police background checks.  Of course I have been teaching and attending physio.  Last Friday, I looked after Lucia's two youngest while Lucia took some "me time".  I was totally wasted by the afternoon when Lucia returned.  What's more, I managed to escape a nuclear diaper!  I'll do the same next week so Lucia can be with Loliyo at a dance competition.  There are also routine things like doctor's and dentist's appointments, and the most important, snuggles with the fur babies.  I still have to do the taxes but since neither of us owe any, it isn't a big worry.

Short Takes

The Nation — Global warming is, in the end, not about the noisy political battles here on the planet’s surface. It actually happens in constant, silent interactions in the atmosphere, where the molecular structure of certain gases traps heat that would otherwise radiate back out to space. If you get the chemistry wrong, it doesn’t matter how many landmark climate agreements you sign or how many speeches you give. And it appears the United States may have gotten the chemistry wrong. Really wrong.  

In February, Harvard researchers published an explosive paper in Geophysical Research Letters. Using satellite data and ground observations, they concluded that the nation as a whole is leaking methane in massive quantities. Between 2002 and 2014, the data showed that US methane emissions increased by more than 30 percent, accounting for 30 to 60 percent of an enormous spike in methane in the entire planet’s atmosphere.  

These leaks are big enough to wipe out a large share of the gains from the Obama administration’s work on climate change—all those closed coal mines and fuel-efficient cars. In fact, it’s even possible that America’s contribution to global warming increased during the Obama years. The methane story is utterly at odds with what we’ve been telling ourselves, not to mention what we’ve been telling the rest of the planet. It undercuts the promises we made at the climate talks in Paris. It’s a disaster—and one that seems set to spread.

The Obama administration, to its credit, seems to be waking up to the problem. Over the winter, the EPA began to revise its methane calculations, and in early March, the United States reached an agreement with Canada to begin the arduous task of stanching some of the leaks from all that new gas infrastructure. But none of this gets to the core problem, which is the rapid spread of fracking. Carbon dioxide is driving the great warming of the planet, but CO2 isn’t doing it alone. It’s time to take methane seriously.

MSNBCI found this interesting segment of The Rachel Maddow Show that showcases some of the Republican bigotry, racism and total lack of sensitivity to history.

Politico — Republicans over the past seven years have come to view Barack Obama not just as an ideological enemy but as a “dictator”—an accusation hurled most recently by both Chris Christie and Glenn Beck—a president who has unconstitutionally abused his executive power with an array of unilateral actions.

But Republicans are hardly passive victims of an overweening executive; they are, in fact, paying for their own unilateral surrender of power. The GOP-dominated Congress has sought to weaken and undermine Obama and instead has achieved the opposite. Unable to pass significant legislation after the Affordable Care Act, the Obama White House filled the vacuum by creative use of executive authority, setting a potentially risky precedent for the future balance between the branches but spurred, ironically, by the very opponents who were trying to contain him.

Is this where we get to say to Republicans "You reap what you sow!"?  Personally, I do not see Obama as a dictator, but rather a man trapped by the incompetence and beligerence of political foes . . . foes willing to ruin the country in order to stick to their idiotological principles.

My Universe — 20 Reasons You Need A Cat In Your Life

You may view cats as evil creatures, and you may not be entirely wrong with that assumption. Still, you may not realize that owning a cat actually has a variety of benefits for you and your health. These are just a few reasons why you should open your home to a cat.

BTW, people don't own cats.  Dogs have owners.  Cats have staff!

3. They Do Not Need Baths

Giving cats a bath is not a fun experience. Fortunately, unlike dogs, cats really do not need baths. They are huge neat freaks that frequently groom themselves, making bathing unnecessary. This also goes back to the whole “low maintenance thing”. If you do dare to bath a cat, be sure to wear complete padding because this can get pretty messy though the results are pretty hilarious.

7. They Make Fantastic Alarm Clocks

When cats want their breakfast, they want it now. They do not care if you are sleeping, they will wake you up. In fact, they do not even need to have breakfast for an excuse to wake you up. They will wake you up for whatever reason they have decided to wake you up and you will have to deal with that.

11. They Will Keep You Grounded

All of those jokes about how cats think humans are their slaves? These are completely accurate. Cats believe that you are merely there to serve them and their needs. This will help put you in your place whenever you feel that you are better than you are.

Click through for the other 17 reasons you need at least one cat in your life.

 

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Apr 232016
 

Yesterday I posted two articles, after saying I would not, because Earth Day was too important to pass by.  I had a hard workout at PT, even though I missed 1/3 of my time, because the TriMet Lift Bus was way late.  Mostly, they’re pretty good, but when they blow it, they really screw the pooch.  Julie is coming to preen my kitty feathers this morning.  I need it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:23 (average 5:50).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Recent diaries and comments have ridiculed discussion of the lawsuit filed in New York on Tuesday regarding voter purges, claiming that it’s just a bunch of whiny Independents who couldn’t be bothered to re-register as Democrats in time.  Although that is an issue — if you decided in December you wanted to vote for Clinton or Sanders, it was too late for Independents to make the change in order to be eligible — and one of the remedies requested by the lawsuit was an open primary, that was not the main cause.

Thousands of properly registered voters were purged from the voter roles, or had their registration changed from Democrat to unaffiliated, or were new voters and their registrations weren’t processed in time or again they showed up as unaffiliated instead of DEMOCRAT, and thus were unable to vote through no fault of their own.

And now Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the Board of Elections Chief Clerk in Brooklyn has been suspended and will likely be forced out because she made an error that caused more than 100,000 people to be improperly purged from the voter roles in Brooklyn.

She was trying to clean up the books — which must be periodically purged to eliminate people who die, move or are ineligible for other reasons — and skipped one of the steps that was built in to stop the system from purging eligible voters, the sources said.

Brooklyn lost 102,717 — or 8% — of its active voters from Nov. 1 2015 through April 1, 2016, according to state stats.

It’s the only county in the state that lost voters in that time period.

The high number of dropped voters — combined with other issues like long lines, late starts and inadequate equipment — prompted both the City Controller and the state Attorney General to launch investigations into the widespread irregularities.

There is no reason to believe that the Brooklyn voter purge was done intentionally to target Bernie supporters, as some have claimed. And I still consider open primaries contrary to the purpose of primaries: to allow the members of a political party to chose which candidates will represent that party in the general election. However, every state needs to have means to allow people to register as a member of their party of choice within a reasonable amount of time (hours or days, not weeks or months) and correct an accidental purge instantly. Contrarily, New York’s laws are the most archaic in the nation and need a complete overhaul.

From The New Yorker: After rattling many of his supporters by expressing tolerance toward transgender people, the Republican front-runner Donald J. Trump clarified on Friday that he still opposes women who were born women.

“The media has, per usual, tried to blow my words out of proportion,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “Just because I happen to think transgender people deserve our understanding in no way means that I feel that way about women who were born women.”

Trump said that any attempt to twist his words to apply to “women in general” was deeply offensive to him. “I have made my views about women very clear and to suggest that I have somehow changed those views is really, really hurtful,” he said.

Across the nation, Trump supporters who had been alarmed that the candidate had seemingly strayed into something resembling empathy were greatly relieved by his clarification.

Dang Andy!! I was starting to worry that Fecal Dump Trump might actually come out in support of allowing women pee in the women’s room!!

From The Boston Globe: Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage is vetoing a bill that would allow people to buy a lifesaving drug overdose antidote without a prescription.

Rachel Maddow covers this travesty in detail.

LePage made it clear that he wants people who overdose to die. Since he associates, Black people and heroin use, it doesn’t take rocket science to recognize the Republican Racism in his decision. As a former volunteer firefighter, I have administered Narcan and seen it take someone from delirious and seizing to stable in seconds. As for LePage, only one word us vile enough to describe him. Paul LePage is a Republican.

Cartoon:

0423Cartoon

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Apr 162016
 

RepublicansOnParade3

Here is the eighty-fourth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Governor and Presidential also ran, John KKKasich (R-OH). He is so honored for his Republican views on women’s role in society.

KKKasichAt a town hall in Watertown, Pennsylvania on Friday, a local college student asked Ohio Governor and presidential candidate John Kasich what he would do as president to make young women like her feel safer on campus. She cited what many consider a current epidemic of “violence, harassment and rape” at colleges and universities.

Kasich at first ignored the student’s question and turned to his staffer, joking that he had to go and didn’t want to miss his ride. He then suggested that all colleges offer victims of sexual assault “confidential reporting,” rape kits, and “the opportunity to be able to pursue justice after you have had some time to reflect on it all.” He concludes by telling the woman, a first-year at New York’s Saint Lawrence University: “I will give you one bit of advice. Don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol.”…

…The Democratic National Committee blasted Kasich for “blaming victims of sexual and domestic violence,” and noted, “It is no wonder women are turning away from the Republican field in huge numbers.”

 

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

He actually sounded almost reasonable until the end, but this was not a case of simple misspeaking. Rachel Maddow covered his issues in much more detail.

KKKasich’s attitude on a woman’s place could not be clearer.

0416barefoot-preegnant-kitchen

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A Senator for Bernie

 Posted by at 1:33 pm  Personal
Apr 142016
 

Before yesterday, forty of the forty-five (not counting Bernie and Hillary) Senators in the Democratic Caucus had each made an endorsement for President.  And every one, without exception, had endorsed Hillary.  Yesterday, at long last, a Senator finally stepped forward and endorsed Bernie.  I’m proud to have done volunteer work for his campaign in 2008, when Jeff ousted goose-stepping Gordon Smith and became the junior Senator from Oregon.

Merkley[O]regon Democrat Jeff Merkley endorsed Bernie Sanders on Wednesday for the party’s presidential nomination, becoming the first member of the Senate to announce support for the fellow U.S. senator from Vermont.

In a New York Times column announcing his endorsement, Merkley said he supports Sanders for his work battling economic inequality, opposing trade deals and fighting for the middle class.

“It is time to recommit ourselves to that vision of a country that measures our nation’s success not at the boardroom table, but at kitchen tables across America,” Merkley wrote. “Bernie Sanders stands for that America, and so I stand with Bernie Sanders for president.”… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Raw Story>

Rachel Maddow interviewed Jeff about his endorsement.

I was particularly pleased with the way Jeff had nothing but good things to say about Hillary, but said even more good things about Bernie.

With almost all of his colleagues in Hillary’s camp, it would have been so much easier for Jeff to follow the pack, or make no endorsement at all.  He deserves our kudos for the courage it took to do right, standing alone in the face of adversity.

In summary, Oregon leads the way!

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Apr 132016
 

The graphic with this article is the State Flag of the Republican Theocratic Dictatorship of McCrorystan, formerly North Carolina, led by Religious Reichsfuhrer Pat McCrory.  You are probably aware that McCrorystan has taken some major economic hits over their recent display of hatred for Transgender folks who want to use the rest room.  To try to stem that tide Religious Reichsfuhrer McCrory pretended  to duck.

McCrorystanFlag

Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina, whose state has been the subject of withering criticism since he signed legislation limiting bathroom access for transgender people and eliminating anti-discrimination ordinances based on sexual orientation, announced Tuesday that he would strengthen workplace protections for state employees and urge the General Assembly to modify part of the law.

But he stopped short of opposing limits on which bathrooms transgender people could use, and the law will be left largely intact. Critics said his action was more cosmetic than real.

Mr. McCrory signed the legislation immediately after it was passed last month and, 20 days later, made his slight retreat with an executive order that he said would alter the equal employment policy for state workers to cover discrimination claims related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

He also said he would urge lawmakers to reverse course and allow people to bring discrimination cases in state court… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Rachel; Maddow covered the story and extended it to Tennessee.

Note that neither the Times, nor Rachel came out and said McCrory’s pretense at ducking is just smoke and mirrors.  I say so because it’s all talk.  He hasn’t actually done anything.

It wouldn’t surprise me if xhamster is Religious Reichsfuhrer McCrory’s favorite site. Whether it is or not, threatening Bubba Bagger’s access to Republican family-values porn, could crash the state government.

It will be interesting to see what Tennessee does.

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Who Was it?

 Posted by at 12:55 pm  Politics
Mar 302016
 

Do you remember Diaper Dave, aka Dastardly Dave Vitter (R-LA).  He is the family values Republican that likes to have his bottom powdered during his diaper changes.  He was outed by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, famous as the DC Madam.  She committed suicide in prison, probably “assisted” by Republican clients.   After all these years her attorney is about to release more names of her clients, and says it would have a major effect on the coming Presidential election.  So who was it?

0330DiaperDump

A lawyer who represented the so-called “D.C. madam” says he has phone records that could influence the outcome of the presidential election, and he’s threatening to release one or more names on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court if he’s denied a hearing on his right to distribute them.

Montgomery Blair Sibley, the late madam Deborah Palfrey’s colorful attorney, has been subject to a restraining order since 2007 barring him from releasing the information, which he says includes 815 names, addresses and Social Security numbers of Verizon Wireless customers.

“Time is of the essence because people are casting votes in primaries and caucuses,” he says. “I believe this information is relevant to that political discourse.”

Sibley first said the records could be relevant to the presidential race in January, when there were 15 high-profile candidates. Now, just three Republicans and two Democrats remain – though Sibley won’t say if any are implicated, citing fear of being jailed for contempt…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Rachel Maddow provided more detail.

So who was it?

Hillary?  Possible, but I doubt it.

Bernie?  I don’t think so.  At his age, he’d be bragging about it.

KKKsich?  He seems too boring.

TRUSed Uranus Cruz?  The National Enquirer has accused him of cheating. so maybe.

Fecal Dump Trump?  That seems the most likely choice to me.

To be clear, what transpires between two consul;ting adults is their own business.  What makes this a political is that all the Republican candidates are running on a platform that condemns people who have sex outside of heterosexual wedlock.   If they are doing what they condemn others for doing, that’s everyone's business.

This is an uptated version in which I corrected my error over the Madam's name,

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Bernie Meets Birdie

 Posted by at 10:51 am  Politics
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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Brussels Unprepared

 Posted by at 1:28 pm  Politics, Religion
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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