Apr 122014

I’m writing for tomorrow and hurrying to go out to run errands this afternoon.  I actually feel fairly well rested, so far.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:44 (average 5:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: RUSH is Furious COLBERT’s going to CBS! – Chris Hayes


I for two cannot wait!

From Upworthy: Watch this disturbing yet funny video. At 1:54, one of these dudes starts to realize the repercussions of his actions.


Sadly, this satire is completely accurate.

From Daily Kos:

Former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, who left government in order to spend more time with other people’s money, has some curious notions about American slavery, the Civil War and the government. Specifically, he doesn’t think the American government had much of a role in ending slavery, it was just some stuff that happened.

Well the reason that the slaves were eventually freed was the Constitution, it was like the conscience of the American people. Unfortunately there were some court decisions like Dred Scott and others that defined some people as property, but the Constitution kept calling us back to ‘all men are created equal and we have inalienable rights’ in the minds of God. But a lot of the move to free the slaves came from the people, it did not come from the federal government. It came from a growing movement among the people, particularly people of faith, that this was wrong. People like [British abolitionist William Wilberforce] who persisted for years because of his faith and because of his love for people. So no liberal is going to win a debate that big government freed the slaves. In fact, it was Abraham Lincoln, the very first Republican, who took this on as a cause and a lot of it was based on a love in his heart that comes from God. [emphasis original]

While Abe was the first Republican President, Republicans were liberals then, and Democrats were conservatives. Lincoln massively increased the size of government to fight the Civil War, and that big government freed the slaves by winning the war. So DeMint has his head so far up his butt, that he has a great view of his own tonsils.



Apr 082014

I’m writing for tomorrow and missing sleep because they are upgrading my building’s main entrance directly below my window.  The racket is horrid.  I guess this will be going on for about three weeks, but when they’re done, there will be much better disabled access, a plus for me.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:40).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A riveting scene unfolded in Congress today as a tearful Speaker John Boehner took to the floor of the House to tell his colleagues, “I don’t want to live in a world where seven million people get affordable health care.”

Tears streaming down his cheeks, Rep. Boehner appeared unable to maintain his composure as he delivered a speech interrupted by blubbering and sharp intakes of breath.

“What kind of a world is it where anyone can go on the Internet and get health care they can afford?” he said. “Not a world I’d care to live in, or leave to my children.”

In his satire, Andy has captured the Republican dream, a world where the labor of the people goes to fulfill the whims of the 1%, not to meet people’s needs.

From Daily Kos: Nixon’s Southern Strategy.

The Southern Strategy is a strategy for gaining political power by exploiting the greatest number of ethnic prejudices. Kevin Philips, Republican and Nixon campaign strategist, speaking about this strategy in a 1970 interview with the New York Times:

From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don’t need any more than that…but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That’s where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

This strategy has been used since President Johnson and Democrats in Congress passed the Civil Rights Act to build the Republican party.

Examples of this strategy were evident as recently as 2008 and 2012 as Republicans took up their assault on Medicaid, Social Security, labor unions, and Obamacare – programs which, though they benefit more white seniors, retirees, women, and children, have been sold to many Americans as handouts to lazy, undeserving blacks and minorities.

Yet you never hear the "liberal media" (at least since the 1970 NY Times) talking about the use of this strategy. At least not like this:

"P (President) emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to." – H.R. Haldeman’s diary, President Richard Nixon’s White House Chief of Staff

This is just one of 15 things everyone would know, if there were a liberal media. Click through for the other 14.

From NY Times: The Senate is expected to easily approve legislation Monday restoring unemployment benefits to nearly three million people, throwing the bill to a divided House where Republicans favor starkly different approaches to the issue.

Six Senate Republicans joined all 55 Democrats last week to end debate on legislation that retroactively restores benefits cut off Dec. 28 and extends them through June 1, clearing the way for passage Monday.

Seven House Republicans from high-unemployment regions or swing districts plan to send the House speaker, John A. Boehner of Ohio, a letter coinciding with Senate passage to urge him to take up the Senate bill or a similar measure.

Other House Republicans are pressing to attach to the Senate bill what they call job-creation measures: building the transcontinental Keystone XL pipeline; consolidating job training programs; or raising employer-mandated health care coverage to employees who work 40 hours a week, rather than 30, as written in President Obama’s health care law.

But many House Republicans oppose passing the unemployment benefits under any circumstances, arguing that such “emergency” benefits are no longer needed nearly six years after they were first extended at the outset of the recession.

First group of Republicans are ones in didtricts that are noy Gerrymandered to the hilt. They fear for their jobs now, but they will join the second and third group as soon as the elections are over. Under no circumstances should Democrats cave-in to the Republican sedition of the second group.



Mar 262014

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling quite tired after research and running errands, but not too much so to give a Republican a parade.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:36 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: George Carlin (R.I.P.) was famous for being hilarious but also for being in-your-face honest about the state of humanity and the planet. His version of the lyrics for "America the Beautiful" are pretty halting.


Sadly, this is way too true.

From Daily Kos: Pretty much any traditional media outlet has been starting every discussion about the upcoming election as a done deal:  the House will remain in Rethuglican’s greedy, dangerous, corporate-owned claws and the Senate may be lost to these miscreants as well, because that’s just what happens in an election year after the opposition party has won the White House.

Bull shit.

Plain and simple.  And, yes, this is a rant.

Click through for a most excellent rant. Amen!!

From NY Times: The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal for a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency’s once-secret bulk phone records program in a way that — if approved by Congress — would end the aspect that has most alarmed privacy advocates since its existence was leaked last year, according to senior administration officials.

Under the proposal, they said, the N.S.A. would end its systematic collection of data about Americans’ calling habits. The bulk records would stay in the hands of phone companies, which would not be required to retain the data for any longer than they normally would. And the N.S.A. could obtain specific records only with permission from a judge, using a new kind of court order.

People are far too quick to blame Obama for doing his duty by enforcing the secret law Congress passed, which is his job as chief executive. He has wanted too long, however, to do the right thing. Now I bet the very members of Congress, who have publically blamed Obama for spying on Americans, will sabotage the proposed measures to end that practice.



A national shame and tragedy.

Feb 122014

There a few things that the Republican base know, beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt.  One of them is that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton murdered four Americans in Benghazi.  The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, have broadcast repeatedly that Obama officials ordered the military to stand down, to prevent them from saving the Americans from Obama’s Muslim terrorist allies.

0212BenghaziIn a new report released on Tuesday, the House Armed Services Committee concludes that there was no way for the U.S. military to have responded in time to the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya to save the four Americans killed that night. In doing so, the report debunks entirely a right-wing myth that says the White House ordered the military not to intervene.

For months after the attack that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, conservative media was awash in reports that on the night of the assault the Obama administration at some point ordered the military not to take action that would have saved lives. This supposed “stand down order” led to a bevy of right-wing conspiracies [propaganda delinked] about why the President and his administration had let the Americans die.

“Who told the SEALs to stand down?” Rep. Steve King asked in Nov. 2012, in just one of many interviews with Republicans referring to the response to Benghazi as “worse than Watergate.

As Media Matters reports, Fox News cited reports of a stand-down order no fewer than 85 times during prime-time segments as of June 2013. As the new report — which the Republican majority of the committee authored –makes very clear in its findings, however, no such order ever existed. “There was no ‘stand down’ order issued to U.S. military personnel in Tripoli who sought to join the fight in Benghazi,” the report says, noting that the military was not positioned to respond to the attack.

Given the military’s preparations on September 11, 2012, majority members have not yet discerned any response alternatives that could have likely changed the outcome of the Benghazi attack,” the report concludes… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

There was just no way that even the Republicans, who quietly issued this report, could twist the evidence to conform with their conspiracy theories.  Nevertheless, they knew that the report would do little damage, because most Republican voters will never know it exists.  Why?  It will never be reported on Faux Noise, or anywhere else within the Republican media bubble.

Feb 042014

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling quite tired, after what I suspect you already know was a horrid day for me.  There may be no Open Thread on Wednesday, because tomorrow I have a Podiatrist appointment.  It’s my routine quarterly visit to cut the recurring growth from my foot.  In addition, Politics Plus will be completely offline for up to an hour, sometime between 8 PM Tuesday Night and 4 AM Wednesday morning.  Our HSP is installing the Linux 3.4 kernel update on the server that runs our software.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:00 (average 4:35).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A “visibly troubled” man was spotted today outside MetLife Stadium just hours before the kickoff of Super Bowl XLVIII.

The man, his eyes darting about menacingly, alarmed passersby who were gathering at the Super Bowl venue.

Harland Dorrinson, who was participating in a pregame tailgating party, said he overheard the belligerent man making several “threatening remarks.”

LOL Andy! The question is this. Was it PIGnocchio, or was it the Met Life blimp? ;-)

From Upworthy: Watch A Clever Senator Smack Down Deniers With His Extraordinary Commentary

It’s not uncommon for politicians to make "the jobs argument" against mitigating climate change. Their reasoning is that slowing our carbon emissions would be too costly for the economy. But what about the people whose jobs have already been affected by carbon? This senator does a darn good job of explaining the other jobs argument.


Sen. Whitehouse is spot-on. Note that the Republican on the committee failed in his attempt to sidetrack him. The problem is that you’ll never see this on most of the mainstream broadcast media.

From NY Times: Six months into peace talks dominated by discussion about security, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has proposed to Secretary of State John Kerry that an American-led NATO force patrol a future Palestinian state indefinitely, with troops positioned throughout the territory, at all crossings, and within Jerusalem.

Mr. Abbas said in an interview with The New York Times at his headquarters here over the weekend that Israeli soldiers could remain in the West Bank for up to five years — not three, as he previously stated — and that Jewish settlements should be phased out of the new Palestinian state along a similar timetable. Palestine, he said, would not have its own army, only a police force, so the NATO mission would be responsible for preventing the weapons smuggling and terrorism that Israel fears.

“For a long time, and wherever they want, not only on the eastern borders, but also on the western borders, everywhere,” Mr. Abbas said of the imagined NATO mission. “The third party can stay. They can stay to reassure the Israelis, and to protect us.

This is the most reasonable proposal I have seen from either side, but I suspect Israel will reject it, because the NATO forces would also protect Palestinian territory against ongoing Israeli incursions in their attempt to enforce a one-state solution by attrition, through new settlements, in violation of the Helsinki Accords.



Jan 312014

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling poorly.  Please pardon my brevity.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:10 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Loony toon Congressman Tim Huelskamp appeared with Rachel Maddow after the SOTU speech to address a series of sick disgusting tweets he posted in the House chamber as the President spoke.

There’s no other way to say it: Obama Derangement Syndrome.  For some people seeing a black man address the nation on national tee vee causes them to lose their shit…

…See, they no longer say "YOU LIE" out loud while the President speaks, instead they tweet it out to their hate mob while he’s speaking.

Embarrassed that Rachel was exposing his hate speech on live tee vee, he vainly tried to divert attention away by… you guessed it… a "WHAT ABOUT BENGAAAAAAAAAAHZIII!11!!" rant.

For International readers, I found the same video on YouTube.

I thought it hilarious that every time Rachel asked this Republican liar to validate what he had just said, he changed the subject. In fact, Obama has issued the fewest executive orders per year os any President in the last 117 years.

From Upworthy: If You Needed A Better Reason To Start Cooking More Meals At Home, Here’s One For You

Riddle me this: What is cheap, addictive, and leads to poor nutrition? Exactly what you should be avoiding. Cue the video, my friends!


Thanks to Store to Door, I can now eat more fresh fruits and veggies. If you have a similar service in your community, I strongly recommend using and supporting it.

From Think Progress: On CNN Wednesday, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) told host Wolf Blitzer that she supports equal pay for women despite voting against a measure that would help women achieve that goal…

…But McMorris Rodgers actually voted against laws meant to address the pay disparity between men and women four times. She voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act twice, which lengthened the time for victims of pay discrimination to file a complaint. She also voted twice against the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure aimed at closing the gender wage gap by ending the practice of salary secrecy, thus giving women and others a better chance of rooting out discrimination, narrowing the guidelines for what pay disparities are justified, and strengthening penalties for discrimination as a way to deter it, among other things.

Republicans may say they support equal pay, but they voted unanimously against the Paycheck Fairness Act in the Senate 2010 and just 10 voted for it in the House. Senate Republicans blocked it again in 2012 with a filibuster.


There is a reason that virtually every Republican politician lies about almost all issues. The only way they can get votes is to keep voters ignorant about what they plan and who they represent. Most broadcast media do not challenge their lies.



Jan 232014

If you’re wondering how I put up such a normal Open Thread on a travel day, I admit to a bit to trickery.  I am writing this article, in its entirety, on Wednesday morning, before leaving on my volunteer trip.  I will upload it to the blog as a draft, so the only things I have to do in Salem are do the puzzle and update the time taken to do it.  Slick, huh?

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:32 (average 5:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From TPM: Earlier this month, Bob McDonnell became former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. On Tuesday, he became indicted former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

Just days after he left office, the Republican and and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were charged in federal court with more than a dozen counts related to the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and loans they accepted from a wealthy Virginia businessman. (The ex-governor maintained on Tuesday that he had done nothing illegal.)

The fact that the McDonnells were under scrutiny from prosecutors was no secret. Stories about the investigation, and the relationship between the McDonnells and the businessman, Jonnie Williams, had been appearing in the press for months. We knew (thanks in large part to stellar reporting from The Washington Post) about the Rolex, and the Oscar de la Renta dress, and the Ferrari joyride, and the golf outings. But the 43-page indictment filed on Tuesday did reveal numerous new details about the scandal, and confirmed several other points which had been fuzzy or in dispute.

Click through for the details of Gov. Ultrasound's indictment. It is a shocking revelation of standard operating procedure for Republican politicians, and it may even be a window to what's ahead for PIGnocchio.

From Think Progress: It seemed like all anyone in Washington could talk about on Tuesday was Ezra Klein’s departure from the Washington Post. But another journalist’s new job caught my eye: Stephen Moore, the Wall Street Journal’s notorious economics columnist, joined the Heritage Foundation as its “chief economist. [InsaniTEA delinked]”

Moore’s hiring cements the emerging case that the Heritage Foundation, far from being a traditional think tank, has become a Tea Party lobby with a big research budget. It also tells us a lot about the real role that economic thought plays in a movement obsessed with its opponents’ supposed economic ignorance [Faux Noise delinked].

This isn’t Moore’s first dance at Heritage — he was a fellow there during the heyday of the Reagan Revolution. But as chief economist, Moore will wield far more influence over the direction of Heritage’s economic research than he did thirty years ago.

My bold prediction: this will end in terrible embarrassment. Moore is much more conservative activist than journalist. In 1999, he founded the Club for Growth, one of the hardest of hard-line conservative PACs, and served as its President until 1999. Moore, who had described [Propagandist delinked] his goal in founding the Club to be creating “the tax cut enforcer of the party,” called [InsaniTEA delinked] the Club’s birth “the defining moment of his career.”

That's a trip from Murdoch's Faux Print to DeMint. It will mean even more TEAbuggery from Heritage Foundation, and Murdoch will surely find an equally deranged 1% class warrior for his propaganda rag.

From Salon.com: The NOAA’s annual State of the Climate report is in, and it confirmed what anyone who’s been paying attention probably noticed: 2013 was one for the record books.

We ended the year with a globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature .62 degrees Celsius (1.12 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 20th century average, tying with 2003 as the fourth warmest year since record keeping began in 1880. This means that global temperature was above the 20th century average for the 37th year running, and that all 13 years of the 21st century officially rank among the 15 warmest in recorded history.

That's no surprise to me, because I have noticed a distinct change in Portland, Oregon, since I first moved here over 30 years ago. Summers are hotter, and winters are colder than they were then. There are more frequent extremes in both directions.



And the Rockefeller Group and other vulture capitalists sure are paying for it!!