Jul 242014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 94.  Yesterdays CoDA meeting in prison went very well.  I cleaned house this morning and an now waiting fore Store to Door to driver groceries.  Then I’m going to rest, because I have another volunteer day in prison tomorrow.  This is the general meeting with around 100 of my guys.  So this is tomorrow’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:29).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The BBC reports:

Iran has turned all of its enriched uranium closest to the level needed to make nuclear arms into more harmless forms, the UN nuclear agency says.

The conversion of its stock of 20%-enriched uranium was part of a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear programme.

The US said last week it would unblock $2.8bn in frozen Iranian funds in return for Iran’s compliance.

A four-month extension to talks on Iran’s nuclear ambitions was agreed on Friday between Iran and world powers.

This is a big deal.  A major foreign policy success.  Iran is ending its nuclear program.  All without a shot being fired.

The author goes on to say that because we didn’t bomb anyone, the media didn’t considerate it worth reporting. Is that sick or what?

From The New Yorker: An aide to Rick Perry is confident that the Texas Governor proved he “has what it takes to be President” with his decision on Monday to send troops somewhere for no reason.

By deploying a thousand National Guardsmen to the U.S.-Mexico border, Perry has shown that as President he would be “ready and willing” to use troops without a defined objective, mission, or exit strategy, the aide confirmed.

“Sending troops someplace with no clear idea of why they are going or what they are supposed to be doing once they get there is a key part of the Presidential skill set,” said the aide, Harland Dorrinson. “Rick Perry has just shown that he’s got that nailed down.”

Did Andy hide some satire in there?

From Huffington Post: An Arizona inmate gasped and snorted in an execution that lasted nearly two hours on Tuesday.

Lawyers for Joseph Wood had filed an emergency motion to abort the execution because their client was still alive more than an hour after receiving a lethal injection that was intended to kill him quickly and peacefully.

Their motion, filed in federal district court, failed to save Wood. Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne announced that the 55-year-old convicted killer was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m.

Court papers said the execution started 117 minutes earlier.

"He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour," Wood’s lawyers wrote in their hurried attempt to call off the execution and force Arizona to provide Wood with life-saving care. "He is still alive."

A journalist from the Arizona Republic who witnessed the execution said Wood gasped for air 660 times after the drugs were introduced through intravenous tubes.

If strapping down a human being and torturing him for two hours is not cruel and unusual punishment, what is?

No doubt the Arizona Death Angel, Jan Brewer, is partying tonight.

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0724Cartoon

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Jun 302014
 

Day 70.  I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling a bit groggy, having just awakened from a much needed nap.  Where have the weekend and the month gone?

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:53 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer is no dummy. He sees the writing on the wall.

I’d strongly suggest you read this entire piece titled "The pitchforks are coming . . . for us Plutocrats"

And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.

But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/…

It’s rare to see truth coming from a billionaire. Click through.

From NY Times: The Libyan militia leader charged in connection with the 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed the United States ambassador and three others was brought to Washington early Saturday, where he entered a not guilty plea at the federal courthouse, formally opening one of the most complicated terrorism cases the Justice Department has mounted in recent years.

The suspect, Ahmed Abu Khattala, was flown to Washington by helicopter from a Navy warship that had steamed across the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean Sea after he was captured by American commandos at a seaside villa near Benghazi two weeks ago.

Obama is getting away with doing exactly what he is supposed to do.  Republicans must be livid!

From Crooks and Liars: This is becoming a habit for Meet the Press host David Gregory. Does anyone think he really does not know that the Republicans and their continued obstruction, blocking rebuilding our infrastructure and President Obama’s jobs plan, shutting down the government and costing the economy billions of dollars and refusing to cooperate on anything if heaven forbid it might make the president look good has harmed our economy?

Whether he does or not, it didn’t stop him from playing concern troll for John Boehner and the Republicans during his interview with former President Bill Clinton this week, from the way he framed this question to begin with, to the follow up question where he pretended to be clueless on the way they’ve governed.

 

David "Raps with Rove" Gregory could not have been more biased, calling the Republican Recession the “Obama economy”. On the other hand, Slick Willie did a horrible job at debunking Gregory’s BS.

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0630Cartoon

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Jun 152014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I must still be pretty pooped, as I slept through the morning.  I hope the weekend is being kind to you.  Day 55.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 4:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) unveiled an ambitious plan on Thursday to avoid making eye contact with outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia) until Rep. Cantor leaves Congress, in January of 2015.

Speaking to reporters, Boehner acknowledged the difficulty of avoiding eye contact with the Virginia Republican for the next seven months, but he stressed the importance of his new plan.

“If I make eye contact with him, he might misconstrue that to mean that I want to talk to him,” Boehner said. “And, let’s be honest, none of us has to do that anymore.”

It’s only temporary, Andy.  All the Republicans will love Cantor, when he comes back to pass out those K Street bribes.

From Upworthy: An anonymous person took a bunch of old Coke ads and merged them into the most blunt and honest Coke ad ever. If all ads were as honest as this one, we’d be so much healthier. Of course, they’ll totally never do this. Either way, watch this.

 

Dang! Coke is almost as bad for Americans as Koch!

From Daily Kos: In a shameful and mind-numbingly insensitive move, CNN has decided that of the 74 school shootings which have occurred in the last 18 months, 59 incidents in which 25 people were killed and 40 were injured simply do not count.

This patently ridiculous conclusion can be found in an article at CNN entitled, "A closer look: How many Newtown-like school shootings since Sandy Hook?" It is within this article that the following rationale is given as to why we should ignore most of the incidents reported by gun control advocacy groups:

CNN determined that 15 of the incidents [gun advocacy group] Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Newtown or Oregon — a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school. That works out to about one such shooting every five weeks, a startling figure in its own right.

Some of the other incidents on Everytown’s list included personal arguments, accidents and alleged gang activities and drug deals.

Let us stop right here. CNN has just discounted 59 school shootings in which there were active shooters inside or near a school because, well, why exactly? Because they didn’t look like Newtown? Because they involved gang activity, or personal arguments, or so-called accidents? Incidents in which 25 people were killed?

CNN is Faux Noise Lite on this one. How many of you think it shouldn’t count as a school shooting, if your kid gets killed or wounded as a bystander to a personal argument, a gun accident, a gang bang, or a drug deal gone bad?

Cartoon:

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When Ben was flying the kite, his wife called out, "Ben, you need more tail!" Ben replied, "Last night you told me to go fly a kite!"

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Jun 082014
 

The more I learn about Bergdahlghazi, the more I become convinced that Republicans have been breathing their own self-produced methane for too long.  Bill Maher had a fascinating panel discussion about the five Taliban prisoners released from the GOP Gulag at Gitmo in the exchange.  His final conclusion is so obvious that most journalists could have failed to discuss it only by intent to withhold the most pertinent fact.

MaherIt’s been a very long week watching the right-wing freakout over the the prisoner swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, with everyone from John Bolton, to Ted Cruz, to the hairpiece Donald Trump, to you name it sticking their two cents in on whether we should have negotiated to get Bergdahl released and on whether the trade for the prisoners at Gitmo was worth it.

During a panel discussion on this Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher on the topic, Maher finally said out loud what’s been missing from the discussions we’ve been hearing in our corporate media, and that’s why we could not have just tried these "terrorists" being held at Guantanamo Bay in a court of law — we tortured them.

You can debate all you want to, as the group did here, over whether these are bad people or not, and whether they might pose a threat to the United States at some time in the future or not, and who we should and should not be classifying as terrorists.

None of that matters much if, as Maher pointed out at the end of the clip above, we can’t try them because the Bush administration decided it was a good idea to torture them, and we can’t hold them any more because we can’t call them enemy combatants if we’re going to draw down and get out of Afghanistan. Maybe one of these days the so-called "journalists" we’ve got out there who are following Fox’s lead and drumming up their latest fake controversy could bother to point that out to their viewers as well…

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

 

What else can I say?  Maher is spot-on!

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May 282014
 

I, for one, am sick of seeing predictions of a Republican landslide in 2014.  I see it in newspaper articles, on network news, and on cable news, even the non-thinking segments of MS-NBC.  So lets ack ourselves just what Republicans have done to deserve such media acclaim.  Why are the media giving them such treatment and making such predictions?

0528RepubRepublicans don’t like government, and they run on the idea that government is bad.   Those who decry the whole idea of government are hardly suited to take the reins and lead a nation, even when they inherit a budget surplus with a sound and prosperous economy.  After the Supreme Court decided in favor of the Republican candidate in Bush v Gore ,  Americans became tolerant of sub par governance and Republicans hardly try to act ethically or responsibly. Democrats, especially since Reagan, are held to a higher standard and the administrations of Democrats have had far fewer scandals.   No longer liberal, the conservative-owned media is levels harsh criticism of any Democratic mistakes. With headlines like the IRS Scandal, Fast and Furious and Benghazi, the media created the red meat their TeaParty base needs to mobilize their voters.

In 2001, the Bush Administration and the NSA ignored the warning signs of an imminent attack, thus altering the course of history in ways never imagined. In retrospect, we know Congress and the American people were duped into a conflict in Iraq while futilely looking for Bin Laden in Afghanistan. This has been the longest period of war our military has experienced and paltry planning and funding for veterans has made so many of our heroes suffer due to George W. Bush’s hubris.   Long gone are the days when the terrorists attacked Americans and we united as a country to fight them.  While President Obama is in office and Americans are killed, the Republicans practically unite behind the terrorists and blame the President.  The casualties resulting from the numerous embassy attacks that occurred on Reagan and GWB’s watch were far worse than the single attack on our Benghazi, Libya consulate.  Scandals like Iran-Contra, outing a covert CIA agent and the malicious swift boating of military heroes were trivial by comparison if you listen to the media. The conditions at Walter Reed medical center for veterans were appalling, but the story received less coverage in six weeks than the Shinseki probe received in one week. The number of veterans doubled after 9/11, and in this alternate GOP Universe, Bush and Cheney are assigned zero responsibility for the current crisis in the VA.Democratic vs. Republican Tax Structure (courtesy of the Washington Post)

The Republicans have had a sordid history of fiscal mismanagement and crisis and lately they’re focused on prohibitive laws that are based in evangelical doctrine.    The Great Depression and the recent recession just happened to occur right after taxes on the highest income earners were at their lowest points in history.  But history is something the anti-education Republican Party is averse to, like their denial of the science of evolution and climate change.

Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, and America’s history of financial crises are generally caused by lack of fiscal responsibility… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Liberaland> Hat-Tip: Crooks and Liars

The answer to my first question is obvious.  Republicans deserve the exact opposite treatment than what the media give them.  The article goes on to further document this and to explain the answer to my second question of why.  Click through.  It’s more than worth the read.  The media consist of a few giant corporations with their own corporate agenda.  The Republican Party is more willing to screw the American people to support that agenda, so the media want Republicans to win.  Al;l their predictions of a Republican victory are intended to discourage people, who would vote for Democrats, cultivate their apathy, and keep them away from the polls.

Republican Reich Rule

is punishment for people who don’t VOTE!

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May 082014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling much more awake than I did yesterday.  I cleaned the apartment, had groceries delivered and put them away and organized my desk for tomorrow’s task.  It will be my day to do the annual paperwork our non-profit prison volunteer group.  Depending on how long that takes, I may or may not have articles for tomorrow.  Day 17.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:35 (average 5:26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Oh, Fox News. There could never be enough facepalms or headdesks to adequately respond to your brazen stupidity. The 24-hour propaganda network addressed marriage and earnings during Fox & Friends Sunday. Question being, isn’t it terrifying and unnatural that some women earn more than their husbands? Co-host Clayton Morris was in charge of pressing a panel of guests on this very urgent question:

MORRIS: Is there a problem with men earning less than women in the household, and do you think that it could throw off — that it actually could cause big marital problems?

Yes, it absolutely could. If the husband is an insecure jackass whose sense of self is tied to money and having his wife be subordinate to him.

 

The mouthpiece from the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, did everything he could to twist his panelists’ arguments, and when he couldn’t, he dismissed them as "cultural issues".

From NY Times: Stanford University announced Tuesday that it would divest its $18.7 billion endowment of stock in coal-mining companies, becoming the first major university to lend support to a nationwide campaign to purge endowments and pension funds of fossil fuel investments.

The university said it acted in accordance with internal guidelines that allow its trustees to consider whether “corporate policies or practices create substantial social injury” when choosing investments. Coal’s status as a major source of carbon pollution linked to climate change persuaded the trustees to remove companies “whose principal business is coal” from their investment portfolio, the university said.

Kudos to Stanford University. May all major colleges follow suit.

From CNN: Old habits die hard.

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber will tell you that.

The former emergency room doctor was on his way to dinner Monday evening when he noticed a woman in need of help in downtown Portland.

So, of course, he did what any trained physician would.

He ordered his driver to stop. And using medical equipment he had in his car, he performed CPR until the paramedics arrived.

The woman had "apparently overdosed" on heroin, the governor’s spokeswoman Nkenge Harmon Johnson said.

That’s our Kitz! No doubt, Republicans will try to spin this into an adulterous romantic interlude. ;-)

Cartoon:

0508Cartoon

[Republican spelling intentional]

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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.

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0412Cartoon

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