Sep 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow day 149.  I need to get busy to prepare my notebook for next week’s Salem trip, and I have a grocery delivery coming tomorrow, so I remain quite busy.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:01 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends:

Scores:

2Scores

Standings:

2Standings

If you wish to follow our league, you may do so here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The Neo-Confederate movement has been trying to jump start itself of late.  It has been an especially heady few months for the League of the South, a theocratic, White nationalist group based in Killen, Alabama

Some of its leading members have been running for office in Maryland.  And League president Michael Hill has gone so far as to call for the formation of paramilitary death squads. He now claims that he wasn’t doing any such thing, but that if he were, we would just have to find out for ourselves. (We, being liberal "bedwetters.")

Anyway, as it turned out, just around the time Hill was protesting too much, the Southern Poverty Law Center learned that the League was indeed organizing a secret paramilitary unit which calls itself "The Indomitables." 

ISIL… Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian version!

From Crooks and Liars: Once again, the ladies and gentlemen of our Corporate Media show how very out of touch they are with those who don’t travel in the same rarefied circles.

In keeping with their self-appointed roles as political gatekeepers, Mrs. Greenspan and Chris Cillizza quickly discount the report from reporter Perry Bacon Jr., in which he says Democrats are expressing doubts that Hillary Clinton is liberal enough for them.

The marquee stars quickly discount that. Mrs. Greenspan notes that while getting 350 people to come out to an Iowa church basement, as Bernie Sanders did, is "a lot," she and Cillizza quickly discount him because blah blah blah, he can’t raise the big money that an Elizabeth Warren can.

 

And this is the network Republicans claim is all librul.

From TPM: Liberal comedian Bill Maher confessed that he’s not actually an atheist in a Monday Funny Or Die video.

He said that he just plays an atheist and is actually quite religious.

 

Do you think we should believe him?

Cartoon:

0917Cartoon

Originally posted 9/17/2011.

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Sep 132014
 

I’m writ5ing for tomorrow, day 145.  It’s late in the day.  After doing my research early this morning, I scheduled routine medical appointments through the middle of next month, cooked and cleaned, and took a cat nap.  Tomorrow I have some errands to run in the morning, but they should not interfere with blogging.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:40 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: There is a diary on the Rec List about a Wall Street Journal article detailing how those making $400,000/year can still feel like they are “just getting by”. http://www.dailykos.com/…

I am glad the WSJ is giving comfort to its target audience, reassuring those well within the 1% of annual income that it is okay if they feel they are struggling to get by. The purpose, IMO, is to assuage any potential feelings their readers might have toward those with less, because they, the members of the 1%, have it rough as well, so that the 1% can be justified in their dissatisfaction with how little they have.

Of course, what the article actually does is prove to us, those who are way down the income scale from these 1%ers, how little the WSJ actually cares about the vast majority of this country, and how as a newspaper its editorial purpose is to be a fluffer to the 1% and keep them insulated from the realities that most people in the country live with every minute of every day.

But the corollary story that the WSJ won’t touch is this: if it families making $400,000/yr are feeling like they are struggling, then how must 150 million people getting by on less than $50,000/yr feel? Where is the WSJ chart showing us the typical distribution of expenses for a family making less than $50 grand a year? Show us that chart WSJ, and then explain to us, since you advocate for cutting all programs that benefit or help support these people, exactly where the fat is in their budgets?

Is anyone surprised? Didn’t we all know that, when Murdoch took over, the WSJ would become the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Print?

From Upworthy: Just so we’re clear, alcohol and tobacco, which kill thousands of people every year? Legal. Marijuana, which has never killed a single person ever in recorded human history? Illegal. OK then.

 

Personally, I quit smoking the stuff over 30 years ago, but I have no objection to those who choose to smoke it. Smoking InsaniTEA, on the other hand, is hazardous to your nation.

From YouTube: How catnip gets cats high

See? Humans have pot, but we have our nip!!

Cartoon:

0913Cartoon

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Aug 162014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 117.  It’s been a busy day with lots of chores, plus I made a chicken, rice and green bean casserole from scratch.  My sleep schedule is running later than normal today.  Tomorrow (Saturday) morning is our fantasy football draft.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos:

MSNBC resident blowhard Joe Scarborough just couldn’t resist bloviating about the arrests of Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and the Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly. Scarborough’s idiot opinion? They must have gotten arrested because they just "want to get on TV."

Lowery had a thing or two to say about that, when CNN interviewed him about his experience, and Scarborough’s comments.

"Well, I would invite Joe Scarborough to come down to Ferguson and get out of 30 Rock where he’s sitting and sipping his Starbucks smugly," Lowery said during a Thursday morning appearance on CNN. "I invite him to come and talk to the residents of Ferguson, where I’ve been since Monday afternoon having tear gas shot at me, having rubber bullets shot at me … I would invite Joe Scarborough down here to do some reporting on the ground, then maybe we can have an educated conversation about what’s happening here."

Those who claim that MSNBC is the "liberal" should remember that this guy has as much air time as Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell combined.

From NY Times: Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki said Thursday night that he had agreed to relinquish power, a move that came after days of crisis in which his deployment of extra security forces around the capital had raised worries of a military coup.

Mr. Maliki’s decision held out the prospect of a peaceful transition of power, based on democratic elections and without the guiding hand of American military forces, which would be a first in modern Iraq’s troubled history of kings, coups and dictatorships.

A few days ago, I said that I doubted this would happen. OOPS! When I’m, wrong I say so. I had good reasons for thinking otherwise, but good reasons do not always guarantee accuracy.

From Upworthy: Utah Drug-Tested Almost 5,000 People On Welfare, And The Results Almost Made Me Throw Something

I wonder what Utah thought they’d find when they implemented mandatory drug testing for welfare recipients? I doubt this is it. The moral of the story? I’d say the "sketchy drug addict" narrative that continues to be assigned to people on government assistance isn’t really that accurate … or fair.

0816Drugtests

Those are results that Republicans do NOT want you to know, because it trashes their dishonest stereotype.

Cartoon:

0816Cartoon

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Aug 122014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 113.  I feel able to concentrate again, so I’m back in the saddle.  Tomorrow is a a prison volunteer day, but the person with whom I ride down has a conflict, so I can’t go.  That may be a disguised blessing, because we’re in the midst of a National Weather Service heat advisory, and the prison activities section, which is directly above the kitchen and poorly ventilated, is sure to be unbearable.  But I still would have gone, if I could have.  The new series I promised is coming soon.  I’m sad inform you that Robin Williams was found dead in his home, an apparent suicide.  Please join me in condolences, thought and prayer to all who loved him.  Nanu Nanu mode tearfully disengaged.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takers:

From Irish Times: …US president Barack Obama has begun directly providing weapons to Kurdish forces who have started to make gains against Islamic militants in Iraq.

The US previously insisted on selling arms only to the Iraqi government. US officials say the administration is close to approving plans for the Pentagon to arm the Kurds.

I see this as the best Move Obama could make to avoid the potential need for US boots on the ground. The Maliki (R-IQ) regime has exhibited such a Republican level of both incompetence and corruption that arming the Iraqi government has effectively been arming ISIS.

From AlterNet: Disinformation: Proponents of a securities transactions tax look upon it as a way to punish  sinners [Murdoch delinked] (securities traders)

Provocative statements like this allow the editors to get their point across while implicitly suggesting that their opponents are the wacky ones. While the rest of us pay a steep sales tax for shoes and school supplies, investors pay ZERO sales tax on their million-dollar purchases. A speculation tax, given factual  analysis, is a logical and obvious and long-overdue tax.

More deception with the capital gains tax. WSJ  says [Murdoch delinked]: By reducing the penalty for transferring capital from one investment to another, these lower tax rates increased the mobility of capital. High-income taxpayers sold more assets, declared more income, and paid more taxes.

In other words, according to WSJ logic,  a lower tax rate means more tax revenue. A curious conclusion, even for WSJ. Based on  oft-discredited theory. But by using fine-sounding, meaningless phrases like "mobility of capital," and by posing a behavioral outcome that fits their philosophy, WSJ is able to sound like they know what they’re talking about.

This is just one of five ways in which the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda Lite, aka Faux Print, is ridiculous. Click through for the other four.

From Huffington Post: Chuck Todd is set to replace David Gregory as the host of "Meet The Press," Politico’s Mike Allen reported on Monday.

Todd, NBC’s political director and chief White House correspondent, has been viewed as the favorite to succeed Gregory, whose tenure has seen the venerable Sunday show sink to third place in the ratings.

Allen said Gregory, who has hosted "MTP" since 2008, is likely to leave NBC.

I welcome this change, although, to be honest, I’m not a fan of Chuck Todd. I’d rather see someone known for integrity, such as Lawrence O’Donnell, in that post. However, if given the choice between David "Raps with Rove" Gregory and a mentally substandard, flatulent Chimpanzee, with acute halitosis, and that masturbates and throws feces on camera, the ape is the clear winner.

Cartoon:

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Although, in those days I used a more advanced computer than an IBM PC, I remember those day when, connecting at 110 baud, we watched documents download, one text character every two or three seconds.

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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.

Cartoon:

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.

Cartoon:

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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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