Dec 012014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 26.  It’s been a slow day for news and excessively cold for here, with most of the day below freezing with high wind.  I overslept, and I’m writing during Holy Halftime.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:52 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

1130-Bronco29-Chiefs16

Short Take:

From Think Progress: Presenting reams of evidence that could benefit the defense of Ferguson officer Darren Wilson wasn’t the only thing St. Louis County prosecutors did to bolster Wilson’s case for escaping trial.

Prosecutors also made a mistake in the grand jury instructions that gave jurors a false impression about the law and provided Wilson with significantly more legal cover for the deadly shooting of Michael Brown than the law actually provides, according to a review of the transcript by MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell.

Assistant District Attorney Kathi Alizadeh instructed grand jurors on how to decide the case based on a statute that was invalidated by the U.S. Supreme Court two decades ago. As O’Donnell points out, that statute had not been valid for the entirety of Alizadeh’s legal career. That statute said that officers can use any force they deem necessary to achieve the arrest of a fleeing suspect. It does not preclude deadly force ,saying only that officers are “justified in the use of such physical force as he or she reasonably believes is immediately necessary to effect the arrest or to prevent the escape from custody.”

Calling this "mistake" a "mistake" is a huge mistake. I have no doubt that it was completely intentional.

Cartoon:

1201Cartoon

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Nov 212014
 

Before this article is published, this will have already happened, but Obama is not due to begin speaking for another hour and a half.  Even though Republicans consider the topic so important that they are threatening impeachment, government shutdown, and sandbox temper tantrums, the big four networks, the so-called liberal media, will be elsewhere.

1121obamaEarly in his first term, President George W. Bush  addressed the nation in primetime about allowing for limited stem cell research in America and his approval for limited medical research. During the weeks leading up to the announcement, there had a been regular news coverage of the topic, as the White House let reporters know the president was deeply engaged on the issue and was meeting with an array of experts to guide him.

As Bush appeared from his ranch in Texas to make the announcement, all of the major broadcast networks joined the cable news channels in carrying his message live.

The stem cell speech didn’t address breaking news and it wasn’t about an imminent threat facing the nation. But at the time, network executives said they were happy to air the address. "I don’t think it was a tough call because it’s an issue that’s received so much attention," CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius told the Boston Globe. ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider agreed: "It’s an important issue and one that the country is following closely." He added that Bush was "going to make news" with the speech.

A decade later the rules seem to have shifted. All four networks  have announced they won’t carry President Obama’s address to the nation tonight about his long awaited plan to take executive action to deal with the pressing issue of immigration reform. (Two Spanish language networks, Univision and Telemundo, will carry the address live in primetime.) … [emphasis added]

Inserted from <AlterNet>

Admittedly, this won’t be the first time the four networks have ducked covering a Presidential address, but considering the import of the topic, I can’t help but wonder what they would be doing, if a white Republican President were addressing the nation on a highly controversial issue.

For those of you who missed the address, I will try to find the complete video tomorrow and post it shortly after midnight on Saturday.morning.

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Nov 122014
 

I often find myself dumbfounded that the Republican Reich inspires such extreme belief in their sheeple, of whom Bubba Bagger is a hypothetical example.  Now Bubba isn’t the brightest bulb in the pack.   If he were, he might have gotten the idea that something was fishy, when the top item on his Koch Brothers list, which told him what to say, is to say nobody told him what to say.  To fix ideas in Bubba’s small brain, the Reich employs wide disinformation network that keeps lies alive long after the sane have dismissed them and moved on,  Here is a recent example.

1112bubbabagger…Members of the conservative media are attempting to scandalize President Obama’s Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch by suggesting she was involved in the Whitewater investigations of the 1990s. However, the Loretta Lynch that played a bit role in Whitewater — an investigation into fraudulent real estate deals that did not include any wrongdoing by the Clintons — is a different person than Obama’s attorney general nominee.

According to a November 8 Breitbart.com article by Warner Todd Huston, "few are talking about" the fact nominee Lynch "was part of Bill Clinton’s Whitewater probe defense team in 1992." Huston pointed to a March 1992 New York Times article that "reported that Lynch was one of the Clintons’ Whitewater defense attorneys as well as a ‘campaign aide.’" And in a November 9 article [Breitfart delinked] Huston’s colleague, Breitbart.com Senior Editor-at Large Joel Pollak wrote, "The connection to Whitewater ought to provide additional fodder for Republicans during Lynch’s confirmation hearings":…

Inserted from <Media Matters>

Admittedly Breitfart took the article down, but not before it had been picked up by the disinformation network, where it is still being proclaimed as truth, and will be in perpetuity.  Since Bubba reads, listens to and watches only what the Koch Brothers approve, Bubba is buffaloed.  Everywhere he goes, the same lie is repeated, and if he should hear the truth, the Koch Brothers have thought him that, if he listens to libruls, he might catch Ebola, be beheaded by Muslims, or even worse, a black family might move in next door.

Rachel Maddow devoted an extensive segment to exposing several examples of how the Republican Reich creates and perpetuates such lies.

If you cannot watch this here, try the direct MSNBC link.  While I could not find this elsewhere in its entirety, YouTube does have a part of it.

A political party that dedicates so much effort to buffaloing Bubba with whatever they make up, ought not to exist, but to make that happen we need to become as effective at disseminating the truth as they are at disseminating lies.

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Nov 042014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 197, and more important, election day.  At this point, I think I can honestly say that I’ve done everything I possibly could to help influence the outcome, and now it’s time for me to do the one thing I hate doing most in politics: become a spectator.  Lets just hope that the Republican Party suffers from electile dysfunction, and that when it comes to turn out, they can’t get it up.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:31` (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Hat-Tip Pat A from Care2): …The header on this [Republican] mailing says "Your Voting Record is Public Information!"

Then, this ominous note: "The News and Observer reported last week that Barack Obama and Harry Reid’s operation plans to publish and share your voting records with your neighbors after this election."

That’s big news right there.  Raleigh has a newspaper?  But I digress.

The mailing continues…

"The Republican Party wanted to make you aware of this, so Reid and Obama don’t have the chance to embarrass you for staying home on election day."

And then… at the very bottom… is the (unintentional?) punchline…

…there’s a list with my wife’s name at the top and a note that she didn’t vote in 2010, but did in 2012.

Then, it lists the names of 4 of my neighbors, with notes showing whether they voted in 2010 and 2012.

Let me say that again.  They have the very voting record they say the scary and threatening president is going to send to my neighbors, and they’re sending it to my neighbors…

Click through for the whole story.  Have you ever seen a more classic example of criminal projection?

From NY Times: A stealthy coterie of difficult-to-trace outside groups is slipping tens of millions of dollars of attacks ads and negative automated telephone calls into the final days of the midterm campaign, helping fuel an unprecedented surge of last-minute spending on Senate races.

Much of the advertising is being timed to ensure that no voter will know who is paying for it until after the election on Tuesday. Some of the groups are “super PACs” that did not exist before Labor Day but have since spent heavily on political advertising, adding to the volatility of close Senate and House races.

Others formed earlier in the year but remained dormant until recently, reporting few or no contributions in recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, only to unleash six- and seven-figure advertising campaigns as Election Day draws near. Yet more spending is coming from nonprofit organizations with bland names that have popped up in recent weeks but appear to have no life beyond being a conduit for the ads.

Groups like B-PAC, supporting Joni Ernst, center, in Iowa, have poured millions into Senate races. Credit Eric Thayer for The New York Times

The groups’ last-minute fusillade of attacks helped push outside spending in races around the country to an average of at least $20 million a day last week. Total spending on Senate races reached $200 million in October alone, significantly more than in the same period before the 2010 midterms.

As much as the Times tries to paint the problem as bipartisan, click through and note that virtually all the examples are Republican.

From Think Progress: An federal district court in Oregon has declared Secular Humanism a religion, paving the way for the non-theistic community to obtain the same legal rights as groups such as Christianity.

On Thursday, October 30, Senior District Judge Ancer Haggerty issued a ruling on American Humanist Association v. United States, a case that was brought by the American Humanist Association (AHA) and Jason Holden, a federal prisoner. Holden pushed for the lawsuit because he wanted Humanism — which the AHA defines as “an ethical and life-affirming philosophy free of belief in any gods and other supernatural forces” — recognized as a religion so that his prison would allow for the creation of a Humanist study group. Haggerty sided with the plaintiffs in his decision, citing existing legal precedent and arguing that denying Humanists the same rights as groups such as Christianity would be a violation of the Establishment Clause in the U.S. Constitution, which declares that Congress “shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

“The court finds that Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes,” the ruling read.

The decision highlights the unusual position of the Humanist community, which has tried for years to obtain the same legal rights as more traditional religious groups while simultaneously rebuking the existence of a god or gods. But while some Humanists may chafe at being called a “religion,” others feel that the larger pursuit of equal rights trumps legal classifications.

The Court correctly ruled what I’ve been saying all along. Atheism is a religion. In my opinion, it is the religion that requires the most faith of all.

Cartoon:

1104Cartoon

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Oct 132014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 175, and due to volunteer work, I’ve been going non-stop since 6:00 AM, and it’s now evening, except for three hours of intense religions mediation upon the wonderful Holy Ellipsoid Orb.  Pardon my brevity.  The Cartoon is resurrected from last year.  (Early AM Update: Unplanned vertical sleep has me running way late).

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:23 (average 5:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

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Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Hat-Tip: JL A from Care2): …These are the sorts of bigotry, harassment and human rights violations faced on a regular basis  by American Indians seeking equal access to the ballot box. The discrimination that they endure is remarkably similar to that of African-Americans and Latinos, but odds are that you hadn’t been thinking about the voting rights of American Indians. In fact, outside of the #ChangeTheName controversy surrounding Washington DC’s professional football team, I doubt that American Indians have crossed many of your minds recently. This may be in part because there are only 1.9 million American Indians in this country and you don’t have much direct interaction with them, but I think it is also because the Civil Rights Movement in the United States during the fifties and sixties was almost exclusively an African American movement.

If you doubt me, I urge you to a little free association exercise with yourself and take note of the events from that era that first come to mind. When I think on it, the images I see are of sit-ins in Greensboro, North Carolina and bloody marches in Selma, Alabama; I envision Dr. King speaking of his dreams in front of a packed National Mall and I think about the bodies of 3 civil rights workers being buried on a hot Mississippi night during Freedom Summer. At no point do I think about “No Indians or Dogs Allowed signs” in Wyoming during the 1960s or the Occupation of Wounded Knee, because these things aren’t part of our mainstream narrative of civil rights in America. They aren’t part of our narrative, but they should be. Civil rights movements are not mutually exclusive and there is no cause too remote or removed from our personal experience to be fought. Many of us may not live near a reservation or interact with American Indians in our daily lives, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t hold ourselves as responsible for their voting rights as we do any other race or ethnicity. First and foremost, voter discrimination is not a southern problem; nor is it an African American problem, a Latino problem or an American Indian problem. It is an American problem and it’s about time we treated it as such…

This article is a veritable history lesson of the disenfranchisement of native people, and I’ve shared just a tiny part of it. Click through for a most informative read and an issue that needs more exposure.

From Upworthy: The context (not to mention that footage) at the beginning of this clip is key. Her reaction is just on point. It takes a lot to say something like that on live television.

 

Kudos to Sony Hostin. The rest? Not so!

From NY Times: It turns out that the Internet does not have infinite capacity. At least not for political ads.

As an increasing number of campaigns and outside groups are finding out, premium space on the web has long been booked. Digital advertising is maturing much in the way television did, as targeting becomes more sophisticated and the definition of a viewer expands drastically.

“Many political strategists don’t think of the Internet as something that can sell out,” said Rob Saliterman, leader of the elections team at Google, which owns YouTube. “But in these smaller states, just as there’s a finite amount of TV inventory, there’s a finite amount of YouTube inventory.”

Like anything else competition for these limited resources drives up their cost. It’s only a matter of time before legitimate human political advertising is crowded out by unknown corporate vultures, including foreign corporations.  Thanks SCROTUS!!

Cartoon:

1013Cartoon

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Oct 112014
 

Everywhere you turn you hear bad news about the economy.  According to conventional wisdom, we are spending like there is no tomorrow and running up record budget deficits.  In the process, we arwe destroying the economy.  Is this true?  What’s really going on?  Shhhh!  It’s a secret!

1011Deficit

What if they balanced the budget and nobody knew or cared?

O.K., the federal budget hasn’t actually been balanced. But the Congressional Budget Office has tallied up the totals for fiscal 2014, which ran through the end of September, and reports that the deficit plunge of the past several years continues. You still hear politicians ranting about “trillion dollar deficits,” but last year’s deficit was less than half-a-trillion dollars — or, a more meaningful number, just 2.8 percent of G.D.P. — and it’s still falling.

So where are the ticker-tape parades? For that matter, where are the front-page news reports? After all, talk about the evils of deficits and the grave fiscal danger facing America dominated Washington for years. Shouldn’t we be making a big deal of the fact that the alleged crisis is over?

Well, we aren’t, and once you understand why, you also understand what fiscal hysteria was really about.

First, ordinary Americans aren’t celebrating the deficit’s decline because they don’t know about it… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Click thr4ough to read how Paul Krugman continues to explain how the media focuses on bad news and ignores good news.  Of course that’s true. If it bleeds, it leads.  However, another dynamic is at work here., as Rachel Maddox explains.

Naturally!  The media is parroting Republican lies!  But part of the fault lies with Democrats.  Those of you who also worship the Holy Ellipsoid Orb are familiar with the Iggy Shuffle and other End Zone Celebrations.  Here’s what I mean.

Democrats need Bodacious Barack, Hot Stuff Harry, and Fancy Nancy to get together, spike the ball, and do a good old fashioned end zone dance.  Republicans have us outclassed at this.  They blow their own horn to claim that their most egregious failures are spectacular successes, while we actually have successes and keep quite.

It’s been a secret too long.

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Oct 072014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 180.  I’m still feeling quite tired after yesterday.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to call for my grocery order.  After that I’ll catch some sun and a nap.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:53 (average 5:37).  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:

5Scores

Standings:

5Standings

A new leader is tiptoeing through the end zone.  She’s so hot she doesn’t even want the good trade I offered her.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Whether or not you already know who Reza Aslan is, know this: This man is a voice of reason. From the moment he starts talking at 1:21, I’m absolutely smitten with his words. Skip to 4:49 to watch him answer the question we’re all waiting for him to answer.

But wait! He’s still got more to say. Starting at 8:22, Aslan has some parting words for the CNN hosts and drops the mic in a pretty epic way.

This segment gets an A+ from me. I hope you’ll think so, too.

 

I fully agree with Reza. Sadly Maher is no more tolerant of others’ religious beliefs than the most rabid Republicans.  Zionists, ISIL, and Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians are functionally equivalent. None authentically represent the religions they claim and distort.

From The New Yorker: In a blistering indictment of the Administration’s economic policies, the chairman of the Republican National Committee has accused President Obama of forcing five million Americans back to work since he took office, in 2009.

“When President Obama took office, there were five million Americans at home all day who are now, sadly, not at home,” said Reince Priebus, on Sunday’s edition of “Meet the Press.” “They have to go to work five days a week and they’re mad as hell about it.”…

…He added that the President’s failure on this issue has helped sharpen the Republican Party’s message to voters. “If you’re sick and tired of employment, vote for us,” he said.

OMG Andy! The evil Kenyan has really done it this time!!  Great Republican slogan!!

From Daily Kos: If there is any clear evidence that the media in America for all practical purposes is a monolith controlled by one drumbeat it should be evident with today’s morning shows. It was evident they were all following one narrative, a narrative to bash President Obama implicitly and explicitly on competence.

The narrative today was competence. A quoted story from Politico was "Can anyone fill the competency gap." The insinuation was clear. President Obama is not competent. They tried to create this incompetency thread by blaming the President for ISIS/ISIL, Ebola, and on many other issues of which he had little control. Where they could not blame they attempted to get surrogates to blame.

Such was the case with Chuck Todd on Meet The Press. You could see him searching former Senator Jim Webb’s words for some gotcha moment to tie some failure to the president. This exchange was classic.

 

While I agree with this author about Chuck Todd, I disagree that the media is a monolith. Although CNN and the big three are very right slanted, and Faux Noise, the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda is infoganda, not news, MSNBC is balanced. It has Todd, Morning Joe, and other right wing commentators, but is also has Ed Schultz, Al Sharpton, Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell.

Cartoon:

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Republicans are ready to try this again!

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