Oct 102015

I am sitting here checking out some news to cover, and I can hear the rain outside.  It is very relaxing to hear as I prepare tomorrow's only article.  It is the remnants of Hurricane Oho, the tail end, as Oho has headed up to Alaska. Earlier, while driving about, I had listened to news of the House Speaker's race, followed closely by the news of Oho.  I started laughing because I thought they had announced the hurricane's name as Hurricane A##hole. I do have some hearing deficits, but still . . . Maybe it is Washington that has Hurricane A##hole . . .  right in the Republican conference room.

Puzzle — Today’s took me 3:04 (average 5:04). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.

Short Takes

Alternet  Why won't the media acknowledge and report the truth rather than made-up issues is the burning question on Paul Krugman's mind in his column Friday. He was spurred by Representative Kevin McCarthy, no longer in the running for Speaker of the House, who guilelessly boasted that Benghazi was all about hurting Hillary Clinton politically, which most sentient beings knew.

IMO, the media should be reporting the facts, reporting the news, NOT being the news.  For example, Fox News aka Faux Noise, or for me just plain Faux, is a prime example of so called media being the news rather than reporting the news.  At best, the work of O'Reilly, Hannity and the multitude of other on air personalities, is opinion, not news.  They are the Republican/TeaParty propaganda wing.

Common Dreams — In what privacy advocates are hailing as a landmark victory, California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law a sweeping tech privacy bill which will require police in the state to obtain warrants for access to telecommunications data, including emails, text messages, GPS coordinates, and other digital information.


"This is a major win for privacy and for Californians. With so much of our information existing online, it's important that our communications are protected from government access to the strongest degree possible," said G.S. Hans, policy counsel and director for the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).

Now, if more states, indeed more countries, take similar steps, would we still have the feeling of 'big brother is watching'?  That a person's communication in electronic form is treated differently than that on paper is absolutely ridiculous.

Alternet — Socialism is not about “free stuff,” but cracking down on these corporations that exploit their workers and then rely on the government to make sure they don’t starve. It is not about being lazy and slacking off, but about demanding a fair share and getting paid decently for one’s labor — it is yet another right wing fallacy that people get paid what they’re worth, and that only lazy people are poor. Socialism is about working people, not slackers. It is about fighting capitalist realities like the fact that the top 25 hedge fund managers in America make more money than all of the 157,800 kindergarten teachers combined. Are investors who produce no value really worth that much more than teachers?

I couldn't agree more with the author.  Being a Canuck, I am accustomed to a more socialist view of what life should be.  Mahatma Gandhi said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”  I would alter that slightly to be “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its people and animals are treated.”

My Universeh/t Sarah D

dont know about you but im ready for the weekend

Aug 282015

Barring a surprise that has not been forecast, I have a whole week of sub-80°s days, and I can’t wait for the building to bleed off the heat.  Today through Sunday are minor holy days in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  For one evening I’ll have to give up my solidarity with the LGBT community, because on Saturday my Broncos are having a service with the 69ers, a team notorious for wise receivers and very tight ends. Winking smile The game will not be televised live here, because the networks are showing only the damn Seachickens, as usual.  I will get to see the game later, though.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:02 (average 4:19).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: In another entry in the 2016 annals of "If Trump’s doing it, me too," Ted Cruz went after Fox News host Megyn Kelly after she dared to ask him a question on whether he would deport citizen children born in the U.S. to undocumented immigrants. Nick Gass reports:

When Kelly pressed the Texas senator on what he would do as president, Cruz said that he’s “not playing the game” and declined to answer the question.

“What would President Cruz do? Do American citizen children of two illegal immigrants, who are born here, the children, get deported under a President Cruz?” Kelly asked.

Donald Trump, she said, “has answered that question explicitly.”

“Megyn, I get that that’s the question you want to ask,” Cruz said. “That’s also the question every mainstream media liberal journalist wants to ask.”

Asked whether it is an unfair question, Cruz said that it is “a distraction” from solving the issue.

“You know, it’s also the question that Barack Obama wants to focus on,” Cruz retorted.

Megyn Kelly? Mainstream?!? Liberal?!!? Bwaha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

From NY Times: President Obama came to this once-stricken city on Thursday to make a case for his entire presidency: that when disaster strikes, the federal government should help not only to rescue the stranded but also to rebuild better and fairer than before.

“The project of rebuilding here wasn’t just to restore the city as it had been,” Mr. Obama said to several hundred people at a new community center in the once-devastated Lower Ninth Ward. “It was to build a city as it should be — a city where everyone, no matter what they look like, how much money they’ve got, where they come from, where they’re born, has a chance to make it.”

The president explicitly linked New Orleans’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina, which struck 10 years ago this month, to the nation’s recovery from the 2008 recession. “That’s the story of New Orleans, but that’s also the story of America,” he said.

Frankly, I think Obama was wrong to pay lip service to the New Orleans recovery, because the recovery aid has been unfairly targeted to whites by Republican state officials. Obama should have called them out for that.

From Media Matters: CNN political commentator Jeffrey Lord attacked Univision anchor Jorge Ramos for playing the "race card" even though he is a "blue-eyed, light-skinned … European Mexican." Lord also connected Ramos to Virginia shooter Vester Lee Flanagan II and alleged Charleston shooter Dylann Roof, claiming they all engaged in "dividing the country by race."

Ramos is an American, and every day CNN is looking more like Faux Noise Lite.



Aug 012015

I won’t be too verbose. because I’ve been up since 4:00 this morning, making the graphs and collecting the data for tomorrow’s Monthly Report.  I also made a rice, eggs, veggies, and chili concoction for two or three dinners.  After I get my articles up, it’s nap time.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:27 (4:32 Average).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Republican insiders are complaining that the right-wing media "is shaping the party’s agenda in ways that are impeding Republicans’ ability to govern and to win presidential elections," according to a new Harvard report.

New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes, a Joan Shorenstein fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, spent nearly four months researching how the conservative media is increasingly influencing the Republican Party. She found "unanimity among establishment Republicans — many of them conservatives by the definition of anyone but purists — that rightwing media has become a big problem for the party, and their readiness to talk about it, was something of a surprise to this reporter of three decades’ experience in Washington."

Since its founding in 2004, Media Matters has documented the increasingly extreme rhetoric and policy positions of conservative media. But party Republicans are now complaining that conservative commentators, many of whom are lining their pockets with big salaries, are making it difficult for Republicans to govern and win national elections.

Dave Schnittger, a longtime former top aide to House Republican leaders, told Calmes that conservative media are loudest in opposing actions "that leaders have to get done as part of governing," such as meeting basic fiscal deadlines.

Another top Republican aide, who asked for anonymity, complained of the conservative media: "There’s no money, ratings or clicks in everyone going along to get along." Calmes added, "Asked whether he could offer examples of legislative outcomes affected by conservative media, this Republican all but snapped, ‘Sure. All of ’em.’ Does he worry more broadly then about the small-d democratic process? ‘Yeah, absolutely. Because the loudest voices drown out the sensible ones and there’s no real space to have serious discussions.’"

While what they say is essentially true, the article misses the real point. The biggest reason that the Republican Bubble Machine is so harmful to establishment Republicans is that by saying what the rabid base, recruited by those same establishment Republicans, wants to hear, they are making it more difficult for those establishment Republicans to mislead voters about their true intentions.

From Daily Kos: In one simple quote, Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. sums up the hypocrisy of some in the ‘pro-life’ movement:

"I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

This quote applies well to many Republican lawmakers and anti-choice extremists who continue to introduce/pass misogynist laws restricting a woman’s reproductive rights.

While I may disagree with the Sister’s views on a woman’s right to choose, I have to respect her belief. No respect is warranted for the beliefs of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, who preach that the right to life ends at birth, because they would impose their will on people who do not share their beliefs.

From YouTube: Hillary Clinton: ‘Racial disparities go against everything I believe in’

During a speech at the National Urban League conference, Hillary Clinton talks about racial inequality in America, saying unfortunately, race determines who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind. She says this occurs because of discrimination that is still ongoing.


You decide for yourselves, but I found her speech brilliant. I particularly like her political savvy in choosing Strike Three as the occupant of the Clown Car important enough to call out for his lies.



Jul 032015

It’s another day, and the unrelenting heat continues.  The webs between by toes, developed from living in cool, rainy Oregon for thirty-six years are cracked and brittle.  The long range forecast sets the next day, below 90° as 7/11.  This weather would be exceptional in the heat season, August and early September, not June and July.  ARGH!!  Although today is the official holiday, I’ll save Independence Day greetings for tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 6:15 (average 5:08 (COPD coughing attack in mid-solve)).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: The Associated Press’ (AP) report on a meeting between lawless Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) completely ignored the nationwide controversy Bundy sparked in 2014 when he made a series of racist comments about "the Negro." Paul himself repudiated Bundy at the time for his "offensive" commentary, a fact that was also missing from the AP article.

According to the AP, Bundy and Paul met during a June 29 campaign event in Mesquite, Nevada. Bundy said of Paul to the AP, "In general, I think we’re in tune with each other." Politico additionally reported that the two men spoke for 45 minutes.

In its report, AP described the April 2014 armed standoff between Bundy supporters and federal law enforcement agents as "one of the more dramatic conflicts over land rights in recent years," but made no mention of Bundy’s infamous racist commentary…

Barf Bag Alert!!


It is media bias at it’s worst to ignore support from Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot for this racist Republican terrorist.

From Daily Kos:

Jeb! has called Obamacare "flawed to its core" on several occasions, but apparently it wasn’t too flawed for him to make a handsome profit from. Josh Barro reports.

According to tax returns released by Mr. Bush’s campaign on Tuesday, he sold $1,103,424 worth of stock in Tenet Healthcare in September and October of 2013, yielding a capital gain of $556,283. It hadn’t taken Mr. Bush long to double his money — he was selling shares he had acquired in 2010 and 2011.[…]

…Mr. Bush’s tax returns reflect a gain of 105 percent on Tenet stock he acquired in May 2011 and sold in October 2013. Tenet shares actually gained 68 percent over that period; Mr. Bush’s higher gain may be related to his receipt of restricted stock grants. Still, Tenet’s 68 percent gain was much stronger than the 26 percent overall gain for the S.&P. 500 index over the same period.

And why did Tenet’s stocks outperform other stocks? Because investors anticipated that Obamacare would make hospitals more profitable, with increased usage and fewer payment defaults by uninsured patients.

There’s nothing unusual for a Republican or a Bush here.

From NY Times: Jim Webb, a former Virginia senator and Reagan-era secretary of the Navy, announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday, bringing his antiwar credentials to the field in what many consider a long-shot campaign for the presidency.

Mr. Webb’s announcement caught some political observers by surprise. He was the first from either party to form a presidential exploratory committee but has been barely visible since.

I was for him when he ran for Senator against George Allen, Macaca Man, but except for his opposition to the Iraq War, he’s been mostly a Republican posing as a Democrat, and should be treated as such.



These are O-rings.

May 252015

I’m completely worn out.  Yesterday I finally got around to completing the corporate tax returns and annual reporting paperwork for my prison volunteer organization.  It took the rest of the day.  I’m trying to rest as much as possible today, because tomorrow will be busy packing and doing last minute preparations for my three day prison volunteer trip.  Therefore my Memorial Day article will be a repost of last year’s.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:17 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Remember Douglas Adams’s 1979 novel “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”? It began with some technology snark, dismissing Earth as a planet whose life-formsas a planet whose life-forms “are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.” But that was then, in the early stages of the information technology revolution.

Since then we’ve moved on to much more significant things, so much so that the big technology idea of 2015, so far, is a digital watch. But this one tells you to stand up if you’ve been sitting too long!O.K., I’m snarking, too. But there is a real question here. Everyone knows that we live in an era of incredibly rapid technological change, which is changing everything. But what if what everyone knows is wrong? And I’m not being wildly contrarian here. A growing number of economists, looking at the data on productivity and incomes, are wondering if the technological revolution has been greatly overhyped — and some technologists share their concern.

Click through for this thought provoking editorial by Paul Krugman.

From Upworthy: Watch David Blight elaborate on the story of what happened those days in Charleston, S.C. in this PBS clip.


I consider this a most fitting commemoration.

From Crooks and Liars: Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared on this Sunday’s Reliable Sources and spoke to host Brian Stelter about his recent criticism of the media and their demands for a food fight between Sanders and his opponent in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary, Hillary Clinton.


As is his norm, Bernie is spot on.



Yes, I do know that a chimp is an ape, not a monkey.

Mar 132015

I have a cold or the flu.  I’m running a fever and have nasal congestion in addition to severe COPD.  I got it from chilling myself outside a bureaucrat’s office.  On the other had, it could just be what I get for turning 67 on Friday the  13th.  Obviously, this is today’s only article.  Some of the material is slightly outdated, but, as bad as I feel, it’s the best I can do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 4:52).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Stating that “their continuing hostilities are a threat to world peace,” Iran has offered to mediate talks between congressional Republicans and President Obama.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, made the offer one day after Iran received what he called a “worrisome letter” from Republican leaders, which suggested to him that “the relationship between Republicans and Obama has deteriorated dangerously.”

“Tensions between these two historic enemies have been high in recent years, but we believe they are now at a boiling point,” Khamenei said. “As a result, Iran feels it must offer itself as a peacemaker.”

He said that his nation was the “logical choice” to jumpstart negotiations between Obama and the Republicans because “it has become clear that both sides currently talk more to Iran than to each other.”

He invited Obama and the Republicans to meet in Tehran to hash out their differences and called on world powers to force the two bitter foes to the bargaining table, adding, “It is time to stop the madness.”

I’m afraid it won’t work Andy. Some terrorists are just too far gone for Iran to be able to help.

From Media Matters: Sean Hannity lectured criminal defense and civil rights attorney Tamara Holder about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s impact on women’s issues, telling Holder, "let me educate you."…

…Hannity’s lecturing became so egregious, his female producer challenged him, asking if he was treating Holder this way because she is a woman:


If women follow the advice Hannity is giving, they will have nothing to do with him.

From Daily Kos: Six years too late, media call congressional Republicans ‘traitors’


Now Republicans are claiming they were just being "cheeky". That’s the truth, if the cheeks in question are the ones, between which their heads are inserted.



Jan 142015

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 70.  This will be a brief article.  I’m about to leave for prison.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:39 (average 5:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: I wonder what would happen if these ads replaced the 500 fake ones that we see every day? Would people still judge women based on their skin tone, size, height, waistline, hair length, shoe size?


These real women are not what we see on the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise.

From The New Yorker: In a possible setback for Mitt Romney’s latest Presidential ambitions, a new poll reveals that a majority of Americans now regard the former Massachusetts governor as a stalker.

The poll results suggest that Romney’s presence in every Presidential campaign in recent memory has taken its toll on the American people, who have expressed disbelief that he would return after being repeatedly told in no uncertain terms that he was not wanted.

Additionally, many of those surveyed said that they previously felt harassed by the Massachusetts governor’s relentless e-mails and phone calls, and favored some form of intervention to keep Romney from contacting them in the future.

In an indication of how much Romney’s serial candidacies have traumatized the American people, more than fifty per cent said that they would support a restraining order to keep the former nominee five hundred feet from the United States until the 2016 election had safely passed.

Does Andy have Little Lord Willard pegged or what?

From Daily Kos: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and would-be president has a new book out, since that’s the thing that presidential candidates do. Politico excerpts 10 key quotes that demonstrate, according to the paper, how Rubio "tries hard to come across as an ‘ideas guy.’" They include his quote on Social Security and Medicare, which demonstrates that he is basing his ideas on total ignorance of actual policy.

"It is hard for me to imagine retiring at 65 and spending the next quarter century not working. I expect to be working, doing something productive and fulfilling."

Rubio supports raising the retirement age for Social Security as a way to ensure the system’s solvency and to reflect longer life expectancies. It’s perhaps the most politically risky territory he treads in the book. He says acting soon will allow people currently over the age of 55 to be spared. Rubio also advocates reducing the growth of benefits to upper-income seniors as well as eliminating the payroll tax on workers who have already reached retirement age.

On Medicare, he supports a voucher-like system in which seniors would get a set amount of money and can choose between traditional fee-for-service Medicare and private providers.

In other words this lying, Latino-hating Latino is a … Republican.