It’s a super muggy day here in Portland, and we have four cool days starting tomorrow. Tomorrow is a holy day and I shall be meditating upon the Ellipsoid Orb. My Broncos are hosting the Cowboys in the afternoon game, but it will not be televised here. I play Pam in our fantasy football league, which she leads, and she’s going to be damn tough to beat. May the Ellipsoid Orb shine it’s holy light on your team, unless they are known for cow pucky!
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:08 (average 4:38). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From The New Yorker: In his most stunning deal yet with Democratic leaders, Donald Trump agreed on Friday to be impeached by the end of 2017.
Emerging from an Oval Office meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a beaming Trump touted the deal for his imminent removal from office.
“Chuck and Nancy and I got a deal done on impeachment,” Trump said. “It was a good deal and it was a fast deal.”
Trump said that the Democrats had convinced him that agreeing to be impeached would make him soar in popularity. “People are going to love me for doing this,” Trump said. “They’re going to love it on all the channels.”
LOL Andy! He’s dumb enough, but Lyin’ Ryan would balk, unless he could impeach Pence too. RESIST!!
Rachel Maddow looks at the growing list of White House departures, adding Mike Pence’s press secretary to the list, and noting the striking number of lies Pence has told about aspects of the Trump Russia scandal.
Pence is clearly guilty of Obstruction of Justice and much more. If we can just win the House next year, we can remove the Reich from power. RESIST!!
Before I get very far with this, Wendy will be here to help with assorted tasks and fumigate the TomCat. It’s just in time too, because the authorities were about to evacuate the Squatch north of the Arctic Circle for her own defense, if the wind had shifted. Tomorrow will be my last day in the saddle, before my cataract surgery. I hope to be back in the saddle on Thursday, but we’ll see how I see. Later: Wendy has left and we have everything ready for Tuesday.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 2:41 (average 4:42). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From Daily Kos: The former chief G W Bush speechwriter has a column in today’s Washington Post that shows the spreading impact of people processing the events since Saturday when the story of Trump Jr. , Kushner, and Manafort met with the Russian lawyer broke into the public consciousness. Titled In Trump’s world, innocence is proved by guilt, it is very much shaped by the release of the email chain earlier this week.
Yes, it is true the Gerson was never a fan or supporter of Donald J. Trump, but this piece is very pointed, and given who reads Gerson likely to have an impact on a some of the “more reasonable” Republican officers.
Click through to read his take down. I’m sure I disagree with him on many other issues, but seeing a Republican express an ethical position is so rare, I have to applaud it, when I do. As for the rest of the Republican Reich… RESIST!!
From NY Times: A powerful rule finalized last week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will allow consumers to join together in class-action lawsuits against banks, credit card companies and other lenders over price gouging, predatory lending, abusive loan terms and other mistreatment.
Some congressional Republicans have vowed to use special legislative procedures to repeal the rule, which could take effect next year. A quick kill would be of a piece with other efforts to weaken financial regulation and allow firms to operate without accountability to customers or judges.
It’s unclear whether a congressional majority will vote to overturn a rule of such obvious benefit to consumers. What is certain is that killing the rule would be an injustice.
Liz Warren’s CFPB may be the only thing Republicans hate as much as ObamaCare and voting rights. I suspect they will overturn the rules in short order. RESIST!!
Well here I am . . . another rainy day in Lotus Land! At least there is no snow here in Metro Vancouver and the temperature is 10 C (50 F). Back in Ontario where my brother lives, they are digging out. And this house, just south of them on the shores of Lake Ontario in NY state gives new meaning to ice.
I think I'll take the rain, thank you! I'm off to a meeting very shortly and will send links when I get back.
Politico — … House Republican leaders plunged into damage control mode Monday after a brutal budgetary assessment of their Obamacare replacement threatened to upend Senate GOP support and armed their critics on the left.
Speaker Paul Ryan’s team quickly pinpointed rosier elements of the report by the Congressional Budget Office, from cost savings to lower premiums. But the bottom line — that the number of uninsured Americans would climb by 24 million within a decade — threatened to upend the GOP leadership’s fragile efforts to unite congressional Republicans around the plan. …
"After reviewing this legislation and receiving the Congressional Budget Office score today, it is clear that this bill is not consistent with the repeal and replace principles for which I stand," he [Rep Rob Wittmann (R-VA) said in a statement. "I do not think this bill will do what is necessary for the short and long-term best interests of Virginians and therefore, I must oppose it." …
“Every single House Republican owns this catastrophic bill and should be prepared for backlash at the ballot box, particularly given the anticipated loss of coverage for 14 million people as early as next year,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesman Tyler Law.
One might think that the new Republicare bill is a 'hail Mary' attempt at healthcare reform. But House Republicans are divided on the subject, and Democrats are opposed. The CBO analysis indicates that an additional 24 million people will be without health insurance, and the death rate will increase.
As Shakespeare said in Hamlet's solioquy in Act III Scene I "Aye, there's the rub.". Do Republicans do what will help get them re-elected in 2018, or do they stand firm with this ideological piece of crap legislation that will result in the deaths of tens of thousands of citizens who will not be able to afford health insurance?
Daily Kos — In a presidency largely defined by lies, one pants-on-fire whopper now stands out as Donald Trump’s biggest — and deadliest — yet.
Conservative politicians, pundits and people across the nation loved parroting one of the biggest lies of the Obama era, that — all together now — “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”
On the campaign trail in the fall of 2015, Trump promised to “take care of everybody.”
“Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now,” the billionaire businessmantoldCBS News. “The government’s gonna pay for it,” he said, raising right-wing eyebrows and ire, as he did when he rightfullypraisedCanada’s superior universal health care system. …
Enter theAmerican Health Care Act, which House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) said was the product of Republicans keeping their promise to the American people to repeal and replace Obamacare, but which critics from both sides of the political aisle are calling a disaster. Yes, even Republicans — especiallyRepublicans — have been blasting the proposed bill, with Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) calling it“Obamacare 2.0,”former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin slamming it as“socialized medicine”and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) evenwarningthe bill might cost Republicans their House majority come the 2018 midterm elections. …
…people will die.A lot of people will die.
Need I say more? Republicans don't care about anybody but themselves and money . . . the more money that can go to the 1%, the better.
YouTube — Gutting Health Care Will Kill Americans | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ
It's a very busy day, and the tasks at hand keep increasing faster than the available timed to do then. Just finding material for today's articles. I shall catch up sooner or later.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today's took me 3:22 (average 5:39). To do it, click here. How did you do?
They did not make the playoffs. Mike Shanahan announced his retirement yesterday. I'm hoping they tap Wade Phillips.
Fantasy Football Report:
This is the final report of the year for our own Fantasy Football league, Lefty Blog Friends.
Congrats to Jack for winning the playoffs. I have already submitted my intent to keep the league going. If you will not be participating next year, please let me know ASAP.
From The Hill: Senate and House Republicans are headed for a clash over whether to tackle Medicare reform under President-elect Donald Trump.
Senate Republican leaders prefer to focus narrowly on an ObamaCare replacement bill that does not contain changes to Medicare — a cautious approach that reflects their slim majority.
But House Republicans, firmly in control of the lower chamber, want to aim higher. They say unified Republican control of government is a chance to finally enact the entitlement reforms that they’ve been talking about for years.
Rep. Pete Roskam (R-Ill.), a member of the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over healthcare, said voters have endorsed the Republican argument that Medicare needs to be reformed.
This is not an either/or issue. It's None of the Above! RESIST!!
From CNN: A Texas lawmaker is lucky to be alive after an apparently stray bullet hit his head during a New Year's celebration early Sunday, authorities said.
State Rep. Armando "Mando" Martinez, D-Weslaco, said his wife had just given him a kiss shortly after ringing in the new year with family and friends, and the next thing he knew, "it felt like a sledgehammer hit me over the head."
A bullet fragment had just punctured the top of the south Texas legislator's head.
Martinez said he had just stepped outside a home in a rural neighborhood north of Weslaco when he was hit.
IMHO, they should be looking for the one of Fuhrer's Ammosexual assassins. RESIST!!
From HRW: Some senior Israeli officials have been encouraging Israeli soldiers and police to kill Palestinians they suspect of attacking Israelis even when they are no longer a threat, Human Rights Watch said today in an analysis of those statements. Other Israeli officials have failed to repudiate the calls for excessive use of force.
Human Rights Watch has documented numerous statements since October 2015, by senior Israeli politicians, including the police minister and defense minister, calling on police and soldiers to shoot to kill suspected attackers, irrespective of whether lethal force is actually strictly necessary to protect life.
“It’s not just about potentially rogue soldiers, but also about senior Israeli officials who publicly tell security forces to unlawfully shoot to kill,” said Sari Bashi, Israel advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “Whatever the results of trials of individual soldiers, the Israeli government should issue clear directives to use force only in accordance with international law.
I bet Butcher Bibi's butt buddy, the Fuhrer, wants popcorn to munch, while they watch the videos. RESIST!!
Republicans keep saying that they want to replace ObamaCare with something else, but they never want to discuss the details, because that something else is RepubliCare. Those who can afford high-end health care coverage get it, but only until they become chronically ill. Then they, and those who can’t afford high-end coverage get the RepubliCare Death Benefit. They get to die at no additional charge. On the other hand, it seems that some Democrats are interested in replacing ObamaCare.
For years, voters in this swing state have rejected tax increases and efforts to expand government. But now they are flirting with a radical transformation: whether to abandon President Obama’s health care policy and instead create a new, taxpayer-financed public health system that guarantees coverage for everyone.
The estimated $38-billion-a-year proposal, which will go before Colorado voters in November, will test whether people have an appetite for a new system that goes further than the Affordable Care Act. That question is also in play in the Democratic presidential primaries.
The state-level effort, which supporters here call the ColoradoCare plan, would do away with deductibles. It would allow patients to choose doctors and specialists without distinguishing between those “in network” and those “out of network.” It would largely be paid for with a tax increase on workers and businesses, and cover everyone in the state. Supporters say most people would end up saving money.
Insurance groups, chambers of commerce and conservatives have already lined up in opposition. They say the plan’s details are vague, its size and cost galling. The proposed health system would have a budget bigger than that of Colorado’s entire state government. A new 10 percent tax on payroll and incomes to pay for the system would push Colorado’s tax rates to some of the highest in the nation.
I was sitting here trying to concentrate but the neighbours were setting off fireworks starting at 8 pm. Over 2 hours of louds cracks. Unfortunately, I have mountains and highrises around me so the noise ricochets and grows louder before finally dying off. My furbabes were relatively calm as long as I was there with them. What a great excuse for a nap with the baby curled up under the blanket and solidly at my waist.
Puzzle — Today’s took me 4:44 (average 7:06). To do it, click here. How did you do? For those that don't know, we always do the 48 piece classic.
Mother Jones — In his new book, Anything for a Vote, Joseph Cummins looks back at more than two centuries of campaign sleaze and scandal, from twisted words and unfounded rumors to blackmail and burglary. While this grimy lens can be a hilarious way to look at the history of presidential politics, it's often a sobering one as well—colored by policies of discrimination and assaults on voting rights that are still relevant today. It's enough to make Donald Trump's Twitter-bullying look pretty tame.
OK, I thought you might enjoy this little activity, afterall, it is the day after Hallowe'en and some might be recovering from partying. I am not promoting the book, just having a bit of fun. How did you do?
It is these people who are sometimes forgotten and left to fend for themselves.
Click through and watch the 10 minute video about Mary, age 98 years.
Some of you will know that my mother is 87 years old and lives in a specialised care centre for people with dementia. I visit her regularly, but I also spend time with many of the other residents, some of whom do not have visitors or family. I keep music going; we dance and sing; and we laugh! Now you might be wondering why I included this on a political blog. With an aging population, many in my generation, the baby boomers, have already headed officially into our senior years. True, we may be more active for more years than previous generations, but we are still slowing down, or as I like to say, maturing like a very fine wine. So think of some of the things going on in many Republican dominated states.
As noted in Richard Zombeck's article GOP Begins Assault on Elderly, Poor, Disabled, Math, and Reason, Elizabeth Warren says "House Republicans should stop playing political games to put America's most vulnerable at risk.", and the most vulnerable include disabled citizens and senior citizens. Richard Eskow, in his article The GOP’s Anti-Elderly, Pro-Billionaire Agenda, talks about various Republican policies such as the cuts to Medicare and social security. "There’s a through-line between the GOP’s embrace of Social Security cuts and its attempts to cut and privatize Medicare. In both cases, benefit reductions are being offered to distract voters from a simpler and fairer approach. And in both cases, private interests would profit: Wall Street would have more retirement income to manage (for a costly fee), and health insurers would receive a flood of new customers."
It is so important to protect programmes for the most vulnerable in society. The only way to do that is to vote out Republicans.
Mother Jones — At first glance, there are just two groups of presidential contenders when it comes to climate change: those who think it's real and urgent, and those who don't. But take a closer look, and the picture blurs. The matrix above depicts subtle differences, at least in the Republican field, in the extent to which the candidates believe the science and want to act on it. Of course, selecting each set of coordinates wasn't an exact science—many of the White House hopefuls have a history of confused and contradictory statements on the issue. But here's a short analysis of the candidates' positions on global warming and an explanation of how we came up with this graph.
It is interesting to note that Ted Cruz is more than "stuck in the mud" having told Glenn Beck recently that climate change is really a religion. He should be moved to the far left lower corner.
My Universe— OK, cuteness is big in my universe, even with puppies!