Apr 272016
 

So it has been almost 2 weeks since I last published an article, not because I did not want to, but because I have been very, very busy with all sorts of activities.  Something had to give and it was publishing.  Last Sunday during a church service, five of us were commissioned and anointed into the ministry of pastoral care having finished our training and police background checks.  Of course I have been teaching and attending physio.  Last Friday, I looked after Lucia's two youngest while Lucia took some "me time".  I was totally wasted by the afternoon when Lucia returned.  What's more, I managed to escape a nuclear diaper!  I'll do the same next week so Lucia can be with Loliyo at a dance competition.  There are also routine things like doctor's and dentist's appointments, and the most important, snuggles with the fur babies.  I still have to do the taxes but since neither of us owe any, it isn't a big worry.

Short Takes

The Nation — Global warming is, in the end, not about the noisy political battles here on the planet’s surface. It actually happens in constant, silent interactions in the atmosphere, where the molecular structure of certain gases traps heat that would otherwise radiate back out to space. If you get the chemistry wrong, it doesn’t matter how many landmark climate agreements you sign or how many speeches you give. And it appears the United States may have gotten the chemistry wrong. Really wrong.  

In February, Harvard researchers published an explosive paper in Geophysical Research Letters. Using satellite data and ground observations, they concluded that the nation as a whole is leaking methane in massive quantities. Between 2002 and 2014, the data showed that US methane emissions increased by more than 30 percent, accounting for 30 to 60 percent of an enormous spike in methane in the entire planet’s atmosphere.  

These leaks are big enough to wipe out a large share of the gains from the Obama administration’s work on climate change—all those closed coal mines and fuel-efficient cars. In fact, it’s even possible that America’s contribution to global warming increased during the Obama years. The methane story is utterly at odds with what we’ve been telling ourselves, not to mention what we’ve been telling the rest of the planet. It undercuts the promises we made at the climate talks in Paris. It’s a disaster—and one that seems set to spread.

The Obama administration, to its credit, seems to be waking up to the problem. Over the winter, the EPA began to revise its methane calculations, and in early March, the United States reached an agreement with Canada to begin the arduous task of stanching some of the leaks from all that new gas infrastructure. But none of this gets to the core problem, which is the rapid spread of fracking. Carbon dioxide is driving the great warming of the planet, but CO2 isn’t doing it alone. It’s time to take methane seriously.

MSNBCI found this interesting segment of The Rachel Maddow Show that showcases some of the Republican bigotry, racism and total lack of sensitivity to history.

Politico — Republicans over the past seven years have come to view Barack Obama not just as an ideological enemy but as a “dictator”—an accusation hurled most recently by both Chris Christie and Glenn Beck—a president who has unconstitutionally abused his executive power with an array of unilateral actions.

But Republicans are hardly passive victims of an overweening executive; they are, in fact, paying for their own unilateral surrender of power. The GOP-dominated Congress has sought to weaken and undermine Obama and instead has achieved the opposite. Unable to pass significant legislation after the Affordable Care Act, the Obama White House filled the vacuum by creative use of executive authority, setting a potentially risky precedent for the future balance between the branches but spurred, ironically, by the very opponents who were trying to contain him.

Is this where we get to say to Republicans "You reap what you sow!"?  Personally, I do not see Obama as a dictator, but rather a man trapped by the incompetence and beligerence of political foes . . . foes willing to ruin the country in order to stick to their idiotological principles.

My Universe — 20 Reasons You Need A Cat In Your Life

You may view cats as evil creatures, and you may not be entirely wrong with that assumption. Still, you may not realize that owning a cat actually has a variety of benefits for you and your health. These are just a few reasons why you should open your home to a cat.

BTW, people don't own cats.  Dogs have owners.  Cats have staff!

3. They Do Not Need Baths

Giving cats a bath is not a fun experience. Fortunately, unlike dogs, cats really do not need baths. They are huge neat freaks that frequently groom themselves, making bathing unnecessary. This also goes back to the whole “low maintenance thing”. If you do dare to bath a cat, be sure to wear complete padding because this can get pretty messy though the results are pretty hilarious.

7. They Make Fantastic Alarm Clocks

When cats want their breakfast, they want it now. They do not care if you are sleeping, they will wake you up. In fact, they do not even need to have breakfast for an excuse to wake you up. They will wake you up for whatever reason they have decided to wake you up and you will have to deal with that.

11. They Will Keep You Grounded

All of those jokes about how cats think humans are their slaves? These are completely accurate. Cats believe that you are merely there to serve them and their needs. This will help put you in your place whenever you feel that you are better than you are.

Click through for the other 17 reasons you need at least one cat in your life.

 

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Apr 102016
 

Lu never showed up yesterday.  Yesterday I finished my corporate taxes (annual registration and reporting) for our prison volunteer group.  There were no taxes to pay, of course, but serving others cost’s us $60.00 in fees.  Tomorrow I have an appointment with Sarah, my Prosthetist, because Courtney (PT) thinks George has too much side to side wobble in the ankle.  That may limit me to a Personal Update tomorrow.  Lu has come now, and I’m a pampered puddy tat.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:25 (average 5:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics: The latest delegate count.

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

1756

1068

Delegates Won

4051

1287

1037

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

469

31

 

 

Iowa

February 1

44 (8)

23

21

Caucus

Semi-open

New Hampshire

February 9

24 (8)

9

15

Primary

Semi-closed

Nevada

February 20

35 (8)

20

15

Caucus

Closed

South Carolina

February 27

53 (6)

39

14

Primary

Open

Alabama

March 1

53 (7)

44

9

Primary

Open

American Samoa

March 1

6 (4)

4

2

Caucus

Closed

Arkansas

March 1

32 (5)

22

10

Primary

Open

Colorado

March 1

66 (13)

28

38

Caucus

Closed

Democrats Abroad

March 1-8

13 (4)

4

9

Primary

Closed

Georgia

March 1

102 (14)

73

29

Primary

Open

Massachusetts

March 1

91 (25)

46

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Minnesota

March 1

77 (16)

31

46

Caucus

Open

Oklahoma

March 1

38 (4)

17

21

Primary

Semi-closed

Tennessee

March 1

67 (9)

44

23

Primary

Open

Texas

March 1

222 (30)

147

75

Primary

Open

Vermont

March 1

16 (10)

0

16

Primary

Open

Virginia

March 1

95 (15)

62

33

Primary

Open

Louisiana

March 5

51 (8)

37

14

Primary

Closed

Nebraska

March 5

25 (5)

10

15

Caucus

Closed

Kansas

March 5

33 (4)

10

23

Caucus

Closed

Maine

March 6

25 (5)

9

16

Caucus

Closed

Mississippi

March 8

36 (5)

32

4

Primary

Open

Michigan

March 8

130 (17)

63

67

Primary

Open

Northern Marianas

March 12

6 (5)

4

2

N/A

N/A

Florida

March 15

214 (32)

141

73

Primary

Closed

Illinois

March 15

156 (26)

76

73

Primary

Open

Missouri

March 15

71 (13)

34

34

Primary

Open

North Carolina

March 15

107 (14)

59

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Ohio

March 15

143 (16)

81

62

Primary

Semi-open

Arizona

March 22

75 (10)

42

33

Primary

Closed

Idaho

March 22

23 (4)

5

18

Caucus

Open

Utah

March 22

33 (4)

6

27

Caucus

Semi-open

Alaska

March 26

16 (4)

3

13

Caucus

Closed

Hawaii

March 26

25 (9)

8

17

Caucus

Semi-closed

Washington

March 26

101 (17)

9

25

Caucus

Open

Wisconsin

April 5

86 (10)

38

48

Primary

Open

Wyoming

April 9

14 (4)

7

7

Caucus

Closed

 

Bernie won the Wyoming caucuses but did not cut into Hillary's lead. For the nomination, Bernie needs 1,314 more delegates. Hillary needs 626. For the majority of pledged delegates, Bernie needs 989 more pledged delegates. Hillary needs 739.

From Daily Kos (Classic: 10/2015): 

Overnight, Petra László became one of the most despised people in the world after she was caught on video tripping a Syrian refugee carrying his son. She lost her job after the video went viral and rather than reflect on her poor life choices and try to move on, she's decided to sue. And you won't believe who she blames for her downfall:

The Hungarian camerawoman who tripped two refugees fleeing from police has claimed she plans to sue Facebook, as well as the man she caused to stumble and fall as he carried his child.

You read that right. She's planning on suing Syrian refugee Osama Abdel-Muhsen Alghadab, the man she ruthlessly tripped as he was running with his son in his arms. She's upset she is still despised in her home country:

 

Poor Hungary! Isn't it sad that they have Republican bigots too?

From Raw Story: President Barack Obama on Sunday linked Fox News, which he suggested was a “Republican news channel,” to the success of Donald Trump as a presidential candidate.

 

Obama is wrong when it comes to Democrats having our own TV station too. While it's true that MSNBC has Hayes, Maddow and O'Donnell, they give Morning Joe one more hour of air-time than the other three combined.

Cartoon:

0410Cartoon

Shhh!! Don’t tell them about my chili!!

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Mar 212016
 

I’m off to another late start today, because, before doing my research, I planned my grocery list for the week.  Then I made a five day batch of my infamous γέεννα chili.  I’ll eat a bunch tonight, and tomorrow, I’ll look for Republicans to stand in front of.  I’m about to take a break for lunch, and I’m just starting to write.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 5:21).  To do it, click here. How did you do?

From Daily Kos: Ted Koppel and Bill O’Reilly are apparently friendly. They seem to have a professional relationship that extends into cocktail parties and other events that I think can be described as “swanky.” Koppel will have civil conversations with O’Reilly on The O’Reilly Factor—it usually coincides with promoting a book. Bill, feeling the pressure of last night’s [3/3] debate coming up and the interview with Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in his future, wanted to get some pointers from the veteran Koppel.

 

And Koppel accurately describing the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, is nothing new, as you shall see.

From YouTube: Ted Koppel: Fox News ‘Bad for America’

 

Kudos to Koppel. Honest unbiased journalism is usually categorized as "liberal", because the center of the media spectrum is so far right-biased. What O’Lielly calls noble, I call evil.

From NY Times: Shouts of “U.S.A.!” and “Obama!” echoed over the stone plazas as President Obama and his family made their way around rain-slicked courtyards in Old Havana on Sunday evening, savoring the adulation of Cubans welcoming him warmly despite a driving rain as he began a history-making visit.

“Welcome to Cuba! We like you!” a man shouted as Mr. Obama’s entourage passed. Above, a woman applauded and hooted from her wrought-iron balcony.

Later, a motorcade including the presidential limousine, adorned for the first time with Cuban and American flags, snaked through narrow streets where elated residents, their clothing soaked from waiting in the rain, hoisted cellphones and cheered the first sitting American leader to set foot on Cuban soil in 88 years.

Mr. Obama himself marveled aloud at the significance of his trip.

“It’s a historic opportunity to engage directly with the Cuban people and to forge new agreements and commercial deals,” he told employees of the United States Embassy, his first stop in the country, “and build new ties between our two peoples, and for me to lay out my vision for a future that’s brighter than our past.”

Kudos to Obama. Kudos to Cuba. Pffffffft!! to the Republican Party for trying to sabotage peace.

Cartoon:

0321Cartoon

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Mar 202016
 

I slept poorly last night, because the natives were restless in the unusually warm weather and made noise below my window, until well after midnight.  So I’m making today a relatively lazy day.  I hope your weekend is excellent.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:14 (π) (average 5:00).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Classic: 3/2013): Elizabeth Warren on the difference between a recreational drug user and a banker

0320E_Warren

Liz was a national treasure then, and still is.

From NY Times: Republican leaders adamantly opposed to Donald J. Trump’s candidacy are preparing a 100-day campaign to deny him the presidential nomination, starting with an aggressive battle in Wisconsin’s April 5 primary and extending into the summer, with a delegate-by-delegate lobbying effort that would cast Mr. Trump as a calamitous choice for the general election.

Recognizing that Mr. Trump has seized a formidable advantage in the race, they say that an effort to block him would rely on an array of desperation measures, the political equivalent of guerrilla fighting.

There is no longer room for error or delay, the anti-Trump forces say, and without a flawlessly executed plan of attack, he could well become unstoppable.

But should that effort falter, leading conservatives are prepared to field an independent candidate in the general election, to defend Republican principles and offer traditional conservatives an alternative to Mr. Trump’s hard-edged populism. They described their plans in interviews after Mr. Trump’s victories last Tuesday in Florida and three other states.

In such cases, I’m all for third party candidates running, because it would leave two Republican candidates competing for the votes of fascists, racists and idiots in the general election, virtually assuring a Democratic President Elect. The Republican leadership has to realize this. They must also realize that this may be the only way to save their party from extinction. That would be almost sure to follow anointing Fecal Dump Trump as their sole candidate.

From Addicting Info: Conservatives love to portray Cuba as an unviting hellhole, and its citizens complete monsters, so Barack Obama decided to do something about that. Preceding his historic first visit to the island nation, the President filmed a skit with Cuban TV star Pánfilo Friday so the Cuban people could get to know him.

In the skit, Pánfilo accidentally calls the White House while attempting to call the Meteorological Institute in Casa Blanca to check the weather for a baseball game. Instead of receiving information on what Mother Nature is up to, however, he ends up on the phone with Obama.

 

LOL!! Obama has done it again! It would not surprise me, if Republicans switch their birther accusations from Kenya to Cuba!!

Cartoon:

0320Cartoon

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Mar 162016
 

President Barack Obama has nominated Merrick Garland to take the place of deceased and descended Antonin “Sturmbannführer” Scalia.  I’ll need more time to research, before I can offer an opinion oh his choice, but I can tell you this:  Garland would be an improvement over Scalia, because it would be virtually impossible to be as bad.  I can also tell you that he deserves a fair vote, whether I like him or not.  Needless to say Republicans are apoplectic.

0316obama-merrick

President Obama on Wednesday nominated Merrick Garland to serve on the Supreme Court, setting up a protracted political fight with Republicans who have vowed to block any candidate picked by Obama in his final year in office.

Garland, 63, is a longtime Washington lawyer and jurist who is chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Considered a moderate, Garland is widely respected in the D.C. legal community and was also a finalist for the first two Supreme Court vacancies Obama filled.

In announcing his choice in the White House Rose Garden, Obama said he followed “a rigorous and comprehensive process” and that he reached out to members of both parties, legal associations and advocacy groups to gauge opinions from “across the spectrum.”

He said Garland “is widely recognized not only as one of America’s sharpest legal minds, but someone who brings to his work a spirit of decency, modesty, integrity, even-handedness and excellence.” …

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Here’s a clip of the announcement.

Bought Bitch Mitch (R-KY) has reaffirmed that Garland will not get a vote.  Snake in the Grassley (R-IA) has reaffirmed that Garland will not get a Judiciary Committee hearing.  All of the sitting Republicans who previously voted for Garland, when he was confirmed to the DC Circuit now oppose giving him a vote.  Here are some of the statements Republicans made about Garland then, in 1992.

GOPSedition

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

“Merrick B. Garland is highly qualified to sit on the D.C. circuit. His intelligence and his scholarship cannot be questioned… His legal experience is equally impressive… Accordingly, I believe Mr. Garland is a fine nominee. I know him personally, I know of his integrity, I know of his legal ability, I know of his honesty, I know of his acumen, and he belongs on the court. I believe he is not only a fine nominee, but is as good as Republicans can expect from this administration. In fact, I would place him at the top of the list.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

“I have nothing against the nominee. Mr. Garland seems to be well qualified and would probably make a good judge — in some other court.”

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

“He has a high position with the Department of Justice and, by all accounts, does a good job there. There will be a number of judgeship vacancies in the D.C. trial judges. He has been a trial lawyer. He would be a good person to fill one of those. I would feel comfortable supporting him for another judgeship.”

Then-Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ)

“I believe Mr. Garland is well qualified for the court of appeals. He earned degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and clerked for Judge Friendly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice Brennan on the Supreme Court and, since 1993, he has worked for the Department of Justice. So there is no question, he is qualified to serve on the court.”

Then-Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-SC)

“I have no reservations about Mr. Garland’s qualifications or character to serve in this capacity. He had an excellent academic record at both Harvard College and Harvard Law School before serving as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. Also, he has served in distinguished positions in private law practice and with the Department of Justice. Moreover, I have no doubt that Mr. Garland is a man of character and integrity.”

Then-Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT)

“[T]he nominee has the character and is highly qualified for the position.”

 

Inserted from <Think Progress>

Whether or not Garland is qualified has nothing to do with this seditious attempt by Republicans to block his nomination.  They are hoping they can find a way to steal the Presidency and make the appointment themselves.  Now, I have to admit that a Republican President’s appointment could not be much worse than Scalia, even an appointment by Trump or Cruz.  However consider this.  The next President will appoint the replacement for Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

I consider it highly unlikely that Garland will be confirmed.  Republicans may try to save face by going through some of the motions, but they will only be stalling for time.  Therefore, it is imperative that the next occupant of the White House be a Democrat.  I know that many of you aren't very keen on Hillary, but if she is nominated, it is imperative to work as hard for her as we would for Bernie.  Do you question that?

Do you want Trump to replace Ginsburg?

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Mar 152016
 

Yesterday turned out to be a thoroughly frustrating day.  My LIFT Bus arrived over 45 minutes late.  Once it became apparent that I could not make it to my appointment on time, I called my doctor’s office, explained, and asked if I could come in late.  They told me not to come and to reschedule.  I said I would call as soon as I could get to my computer, where I keep my calendar.  When I did, they told me that Megan is going on maternity leave until July.  (Rest assured, I didn’t do it).  She wasn’t even showing when I saw her before.  Fortunately Ellie, Megan’s PA, who took care of me, when I had pneumonia, can fill in for her until she returns.  I was very happy with her too.  In any case, I rescheduled my appointment for Thursday morning.  I’m waiting for Lu to arrive, as I really need to de-stink.

Jug Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:49 (average 5:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Republican front-runner Donald Trump was crying foul on Monday after Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders allegedly dispatched an army of vegan thugs to attack a rally of peace-loving Nazis in Cincinnati.

According to Trump, he had begun to address a group of “orderly and civil Nazis” at a downtown arena when his audience was suddenly set upon by an unruly mob of angry vegans, many menacingly clad in Birkenstocks and sustainable garments.

The Sanders supporters, singing an alarmingly militant version of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America,” marched into the arena and began “intimidating and threatening” the Nazis, Trump said.

“Make no mistake about who is starting the violence at these rallies,” Trump said. “It’s the vegans.”

Is Andy quoting Hateful Hairball? It sounds like one of his lies.

From Daily Kos: It is a probably too late, but a Republican SuperPAC is finally hitting Trump especially hard with a new ad.

These Republicans made an excellent ad. The irony here is that women would be no better off in their Republican role as chattel under any of the other three Criminal Clowns.

From NY Times: The Obama administration is expected to withdraw its plan to permit oil and gas drilling off the southeast Atlantic coast, yielding to an outpouring of opposition from coastal communities from Virginia to Georgia but dashing the hopes and expectations of many of those states’ top leaders.

The announcement by the Interior Department, which is seen as surprising, could come as soon as Tuesday, according to a person familiar with the decision who was not authorized to speak on the record because the plan had not been publicly disclosed.

The decision represents a reversal of President Obama’s previous offshore drilling plans, and comes as he is trying to build an ambitious environmental legacy. It could also inject the issue into the 2016 presidential campaigns, as Republican candidates vow to expand drilling.

Kudos to Obama. Could it be that this decision might spark the reemergence of Drill Baby Dingbat, aka Bloody Bullseye Barbie?  Barf Bag Alert!!

0315dbd

Cartoon:

0315Cartoon

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Mar 092016
 

I’m preparing to leave for an appointment that will take all morning, and I will finish and post this article, after I return.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:53 (average 7:10).,  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: President Obama, resigned to his failure to broker a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, is looking past his time in office and weighing a plan that would preserve at least the principle of a two-state solution for his successor to pursue.

The White House is debating whether the president should lay down the outlines of an agreement, several officials said, perhaps through a resolution at the United Nations Security Council or in a presidential speech. The objective would not be to revive direct negotiations — almost nobody believes that is likely now — but to enshrine the proposals Secretary of State John Kerry made during his last failed effort at peacemaking in 2014.

As much as I hate to say it, this is nothing but smoke and mirrors. There can be no two state solution, as long as Israel remains in violation of treaties in their pursuit of a one state solution. The only proper role for the US is to cut all military aid and stop all military supply to Israel, until Israel decides to honor past agreements.

From Daily Kos: The National Republican Senatorial Committee quickly deleted the tweet below Tuesday afternoon, but “quickly” wasn’t soon enough for a screw-up of this magnitude.

0309Duckworth_NRSC

1) Tammy Duckworth is a veteran.
2) Tammy Duckworth is a veteran whose combat-related injuries left her a DOUBLE AMPUTEE—she lost both legs. Under the circumstances, “standing up” may, just may, have been the wrong idiom to use.

Republican "support" for our troops extends no further than using them as cannon fodder in the pursuit of 0.1% profit. This tweet perfectly illustrates their compassion for and commitment to veterans.

From Real Clear Politics: The latest delegate count

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

1221

571

Delegates Won

4051

745

540

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

461

25

 

 

Iowa

February 1

44 (8)

23

21

Caucus

Semi-open

New Hampshire

February 9

24 (8)

9

15

Primary

Semi-closed

Nevada

February 20

35 (8)

19

15

Caucus

Closed

South Carolina

February 27

53 (6)

39

14

Primary

Open

Alabama

March 1

53 (7)

44

9

Primary

Open

American Samoa

March 1

6 (4)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Arkansas

March 1

32 (5)

22

10

Primary

Open

Colorado

March 1

66 (13)

28

38

Caucus

Closed

Democrats Abroad

March 1-8

13 (4)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Georgia

March 1

102 (14)

72

28

Primary

Open

Massachusetts

March 1

91 (25)

46

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Minnesota

March 1

77 (16)

29

46

Caucus

Open

Oklahoma

March 1

38 (4)

17

21

Primary

Semi-closed

Tennessee

March 1

67 (9)

42

22

Primary

Open

Texas

March 1

222 (30)

145

74

Primary

Open

Vermont

March 1

16 (10)

0

16

Primary

Open

Virginia

March 1

95 (15)

61

33

Primary

Open

Louisiana

March 5

51 (8)

35

12

Primary

Closed

Nebraska

March 5

25 (5)

10

14

Caucus

Closed

Kansas

March 5

33 (4)

10

23

Caucus

Closed

Maine

March 6

25 (5)

7

15

Caucus

Closed

Mississippi

March 8

36 (5)

29

4

Primary

Open

Michigan

March 8

130 (17)

58

65

Primary

Open

In spite of Bernie’s magnificent victory in Michigan, Hillary came away with an increase in her lead of 18 pledged delegates.

Cartoon:

0309Cartoon

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Mar 082016
 

I’m running way late this morning, because I felt very tired and cold, so I took an extra nap.  Lu should arrive soon fir my shower.  Tomorrow I have an appointment that should take all morning, so expect only a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:17 (average 4:56).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Canada, already bracing for the possible inflow of millions of American refugees in November, might have made matters worse by releasing an unacceptably adorable photo of its Prime Minister hugging two baby pandas, Canadians fear.

The photo, taken at the Toronto Zoo and showing Justin Trudeau cuddling with two panda cubs, was “the last thing this country needed,” Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of Canadians for Responsible Immigration, a prominent anti-immigration organization based in Ottawa, said.

“Canada is already staring down the potential crisis of millions of Americans pouring over its border later this year,” Dorrinson said. “Did we really have to announce that we have pandas, too?”

Dang, Andy! Trudeau really Canucked-up!!

From Daily Kos: Of all the fictions peddled by the Republican Party and its candidates in this election cycle, the most ridiculous is the trope that the Obama Administration has “failed” the American people economically. This is a lie which apparently has been poll-tested with Republican focus groups as it has popped up again and again in the GOP debates, expressed almost ritualistically by Trump, Cruz and Rubio alike. Listening to the Republicans tell it, one could actually start to believe that the 4.9% unemployment rate the country currently enjoys (for the second straight month) is somehow beside the point—that hidden beneath this robust reflection on the country’s powerful economic resurgence since the Bush disaster lies some terrible undercurrent of “failure” on the part of this Democratic Administration.

0308jobs

And that happened despite seditious Republican sabotage.

From Alternet: Stephen Colbert has not aired a show since last Thursday’s Republican debate, so until last night, the late-night comedian had not had time to weigh in on the fact that Donald Trump brought up the size of his penis. Monday night, Colbert made up for lost time, unleashing a stream of jokes, including some self-deprecating ones, that got right to the meat of the matter.

 

Again Hateful Hairball has nothing that compares with the magnificence of my kitty dingles.

Cartoon:

0308Cartoon

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Feb 262016
 

I had my monthly ladies' lunch today and then hobbled home to put my foot up.  It is very painful but not as much as before my physio worked on it Wednesday.  I wish I knew what I did!  Another very pleasant day today getting up to 17 C (63 F), sunny and the birds were having a party!  I think there was some birdie nookie going on in the bushes.

Short Takes

YouTube — 

With so many anti abortion related laws, I thought John Oliver did an excellent job.  It should be, IMO, a woman's right to choose.  The anti abortion movement is nothing less than one group, often a religious group, ramming their views down everyone's throat, believer or not.

Politicus — As the Republican Party appears poised to nominate Trump and get thumped in November, Rush Limbaugh is already making excuses and blaming President Obama for the hatred and bigotry that is allowing Trump to flourish in the Republican primary.

BARF BAG ALERT!!!     BARF BAG ALERT!!!     BARF BAG ALERT!!!     BARF BAG ALERT!!!     

Limbarf is in his usual rut . . . blame Obama for everything!  More sponsors have pulled away so we can only hope that he will disappear soon.

Crooks and Liars — At one point in tonight's embarrassment of a debate, Trump really laid into Cruz for his smarmy, underhanded tactics in Iowa, which set Cruz off big time. 

Welcome to Republican debate, or was it a slugfest?.  I  didn't watch the debate but from what I've seen and read, 3 year olds would have done a better job AND paid attention to the rules.  In this last debate before super Tuesday, participants showed just how moronic they really are!  Anyone who votes for any of these clowns needs to have their sanity checked.

Politico — But the Senate’s war over the Supreme Court has pushed those concerns into the background and united the party faithful behind Senate Majority Leader McConnell and the New York senator, the Democratic leader-in-waiting. With the backing of their respective bases, both leaders have a stronger hand in a fight that will shape the highest court in the land — if not their status as party leaders and relationship with each other.

It’s a stunning and sudden turn for two men viewed with intense skepticism by their party’s activist wings. After 14 months of relentless criticism from Ted Cruz and Heritage Action, McConnell is giving them what they want: the hardest possible line of obstruction on a new Supreme Court nominee, meaning no hearings, no votes and no meetings to fill the vacancy left by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death. And Schumer, who was hounded by the base for opposing President Barack Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, is winning praise for his confrontation with McConnell from groups that wanted to cut off his fundraising spigot last summer.

H/T Pat B who provided this link in her comments: Obama and the SCOTUS Nomination

And here is an e-mail from Sherrod Brown and petition that you have likely seen.  If not, the links are active so you can sign the petition.

"McConnell: Not a 'snowball's chance in hell' I'll relent on SCOTUS" — Politico, 2/23/2016

Republican Senators are refusing to even consider a replacement Supreme Court justice. They say we should wait. They say we have to wait for the people to choose a new president, and that thatpresident should pick a nominee.

They seem to be forgetting a very simple and obvious fact: Whether they like it or not, we have an elected president. In 2012, more than 65 million Americans cast their vote for President Barack Obama. He was elected twice.

President Obama will fulfill his constitutional duty to nominate a qualified individual to the Supreme Court. The Senate must do the same.

Join me and tell Senate Republicans to do their constitutionally mandated jobs. Sign our petition.

No Supreme Court nominee in the last 36 years has ever waited longer than 100 days for hearings and a vote. In that same period of time, there has never been a Supreme Court vacancy that spanned more than one presidential term. And there has never been a vacancy for more than four months while the Court is in session.

It’s clear: Republican extremists are once again trying to have their cake and eat it, too. They profess fealty to the Constitution, yet they choose to ignore the Constitution when it requires that they work with a Democratic president whom they don’t like. There is nothing principled about this — this is power politics with the goal of delegitimizing a twice-elected President.

The GOP needs to understand that the American people will not accept their blatantly unconstitutional attempts to keep conservative control over the Supreme Court. They need to hear from you that you are watching, and that you demand they do their jobs.

Thank you,

Sherrod

In an Alternet article by Jim Hightower, he asks the question that I am sure is on a lot of minds: Why Should You and I Have to Keep Paying Mitch McConnell's Salary?​  With all the shenanigans, the same question could be asked for all Republican senators.  If they don't want to do their jobs, then get out!

My Universe — I stumbled upon this and thought "Ain't nature magnificent!"

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Feb 232016
 

I’m still ill.  My PCP’s office told me that, since I’m not running a fever, I should call Monday, if not better.  I still feel crappy.  This today’s only Article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:39 (average 5:10).  To do it. click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In a sign of voters’ shifting perspectives about Presidential hopefuls, a new survey reveals that Americans are deeply nostalgic for a Republican candidate who only wanted to screw over forty-seven per cent of them.

In interviews conducted across the country, voters expressed wistfulness and even a deep longing for a man who was indifferent to the fates of nearly half the nation’s residents.

“When he was running, it seemed like a bad thing that he didn’t care whether forty-seven per cent of the country lived or died,” said Tracy Klugian, of Akron, Ohio. “Now I realize we were being too picky.”

“He threw thousands of people out of their jobs and onto the streets, but he let them stay in the country,” said Kent Bantwell, of Springfield, Missouri. “I’ve got to say, I miss him.”

I hate to admit it, Andy, but even Little Lord Willard looks better than the dregs that remain in the Clown Car.

Daily Kos:  The young girl had it coming. After all, she was on a gun range. 

Well, let me rephrase that: she was inside her own home in a quiet neighborhood.

But thanks to Rick Scott and the NRA-controlled legislature, the whole state is now an open gun range. The girl was reaching for her mom, who was foolishly looking out of her own sliding glass door at the gun nut, firing uncontrollably, on his makeshift gun range with houses all around. 

A bullet sliced through the young girl’s hand. She is now in tremendous pain.

"It’s in a lot of pain right now, the pain doesn’t go away".

Well, go f— yourself, little girl. That is what you get for living in Florida. The shooter, Harold Lanham, has a lawyer that put it best:

"This was a tragic result, this young lady (getting) hurt,” said Mike Chionopolous, Lanham’s attorney. “But he wasn’t doing anything illegal.”

His lawyer made clear that his client was acting within Florida law.  He’s right.

Thanks to Rick Scott and a teabag legislature that literally takes orders from the Florida NRA, there are no restrictions whatsoever on building makeshift gun ranges: any type of weapon or ammo that can be used, any time of day or night, without any regard to proximity of houses, schools, daycare centers, and playgrounds!

Barf Bag Alert!!

Doug can be summed up in two words: Republican Ammosexual.

From NY Times: The Obama administration this week will begin the task of trying to persuade Congress to support its plan to shut down the prison in Guantánamo Bay before the president leaves office in January.

Whatever the plan is to close the GOP Gitmo Gulag, and no matter how good it is for the country, Republicans will seditiously sabotage it.

Cartoon:

0223Cartoon

Any expense incurred by a voter to obtain a Voter ID is an illegal poll tax.

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