May 222016
 

Yesterday’s activities must have really tired me out, because despite oversleeping this morning, I still needed to snag a Lona nap, even before finishing my research.  Tomorrow I have a bi-annual appointment with my Pulmonologist, so please expect no more than a Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:27 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 11/2015):  The resident Republican blowhard on MSNBC, Joe Scarborough, has staked out his post as the network’s voice of rightist disinformation. He commands his three hour block of airtime like a junta leader, ordering the topics of discussion and interrupting his guests incessantly.

This morning Scarborough appeared to have a severe cognitive collapse during a segment about the Republican Party’s debate-o-phobia (video below). Like most of his ideological allies, he is suffering from the delusion that the American media, owned by a handful of megalithic, multinational corporations, is dominated by liberals. Scarborough set off on a rant about the absence of conservatives on nightly news programs, Sunday shows, and in the executive suites. He badgered his guests to come up with examples of Republicans in those roles, and insisted that they could not do it.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Morning Jerk’s central proof was absurd. We cannot name an anchor or a Sunday morning talk show host, who has voted in a Republican primary, because none announce their voting habits.

From NY TimesLast week an openly gay man, Eric Fanning, became secretary of the Army. Read that sentence again and contemplate what it reveals about how much and how quickly American society has changed. Only five years ago, openly gay people were barred from serving in its armed forces.

Under Obama, we have made some major advances toward LGBT equality, except in locations in thrall to the Republican Reich.

From Crooks and LiarsThe old foes commiserate on the campaign, drink a few beers, and have a waltz together.

 

Kudos to SNL! There comes a time when the opposing sides need to stop fighting long enough to laugh.

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May 102016
 

I was seeing triple or more, until I awoke this morning.  When it comes to malignant nevi, Allison is the premiere Ocular Oncologist in the Pacific Northwest, so I feel confident that I am good hands.  I do have cancer, a Uveal  melanoma in my right eye,  I will need two outpatient surgeries, one to insert and one to remove a radioactive plaque.  It is close enough to the optic nerve, that I will probably lose vision in that eye from radiation damage two to three years later.  However the alternative is to lose the eye to the tumor in the same amount of time, while greatly increasing the risk of metastasis.  Before the surgery, there are a bunch of hoops I need to jump through.  I’ll need a complete physical, a CAT Scan of liver and lungs, an OK from my Pulmonologist, arrangements for home care for 24 hours after both surgeries, a consultation with a Radiation Oncologist.  I had so hoped my medical mayhem would level off, but it looks like it will continue through much of the summer.  ARGH!! Disappointed smile  TriMet called me to apologize.  The driver that screwed up George’s appointment with Sarah did not find me, because she announced at the building next door.  The rep said they will emphasize the importance of making sure they are in the right location to all drivers.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 7:44 (average 5:26),  (I saw 4 dawgs.)  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: President Obama’s commencement speech today at Howard University firmly and repeatedly challenged the central message of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign. (C-Span link offers video and full text.)

The president was not attacking Sanders’ ideology of fairness. But he was clearly separating himself from Sanders’ dogmatic insistence on revolutionary transformation.

If you want to make life fair, then you have to start with the world as it is.

The balance between idealism and pragmatism was clearly at the forefront of the president’s mind.

Democracy requires compromise, even when you are 100% right. This is hard to explain sometimes. You can be completely right and you still have to engage folks who disagree with you. If you think that the only way forward is to be as uncompromising as possible, you will feel good about yourself, you will enjoy a certain moral security, but you will not get what you want.

This is one reason there has been somewhat of a class divide between Bernie and Hillary supporters. The “moral security” Obama refers to is an emotional and intellectual luxury if it doesn’t contribute to substantive change.

Obama makes a valid point, but his beef should be more with a small, but vocal, idealist minority of Bernie’s supporters, not with Bernie himself. Bernie has stated that his positions are goals and touted his own ability to compromise and work across the aisle.  Compromise has been impossible over the last several years, because Republicans have been unwilling to compromise.  Every time Democrats have agree to a compromise Republicans have proposed, Republicans have demanded even more concessions.

From NY Times: Austria’s chancellor resigned abruptly on Monday after seven and a half years in office, having lost control of his center-left Social Democratic Party amid a rightward shift fueled by anxiety over migration.

The chancellor, Werner Faymann, initially supported the decision last year by Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, to welcome migrants fleeing war and poverty and to refuse to set a limit on how many might come. But after a ferocious backlash, Mr. Faymann switched course, joining his coalition partner, the center-right Austrian People’s Party, in supporting border restrictions.

The policy reversal was not enough to stop the right-wing Freedom Party, which has run on a strident “Austrians First” platform, from capitalizing on the influx of migrants. In September, the party finished second in regional elections in northern Austria.

An even greater shock to the establishment occurred on April 24, when the Freedom Party candidate, Norbert Hofer, won the first round of the presidential election, capturing more than one-third of the vote. He will face a former Greens leader, Alexander Van der Bellen, in a May 22 runoff.

The two establishment parties — which have governed for the past decade in a so-called grand coalition, a political constellation that has dominated postwar Austria — together received just 22 percent of the first-round vote. No matter who wins the second round, the next president will not be from either mainstream party, for the first time in decades.

I offer condolences to the good people in Austria.  Could Hofer be following in the footsteps of a fellow Austrian, whose name also began with an H? That Austrian is the inspiration for today’s Republican Party, here in the US.

From Crooks and :Liars: Going into the West Virginia primary, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has come out in opposition to a "lame duck" vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This takes her beyond her previous statements mildly opposing TPP. Clinton also made a strong statement criticizing our country’s trade agreements in general.

As reported in The Hill, in "Clinton opposes TPP vote in the lame-duck session," Clinton replied to a questionnaire from the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign, which consists of more than 25 labor, environmental and human rights organizations. When asked, "If elected President, would you oppose holding a vote on the TPP during the ‘lame duck’ session before you take office?” she replied, "I have said I oppose the TPP agreement — and that means before and after the election."

I know just how to respond to Hillary’s change of heart. Thank you, Bernie!

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May 012016
 

It’s already been a very busy day, as I have been working since early this morning, changing the poll, preparing the graphics and collecting all the data I will need for tomorrow’s Monthly Report, and researching today’s articles.  Needless to say, I’m getting tired.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 5:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: President Obama poked fun at Hillary Clinton’s lack of appeal among young people Saturday night, joking at the annual White House press corps dinner that Mrs. Clinton was like an aging relative who cannot figure out how to use Facebook.

“Did you get my poke? Is it on my wall?” he said, imagining Mrs. Clinton trying to use the popular social media site. “I’m not sure I’m using this right. Love, Aunt Hillary.”

 

Policies aside, when it comes to the White House Correspondents Dinner, Obama stands heads and shoulders over every other President in my lifetime.

From Think Progress: On Thursday, 98 members of Congress wrote a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the Chairman of the Select Investigative Panel on Infant Lives, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TEN), asking that they disband the panel and end the investigation into Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue research.

The investigation into Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue practices began last summer, when a heavily edited video surfaced claiming that the organization was “selling aborted baby parts.” Conservatives, especially former Presidential candidate and current Ted Cruz “running mate” Carly Fiorina — called for a formal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices.

But the claims made in the video have been repeatedly debunked, and in January, after a three-month-long investigation, a Texas Grand Jury decided not to indict Planned Parenthood. Instead, the jury moved to indict the videographers who were responsible for the video in the first place.

However, the select panel has continued to operate, going after not only Planned Parenthood, but also the scientists who are researching fetal tissue as they search for cures for diseases such as Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis.

That the basis for the investigation has been proven to be devoid of factual basis does not matter to Lyin’ Ryan and his misogynist Republican cronies. They simply want a platform from which to broadcast lies,

From Daily Kos: A group of the nation’s most important defenders of LGBT rights have written to ask the Obama administration to pull federal education funding from states that pass laws legalizing transgender discrimination in their schools.

It was sent by the American Civil Liberties Union, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, Lambda Legal, National Center for Lesbian Rights, and Transgender Law Center. A Justice Department spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, “The department has received and is reviewing the letter.” […]

“We are talking about official discrimination required by the state,” said [ACLU LGBT Project director James Esseks], arguing North Carolina should lose federal education funds. “This is something that is egregious and demands a different kind of response.”

This isn’t an idle threat. The Obama administration has been aggressive in enforcing transgender rights in individual districts; a law like North Carolina, that requires public schools to engage in discrimination specifically barred by the federal government, states must either choose to follow the state law or the federal one. That runs afoul of the $4.5 billion of education funds that North Carolina could otherwise expect to get from the federal government; we can only presume that the North Carolina legislature will then have to cover the cuts with the proceeds of their personal swear jars.

This sounds to me like a perfectly reasonable response to states where bigoted Republicans have written discrimination in schools into the law.

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The Republican elephant rides the rest of us.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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!!

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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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