Sep 012015
 

I’m swamped!  That’s always the case at the first of the month.  Between today’s normal research and collecting the data for tomorrow’s Monthly Report, I have already put in over eight hours on the4 blog today.  in addition, I’m waiting for Store to Door to call for my grocery order.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.  I have bills to pay, and a guy has been using a jackhammer in the street below me for the last three hours.  Other than that, not much is going on.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:37 (average 5:16).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From: I Side With (Hat-Tip Mamabear): Answer the following questions to see how your beliefs match each political party

Click through to take the quiz to see which candidate is most like you.  Mt Results:  Bernie Sanders 98%, Hillary Clinton 85%, Martin O’Malley 80%.

From The New Yorker: As America’s bridges, roads, and other infrastructure dangerously deteriorate from decades of neglect, there is a mounting sense of urgency that it is time to build a giant wall.

Across the U.S., whose rail system is a rickety antique plagued by deadly accidents, Americans are increasingly recognizing that building a wall with Mexico, and possibly another one with Canada, should be the country’s top priority.

Harland Dorrinson, the executive director of a Washington-based think tank called the Center for Responsible Immigration, believes that most Americans favor the building of border walls over extravagant pet projects like structurally sound freeway overpasses.

“The estimated cost of a border wall with Mexico is five billion dollars,” he said. “We could easily blow the same amount of money on infrastructure repairs and have nothing to show for it but functioning highways.”

Andy is clearly doing straight news again.

From NY Times: President Obama on Monday issued a global call for urgent action to address climate change, declaring that the United States was partly to blame for what he called the defining challenge of the century and would rally the world to counter it.

“Climate change is no longer some far-off problem; it is happening here, it is happening now,” Mr. Obama said here at an international conference on the Arctic. “We’re not acting fast enough. I have come here today, as the leader of the world’s largest economy and its second-largest emitter, to say that the United States recognizes our role in creating the problem, and we embrace our responsibility to help solve it.”

Clearly Obama has dome more to combat climate change than any other president in history. Now he needs to shut down drilling in the arctic.

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Aug 292015
 

I’m starting a little late, because a thunderstorm interfered with my Wi-Fi. On the plus side, steam rose from the asphalt street.  What a relief!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me  2:58 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Hat-Tip Lynn Squance): Harperman is a protest song against the Conservative government of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. We are organizing a cross-Canada singalong of Harperman on September 17, just a month before the expected date of the Canadian federal election. Please contribute, if you can, to helping organize the singalong. Our first crowdfunding program on Indiegogo has finished and a new campaign has been launched at http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/cro…

 

Thanks Squatch!! This could apply to any US Republican too!!

From Daily Kos: In recent weeks, there has been a lot of political debate among the Republican presidential candidates about immigrants and aspiring citizens in our country.

And frankly, it has become ugly and dangerous.

Please take a minute to hear my thoughts below.

In Solidarity,

Rich.

 

I couldn’t have said it better.

From NY Times: …As Mr. Obama comes north for what the White House has described as an examination of the effects of climate change, Alaska is battling over oil — its chief source of revenue — and the thorny implications of drilling. Oil prices have fallen to multiyear lows, and production has declined from aging oil fields — with consequences rippling through a state that pays for just about everything with taxes from oil.

Mr. Walker, in an interview in his Anchorage office, said he planned to press Mr. Obama to loosen restrictions on exploration and to pledge support for a natural gas pipeline. More broadly, Mr. Walker said, he hoped to help the president understand Alaska’s dependence, because of climate and geography, on what can be extracted from the land or sea.

“From oil and gas development to fish caught in the ocean, we literally live off the resources,” Mr. Walker said.

But fossil fuels are also blamed for human-caused climate change, and that reality has set up a competing claim for the president’s attention. More drilling for energy, climate advocates say, is not the answer for Alaska or the planet. With a three-day trip for Mr. Obama planned out by the White House — including the first visit by a sitting president to some of Alaska’s most remote Arctic communities — the uncertainties and stakes are high, people on all sides of the energy fight say.

I hope that environmentalists hound President Obama wherever he goes. Allowing Shell to drill in the Arctic was one of his worst decisions while in office.

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Aug 282015
 

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

Jig Zone Puzzle:

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

Short Takes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Aug 062015
 

Recently, Barack Obama has given some thoroughly impressive speeches, and in my view, he has clearly outdone himself once again in his defense of his Iran Policy at American University.  I found myself so impressed that I consider the speech a “must watch” event for Americans who want to know how to overcome seditious Republican attempts to destroy the world’s efforts to deny Iran nuclear arms, so Republicans can deny success to Obama.

0806irannonukes

President Obama took on critics of the nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers in an aggressive speech on Wednesday, saying they were the same people who created the “drumbeat of war” and played on public fears to push the United States into the Iraq war more than a decade ago.

“Let’s not mince words: The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy and some sort of war — maybe not tomorrow, maybe not three months from now, but soon,” Mr. Obama told about 200 people in a speech at American University. “How can we in good conscience justify war before we’ve tested a diplomatic agreement that achieves our objectives?”

Mr. Obama, opening a new, more overtly political phase of his public campaign for the accord, portrayed the coming vote in Congress to approve or reject the deal as the most consequential foreign policy decision for lawmakers since Congress voted in 2003 to authorize the invasion of Iraq. He implored them to “shut out the noise” and back the deal… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <NY Times>

Photo credit: Hopes and Dreams

Here’s the complete video.

For the transcript, click here.

The video is almost an hour in length, but in it, Obama demolished every possible argument against the international policy.  That’s why I said, it’s “must watch” for those who want peace, as opposed to the Republican path to war.

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Aug 022015
 

Yesterday it reached 97°.  Today will be almost as hot.  We may have a couple of temperate days Wednesday and Thursday.  I’m staying heat hunkered.  I would love to have a nice rain storm, but this Republican-climate summer appears locked in.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Just a few short weeks ago, the Kochs and the Republican party were in what one Republican operative said was an "all-out war" over who would control the party going forward. The Kochs have been systematically putting a ground force in place across the nation to build their own extremely sophisticated database, one that they would allow Republican candidates to use (excepting Trump). This alarmed the RNC because all that valuable information was not being held by them. That and the whole thing about how "it’s very dangerous and wrong to allow a group of very strong, well-financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone to have control over who gets access to the data when, why and how," in the words of Katie Walsh, the RNC’s chief of staff.

But now it looks like the RNC has given up the fight.

Since then, the rhetoric has ratcheted down. Last week, i360 [the Koch data arm] and Data Trust [the RNC group] signed a deal to share data for the 2016 cycle.

"I do think there’s a value to making sure we’re all working together to ensure that we’re doing things efficiently and effectively. We appreciate everything the Kochs are doing, and it’s a huge help," Walsh told The Washington Post. "But at the end of the day, our focus is making sure that the voter file and the field staff are ready for the nominee to come in." […]

The RMC wanted to BE those “very strong, well financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone”, but now it’s official. The entire Republican Party is sucking nevermind.

From NY Times: Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas and a former state legislator, has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of securities fraud and of failing to register with the state securities board, officials said.

The grand jury in the northern Dallas suburb of McKinney handed up a three-count indictment against Mr. Paxton on Tuesday, the officials said. The indictment is to be unsealed on Monday, when Mr. Paxton is expected to turn himself in to the authorities at the Collin County Jail.

The charges — two counts of first-degree securities fraud and one count of third-degree failure to register — are tied to Mr. Paxton’s work soliciting clients and investors for two companies while he was a member of the Texas House of Representatives, before he was elected attorney general in November.

What could be more natural for Republicans than to put one of their fellow criminals in charge of prosecuting lawbreakers.

From The Hill: President Obama is looking to cement his legacy on climate change.

His administration will finalize sweeping new regulations on power plants on Monday, which is sure to spark a fight with Republicans in Congress.

In a video released early Sunday, Obama called the plan "the biggest, most important step we’ve ever taken to combat climate change."

 

Kudos to Obama. Because this will hit the Koch Brothers right in the wallet, expect the entire Republican Party to become so frantic that a WA-A-A-A-A-Ambulance will be needed.

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Jul 222015
 

Jon Stewart returned from vacation and interviewed Barack Obama for the last time.  Even without much of Jon’s usual comedy, the interview was worth watching.  One reason is that Jon has a depth od understanding most professional news reporters seem to lack.  The other is Obama’s candor.

TV-Obama-StewartTwo titans of the establishment left facing their twilight, President Obama and Daily Show Host Jon Stewart, sat down on Tuesday night for an extended interview on topics ranging from ISIS to the media to Iran to the crumbling VA system.

It was a relatively friendly interview, with Stewart asking open-ended questions and more or less letting the President take the floor. The one exception would be when Stewart addressed the failures of veteran care in recent years.

"Boy, rough ride for the veterans recently. First the attack in Tennessee, and then this systematic issue with the VA and healthcare", Stewart said. Veteran care has always been something of a personal issue with the Daily Show host; one of his segments on the topic even led to some reforms earlier this year…

Inserted from <Alternet>

 

I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did, and I hope that is not the last time those two share a stage.

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Jul 142015
 

I’m sure I’ll have a lot more to say about this, as time goes on, and I know more about the details of the deal reached.  From everything I can see so far, it appears that it includes all the safeguards we need to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons.  This seems to be the best possible outcome.

0714ItanDealA historic agreement Tuesday to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief will ensure Iran has no possibility to achieve rapid nuclear weapons “breakout” capabilities for at least the next decade, U.S. leaders said.

“We have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region,” said President Obama as he listed some of the pillars of the deal including international inspections, reductions in Iran’s centrifuges used to make nuclear fuel and a sharp cut in Iran’s stockpile of nuclear material.

“We put sanctions in place to get a diplomatic solution, and that is what we have done . . . This deal offers an opportunity to move in a new direction. We should seize it,” said Obama, noting the potentially tough review ahead in Congress.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry described the deal as moving beyond a political framework reached three months ago, and said it met all U.S. requirements for blocking pathways to weapons development with strict inspections and provisions to snap sanctions back into place if Iran violates the rules.

But he also raised the possibility it could also provide the platform for expanded diplomatic overtures between Iran and the United States — which cut ties shortly after the 1979 Islamic Revolution… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

I saw more of the details about the deal on Way Too Early.

The biggest obstacle we now face is getting approval from Republicans in Congress.   They will also be stirred on my Israeli war monger, Butcher Ben (R-IS).  What will happen?  I guess we’ll have to wait and see.  In the meantime, I’m sure you have a pants-load of petitions.

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