Oct 302014
 

There are very few organizations that I try to give a little support each year.  One is HRC.  I figure I owe the LGBT community a debt for the hateful way I treated some of them, before a gay man decided that he was going to be my friend, no matter how I acted, put a face on gay, and kick-started my evolution from homophobia to support for full LGBT equality.  Now HRC is paying me back.

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HRC President Chad Griffin meets with LGBT champion Senator Jeff Merkley and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, and Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek.

Greetings from Portland, Oregon. Team HRC is here in the Beaver State rallying volunteers on behalf of the re-election of one of the greatest champions for LGBT equality in Congress, Senator Jeff Merkley. We were exceptionally proud to have been joined by other champions of equality, including Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown, Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

Along with dozens of volunteers, we made calls to HRC members across Oregon encouraging them to return their ballots before next Tuesday. I have to say, the energy in the room and on the phones was overwhelming. In this 100% vote-by-mail state, we spoke to so many voters who had already returned their ballots for pro-equality candidates.  Many others hadn’t yet mailed their ballot or dropped it in a ballot drop box

Inserted from <HRC>

 

I could not be more delighted with my Senator.  Oregon kudos to HRC!

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Oct 272014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 189.  I’ve just been so dang busy that I’m half dazed.  When I received my ballot, it took me four days to allocate enough time to vote.  If you’re guessing I voter for Democrats across the board, you guessed right.  I predict Monica will have to go back to full time stalking and plagiarizing.  I voted against an open primary, for GMO labeling, for legalization of marijuana and against an Oregon Constitutional amendment outlawing discrimination based on sex.  The Oregon Constitution already outlaws all discrimination (“No law shall be passed granting to any citizen or class of citizens privileges, or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.”)  If that one fails, the sheep in eastern Oregon, where Republicans dominate, can come out of hiding. ;-)

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 5:06).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Raw Story (Hat-Tip [Shoe-Tip?] Lynn Squance): [O]n Friday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow took Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly to task for a deeply inaccurate story Kelly ran on Tuesday alleging that Democrats in Colorado are stealing the 2014 election by allowing people to print their ballots at home and hand them over to political operatives.

Mediaite reported that on Tuesday, Kelly breathlessly reported on “a new law” in Colorado that would allow Democrats to sway “a critical Senate race” because it “literally allows residents to print ballots from their home computers, then encourages them to turn ballots over to collectors.”

According to Maddow, the only people who can print their ballots on home computers and mail them in are active duty military personnel who are stationed abroad. This option is available to service personnel from all 50 states.

What else would one expects from the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise?  I’m glad Rachel keeps going when I can’t!!

From The New Yorker: Amid concerns that the spreading fear of Ebola has become a greater threat than the virus itself, a new poll shows that a majority of Americans favor a quarantine of the CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.

While poll respondents supported quarantining more than a dozen cable-news personalities, including the entire cast of “Fox & Friends,” a full seventy-two per cent gave the nod to a quarantine of Blitzer.

Great idea, Andy! Can we quarantine Limbarf too?

From Daily Kos: Bobby McKenzie, the Democratic candidate for Congress in Michigan’s 11th District is up with his first ad this cycle and it’s a doozy. It is a hard-hitting ad that shows what it looks like when Republican David Trott evicts people, in this case an elderly woman, from their home.

David Trott is known as Michigan’s "Foreclosure King". I prefer "Parasitic leech on the jugular vein of society". This man has built an entire vertically-integrated empire that profitizes the misery of down-on-their-luck Michiganders. You can read more about that HERE.

McKenzie’s new ad, which the Washington Post calls "one of the most brutal attack ads you’ll ever see"

 

Chick through to learn how this Republican bastard had her left in the rain in mid winter and had her meds thrown in the trash. Then Get Out the VOTE!!!

Cartoon:

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This figure has since increased to 2.4 million.

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Oct 262014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 188.  Yesterday I reached into my drawer for a pair of undershorts and came up empty, so despite sleeping most of the day, I did the dreaded task last night.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but my meditations will be limited.  I’m already religiously ecstatic.  I afraid I have another hectic week on tap.  Tuesday is a prison volunteer day, Wednesday is a grocery delivery day, and Thursday I have the appointment with my Pulmonologist, for which I recently had the CT Scan done.  So I’ll be intermittent with my posting.  I did complete my most important task of the year.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: An organization of University of North Carolina athletic boosters expressed shock and outrage today over a report that a few members of U.N.C. sports teams may have taken real classes, despite the widespread availability of fake ones.

The report, which alleges that several players may have fulfilled the curriculum requirements of actual classes, sent shock waves through the U.N.C. booster community.

“These players apparently attended classes, wrote papers, and took exams,” Hal Cowlington, the president of a prominent U.N.C. booster club, said. “The impact of these distractions on their athletic performance is, to put it mildly, incalculable.”

Andy is on top of it. The last thing the boys on the Bubba Bagger Booster Bus ever intended is for college athletes, especially black ones, to actually get an education.

From Upworthy: Attacks on Canada are rare. But what’s special is how they handle times of crisis. Instead of getting engulfed with fear and sensationalism, they remain who they are. They won’t allow such an attack to shake them up or change them.

 

Kudos to Canadians. Statements like these are the polar opposite of what we are hearing from Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians.

From Blue Oregon: Of all the sound bites gushing forth from the No on 92’s PR spin machine opposing GMO labeling, one stands out as a masterpiece of deception.

From their website:“Would Measure 92 end up costing taxpayers?

Yes. Measure 92 would create two new state bureaucracies to enforce and implement its costly regulations. The Oregon Department of Administrative Services staff estimated that inspection programs to enforce Measure 92 would cost taxpayers more than $14 million every budget cycle.”

The $14 million figure is everywhere – in their ads, in the Voters’ Pamphlet and on the lips of the PR professionals their campaign has hired to do their debating for them.

Yet the actual, official cost estimate from the Secretary of State’s office is that Measure 92 is “expected to result in direct expenditures by State agencies for initial one-time start-up costs estimated at between $550,000 and $600,000.”

This comes to a one-time cost of 15 cents per Oregonian for work performed by current staff… [emphasis original]

Click through for more. I’ve been inundated by No on 92 ads from phony farmers, ersatz environmentalists and scam scientists. Vote YES on Oregon 92.

Cartoon:

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Aug 052014
 

Most of you know that I did some volunteer work for Jeff Merkley six years ago when he defeated Goose-step Gordon Smith, the so-called moderate Republican, who often cast progressive votes in the Senate, but only when it made no difference, whatsoever.  Jeff has gone on to become a reliably progressive Senator.  Now Jeff is opposed by Monica Wehby, who claims to be moderate.  Here is the proof that she is no such thing.

0805wehbyMonica Wehby, an Oregon pediatric neurosurgeon, has become one of this cycle’s conservative stars on the strength of her résumé and strong victory over four opponents in the May GOP Senate primary –  and because of her gender. In a column, George Will wrote that given the primacy of health care in the nation’s economy, the Senate could use more physicians and that “another doctor may be coming, straight from the operating room to her first elected office.”  Mitt Romney endorsed her. Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell said women would love her. And Sens. Kelly Ayotte, John McCain and Susan Collins have all donated to her campaign.  Her match-up against the Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeff Merkley helps the GOP broaden their Senate map and their chances of taking the upper chamber in November. Now Wehby, whose catchy slogan is “Keep your doctor, change your Senator,” is about to get the biggest boost of her campaign, with the Koch-affiliated group Freedom Partners set to pour millions into a television ad blitz, according to the Oregonian. The influx of cash comes as Wehby is still introducing herself to voters in her match-up against Merkley, who, according to The Washington Post Election Lab, has a 99 percent of winning. Merkley also has the edge in fundraising, with about $6.7 million raised to Wehby’s $2 million, an uneven playing field that the outside money will help to level. Wehby’s campaign team, which is not allowed to coordinate with any outside groups, said they are still regrouping after a tough primary, with plans to continue to introduce Wehby to voters around Oregon throughout August.  Their internal polls show Wehby down by only two, while other public polls show Wehby lagging by double digits. “We don’t have any control over who or what comes into the race, but the willingness of outside groups to take a look means that Oregon is back on the map,” said Dean Petrone, communications director for Wehby’s campaign. “Outside groups like them wouldn’t be putting money in this early if they didn’t think there was a real opportunity in the fall.” Merkley’s campaign is trying to turn the Koch-linked investment into a liability, following a strategy already seen in several races, particularly in North Carolina, where Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan has faced a barrage of ads from Koch-affiliated groups. In advance of Wednesday, when the television ads are set to begin, the Merkley campaign put out a Web ad of their own, framing Wehby as a tool of the Koch brothers and big money interests. A call and e-mail to Freedom Partners was not returned… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Oregon voters need to be informed that Wehbe sucking in all those Koch dollars guarantees that she’ll be sucking up to Koch policies.  Jeff does that well.

In addition, I don’t think this woman is mentally fit.  This article is 2 1/2 months old:

0805stalkedUntil recently, Oregon Republican Senate hopeful Monica Wehby was known mostly as a rare chance for the GOP hopeful to be competitive in a blue state, and a candidate with a campaign ad quickly dubbed one of the best of the year. But on the eve of the state’s primary Tuesday, Wehby’s Republican and Democratic opponents are seizing on another way to define her – as an unstable stalker.

On Monday, The Oregonian published a 2007 police report about an altercation between Wehby and her soon-to-be-ex-husband Jim Grant, in which he accused her of “ongoing harassment.” The couple has accused each other of acting violently, with Grant admitting to it: ”Jim said over the last year Monica has pulled his hair, slapped him and thrown items at him. Jim said he had been violent with her in the past approximately three years or so ago.”

This follows revelations that in April 2013, Wehby’s ex-boyfriend, Andrew Miller, called the police to complain that she was “stalking” him and had repeatedly entered his home uninvited. Politico reported on the incident Friday, on the morning of the primary debate. On the same day, The Oregonian published audio of the call… 

Inserted from <MSNBC>

Here’s the audio from that call.

Because I am not Republican, integrity demands that I add that Miller has since stated that he regrets making that police report and that he supports her candidacy.  But I won’t pass it off as a mistake, because her stalking and harassment are recurring patterns of behavior.

Oregonians, convince everyone you know that their votes are important and to vote for Jeff Merkley.  For my previous articles involving Wehby click here and here.

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Jul 052014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 75, and it occurred to me that, since most folks in the country get a holiday, I ought to as well, since it’s a slow news day, I’m tired, and preparing my holiday feast took three hours of cooking and prep, so this article is all I have.  The rest of the weekend depends on the availability of content.  Please be safe.

Late (early) update:

I just woke up.  I slept through the fireworks.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:59 (average 6:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Kinda like a really scary jigsaw puzzle … oh, and the Congress Critters in the districts that make up those shaded areas? Yeah, they don’t want folks to see this map. Hint, hint.

0705USRO-low-wage

That high area in eastern Oregon is the sparsely populated Republican part of the state. Politically and culturally, it’s more like Idaho.

From The New Yorker: A new poll released Wednesday revealed that people rank President Barack Obama as the worst President since the Second World War, and also blame him for starting the Second World War.

While the respondents slammed the President for his handling of the economy, Iraq, and a host of other issues, his perceived role as the primary cause of the Second World War was the biggest drag on his numbers.

Even more troubling, when compared to the three leaders of the Axis powers during that war, President Obama polled at the bottom of the list, finishing far behind Emperor Hirohito of Japan.

LOL Andy. It may be accurate! If so, do I have to tell what TV channel those polled used to get their news?  (the real poll was demographically skewed).

From NY Times: In a decision that drew an unusually fierce dissent from the three female justices, the Supreme Court sided Thursday with religiously affiliated nonprofit groups in a clash between religious freedom and women’s rights.

The decision temporarily exempts a Christian college from part of the regulations that provide contraception coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

The court’s order was brief, provisional and unsigned, but it drew a furious reaction from the three female members, Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. The order, Justice Sotomayor wrote, was at odds with the 5-to-4 decision on Monday in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, which involved for-profit corporations.

“Those who are bound by our decisions usually believe they can take us at our word,” Justice Sotomayor wrote. “Not so today.”

The court’s action, she added, even “undermines confidence in this institution.”

Monday’s decision and the order on Thursday were dual blows to the Obama administration’s efforts to provide contraception coverage, said Walter Dellinger, who was acting United States solicitor general in the Clinton administration.

This order, unsigned demonstrating their cowardice, directly contradicts part of the Hobby Lobby decision that the ruling applied only to closely held, for profit corporations. Wheaton College is neither. I promised you a slippery slope was ahead. The slide has started. For a better understanding, click through and read the entire article.

Cartoon:

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Jul 012014
 

The Republican Party won a victory in their War on Workers, because the Fascist Five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) ruled against labor in Harris v. Quinn.  They determined that it violates the free speech of home health care workers to have to either join a Union or pay a fee to a union for their collective bargaining representation.  In so doing they violated precedent and ignored the Constitution, because this an economic issue, not a speech issue.

0701Workers

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday dealt a setback to unions by ruling that in-home care workers in Illinois who are paid by the state are not similar enough to full-fledged government employees to be compelled to pay union dues.

The case gathered national attention because it questioned the ability of unions to collect dues from public sector workers. The court said in-home care workers are not full-fledged public employees, thus narrowing the decision to these particular workers.

The question stems from Harris v. Quinn, an Illinois case involving in-home care workers. Illinois and other states have long used Medicaid funds to pay their salaries to assist disabled adults who otherwise might have to be placed in state institutions. The jobs were poorly paid, and turnover was high.

A Chicago chapter for the Service Employees International Union began organizing the workers and pushing the state for higher wages. In 2003, an executive order by then. Gov. Rod Blagojevich designated them as “public employees,” allowing the union to collectively bargain with the state over their benefits and wages. Gov. Pat Quinn later expanded the designation to include personal assistants in the state’s disabilities program.

In 2010, the National Right to Work Foundation, an anti-union advocacy group, sued Quinn and the union, accusing the state and union of conspiring to relabel private care providers so the union could collect union fees…

Inserted from <Chicago Tribune>

Although the five goose-steppers claim that the decision is a narrow one, they lied.  It breaks new ground and sets a precedent that is sure to spawn future similar lawsuits.  Effectively this allows home health care workers to benefit from union representation for free, greatly reducing the incentive workers have to join the union.

What the above article neglected, perhaps intentionally, to report is that the SEIU has done a damn fine job for home healthcare workers, increasing their wages from $7.00 per hour in 2003 to $11.65 today to $13.00 later this year.  The point is, paying a small fee for so much more pay was a boon, not a hardship to workers who chose not to join the Union.

I’m sure I’ll have more video coverage of this to post later this week, but the only response I could find that didn’t goose-step comes from Oregon’s SEIU Local 533.

This issue will need close watching in future, because you can be cure this will not be the end of it.

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Jun 142014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I’m feeling pretty groggy, because I slept most of the day.  Fortunately I got most of my research done, before I ran out of gas.  I’ve fallen behind on housework, and I thought the gal I pay to help was coming over today, but she couldn’t make it, so for the next few days, I’ll have to be on a major cleaning jag including the most dreaded task of all.  Day 54.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:59 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: OR-Sen: In the wake of McLaughlin & Associates’ epic debacle in the Eric Cantor race, anyone thinking about releasing any internal polling from any GOP pollster right now should consider his or her decision very carefully—especially if your numbers cut against the bulk of data already out there. Even Republican pollster Frank Luntz acknowledged this reality and shredded his own party:

"Right now there are 230 House Republicans who are waking up praying that they do not have Eric Cantor’s pollster. Honestly, and I’m one of them, we Republican pollsters suck. We have no ability to be able to analyze the electorate."

Now, Monica Wehby may think it’s unfair—after all, she’s using Tarrance, not McLaughlin—but she doesn’t seem to have realized the credibility problem she’s facing in publishing a poll that shows her trailing Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley by just a 41-39 margin. Just a few weeks ago, after all, the much more reliable PPP found Merkley up 50-36.

But Wehby’s timing could not have been worse, because a brand-new independent poll from SurveyUSA for KATU-TV in Portland dropped just hours later. What did SUSA find?

Merkley: 50
      Wehby: 32

Next time, listen to Frank Luntz… [emphasis original]

It won’t matter. As a rule stalkers, like Wehby, ignore the facts in favor of belief in a super-optimistic outcome for their dysfunctional behavior. If she had an accurate pollster, she would fire the company, because it isn’t what she wants to hear.

From Vimeo: Every year, Store to Door volunteers make 7,000 deliveries of fresh food, medications, and household items to Portland area elders.

Nourishment. Connection. Dignity. from Store to Door on Vimeo.

I couldn’t resist sharing this video from the volunteers that bring me my groceries every week. Every community needs such a service, and they do it extremely well.

From The New Yorker: The morning after Tuesday’s stunning Tea Party victory in Virginia, House Republicans unveiled a sweeping new legislative agenda, proposing an end to Social Security, a return to child labor, and unprecedented gun rights for pets.

“The Republican Party is the party of common sense,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). “And such common-sense proposals as electronic ankle bracelets for immigrant babies and a barbed-wire fence with Canada are long overdue.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) echoed Speaker Boehner’s sentiments as he touted his signature legislation, “to put Americans under the age of twelve back to work.”

“Instead of spending all day playing with Xboxes, our kids should be in factories assembling them,” he said.

As for what is perhaps the most controversial G.O.P. proposal, guaranteeing gun rights for pets, Boehner said, “It’s clear that the authors of the Second Amendment meant it to apply to all mammals. All our new law says is, if you have four legs and a tail, you get a gun.”

LOL Andy!! I can’t speak for dawgs, but for Republicans to arm cats would be a big mistake! Dirty litter? Dry food in the bowl?  BLAM!! ;-)

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Cartoon:

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