Dec 022016
 

Once again it’s TGIF day, and I’m ready for a restful weekend.  My shoulder is improving slightly, but I did have to cancel my appointment yesterday with Courtney, my physical terrorist.  There is no way I could have stood up to her loving abuse.  I hope you enjoy one of your last weekends living in a democratic republic.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:21 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Exposed by CMD: Theocracy: She Has Pushed for Vouchers and More to Get Tax Money to Support Christian Schools

DeVos has approached the issue of education as a religious issue for her personally and as an area which she wants to change the law to reflect her personal views. A long-time partisan activist, she got involved in education “reform” in the early 1990s, around the time that her husband ran for a seat on the Michigan state Board of Education.

After he stepped down from that post, in 1993 she and her husband took on the “Education Freedom Fund,” which, she has said, “I would define as ultimately Christian in its nature because in excess of 90% of the parents who receive these scholarships choose Christian schools to go to.” EFF provides private funding for private school tuition, and is supported with significant donations from the DeVos family.

Why did she and here husband choose to get involved in the political battles over public education even though they did not send their kids to public schools and they financially support private Christian schools?

In a joint interview for “The Gathering,” a group focused on advancing Christian ideology through philanthropy, she and her husband said they decided to focus on reforming public education and funding for private education because the “Lord led us there” and “God led us.”

At that meeting, they were asked if it would not have been simpler to fund Christian schools directly rather than fund political efforts like vouchers to get more tax dollars to fund Christian schools, and she replied: “There are not enough philanthropic dollars in America to fund what is currently the need in education versus what is spent every year on education in this country… So, our desire is to confront the culture in ways that will continue to advance God’s Kingdom,” adding that they want “to impact our culture [in ways] that may have great Kingdom gain in the long-run by changing the way we approach things.”

Her husband added: “We are working …. to allow for our Christian worldview, which for us comes from a Calvinist tradition, and to provide for a more expanded opportunity someday for all parents to be able to educate their children in a school that reflects their world view and not each day sending their child to a school that may be reflecting a world view that may be quite antithetical to the worldview they hold in their families.”

When asked if they are “against public education,” they have denied that charge while trying to reframe the conversation.

Betsy DeVos responded: “No, we are for good education and for having every child have an opportunity for a good education. And having grown up in families that are in the business world, we both believe that competition and choices make everyone better, and that ultimately if the system that prevails in the United States today had more competition, if there were other choices for people to make freely that all of the schools would become better as a result and that excellence would be sought in every setting. So we are very strong proponents of fundamentally changing the way we approach education … because there are hundreds of thousands and millions of children that are forced to go every day to a school that is not meeting their needs and it’s not right.”

Her husband added that they are for “public education” but that’s not the same as “public schools.” He said public funding for education of all kinds is a “laudable concept” that should not be forced to operate through “government-run schools.”

He also stated: “In my opinion, the Church has sadly retrenched from its central role in our community, to where now as we look at many communities in our country the church which ought to be in our view far more central to the life in our community has been displaced by the public school as the center for activity the center for what goes on the community….”

He added, “it is certainly our hope that churches would continue no matter what the environment whether there is government funding someday through vouchers or tax credits or some other mechanism…that more and more churches will get more and more active and engaged in education. We just can think of no better way to rebuild our families and our communities than to have that circle of church, school, and family much more tightly focused and being built on a consistent world view.”

Betsy DeVos did not disagree with this statement of their shared goals and responded: “If I can just add to that very quickly, I think for many years the church in general has felt that it is important for the children of the congregation to be in the schools to make a difference but in fact I think what has happened in many cases for the last couple of decades is that the schools have impacted the kids more than the kids have impacted the schools. The young children need to have a pretty solid foundation to be able to combat the kind of influences that they are presented with on a daily basis.”

(All quotes above are transcribed from their hour-long interview for “The Gathering,” available here.)

This is just one of five things listed that you need to know about Barf Bag Betsy DeVos, the fascist sycophant Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten has tasked with destroying Public Education in America. Click through for the other four.

From ABC: President-elect Donald Trump announced Thursday night that he will "appoint" retired Marine Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis to be his secretary of defense. The two met in Bedminster, New Jersey, in November for an hour, after which Trump called Mattis the “real deal.”

Under the Appointments Clause of the U.S. Constitution, certain federal positions appointed by the president — including secretary of defense -– require confirmation of the U.S. Senate.

Mattis most recently served as the head of U.S. Central Command. A lifelong bachelor, he is known as the “warrior monk” for his knowledge of ancient and military history.

The four-star general is revered by many for his leadership and also known for his blunt words…

"Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people.”

That quote tells us why the Fuhrer, aka the Rectum of Rage, likes Mad Dog. However, he is forbidden by law to serve as Defense Secretary, until he has been separated from military service for seven years.

From TPM: Some Senate Democrats were harshly critical of Donald Trump’s pick for Treasury secretary, the latest in a line of financial elites tapped for his cabinet who they say betrays the President-elect’s promise to “drain the swamp” of insiders.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) called Steve Mnuchin “the Forrest Gump of the financial crisis” in a statement Tuesday, referencing Munchin’s two-decade-long tenure at Goldman Sachs, according to the Los Angeles Times.

“His selection as Treasury secretary should send shivers down the spine of every American who got hit hard by the financial crisis, and is the latest sign that Donald Trump has no intention of draining the swamp and every intention of running Washington to benefit himself and his rich buddies," she said, as quoted by the newspaper.

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) also took aim at Mnuchin’s time leading the bank OneWest, known for its aggressive foreclosure practices.

“Given Mr. Mnuchin’s history of profiting off the victims of predatory lending, I look forward to asking him how his Treasury Department would work for Americans who are still waiting for the economic recovery to show up in their communities," he said in a statement.

Fuhrer Drumpfenfarten is just a Republican that reflects all the hate of the Theocons, Alt-Right Nazis and KKK and all the greed of the Billionaires, Banksters, Corporate Criminals and Vulture Capitalists.

Cartoon:

1202Cartoon

May it survive to see its 50th anniversary.

Share

Atop an Anti Trump Rally

 Posted by at 10:38 am  Politics
Nov 122016
 

Yesterday I had heard the sounds of demonstrators throughout the city.  As I was dozing off to sleep, I was awakened by loud demonstration sounds, and they were almost under me.  I could see the demonstrators from my window.  Several chants rang out.  "Hands up! Don’t shoot!"  "Black Lives Matter!"  "My body!  My Choice!"  "I’m Queer!  I’m Here!"  "Pussy grabs back!" "Not My President!"  The leaders shouted into megaphones that violence and vandalism would not be tolerated.  Police loudspeakers ordered the demonstrators to disperse.  Instead, they sat down.  Then things got ugly.

1112Protest

A third consecutive day of anti-Trump demonstrations turned violent Thursday night, as protesters began with a rush-hour march and chanting but eventually damaged cars at a dealership and rampaged through the Pearl District shattering business windows into Friday morning.

Police declared the demonstration a "riot" more than three hours after its 5 p.m. start, citing "extensive criminal and dangerous behavior." The bureau said it warned the crowd about the designation, then tweeted that rioting is a class C felony. It later tweeted that 26 were arrested in the demonstration, which lasted into early Friday morning.

Officers in riot gear on numerous occasions used flash-bang grenades and fired rubber pepper ball spheres at the crowd after it refused repeated demands to disperse. Police report officers were "taking projectiles;" protesters were seen throwing objects toward officers, and some fired fireworks in their direction.

The officers didn’t move in until after a small fraction of the thousands of protesters became destructive.

Police tweeted that many demonstrators were "trying to get anarchist groups to stop destroying property" and that "anarchists" were refusing to do so. Demonstrators at many points chanted "peaceful protest."

From <The Oregonian>

Video:

Here’s the problem, as I see it.  The people who were vandalizing and assaulting people were not the protestors. I saw Republican onlookers wade into the demonstrators and attacking them.  I read that one Republican got out of a car on the Morrison Bridge and shot a demonstrator.  However, the police attacked the peaceful demonstrators.  I saw CS gas being used.  I’ve never seen flash bangs before, and they are very loud and very bright.  They were going off dangerously close to the demonstrators.  Police used a sonic cannon very close to me.  The sound was so intense, that I had to hold my hands over my ears, and I had a severe headache for hours afterwards.

In spite of the abuse of power against them, the demonstrators are now raising money to help repair the damage they did not do.  I am thoroughly proud of them.

As for the vandals and violent people, they belong with the Republican Party.  There is no place for them among progressives, if they are going to act like Republicans.

Share
Nov 112016
 

I am still so upset, that sleep does not come.  ARGH!  I feel exhausted.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 6:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Washington Post: Russian government officials conferred with members of Donald Trump’s campaign team, a senior Russian diplomat said Thursday, a disclosure that could reopen scrutiny of the Kremlin’s role in the president-elect’s bitter race against Hillary Clinton.

The statement came from Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, who said in an interview with the state-run Interfax news agency that “there were contacts” with the Trump team.

“Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” Ryabkov said.

There’s the proof. Not only is Herr Reichsfuhrer Drumpfenfarten (R-#NotMyPresident) is Putin’s dog, but also, he seditiously conspired with a foreign government to hoodwink US voters.

From The Last Word: Electoral College turns a win to a loss

 

Lawrence provided fascinating history to explain how the people’s will has been overcome by the loser to install a Republican, again.

From The Rachel Maddow Show: Anti-Trump protests grip cities nationwide

 

I’m proud that Portland is among them.

Cartoon:

1111Cartoon

Share
Oct 222016
 

I have previously reviewed and supported Oregon Ballot Measure 97.  It is necessary, because giant corporations  have been paying Oregon Income tax at the same or a lower  rate than poor people like me.  Recently, the Koch Brothers and their giant Republican Corporate Cronies have been flooding the airwaves with pure unadulterated lies about the measure.

1022Measuree97

$18.3 million in mostly out-of-state corporate money buys a lot of ads and spreads a lot of disinformation, doubt and fear about Measure 97. Don’t be fooled. Below are some of the top arguments you’ll hear against Measure 97.

It’s a sales tax!  (Actually, it’s not.)

Oregonians do leave the state sometimes, so they know what a sales tax is: If you were to buy a smartphone, say, in Clark County, Washington, you’d pay 7.7 percent sales tax. It’s on the receipt. Oregon is one of just five states without a general sales tax, and Measure 97 won’t change that, because it isn’t a sales tax. Consumers wouldn’t pay it. Small businesses wouldn’t pay it. It’s a corporate minimum income tax that only the very biggest companies would pay. And that’s long overdue. Up to now, giant companies have employed legal and accounting maneuvers to claim that they make no profit — despite hundreds of millions in sales — and thus they pay almost nothing in state corporate income tax. For example, companies that donated to the anti-Measure 97 campaign had $600 billion altogether parked in offshore tax havens. That’s money they claim was earned in places like the Cayman Islands — so they can get out of paying state and federal income tax. If Measure 97 passes, they won’t get away with playing “poor” any more.

It’ll lead to higher prices on almost everything! (Actually, it won’t.)

Ask yourself this question: Are Cheerios more expensive in Vancouver than Portland? After all, tax systems vary quite a bit around the country. Do big companies like Target, Lowe’s, Toys R Us and Walmart charge more in states where they pay higher taxes? The folks behind Measure 97 wanted to find out, and teamed up with the non-profit Oregon Consumer League to do a study. They found that those companies charge exactly the same prices for their products in every state. Maybe it’s not surprising that companies that do business nationally set their prices nationally. But it definitely means there’s no reason to think they’ll raise prices just in Oregon if Measure 97 passes. [Skeptical of their findings? Thanks to the magic of the internet, you can do your own cross-state price comparisons here.] Oh, and one more thing: If the biggest corporations could just pass this tax onto the consumer via higher prices, why would they contribute $18.3 million to talk you out of voting for it?…

From <Northwest Labor Press>

Photo  Credit: Willamette Week

Please click through for more.

Reject RepubliCorp Lies! 

Vote YES on Oregon Ballot Measure 97

Share
Oct 202016
 

I’m trying to catch up on a bit of rest today, because tomorrow, I go for my appointment with Courtney, my Physical Terrorist.  As a result, please expect no more than a Personal Update tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:15 (average 6:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: How Democrats Take Back the Senate

 

The Reich on the left, Robert Reich, is right about the absolute need to wrest control of the Senate from the Reich on the right, the Republican Reich. I’m particularly proud that he listed Jeff Merkley third in his list of progressive Senators, behind only Liz and Bernie.

From The New Yorker: After learning that Donald J. Trump was still stinging from having lost an Emmy for “The Celebrity Apprentice,” the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences offered to give the former reality-show host a belated Emmy if he will drop out of the 2016 race.

“We never imagined that if we had simply given you an Emmy back in the day our current national nightmare might have been avoided,” a Television Academy spokesman said in an online video.

Displaying an Emmy statuette, the spokesman said, “Here’s your Emmy, Mr. Trump, all gold and shiny, just the way you like things to be.”

Andy, what a wonderful idea!

From Think Progress: Chris Wallace, a veteran Fox News journalist, was already a controversial choice to host Wednesday night’s final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Wallace is noted for his close relationship with Roger Ailes, who is currently advising Trump on the debates, prompting media experts to raise ethical questions about his involvement.

Ultimately, Wallace did win praise for holding Trump accountable on several issues and keeping both candidates on task throughout the debate. Yet as much as he tried to play things equally, several of his questions showed a clear bias towards conservative ideals, policy positions, and talking points.

Here are a few.

Abortion
Wallace frames his question using the term “partial-birth.”
“I’m going to give you a chance respond but I want to ask you Secretary Clinton I want to explore how far you believe the right to abortion goes. You have been quoted as saying that the fetus has no constitutional rights. You also voted against a ban on late-term partial-birth abortions. Why?”

“Open borders”
This quote mentioned below, often cited in conservative media, has been taken out of context.
“Mr. Trump you want to build a wall. Secretary Clinton you have offered no specific plan or how you want to secure our southern border. … We’ve learned from the Wikileaks that you said this, and I want to quote ‘My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders,’ so that is the question…Is that your dream, open borders?”

I shared two of five examples of Wallace’s clear Republican bias. Click through for the other three.

Cartoon:

1020Cartoon

Share
Oct 182016
 

It’s another busy day with lots of chores, including preparing my grocery list for the week, paying bills and getting prescriptions refilled.  Are you going to watch the show tomorrow night?

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:31 (average 5:05).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the news from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

6Scores

Patty Monster monster-mashed my poor kitty dingles!

Standings:

6Standings

Congrats to Vivian and Rob, who are leading the league.

Short Takes:

From Multnomah Democrats: Last Day to Register to Vote (Oregon)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016 (All day)

Event Sponsor:

Oregon Secretary of State

October 18th is the last day register to vote for the November 8th election. Registration cards postmarked by this date or online registrations submitted no later than 11:59 PM on this date are valid. Register or check your registration status here: http://sos.oregon.gov/voting-elections/Pages/my-vote.aspx

If you are an Oregonian and not yet registered click the link NOW. If you have committed a crime, Oregon still allows you to vote.

From YouTube (Real Time Channel): Ann Coulter: In Trump We Trust

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

Two things about the Coultergeist have not changed. It is still full of shit. It still has its Adam’s apple.

From The New Yorker: Trump’s suggestion that both Presidential candidates submit to a drug test has sparked fears that such a test would reveal that he is not on drugs.

In interviews conducted across the country, voters said that they would be “alarmed” and “distressed” to learn that the billionaire’s statements and actions were the product of a mind unaltered in any way by a controlled substance.

“It never occurred to me that Donald Trump might not be on drugs,” Carol Foyler, an accountant from Toledo, Ohio, said. “That would be terrifying.”

Harland Dorrinson, a mechanic from St. Petersburg, Florida, said that the chilling possibility of Trump not being on drugs was a strong argument against submitting the candidates to drug testing. “If it turns out that he isn’t on anything, this is something that the American people shouldn’t have to find out,” he said. “We’ve suffered enough this election.”

Andy has a great point. We’ve speculated what drug he might be on, but the possibility that he is the way he is, without benefit of addiction, is even more appalling!

From NY Times: Russia’s main English-language satellite network complained on Monday that its British bank was abruptly closing its accounts. The network, which reported on the decision, called it a British-government-sanctioned attempt to interfere with freedom of speech.

It was the latest controversy for the network, RT, originally and still commonly known as Russia Today. [Republicans delinked] The broadcaster presents itself as an alternative to the Western media, but critics call it a Kremlin-financed mouthpiece that seeks to create an alternative to reality.

Kudos to the Bank!  Putin’s propaganda network helped convince Bridiots that it was safe to cast a protest vote for Brexit.  Now they are telling Americans to cast a protest vote for Stein, because Putin wants to elect Trump.  Sadly, Jill Stein has colluded with their scheme in exchange for the majority of her TV coverage.

Cartoon:

1018Cartoon

Share