Aug 102015
 

Last night Bernie Sanders filled the arena, where the Portland Trail Blazers play basketball, and his rally was piped to thousands more, outside the venue.  I received an offer to buy tickets a couple weeks ago, and I was tempted, but from the place where one gets off the MAX train to the best seats is over a mile, and the cheap seats are much further.  So I had to pass.  But I stayed up late last night to watch the video, and I trust you will want to watch it too.

0810BerniePortlandVermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ insurgent campaign for president received a big boost Sunday when as many as 28,000 showed up for a high-decibel rally at the Moda Center.

The crowd packed the basketball arena – with a capacity of up to 19,000 — as thousands more couldn’t get inside and listened in on loudspeakers. A Moda Center official, Michael Lewellen, estimated the crowd at the free event totaled 28,000.

"Portland, you have done it better than anyone else," Sanders said as he opened a speech that lasted a full hour.

Sanders, who has been attracting the biggest crowds of any of presidential candidates this year with his slashing attacks on big corporations and the wealthy, vowed to push for a full range of cradle-to-grave benefits.

The senator received waves of thunderous applause as he vowed to fight for universal health benefits, paid family leave, paid sick leave, free public college tuition, a $15 minimum wage, expanded Social Security benefits and a major public works program to rebuild crumbling infrastructure… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <The Oregonian>

Bernie should not have been surprised that Oregon leads the way.  We usually do.  Here’s the complete video.  I searched high and low for a transcript, but was unable to find one.  I’m sorry.  Here’s the video.

Are you as impressed as I am?

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Aug 092015
 

I’m feeling pretty tired, because yesterday’s 85° weather was very humid, and I felt too sticky to sleep.  I know what I’ll be doing this evening.  The long darkness has finally come to an end, and it’s a high holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb:  the Festival of First Glimmer.  The Steelers will be worshiping with the Vikings in the Hall of Fame Service.  Even though most of the seasoned players will be riding the pines, the holy light of the blessed orb will finally shine forth in its wondrous blessing.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3;44 (average 7:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Based on his performance in Thursday night’s debate, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has emerged as a leading candidate to manage an Enterprise Rent-a-Car branch, Enterprise has confirmed.

Tracy Klugian, a human-resources director for the rental-car giant, said that he did not know what to expect before the debate, but after watching Walker in action he felt confident that the Wisconsinite had “what it takes to succeed at Enterprise.”

“He didn’t get too many moments in the spotlight, but, just from what I saw, I would feel comfortable putting him behind one of our rental counters,” he said.

He indicated that the company would be contacting Walker in the days ahead to discuss a possible future with Enterprise.

“Just to be clear, no promises will be made,” he said. “Best-case scenario, Scott works hard and becomes the manager of one of our branches. For starters, we’d like to train him to be an assistant manager and see how he does with that.”

Andy missed the boat on this one. The Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan is not even qualified to be an outhouse attendant.

From Alternet: An online group dedicated to police officers posted a wildly offensive “memorial” to slain Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown on the social medium Facebook. After an outcry, it now appears the tasteless post has been removed.

The Free Thought Project reported that the Facebook group Police Officers [GOP Pigs delinked] posted the offensive image in advance of the 1-year anniversary of Brown’s slaying at the hands of police officer Darren Wilson.

0809PigsOnBrown

There is only one word sufficiently vile to describe this racist behavior: Republican.

From Blue Oregon: Tonight, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) comes to Portland to campaign for President. The rally will be held at the Rose Garden Arena Moda Center. Doors open at 6, but show up early if you want to get in.

Last night, 12,000 people filled a basketball arena in Seattle — with another 3000 outside. That was his biggest crowd yet — and Portland could be even bigger, with an arena capacity of 17,000 to 19,000 (depending on stage setup.)

I wish I could go, but there is far too much walking for me to be able to handle it. :-(

Cartoon:

0809Cartoon

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Jul 312015
 

Dang!  Being out and about in that heat is miserable.  I’m sure glad I took water along.  The surgery went very well, it was painless, and my foot was much more painful when I went in than when I left.  I had to walk over a block from the lift bus to get home.  It was 95° at the time, and that really wiped me out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:39 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

I am so proud of my fellow Portlanders’ heroism in yesterdays 103° heat, I just had to include this.

Cartoon:

0731Cartoon-TCHotOut

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Jul 242015
 

I’m getting started way late, because I went out to get my ears lowered, and had a meal and a much-needed car nap when I returned home.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:52 (average 4:29).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Reminder:

Lefty Blog Friends, don’t forget that our live online draft is tomorrow, Saturday, at 11 AM Pacific (12 Noon Mountain, 1 PM Central, 2 PM Eastern) Daylight Savings Time.  If you haven’t already done so, I recommend participating in a mock draft or two between now and then.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: It’s amazing what garbage gets tossed into must-pass Congressional appropriation bills. Perhaps one of the most heinous in a long time was a land grab tucked inside last year’s National Defense Authorization Act at the last minute, when no one was looking.

The Act included an eleventh-hour rider that would swap land between the National Forest Service and Resolution Copper Mining, a subsidiary of Anglo-Australian mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton. The deal would turn 5,300 acres of Resolution-owned land over to the US Forest Service, in exchange for about 2,400 acres of public land, including an area known as Oak Flat. No secret what Resolution plans to do with Oak Flat: dig 7,000 feet into the ground to get at one of the world’s largest copper deposits.

Sounds like a good deal, huh? The Forest Service takes in twice the amount of land it gives up, and the company claims that its new mine will create 2,400-plus jobs and generate $61 billion in local and state economic activity and tax revenue. And the copper? Well everyone knows the world needs copper!…

…But this isn’t just any area around Superior; this is Oak Flat, a stunning piece of land in the Tonto National Forest. It is a sacred holy place to the San Carlos Apache tribe, where tribe members have performed traditional acorn gatherings and coming of age ceremonies–mostly for girls–for generations. And there’s plenty of archaeological evidence to back this up. The land has been protected since 1955, when President Eisenhower decreed it closed to mining due to its cultural and natural value. Even Richard Nixon’s administration renewed the ban in 1971.

Ah, but today’s Repugnicans feel no such need to preserve the sacred. Especially when both of Arizona’s Senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, have been on the Rio Tinto dole.

This would never have happened had the land been a memorial to a Nathan Bedford Forrest, or some other racist icon, sacred to Republicans.

From MSNBC: In most states you can be fired for being gay

Rachel Maddow reports on a new effort to ban discrimination against gay people by amending the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include sexual orientation and gender identity, and notes that most people don’t realize that right doesn’t already exist.

 

Jeff Merkley (D-OR) is leading the fight for passage in the Senate.

From Alternet: School vouchers were never about helping poor, at-risk or minority students. But selling them as social mobility tickets was a useful fiction that for some twenty-five years helped rightwing ideologues and corporate backers gain bipartisan support for an ideological scheme designed to privatize public schools.

But the times they are a-changin’. Wisconsin is well on its way toward limitless voucher schools, and last month, Nevada signed into law a universal "education savings account" allowing parents to send their kids to private or religious schools, or even to home-school them—all on the taxpayers’ dime. On the federal level, a proposed amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that would have created a multi-billion-dollar-a-year voucher program was only narrowly defeated in the U.S. Senate…

…With vouchers gaining momentum nationwide, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is meeting in San Diego this week, has decided to drop the pretense that vouchers have anything to do with social and racial equity, and is now pushing vouchers for the middle class—a project which, if pursued enough in numbers, will progressively erode the public school system and increase the segregation of students based on race and economic standing.

I’ve been saying this for years. Republicans want YOU to fund education for the rich and pseudo-Christian fanatics, while YOUR kids’ services get cut because of it.

Cartoon:

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Jul 102015
 

I can’t express how happy I am to have a wide open window and my A/C set on fan.  It will take a couple days for the building to bleed off the heat.  Old masonry structures are like that.  TGIF!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:39 (average 4:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We may still need one new player for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  Viv and her Hillbilly Lefties are now onboard. We may have found our last player. For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Yep, that’s what Jeb Bush said in a press interview with New Hampshire’s Union Leader. Unbelievable. People already WORK LONG HOURS, and we’re actually one of the most productive countries in that we work longer than any other industrialized nation in the entire world. Here’s the context in which Jeb Bush said his damning quote:

“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”

Call me crazy, but when we’re working up to 50 hours a week, and in many cases, more hours than that, and we’re not getting paid well in doing the work we do. Many people work long hours at the minimum wage level, and Americans work longer hours just to make the ends meet these days. The part-timers want to work full hours, but they can’t find other work, so they don’t often make ends meet without the assistance of government programs.

These are the facts, Jeb Bush, we already work damn hard, and we’re entitled to the right wages for our work. We should NOT be underpaid, we should NOT have our hours cut, we should NOT have our benefits cut so we work longer, and we should NOT be spending so much damn time at the office just to make ends meet.

Strike Three backtracked and said he was only referring to underemployed part time workers. However, the context in which he made the statement was as the means by which he intended to achieve economic growth of 4%/year. Increasing work for the underemployed could not possibly achieve even 1% growth, so either he’s lying about making YOU work more for less, and/or his entire economic plan is a lie. In my opinion, he’s lying about BOTH. Why? He a Republican, and he’s a Bush.

From Daily Kos:

Former President George W. Bush charged $100,000 to speak at a charity fundraiser for U.S. military veterans severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and former First Lady Laura Bush collected $50,000 to appear a year earlier, officials of the Texas-based Helping a Hero charity confirmed to ABC News.

And…

The former President was also provided with a private jet to travel to Houston at a cost of $20,000, the officials said.

It’s obscene that GW ChickenHawk is not donating his time to help the heroes that he maimed by using them as cannon fodder in his criminal war.

From Raw Story: [T]he anti-LGBT owners of an Oregon bakery were not fined for refusing to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple – they were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages for intentionally causing their would-be customers emotional distress.

The case has attracted widespread media attention since the couple first filed their complaint in January 2013, and that is largely through the efforts of Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

After the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries handed down the order last week, Aaron Klein claimed the ruling was an example of the “persecution of Christians” in the U.S.

However, the ruling shows the bakery owners had made Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer the victims of persecution and makes clear the payment was compensation for damages and not a fine or civil penalty.

I could agree that $135,000 would be a bit excessive as a fine, but the "Sweet Cakes" pseudo-Christian Republicans went beyond mere refusal of service. They published the lesbian couple’s address to make them a target for other gay-hating Republicans. I was targeted at home by peace-hating Republicans in 2003, so I know that $135,000 is not enough!

Cartoon:

0710Cartoon

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Jul 012015
 

I’m still feeling quite ill, but it’s a new month and I’m swamped.  It’s a grocery delivery day, and I have a Monthly Report and a new poll to prepare.  I did get some sleep, but need more.  The record heat wave goes on and on and on.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:43 (average 5:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We still need one or two new players for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  We’re trying to get Viv in, but are not sure if it will support her smart phone.  How about you?  For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: A man with a headache walks into a hospital and is whisked into the rigmarole of American health care. He’s floored by what he learns at the end of his visit. Hint: It isn’t his diagnosis. It’s his hospital bill.

 

Now that the battle for the ACA is won, it’s time grow it into Medicare for all.

From National Popular Vote: TELL YOUR LEGISLATORS TO SUPPORT A NATIONAL POPULAR VOTE FOR PRESIDENT

Oregon is ignored in presidential races by both parties because candidates have no reason to pay attention to the concerns of voters in states where they are comfortably ahead or hopelessly behind. Presidential campaigns are conducted in only about 9 closely divided "battleground" states — making Oregon and most other states into mere "spectators" to the presidential election.

Tell your State Legislators to support the National Popular Vote Bill. The bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. This would make every vote equal throughout the United States. That, in turn, would ensure that every Oregon voter would matter in every presidential election.

Click Through to find the National Popular Vote project in your state. Oregonians, click through to contact your legislators.

From MSNBC: Chris Christie political bridge burning haunts him for 2016

Robert Costa, national political reporter for The Washington Post, talks with Rachel Maddow about how New Jersey governor Chris Christie made enemies of his fellow Republicans during the Romney campaign and now works from a deficit for 2016.

 

Rachel leaves no stone unturned here. For the effect of PIGnocchio boarding the Clown Car, see below.

Cartoon:

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May 022015
 

It’s afternoon and writing today’s Monthly Report has occupied most of the day.  So please color me in rush mode..

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:16 (average 5:01).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Sen. Merkley: We Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Two Budgets for the Best Off

 

Oregon’s Jeff Merkley still leads the way.

From Upworthy: On the latest episode of "Last Week Tonight," John Oliver takes a look at the fashion industry’s repeated promises to stop using child labor.

 

In my opinion, all clothing made using child labor should be seized at the border and burned. All Republicans who help the corporate criminals gut the regulations should be seized at the ballot box and unemployed.

From NY Times: No matter how Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey spins the George Washington Bridge scandal as he eyes a run for president, one thing should be clear: These are his people, charged with a conspiracy to exact revenge against a local mayor by closing lanes to one of the world’s busiest bridges.

David Wildstein, a Christie associate who once held a top job at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges related to the incident. Two others indicted on Friday for allegedly participating in the scheme were also members of Mr. Christie’s inner circle.

Their behavior shows Mr. Christie’s inability to choose employees, to manage them and, most important, to keep them from abusing their power. His failure to do so created a culture that allowed his underlings to bully the mayor of Fort Lee, Mark Sokolich, by creating a monster traffic jam in 2013 and then lying about it.

I still hope that, after formal indictments are handed down, and the real plea bargaining starts, PIGnocchio will be spitted and served with an apple in his mouth.

Cartoon:

0502Cartoon

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