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:

0724Cartoon

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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:

0701Cartoon

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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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Apr 252015
 

I have a very busy day with volunteer projects to get done, and a three day volunteer trip to Salem to plan for next month.  I hope you are all enjoying tour Spring weekend.  It’s still rainy here.

Jug Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From AP: John Legend has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration.

The Grammy-winning singer announced the multiyear initiative, FREE AMERICA, on Monday. He will visit and perform at a correctional facility on Thursday in Austin, Texas, where he also will be part of a press conference with state legislators to discuss Texas’ criminal justice system.

"We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country," Legend said in an interview. "It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration."

Legend, 36, will also visit a California state prison and co-host a criminal justice event with Politico in Washington, D.C., later this month. The campaign will include help from other artists — to be announced — and organizations committed to ending mass incarceration.

Kudos! This is so necessary!

From Blue Oregon: Stand up to the gun lobby and pass SB 941

Gun violence claims too many lives. In the past two years, reasonable gun safety proposals haven’t even gotten a vote in the Oregon Legislature.

But it’s a new day. The Oregon Firearm Safety Act would expand the background checks system to individual sales (in addition to gun shops and gun shows). It will close a loophole that is used by those who want to circumvent background checks.

It’s reasonable. It’s modest. And it doesn’t infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners.

Sign the petition and let’s make Oregon safer.

This for mainly Oregonians, and I support it fully! Click through to sign.

From Daily Kos:On November 26, 2013, 38-year-old Ervin Edwards, partially deaf and mentally ill, was arrested by police for sagging his pants and taken to the West Baton Rouge Parish jail in Louisiana. He only lived for a few more minutes inside of the cell.

For 18 months, police have lied over and over again about what happened the night Ervin Edwards died in their custody. Now that a video of their despicable actions has been released, it’s clear they murdered this man and left him to die all alone in his jail cell. The Advocate has provided an annotated video.

 

Click through for the lies. This is how Republican police handle the crime of saggy pants.

Cartoon:

0425Cartoon

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Mar 072015
 

My helper friend finally made it yesterday, and we shared six plus hours of heavy cleaning.  Needless to say, I’m way pooped, but I’m writing, because, at my age, I need more days than I have left.  On the plus side, today is definitely a kitty basking day with a forecast high of 70°.  I feel so sorry for my Eastern and Midwest friends.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 6:12 (average 8:28).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Oregonian: A sweeping voter registration bill that could add another 300,000 to Oregon’s voting rolls won final passage in the Oregon Senate on Thursday on a 17-13 vote and heads to Gov. Kate Brown for her promised signature.

The so-called "New Motor Voter Bill" was promoted by Brown when she was secretary of state as a way to remove many of the barriers to voting, particularly for younger and poorer Oregonians who tend to move more often.

Republicans, however, charged that using drivers’ license data to automatically register voters raised worries about ID theft and undermined the privacy of Oregonians. House Bill 2177 passed both chambers without a single Republican vote. The only Democrat to vote no was Sen. Betsy Johnson of Scappoose, who had cast the deciding vote against a similar measure that died in the 2013 session.

When someone registers for a Driver’s License or an OID (same without driving, like I have), they are automatically registered to vote. This does not invalidate the many other ways Oregonians with no license or OID can register.  Kudos to Governor Kate and the Oregon Democrats, except the DINO that needs to be primaried.  Oregon leads the way!

From The New Yorker: In what could be a prelude to a Presidential run in 2016, on Friday Joe Biden released to the public both e-mails that he has written while serving as Vice-President for the past six years.

Biden took pride in announcing that he had sent both messages from his official government e-mail address, adding, “I have nothing to hide.”

Minutes after the e-mails were released, the media pored over the treasure trove of materials, which offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into Biden’s tenure as Vice-President.

The first e-mail, written to President Obama in December of 2009, asks about the time and place of the White House holiday party.

Dang Andy!! Joe released both of them?!!? ARGH!! Isn’t that TOO transparent? 😉

From NY Times: The coffers of Jeb Bush’s not-quite-declared campaign for president are filling at such a rate that fund-raisers have reportedly been instructed not to ask megadonors to give more than $1 million each this quarter. The concern is seemliness — that acceptance of multimillion-dollar checks from deep-pocketed supporters could bolster the impression that Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, is in their debt, according to a Washington Post report.

Just a million?!!? Strike Three is smelling just like Little Lord Willard!!

Cartoon:

0307Cartoon

What has changed?  The Republican Party emplaced the racists.

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