Feb 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and still trying to establish a new sleeping pattern.  Basically, I’m just making sleep a priority and allowing myself to sleep whenever I feel the need.  That will work this week, but next week I have two medical appointments, so that should prove interesting.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:59 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From TPM: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was in no mood to celebrate the five-year anniversary of President Barack Obama’s stimulus package on Monday.

“Five years later, the stimulus is no success to celebrate,” McConnell said, as quoted by the Associated Press. “It is a tragedy to lament.”

White House economic adviser Jason Furman wrote in a White House blog post that the stimulus, formally known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, had by itself saved or created an average of 1.6 million jobs a year through the end of 2012.

I suppose it’s a matter of perspective. For Bought Bitch Mitch, saving 1.6 million jobs, when the President is a Democrat, is a tragedy.

From Think Progress: For the fourth time in two years, a rural hospital in Georgia is shuttering its doors over a dearth of patients who can pay for their medical services, the Albany Herald reports. An increasing number of hospitals that serve large numbers of poor and uninsured Americans are being forced to close in states that are refusing the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.

The Lower Oconee Community Hospital, a so-called “critical access” hospital in southeastern Georgia with 25 beds, will close down and possibly re-open as an urgent care center that provides services that aren’t quite serious enough to necessitate an emergency room visit. Patients in the Wheeler County region who need more extensive medical care after the hospital closes will need to travel upwards of thirty miles in order to receive it.

“We just did not have sufficient volume to support the expenses,” said CEO Karen O’Neal in an interview with local CBS affiliate WMAZ. “It’s a terrible situation, and it’s tragic, the loss of jobs and the economic impact.”

Like other Red states, Georgia is experiencing the benefits of electing Republicans. I hope the fools that voted them in are leaning their lesson.

From Blue Oregon: Last week, the the Kansas House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill to allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if “it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Brought by conservatives cowering against the fear of impending marriage equality in their state, this deep red state considered codifying anti-gay segregation into law. The state senate reined the whole thing in on Friday, however. Apparently allowing public safety officials to pick and choose which people they serve and protect based on sexual orientation was just too much, even for Kansas.

Lest you think this type of public policy is the providence of states where conservatives rule: think again. Oregon has it’s own version of this circulating now as a petition, and they’re gathering signatures. This proposal, along with the one in Kansas, is being sold as honoring "religious liberty".

No. This is not about religious liberty. This is about segregation. "Separate but equal" should never be public policy in Oregon.

Even here in Oregon, which usually leads the way on progressive issues, we need to continually guard against Republican TEAbuggery!

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Feb 012014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, am still very congested, and am still in minimal participation mode.  Nevertheless, I have two additional articles for you today.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:42 (average 5:09).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From John Kitzhaber: I received this from “Kitz”, our governor, in email.

Tuesday night, President Obama stood before Congress and made a compelling case that the challenge before us is restoring the American Dream and creating economic security for all families.

 

He also made it clear that when Congress fails to act, he will take executive action.   And while that’s the right approach, he’s forced to it because politics in Washington DC are fundamentally broken.

 

But here in Oregon, things look a little different.

 

We have disagreements and debates, but in the end, we get things done.  Oregonians of both parties have come together in the Legislature to take critical steps forward for economic security, health security, and for our childrens’ futures.

 

Even as an election year gets underway, my focus remains on getting things done for Oregonians.  And it’s paying off:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oregon added 39,000 jobs last year, ranking third in the nation in job growth in 2013, behind only Florida and North Dakota.
  • Oregon’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in over five years, falling last month to 7.0%.
  • Despite the well-reported challenges we’ve faced, over 200,000 Oregonians have now enrolled for health care. Our health care reforms will provide better care, save Oregonians hundreds of millions of dollars, and protect them from financial stresses if they becoming ill or injured.
  • We’ve started to reinvest in our schools and our children’s education, with over $6 billion in school funding – and critical reforms that integrate early childhood, K-12, and post-secondary education.

We have a long way to go.  And in this election season, you can bet that there will be some who will distort and distract from our accomplishments.

 

Your support in 2010 – and in the months and years since – has made all of this possible.  Thank you.

 

John

Oregon leads the way!  This is what happens when progressives are actively involved at all levels of government.

From Upworthy: This Guy Needs A Clue: A Member Of The 1% Declares It ‘Great’ That 3.5 Billion Are In Poverty.

It’s like he’s a living example of rich white male privilege: "Anybody can be me!"

Just to be clear, I’m not jealous of his wealth. Or what he had to do to get it. But many of those 3.5 billion in poverty never even get a chance to try to "be somebody." Once we level that playing field, we can start talking about "looking up to the 1%."

 

I loved her "Wait I don’t have socks!" comment. It looks like there’s no difference between Canadian and US vulture capitalists.

From NY Times: Representative Henry A. Waxman of California, a diminutive Democratic giant whose 40 years in the House produced some of the most important legislation of the era, announced Thursday that he would retire at the end of the year.

I understand that Sandra Fluke may run for his seat. Would that be fantastic, or what?

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Jan 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and running late, because I overslept by several hours.  That’s a good thing.  I’m not going to push myself to return to full time blogging for a week, because I have to spend two nights in Salem next week for prison volunteer work and our annual organizational meeting for it.  While I’m slightly improved, I want make sure I don’t knock myself back down before then.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:25).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MSNBC: Hope fades for long-term unemployed

 

International readers, try Googling this in a day or two. I could not find it anywhere else. Jeff Merkley and Oregon are leading the way against Republican class warfare.

From NY Times: The Air Force said on Wednesday that 34 officers responsible for launching the nation’s nuclear missiles had been suspended, and their security clearances revoked, for cheating on monthly proficiency tests that assess their knowledge of how to operate the warheads.

At a news conference, Deborah Lee James, the secretary of the Air Force, said the officers, at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, either knew about or took part in texting answers to the routine monthly tests.

Eleven Air Force officers — including two accused in the Malmstrom cheating scandal, as well as one other nuclear missile officer — have also been the focus of suspicion in an illegal drugs investigation, defense officials said.

Although the Air Force has been plagued in recent years by scandals, the current revelations are particularly alarming because they involve America’s nuclear arsenal, where errors could be catastrophic.

One of Obama’s biggest mistakes has been to leave Bush’s Republican officials in most key positions involving military oversight. The military needs higher quality oversight, especially since the Bush Regime purged the competent officers who opposed his military fiascos, resulting in a military leadership culture in which extreme ideology trumps even minimal ability. Clearly it’s long past time to clean house.

From Right Wing Watch: Far-right columnist Erik Rush has come to believe that efforts to impeach and remove President Obama from office are unlikely to succeed, so he is now is calling on “military personnel” to “lend their support to an effort by Congress to remove the president through methods other than impeachment.”

In a WorldNetDaily column [World Nut Daily delinked] today, Rush doesn’t specify the extra-constitutional means he hopes to use to oust Obama, but he does regret that such a move is “less likely than it otherwise might have been given the widespread purge that has taken place within the military.”

Previously, Rush has called for Obama’s ouster “by any means necessary,” and repeatedly advocated executing the president.  [emphasis added”]

The Republican Party has an endless supply of seditionists ready to commit treason, and the party leadership refuses to denounce their efforts. Some Republican members of Congress even attend their functions.

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Jan 092014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow.  I feel like crap.  Here’s something unusual.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:42 (average 4:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: The Republicans’ Poverty Agenda: To Make More People Poor

 

Republicans love poverty almost as much as they hate Obama.

From YouTube: Oops? Tax Increases & the Economy SOARED!

 

As long as most media parrot Republican lies, without documenting the proof they are lies, far too many voters are deceived.

From YouTube: Senate Democrats Push For Help To Unemployed

 

The war on poverty was an overwhelming success, decreasing poverty 43%, until Republicans defunded the programs and made increasing poverty a key part of their national agenda. You won’t find a better explanation of this issue than this video. Kudos to Jeff Merkley. Oregon leads the way.

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Dec 232013
 

Yesterday was a slow day for news, and I took advantage of it to continue to catch up the tremendous sleep deficit from the move.  However, I could find enough for this article.  I’m also beginning to recover from the flu.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 4:52).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

1222-Broncos37-Texans13

The Broncos clinched AFC West and the privilege of honoring the LGBT community with a first round bi week.  Peyton Manning broke Tom Brady’s record with his 51st touchdown pass this season.  From a political perspective, it’d great when the horse rides the  Texan. :-)

Short Takes:

From Raw Story: The libertarian leader of one of the largest online retailers in the world has decided to step into the bitcoin fray.

Overstock.com’s CEO Patrick Byrne told bitcoin news site NewsBTC.com [TEAbagger fraud delinked] on Wednesday that the decision isn’t completely decided yet, because the logistics — and the law — of accepting the virtual currency have to be worked out.

Byrne’s target is the second half of 2014, but Overstock.com may be able to implement bitcoin sales as soon as April, he said.

Add Overstock to your "never patronize" list.  They were already on mine, because they fund Republicans.

From Huffington Post: In a bizarre pronouncement by ever-colorful Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera, the veteran commentator has defended Alec Baldwin’s recent homophobic outburst toward a paparazzo, claiming "cocksucking faggot" isn’t necessarily a gay slur.

"I don’t think are insults are equal," Rivera said during an appearance on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show December 19. Rivera was chiming in to a heated discussion between Hannity and panelists Rachel Sklar and about whether or not A&E made a mistake by suspending “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for recent anti-LGBT and racist statements.

Claiming that Alec Baldwin had been "drummed off MSNBC by fundamentalist gay activists," Rivera tried to argue that the actor had merely been using ingrained neighborhood lingo when he allegedly hurled the "cocksucking faggot" epithet at a photographer on November 14.

The included video was broken, but I found it on YouTube.

RepubliSpeak DictionaryFundamentalist Gay Activist: Anyone who objects to homophobic hate speech by Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians.

From Blue Oregon: Officially, no one is saying anything. But, according to Politico, retiring Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) told colleagues that President Barack Obama intends to nominate him as Ambassador to China. And as a result, he’ll be giving up his Senate seat – and his chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee – a year ahead of schedule.

Update, 8:30 a.m.: President Obama has officially announced the Baucus nomination.

Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is next in line, but he’s also retiring in a year. And as a result, according to Politico, Rockefeller declined the chairmanship and our own Senator Ron Wyden has accepted. Wyden had previously been expected to ascend to the seat after the 2014 elections (assuming Democrats retain control.)

While I’m not as strongly pro Ron Wyden as I am pro Jeff Merkley, having Wyden atop Finance would be an infinite improvement over BARF Baucus (DINO-BIG Insurance).

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Dec 182013
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and although I still feel sick as a dawg, I have to be up, waiting for service people, so you get a real Open Thread.  Tomorrow, I have to be out, so I doubt I shall have much. 

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:42 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Update:

Here’s the updated Playoffs Bracket from our fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

15Bracket

Kudos to the winners.  Sadly, I do not number among you.  All of my starting running backs, and wide receivers at the beginning of the year were out with injuries by last weekend.

Short Takes:

From my Senator’s campaign by email: There is good news for those who want a safe and sound financial system that doesn’t blow up our economy. Last week regulators finalized a rule authored by Senator Merkley along with Senator Carl Levin of Michigan to rein in the big bets by banks on Wall Street. The rule will ban risky trades by banks that take taxpayer-insured deposits. The rule, dubbed the Volcker Rule, after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, would create a firewall between traditional banking and hedge fund-style gambling.

Hedge fund-style trading at our nation’s largest financial firms was a high-risk, conflict-ridden activity that played a central role in the 2008 financial crisis. Banks should be in the business of serving customers on Main Street – including taking deposits from and making loans to ordinary families and businesses. It’s fine for people to make speculative investments, but it needs to happen outside of banks so if the bets go bad they don’t imperil the lending so critical to our economic growth.

To read more about Jeff’s efforts, check out this story in the New Republic.

Way to go Jeff! Once again, Oregon leads the way!

From Upworthy: If You Need An Example Of How Silly Our Standards Have Gotten For How Women Look … Ta-Da!

 

The way I see it, this is what a woman needs to have great legs. They have to be just long enough to reach from her ass to her ankles.

From Right Wing Watch:

Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan is completely enamored with Russian president Vladimir Putin, and is particularly excited about his anti-gay crackdown. In his syndicated column today, Buchanan lauds [hate propaganda delinked] Putin as a leader of “conservatives and traditionalists in every country” who are resisting “the militant secularism of a multicultural and transnational elite” who push “abortion on demand, homosexual marriage, pornography, promiscuity, and the whole panoply of Hollywood values.”

Putin is a champion of “conservatives, traditionalists and nationalists of all continents and countries” and has taken up their fight “against the cultural and ideological imperialism of what he sees as a decadent West,” Buchanan writes.

Republicans just love their Pootie (R-RU). Why? Republicans love to hate.

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Nov 052013
 

As the time grows near for the senate vote to break the Republican filibuster against ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act), it appears likely that just enough Republicans will join the Democrats to clear the 60 vote cloture hurdle.  Now that passage in the Senate appears likely, Republicans are trying to water it down.  Fortunately, my Senator, Jeff Merkley is leading the fight to keep ENDA whole.

1105JEFF-MERKLEYAs backers of the Employment Non-Discrimation Act hustle to round up extra support before an expected vote Monday evening, there are murmurs that the bill would be more palatable to Republican senators if it didn’t include protections for transgender individuals.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), for example, stated last week that he would only consider supporting a bill that was not fully inclusive.

But Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the leader of the effort to pass ENDA in the Senate and the man who introduced the legislation in the current Congress, said that’s not happening.

"I have fought for fully inclusive legislation in Oregon. I knew that fully inclusive legislation had worked very well in the states that had adopted it, and I thought it would just be wrong to leave any particular group behind on this," he told The Huffington Post in an interview.

ENDA would make it illegal to discriminate against someone on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. It is already illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, nationality, religion, age or disability… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

I could not be more proud of my Senator, or more pleased to have worked on his campaign in 2008.  He needs all the help[ he can get, because the Koch Brothers have him high on their target list.  Because of him and others, Oregon leads the way!

Unfortunately ENDA will likely die in the House without a vote, because Agent Orange, aka Mr. Two Inch, just announced his opposition.

So, Log Cabin Republicans, it’s time move out of those log cabins and dump the party that hates you.

UPDATE: ENDA survived cloture to bring it to the floor.

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