Before yesterday, forty of the forty-five (not counting Bernie and Hillary) Senators in the Democratic Caucus had each made an endorsement for President. And every one, without exception, had endorsed Hillary. Yesterday, at long last, a Senator finally stepped forward and endorsed Bernie. I’m proud to have done volunteer work for his campaign in 2008, when Jeff ousted goose-stepping Gordon Smith and became the junior Senator from Oregon.
[O]regon Democrat Jeff Merkley endorsed Bernie Sanders on Wednesday for the party’s presidential nomination, becoming the first member of the Senate to announce support for the fellow U.S. senator from Vermont.
In a New York Times column announcing his endorsement, Merkley said he supports Sanders for his work battling economic inequality, opposing trade deals and fighting for the middle class.
“It is time to recommit ourselves to that vision of a country that measures our nation’s success not at the boardroom table, but at kitchen tables across America,” Merkley wrote. “Bernie Sanders stands for that America, and so I stand with Bernie Sanders for president.”… [emphasis added]
I was particularly pleased with the way Jeff had nothing but good things to say about Hillary, but said even more good things about Bernie.
With almost all of his colleagues in Hillary’s camp, it would have been so much easier for Jeff to follow the pack, or make no endorsement at all. He deserves our kudos for the courage it took to do right, standing alone in the face of adversity.
I wanted very much to reschedule my PT yesterday to go see Bernie here in Portland. I did not do so, because rain was forecast, the waiting line was hours long, and I was unwilling to risk exposing either me or my electric wheelchair to a prolonged soaking. However, I have complete video of his speech here. I did, however, have my first substantive disagreement with Bernie about anything at all.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders brought his message of economic populism to the Moda Center Friday afternoon, where a crowd of about 11,500 supporters [full venue] enthusiastically cheered policy pronouncements most had probably heard before.
The event comes one day before Washington’s caucuses, where Sanders and his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, are locked in a close race.
If Sanders was looking for any additional symbolism to boost his bid for the White House, he may have gotten it when a small bird flew out of the rafters and alit on the lectern directly in front of him.
"I think there may be some symbolism here," said Sanders, not seeming to mind that the bird interrupted his call for free college and university tuition. "I know it doesn’t look like it, but that bird is actually a dove asking for world peace."
Sanders, as he has in rallies across the country in past months, took on Wall Street billionaires, big oil companies and Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that opened the door to massive spending on political campaigns… [emphasis added]
I searched for a transcript, but was unable to find one. If you have a link to one, please put it in a comment. Here is the complete video.
Rachel Maddow explained why the bird is specially significant in Portland.
Bernie had another event in a less important city. I covered this one, because Oregon leads the way!
Some of you may not like it, that I have predicted that Hillary will win the nomination. Please understand that being honest about what I think and supporting what I want are two completely different things. Integrity demands that I do not lie about my prediction. Patriotism demands that I continue to support Bernie in every way I can. and I shall.
Oh yes! My disagreement with Bernie… I’m not just a Democrat. I’m a DemoCAT!! Therefore, I would have eaten Birdie!!
This morning I cleaned my apartment. I dusted, swept, mopped, and disinfected. I finished right before Lu came to de-stink me, so I’m a pleasant-smelling puddy tat, once again. Then I did m,y daily research, took a brief (< 1 hr.) nap, and made a pastrami on rye with horseradish for lunch. It’s now 62°, with 65° forecast, so I have the windows and door open to air out the place.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:26 (average 4:59). (Somebody beat me please! I don’t want to eat something smarter than a Republican!!) To do it, click here. How did you do?
From The New Yorker: Contradicting their professed interest in creating jobs, Senate Republicans resolutely refused to put even one American to work this week.
The Republicans, in fact, went to extreme lengths to prevent a single job from being filled, thus risking being called job-killers during an election year.
“You have a job opening and a highly qualified applicant, but you’re blocking the applicant from taking the job?” Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez said. “That doesn’t sound like you’re very interested in creating jobs.”
While voters across the country questioned why Republicans would refuse to let even one American find employment, Washington insiders speculated that G.O.P. senators did not want to do anything to contribute to the improving jobs picture while Barack Obama is still President.
Andy, perhaps the Republicans might agree to create that job, if Merrick Garland agrees to work for a migrant farm worker’s pay, less than minimum wage.
From Daily Kos: The Supreme Court may be about to strike down Republican-drawn maps that use a right-wing gerrymandering tactic known as "bleaching" where Republicans purposely pack minority voters into as few districts as possible in order to eliminate their voices in the rest of the state.
A ruling like that would strike a crushing blow against racially discriminatory gerrymandering across the country.
Join the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and Daily Kos in demanding an end to right-wing racial gerrymandering.
Paid for by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC).
Click through to sign, please. I did.
From Raw Story: The first month of taxable commercial sales of recreational marijuana in Oregon generated nearly $3.5 million in tax revenues, far exceeding projections, the state Department of Revenue has reported.
Oregon’s marijuana tax receipts from January also surpassed the first-month tallies from recreational cannabis sales in Colorado and Washington state, the first two states to legalize general commercial distribution of pot for adults.
Colorado collected $2.9 million in taxes when recreational sales launched there in January 2014, a sum that included revenue from both recreational and medical cannabis purchases.
Washington’s recreational industry, which started slow with just 18 stores licensed to sell pot, yielded $1 million in tax revenue when it debuted in August 2014.
By comparison, Oregon’s 300 licensed cannabis retailers sold $13.9 million worth of marijuana in January, generating $3.48 million in taxes, according to a revenue report issued on Thursday.
Personally, I gave it up 30 years ago, but when it comes to high society, Oregon leads the way.
Lu was here this morning. She cut my hair, spotted me while I walked around my hallways using a walker, stopping twice to sit and rest, and she helped me shower, leaving me as a perfumed puddy tat with soft, glowing fur. I’m feeling tired, but I have two articles today.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:18 (average 5:13). To do it, click here. How did you do?
[T]his alliance now seems to be over. According to three Fox sources, Fox chief Roger Ailes has told people he’s lost confidence in Rubio’s ability to win. "We’re finished with Rubio," Ailes recently told a Fox host. "We can’t do the Rubio thing anymore."
Which is bad news for Rubio, since his entire base of support is establishment and press Republicans who are willing to inexplicably pump up Marco Rubio. Apparently, though, Ailes has seen the writing on the wall; Rubio can’t win, and Fox News is only going to humiliate themselves pretending otherwise.
This leaves America’s Worst Network in an even bigger bind than before. The network that is used to playing kingmaker has no potential king to make—and the current front-runner, Donald Trump, is openly dismissive of the network and eager to pit his supporters against them. None of the corporate-friendly Republicans that Fox News would usually be hitching their wagon to, from Scott Walker to Chris Christie to Jeb Bush to, now, Marco Rubio, have gone anywhere. Suddenly rallying to podium barnacle John Kasich would be more humiliating than standing behind Rubio.
That leaves Ted Cruz, and while Ted Cruz is certainly a model of the sort of extremist burn-down-the-government type that Fox News has endlessly promoted, Nobody Likes Ted Cruz.
What will the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda do? I think Faux Noise will goose-step behind the Republican nominee, whoever or whatever that is.
The Kochs and their fossil-fuel-fed political network are reportedly gunning for the electric car.
According to an anonymous industry source who spoke to journalist Peter Stone, a new advocacy group will "make the public aware of all the benefits of petroleum-based transportation fuels."
If you think this sounds a bit nutty, you have to remember Koch front groups have also fought the implementation of street cars in city after city.
If the group follows the usual Koch playbook, expect bogus "research" studies by Koch-funded "think tanks," well-placed op-eds that repeat Koch talking points without disclosing ties to the network, and fear-mongering ads that hide their fossil fuel funding behind bland names like "Americans for Energy Freedom." (The group’s actual name has yet to be announced.)
The primary benefits of burning petroleum fuels are obscene profits for Big Polluters and the RepubliCare Death Benefit for everyone else.
From Crooks and Liars: This is a really fascinating video. Governor Kate Brown shows that real people have a need for increasing the minimum wage. She also shows how listening to the needs of various stakeholders gets things done. OregonLive:
The bill gives Oregon the highest statewide minimum wage rates in the nation, to $14.75 inside Portland’s urban growth boundary, $13.50 in midsize counties and $12.50 in rural areas by 2022.
President Barack Obama lauded Brown, saying in a statement: "I commend the Oregon Legislature and Governor Kate Brown for taking action to raise their state’s minimum wage…Congress needs to keep up with the rest of the country. They need to act, and finally give America a raise. And until they do, I’ll continue to encourage states, cities, counties and companies to act on their own to support hardworking families."
Kate, America’s only openly LGBT state governor, keeps doing good things for Oregon, and Oregon leads the way!!
I was in sufficient foot pain yesterday that I could not concentrate to produce an Open Thread. At physio today, my therapist looked at my foot and did some manipulations. It is still quite painful, swollen and red, but nothing compared to yesterday. Seems I have dislocated bones on the lateral side of my right foot so it is rest and ice with a follow up on Monday. I have no idea how I dislocated the bones. On a happy note, our gardens are blooming with crocuses, narcissus and forsythia. Some daffodils and tulips are about 12-15 cm high and just developing their buds. Even some of the trees are starting to bud! Today the temperature was 16 C (61 F) although tonight it is supposed to go down to freezing.
Huffington Post—Many of the progressive wish list issues Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) advocate for as they campaign were achieved in Oregon in the last year. …
Since taking office, Democratic majorities in both chambers of the legislature have sent Brown bills addressing such progressive measures as expanding voting rights, access to birth control and background checks for gun purchases, as well as enacting paid sick leave and making community college nearly free for thousands of students.
Brown has tried to balance "fighting for working families and making sure we open the doors of opportunity to every single Oregonian" and treading cautiously because she is acutely aware that voters did not actually elect her into office.
Normally, I would leave this for TC, but with him sick, I elected to pass on the positive news. The headline: The Political Revolution Is Close To Fruition In Oregon. As TC would say, Oregon leads the way!
Alternet — In October 2001, the U.S. launched its invasion of Afghanistan largely through proxy Afghan fighters with the help of Special Operations forces, American air power, and CIA dollars. The results were swift and stunning. The Taliban was whipped, a new government headed by Hamid Karzai soon installed in Kabul, and the country declared “liberated.”
More than 14 years later, how’d it go? What’s “liberated” Afghanistan like and, if you were making a list, what would be the accomplishments of Washington all these years later? Hmm… at this very moment, according to the latest reports, the Taliban control more territory than at any moment since December 2001. Meanwhile, the Afghan security forces that the U.S. built up and funded to the tune of more than $65 billion are experiencing “unsustainable” casualties, their ranks evidently filled with “ghost” soldiers and policemen — up to 40% in some places — whose salaries, often paid by the U.S., are being pocketed by their commanders and other officials. …
… economically speaking, how did the “reconstruction” of the country work out, given that Washington pumped more money (in real dollars) into Afghanistan in these years than it did into the rebuilding of Western Europe after World War II? Leaving aside the pit of official corruption into which many of those dollars disappeared, the country is today hemorrhaging desperate young people who can’t find jobs or make a living and now constitute what may be the second largest contingent of refugees heading for Europe.
Click through for the rest of this interesting article. Afghanistan is a country rich in natural mineral resources, but it is also a very poor country. One natural resource that flourishes in this harsh environment is the poppy. The economy, such that it is, is being supported by the poppy which makes its way around the globe. This from Wikipedia:
… The cultivation of opium [in Afghanistan] reached its peak in 1999, when 350 square miles (910 km2) of poppies were sown … The following year the Taliban banned poppy cultivation, … a move which cut production by 94 percent … By 2001 only 30 square miles (78 km2) of land were in use for growing opium poppies. A year later, after American and British troops had removed the Taliban and installed the interim government, the land under cultivation leapt back to 285 square miles (740 km2), with Afghanistan supplanting Burma to become the world's largest opium producer once more.
Foreign Policy — For nearly 17 years, K.T. has been living with a secret. In 1999, during the conflict in Kosovo, she was gang raped by Serbian forces.
When her son found out, she says, he had a question for her: “Why didn’t you ask them to kill you instead?”
If that was the reaction of her own family, what would the neighbors say? Fearing the humiliation, she suffered in silence. She says she tried to commit suicide. When she talks about that day, she still sometimes says it would have been better if she had been killed.
Thousands of survivors of the wartime sexual violence in Kosovo that took place when Serbia fought against an independence movement here in the late 1990s still suffer from stigma like K.T.. So it was a significant step when the country’s parliament moved in 2014 to recognize them as war victims, entitling them to a state pension, after years of refusing to acknowledge them. Nearly two years later, the government is expected to soon form the commission that will begin accepting applications. …
“I’m trying to convince other women who were raped to register, but very few will do it,” she said. “They’re afraid it will cause problems with their families — many are afraid their husbands would divorce and leave them. They say it’s been 17 years and we’ve gotten nothing, so why register now? The risk is too big.”
How would you react if your son said to you “Why didn’t you ask them to kill you instead?”, all because you had been gang raped by enemy soldiers during war? Society, by shaming these war victims, is blaming the victim rather than the perpetrator. We say "That is in Kosovo. It would never happen here.". But it does happen in the US. Just listen to Republican politicians talking about rape and abortion. Victims are stigmatised.
I kept hearing on the news that Trump said he likes uneducated people. I found that offensive. But it also tells us that he wants supporters that are uneducated so he can build his base with people that don't generally think critically.
The New Yorker — Making good on one of his key campaign promises, President Obama signed an executive order on Tuesday relocating the United States Congress to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.
The President seemed to relish signing the order, calling the relocation a “win-win for America,” and indicating that Congress could be moved to its new headquarters “immediately.”
“We don’t envision doing any renovations to the facility down there,” he said. “It is ready to house Congress right now.”
The President did not specify what the current U.S. Capitol building would be used for in the future, but he hinted that it could be the setting for historic reënactments in the manner of Colonial Williamsburg.
Is Andy onto something or what?
My Universe —
Is this chick crazy? The cat certainly is patient and tolerant!
After breakfast I did most of my research and felt too tired to continue, so I snaffled-up the nap that Lona left and caught a couple hours sleep. While I’m writing, I’m making a two day dinner of Mongolian Beef and Jasmine Rice. This afternoon, I have a ton of paper work to do.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 2:40 (average 5:27). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From Jeff Merkley: Merkley: Keeping our Citizen-Owned Fossil Fuel Reserves in the Ground
I’m so glad I worked on getting Jeff elected. Uw was worth the effort. Oregon leads the way! Support Jeff’s "Keep It in the Ground Act"!!! Bernie is a co-sponsor.
“It’s a horrible topic,” said Trump, “but they say they found the pillow on his face, which is a pretty unusual place to find a pillow. I can’t give you an answer … I literally just heard it a little while ago. It’s just starting to come out now, as you know, Michael.”
This has been making rounds in the Republican Bubble Machine for a few days now. To set the record straight, there was no pillow on his face, and if there was any outside participation in his demise, it was divine, not human.
From PRWatch: Ford Motor Company confirmed to the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) that it is cutting ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization that has drawn heavy criticism for promoting climate change denial and for opposing the development of renewable energy sources.
"As part of our annual budget review, we have adjusted our participation in several groups. We will not be participating in ALEC in 2016," wrote Christin Baker, a Ford spokesperson in an email to CMD.
Its products might be "Ford Tough," but in making the decision to stop funding ALEC, Ford executives are responding to consumer concern over its membership in the controversial, Koch-funded ALEC, which has both an extreme anti-worker agenda as well as an anti-environmental agenda.
The departure makes Ford the 108th identified company to cut ties with ALEC in recent years.
For the huge lost of corporate criminal Koch suckers that support ALEC, click here.
I was in the Chicago 1968 demonstration and knew most of these folks.
TGIF!! I did not get the sleep I needed yesterday, because my helper friend came a day late. We washed my hospital bed sheets and made the bed. I need her help, because there is one corner where I cannot place the fritted sheet. There is no room to get close enough in my chair. That took up most of my afternoon nap time. Then I watched the debate, and I won’t take today off, because it may be the last time Bernie and Hillary debate head to head. so I have to report on it. Jeannie (Shower-Aide) has come and gone. Arvilla (PT) was due in fifteen minutes (now gone), and Tracey (OT) comes right after Arvilla! When I finish blogging, I’m going to hide! TGIF!!
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 3:29 (average 5:54). To do it, click here. How did you do?
Amen Jeff!! He’s one of the reasons that Oregon leads the way!
From The New Yorker: In a feat that some observers called nothing short of miraculous, the embattled pharmaceuticals C.E.O. Martin Shkreli single-handedly made the American people side with Congress on Thursday morning.
According to polls taken after his appearance before the despised legislative body, Shkreli’s smug, smirking, and utterly douchey performance had the effect of temporarily transforming members of Congress into marginally sympathetic figures.
The University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, which tracks the American people’s attitudes toward the legislative branch, said that after Shkreli’s appearance Congress’s approval rating surged from eleven per cent to fourteen per cent.
Well the guy is an asshole (syn, Republican), but frankly, I think Andy has been smokin' that Wacky tobbacky. The only thing that could make Congress more popular is a Democratic majority!
From FAIR.org: A few months ago, I raised concerns about Washington Post food columnist Tamar Haspel (FAIR.org,10/28/15) after she admitted taking money from agribusiness interest groups that she covers.
I pointed out that her columns are biased in favor of those industry groups, particularly on the topic of GMOs, even though her column is presented to readers as an unbiased effort to find middle ground in debates about our food system.
My article was met with crickets of silence from Haspel, her Post editor Joe Yonan and the band of biotech promoters who prolifically praise Haspel on Twitter. I figured that, soon enough, Haspel might write another column that would warrant raising the concerns another notch up the pole. She didn’t disappoint.
In her January column (Washington Post, 1/26/16), Haspel offered an investigation (“the surprising truth”) about the food movement—without speaking to anyone in the food movement—concluding that there isn’t much of a food movement after all, and most people don’t really care about labeling genetically engineered foods (GMOs).
Her sources? A two-year-old survey, another survey conducted by a food-industry front group, and consumer research by the agrichemical industry’s public relations firm. [emphasis original]
Busted!! GMOs must be contained where grown and labeled for consumers. Click though for the rest of this extensive exposé.
One issue this week, represented by multiple persons in one article with its comments, seems to me to call for the efforts of the Greek Furies (Erinyes) to come and deal with. Just as a reminder, though no one really knows how many there were supposed to be, the three names we have are Alecto, Megaera, and Tisiphone. These roughly translate as "unceasing," "grudging," and "vengeful destruction."
You ladies weren't interested a couple of weeks ago when I brought up the spoiled brats in Oregon (not FROM Oregon, just invading it) who think they ought to be in charge of public lands. But as the story takes more and more turns, let me call your attention to this:
Arizona rancher LaVoy Finicum told Oregon Public Broadcasting that his four current foster children have been removed while he's in Oregon:
Robert “LaVoy” Finicum and his wife Jeanette were foster care parents for troubled boys. Finicum estimates that over the past decade, more than 50 boys came through their ranch near Chino Valley, Arizona. The boys often landed there from mental hospitals, drug rehabs and group homes for emotionally distressed youth.
“My ranch has been a great tool for these boys,” Finicum said. “It has done a lot of good.”
Finicum runs a cattle ranch in Arizona where he says he barely breaks even on the cattle and the loss of 50 extra foster ranch hands children is going to make it financially difficult on the Finicums…
How much money is involved here? Well a 2010 tax filing shows that in 2009, Catholic Charities paid the family $115, 343 to foster children.
User "a2nite" comments – "Wow, another welfare queen gets exposed. He's stupid & I'm glad."
"CyberMindGrrl" – "Yes this guy just openly admitted to scamming the foster care system. But will he get investigated? I highly doubt it unless he continues to open his stupid mouth…. Remember, you can screw the government and it’s ok if you’re white and Republican."
But "Fordmandalay" elaborates: "My expectation of the kids typical day; up at 4:00AM for a hearty breakfast of lightly buttered toast and grits with coffee, then out to the fields. Work until noon, then a 15 minute lunch break of a baloney sandwich and a (generic) coca-cola. Back to work until the sun goes down, 15 minute swim in the cattle pond as the nightly bath; dinner of canned spaghetti-os and bottom-shelf cookies, then locked into their bunkhouse for the night with a single 1972 5th-grade textbook to fulfill their ‘education’ requirement, along with a few David Koresh books and a 13” b/w tv that's able to pull in the single station receivable in the area. Electricity turned off at 9:00PM. Repeat daily until adult, then kicked out into the world."
So I assume you may now have an interest in at least one of these individuals, namely "La Voy" Finicum (the one under the blue tarp). It sounds to me a very grudging way to handles one's personal finances, so Megaera, that would seem to be up your street, but Alecto, he hasn't stopped doing this in God knows how long, and appears to have no intention of stopping – once he gets all the candy he's committing treason for and goes back home.
But wait – there's more! User "AntonBursch" commented multiple times with information from his own experience as a former foster child. Warning – hanky alert – as you read just a few of the things he has to say about his childhood.
"i was adopted by foster parents who saw foster children as a source of income. and they always got special needs kids to get the max money and then neglected the hell out of them and spend all the money on themselves. and when anyone noticed the poor shape the kids were in, they would say it was due to the problems the kids had. then they would get patted on the back for being so wonderful for taking care of such troubled kids. makes me angry just thinking about it. even when they adopted my brother and I, the adoption was held up until they had a signed agreement that they would get money to take care of us until we were 18. it was just as that kind of payment was being ended in WA state, so, they wouldn’t pull the trigger adopting us unless they had an absolute legal guarantee of payment over the years. i found the documentation of all of that in my foster records when i got them a few years ago. i don’t know how you get more horrible than using children who are already suffering to get money. and they knew just how to max out the money by claiming they had to provide special care…"
"i was 13 months old. i never knew a different life until my mid 20s. i watched Good Will Hunting and the scene where Robin tells Will that it wasn’t his fault hit me like a ton of bricks through my chest. i told friends of mine what it had been like growing up and they were horrified. i still remember the moment listening to them when i realized that not all parents treated their kids that way. it was a revelation to me. i didn’t believe it at first. i asked them and told me it was true, but i didn’t believe them, because it was too good to be true. i had always thought it wasn’t right to hurt your children and suddenly i found out that i wasn’t alone believing that. i felt like i had crawled out of a dark cave into the light for the first time in my life. thinking back now, i think that’s exactly what happened to me."
Even the fact that he has grown up and learned to cope, even to be a wounded healer, is tough to read about:
i have to try not to cry thinking about how you [user srluke] shared your lunch money with them [fostered kids who went to school with srluke]. what can i say to you, but thank you. it’s things like that that make the difference between someone giving up hope for their lives. especially at that age.
i have a pretty great life now. but sometimes, you know, life is stressful, you’re being whiny about something, you’re just mad and you can’t shake it off. then you see someone you can tell is hurting. a child. a teen. an elderly person. a single mom surrounded by kids in the supermarket looking through her cart before going to the line to make sure she can get everything. you can see the pain in her face as she’s looking back and forth to her kids and having to put something back. and all of your stupid bullshit doesn’t matter anymore.
i won’t lie and say i don’t still hurt from shit. i do. man, i can’t hold it together watching a tv show about someone without their parents. and sometimes i wish i could just get passed it. but not in those moments. in those moments, as cheesy as it sounds, i am grateful that i know those looks. cause sometimes, when it’s possible, i can help. and even when i can’t help, it makes me appreciate what a wonderful life i have now. that’s a gift right there.
I respectfully request that at least one of you ladies look up these – persons – who fostered "AntonBursch" – and – counsel them. Please. And there are many other shorter stories in these comments, some first hand, others from witnesses, which you might also want to look into. Oh, and I have an unrelated request- I am passing it on from others but I am also 100% behind it Your colleague, Charon? Fella with the boat? We realize it's his job, and somebody has to do it, but we kind of feel he's been overdoing it lately – taking too many people who are too good and doing it too fast. Could you maybe talk with him nicely about giving it just a little rest? Thank you. From all of us.
Yesterday, after groceries came, I made five more suppers ns now have 12 meals prepared and frozen. This afternoon I have a building community meeting. I’m feeling very tired, so please pardon my brevity.
Jig Zone Puzzle:
Today’s took me 5:17 (average 6:36). To do it, click here. How did you do?
From Daily Kos: Sometimes a small change in language can reveal an obvious truth.
As I have written about elsewhere, done interviews about, and discussed more generally, if the Bundy Brigands who are engaged in an armed "standoff" in Oregon were "Muslims" or people of color–especially African-Americans–they would at worst be dead by now or at the very least in jail.
The Bundy Brigands have begun to amplify their noxious, aggressive, and threatening behavior towards local authorities and residents who live in the area around Burns, Oregon.
I have made a small change in the language of a recent report from CNN about the Bundy Brigands in order to highlight how the double standard for white, right-wing, domestic terrorists enables their bad behavior and insulates them from consequences, i.e. what conservatives like to call "personal responsibility".
The author is spot-on. If Y’all Qaeda were black they’d be dead.
From PRWatch: Justice Samuel Alito has been scouring the land looking for a case to make his mark on history.
Could he find a way to hold a big bank accountable for ripping off millions of consumers? Could he interpret intellectual property law to give more desperately ill people access to essential medicines? Could he hold a chemical company to account for poisoning people and hiding it for decades?
No. Alito apparently decided to make his mark by helping a massive right-wing funding machine crush wages for teachers, nurses, firefighters, cops and prison guards.
The case is Friederichs vs. California Teachers Association will be heard on Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Click through for more details of what could be Scalito’s legacy in the ongoing case, SCROTUS v. Constitution.
From NY Times: There is no longer any question that Gov. Matt Bevin of Kentucky plans to shut down the health insurance exchange his state built to enroll residents for coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Now that he has notified the Obama administration of his intention to do so, the question is, will it change the law’s substantial impact there?
It is hard to predict, partly because what Mr. Bevin is doing is without precedent. While a few states have been forced to largely rely on the federally run exchange after their own versions failed, Kentucky will be the first to abandon a homegrown exchange that functions well.
Condolences to the residents of Kentucky. On the other hand, they did this to themselves.
Yes, we have no Erinyes, we have no Erinyes today.
I tried. I really did. I thought they would be interested in treason and sedition. Dante would have. He put traitors in the lowest circle of hell.
But when I started reading them this story, they started laughing. I mean they were rolling on the floor. And they wouldn't stop. And I realized they were just not going to be willing to follow up on this one.
Here's how it starts (you'll need to click through for the whole thing because I don't want to violate Leonard Pitts Jr.'s copyright, but trust me, it's worth it.) You be the judge. Was I being unreasonable?
He brought his rifle up at the sound of footsteps crunching the Oregon snow. "Who goes there? Stop and be recognized."
A weary voice answered out of the darkness. "It's me, Sam. It's Bud."
"Give me the password."
"Come on, Sam. Stop foolin' around."
"The password," Sam insisted.
Bud sighed. "'Patriots act.' Are you happy now?
Sam lowered the weapon as Bud stepped out of the trees into the meager circle of moonlight.
"Can't be too careful," he said. He cupped his hands and blew into them. It was cols out here. "So where you been?" he asked.
"Down to the front gate."
Sam grinned. "Bet you it's a zoo. Bunch of satellite trucks and media elites standing around. Who all's down there? CNN? NBC? CBS Sure hope Fox sends that Megyn Kelly. That babe can interview me any time…." (Click through for the rest.)
Well, right or wrong, the Furies are not interested. And it's probably just as well. There's a new wrinkle now, and really, this was all the story needed:
(Don't feel guilty about laughing – the humour is not at the expense of anyone but the haters, I promise. Read the comments if you don't believe me. Heck, read the comments anyway.)