Jun 142016
 

I needed another Lona nap this morning, and I’m busy, so I’ll be brief.  Happy Flag Day!!

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Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:30 (average 4:50).  To do it, click here,  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Rowan Elijah Feldhaus submitted a name change petition which Columbia County Superior Court Judge J. David Roper rejected. Rowan’s previous name had been Rebeccah Elizabeth Feldhaus.

The question presented is whether a female has the salutatory right to change her name to a traditionally and obviously male name. The court concludes that she does not have such right.

–Judge Roper

There’s an judge that Rump Dump would appoint to SCROTUS.

From NY Times: A judge in Oregon has granted a petition allowing a person to legally choose neither sex and be classified as nonbinary: an important development for transgender Americans while civil rights and sexual identity are in the national spotlight, advocates and legal experts said.

Though the petition was granted with little fanfare in a two-paragraph decision on Friday, the experts said that, to their knowledge, the ruling was the first of its kind in the country.

Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center in Oakland, Calif., described the decision in an email as a “historic step” toward the government’s recognizing “nonbinary members of our community and ensuring they have access to identity documents that reflect who they are, just like everyone else.”

The petitioner seeking the new designation, Jamie Shupe of Portland, Ore., is a retired United States Army sergeant born with male anatomy who had successfully battled the military to be given discharge papers that reflected the female sex.

Jamie — who prefers to use only a first name and the pronouns “they” and “their,” instead of singular pronouns — underwent hormone treatments to transition to a woman. But ultimately, neither sex fit, Jamie said in an interview on Friday.

Oregon leads the way! I wonder if this would work for trysexuals (those willing to try anything).

From Alternet: John Oliver Exposes the Retirement Scam: Even Wall Street’s Financial Advisers Agree They Shouldn’t Manage Your Money

 

Note that the cat did better than the fund managers. Give me your money and scratch me above the tail.

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Jun 042016
 

It saddens me to report that there was an oil spill and fire in a train carrying super-volatile Bakken Crude  adjacent to the Columbia River, and that it is now in the river itself.  Officials say it has been contained, but what they call contained never means eliminated, so it will be in the river, poisoning the ecosystem for decades.

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A Union Pacific train carrying volatile Bakken crude oil derailed in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge Friday afternoon, sparking a large blaze and prompting evacuations and road closures around the nearby town of Mosier. No deaths or injuries were reported.

KATU TV reported that as many as four rail cars ended up engulfed in flames. A Union Pacific spokesman said oil leaked from at least one car, though according to an Oregon Department of Transportation statement released last night, “no oil or fire suppression water has reached Rock Creek, the Columbia River, or its tributaries.” ODOT officials added that Union Pacific crews had placed booms across Rock Creek and the mouth of the Columbia River as a preemptive step.

The derailment generated a large fire, and plumes of smoke filled the sky. Brett VandenHeuvel, executive director of Columbia Riverkeeper, observed the blaze. In a statement sent to ThinkProgress, he characterized the incident as “a terrible situation.”

From <Think Progress>

Governor Kate Brown held a press conference last night

I checked to see if they had kept it out of the river.

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A light oil sheen was spotted in the Columbia River near the site of Friday's oil train derailment near the Oregon town of Mosier, raising concerns about the fiery wreck's environmental impacts during peak spring chinook migration.

Environmental officials said the oil has been contained and they are investigating the source.

Crews overnight put out the blaze in the tanker cars, and Interstate 84 was re-opened to traffic. But about 100 people remained under evacuation from 74 homes…

From <The Oregonian>

Here's an interactive map, that you can use to explore the area around the spill.

In summery, this just sickens me.  Portland has an ordinance banning oil trains within the city limits.  Every city and every state needs to adopts\ such ordinances, until the only economical thing to do with crude oil is to leave it in the ground.

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Jun 022016
 

I'm rushing to to finish as much as I can before my CAT scan,  I'll say hi to the cat for you.

I'm back.  The cat made me drink a quart of cat pee called contrasting agent and then injected more.  YUCK!  I have my pre-surgery physical tomorrow morning sp expect no more than a late Personal Update.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:25 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: A federal judge ordered the release of hundreds of documents related to the fraud case against Donald Trump for his now defunct (like most of Trump’s businesses) Trump University. The so-called “university” was a series of real estate seminars that promised to teach people insider secrets of the real estate business. The documents reveal high pressure sales tactics that were designed to play on people’s emotions and carefully convince people to part with their money, often encouraging them to take on huge amounts of debt to finance their “education.” The manual instructed Trump University sales staff to find out personal information and then use that to close the deal and separate already desperate people from what money they had, even if that meant taking on credit card debt…

 

Everything about Rump Dump, like his CONiversity, is also a lie.

From NY Times: A wave of prominent Republicans have announced their intention to skip the party’s national convention in Cleveland this summer, the latest sign that Donald J. Trump, who last week secured the delegates needed to clinch the Republican presidential nomination, continues to struggle in his effort to unite the party behind his candidacy.

The list of those who have sent regrets includes governors and United States senators — almost all facing tough re-election fights this year — and lifelong party devotees who have attended every convention for decades. Some are renouncing their seats like conscientious objectors.

“I could not in good conscience attend a coronation and celebration of Donald Trump,” wrote one Indiana delegate, Josh Claybourn, in a blog post resigning his position.

The coolness toward Mr. Trump amounts to a remarkable rebuke. A broad range of party leaders are openly rejecting the man who will be their nominee. And the July 18-21 convention, usually a moment of public catharsis for political parties after contentious primaries, is shaping up to be another reminder of the disarray and disunity that is still rocking the Republican Party after a bitter 17-way fight for the nomination.

Extinction is the only proper fate of the Republican Party.

From Alternet: The City of Portland has created and implemented strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for more than 20 years. In the early 1990s, it became the first city in the United States to adopt a comprehensive carbon dioxide reduction strategy. In 2001, Multnomah County (the most populous of Oregon’s 36 counties) and the City of Portland (which is the seat of Multnomah County and Oregon’s largest city) passed their joint Local Action Plan on Global Warming.

In 2009, Multnomah County and Portland adopted an updated climate action plan (CAP) with expanded categories for actions and more-rigorous reduction targets. The plan identifies 93 action steps in 8 categories to reach its emissions reduction goals, ranging from curbside pickup of residential food scraps to expanding the city’s streetcar and light rail system.

Thanks to strong government leadership, science-informed policy making has long been practiced in Portland. To avoid the catastrophic consequences of climate change, the city set its latest emissions reduction target by referring to current science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Portland adopted an 80 percent emissions reduction target by 2050, with an interim goal of 40 percent by 2030. In line with IPCC recommendations, 1990 was set as the baseline year for the reduction target.

Oregon leads the way!

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May 162016
 

I’m quite busy today, as I needed another Lona Nap this morning, so please pardon my brevity.  My posting may be limited tomorrow, as I have to go out for labs for my pre-surgery physical.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:49 (average 6:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NPR: If Democrats take back the Senate in 2016, they’ll likely have women to thank for it.

The party is likely to have at least six female nominees who are challenging Republican incumbents in their top-targeted states, helping them flip the four seats necessary to take back Senate control, if Democrats hold the White House.

And Democrats believe they have the perfect storm brewing to help them do that — likely the first female presidential nominee coupled with a probable GOP nominee who has a well-documented history of controversial remarks about women.

"With Donald Trump’s toxicity permeating the Republican Party, never has there been a better time for a slate of Democratic women who remain focused on issues rather than insults," said Marcy Stech of EMILY’s List, whose group helps recruit pro-abortion rights women to run for political office.

And if women win in these top-targeted races, they’re on pace to break the current record of 20 women in the Senate. If Democrats run the table, women could make up nearly a quarter of the upper chamber come January 2017.

A woman’s place is in the House, and in the Senate, and if we can’t have Bernie, in the White House.

From OPB: Voters in Oregon are going to the polls Tuesday to vote in their presidential primary along with a host of state and local races. But Oregonians aren’t actually going to the polls because all of the state’s 2.3 million voters get their ballots through the mail.

In a special election in 1996, Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden became the first person ever elected to Congress exclusively through a vote-by-mail election. He remains a big fan of the system, which the state adopted for all elections in 2000.

Wyden held a press conference this month at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem to announce a bill that would expand the system nationwide.

“We’re interested in taking the Oregon way, vote-by-mail, into precincts all across America,” he said.

Wyden’s proposal would require all federal elections to be held through the mail. States could still do as they please for state and local races. He’s tried expanding vote-by-mail before to no avail. But he said maybe this year will be different. Wyden points to reports of people standing in line for hours to cast ballots in presidential primaries.

Once again, Oregon leads the way. If the US adopts Sen. Wyden’s proposal, the nation will be better off due to voter convenience, and a paper record.

From PoliticusUSA: In a shameful display, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough did his best to defend Donald Trump’s history of sexism, sexual harassment and misogyny that was uncovered by The New York Times…

…Here are some of the behaviors that Scarborough left out. Trump sexualized his then 16-year-old daughter by asking other men if she was hot. Trump made unwanted advances towards women. Trump engaged in inappropriate physical contact with women. The presumptive Republican nominee was revealed to have demonstrated a consistent pattern of sexual harassment towards women that he had the ability to exert authority or control over.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

And MSNBC, the so-called librul network has 20 hours of Morning Jerk every week.

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May 142016
 

I’m getting a late start, because it’s shower day.  Julie just came, so I’m a spit-shined puddy tat, and I’ve taken my fair share of abuse from Killer Dawg.  George is much more stable with his new ankle, and the pain I was feeling came from a crease that had formed in his lining.  It was digging into Stumpy.  Sarah removed the crease and Velcro’d the lining into place, so I don’t crease it again.  Both George and Stumpy are pleased,  I’m going to try to rest this weekend, as I have three days of medical appointments next week,

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 5:02).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: CNBC interviewed Target’s CEO Brian Cornell on Wednesday and discussed the company’s liberal stance against discriminatory laws like North Carolina’s HB2. Target now is experiencing a massive backlash and boycott by an anti LGBTQ conservative organization called American Family Association. It’s reported that AFA has 1.2 million signatures on its petition — people pledging to not shop at Target stores because of the retail chain’s pro-LGBTQ position.

Brian Cornell is not only unabashed and unapologetic about his company’s support of transgender and pro-LGBTQ rights, he doubles down on the decision with no indication of changing his mind.

 

Major Kudos to Target.  It’s a better place to shop than Wal-Fart.

From YouTube (Jeff Merkley Channel): Merkley: Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground

 

Once again, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Oregon lead the way. Keep it in the ground!

From NY Times: The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer announced on Friday that it had imposed sweeping controls on the distribution of its products to ensure that none are used in lethal injections, a step that closes off the last remaining open-market source of drugs used in executions.

More than 20 American and European drug companies have already adopted such restrictions, citing either moral or business reasons. Nonetheless, the decision from one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers is seen as a milestone.

“With Pfizer’s announcement, all F.D.A.-approved manufacturers of any potential execution drug have now blocked their sale for this purpose,” said Maya Foa, who tracks drug companies for Reprieve, a London-based human rights advocacy group. “Executing states must now go underground if they want to get hold of medicines for use in lethal injection.”

In other words, if states want to murder prisoners for breaking the law, they will not be able to do so without breaking the law themselves. Sadly, for red states, like Texas, Oklahoma, and other states dominated by the Pro-Death Party, breaking the law is part of their normal modus operandi for law enforcement.

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Originally posted in 2012.  Far more urgent today.

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May 072016
 

George is furious at TriMet.  We saw the lift bus pass the door three times yesterday, but we often see Lift buses that aren’t mine go by.  I called, and dispatch told me that the driver had come here at 12:35, and I was not here.  I told her that was untrue.  I’m guessing that the driver went to the wrong building, because I had been waiting in the lobby since 12:20.  I talked to customer service and filed a complaint.  I had to cancel my appointment with Sarah, and George did not get his new ankle.  I’ll have to reschedule, after I know what’s going on with my eye.  I’m getting a late start today, because Julie was here from 7:30 – 11:30,  She helped me shower.  I’m a pampered puddy tat.  Then we worked together to do the dreaded task, cooked a half a dozen chicken breasts, and did some light cleaning.  After she left, I had lunch and did my research.  I’m getting tired already.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:38 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (Jeff Merkley Channel): Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley outlines the ‘Stopping Abuse and Fraud in Electronic (SAFE) Lending Act,’ legislation to crack down on some of the worst abuses of the payday lending industry and protect consumers from deceptive and predatory practices that strip wealth from working families.

 

Oregon and Senator Jeff Merkley still lead the way!!

From Daily Kos: Cassandra McWade got into a car accident on a stretch of highway in North Carolina. The 25-year-old McWade was fine, but her car wasn’t in any shape to drive and she needed a tow. Enter self-described “conservative Christian” Kenneth Shupe. He’s the tow truck driver that was called in to help McWade out.

When he saw “a bunch of Bernie Sanders stuff” he said he told the woman, “very politely,” that he could’t tow her car because she was “obviously a socialist” and advised her to “call the government” for a tow.

"Every business dealing in recent history with a socialist minded person I have not gotten paid," Shupe said. "Every time I deal with these people I get ‘Berned’ with an ‘e’ not a ‘u’."

Holy. Shit. There are too many things wrong here. First, should McWade call the government that employs tons of tow truck operators and pays for their services with citizens’ money? Second, I’m not calling Kenneth Shupe a liar when he says that “socialist minded” people have not paid him but let me put it this way—Kenneth Shupe is a liar.

Shupe, who runs Shupee Max Towing in Travelers Rest, said he is a conservative Christian who supports Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Shupe said he has drawn a line in the sand not to do business with Bernie Sanders’ supporters.

Trump supporters reflect the love passed down from their Fuhrer, Rump Dump Trump.

From NY Times: In a Europe struggling with a rise in Islamophobia, riven by debates about the flood of Syrian migrants and on edge over religious, ethnic and cultural disputes, London has elected its first Muslim mayor.

Sadiq Khan — a Labour Party leader, a former human rights lawyer and a son of a bus driver from Pakistan — was declared the winner after a protracted count that extended into Saturday. He will be the first Muslim to lead Britain’s capital.

The victory also makes him one of the most prominent Muslim politicians in the West.

If Rump Dump is elected, he would make the Mayor of London ineligible to visit the US.

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Apr 142016
 

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.

Merkley[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]

Inserted from <Raw Story>

Rachel Maddow interviewed Jeff about his endorsement.

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.

In summary, Oregon leads the way!

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Mar 262016
 

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.

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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]

Inserted from <The Oregonian aka Oregon Live>

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. Winking smile   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!! Cat face  Therefore, I would have eaten Birdie!! Smile with tongue out

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Mar 192016
 

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?

Short Takes:

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. Smile with tongue out

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Mar 052016
 

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?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Marco Rubio has lost Fox News.

[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.

From PRWatch: Hold onto your Prius!

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!!

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