Oct 092014
 

1009MadWar

It’s a rare treat for me to see two of my favorite ladies share the spotlight, so I’m going to do something highly atypical for me.  I’m going to shut up and get out of the way.  Introducing Elizabeth Warren and Rachel Maddow.

 

If you cannot watch MSNBC video, here’s the same clip on YouTube.

Warren makes a great case for the Democratic Party. I found it highly relevant that Warren is the Senator most progressives use as a progressive comparison to Democrats we claim are not progressive enough. Didn’t she just make a most excellent case for us to support and vote for those very people?

What should we get out?

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Oct 052014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 167.  I must have been pretty tired, because I slept a couple hours later than normal.  Then, after doing my research, I basked in the sun for a half hour again.  Tomorrow is a Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos will be worshiping with the Brewer Birds, and the service will be televised locally, so you know I’ll be meditating tomorrow afternoon.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:03 (average 5:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Demos.org (Hat-Tip: JL A from Care2): On Tuesday, Montgomery County [MD] Council unanimously enacted a public financing bill that will both encourage participation from small donors in the county and allow civic-minded individuals to run for county office without needing big contributions. Starting in 2015, the county will match small donations from in-county donors for candidates who opt in to the program, demonstrate local public support, and agree to accept only individual donations between $5 and $150.

The matching funds are stepped to encourage contributions from the greatest number of donors. For example, as the County explains:

Matching public dollars for County Executive candidates would be $6 for each dollar of the first $50 of a qualifying contribution received from a County resident, $4 for each dollar for the second $50 and $2 for each remaining dollar received up to the maximum contribution.

So, if an in-county donor contributed $150 to a participating candidate for the county executive office, the candidate would receive $600 in matching funds. But, if four donors each gave only $25, the candidate would still receive an additional $600.

I support 100% public financing for all elections. Money is NOT Speech!!

From Daily Kos: …I guess the thing that the family of the confirmed Ebola patient can be grateful about is that our modern health "experts" didn’t nail their door shut and position a wagon outside for body removal.

Please read then discuss:

Move Family From Ebola Patient’s Apartment, Says Judge

Okay, a quick summary – the domestic partner of the Dallas Ebola patient has been confined to her apartment, where the patient took ill, with one child and 2 nephews in their twenties. All right, seems reasonable, right?

Until you read the entire article and discover that health officials shut them all inside with contaminated linens and no provisions for them to have sustenance – like FOOD!…

Click through for more. The federal response to the Ebola virus is thoroughly efficient, because it is being managed by Democrats. On the other hand, Texas’ response exemplifies Republicans’ fitness to govern.

From Upworthy: We need to get big money out of politics. If you don’t know about the Citizens United case and why it should be overturned through a constitutional amendment, it’s time to become educated. The danger of giving so few people so much power can no longer be ignored. How few, you may ask? Hear the shocking figure in this speech by Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Our system is teetering, poisoned by corporate lobbyists armed with checkbooks from multimillionaires. We can either let it topple, or we can save it by acting.

 

While I concur with Elizabeth in supporting this Amendment, I say so with the caveat that that the chances of obtaining the required 67% supermajorities in the Senate and the House, and subsequent ratification by 3/4 of the state legislatures asymptotically approach zero. The only viable solution is to replace the fascist five Injustices of SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD).

Cartoon:

1005Cartoon

"Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever."  – History Place  An American Tragedy

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Sep 132014
 

I’m writ5ing for tomorrow, day 145.  It’s late in the day.  After doing my research early this morning, I scheduled routine medical appointments through the middle of next month, cooked and cleaned, and took a cat nap.  Tomorrow I have some errands to run in the morning, but they should not interfere with blogging.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:40 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: There is a diary on the Rec List about a Wall Street Journal article detailing how those making $400,000/year can still feel like they are “just getting by”. http://www.dailykos.com/…

I am glad the WSJ is giving comfort to its target audience, reassuring those well within the 1% of annual income that it is okay if they feel they are struggling to get by. The purpose, IMO, is to assuage any potential feelings their readers might have toward those with less, because they, the members of the 1%, have it rough as well, so that the 1% can be justified in their dissatisfaction with how little they have.

Of course, what the article actually does is prove to us, those who are way down the income scale from these 1%ers, how little the WSJ actually cares about the vast majority of this country, and how as a newspaper its editorial purpose is to be a fluffer to the 1% and keep them insulated from the realities that most people in the country live with every minute of every day.

But the corollary story that the WSJ won’t touch is this: if it families making $400,000/yr are feeling like they are struggling, then how must 150 million people getting by on less than $50,000/yr feel? Where is the WSJ chart showing us the typical distribution of expenses for a family making less than $50 grand a year? Show us that chart WSJ, and then explain to us, since you advocate for cutting all programs that benefit or help support these people, exactly where the fat is in their budgets?

Is anyone surprised? Didn’t we all know that, when Murdoch took over, the WSJ would become the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Print?

From Upworthy: Just so we’re clear, alcohol and tobacco, which kill thousands of people every year? Legal. Marijuana, which has never killed a single person ever in recorded human history? Illegal. OK then.

 

Personally, I quit smoking the stuff over 30 years ago, but I have no objection to those who choose to smoke it. Smoking InsaniTEA, on the other hand, is hazardous to your nation.

From YouTube: How catnip gets cats high

See? Humans have pot, but we have our nip!!

Cartoon:

0913Cartoon

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Sep 042014
 

It may be that we will have a Democratic primary challenger to Hillary Clinton.  Let me be clear that any Democratic candidate, more progressive than Hillary, who can win the presidential election in 2016 will have my support.  It’s not hard to find Democrats more progressive than Hillary.  Most are.  But I wonder if Martin O’Malley is the right candidate?

0904OMalleyIn the the Plum Line at the Washington Post today comes a report from the Wall Street Journal (behind a pay wall) that Hillary Clinton will have at least one challenger in the Democratic Party primaries: 

The Wall Street Journal reports that top Dem fundraisers claim Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has said he’ll enter the presidential primary even if Hillary Clinton is in it. He’s raising his profile on the left:

O’Malley signed a law raising the state’s minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2018….he signed legislation banning various kinds of assault weapons and imposing new limits on the size of gun magazines….he pushed through the first state gas-tax increase since 1992…O’Malley said unaccompanied minors illegally entering the U.S. shouldn’t be returned to home countries where they would be in danger — a position at odds with the White House… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

He certainly sounds more progressive then Hillary, and I like his positions.  I don’t know much about his record, and that’s the problem.  In all these years, I have never before had occasion to mention his name.  Could he win the general?  I have to think not.  But if nothing else, he might help drive Hillary leftward, or help a better known progressive decide to run.

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Sep 022014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 104.  I’ve been busy all day, between chores and colleting the data for our Monthly Report.  LOL!  Here at PP, Labor Day is a day to labor!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:54 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: I saw a white man with a gun.

I heard a policeman saying, "Place the weapon down on the ground, please. … are crossing the street illegally … I need you to put the gun down before I talk to you. … You have committed a crime … you are jaywalking. … I don’t want to shoot you, I’m not here to do that. … Why are you so angry. … Why are you cursing at me?"

Watching the whole incident all I could think of were those dead (unarmed) black men and boys who never had the opportunity to be "talked down," called "sir," and were murdered by police

 

These police handled the incident exactly the way police should, but I can’t help thinking that, if that were a black man, instead of a Republican Ammosexual, he would now be doing an imitation of Swiss cheese.

From Upworthy: Here’s a little story about how somebody (whose name you might recognize) got together with a bunch of other somebodies and changed the world. And his mission isn’t over yet. This is such a low-bar kinda thing to do, but it honors such a great person and legacy. I’m signing — will you?

 

Frankly, I think this is a great idea for a great man.

From NY Times: So, what do you think about those Medicare numbers? What, you haven’t heard about them? Well, they haven’t been front-page news. But something remarkable has been happening on the health-spending front, and it should (but probably won’t) transform a lot of our political debate.

The story so far: We’ve all seen projections of giant federal deficits over the next few decades, and there’s a whole industry devoted to issuing dire warnings about the budget and demanding cuts in Socialsecuritymedicareandmedicaid. Policy wonks have long known, however, that there’s no such program, and that health care, rather than retirement, was driving those scary projections. Why? Because, historically, health spending has grown much faster than G.D.P., and it was assumed that this trend would continue.

But a funny thing has happened: Health spending has slowed sharply, and it’s already well below projections made just a few years ago. The falloff has been especially pronounced in Medicare, which is spending $1,000 less per beneficiary than the Congressional Budget Office projected just four years ago.

Click through for the rest of this excellent Paul Krugman editorial. Contrary to Republican lies, there is no Medicare crisis. The entire healthcare system will become better and more efficient, if the ACA evolves into Medicare for All!

Cartoon:

0902Cartoon

I stole this from last year.

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Jul 222014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 92.  It’s also a prison volunteer day and I will be facilitating a CoDA meeting for a small group of my guys.  I will;return home late having missed a sleep cycle.  In addition, I’ll be going back on Thursday to meet with around 100 of my guys.  So please don’t expect anything for the rest of the week, except personal updates, and if I can do more. I will.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:06 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Vice President Joe Biden visited Netroots Nation yesterday. The room was full of excitement as he was introduced. The vice president thanked the Netroots Nation community for demanding and coaxing politicians to effect a progressive agenda. He stated the fact that it would not be possible without Netroots.

In the middle of the speech Vice President Biden was heckled. It first started softly and progressively got louder. A group of attendees stood up in the front side of the room and started yelling "stop deporting our families." The vice president did not get frazzled or perturbed.

 

I appreciate both sides of this issue. The Obama administration is bound to enforce the law we have. It has pushed for extensive immigration reform, but their efforts have been sabotaged by the Republican Party.  On the other hand, that matters little, if the ass on the deportation bloc is yours.

From NY Times: For much of the past five years readers of the political and economic news were left in little doubt that budget deficits and rising debt were the most important issue facing America. Serious people constantly issued dire warnings that the United States risked turning into another Greece any day now. President Obama appointed a special, bipartisan commission to propose solutions to the alleged fiscal crisis, and spent much of his first term trying to negotiate a Grand Bargain on the budget with Republicans.

That bargain never happened, because Republicans refused to consider any deal that raised taxes. Nonetheless, debt and deficits have faded from the news. And there’s a good reason for that disappearing act: The whole thing turns out to have been a false alarm.

I’m not sure whether most readers realize just how thoroughly the great fiscal panic has fizzled — and the deficit scolds are, of course, still scolding. They’re even trying to spin the latest long-term projections from the Congressional Budget Office — which are distinctly non-alarming — as somehow a confirmation of their earlier scare tactics. So this seems like a good time to offer an update on the debt disaster that wasn’t.

As usual, Paul Krugman is spot-on. Click through for an excellent analysis ods why to ignore Republican economic InsaniTEA.

From The New Yorker: Historians studying archival photographs from four decades ago have come to the conclusion that the U.S. must have believed in science at some point.

According to the historian Davis Logsdon, who has been sifting through mounds of photographic evidence at the University of Minnesota, the nation apparently once held the view that investing in science and even math could yield accomplishments that would be a source of national pride.

I’m sure Andy must realize that science and truth are for too closely related to be tolerated by Republicans.

Cartoon:

0723Cartoon

We still need one for Republicans.

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Jul 202014
 

Warren-McConnell

Usually Netroots Nation gets a lot of coverage, but war crimes by GOP Pootie and Butcher Ben have dominated the news cycle.  However, What Elizabeth Warren had to say in her Keynote Address was far too important to miss.  Warren knows far more than just the measure of Bought Bitch Mitch.  The credit she gives to blogs and bloggers for the successes the left has had is spot-on.  Here is her entire speech.

If you prefer you can find the transcript here.

What can I say?  If she were to announce her candidacy for the White House, I think she would become the President we’re waiting for.  I would become an instant supporter.

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