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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May 122014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I’m rushing.  Tomorrow is almost here.  I have been busy with housework and could not sleep.  Fortunately I did my research early this morning.  Day 21.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:18).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The huge Kelvin wave that formed in the Pacific a while back, and may bring us a big El Nino, is now reaching the surface.  It’s huge, and it’s one of the warmest ever recorded.  Here’s the latest from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center

0512Wave

The vertical scale is the depth of this pool of water, while the horizontal scale is the longitudinal location of the pool.  A back of the envelope calculation shows that the pool is roughly 5500 miles wide!  It seems reasonable to assume that water this warm and this amount of it, is going to dump a lot of heat into the atmosphere, and the resulting weather may not be very pretty for some people.

This may well be the source of the unseasonably hot weather I’m getting this Spring. Such events used to be less common and less intense.

From NY Times: Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has had a tough month.

Two of his fellow commissioners this week said he should delay introducing a new set of net neutrality rules, which he had scheduled for May 15.

A group of 11 United States Senators told him Friday that rules allowing companies to pay an Internet service provider for express-lane access to consumers, as the rules are widely expected to do, would violate the principle of an open Internet.

And last week, a finger-wagging, tough-talking speech he gave to cable television executives received a lukewarm response and engendered questions about what some listeners perceived as a “father knows best” tone.

Mr. Wheeler has vowed to forge ahead.

Late Friday, the Open Technology Institute at the New America Foundation released a letter from Mr. Wheeler, in which he said that he would ask for public input on whether to classify broadband Internet service as a sort of public utility, a route that many consumer advocacy groups have pushed…

Could it be that Wheeler designed a plan in compliance with a Republican court order to allow a corporate "fast lane" with the intent of stimulating opposition to that plan to use as a rationale for reclassification under Title II? Consider that Wheeler has supported Net Neutrality in the past. When the new rules are released, we must respond forcefully and often.

From Alternet: Charles Krauthammer continues the assault on science, calling it superstition.

Hey, Fox News managed to find another crazy, irresponsible idiot disguised as a sentient being to debunk facts and science: good old Charles Krauthammer. He said on Tuesday that the belief in global climate change is mere “superstition” akin to the “rain dance of Native Americans.”

Why would he say such a thing? Such a provably wrong thing? We have no idea. It could be wishful thinking. Sure, we wish this whole climate change catastrophe would go away, and that we could wake up from it like a bad dream. We wish all these meanie scientists conducting real research based on actual facts would just stop discovering that the news is so very, very bad, and bullying us about it.

Krauthammer took his point a little farther, about science actually being superstition. Yah, and the other way around, too. Up is down Charles. Black is white. No is yes. “It’s always a result of what is ultimately what we’re talking about here, human sin with pollution of carbon. It’s the oldest superstition around. It was in the Old Testament, it’s in the rain dance of Native Americans — if you sin, the skies will not cooperate.”

Still more crazy talk from Chuckie Kraut:

“Ninety-nine percent of physicists were convinced that space and time are fixed, until Einstein working in a patent office wrote a paper in which he showed that they are not,” Krauthammer said. “I’m not impressed by numbers, I’m not impressed by consensus.”

What does impress you Charles? On second thought, maybe don’t answer that.

This is just one of eight most wacko Republicans in their War on Science from last week alone. Click through for the other seven. Note that Krauthammer was not satisfied just to attack science. To the delight of the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda, Faux Noise, he also included a racist attack against Native American spiritual tradition. In sharp contrast, authentic Christian respect others’ beliefs.

Cartoon:

0512Cartoon

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Apr 292014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow.  What’s unusual is that tomorrow is almost here.  Today was a rough one.  Because I had a two hour wait for the lift bus to pick me up, I spent over an hour of it in the dollar store next door.  Between too much time in my feet and the thoroughly uncomfortable chairs at the medical imaging place, I was hurting big time by the time I got home.  All I could do was crawl into bed.  So I’m rushing now to finish this on time, and it is tomorrow’s only article.  Day 8.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:03 (average 4:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: It is, in a way, too bad that Cliven Bundy — the rancher who became a right-wing hero after refusing to pay fees for grazing his animals on federal land, and bringing in armed men to support his defiance — has turned out to be a crude racist. Why? Because his ranting has given conservatives an easy out, a way to dissociate themselves from his actions without facing up to the terrible wrong turn their movement has taken.

For at the heart of the standoff was a perversion of the concept of freedom, which for too much of the right has come to mean the freedom of the wealthy to do whatever they want, without regard to the consequences for others.

Start with the narrow issue of land use. For historical reasons, the federal government owns a lot of land in the West; some of that land is open to ranching, mining and so on. Like any landowner, the Bureau of Land Management charges fees for the use of its property. The only difference from private ownership is that by all accounts the government charges too little — that is, it doesn’t collect as much money as it could, and in many cases doesn’t even charge enough to cover the costs that these private activities impose. In effect, the government is using its ownership of land to subsidize ranchers and mining companies at taxpayers’ expense.

It’s true that some of the people profiting from implicit taxpayer subsidies manage, all the same, to convince themselves and others that they are rugged individualists. But they’re actually welfare queens of the purple sage. [emphasis added]

Paul Krugman did it again.  We the people should get paid a fair price for the use of our land. We should end the subsidies to these millionaires Krugman calls "High Plains Moochers".

From TPM: Win or lose — and they’ll probably lose — Democrats hope this week’s Senate showdown over raising the federal minimum wage reaps them benefits in November’s congressional elections.

Whether they’ll get an Election Day payoff is uncertain.

In a Senate vote expected Wednesday, Republicans seem likely to block the Democratic measure, which would gradually raise today’s $7.25 hourly minimum, reaching $10.10 as soon as 2016. Even if the bill, one of President Barack Obama’s top priorities, somehow survives in the Senate, it stands little chance of even getting a vote in the GOP-run House.

Who would the proposal most directly affect? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women and young people make up disproportionate portions of the 3.3 million people who earned $7.25 or less last year. Both groups traditionally skew Democratic, and the party would love to drive them to the polls in November as it battles to retain Senate control.

I fully expect the Republicans to give us another issue, along with the ACA, both of which can be used to hammer them.

From Think Progress: Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) told George Stephanopoulos Sunday that she left the Republican Party in the mid-90s because it was tilting the playing field in favor of Wall Street.

Warren has quickly become a populist hero to liberals. Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s The Week, noted something in her background that “might surprise” her supporters: the fact that she has voted Republican in the past, and was a registered Republican in Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1996. Warren said she left the party after that because she felt it was siding more and more with Wall Street

 

I do so wish she was willing to be the first woman President.

Cartoon:

0429Cartoon

Many were executed for crimes far less heinous that those committed by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, etc.

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