Apr 122014
 

Yesterday President Barack Obama spoke to the assembly commemorating the 5oth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.  In my view, it was Obama oratory at it’s finest, but you be the judge of that.  I have an article, the complete video, and a link to the transcript for you.

0412obama-civil-rights-actFor three days, the veterans of a long-ago movement reunited and drew together their spiritual heirs to explore the legacy of the Civil Rights Act a half-century after it transformed America. And then the legacy walked onstage.

President Obama presented himself on Thursday as the living, walking, talking and governing embodiment of the landmark 1964 law that banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion or national origin.

In a speech that stirred an audience of civil rights champions here at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, Mr. Obama acknowledged that racism has hardly been erased and that government programs have not always succeeded. But, he added, “I reject such cynicism because I have lived out the promise of L.B.J.’s efforts, because Michelle has lived out the legacy of those efforts, because my daughters have lived out the legacy of those efforts.”

Thanks to the law and the movement that spawned it and the progress made after it, Mr. Obama said, “new doors of opportunity and education swung open for everybody,” regardless of race, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation. “They swung open for you, and they swung open for me,” he said. “And that’s why I’m standing here today, because of those efforts, because of that legacy.”…

Inserted from <NY Times>

Here is the video.

For a transcript, go to the Washington Post.

Most of us think of LBJ in terms of the Vietnam War. Obama did an excellent job of fleshing out the man to present his good side.

Obama is right that history moves in all directions, and Republicans are doing their utmost to return us to the paradigm of lynching and Jim Crow. Obama is spot on to reject Republican cynicism and racism.

Obama is right that our rights and freedoms must be won over and over again. Republicans will not stop trying to take them away.

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Apr 062014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and feeling the need to confirm that I still exist.  The training went well.  I didn’t learn much, but more than anything, I’m making what I do official, although I’ve been doing it as a “guest” for years.  The next step is an institution-specific orientation, that will be sometime in the next two months.  A couple weeks after that, I get my access card.  The trip to and fro went much quicker.  I listened to an audio book (Shogun) on my Kindle.  I stayed at a Super 8, which was far better than the horrid experience I had at Motel 6 that last time down.  The only problem was a runaway alarm clock that woke me at 5:30 AM and told me it was 7:00 AM.  Even the continental breakfast was quite good.  However, on a scale of 1 to ten, I’m still quite pooped.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:26).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Tuesday’s announcement by President Obama that 7.1 million people have signed up for Obamacare set off a firestorm of controversy among opponents of math in the U.S. Congress.

Representative Michele Bachmann, a leading member of the anti-math caucus, told reporters, “Throughout the debate on Obamacare, there has been a tacit agreement to leave math out of it. Today, President Obama broke that agreement.”

Senator John Barrasso, an anti-math Republican from Wyoming, agreed. “It’s very disappointing to see the President use arithmetic for political purposes,” he said.

I have a few of Andy’s pieces in reserve now.  Andy’s humor aside, we know Republicans are anti-math, because of their policy of minority-rule, while they are in the minority.

From NY Times: A push to give legal status to young undocumented immigrants who serve in the military is roiling the immigration debate in the House, dividing Republicans and reviving some movement toward substantive immigration legislation this year.

Republican advocates of loosening immigration laws are moving to attach the measure to the annual defense policy bill. It would offer a path to permanent residency for undocumented immigrants who came to the country before the age of 15 and enlist in the military. But they are running into vociferous opposition from anti-immigration hard-liners.

This may result in more conflict between Republicans trying to hide their racism and Republicans bragging about theirs.

From Crooks and Liars: Confession: If I could have reached through the monitor and slapped Rand Paul, I would have. Since I couldn’t do it in real life, I’m going to do it virtually.

All day long, Fox News has been slamming the enrollment numbers announced by the Obama administration. Rand Paul’s appearance was just icing on the ignorance cake. [Idiot size BARF BAG ALERT!!]

 

Everything Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot said was based on lies. The article goes on to debunk them. Click Through.

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Mar 272014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and this is tomorrow’s only article.  I was busy with cleaning, preparation for my prison volunteer day tomorrow, and putting away my grocery delivery.  I want to rest as much as I can before my volunteer day.  Because I will be getting home very late tomorrow night, there may be nothing at all for Friday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:24 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Now here’s a sentence a candidate and/or current governor and/or conspicuously creepy mechanical lizard puppet never wants to hear.

On late Thursday, billionaire Mike Fernandez abruptly resigned his post as the finance co-chair of Governor Rick Scott’s (R-FL) reelection campaign.

Do you know how hard a campaign has to work these days to court billionaires? And now you’ve lost him, Scott. Hope it was worth it.

Tensions between Scott’s campaign staff and Fernandez had been building for weeks. And the last straw, according to people within the campaign who spoke with the Miami Herald this weekend, was an incident in which several of Scott’s campaign staffers allegedly began joking around in a cartoonish, over-the-top Mexican accent while on the way to a Mexican restaurant.

Fernandez, who is Cuban, reportedly shot off an angry email to campaign leadership after word of the incident leaked out.

Please read below the fold for more on this story.

I always love to see it when a Plutocon Vulture Capitalists and racist Republican hatemongers have a falling out.  Click through for more.

From NY Times: With less than a week left for people to sign up for health insurance, the Obama administration said Tuesday that it would allow more time for those who had tried to apply but were blocked by technical problems with the federal exchange.

Several states running their own exchanges, including Maryland, Minnesota and Nevada, have taken similar steps in the last two weeks.

Open enrollment was scheduled to end on Monday for all Americans. The White House had previously insisted that the deadline was firm and would not be extended.

Under the move planned by the administration, some people will be given a special enrollment period, beyond the deadline, if they can show they were not able to enroll because of an error by the federal exchange or by the Department of Health and Human Services. Federal officials allowed a special enrollment period, on a case-by-case basis, for some people who were unable to meet the Dec. 24, 2013, enrollment deadline for coverage starting Jan. 1 of this year.

This move by Obama is perfectly legal and good for the country, but I’ll bet the howls from Republicans will be long and loud. Such howls are music to my ears.  (Late Update:  Boehner is positively limp with apoplexy!!)

From TPM: Fox News host Bill O’Reilly backed Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) disputed comments on a culture of "inner city" men not working on Tuesday night, arguing "race hustlers" would have branded the congressman a racist no matter what he said about poverty.

O’Reilly pressed Ryan on a conversation he had with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), who labelled his remarks a "thinly veiled racial attack," and asked if Lee apologized after Ryan clarified that the comments were inarticulate.  [DOUBLE BARF BAG ALERT!!]

 

It’s hard to tell which Republican racist is more disingenuous here: Lyin’ Ryan or O’Lielly.

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Mar 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow later in the day that usual.  I completed the manual/self-test portion of my prison volunteer certification training, ordered groceries, and did some emergency volunteer work on behalf of a prisoner about to transition.  I planned to make this the only article, until I came across a Republican desperately in need of a parade.  I have a morning appointment tomorrow, and grocery delivery in the afternoon so I may post only a Personal Update on Thursday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:47 (average 5:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Right Wing Watch: Pat Buchanan devoted his column last week to adding his own racist spin to the issue of population decline in Europe, which he laments is turning "European Man" into "an endangered species."

Europe’s population woes, Buchanan writes, [World Nut Daily delinked] mean that “European Man is an endangered species” as since World War I “all the great European empires—British, French, German, Russian, Italian—have vanished” and “are being invaded and repopulated by African, Asian and Middle Eastern peoples they once ruled.”

He’s also upset about the growing non-white population in America, warning that by 2050, “most Americans will… trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America.” In a column last year, he wistfully called this “the demographic winter of white America.”

Buchanan is an equal-opportunity Republican racist. He’s just as happy to export his hatred to Europe, as he is to try to impose it here in the US.

From Daily Kos: Forget the space race. The new arms race is over high-speed trains. China is in negotiations to build a high-speed rail network to India and Europe that would make a trip from London to Beijing last just two days.

0319hispeedtrain

This is what becoming a third-world country looks like.

From Raw Story: A man who argued with two other movie goers about the ending of a film was struck outside the cinema by a truck driven by his adversaries and killed, the Harris County [Texas, of course] Sheriff’s Office said on Monday.

The men’s discussion of the film grew more heated as the three left the theater and went to the parking lot after the late Sunday evening film. Two of the men then got into a pickup truck.

“The driver of the truck put the vehicle in reverse striking the victim and knocking him to the ground,” it said. The truck then sped away.

Behold the effects of InsaniTEA on our culture.

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This was the day pork became ham.

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Mar 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am being most brief, because I have so much to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:26 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Paul Ryan is the leader of the Republican Party’s “intellectual” wing. He has been described by the news media in fawning terms as a “policy wonk”, a “numbers guy”, and a “serious thinker”.

Consequently, Ryan’s recent claim that "inner city" black men are lazy and have no work ethic is a revealing insight into the current state of movement conservatism and the former’s supposed intellectual gifts.

There is no genius in Paul Ryan’s claims: his arguments about lazy black people are a boilerplate post-civil Rights era Republican talking point.

To advance this claim, he leveraged Charles Murray’s discredited research on the relationship between I.Q. and race. Ryan’s intellectual slippage is not a new habit. In his anti-poverty tome, which purports (and fails) to discredit President Johnson’s Great Society era programs, Paul Ryan misrepresented and distorted research findings… [emphasis added]

Lyin’ Ryan is using the same racist tactics against blacks that a former Republican named Adolf used against Jews.

From NY Times: The Obama administration issued stringent new standards on Friday for health insurance to address a flood of complaints from consumers who said that costs were too high and that the choice of doctors, hospitals and prescription drugs was too limited in many health plans offered this year under the Affordable Care Act.

In deciding which products can be sold in the federal marketplace next year, officials said, they will scrutinize health plans more closely and rely less on evaluations by state insurance regulators and private groups that accredit health plans.

Consumer advocates welcomed the standards and said they should have gone further. But insurers and employer groups complained of burdensome overregulation and said the White House should focus first on getting the online exchanges to work properly.

It should come as no surprise that most of the complaints are coming from Republican-controlled states, where state insurance regulators are using the plan to give insurers more and insured less. While fixing the online exchanges is indeed key, so is regulating insurers, who are benefiting from Republican attempts to sabotage ObamaCare. Don’t forget that under the GOP alternative, RepubliCare, death is always free for those who cannot pay for healthcare.

From Right Wing Watch: America Was Cursed By Ancient Egyptians

Did you know that ancient, Baal-worshiping Egyptians came to North America long ago and put the continent under a demonic curse? Well you do now! Just let pastor John Benefiel, who helped Gov. Rick Perry organize his The Response prayer rally, explain:

 

This is just one of five examples of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian paranoia. Click through for the other four.

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Mar 112014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, and I’m feeling a bit out of time from Springing ahead.  Falling back is a wonderful gift from the Democrats, redistributing sleep to the people, but Springing ahead is a Republican abomination!  What we ought to do here is to forget Springing ahead and to Fall back twice a year! ;-)  This is all there is for tomorrow, because I have lots to do in preparation for a volunteer day in prison tomorrow.  Please expect little on Wednesday too.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:08 (average 4:34).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Most people, if pressed on the subject, would probably agree that extreme income inequality is a bad thing, although a fair number of conservatives believe that the whole subject of income distribution should be banned from public discourse. (Rick Santorum, the former senator and presidential candidate, wants to ban the term “middle class,” which he says is “class-envy, leftist language.” Who knew?) But what can be done about it?

The standard answer in American politics is, “Not much.” Almost 40 years ago Arthur Okun, chief economic adviser to President Lyndon Johnson, published a classic book titled “Equality and Efficiency: The Big Tradeoff,” arguing that redistributing income from the rich to the poor takes a toll on economic growth. Okun’s book set the terms for almost all the debate that followed: liberals might argue that the efficiency costs of redistribution were small, while conservatives argued that they were large, but everybody knew that doing anything to reduce inequality would have at least some negative impact on G.D.P.

But it appears that what everyone knew isn’t true. Taking action to reduce the extreme inequality of 21st-century America would probably increase, not reduce, economic growth.

Let’s start with the evidence.

Paul Krugman does an uncommon job at documenting how the common wisdom is wrong. Click through for an excellent editorial.

From Upworthy: Back in "simpler times", Americans often Anglicized (made more English-sounding) the names of Mexican children. A little boy named Juan would have his name changed to John, for example.

Ramón "Chunky" Sanchez recounts a time his teachers had a little trouble renaming the new kid.

 

LOL!! Most entertaining! Viva Facundo!!

From TPM: A man and woman in Decatur, Ala. both suffered gunshot wounds when a gun the man was dismantling while they were lying in bed accidentally discharged on Sunday, according to the Decatur Daily.

Dang!! Don’t Bama Baggers realize that there are better things to do in bed than play with guns?

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Mar 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling angry, because my fourth automatic drip coffee maker in under a year died last night.  I’ve had it.  I’m going back to an old fashioned manual percolator, but until it arrives on Tuesday, I have to hand-drip water through the maker’s filtration system.  NOT fun!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:14 (average 6:09).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: A majority of small business owners want to see the minimum wage raised to $10.10 an hour and then tied to inflation, according to a new poll conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner for Small Business Majority. Not only did 57 percent of small business owners say they think the minimum wage should be raised, but 61 percent of those in the typically low-wage retail and restaurant industries agreed.

Aside from basic morality, these business owners have good reasons for supporting a minimum wage increase:

More than half of small business owners (52%) agree with this statement: “Increasing the minimum wage would be good for small businesses. It means people will have a higher percentage of their income to spend on goods and services and it is proven that low-wage earners tend to spend money at local businesses who will be able to grow and hire new workers.” What’s more, more than one-third (35%) say raising the minimum wage would help make their business more competitive because business competitors won’t be able to undercut them on labor costs.

Since 82 percent of those surveyed said they pay all of their employees more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, the concerns about being undercut by competitors could be significant.

The Republicans falsely claim that raising the minimum wage will cost jobs are based solely on their desire to subsidize 0.1% billionaires with YOUR tax dollars.

From Alternet: Megyn Kelly scoffs at atheist’s claim that the cross is a religious symbol.

Somebody was not paying proper attention in Sunday school, and has been very, very naughty. We’re talking to you, Megyn.

There is a steel beam cross in the center of the World Trade Center memorial. It was found in the wreckage and seen as a miracle by some Christians. The activist group American Atheists are suing to have the cross removed, claiming that as an inherently religious symbol, it has no place in a publicly funded monument. They point out that people of multiple faiths, and even those without faith at all, died in the disaster.

“The cross is Christian," said David Silverman of the American Atheists during his appearance on the Kelly Files. "It was installed in a religious service on consecrated ground, which makes it a working shrine on public land in the World Trade Center, and we think the atheists who also died on 9/11, and the Muslims and the Jews, should all have their equal presence,”

Nope, Megyn Kelly said. The cross is not religious. It’s just a historical artifact. Nothing Christian about it. Tough luck, atheists, Jews and Muslims.

Got it, the cross is not Christian. Next week: the Bible, not a book.

Watch the entire interview posted online by Cruciefiction.

This is one of eight statements made by Republican colossal jackasses in just the last week alone. Click through for the other seven.

From Bill Moyers: As the tea party celebrates its fifth birthday this month, Ian Haney López, author of Dog Whistle Politics, talks to Bill about how the movement has used strategic racism to get voters to the polls.

 

I have to agree to a great extent, with the caveat that sheeple, who commit TEAbuggery, do so because they are too lazy and/or fearful to do their own thinking.

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He had more to say, but the operator cut in and demanded $2.65 for the next three minutes. ;-)

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