Jul 162017
 

Before I get very far with this, Wendy will be here to help with assorted tasks and fumigate the TomCat.  It’s just in time too, because the authorities were about to evacuate the Squatch north of the Arctic Circle for her own defense, if the wind had shifted.  Tomorrow will be my last day in the saddle, before my cataract surgery.  I hope to be back in the saddle on Thursday, but we’ll see how I see.  Later: Wendy has left and we have everything ready for Tuesday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:41 (average 4:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The former chief G W Bush speechwriter has a column in today’s Washington Post that shows the spreading impact of people processing the events since Saturday when the story of Trump Jr. , Kushner, and Manafort met with the Russian lawyer broke into the public consciousness.  Titled In Trump’s world, innocence is proved by guilt, it is very much shaped by the release of the email chain earlier this week.

Yes, it is true the Gerson was never a fan or supporter of Donald J. Trump, but this piece is very pointed, and given who reads Gerson likely to have an impact on a some of the “more reasonable” Republican officers.

Click through to read his take down. I’m sure I disagree with him on many other issues, but seeing a Republican express an ethical position is so rare, I have to applaud it, when I do. As for the rest of the Republican Reich… RESIST!!

From NY Times: A powerful rule finalized last week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will allow consumers to join together in class-action lawsuits against banks, credit card companies and other lenders over price gouging, predatory lending, abusive loan terms and other mistreatment.

Some congressional Republicans have vowed to use special legislative procedures to repeal the rule, which could take effect next year. A quick kill would be of a piece with other efforts to weaken financial regulation and allow firms to operate without accountability to customers or judges.

It’s unclear whether a congressional majority will vote to overturn a rule of such obvious benefit to consumers. What is certain is that killing the rule would be an injustice.

Liz Warren’s CFPB may be the only thing Republicans hate as much as ObamaCare and voting rights. I suspect they will overturn the rules in short order. RESIST!!

From Commonwealth Fund:

 

AUS

CAN

FRA

GER

NETH

NZ

NOR

SWE

SWIZ

UK

US

OVERALL RANKING

2

9

10

8

3

4

4

6

6

1

11

Care Process+

2

6

9

8

4

3

10

11

7

1

5

Access+

4

10

9

2

1

7

5

6

8

3

11

Administrative Efficiency+

1

6

11

6

9

2

4

5

8

3

10

Equity+

7

9

10

6

2

8

5

3

4

1

11

Health Care Outcomes+

1

9

5

8

6

7

3

2

4

10

11

Click through to read the entire report. What better case could there be for Medicare for all? RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0716Cartoon

Republicans in Congress refuse to allow the residents any power to govern themselves.

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Nov 092015
 

There is no shortage of interest in the outcome of the 2015 Canadian federal election.  The election saw the defeat of the Conservative government of Stephen Harper, long touted as not representing Canadians adequately and Harper himself being controlling and secretive, by the Liberals led by Justin Trudeau.

Percentage of the Vote  courtesy of Wikipedia

Overall voter turnout was 69.1%

Justin Trudeau 2014 (cropped).jpg                                         Stephen Harper 2014 (cropped).jpg                                 Thomas Mulcair 2015 (cropped).jpg

Justin Trudeau Stephen Harper Tom Mulcair
     Liberal Conservative New Democratic  

 

          36                                  159                          95
        184                                    99                          44
     Increase148                                 Decrease60                       Decrease51
  6,930,136                            5,600,496                  3,461,262
  39.47%                            31.89%                  19.71%

Gilles Duceppe 2011 (cropped).jpg                                                      Elizabeth May 2014 (cropped).jpg

Gilles Duceppe Elizabeth May
Bloc Québécois Green  

 

  2                  2
  10                  1
  Increase8               Decrease1
  818,652       605,864
  4.66%          3.45%

The individual lines represent blue – seats before the election, green – seats after the election, pink – number of seats increase/decrease, gray – number of votes, orange – popular vote.

This is what the national map looks like.  Interesting to note is that in the Alberta provincial election earlier this year,  the conservatives were soundly defeated by the NDP.  But in the federal election, it went almost exclusively Tory.  And Saskatchewan, home to Tommy Douglas' CCF, the forerunner of the NDP, went predominently Tory.  These are farm and energy centres.  — courtesy of Wikipedia

Canada 2015 Federal Election.svg

But what accounts for such a big change?

  • electors fed up with Harper's watch which I heard one person refer to as "a reign of terror" — controlling, secretive, acrimonious relations with the civil service, lack of respect for First Nations (think Attawapiskat, Idle No More, Murdered and Missing Aboriginal Women);
  • the Senate scandal;
  • Bill C – 51 which broadened the authority of Canadian government agencies to share information about individuals and expanded the mandate of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS);
  • Bill C – 24 Strengthening Canadian Citizenship Act which created a two tier citizenship system (this the one that the Coultergeist references below) which the Liberals plan to scrap because it does not add to the safety of Canada;
  • Harper's dictatorial approach to oil pipelines etc (he didn't care who he stepped on to get his way);
  • Harper's lack of participation in election debates and less than satisfactory interface with the media;
  • Harper's snubbing of the United Nations;
  • Harper's very hawkish approach in joining in the bombing in Syria;
  • Harper's perceived anti-Muslim pro-Israel stance.

​This certainly is not a complete list, but it is more than enough to send Harper and his harlots packing!.

So where is Canada going from here?

I had to laugh at the inanity of US Republican Ann Coulter.  This from the Huffington Post

"It could never have happened without immigration," Coulter said matter-of-factly. She admitted she thought for years she'd have to move north of the border, but has since discovered Canada has been "wrecking" its country with immigration, as well.

Please USA, you keep the Coultergeist!  Canada does NOT want her!  Although the Coultergeist seems to attribute the Conservative defeat to "rampant immigration", she couldn't be further from the truth . . . a position she knows too well.  In this election,

  • Indigenous peoples were mobilised more than ever before. This resulted in the election of 10 (8 Liberals, 2 NDP) with 2 indigenous persons named to the Cabinet . . . the Minister of Justice and Attorney General and Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard;  
  • There were a lot of first time voters, some of which would be immigrants, but most, as I understand, were young people. In my polling station, when a first time voter cast their ballot, it was announced and everybody applauded.  That did not happen everywhere, but it is a sign that every ballot counts.

The swearing in ceremony (one of several videos here) was long as the Prime Minister and each Cabinet Minister is sworn in individually.  You might notice that as each Minister approaches, they bow.  This is in deference to HRM Queen Elizabeth II in the person of the Governor General, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston. However, there are some notable accomplishments in the formation of the new Cabinet:

  • gender equality with 15 women and 15 men in Cabinet "because it is 2015";
  • 21 new comers and 10 experienced political veterans;
  • a wide scope of ages;
  • diversity with 2 indigenous persons, a refugee, 2 Sikhs, disabled minister, and more;
  • many fluent in both French and English, with additional languages spoken;
  • many very educated persons with PhDs and a lot of involvement in communities and the world.

​What is very noticable in the swearing in ceremony is the participation of First Nations.  A young drummer lead the procession into Rideau Hall, two Inuit throat singers demonstrated their skills, and Métis jiggers lead everybody from Rideau Hall.   

In a change, there is no one designated Deputy Prime Minister but rather a group of the Cabinet Ministers who will make decisions if Trudeau is unable to for some reason.  Likewise, Trudeau has stated that running the country is a team effort which is a complete dichotomy to Harper's rule.

The Cabinet will get down to work right away as Parliament reconvenes on 03/12/15.

As Trudeau remarked, he thinks of his father, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the 15th Prime Minister, but his focus is in looking forward for his children and all children.

I hope I have been able to give you a sense of the changes afoot here in Canada.  I am very excited and watching these videos again brings tears to my eyes.

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Oct 292015
 

This will be an easy-peasy – and very SHORT – post.  (So if one of you other guys did an in-depth one, my apologies.)

Borrowing from the bigger story going on of World Series baseball, with my Kansas City Royals being in the processing of winning the World Series, let’s start with “You can’t know the players without a scorecard …”

Debate_GOP_Lineup

So, Who WERE the Winners and Losers?

WINNERS

You … if you missed watching the thing and tuned into the World Series game instead!

LOSERS

America – if this is the best the GOP can muster

One of the few important things coming out of the debate is the fact that Donald Trump has decided to get even edgier than he has been, and changed his logo …

Donald-Trump_Hair_Logo_Toupee

As for me?  I was a WINNER!  I spent my time watching the KC Royals notch another win!

KC-Royals_02_Banner

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Oct 012015
 

Rep. Jud McMillin, a rising star in the Indiana Repubican Party, abruptly resigned on Tuesday because of a sex video “starring” him was sent from his cellphone, which he says was stolen in Canada.

The Indianapolis Star has learned that the surprise resignation came after a sexually explicit video was sent via text message from McMillin's cellphone.

McMillin said in a text message last week, “My phone was stolen in Canada and out of my control for about 24 hours.  I have just been able to reactivate it under my control. Please disregard any messages you received recently. I am truly sorry for anything offensive you may have received.

And the schaden doesn’t get much more freude than with this bit of irony:

Unfortunately for McMillin, it’s perfectly legal for someone to distribute a pornographic video of him without his consent. That’s because, as a member of the House Committee on Courts and Criminal Code, McMillin helped block a bill that would criminalize revenge porn in Indiana.

The exact acts depicted in the video remain unclear, although the Indianapolis Business Journal reports that McMillin is definitely the tape’s feature player. But according to McMillin’s apologetic mass-text to his phone contacts, he didn’t hit the send button.

And it’s not the first time his sexual proclivity has led to his resignation:

In 2005, his career as an assistant county prosecutor in Ohio came to an end amid questions about his sexual conduct. He admitted to a relationship with the complainant in a domestic violence case he was prosecuting, but he insisted the relationship began after he stepped off the case, according to the Dayton Daily News. He resigned a week after he stopped working on the case.

So as a Rethuglican, who do you blame if you have an affair?  Blame Canada!

So as a Rethuglican, who do you blame if you decide to videotape having sex with her on your cellphone?  Blame Canada!

So as a Rethuglican, who do you blame if that sex tape is sent out en masse from your own cellphone?  Blame Canada!

Oh, and you may need a bit of help translating his “resignation apology”.

"I have decided the time is right for me to pass the torch," said McMillin, a married father of four. "Now I want to focus all of my attention on making my family's world a better place."

Forget his wanting to spend more time with his family.  He really wants to spend more time with his cellphone!

 

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Sep 302015
 

It is hard to believe that Ben Carson is a serious contender for the Republican nomination for POTUS.  To have a Republican candidate for president "guilty of being president while being black" is truly mind boggling since that has been the Republican attitude towards Mr Obama.  Perhaps there is some nefarious purpose that even Carson does not know about.

From Alternet

Now we know for sure that education is no hedge against mindblowing irrational thinking. Our proof? None other than Dr. Ben Carson, highly trained pediatric neurosurgeon, man of science, leading GOP presidential contender and batsh*t crazy Bible-thumper in the first degree.

Last week, the soft-spoken former doctor, continuing a surge begun in late summer, closed the gap with longstanding frontrunner Donald Trump. Carson accomplished this feat after weeks (nay, months, years!) of spewing what can only be regarded as stupefying nonsense, including last week’s argument at the Values Voter Summit that a blatantly unconstitutional religious test be administered to Muslims seeking office in order to protect the Constitution.

1. Gayness must be a choice, because prisoners who are raped come out gay.

Like any generic homophobe, Carson has no problem repeating tired falsehoods about how legalized gay marriage will lead to bestiality and pedophila. But he got some points for originality when he told Chris Cuomo in an interview that homosexuality was absolutely a choice "[b]ecause a lot of people who go into prison go into prison straight— and when they come out, they're gay."

Cuomo’s jaw dropped long enough for Carson to add: "So, did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question."

This could absolutely take the cake for comedic idiocy, if only homophobic violence and prison rape were not horrific real-life problems.

What it proves is that Carson will say anything. And that, even when it comes to medical science—the preponderance of which indicates that homosexuality is not a choice—the doctor is out.

Read the other six follies brought to you by Ben Carson, Republican presidential candidate.  OMG!!!  The thoughts of Carson as POTUS is absolutely sickening.  Please someone, tell me I'm having a nightmare!

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