Apr 282016
 

I'm back again.  I have my course in liberal biblical studies tonight which is interesting but somewhat time intensive — 4 hours of homework in addition to 3 hours of class time plus dinner each week.  The course goes for another four weeks after tonight.  Tomorrow is teaching at Lucia's house, and then Sunday is the Alzheimer's Walk for Memories and a visit with my mother.  Once the course is done, I'll have a bit more time.

Short Takes

NY Times — Senator Ted Cruz of Texas often casts himself as the rightful heir to Ronald Reagan’s mantle of conservatism, and on Wednesday he took a page directly out of the former president’s playbook.

By tapping Carly Fiorina to be his running mate, Mr. Cruz becomes the first presidential candidate since Reagan to name a vice-presidential pick without having the nomination locked up. In 1976, Reagan teamed up with Richard S. Schweiker, a Pennsylvania senator, in a desperate attempt to grab the nomination from President Gerald R. Ford as it was slipping away. At that point, Mr. Ford’s delegate lead had become virtually insurmountable.

Rachel had this to say about Cruz's announcement.

Carly Fiorina??  The word 'dafted' comes to mind as a description for Cruz.  He is trying to reignite his campaign but he may just blow it up!  After all, this tactic didn't work so well for the patron saint of Republicans, Saint Ronnie Reagan in 1978.  He lost to Gerald Ford who then lost the general election to Jimmy Carter.

Daily Beast — As the self-proclaimed Islamic State trumpets its global terrorist campaign, U.S. special operations forces have quietly killed more than three dozen key ISIS operatives blamed for plotting deadly attacks in Europe and beyond.

Defense officials tell The Daily Beast that U.S. special operators have killed 40 “external operations leaders, planners, and facilitators” blamed for instigating, plotting, or funding ISIS’s attacks from Brussels and Paris to Egypt and Africa.

That’s less than half the overall number of ISIS targets that special operators have taken off the battlefield, one official explained, including top leaders like purported ISIS second-in-command Haji Imam, killed in March.

The previously unpublished number provides a rare glimpse into the U.S. counterterrorist mission that is woven into overall coalition efforts to defeat ISIS, and which is credited with crippling ISIS efforts to recruit foreign fighters and carry out more plots like the deadly assault on Paris that killed 130 last fall.

As proof of the campaign’s overall success, Pentagon officials this week said the influx of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria had dropped from up to 2,000 a month last year to just 200, and the overall size of ISIS from a high estimate of 33,000 a year ago to between 19,000 to 25,000 fighters.

I spoke with an Iraqi woman yesterday who said that she hoped Trump would become POTUS for only one reason . . . he'd go after ISIS.  Well I don't support her choice of Trump and told her so.  But no worries, she lives in Canada. She is sick of the destruction of her native country by ISIS and is quick to say that ISIS does not believe in Islam. They are about power and greed, nothing more.

Alternet — White, who’d been sickened by the debilitating, irreversible and often fatal disease at work in a foundry, watched in disgust as Republicans attempted to overturn the rule that the Labor Department said could save more than 600 lives and prevent more than 900 new cases of silicosis annually.

Last week, GOP House members conducted a hearing to further their case against saving those lives. They did that just days before Workers Memorial Day, April 28, when organized labor renews its solemn pledge to strive for workplace safety rules and formally commemorates those who have died on the job in the previous year.

The totals aren’t in for 2015 yet, but the year before, 4,679 workers died on the job. That’s nearly 90 a week, 13 a day, seven days a week. Twenty-eight members of my own union, the USW, died on the job since Workers Memorial Day 2015.

But the GOP position is clear. Republicans will do whatever it takes to ensure that corporations can sicken and kill workers with impunity. (emphasis added)  If the argument is that workers’ lives and lungs must be sacrificed to ensure that foundries and fracking operations and construction companies can make bigger profits by releasing silica particles under 40-year-old standards now considered dangerous, then the GOP will take the side of CEOs who value workers as trivial.

This one image from TC says it all:

RepubliCare

My UniverseThere is nothing cuter than baby animals.  Be prepared for the Aww factor!  Here are just a few but click through for the rest of them.

The smiley bunch . . .

baby giraffe

baby sloth

The hungriest . . . 

baby hippo

The cuddliest . . .   ?

baby alligator

The most timid . . . 

baby foxes

Aw shucks . . .

baby duck

Y'all come back now, ya hear!

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Apr 232016
 

As I have said many times, I like to share Bill Maher clips with you almost whenever I can, because he is not only spot on 90% of the time, but also, because he’s funny as hell.  Unfortunately for us, Fecal Dump Trump and TRUSed Uranus Cruz, not to mention other Republicans, provide him an endless stream of material for ridicule.

Maher

Admitting that he has a secret passion for tabloid magazines that dispense tidbits of inside information on celebrities, Real Time host Bill Maher ticked off a selection from his own 25 things you didn’t know about GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Using a recent article in US magazine that disclosed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enjoys hot sauce on her meals, Maher’s writers came up with a similar fun fact list for the Texas senator.

“We have something called ‘equal time’ in America so now the other candidates are getting their 25 things you don’t know about me,” Maher explained before sharing a few…

Inserted from <Raw Story>

 

FOMCPIMPROTFLMAO!!

And from about a month ago…

Now we know Bill’s cocktail of choice, when he sees that he needed a Barf Bag Alert!!

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Apr 232016
 

Yesterday I posted two articles, after saying I would not, because Earth Day was too important to pass by.  I had a hard workout at PT, even though I missed 1/3 of my time, because the TriMet Lift Bus was way late.  Mostly, they’re pretty good, but when they blow it, they really screw the pooch.  Julie is coming to preen my kitty feathers this morning.  I need it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:23 (average 5:50).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Recent diaries and comments have ridiculed discussion of the lawsuit filed in New York on Tuesday regarding voter purges, claiming that it’s just a bunch of whiny Independents who couldn’t be bothered to re-register as Democrats in time.  Although that is an issue — if you decided in December you wanted to vote for Clinton or Sanders, it was too late for Independents to make the change in order to be eligible — and one of the remedies requested by the lawsuit was an open primary, that was not the main cause.

Thousands of properly registered voters were purged from the voter roles, or had their registration changed from Democrat to unaffiliated, or were new voters and their registrations weren’t processed in time or again they showed up as unaffiliated instead of DEMOCRAT, and thus were unable to vote through no fault of their own.

And now Diane Haslett-Rudiano, the Board of Elections Chief Clerk in Brooklyn has been suspended and will likely be forced out because she made an error that caused more than 100,000 people to be improperly purged from the voter roles in Brooklyn.

She was trying to clean up the books — which must be periodically purged to eliminate people who die, move or are ineligible for other reasons — and skipped one of the steps that was built in to stop the system from purging eligible voters, the sources said.

Brooklyn lost 102,717 — or 8% — of its active voters from Nov. 1 2015 through April 1, 2016, according to state stats.

It’s the only county in the state that lost voters in that time period.

The high number of dropped voters — combined with other issues like long lines, late starts and inadequate equipment — prompted both the City Controller and the state Attorney General to launch investigations into the widespread irregularities.

There is no reason to believe that the Brooklyn voter purge was done intentionally to target Bernie supporters, as some have claimed. And I still consider open primaries contrary to the purpose of primaries: to allow the members of a political party to chose which candidates will represent that party in the general election. However, every state needs to have means to allow people to register as a member of their party of choice within a reasonable amount of time (hours or days, not weeks or months) and correct an accidental purge instantly. Contrarily, New York’s laws are the most archaic in the nation and need a complete overhaul.

From The New Yorker: After rattling many of his supporters by expressing tolerance toward transgender people, the Republican front-runner Donald J. Trump clarified on Friday that he still opposes women who were born women.

“The media has, per usual, tried to blow my words out of proportion,” Trump said on the Fox News Channel. “Just because I happen to think transgender people deserve our understanding in no way means that I feel that way about women who were born women.”

Trump said that any attempt to twist his words to apply to “women in general” was deeply offensive to him. “I have made my views about women very clear and to suggest that I have somehow changed those views is really, really hurtful,” he said.

Across the nation, Trump supporters who had been alarmed that the candidate had seemingly strayed into something resembling empathy were greatly relieved by his clarification.

Dang Andy!! I was starting to worry that Fecal Dump Trump might actually come out in support of allowing women pee in the women’s room!!

From The Boston Globe: Republican Maine Gov. Paul LePage is vetoing a bill that would allow people to buy a lifesaving drug overdose antidote without a prescription.

Rachel Maddow covers this travesty in detail.

LePage made it clear that he wants people who overdose to die. Since he associates, Black people and heroin use, it doesn’t take rocket science to recognize the Republican Racism in his decision. As a former volunteer firefighter, I have administered Narcan and seen it take someone from delirious and seizing to stable in seconds. As for LePage, only one word us vile enough to describe him. Paul LePage is a Republican.

Cartoon:

0423Cartoon

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Apr 202016
 

Julie just left. and I am a pleased and pristine puddy tat.  She also gets a lot more done than  Lu used to, so I’m thrilled with her.  I have a grocery delivery coping this afternoon, so I’ll get to put everything away.  It’s another hot muggy day, not at all normal for April in Oregon, where April showers bring May rain.

Cartoon:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 4:58),  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Real Clear Politics:

State

Date

Delegates

Clinton

Sanders

Delegate

Allocation

Open/

Closed

(2,382 Needed to Win)

4763

1930

1189

Delegates Won

4051

1428

1151

 

 

Superdelegates

(712)

502

38

 

 

District of Columbia

June 14

20 (25)

 

 

Primary

Closed

California

June 7

475 (71)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Montana

June 7

21 (6)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Jersey

June 7

126 (16)

 

 

Primary

Closed

North Dakota

June 7

18 (5)

 

 

Primary

Open

New Mexico

June 7

34 (9)

 

 

Primary

Closed

South Dakota

June 7

20 (5)

 

 

Primary

Semi-open

Puerto Rico

June 5

60 (7)

 

 

Primary

Open

Virgin Islands

June 4

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Oregon

May 17

61 (13)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Kentucky

May 17

55 (5)

 

 

Primary

Closed

West Virginia

May 10

29 (8)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Guam

May 7

7 (5)

 

 

Caucus

Closed

Indiana

May 3

83 (9)

 

 

Primary

Open

Rhode Island

April 26

24 (9)

 

 

Primary

Semi-closed

Pennsylvania

April 26

189 (21)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Delaware

April 26

21 (10)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Connecticut

April 26

55 (15)

 

 

Primary

Closed

Maryland

April 26

95 (23)

 

 

Primary

Closed

New York

April 19

247 (44)

139

106

Primary

Closed

Wyoming

April 9

14 (4)

7

7

Caucus

Closed

Wisconsin

April 5

86 (10)

38

48

Primary

Open

Washington

March 26

101 (17)

9

25

Caucus

Open

Hawaii

March 26

25 (9)

8

17

Caucus

Semi-closed

Alaska

March 26

16 (4)

3

13

Caucus

Closed

Utah

March 22

33 (4)

6

27

Caucus

Semi-open

Idaho

March 22

23 (4)

5

18

Caucus

Open

Arizona

March 22

75 (10)

42

33

Primary

Closed

Ohio

March 15

143 (16)

81

62

Primary

Semi-open

North Carolina

March 15

107 (14)

59

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Missouri

March 15

71 (13)

36

35

Primary

Open

Illinois

March 15

156 (26)

79

77

Primary

Open

Florida

March 15

214 (32)

141

73

Primary

Closed

Northern Marianas

March 12

6 (5)

4

2

N/A

N/A

Michigan

March 8

130 (17)

63

67

Primary

Open

Mississippi

March 8

36 (5)

32

4

Primary

Open

Maine

March 6

25 (5)

9

16

Caucus

Closed

Kansas

March 5

33 (4)

10

23

Caucus

Closed

Nebraska

March 5

25 (5)

10

15

Caucus

Closed

Louisiana

March 5

51 (8)

37

14

Primary

Closed

Virginia

March 1

95 (15)

62

33

Primary

Open

Vermont

March 1

16 (10)

0

16

Primary

Open

Texas

March 1

222 (30)

147

75

Primary

Open

Tennessee

March 1

67 (9)

44

23

Primary

Open

Oklahoma

March 1

38 (4)

17

21

Primary

Semi-closed

Minnesota

March 1

77 (16)

31

46

Caucus

Open

Massachusetts

March 1

91 (25)

46

45

Primary

Semi-closed

Georgia

March 1

102 (14)

73

29

Primary

Open

Democrats Abroad

March 1-8

13 (4)

4

9

Primary

Closed

Colorado

March 1

66 (13)

25

41

Caucus

Closed

Arkansas

March 1

32 (5)

22

10

Primary

Open

American Samoa

March 1

6 (4)

4

2

Caucus

Closed

Alabama

March 1

53 (7)

44

9

Primary

Open

South Carolina

February 27

53 (6)

39

14

Primary

Open

Nevada

February 20

35 (8)

20

15

Caucus

Closed

New Hampshire

February 9

24 (8)

9

15

Primary

Semi-closed

Iowa

February 1

44 (8)

23

21

Caucus

Semi-open

In New York, Hollary posted an impressive 15 point spread. To win, Bernie needs 1193 more delegates. Hillary needs 452. To have the majority of pledged delegates, Bernie needs 875 more. Hillary needs 598 more.

From Daily Kos: Fox and other right-wing outlets have always used certain “go-to" logical fallacies in their ideological arguments: ad hominem, straw man, and non sequitur. (Actually, if you listen to any one of Trump’s speeches, you can usually hear examples of all three in the same speech.) Although the right wing still uses these the most, lately I have noticed the increased use of several uncommon fallacies that are becoming more and more common in conservative circles. Although there are literally hundreds of logical fallacies, I’m just going to focus on these few. Let’s begin …

1. ONUS IMPROBATIONIS (“Burden of disproof”)

This is a type of Ad ignorantiam, which is to claim something is true because it cannot be proven false. What this subcategory refers to is putting the burden on you to disprove their belief. The problem is that this is impossible. Decades ago, my statistics teacher gave me an example that I still remember: the Loch Ness Monster. Even if you somehow managed to drain the entire loch, and had teams of people scouring the ground, would that satisfy the believers? Of course not. They’d argue that the mythical beast just went into hiding, or was transported, or some other such nonsense.

I always think about this fallacy when I hear the Birthers. They are a PERFECT example. No amount of evidence will ever satisfy them: experts, analysis of the document, records, birth announcements in newspapers—nothing. I recalled seeing the segment below years ago and specifically searched for this because I really want you to hear what birther Alan Keyes says immediately after  the host read through ALL of the evidence of Obama’s birth in Hawaii. It starts at the 1:10 mark. He says two words that blew my mind—and prove my point.

I promise it’s worth it:

 

TEAbuggery most foul!! This is the first of several logical fallacies (also called criminal thinking errors in my volunteer work in prison, or InsaniTEA in politics). Click through for the rest.

From The New Yorker: America’s racists, who have long viewed New York with a mixture of hostility, contempt, and fear, are suddenly feeling much more positive about the Empire State a cross-section of racists confirmed on Tuesday night.

In interviews conducted shortly after 9 P.M., racists from coast to coast echoed the opinion of Fresno, California, bigot Harland Dorrinson, who remarked, “You know, maybe New York isn’t such a bad place after all.”

“I always thought that New York seemed like a hellhole to be avoided at all costs,” Dorrinson said. “Now I’m thinking I might want to take the family there on vacation. Maybe even take in a few Broadway shows.”

Andy, most folks don’t realize that less then 10% of New York State residents are registered Republicans. This racist idiot fringe has been getting extra attention, because of the primary,

Cartoon:

0420Cartoon

The birthday of the first modern Republican.

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Apr 152016
 

Color me rushing to get this up, before I have to leave,

Jog Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:42 (average 4:32).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Getting attention today: The court case in which Republican now-presidential candidate Ted Cruz, then the Texas solicitor general, ferociously defended the state’s law barring the sale of dildos.

The brief insisted that Texas in order to protect "public morals" had  "police-power interests" in "discouraging prurient interests in sexual gratification, combating the commercial sale of sex, and protecting minors." There was a  "government" interest, it maintained, in "discouraging…autonomous sex." The brief compared the use of sex toys with "hiring a willing prostitute or engaging in consensual bigamy," and it equated advertising these products with the commercial promotion of prostitution. In perhaps the most noticeable line of the brief, Cruz’s office declared, "There is no substantive-due-process right to stimulate one’s genitals for non-medical purposes unrelated to procreation or outside of an interpersonal relationship."

Cruz lost, with a federal appeals court opining that the state had no legal business telling people what they could and couldn’t do in their own bedrooms.

I wonder if Cruz had his dildo, his TRUS, up his butt when he wrote that brief,

From The New Yorker: Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon, stirred controversy on Thursday by saying in a televised interview that he had no recollection of running for President of the United States.

Appearing on the Fox News Channel, Dr. Carson responded to host Sean Hannity’s question about his ten-month-long candidacy by saying, “I do not recall any of that occurring.”

“I’ve been told that I did it, but I find it impossible to believe,” he said. “I don’t think I’d forget a thing like that.”

Dr. Carson said he had seen photographs and videos of him campaigning for the Republican nomination but called them “the work of an evil person who is really good at PhotoShop and whatnot.”

Here’s why, Andy!! Uncle Token has been brain dead, ever since he operated on himself.

From Crooks and Liars: Bernie Sanders gave a spirited closing argument for why he believes he’s the best candidate for the Democratic nomination.

 

I agree with him.  Go Bernie!!

Cartoon:

0415Cartoon

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Apr 082016
 

My new A/C is certainly powerful enough to cool my tiny place.  It’s also very loud, and the noise bothered me last night.  I’m sure I’ll get use to it, and after a night of three, I won’t even hear it.  I’m about to leave to go to PT with Courtney.  Later.  Back and pooped.  George needs an ankle adjustment.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:48 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Guardian (H/T Daily Kos):A group of Polish women walk out of a church service to protest against a proposed tightening of the country’s abortion laws. The video, posted on Facebook, shows the women leaving as a priest reads out a letter in favour of the ban. In Warsaw, thousands of people have attended a pro-choice rally outside parliament, after the leader of the ruling party backed a call from Catholic bishops for a full ban on pregnancy terminations.

 

It looks like Poland has Republicans that hate women too!

From Daily Kos: In disappointing Tuesday news, the Wisconsin Supreme Court race went to Rebecca Bradley, a conservative. Bradley beat progressive candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg in the non-partisan election. Wisconsin residents are now stuck with Bradley for the next ten years.

It’s a sad end to an ugly race, and an ugly type of race at that. Judicial elections are rife with problems as a general matter—politics, bias, secret money, and low voter engagement, to name a few. But in Wisconsin the elections have been particularly grimy.

Bradley is so Republican, she makes Nancy Grace seem like a progressive. This is how she won.

From Media Matters: A Media Matters investigation of the discredited right-wing group Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), the main source of baseless smears against, and false characterizations of, Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, reveals a familial web of self-dealing between the organization, a major dark money funder of JCN called the Wellspring Committee, and a third nonprofit that also receives funding from Wellspring.

 

0408JCN_Graphic

Nepotism’R’Us, Nepotism (R-US), or just plain Koch sucking?

Cartoon:

0408Cartoon

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Apr 052016
 

Yesterday my CAT-Scan was uneventful.  I’m confident that it will show that my COPD is no worse, since I quit smoking last year.,  After all these month’s, however, I still get cravings that are both frequent and intense.  Then Lu came to use my phone and computer to deal with some of her issues.  I’m expecting her and her daughter today at Noon, both for my shower and to take my window A/C away.  I gave it to Lu, and she’s giving it to her daughter.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:15 (average 6:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Attempting to repair some of the fallout from his recent remarks about women, Donald Trump said on Sunday that the decision of whether women should be considered humans should be left to the states.

“I wouldn’t want to tell Texas whether women are humans, for example,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “They obviously have some very strong opinions about that.”

When asked point-blank whether he considered women humans, the billionaire responded, “It should be a case-by-case thing.”

Andy is doing news again. What Fecal Dump Trump does is express the thoughts that drive the policy of other Republican politicians and pundits.

From Daily Kos: If there’s anyone left in America that thinks Maine Governor Paul LePage is still fit to hold elected office, maintaining that position on a day-to-day basis must be quite the slog. Having won a special election on Tuesday, Susan Deschambault is the newest elected Democratic state senator in his state—or she would be, but Gov. Paul LePage has apparently locked himself in a closet and refuses to come out.

Deschambault was scheduled to be sworn in this morning before 9am, and has her family with her at the State House to witness the ceremony, but LePage’s spokesperson now says that won’t be happening because he’s mad about an unrelated vote in the Labor Committee against his nominee for labor representative to the Unemployment Insurance Commission.

Only one word is sufficiently vile to describe a person that governs in such a manner. LePage is a… Republican.

From Upworthy: Remember how companies used to market board games in the ’90s?

They were commercials filled with cheesy music, bad acting, and unrealistic expectations of how much fun you’d actually have playing the game. Last week, Comedy Central released its own board game commercial, promoting The Glass Ceiling game for girls. The hilarious parody video tackles those commercial hallmarks while hitting the girls in it with a harsh dose of grown-up reality about wage gaps and women in the workplace.

 

Sadly, it’s so accurate that disgust overwhelms the humor.

Cartoon:

0405Cartoon

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Mar 182016
 

The end of another week and it is time to cast the nets for "unhinged right wing moments" from the past week.  Of course there are more than 6, but there is only so much room.

2. Insane Trump apologist #2 speaks out on violent protests.

Jeffrey Lord, a member of Trump's insane clown posse who has been hired by CNN as an “analyst” but whose actual title should be insane Trump apologist, was at it again this week, bizarrely blaming liberals for the problem du jour, which is, of course, violence at Trump rallies. You’ll remember that last week Lord attempted to whitesplain to Van Jones that the KKK was and continues to be the armed wing of the Democratic Party, a leftist organization and therefore not something Trump needs to disavow.

So that should give you some idea of the level of reality we’re operating on.

This week Lord continued his peculiar brand of insanity when he blamed liberals for the new curse that is spreading through the land, the fact that Trump’s thugs and acolytes are getting violent with protesters who attend the Republican frontrunner’s rallies.

Specifically, Lord was referring to the videotaped incident in which a 78-year-old white man suckerpunched a black protester in the head at a rally, an assault for which the white man was charged.

When asked if he thought it might be important for Trump to denounce this sort of violence, Lord expressed the view that the incident was the black protester’s fault as well as the left’s.

“The American left has a long and detailed history of doing exactly this,” Lord said. “What do you think the 1968 Democratic Convention was all about? It’s history!”

He continued to unfurl his wild illogic. Trump did not have a responsibility to denounce the violence because liberals had been using the same tactics for “decades.”

Scratching your head for examples? Yeah, us too.

Instead, Lord denounced the protesters for showing up, not being down with the Trump worship program, and not raising their hands to salute the great and powerful leader.

From Alternet

Click through for the other 5 moments.  Clearly, Lord has been over indulging in the Republican insaniTEA!  Will he ever get his facts straight?

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Mar 182016
 

Well I have been absent from posting for much of this week.  It has been busy.  I have started teaching English to another student which has gone very well.  She is at a grade 11 level, so our session was much different than the one I have with Lucia.  Her daughter is in French immersion so I am also spending some time with her, reading both French and English.  Good review of French for me too as I don't use it often enough.  My right foot is coming along but I still need some physio.  Fortunately it rarely hurts when I walk.  And my big news this week, I bought a laptop computer so that I can still work when I am forced to keep my legs up.  Also, I am almost finished a programme in pastoral care which really is much like the hospice training I took 17 years ago.

Short Takes

Robert Reich — The Constitution of the United States is clear: Article II Section 2 says the President “shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint … judges to the Supreme Court.”  …

In refusing to vote or even hold a hearing on the President’s nominee to the Supreme Court, the GOP is abdicating its constitutional responsibility. It’s not doing its job.

Alternet — If you were to ask Donald Trump’s supporters what they most admire about the GOP front-runner, chances are they would cite his so-called authenticity, his willingness to “tell it like it is” and, perhaps more than anything else, his rejection of that great bugaboo of the Obama Age: political correctness.

Such qualities ought to mean that whatever else Trump may be—a blowhard, a demagogue, a bigot, a reality TV huckster, a malignant narcissist, an unparalleled deal maker—he’s an ardent believer in press protections, free speech and the First Amendment. Indeed, in a Feb. 27 appearance on the Fox News channel, Trump seemed—at first—to be saying so, declaring, “I love free press. I think it’s great.”

But like much of what is taken as a given in the crazy-town vortex that is the Trump presidential campaign, the image of the candidate as a champion of free speech is a mirage. The bullying billionaire can sling mud and demean his real and imagined enemies with the best of them. The problem, however, is that he can’t take it when others fire back.

And who or what is to protect "We the people" from the fallacious statements of Drumpf, his lies, deceptions, and misleading statements, numerous as they all are?  And of course there are still the incitements to violence.

Raw Story — Republican elected officials admitted they promised to help a convicted felon run for elected office if he agreed to stop paying his mandated grazing fees.

A newly released recording reveals how GOP lawmakers and local officials were deeply involved with the occupation of an Oregon federal wildlife reserve earlier this year by armed militants, according to an in-depth report by Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Many of the officials are members of the Coalition of Western States, which shares the militants’ stated goal of rolling back federal ownership of public lands for private use.

Is there any doubt that the Republican Party is the party of right wing extremism?

Daily Beast — For seven hours on Thursday, a few dozen conservative leaders gathered in an upstairs room of the Army Navy Club off K Street in downtown Washington, D.C. to rack their collective brains—but reached no conclusion on how to thwart the billionaire’s rise.

Quin Hillyer, a National Review contributing editor, fielded questions afterwards from print reporters and a Chinese camera crew, explaining that the group hoped all the 2016 presidential candidates who haven’t endorsed Trump will coalesce behind a unity ticket. He added that there wasn’t a consensus that conservatives should unite behind Cruz.

“That was not the consensus,” he said, when asked about support for a Cruz-helmed unity ticket. “The consensus was that we need a unity ticket of some sort and we’ll let the candidates work out who the unity ticket is.”

Republicans, like a lot of people, thought that the Drumpf campaign would crater early on.  When it was apparent that it would not, Republicans did nothing to curtail his candidacy.  Now, as Drumpf's campaign has gained and sustained speed and delegates, the chickens are coming home to roost.  IMO, Drumpf is dividing the Republican party and the people.  There may be hell to pay come July.

My Universeh/t Carol B and Ted W

baby gorilla

 

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Mar 142016
 

I’m preparing to leave for a follow-up appointment with Megan, my Primary Care Physician.  We’ll be going over some test results, and I want to discuss pain management.  My hands are way overworked, because they have to bear most of my weight every time I transfer to the toilet, haul myself to a sitting position in bed, use the walker, etc.  It really plays hell with my arthritis.  This is today’s only article.  Have an R2 day!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:24 (average 6:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Notes:

The Denver Broncos have signed two QBs to fill the vacancies left by the Great Peyton and Brock Osweiller: Uncle Rico and Mark Sanchez.  Neither can replace Peyton, but both are an improvement over Osweiller.  Rico could actually start, because he has an arm like a cannon, but I don’t know if he can manage a complex pro offense.  When the holy light from the Ellipsoid Orb returns, may it shine upon my Broncos!

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: The news media coverage of Donald Trump has been abominable. Media outlets have treated him with kid gloves, obsessed over him, and given him free run of the airwaves for the entire news cycle.

It’s even worse than that: The news media has given Donald Trump a special phone privilege, allowing him to call in to shows instead of forcing him to appear via satellite or in studio. As a result of this privilege, Trump can appear on more shows, and he can avoid being confronted by images and demonstrations showing his lies for what they are.

It’s time for it to stop. CBS refused to let Donald Trump call into its morning show. This is a start, but other networks and other shows are still letting Trump call in. Sign our petition, and tell news networks that it’s time to take away Trump’s special privilege.

 

Please click through and sign the petition. I did.

From NY Times: Establishment Republicans who are horrified by the rise of Donald Trump might want to take a minute to remember the glitch heard round the world — the talking point Marco Rubio couldn’t stop repeating in a crucial debate, exposing him to devastating ridicule and sending his campaign into a death spiral.

It went like this: “Let’s dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing.” The clear, if ungrammatical, implication was that all the bad things Republicans claim have happened under President Obama — in particular, America’s allegedly reduced stature in the world — are the result of a deliberate effort to weaken the nation.

In other words, the establishment favorite for the G.O.P. nomination, the man Time magazine once put on its cover with the headline “The Republican Savior,” was deliberately channeling the paranoid style in American politics. He was suggesting, albeit coyly, that a sitting president is a traitor.

And now the establishment is shocked to see a candidate who basically plays the same game, but without the coyness, the overwhelming front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. Why?

The truth is that the road to Trumpism began long ago, when movement conservatives — ideological warriors of the right — took over the G.O.P. And it really was a complete takeover. Nobody seeking a career within the party dares to question any aspect of the dominating ideology, for fear of facing not just primary challenges but excommunication.

Click through for the rest of this excellent Paul Krugman editorial, I can summarize my response in one word: BINGO!!

From Alternet: SNL’s resident Hillary Clinton impersonator, Kate McKinnon, was in the house on Saturday night. The comic genius nailed Hillary Clinton in a spoof campaign ad for the ages.

 

FOMCPIMPROTFLMAO!!

Cartoon:

0314Cartoon

πR round!

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