Dec 172014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 42.    I’m still mostly down and feeling pretty lethargic, so this my only article.  Tomorrow was supposed to be a prison volunteer day, but because it’s social meeting rather than work, and since I need my groceries delivered tomorrow, I had to opt out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:28 (average 5:10).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the playoff picture from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

15Playoffs

It’s not at all unusual for leading teams to lose in the first round, but for those nwho did, there are still consolation games to play.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: 32 members of the Democratic caucus and 24 Republicans supported it. 22 members of the Democratic caucus and 18 Republicans opposed it.

So who were the naughty 32?

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Tom Carper (D-DE)
Bob Casey (D-PA)
Chris Coons (D-DE)
Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
Dick Durbin (D-IL)
Kay Hagan (D-NC)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
Tim Johnson (D-SD)
Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Angus King (I-ME)
Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Bill Nelson (D-FL)
Mark Pryor (D-AR)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
Mark Udall (D-CO)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
John Walsh (D-MT)
Mark Warner (D-VA)

he rationale of some was, once it passed the House with Obama’s support, Senate Democrats would take the blame for a subsequent shutdown. That is true.  You asked for the list.

From NY Times: The Senate on Monday confirmed President Obama’s nominee for surgeon general, ending a long fight over gun control and politics that had left the country without a permanent top doctor for a year and a half.

In an early-evening vote, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, an internal medicine physician, was approved, 51- to 43.

The confirmation was one of the last acts of business for the Democratic-controlled Senate. Had it not moved, the nomination would have died, making it unlikely the president would have been able to get anyone approved to the post for the remainder of his time in the White House.

We Actually have Ted "Go Back Home" Cruz to thank for this. His idiotic move to hold up the horrible budget deal, while he preened for the cameras, is what kept the Senate open over the weekend, providing time for this and other confirmations.

From Common Dreams: Promising to put forth and lobby on behalf of two bold progressive policy ideas in the months ahead, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has announced his intention to push for new pieces of legislation in the next session, one of which would break up the nation’s largest Wall Street banks and another that would expand the Social Security program for all Americans.

I fully support both of Bernie’s ideas, but the chances of it passing the Senate, let alone even getting a vote in the House, bring snowballs and perdition to mind.

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Dec 152014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 40.  I’m still down.  It’s halftime.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:52 (average 5:24).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

1214-Broncos22-Chargers10

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The banking giant Citigroup announced on Friday that it would move its headquarters from New York to the U.S. Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C., in early 2015.

Tracy Klugian, a spokesperson for Citi, said that the company had leased thirty thousand square feet of prime real estate on the floor of the House of Representatives and would be interviewing “world-class architects” to redesign the space to suit its needs.

According to sources, Citi successfully outbid other firms, including JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, for the right to move its headquarters to the House floor.

The Citi spokesperson acknowledged that the extensive makeover of the House is expected to cost “in the millions,” but added, “It’s always expensive to open a new branch.”

Explaining the rationale behind the move, Klugian told reporters, “Instead of constantly flying out from New York to give members of Congress their marching orders, Citigroup executives can be right on the floor with them, handing them legislation and telling them how to vote. This is going to result in tremendous cost savings going forward.”

I bet Andy thinks they’ll wallpaper with $100s.

From Daily Kos: A member of the Open Carry Texas rallies that have seen members marching through restaurants, grocery stores and other businesses with assault rifles has been arrested after two people were found dead in their home.

Veronica Dunnachie, 35, was arrested without incident 11 miles away at Millwood Hospital on North Cooper Street, a mental health facility. She is facing a capital murder charge. […]

Family members who arrived at the scene identified the victims as Russ Dunnachie, Veronica’s husband, and an adult daughter of his.

Dunnachie has been active in the Open Carry movement.

The problem with Republican Ammosexuals carrying guns is their tendency to use them.

From NY Times: After moments of high drama, dry process and acrimony, the Senate passed a sweeping $1.1 trillion spending package Saturday night, abruptly ending several days of chaotic legislative maneuvers and clearing the bill for President Obama to sign.

The legislation, which will fund most of the government through the fiscal year that ends in September, passed in a bipartisan vote, 56 to 40, after a turbulent process — a fitting coda for a governing body that has often failed to govern.

Here are the Democrats with the courage and integrity to vote no. Thank them.

Member

Party

State

Richard Blumenthal

D

CT

Cory Booker

D

NJ

Barbara Boxer

D

CA

Sherrod Brown

D

OH

Maria Cantwell

D

WA

Al Franken

D

MN

Kirsten E. Gillibrand

D

NY

Tom Harkin

D

IA

Mazie K. Hirono

D

HI

Amy Klobuchar

D

MN

Carl Levin

D

MI

Joe Manchin III

D

WV

Edward J. Markey

D

MA

Claire McCaskill

D

MO

Robert Menendez

D

NJ

Jeff Merkley

D

OR

Jack Reed

D

RI

Jon Tester

D

MT

Elizabeth Warren

D

MA

Sheldon Whitehouse

D

RI

Ron Wyden

D

OR

Now, excuse me, please, while I go puke, because it passed.

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Dec 122014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 37.  I’m still feeling quite ill.  Watching Congress has not helped.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Todays took me 5:48 (average 7:06).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: [Wisconsin Gov. Scott] Walker, the son of a Baptist preacher and a practicing Christian himself, has made note of his common ground with the Jewish faith …

In an undated letter unearthed by the liberal group One Wisconsin Now … Walker told Gimbel his office would be happy to display a menorah celebrating "The Eight Days of Chanukah" at the Milwaukee County Courthouse …

The letter is signed, "Thank you again and Molotov."

Oy! The Fartfuhrer of the Fascist Republican Plutocracy of Fitzwalkerstan is a schmuck!

From NY Times: Most of the possible presidential candidates have not plunged into Washington’s debate over the Senate Intelligence Committee’s withering report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s brutal interrogation tactics — and some are ducking questions entirely, illustrating the delicate politics of national security.

These are Republicans doing the ducking. Even Hillary the Hawk opposes torture on our side.

From USA Today: In a dramatic vote late Thursday evening, the U.S. House narrowly approved a $1 trillion government spending package despite a rare uprising from House Democrats. The bill passed on a 219-206 vote.

Initially all but two Democrats voted against it. Later approximately seventy caved-in, under pressure from Barack Obama. I understand his reasons, but shame on him. The cost is too high. Tomorrow in the Senate Elizabeth Warren will be debating the tag team of Bought Bitch Mitch and the Nevada Leg Hound.

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Dec 092014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 34.  I’m still down sick.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:40 (average 5:40).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:From Daily Kos:

Politico declares in a headline, "House sends Obama message with immigration vote." Well, yes they did, but it might not be a message on immigration at all, as some key paragraphs in the story reveal. The message behind that vote is that the Speaker John Boehner has no more control over his members now than he did before the election…

…Just like those 50-plus Obamacare repeal votes. Yes, the House Republicans demonstrated once again that they’re really good at voting on "messages" to President Obama, but not so good at doing stuff. This is all too reminiscent of the march toward the shutdown just over a year ago, where they were whipped by Sen. Ted Cruz into making a meaningless statement on Obamacare defunding and doing something really stupid.

The message they’re really sending to Obama is that Boehner still isn’t capable of leading, and that for the next two years the House is going to be as fucked up as it has been for the past four.

Will they stop with mere stupidity or pass through to TEAbuggery?

From Alternet: Rick Santorum: Separation of Church and State is a Communist Idea.

Sure hope Rick Santorum runs for president again. This theocracy booster told listeners that the words separation of church and state do not appear anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. You know where they appear?  “It was in the constitution of the former Soviet Union,” Santorum said in a conference call with members of right-wing pastor E.W. Jackson’s STAND America.

Whoa!

Someone needs to do some time-traveling quick to inform the Founding Fathers that the amendment they drafted into the Constitution is a commie plot to separate us from Jesus!

This blatant lie from Rick "Google My Name" Santorum is just one of last week’s five worst Republican Moments. Click through for the other four.

From Alternet: The 2012 and 2014 elections were the most expensive in American history and were financed largely by corporate money. So why are American companies so eager to put up so much cash for political influence? Because it pays. A lot.

A report issued last month by the Sunlight Foundation, a government accountability group, found that for every dollar the nation’s most politically active companies spent on political influence, they received $760 from the government in the form of federal business and support. In total, the yearlong study reported that 200 of the country’s top campaign donors spent $5.8 billion on political lobbying and campaign contributions between 2007 and 2012 and received a whopping $4.4 trillion in return.

By contrast, the federal government paid the nation’s 50 million social security recipients $4.3 trillion during the same time period.

Dang!  Welfare for the rich is the most expensive thing we do.

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Dec 062014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 31.  Groceries have come and are put away.  I should be on bed, but my O2 delivery is late.  I think I’m coming down with a winter flu bug, as my COPD is worse than normal, and I’m running a fever, so this will be the only article.

Jug Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:59).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Republicans, ever on the lookout for ways to express how very outraged they are at President Obama for daring to do something about immigration reform after they refused, hit upon the idea of not inviting the president to deliver the State of the Union address to Congress. The idea seemed crazy when it was first mentioned—probably because it’s crazy—but it seems to be gaining steam:

Late Tuesday, Rep. Paul C. Broun (R-Ga.) called for Boehner to not invite Obama to deliver the State of the Union address next year. […]

On the State of the Union, [Rep. Tim Huelskamp] added: “In the spirit of George Washington, he could send it to us in writing. It’d save some time.”

What petty, vindictive cretins! Call the WAAAAambulance!

From Alternet: House cats often appear aloof and indifferent toward their human companions. But it’s not just an act — they actually don’t care. A recent study of the domestic cat genome reveals why.

Scientists from the Genome Institute at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis sequenced the first house cat reference genome, and discovered that house cats may not be that genetically different from wild cats. This may explain why house cats seem to ignore their human companions and instead behave like they have their own agenda. Maybe they’re acting like wild cats.

Evidently these scientists didn’t include the experience of living with a cat in their studies. We care, but we want humans to know that we own them, not the other way around. Fortunately the cats in the study outsmarted the scientists. It wasn’t too hard. They’re just humans.

From Right Wing Watch: Bryan Fischer was out sick yesterday, so the American Family Association’s news director, Fred Jackson, filled in as guest host on Fischer’s "Focal Point" radio program where he interviewed [AFA delinked] the ACRU’s Robert Knight [hate group delinked] about the protests that have erupted after two separate grand juries failed to indict police officers for killing unarmed black men.

Knight declared that the activists who have protested these decisions are "trying desperately to start a race war" and blamed President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder for fanning the flames by supposedly suggesting that all police officers are racist.

 

How absurd! Some Republicans actually do appear to be siding with the black victims of police murder, but it’s all show for the mainstream, while the bubble machine plays their true position.  If they were concerned at all with minority rights, the3y would not be working overtime to tale away their right to vote. Note how the AFA, an organization concerned with killing LGBT and women’s rights, are happy to goose-step with the racist white “civil rights” group.

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This is ones of the ones Republicans prefer to ignore

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Nov 302014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 25.  This is the only article, because today is a dead news day and a lazy day for a TomCat.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos’ service is with the Kansas City Chiefs, but in these circumstances, they’re just Officer Wilson’s team.  They have the Sunday Night game and will be nationally televised.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:46 (average 4:16).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Alternet: One of the ways reformers are trying to reduce the use of excessive police force is by requiring police officers to wear body cameras. Cities like Cleveland are moving toward requiring more officers to wear cameras to ensure accountability.

But a case out of Denver shows that not all police are so keen to be recorded. This past August, a group of police officers attempted to arrest David Nelson Flores for suspected drug possession. When he stuffed a sock in his mouth and refused to open his mouth, one of the officers struck him in the head repeatedly. “Those were the hardest punches I have ever heard, said Levi Frasier, a bystander who witnessed the beating. 

But police did not limit their use of force to Flores. They also tripped his girlfriend, who was almost eight months pregnant at the time. Luckily for Flores and his girlfriend, Frasier recorded the entire incident on his tablet. But the police took his tablet and deleted the video. At least they thought they deleted it. When Frasier got home he discovered the video file reappeared once the tablet synced with the cloud server.

 

I’m surprised that the local Fox affiliate is not goose-stepping with the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise.  This account makes it painfully clear that all police need to be wearing a camera that record their actions.

From Crooks and Liars: I’ve been arguing with fellow progressives for more than a decade about our lack of outreach to the white working class. It’s time. If we want to get a solid majority that lasts long enough to make real change, we’d damn well better start:

ATLANTA (AP) — Southern Democrats are joining others in the party who say that a return to advocating to lift people out of economic hardship and emphasizing spending on education and public works will re-energize black voters and attract whites as well.

"It’s time to draw a line in the sand and not surrender our brand," Rickey Cole, the party chairman in Mississippi, said. He believes candidates have distanced themselves from the past half-century of Democratic principles.

Amen.

From Raw Story: A staffer for Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher (TN) took to Facebook this week to attack Sasha and Malia Obama, President Barack Obama’s daughters, for failing to show what she deemed to be sufficient respect for their father’s annual pardoning of a Thanksgiving turkey.

According to Gawker, Elizabeth Lauten, former new media political director for the Republican National Committee, wrote an open letter to the two girls, attacking their facial expressions and clothing choices.

Nothing is despicable for Republicans.

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Nov 212014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 16.  I’m waiting for the President’s speech to begin.  It’s been a busy day.  I planned Thanksgiving dinner and put in my Thanksgiving grocery order at Safeway, as Store to Door is closed next week.  The cat is having bird.  I went to Care2 and uploaded the articles that wouldn’t upload last night.  I check my fantasy football lineup.  What a mess!  I did some housework.  I still have to squeeze in a cat nap.  I’m past due.

Jig Zone Puzzles

Yesterday’s took me 3:47 (average 6:42).  To do it click here.  Today’s took me 3:14 (average 4:58).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: How the sausage is made.

[New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie], who traditionally backs off from declaring how he’ll act on pending legislation when asked by reporters, made his intentions clear on a pig gestation crate bill when asked last month about it during a visit to Northwest Iowa, according to a pork producer.

“He indicated to us that he was going to veto the bill,” said Bill Tentinger, an Iowa pork producer and former president of the Iowa Pork Producers Association. […]

The bill would direct the state Department of Agriculture to prohibit “the confinement, in an enclosure, of any sow during gestation in a manner that prevents the sow from turning around freely, lying down, standing up, or fully extending the limbs of the animal.”

Christie is now in trouble with many in New Jersey, the state he currently governs, for two reasons. First, the bill is popular in the state, which is why it’s currently sitting on his desk waiting for a signature. Second, advocates of that bill are furious that Christie hasn’t been telling them squat about whether he was going to veto the bill but can travel to Iowa as a maybe-possibly presidential contender and tell the folks there what he was going to do. Especially since it looks like pre-presidential pork producer pandering of the penultimate persuasion.

Frankly, I don’t think this blatant cruelty will help PIGnocchio in his obvious Iowa Caucus pandering. Furthermore, it t wont make him safe in Washington DC. As soon as Iowa’s new Senator, Joni Pig Nuts, gets a look at him, she’ll … snip snip … make PIGnocchio squeal!

From Upworthy: I support the end of corruption in government and pay-to-play politics. Mayday.US is a nonpartisan group using the people’s money to challenge big donors — perhaps the last chance we have to stop the madness. Actor Jason Alexander makes a strong point in this 30-second video: All citizens should keep this in mind every time they hear a political ad paid for by a special interest PAC.

 

I honestly don’t know if mayday.us can help, but we have to do something to counter all those billionaire bucks!

From The New Yorker: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled his party’s long-awaited plan on immigration on Wednesday, telling reporters, “We must make America somewhere no one wants to live.”

Appearing with House Speaker John Boehner, McConnell said that, in contrast to President Obama’s “Band-Aid fixes,” the Republican plan would address “the root cause of immigration, which is that the United States is, for the most part, habitable.”

“For years, immigrants have looked to America as a place where their standard of living was bound to improve,” McConnell said. “We’re going to change that.”

Boehner said that the Republicans’ plan would reduce or eliminate “immigration magnets,” such as the social safety net, public education, clean air, and drinkable water.

The Speaker added that the plan would also include the repeal of Obamacare, calling healthcare “catnip for immigrants.”

Andy is back to straight news again, but I have to admit, Republicans have been quite successful at crafting policies to implement this plan.

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