Jul 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, say 88.  I’m rushing, because I have physical therapy in the morning, I’m tired, and I’m running out of day.  Depending on how badly the PT wipes me out, I may be AWOL for Saturday articles.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:48 (average 4:37).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Having cash in the bank, stocks, a 401(k), and a house (or houses) full of stuff worth money — that’s all wealth. And it’s great to have for two basic reasons: (1) It’s handy when the goin’ gets tough (e.g., expensive medical emergencies, car troubles, making tuition, etc.), and (2) having more wealth means having more freedom to think about and plan for the future, including retirement.

But over the last several decades, rule changes that benefit the rich have made wealth harder to come by for most of us. Take a look below.

0718rich

If you haven’t guessed, in the GOP War on the poor and middle classes, they’re winning.

From Daily Kos: If you think House Speaker John Boehner’s pre-impeachment lawsuit against President Obama for failing to implement Obamacare quickly enough makes him look like an obstructionist jackass who is more interested in political stunts than doing the right thing for the country, you’re not alone:

A majority of Americans view House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) lawsuit over President Obama’s delayed implementation of ObamaCare’s employer mandate as a “political stunt,” according to a new poll released Monday.

The survey, commissioned by liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change, found that 51 percent of voters don’t believe the lawsuit is legitimate, versus just 41 percent who do.

Moreover, 56 percent say the lawsuit is wasteful spending, with just 36 percent saying it is a good use of taxpayer dollars.

That’s exactly what I said, when Agent Orange first announced it.

From AlterNet: The Associated Press is reporting that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane was allegedly shot down in Ukraine near the Russian border Thursday. An advisor to the Ukraine’s Interior Minister confirmed the report at 11:40am. The plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, Ukraine officials are reporting on Facebook.

A Russian aviation industry source told Reuters news service that the 777 did not enter Russian airspace when it was expected, but crashed in eastern Ukraine.

The Boeing 777 had 280 passengers and 15 crew members,  Interfax reported citing an an aviation industry source. It is reported that all passengers and crew have been killed. Twenty-three Americans were reportedly on the flight. 

Political tensions and violence have been high in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border. The Ukranian government is alleging that separatist rebels shot down the plane, and the separatists are blaming Kiev. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families. Of course Republicans say they know who is at fault.

Cartoon:

0718Cartoon

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Jun 302014
 

Day 70.  I’m writing for tomorrow and am feeling a bit groggy, having just awakened from a much needed nap.  Where have the weekend and the month gone?

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:53 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Multi-millionaire Nick Hanauer is no dummy. He sees the writing on the wall.

I’d strongly suggest you read this entire piece titled "The pitchforks are coming . . . for us Plutocrats"

And what do I see in our future now?

I see pitchforks.

At the same time that people like you and me are thriving beyond the dreams of any plutocrats in history, the rest of the country—the 99.99 percent—is lagging far behind. The divide between the haves and have-nots is getting worse really, really fast. In 1980, the top 1 percent controlled about 8 percent of U.S. national income. The bottom 50 percent shared about 18 percent. Today the top 1 percent share about 20 percent; the bottom 50 percent, just 12 percent.

But the problem isn’t that we have inequality. Some inequality is intrinsic to any high-functioning capitalist economy. The problem is that inequality is at historically high levels and getting worse every day. Our country is rapidly becoming less a capitalist society and more a feudal society. Unless our policies change dramatically, the middle class will disappear, and we will be back to late 18th-century France. Before the revolution.

And so I have a message for my fellow filthy rich, for all of us who live in our gated bubble worlds: Wake up, people. It won’t last.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/…

It’s rare to see truth coming from a billionaire. Click through.

From NY Times: The Libyan militia leader charged in connection with the 2012 attacks in Benghazi that killed the United States ambassador and three others was brought to Washington early Saturday, where he entered a not guilty plea at the federal courthouse, formally opening one of the most complicated terrorism cases the Justice Department has mounted in recent years.

The suspect, Ahmed Abu Khattala, was flown to Washington by helicopter from a Navy warship that had steamed across the Atlantic Ocean from the Mediterranean Sea after he was captured by American commandos at a seaside villa near Benghazi two weeks ago.

Obama is getting away with doing exactly what he is supposed to do.  Republicans must be livid!

From Crooks and Liars: This is becoming a habit for Meet the Press host David Gregory. Does anyone think he really does not know that the Republicans and their continued obstruction, blocking rebuilding our infrastructure and President Obama’s jobs plan, shutting down the government and costing the economy billions of dollars and refusing to cooperate on anything if heaven forbid it might make the president look good has harmed our economy?

Whether he does or not, it didn’t stop him from playing concern troll for John Boehner and the Republicans during his interview with former President Bill Clinton this week, from the way he framed this question to begin with, to the follow up question where he pretended to be clueless on the way they’ve governed.

 

David "Raps with Rove" Gregory could not have been more biased, calling the Republican Recession the “Obama economy”. On the other hand, Slick Willie did a horrible job at debunking Gregory’s BS.

Cartoon:

0630Cartoon

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Jun 132014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow and feeling quite tired.  Physical therapy was tiring and painful, and every time I’ve gotten to sleep, I’ve gotten a phone call.  Day 53.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:43).  To do it. click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In a development that few had thought possible, Republicans in the Seventh District of Virginia on Tuesday night found an even bigger tool than Rep. Eric Cantor to represent them in the United States Congress.

Apparently deciding that Cantor was insufficiently heartless to represent their district, Republicans turned out to the polls to elect David Brat, a man whose political views “border on sociopathy,” according to exit-poll responses from voters who supported him.

During his concession speech, Rep. Cantor reflected on the mistakes that might have led to his defeat: “Should I have cut more school-lunch programs for poor children? Perhaps. Should I have cast more votes to screw over disaster victims? Definitely. Should I have not said the thing about treating children of immigrants like human beings? Man, do I wish I could take that one back. Hindsight is twenty-twenty, but at the end of the day I was just too damn empathic for this district.”

Andy’s satire rings completely true.

From Upworthy: No one would argue that learning disabilities don’t exist or shouldn’t be diagnosed, but let’s take a step back to see what happens to some kids who get that label.

0613Disability

This picture truly IS worth a thousand words.

From Daily Kos: After only one day Fox News has already eliminated coverage of the Tea Party Cop Killers in Las Vegas who went on a murderous rampage Sunday. On Monday, Fox’s primetime programs (Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly, and Sean Hannity) were silent on the subject except for four sentences on Kelly’s show.

On Tuesday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends, the curvy couch potatoes failed to mention Jerad Miller and his wife Amanda. Later, on Happening Now, Fox ignored the story entirely. Outnumbered also declined to report on the Millers, despite having guest co-host "doctor" Keith Ablow who has psychoanalyzed every criminal, politician, and other public figure this century (without ever examining, or even meeting, any of them)…

…Fox has replaced the Sunday massacre with older stories about the Bergdahl prisoner swap, the Veterans Administration, and Hillary Clinton’s book release and presidential aspirations. The producers and editors at Fox News have never been shy about reporting acts of alleged terrorism, even before any evidence has emerged. But for this story they have refused to even refer to the crime as terrorism.

There are some obvious reasons why Fox would skew their reporting and ultimately remove this story from their news coverage. And all of them represent biases that are a long-standing part of what can be called the Fox News Creed: Racism, Guns, Anti-Government, and Tea Party.

Is it any surprise that the Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, is not covering an act of terrorism committed by a Republican designated patriot? If the sheeple found out, it could be very, very BA-A-A-A-A-AD!

Cartoon:

0613Cartoon

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Jun 032014
 

There are two nations on earth, not allied with the US, that could engage the US using conventional military means.  They are China and Russia.  For any other nation or group, engaging the US militarily using conventional means would be suicide.  Therefore those that do fight us use nonconventional warfare.  For propaganda value, we label them terrorists, just like Great Britain labeled US patriots terrorists during the Revolutionary War.  Therefore the notion that we can not negotiate with terrorists is obsolete, with one key exception.

0603POWAfter five years as a prisoner of Afghan militants, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has been returned to American custody. But because President Obama released five Afghan detainees from Guantanamo Bay in trade for Bergdahl’s freedom, several Republican lawmakers have attacked the administration for “negotiating with terrorists.”

According to Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) and Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), the exchange “may have consequences for the rest of our forces and all Americans,” because “our terrorist adversaries now have a strong incentive to capture Americans.” House Intelligence Chair Mike Rogers (R-MI) added that he is “extremely troubled that the United States negotiated with terrorists,” suggesting that the exchange “signals to terrorists around the world a greater incentive to take U.S. hostages.”…

…National Security Advisor Susan Rice took to several of the Sunday shows to defend the exchange. On This Week, she explained that Bergdahl was not a “hostage,” but a “prisoner of war, taken on the battlefield,” and that the U.S. has a “sacred obligation” to free such prisoners of war. She also clarified on State of the Union that the U.S. did not negotiate directly with the terrorist Haqqani network, but with the government of Qatar, which will hold the five released Taliban prisoners for another year.

One of the other complaints lodged against the exchange is that President Obama did not provide Congress with the 30-day notice required for releasing prisoners of war. Rice explained that the Departments of Defense and Justice had reasons to be seriously concerned about the urgent state of Sgt. Bergdahl’s health, and noted that Congress had long been informed that such negotiations were already underway…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

First let’s get real.  Contrary to the Republican excuse for condemning Obama, the Taliban (or anyone else with whom we are at war) already has a strong incentive to capture American soldiers.  It’s what battlefield enemies do.

Here is a clip of the infamous (in Republican fantasy) Susan Rice in an interview with a Republican mouthpiece at CNN.

Lopsided journalism aside, Rice is technically correct.  We did not negotiate directly with the Taliban, but it would not bother me, if we did.  Without negotiation withy enemies, how can peace be achieved?

Another angle to this is that the five “terrorists” released numbered among those that we could not bring to trial, because the Bush Reich extracted evidence against them illegally.  Congress still refuses to allow Obama to imprison detainees here, and Afghanistan does not want them, so in the process, Obama got five people closer to closing the GOP Gulag at Gitmo.

Republicans had one more beef and that’s where the key exception in my intro comes into play.  Republicans say Congress should have ad a 30 day notice.  Obama had noted that he felt that restriction violated his Article II authority  at the time he signed the NDAA.  To do otherwise he would have had to veto all defense spending.  Also, given the Republican track record for leaking top-secret data to score political points, and given the posture of congressional Republicans, they are a greater threat to America than Al Qaeda ever was.  By informing them of the process, while keeping them out of the loop on the specifics, Obama fulfilled his obligation out to negotiate with terrorists.

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Apr 172014
 

I have long said That Al Dubya (as in G Dubya Bush) is far more dangerous, when it comes to terrorism in the US, than Al Qaeda ever was.  For out latest example, here’s a white supremacist hate-crime, how his tea party mayor supports him, his sordid history, and how the hate groups that the Republican Party has embraced are linked together in a terror network.

0417MillerThe mayor of a small Missouri town has mostly nice things to say about the white supremacist accused of killing three people at Jewish facilities last weekend.

Marionville, Mo. Mayor Dan Clevenger spoke warmly this week of Frazier Glenn Miller, who allegedly went on a killing rampage on Sunday in Overland Park, Kan.

"He was always nice and friendly and respectful of elder people, you know, he respected his elders greatly. As long as they were the same color as him," Clevenger said while laughing, according to television station KSPR. "Very fair and honest and never had a bit of problems out of him."

Clevenger said he sympathized with some of Miller’s views, but didn’t like to broadcast that.

"Kind of agreed with him on some things but, I don’t like to express that too much," Clevenger, the owner of a local repair shop, said… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <TPM>

Miller is not the lone nut-job the media is making him not to be, but part of a well organized web of terror.

Rachel Maddow had more to say about Miller, after an extensive discussion of some of his allies.

I think it’s long past time to release that Homeland Security report on rabid right terrorism, r4egardless of Republican objections.  Furthermore, DOJ needs to return to indicting these terrorists for sedition, in spite of their Republican support.

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Feb 242014
 

I’m working for tomorrow and rushing because I have so much work to do preparing for tomorrow’s board meeting in my apartment.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 5:19).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Arizona Governor Jan Brewer said today that she was reluctant to sign an anti-gay “religious freedom” bill passed by the Arizona state legislature this week, telling reporters, “I believe that bigotry and hatred should be free of government regulation.”

She said that while many Arizona business owners currently enjoy employing hateful practices, “I worry that if big government gets involved, that’ll ruin everything.”

“Don’t get me wrong—I think the anti-gay bill that the legislature passed was well-meaning,” she said. “All I’m saying is, let’s leave it to the private sector.”

I think Andy’s satire missed the boat on this one. Brewerstan’s Death Angel, Jan Brewer, infamous for killing her own citizens by refusing them life saving transplants for which they were already scheduled, is a strong supporter of government-based hatred. Consider her support for racial profiling in "papers please".

From Alternet: Ted Cruz: Pray for discrimination.

What is Texas’s Tea Party senator seeking now? This week Cruz called on supporters to “simply pray” that LGBT Americans did not get equal legal rights because same-sex marriage was “heartbreaking.” Yes, pray for a new Jim Crow.

In an interview with conservative radio host Janet Mefferd, Cruz started by saying that he introduced the “State Marriage Defense Act” to undo the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down parts of the federal government’s ban on marriage equality. He accused liberal groups of using “brute power” to wage an assault and “subvert our democratic system.” Then the Harvard Law School graduate, who forgets that an elite Republican lawyer argued for expanding gay rights before the court, issued his hateful hope.

Cruz said that gay marriage threatened liberty and he urged people to pray to God that gays and lesbians don’t get equal marriage rights. “I think the most important thing your listeners can do is simply pray, because we need a great deal of prayer,” he said. “Because marriage is really, really being undermined by a concerted effort. And it’s causing significant harm.”

When right-wingers like Cruz pray for discrimination, a curious thing happens. God doesn’t RSVP ASAP. But other right-wingers do.

Cruz’ Republican hate mongering is just on of six examples of Republican psychosis from the last week alone. Click through for the other five.

From Crooks and Liars: Homeland Security warned us in 2009 that right wing extremism is on the rise–something we are seeing in recent conservative pushes to overthrow the government. The report stated, among other things, that  “Heightened interest in legislation for tighter firearms…may be invigorating rightwing extremist activity, specifically the white supremacist and militia movements,” as we have seen exemplified in a Tea Party attempt to construct an anti-Muslim death ray.

Now, Three Georgia “Patriots” tried to buy pipe bombs and other explosives to aid in their effort to attack power grids, water treatment facilities, and other infrastructure. Brian Edward Cannon and Cory Robert Williamson appeared in court on Friday, and Terry Eugene Peace is due for his first appearance on Monday.

The three are charged with conspiring to acquire firearms, pipe bombs, and thermite grenades. Between Jan 23 and Feb 15, the three militia members chatted on Facebook about plans to launch guerrilla-style attacks on government facilities, according to the FBI…… [emphasis original]

Once again, we see Republicans too stupid to realize that plotting a Republican terrorist conspiracy on Facebook just might have legal ramifications. Once again, we see that the party that embraces them is not competent to run a lemonade stand, let again a government.

Cartoon:

0224Cartoon

Was this decision Constitutional?

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Feb 122014
 

There a few things that the Republican base know, beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt.  One of them is that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton murdered four Americans in Benghazi.  The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, have broadcast repeatedly that Obama officials ordered the military to stand down, to prevent them from saving the Americans from Obama’s Muslim terrorist allies.

0212BenghaziIn a new report released on Tuesday, the House Armed Services Committee concludes that there was no way for the U.S. military to have responded in time to the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya to save the four Americans killed that night. In doing so, the report debunks entirely a right-wing myth that says the White House ordered the military not to intervene.

For months after the attack that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, conservative media was awash in reports that on the night of the assault the Obama administration at some point ordered the military not to take action that would have saved lives. This supposed “stand down order” led to a bevy of right-wing conspiracies [propaganda delinked] about why the President and his administration had let the Americans die.

“Who told the SEALs to stand down?” Rep. Steve King asked in Nov. 2012, in just one of many interviews with Republicans referring to the response to Benghazi as “worse than Watergate.

As Media Matters reports, Fox News cited reports of a stand-down order no fewer than 85 times during prime-time segments as of June 2013. As the new report — which the Republican majority of the committee authored –makes very clear in its findings, however, no such order ever existed. “There was no ‘stand down’ order issued to U.S. military personnel in Tripoli who sought to join the fight in Benghazi,” the report says, noting that the military was not positioned to respond to the attack.

Given the military’s preparations on September 11, 2012, majority members have not yet discerned any response alternatives that could have likely changed the outcome of the Benghazi attack,” the report concludes… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

There was just no way that even the Republicans, who quietly issued this report, could twist the evidence to conform with their conspiracy theories.  Nevertheless, they knew that the report would do little damage, because most Republican voters will never know it exists.  Why?  It will never be reported on Faux Noise, or anywhere else within the Republican media bubble.

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