Dec 192014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 44.  This is my only article.  I’m still mostly down, and having to fight the Care2 Glitch Monster last night cut into my sleep.  What’s going to be your Christmas storm back east is coming in and it’s going to be a nasty one.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:31 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: Following months of secret negotiations with the Cuban government, President Obama on Wednesday announced sweeping changes to normalize relations with Cuba, a bold move that ends one of the most misguided chapters in American foreign policy.

The administration’s decision to restore full diplomatic relations, take steps to remove Cuba from the State Department list of countries that sponsor terrorism and roll back restrictions on travel and trade is a change in direction that has been strongly supported by this page. The Obama administration is ushering in a transformational era for millions of Cubans who have suffered as a result of more than 50 years of hostility between the two nations.

Mr. Obama could have taken modest, gradual steps toward a thaw. Instead, he has courageously gone as far as he can, within the constraints of an outmoded 1996 law that imposes stiff sanctions on Cuba in the pursuit of regime change.

“These 50 years have shown that isolation has not worked,” Mr. Obama said. “It’s time for a new approach.”

I fully support Obama’s decision to do this. Needless to say, Republicans are using this as an occasion to promote hate.  See below.

From Media Matters: Right-Wing Media React Angrily To Agreement With Cuba

Triple Barf Bag Alert!!!

Revoltin’ Bolton

 

Limbarf

 

Bush’s Brain (Jeb’s too!)

 

Dang!!  I hope three barf bags were enough!

From Think Progress: The wealth disparity between upper and middle income Americans has hit a record high, according to a new Pew Research Center Report. On average, today’s upper-income families are almost seven times wealthier middle-income ones, compared to 3.4 times wealthier in 1984. When compared to lower income family wealth, upper income family wealth is 70 times larger.

It has come to the point where only the top 10 percent of Americans are seeing their wealth grow while the bottom 90 get less and less of the pie each year. The driving force of this wealth chasm are the top 0.1 percent, who have seen their share of the nation’s wealth grow the most over the past decades, from 7 percent in 1979 to 22 percent today. In fact, the top 0.1 percent are now worth more than the entire bottom 90 percent of the U.S. population, according to the report, which adjusts for the shrinking size of the American family so as to enable comparisons across time periods.

Republicans are succeeding at one of their two main goals.

Cartoon:

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When GW was pResident, we hired a gal to give him a BJ for impeachment purposes.  She couldn’t find it.

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Dec 182014
 

The US Senate is done for the year, but before they went home they confirmed a bunch of Barack Obama’s appointments.  That’s the last thing Republicans wanted, but Democrats got the extra floor time, Because Ted “The Immigrant” Cruz made a fool of himself.  That’s an easy undertaking for him.

1218SenateThe Democratic-controlled Senate confirmed the last batch of President Obama’s judicial appointees and sent the White House legislation extending tax breaks for working-class millions and special interests alike late Tuesday as Congress ended a tumultuous two-year run.

The Senate adjourned at 11:24 p.m., officially ending the 113th Congress.

An 11th-hour attempt to renew a program obliging the government to cover part of the cost of terrorism-caused losses was sidetracked by retiring Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., who said it was a giveaway to private industry.

But dozens of Mr. Obama’s nominees to agency positions won approval on the final night of the Congress. Among them were Sarah Saldana to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Nicholas Rasmussen as director of the National Counterterrorism Center at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Rasmussen is currently the deputy director, a post he has held since 2012. He served on the National Security Council from 2007 to 2012, where he was a special assistant to the president and senior director for counterterrorism.

In addition, the Senate voted 55-38 to approve the president’s nominee to be Deputy Secretary of State, despite criticism from Sen. John McCain and other Republicans. Tony Blinken, who is replacing the retiring William Burns, joined the White House in 2009 as a top aide to Vice President Joe Biden. He later became Mr. Obama’s deputy national security adviser and a key player on foreign policy issues, including the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria…

Inserted from <CBS>

This could never have happened had not Democrats changed Senate rules to eliminate filibusters on nominees.

Lawrence O’Donnell discussed the rule change and it’s effects with Jeff Merkley (D-OR).  Unfortunately, I can only bring you MSNBC clips, if I can find them on YouTube.

No I imagine you think that I’m pro-filibuster, now that Republicans control the Senate.  That is not so.  I think the only kind if filibuster that should be allowed is a talking filibuster by one Senator taking no breaks.  We might get some Republican votes of we give David Vitter (R-LA) the diaper concession. The party in charge must be allowed to govern.  Had we gone to a talking filibuster only in 2009, we would not have a Republican Congress now.

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Dec 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 43.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries.  I’m still feeling pretty crappy, but I do have a second article for you.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:58 (average 5:08).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: What some insiders are calling a “rash display of backbone” last week could endanger Senator Elizabeth Warren’s career as a Democrat, leading party operatives say.

Harland Dorrinson, a strategist who has guided the campaigns of dozens of Democratic candidates, said that the Massachusetts legislator’s “recklessly truthful” tirade about banks left him “smacking my head.”

“She stood up for what she believed in and didn’t try to water it down,” he said. “That is a serious violation of the Democratic playbook.”

Andy is on. Unlike the Nevada Leg Hound, Harry Reid, Liz does not hump a few Republican legs, while begging, whine, roll over, and play dead.

From Daily Kos: Yesterday, the former vice president of the United States and one of the architects of the American torture program explained why he was unconcerned about the torture of innocent prisoners.

CHUCK TODD: Let me go to Gul Rahman. He was chained to the wall of his cell, doused with water, froze to death in C.I.A. custody. And it turned out it was a case of mistaken identity.

DICK CHENEY: –right. But the problem I had is with the folks that we did release that end up back on the battlefield. […] I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.

CHUCK TODD: 25% of the detainees though, 25% turned out to be innocent. They were released.

DICK CHENEY: Where are you going to draw the line, Chuck? How are– […]

CHUCK TODD: Is that too high? You’re okay with that margin for error?

DICK CHENEY: I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective.

I’d be happy to chip in for his ticket to The Hague.

From Upworthy: Housing is a human right. And an economy based on financial markets doesn’t care about human rights. Maybe it’s time for a new economy?

 

Click through for more info. This is what Republican rule is doing to Detroit and to America.

Cartoon:

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Dec 162014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 42.  I’m still mostly down, but I have three articles, because it‘s time to change the poll.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 4:35).  To do it, click here.  How did you do.

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” on Sunday, former Vice-President Dick Cheney told host Chuck Todd that he was “sick and tired of Americans being ashamed of our beautiful legacy of torture” and that he was organizing the first “National Torture-Pride March” to take place in Washington in January.

“This is a chance for all of us torturers to say, ‘Look at us, this is who we are,’” Cheney, who will be the Grand Marshall of the parade, said.

I’d love to attend Andy’s march … with a cattle prod.

From Bernie Sanders: Sen. Bernie Sanders discusses the omnibus appropriations bill on the Senate floor.

 

As usual, Bernie is spot-on.

From Kansas City Star: As he drops new hints about his 2016 intentions, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is appearing in South Carolina just weeks before a self-imposed deadline to decide whether he will run for president.

Bush is scheduled to give Monday’s commencement address at the University of South Carolina. It marks the Republican leader’s second visit in three months to the state that will host the 2016 presidential primary season’s first contest in the South.

In a television interview aired on the eve of the South Carolina appearance, Bush expressed confidence that he “would be a good president,” adding that he was in the process of writing an e-book about his time as governor that would come out in the spring.

When Jeb claims that he would be a good President, he was merely proving that he is a Republican. He is lying. Jeb "Strike Three" Bush would be as bad as “Strike One” and “Strike Two”. He has the same owners.

Cartoon:

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Dec 142014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 39, and I’m still down.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but I won’t get to see my Broncos’ service with the Chargers.  The local CBS affiliate prefers to offer other programming, because the damn Seachickens are on the other network at the same time.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:04 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube: Remarks by Senator Warren on Citigroup and its bailout provision

 

I say again that the worst thing Obama did in office was to appoint Hillary’s economic advisors instead of his own. For Liz? One word: Amen!  The Senate has passed a short term bill to keep the government open until Wednesday.

Also from YouTube: Chris Hayes: President Elizabeth WARREN? It’s Getting REAL!

 

Will she or won’t she??  If she does, she gets the cat!

From The Hill: Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) will be the ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee next year, Democrats announced Friday.

The self-proclaimed socialist replaces Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), who is moving over to become ranking member on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

The promotion for Sanders, who caucuses with Democrats, gives him a prominent perch to push his priorities as he moves toward a long-shot run for the White House in 2016. He is a vocal advocate for increased spending on social programs and says the budget of the Pentagon should be slashed dramatically.

As ranking member on the budget panel, Sanders could be tasked with creating an alternative fiscal blueprint to the budget that will be put forward by the new Republican Congress.

A perfect choice.

Cartoon:

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Dec 132014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 38.  My paid helper-friend visited today and did some heavy cleaning and the dreaded task.  While I missed sleep, it’s better than having it pile up.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:11 (average 5:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) blasted his Democratic colleagues in the Senate on Thursday, telling reporters, “I’m sick and tired of people blaming George W. Bush for things he did.”

In the aftermath of the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on torture, Cruz said, “Democrats have been busy with their favorite game again: bringing up catastrophic things that President Bush did and then blaming him for them.”

The Texas Senator raised the invasion of Iraq as an example of something that “Bush gets blamed for simply because he did it.”

Andy I’m still looking for the satire here. I wonder where we can buy Cruz control pesticides.

From Upworthy: It’s The 4th-Biggest Illegal Industry In The World, And In 11 Years, It Will Destroy Itself

 

The only elephant that should not be protected is part of the problem.

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From Washington Post: The federal agency that will play a pivotal role in guiding the sentence of former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell has recommended that the onetime Republican rising star spend at least 10 years and a month in prison and 12 years and 7 months at most, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The guidelines recommended by the U.S. probation office are preliminary ones, and even if finalized, U.S. District Judge James R. Spencer is not required to follow them.

Unless Governor Ultrasound does time for his crimes, there is little chance that he will learn to rehabilitate himself.

Cartoon:

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Dec 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 35.  I’m still down.  Today was a prison volunteer day.  I felt unhappy that I could not go.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:02 (average 5:57).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

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

Scores:

14Scores

Standings:

14Standings

Congrats and kudos to Lynn for winning the regular season.  Now come the playoffs.  Will I be Monster Mashed by Patty Monster in the first round?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The Saturday Night Live clip below was "cut for time" from Saturday’s broadcast, but is going viral from their YouTube page.

 

I’m guessing it was cut, because the network thought it too soon to find humor in recent events. I disagree. Humor is how we survive injustice, oppression and Republicans in office.

From The New Yorker: President Barack Obama spent several hours on Monday in a closed-door Oval Office meeting seeking advice on how to establish a monarchy, Fox News reports.

According to Fox, the President peppered his Oval Office guest with detailed questions about the mechanics of setting up a monarchy and was curious about the perks and powers that go along with it.

Obama’s guest advised him that establishing a monarchy would probably require rewriting or even replacing the Constitution, an option that Obama reportedly said would be “difficult, but doable.”

I think Andy is overcome by Faux Noise projection. An American monarchy has already been established under King George I and his idiot son, King George II. The later replaced the Constitution with the "Unilateral Executive".

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From ABC: The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released an exhaustive and explosive report today on the CIA’s interrogation practices, saying the agency repeatedly misled Americans and deeply mismanaged the program that was secretly put into place after the 9/11 terror attacks.

The controversial, five-year study by the committee, which was conducted after reviewing more than 6 million pages of internal CIA records, found that the interrogation techniques used on more than 100 detainees “were not effective” and the management of the program “was inadequate and deeply flawed.”

The report also indicates the techniques used in the CIA program were “far more brutal” than was relayed to lawmakers and the public.

“It shows that the CIA’s actions a decade ago are a stain on our value and on our history," Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said on the Senate floor. "The release of this 500 page summary cannot remove that stain but it can and does say to our people and the world that America is big enough to admit when it’s wrong and confident enough to learn from its mistakes. Releasing this report is an important step to restore our values and show the world that we are in fact a just and lawful society.”

Click through for more information about how much more brutal Republican torture was than we were led to believe, and how the Republican Party opposes releasing even the heavily redacted summary. It did not go far enough, because it does not release the names of those who authorized and defended torture: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Libby, Gonzales, Yoo, etc.

Cartoon:

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No wonder Republicans hate the UN.

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