May 242015
 

I suppose the most positive thing I can say this morning, is that I have had no more surprises.  Nevertheless, my tasks seem endless, so I’ll be brief.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:04 (average 5:15).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The soon to be officially announced presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, from Vermont, and former MN Republican Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, from Uranus, were guests on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. The show aired just before President Obama addressed the nation with his 2014 State Of The Union Speech. Sanders discussed issues that included income equality, minimum wage, education, social security, jobs creation, corporate wealth and tax evasion. Bachmann, a known liar (documented by Politifact), read from the repetitive Right-Wing, Koch-Sucking Declaration of Co-Dependance, while interjecting something about ‘Australia.’ She stuck to the GOP script and was completely unyielding to a mature, courteous, and educated debate.

Batshit Bag Alert!!

One key lie Batshit B attempted is that the lack of jobs is due to years of Obama’s "failed policies". What has stalled the recovery is years of Republican obstruction, sabotage and sedition. Bernie 1 – Tag Team Blitzer & Batshit B 0.

Another from Daily Kos: Yesterday we covered Pastor Matt Makela, the anti-gay Michigan pastor who was outed on Grindr.

Today a young man and his mother have stepped forward with their own story about Pastor Matt Makela. Tyler Kish was a teenage boy struggling to come to terms with his sexuality and sought counsel from Pastor Makela. His advice nearly caused Tyler to commit suicide:

"If he was going to go to hell for being gay then he might as well go to hell by committing suicide," Jennifer Kish said, regarding what Makela told her son.

He didn’t stop there:

Jennifer Kish said the pastor also became vocal on social media about how he felt her son being gay was wrong and that as a parent she shouldn’t support him.

I have zero problem with Pastor Mark Makela being gay. However, I support outing him and causing him to lose his job to stop his hate-filled behavior, as a Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian hypocrite, from harming more parishioners.

From NY Times: After vigorous debate and intense last-minute pressure by Republican leaders, the Senate on Saturday rejected legislation that would curb the federal government’s bulk collection of phone records…

…The Senate will reconvene on May 31 to try again. But any extension is far from certain to get approval from the House, which is in recess until June 1, with at least one member threatening to block it.

Help keep the good news good. Harass your Senators.

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May 232015
 

The surprises keep coming.  Last night I fell into a deep sleep, between 8:00 and 9:00 PM.  Since preparations for my prison volunteer trip next week and my ongoing medical mayhem have kept me completely occupied, I had no idea that the opening ceremonies for the annual Portland Rose Festival wired also last night.  The launch site for the fireworks is six blocks away.  The blasts echoing between they downtown buildings amplifies the noise level.  I awakened thinking I had fallen asleep during an MRI.  I did get back to sleep eventually, but not soon enough.  My doctor’s staff continues to screw up.  The Orthopedist to whom they referred me was actually the nurses station of the Orthopedics floor of the hospital.  The nurse was quite amused when I tried to schedule an appointment with a doctor through her.  I think I found one on my own, but my doctor’s office tool a 5 day weekend. ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 4:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Reinvent Education

Wall-to-wall testing and skyrocketing tuition have destroyed American education. Here’s how we fix it. \

 

Amen to everything he said. This is the fifth video in the series and now the Reich on the left has been right five times. Please click through to MoveOn and share it from there.

From Daily Kos: A judge has sentenced an Arizona woman to 3 ½ years in prison for running over her husband with an SUV because he didn’t vote in the 2012 presidential election.

Thirty-one-year-old Holly Nicole Solomon of Mesa pleaded guilty to assault charges stemming from injuries her husband suffered days after President Barack Obama was re-elected. She was sentenced on Thursday.

Authorities say Solomon was upset about Obama’s re-election…

Republicans seem to take voting more seriously that we do, even though their solutions for every obstacle are criminal and/or violent.

From NY Times: Ever since the Gold Rush, California farmers have staked their claim to water and ferociously protected their rights to use it to irrigate the crops that have made the state the greengrocer for the nation.

But on Friday, in a sign of how the record-setting drought is shaking up established ways here, state officials accepted an offer from farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to give up a quarter of their water this season, either by leaving part of their land unplanted or finding other ways to reduce their water use. In return, the state has assured them that it will not seek further reductions for the growing season.

It looks like people are going to go hungry, because oil and coal, the m,ain causes of the drought, are not edible.

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May 222015
 

Last night I returned from the shower and reached into my drawer for clean underwear.  Imagine my horror when I discovered a handful of air!!!  So I rose early this morning and did the dreaded task, but am now even more tired and further behind than before.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:05 (average 7:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Her neighbors are paying $18 a month. Joyce Villegas has been paying almost $400 a month for over three years because of delays from Hawaiian Electric, the state’s utility company.

 

Here we have a case of a blue state trying to do the right thing, but failing to organize it properly. The result is that people still waiting are subsidizing the utility service of people who have installed panels. 1:1 buyback sounds nice, but it’s not realistic, because it ignores the need to maintain the power grid.

From The New Yorker: Suspects in the recent biker brawl in Waco, Texas, only slightly outnumber the 2016 Republican Presidential candidates, leading some voters to have difficulty distinguishing between the two groups, a new poll shows.

According to the poll, voters who were presented the names of a biker-brawl suspect and a Republican Presidential candidate correctly identified both only thirty per cent of the time.

For example, fifty-seven per cent of voters erroneously identified the former Texas Governor Rick Perry as a member of the Bandidos motorcycle gang, while forty-one per cent believed he belonged to the Cossacks.

Adding to voters’ confusion, the biker brawlers and G.O.P. candidates have identical views on a host of issues, such as gun rights and whether they would feel comfortable attending a gay wedding.

Andy is off in a couple places here. First, isn’t "Wacko" a better way to spell the town’s name? Second, he missed an obvious solution. Just replace the current clown car with the biker brawl suspects, who are eminently more qualified to govern.

From Media Matters: Fox News’ misleading smear of food stamp recipients as surfing freeloaders found its way into a congressional hearing aimed at examining the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

On May 20, the House Committee on Agriculture held a hearing addressing the "Past, Present, and Future of SNAP." Throughout the hearing, Fox News’ misleading 2013 special, "The Great Food Stamp Binge" that attempted to make a surfing freeloader "the new face of food stamps" was referenced several times as evidence of abuse within the program.

Fox’s misrepresentation of food stamp recipients found its way into the hearing when two members on the committee used the special as anecdotal evidence of abuse within SNAP. Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-OH) used Fox’s example of a "surfer out in California living on food stamps and eating lobster" as evidence of abuse within the program, though he "forg[o]t which network" aired the special.

Later, Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) also referenced "the surfer that was on one of the news channels," claiming, "unfortunately, we see that in our districts, and I hear stories about that every day."

The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, has become the Republican Reichsministry of Policy.

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May 202015
 

The class warfare perpetrated by the 0.1% and their representatives, the Republican Party, has been a central theme of the 2016 campaign, even as it’s just getting started.  Rather than deny that it exists, the Republican party is trying to redefine it.  To that end, they are employing the Republican Reichsministry of propaganda, Faux Noise.  Their spin is that Democrats are committing class warfare against poor, defenseless billionaires.

FoxPropRemember all that wailing and gnashing of teeth we’ve seen from Faux "news" in recent weeks over President Obama rightfully calling them out for routinely demonizing those living in poverty and calling them a bunch of lazy moochers that don’t want to work?

It seems that Fox’s Neil Cavuto was shameless enough to complain about President Obama over the weekend on his Saturday show, and then turn right around on his weekday show and allow Ben Stein to give Jon Stewart, this blog, and Media Matters some more material for our archives of Fox and their poor-shaming.

Cavuto started out the segment with Stein with another of their Fox "news" ALERTS saying Warning, warning!!!! Hillary Clinton said the deck is stacked for the rich, and so did Bernie Sanders… so OMG!!!!! Hillary is a dirty f**kig hippie Socialist now!!! The horror!!

Which is what Neil Cavuto and his buddy Ben Stein believes is "class warfare" against those poor downtrodden rich people…

Inserted from <Crooks and Liars>

Here’s the video.  Barf Bag Alert!!

They are presenting a false choice.  Their alternatives are letting the deserving rich keep what they earned, or squandering it on undeserving masses who will just waste it.

The truth is that that most of the very rich who actually earned their money appreciate that they did so on the shoulders of the entire nation and recognize that their continued success requires a strong middle class.  Sadly, they are few, and most wealth is concentrated in the hands of people who inherited it.  Since they depend on the government to provide them favorable treatment that transfers even more wealth from the poor and middle classes to them, they are the true underserving welfare recipients now.  On the other hand, Democrats want to spend money on projects like infrastructure, education and research.  These are designed to grow the entire economy for everyone, rich and poor alike, making America a place where both entrepreneurs can succeed, and none need suffer from hunger.

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May 192015
 

How can I describe an MRI.  Though painless, few painless experiences are more unpleasant.  It’s like being shut in a coffin that is being assaulted with 1,000 jackhammers.  For 30 minutes I had to be absolutely still, while every fiber of my being told me to squirm.  It felt like hours.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to call for my grocery order.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day.  Thursday is an all day excursion to get the MRI results.  ARGH!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:41 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From MoveOn: 10 Ideas to Save the Economy: Tame Wall Street

The best way to stop Wall Street malfeasance from costing you your job or life savings is to finally break up the too-big-to-fail banks.

 

How many times have you seen me say, over the years, "Too big to fail = Too big to exist”?  This is the fourth video in this Robert Reich series. Please click through to MoveOn, and forward it from there.

From Daily Kos: As the Amtrak derailment showed (again), the refusal to spend on infrastructure literally kills. Also, infrastructure spending: (i) is necessary and unavoidable (failure to timely spend on infrastructure increases the deficit in real terms), (ii) improves the gross domestic product and competitiveness, and (iii) is an obvious source for increased employment, particularly in currently hard hit segments.  Moreover, infrastructure spending remains unambiguously popular.  Indeed, infrastructure spending historically has had bipartisan support.

So, why are modern Republicans ideologically opposed to infrastructure spending today?

John Oliver’s 21 minute video clip is hilarious, but he doesn’t really answer the question. Click through for answers. I have an answer of my own. Every penny Democrats sent making repairs needed to save people’s lives is a penny Republicans cannot give to a billionaire.

From NY Times: Surprise! It turns out that there’s something to be said for having the brother of a failed president make his own run for the White House. Thanks to Jeb Bush, we may finally have the frank discussion of the Iraq invasion we should have had a decade ago.

But many influential people — not just Mr. Bush — would prefer that we not have that discussion. There’s a palpable sense right now of the political and media elite trying to draw a line under the subject. Yes, the narrative goes, we now know that invading Iraq was a terrible mistake, and it’s about time that everyone admits it. Now let’s move on.

Well, let’s not — because that’s a false narrative, and everyone who was involved in the debate over the war knows that it’s false. The Iraq war wasn’t an innocent mistake, a venture undertaken on the basis of intelligence that turned out to be wrong. America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war.

Click through for the rest of this fine Paul Krugman editorial. As obvious as the facts seem to us, Republicans will rewrite this history, until their lies become accepted as common knowledge, unless we keep reviewing and broadcasting the truth.

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Any more their salaries are tiny, compared to their corruption benefits.

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May 162015
 

It’s another thoroughly busy day.  I pulled out my old notebook computer.  It’s been sitting in the suitcase without being touched for the last six months.  So far, I’ve updates my AV program, Firefox, Flash, Java, CCleaner, Glary Utilities.  Then Microsoft Update stared, and that might take a couple days.  I figure it will take six days of wok to use it on a three day trip.  ARGH!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today‘s took me 3:21 (average 4:43).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: This reporter turned the tables on a group of men who tried to disrupt her work, and it’s awesome.

 

 

And I thought Canadians were so polite! 😉 They acted like Republicans.

From Daily Kos: What does it take to make Republicans want to keep religious leaders out of politics? A pope who disagrees with them, apparently. Pope Francis’ recognition of a Palestinian state is just the latest of the pontiff’s positions that have Republican politicians trying to put him in his place.

“It’s interesting how the Vatican has gotten so political when ultimately the Vatican ought to be working to lead people to Jesus Christ and salvation, and that’s what the Church is supposed to do,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), a hawkish defender of Israel.

So … Republicans get to use religion as a political club, but actual religious leaders should stay the hell out. We’ve got Texas Republicans trying to block marriage equality from being enacted, whatever the Supreme Court decides. We’ve got House Republicans passing yet another anti-abortion bill based more on religion than science. We’ve got an avalanche of bills legalizing discrimination in the name of religious freedom.

Republicans object to political action that stems from authentic faith, especially when it counters their own hatred. It is legal, because it is not imposed on others. Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christianity is the polar opposite.

From NY Times: The Miami-Dade state attorney’s office is combing through more than 150 criminal cases of black suspects arrested by Miami Beach police officers who wrote or received racist emails, the latest in a series of high-profile episodes around the nation that have raised troubling questions about the relations between the police and the communities they serve.

Two ranking officers at the Miami Beach Police Department sent about 230 emails that contained racist and sexist jokes and pornography from 2010-12, Chief Dan Oates announced Thursday. A former police captain, who had been demoted to lieutenant, was fired, and a major retired before the investigation was made public.

Fourteen other officers received the emails, the police department said.

Police Officer is clearly too responsible a position to give to Republicans like these.

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May 152015
 

Jeb Bush, aka Strike Three, learned the hard way that he needs armed goons to keep thinking people out of his hand-picked cameo events.  That was the standard for Republican candidates in 2011 and 2012.  But Strike Three forgot to check at the door, to make sure every attendee said “BA-A-A-A-A-A”, before being allowed in.  So just as Jeb was lying that ISIS is Obama’s fault, a young American Hero popped up to school him.

0515Ivy

Jeb Bush isn’t even an official presidential candidate yet, but he’s already facing a serious challenge to his candidacy — and it just got worse because of a 19-year-old.

"Your brother created ISIS," college student Ivy Ziedrich told Bush during a town-hall-style meeting in Reno, Nevada, on Wednesday. "ISIS" is a common name for the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State, and the "brother" in question, of course, is former President George W. Bush.

Moments earlier, the former Florida governor had been telling the audience that President Barack Obama was responsible for the rise of the militant group. But Ziedrich, a student at the University of Nevada, Reno, replied that Bush’s version of history glossed over a few key events.

"You stated that ISIS was created because we don’t have enough presence and we’ve been pulling out of the Middle East," she said. "However, the threat of ISIS was created by the Iraqi coalition authority, which ousted the entire government of Iraq. It was when 30,000 individuals who are part of the Iraqi military were forced out. They had no employment, they had no income, yet they were left with access to all the same arms and weapons."…

Inserted from <Huffington Post>

Lawrence O’Donnell interviewed Ivy last night.

Kudos to Ivy Ziedrich!  It takes a lot of courage to learn the facts and used them to combat publicly recognized authority figures.  America needs several million more just like her!

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