Sep 022014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 104.  I’ve been busy all day, between chores and colleting the data for our Monthly Report.  LOL!  Here at PP, Labor Day is a day to labor!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:54 (average 4:55).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: I saw a white man with a gun.

I heard a policeman saying, "Place the weapon down on the ground, please. … are crossing the street illegally … I need you to put the gun down before I talk to you. … You have committed a crime … you are jaywalking. … I don’t want to shoot you, I’m not here to do that. … Why are you so angry. … Why are you cursing at me?"

Watching the whole incident all I could think of were those dead (unarmed) black men and boys who never had the opportunity to be "talked down," called "sir," and were murdered by police

 

These police handled the incident exactly the way police should, but I can’t help thinking that, if that were a black man, instead of a Republican Ammosexual, he would now be doing an imitation of Swiss cheese.

From Upworthy: Here’s a little story about how somebody (whose name you might recognize) got together with a bunch of other somebodies and changed the world. And his mission isn’t over yet. This is such a low-bar kinda thing to do, but it honors such a great person and legacy. I’m signing — will you?

 

Frankly, I think this is a great idea for a great man.

From NY Times: So, what do you think about those Medicare numbers? What, you haven’t heard about them? Well, they haven’t been front-page news. But something remarkable has been happening on the health-spending front, and it should (but probably won’t) transform a lot of our political debate.

The story so far: We’ve all seen projections of giant federal deficits over the next few decades, and there’s a whole industry devoted to issuing dire warnings about the budget and demanding cuts in Socialsecuritymedicareandmedicaid. Policy wonks have long known, however, that there’s no such program, and that health care, rather than retirement, was driving those scary projections. Why? Because, historically, health spending has grown much faster than G.D.P., and it was assumed that this trend would continue.

But a funny thing has happened: Health spending has slowed sharply, and it’s already well below projections made just a few years ago. The falloff has been especially pronounced in Medicare, which is spending $1,000 less per beneficiary than the Congressional Budget Office projected just four years ago.

Click through for the rest of this excellent Paul Krugman editorial. Contrary to Republican lies, there is no Medicare crisis. The entire healthcare system will become better and more efficient, if the ACA evolves into Medicare for All!

Cartoon:

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I stole this from last year.

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Sep 012014
 

Labor-day2012

For most of my early life I considered Labor Day little more than a day off at the end of summer.  That’s because I am not a union man.  I have never belonged to a union, nor has anyone in my family.  So what has the labor movement done for me?  I have learned what organized labor has done to improve the lot of all American Workers, and I have come to understand that Labor Day is a celebration of Union labor, and one that is well deserved.

laborThinkProgress has assembled just five of the many things that Americans can thank the nation’s unions for giving us all:

1. Unions Gave Us The Weekend: Even the ultra-conservative Mises Institute notes that the relatively labor-free 1870, the average workweek for most Americans was 61 hours — almost double what most Americans work now…

2. Unions Gave Us Fair Wages And Relative Income Equality: As ThinkProgress reported earlier in the week, the relative decline of unions over the past 35 years has mirrored a decline in the middle class’s share of national income…

3. Unions Helped End Child Labor: “Union organizing and child labor reform were often intertwined” in U.S. history, with organization’s like the “National Consumers’ League” and the National Child Labor Committee” working together in the early 20th century to ban child labor…

4. Unions Won Widespread Employer-Based Health Coverage: “The rise of unions in the 1930′s and 1940′s led to the first great expansion of health care” for all Americans, as labor unions banded workers together to negotiate for health coverage plans from employers…

5. Unions Spearheaded The Fight For The Family And Medical Leave Act: Labor unions like the AFL-CIO federation led the fight for this 1993 law, which “requires state agencies and private employers with more than 50 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected unpaid leave annually for workers to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, seriously ill family member or for the worker’s own illness.”

… [emphasis original]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

It’s well worth the time to click through for the rest of this article.

Furthermore, here is an excellent video on what labor has done for America.

 

Therefore, to begin my celebration of Labor Day in the best possible way, I wish to thank all of you who are or have been union workers.  My life is better because of you.  And to you and everyone else, have a Happy Labor Day!

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Sep 012014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 133.  Except for blogging, I’m being as lazy as I can.  Whatever you are doing this holiday weekend, I hope and pray you stay safe.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:00 (average 5:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From AlterNet: Conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly: If women were more focused on getting married, maybe men wouldn’t sexually assault them so much.

Phyllis Schlafly shared some pearls of wisdom with young women on her radio show this week: Stop focusing on your career so much and get hitched. That’ll stop the menfolk from raping.

Brilliant! Why didn’t we think of that?

Wise old Phyllis asked a question she already had an answer for: “What’s the answer for women who worry about male violence?" (Wait, isn’t that all women? And all people?) "It’s not to fear all men," Schlafly continued. "It’s to reject the lifestyle of frequent ‘hookups,’ which is so much promoted on college campuses today, while the women pursue a career and avoid marriage.”

Hell, what are young ladies even going to college for? To selfishly get educated? What’s next? Are they going to selfishly go out and support themselves? And have boyfriends or girlfriends? That is pretty much asking to be raped.

Had enough crazy? Here’s more.

You read right. The Republican view is that women who opt to support themselves are asking to be raped. This is just one of six unhinged Republican moments from last week alone. Click through for the other five.

From Crooks and Liars: The gasbags from Fox’s Business Channel who make up the Saturday morning lineup on their sister network every weekend were hard at work this Labor Day weekend participating in one of their favorite activities — bashing anyone in the United States who believes that workers here ought to be able to earn a living wage, and attacking minimum wage workers who are out there protesting to have their wages raised.

Barf Bag Alert!

The job market has improved in states that have raised the minimum wage. But the 0.1% wants you to pay their employees’ food bill, so they can suck up more profit.

From Daily Kos: The 2014 campaign is well under way, and the ads have been flying. Most spots are unmemorable, but there are a few that stick out. Some of them offer a compelling and memorable case to voters, either in a primary or general election. Others … don’t.

What follows is a look at 10 spots from up to this point in the 2014 cycle. Five of them are good, and five of them have a serious flaw. There are plenty of great and terrible ads that didn’t get included. These 10 spots were chosen because each offers a lesson in political messaging, and they are worth learning from.

Let’s start with the above commercial, a spot that is almost universally mocked.

Boredom Bag Alert!

 

Every one of the other nine ads are more interesting, good or bad, than that one. Click through.

Cartoon:

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Aug 312014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 132.  I don’t feel well, and I just can’t seem to wake up today, so I need to stay down.  This is tomorrow’s only article.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:34 (average 5:43).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: I can’t wait until we’re ready to push the national conversation around bullying beyond "stop being mean" and into the realm of "actually proactively be nice." Wouldn’t that be great? "Do no harm" is a good, bare-minimum message for the cool kids to hear, but "go out of your way to make others smile" is an even better one. It’s so great to see a bunch of football players who already get it.

 

Color those kids too cool for school!! Major Kudos!

From NY Times: Six years after being struck by economic crisis, Europe is facing a fresh downturn, with few new ideas on the table for reigniting growth and deepening political divisions over the austerity policies that many blame for worsening the malaise.

If I had a nickel for every time I said that austerity would screw Europe, I’d almost be a Bankster!

From TPM: Herman Cain took the conservative rhetoric of "impeachment bait" to the next level on Thursday by theorizing that President Obama is actually trying to get impeached in order to "laugh at the Republicans."

Herman "9-9-9" Cain is crazy. Does he actually think we need an excuse to laugh at the Republicans?!!?

Cartoon:

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Aug 302014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 131.  Because I overslept I was up most of the night last night, so I slept late this morning and have behind all day.  Research was tough, as we enter Labor Day weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:20 (average 4:31).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football:

As the Broncos dined on Cowboy meat, preseason came to an end.  Regular season starts next week as the Packers and Seachickens square on Thursday night.  Players, if you have players from either of those teams, make sure your lineup is set by Thursday morning: if not, by Saturday night.  Folks who wish to follow our league, Lefty Blog Friends, are welcome to do so.  Click through.  The TomCat Teabag Trashers are ready to rock!

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Across the United States on Wednesday, a heated national debate began on the extremely complex issue of children firing military weapons.

“Every now and then, the nation debates an issue that is so complicated and tricky it defies easy answers,” says pollster Davis Logsdon. “Letting small children fire automatic weapons is such an issue.”

Logsdon says that the thorny controversy is reminiscent of another ongoing national debate, about whether it is a good idea to load a car with dynamite and drive it into a tree.

“Many Americans think it’s a terrible idea, but others believe that with the correct supervision, it’s perfectly fine,” he says. “Who’s to say who’s right?”

Similar, he says, is the national debate about using a flamethrower indoors. “There has been a long and contentious national conversation about this,” he says. “It’s another tough one.”

I’m afraid Andy hit the bullseye with this one.

From Daily Kos: “The worst day of my political life was when President George W. Bush signed McCain-Feingold into law in the early part of his first Administration.” – Mitch McConnell

This is just one of seven disturbing Republican comment from Summit of Republicans who suck … never mind. Click through for the other six. As for Bought Bitch Mitch, may that soon become the second worst day of his life.

From Upworthy: By now, some of you are thinking, "Man, I’m so tired of hearing about Ferguson." I see it in my comments all the time. But rather than explain to you why I think that’s not the best thing to say, I’m gonna let Jon Stewart do it. He’s way more eloquent than me. And he smashes pretty much every argument you might have about why we need to keep talking in an eloquent manner.

 

What could I possibly add to that? Bingo!

Cartoon:

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Aug 292014
 

I certainly stand my opinion that Ron Paul should have had himself neutered before polluting America with Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot.  My opinion that Ron Paul is a racist and misogynist, who disguises John Birch Society dementia for libertarianism remains unchanged.  But those of you, who have known me over several years, will remember the one thing I have said about him most: “Ron Paul has never mattered, and never will.”  In that, I may have been wrong.  Ron Paul actually may matter, because his criminal behavior during the last Iowa caucus may have an effect in who controls the Senate in 2014.

0829SorensonA former Iowa state senator concealed payments he received in exchange for defecting from one presidential campaign to another ahead of Iowa’s 2012 caucuses and then obstructed an investigation into the incident.

Kent Sorenson of Milo now faces up to 25 years in prison, after pleading guilty on Wednesday to two counts in federal court in Des Moines.

The case revolves around Sorenson’s dramatic jump from the presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann to then-U.S. Rep. Ron Paul’s rival campaign in late December 2011, just days before the Iowa caucuses.

According to a statement of facts [broken link removed] accompanying Sorenson’s plea agreement, he secretly negotiated with the Paul campaign over a period of months to join the campaign and received $73,000.

The payments included several monthly payments, ranging in size from $8,000 to $33,000, routed through a film production company and a second company before being received by Sorenson. Those circuitous routes circumvented reporting requirements of the Federal Election Commission, ensuring the payments were kept hidden from the public…

Inserted from <Des Moines Register>

Now on the surface, it appears that this is nothing more that a squabble between two extremist fools that were going nowhere, except for one thing.  Bribery needs a person taking the bribe and a person doing the bribing.  Who was that? In addition to Ron Paul himself, the decision maker in  Paul’s campaign was his Campaign Manager, Jesse Benton.  A key candidate for the US Senate was so impressed with the criminal way in which Benton managed Ron Paul’s campaign that he made Benton his own Campaign Manager.  Guess who!

0829jessrebenton

It was Rachel Maddow that made this connection.

If you cannot watch MSNBC video where you live, you can see the clip on YouTube.

Benton is likely to be indicted as well, but his criminal behavior certainly reflects on the character of Bought Bitch Mitch and we need to keep reminding Kentucky voters about yet another reason to Ditch Bought Bitch: Ditch Mitch!!

As for Ron Paul, were he not such a  dishonest walking, talking sphincter, we would not have this criminal record, so in this one small way. Ron Paul may have mattered.

Late Update: I just learned that the bag man who delivered the check to Sorenson for Paul And Benton also went to work for Bought Bitch Mitch!

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Aug 282014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 129.  I’m still running behind schedule, and am writing late in the day, but at least I found some better material.  Tomorrow is a Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but the Broncos  meditation will not be televised, so I won’t get to watch them ride Cowboys.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:17 (average 4:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Tales:

From NY Times: After 50 days of fighting that took some 2,200 lives, leveled large areas of the Gaza Strip and paralyzed Israel’s south for the summer, Israeli and Palestinian leaders reached an open-ended cease-fire agreement on Tuesday that promised only limited change to conditions in Gaza and left unresolved the broader issues underpinning the conflict.

Hamas, the militant Islamist faction that dominates Gaza, declared victory even though it had abandoned most of its demands, ultimately accepting an Egyptian-brokered deal that differs little from one proffered on the battle’s seventh day. In effect, the deal put both sides back where they were at the end of eight days of fighting in 2012, with terms that called for easing but not lifting Israeli restrictions on travel, trade and fishing in Gaza.

As long as Israel prevents Palestinians in Gaza from conducting normal commerce, I see no chance for success. Those people will not be content to live under a permanent state of siege.

From NY Times: The trail to Rick Perry’s indictment began with way too many drinks and a drunken-driving arrest for Rosemary Lehmberg, the Travis County district attorney, that was captured in embarrassing detail on videotape.

But the conflict between Republicans who control state government and the Democratic district attorney’s office has been playing out for years, forming a complicated back story to the unfolding legal drama known as the State of Texas v. James Richard “Rick” Perry.

Mr. Perry’s powerhouse defense team filed a motion on Monday to dismiss the felony indictment, asserting that the 64-year-old governor and prospective 2016 presidential candidate was constitutionally empowered to seek Ms. Lehmberg’s resignation. Mr. Perry contends Ms. Lehmberg was unfit to remain in office after berating deputies and kicking a cell door after a drunken-driving arrest in April 2013. She served about half of a 45-day jail sentence.

Mr. Perry and his lawyers have had substantial success in the court of public opinion, contending that the charges represent an overreach that has more to do with politics than the law. But Mr. Perry’s critics note that the grand jury indictment was secured by a special prosecutor who was appointed by a Republican judge and has no clear political leanings or ties to the Travis County courthouse.

Perry is so full of it that Rachel Maddow dedicated a Debunktion Junction to him.

Those who cannot open MSNBC videos can see this on YouTube.

Did she nail him, or what?

From Politicus USA: Gallup has super bad news for Republicans. There is a link between high disapproval of congress and high voter turnout. Republicans have done a great job not only creating record high disapproval levels, their obstructionism combined with wasting money and alienating rhetoric sustained those high levels of disapproval. If you’re a Republican, you may be tempted to believe your mission was accomplished. The only problem is high levels of congressional disapproval also means high voter turnout at election time. We all know what that means in Republican land.

0828Turnout

That’s about the best news I’ve heard all week!

Cartoon:

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