Aug 022015
 

Yesterday it reached 97°.  Today will be almost as hot.  We may have a couple of temperate days Wednesday and Thursday.  I’m staying heat hunkered.  I would love to have a nice rain storm, but this Republican-climate summer appears locked in.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Just a few short weeks ago, the Kochs and the Republican party were in what one Republican operative said was an "all-out war" over who would control the party going forward. The Kochs have been systematically putting a ground force in place across the nation to build their own extremely sophisticated database, one that they would allow Republican candidates to use (excepting Trump). This alarmed the RNC because all that valuable information was not being held by them. That and the whole thing about how "it’s very dangerous and wrong to allow a group of very strong, well-financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone to have control over who gets access to the data when, why and how," in the words of Katie Walsh, the RNC’s chief of staff.

But now it looks like the RNC has given up the fight.

Since then, the rhetoric has ratcheted down. Last week, i360 [the Koch data arm] and Data Trust [the RNC group] signed a deal to share data for the 2016 cycle.

"I do think there’s a value to making sure we’re all working together to ensure that we’re doing things efficiently and effectively. We appreciate everything the Kochs are doing, and it’s a huge help," Walsh told The Washington Post. "But at the end of the day, our focus is making sure that the voter file and the field staff are ready for the nominee to come in." […]

The RMC wanted to BE those “very strong, well financed individuals who have no accountability to anyone”, but now it’s official. The entire Republican Party is sucking nevermind.

From NY Times: Ken Paxton, the Republican attorney general of Texas and a former state legislator, has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of securities fraud and of failing to register with the state securities board, officials said.

The grand jury in the northern Dallas suburb of McKinney handed up a three-count indictment against Mr. Paxton on Tuesday, the officials said. The indictment is to be unsealed on Monday, when Mr. Paxton is expected to turn himself in to the authorities at the Collin County Jail.

The charges — two counts of first-degree securities fraud and one count of third-degree failure to register — are tied to Mr. Paxton’s work soliciting clients and investors for two companies while he was a member of the Texas House of Representatives, before he was elected attorney general in November.

What could be more natural for Republicans than to put one of their fellow criminals in charge of prosecuting lawbreakers.

From The Hill: President Obama is looking to cement his legacy on climate change.

His administration will finalize sweeping new regulations on power plants on Monday, which is sure to spark a fight with Republicans in Congress.

In a video released early Sunday, Obama called the plan "the biggest, most important step we’ve ever taken to combat climate change."

 

Kudos to Obama. Because this will hit the Koch Brothers right in the wallet, expect the entire Republican Party to become so frantic that a WA-A-A-A-A-Ambulance will be needed.

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Aug 012015
 

I won’t be too verbose. because I’ve been up since 4:00 this morning, making the graphs and collecting the data for tomorrow’s Monthly Report.  I also made a rice, eggs, veggies, and chili concoction for two or three dinners.  After I get my articles up, it’s nap time.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:27 (4:32 Average).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Media Matters: Republican insiders are complaining that the right-wing media "is shaping the party’s agenda in ways that are impeding Republicans’ ability to govern and to win presidential elections," according to a new Harvard report.

New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes, a Joan Shorenstein fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, spent nearly four months researching how the conservative media is increasingly influencing the Republican Party. She found "unanimity among establishment Republicans — many of them conservatives by the definition of anyone but purists — that rightwing media has become a big problem for the party, and their readiness to talk about it, was something of a surprise to this reporter of three decades’ experience in Washington."

Since its founding in 2004, Media Matters has documented the increasingly extreme rhetoric and policy positions of conservative media. But party Republicans are now complaining that conservative commentators, many of whom are lining their pockets with big salaries, are making it difficult for Republicans to govern and win national elections.

Dave Schnittger, a longtime former top aide to House Republican leaders, told Calmes that conservative media are loudest in opposing actions "that leaders have to get done as part of governing," such as meeting basic fiscal deadlines.

Another top Republican aide, who asked for anonymity, complained of the conservative media: "There’s no money, ratings or clicks in everyone going along to get along." Calmes added, "Asked whether he could offer examples of legislative outcomes affected by conservative media, this Republican all but snapped, ‘Sure. All of ’em.’ Does he worry more broadly then about the small-d democratic process? ‘Yeah, absolutely. Because the loudest voices drown out the sensible ones and there’s no real space to have serious discussions.’"

While what they say is essentially true, the article misses the real point. The biggest reason that the Republican Bubble Machine is so harmful to establishment Republicans is that by saying what the rabid base, recruited by those same establishment Republicans, wants to hear, they are making it more difficult for those establishment Republicans to mislead voters about their true intentions.

From Daily Kos: In one simple quote, Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B. sums up the hypocrisy of some in the ‘pro-life’ movement:

"I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is."

This quote applies well to many Republican lawmakers and anti-choice extremists who continue to introduce/pass misogynist laws restricting a woman’s reproductive rights.

While I may disagree with the Sister’s views on a woman’s right to choose, I have to respect her belief. No respect is warranted for the beliefs of Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians, who preach that the right to life ends at birth, because they would impose their will on people who do not share their beliefs.

From YouTube: Hillary Clinton: ‘Racial disparities go against everything I believe in’

During a speech at the National Urban League conference, Hillary Clinton talks about racial inequality in America, saying unfortunately, race determines who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind. She says this occurs because of discrimination that is still ongoing.

 

You decide for yourselves, but I found her speech brilliant. I particularly like her political savvy in choosing Strike Three as the occupant of the Clown Car important enough to call out for his lies.

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Jul 312015
 

Dang!  Being out and about in that heat is miserable.  I’m sure glad I took water along.  The surgery went very well, it was painless, and my foot was much more painful when I went in than when I left.  I had to walk over a block from the lift bus to get home.  It was 95° at the time, and that really wiped me out.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:39 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

I am so proud of my fellow Portlanders’ heroism in yesterdays 103° heat, I just had to include this.

Cartoon:

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Jul 302015
 

Let me begin by saying that I am not opposed to Israel.  I fully support that nation’s right to exist in peace and safety.  That said, I oppose Israel’s current government, because, contrary to international treaties, that government is denying the same right to exist in peace and safety to the Palestinians.  There is now solid evidence of Israeli war crimes from Amnesty International.

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Amnesty International says its new report provides "some of the most compelling evidence yet" that Israel committed war crimes during its attack on Gaza last summer.

‘Black Friday': Carnage in Rafah during 2014 Israel/Gaza conflict states that findings indicate that Israeli forces acted in retaliatory manner, with disregard for civilian life, after Lieutenant Hadar Goldin was captured by Hamas fighters, and that the events demand urgent, independent investigation.

"The ferocity of the attack on Rafah shows the extreme measures Israeli forces were prepared to take to prevent the capture alive of one soldier—scores of Palestinian civilian lives were sacrificed for this single aim," said Philip Luther, Director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Amnesty International.

The report from the human rights organization and Forensic Architecture, a research team based at Goldsmiths, University of London, focuses on a three-day period, from August 1 until August 4, during what Israel called Operation Protective Edge.

Researchers reconstructed events using evidence including videos, photos, satellite images, news reports, and eyewitness accounts… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

The following video shows Amnesty International’s forensic analysis.

Here in the US, Black lives matter, and the Republican Party do everything possible to make sure that they don’t. In the Middle East, Palestinian lives matter, and Likud, led by Butcher Bibi Netanyahu (R-IS), do everything possible to make sure that they don’t.

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Jul 292015
 

If you are prone to anger, you might want to skip ahead, because I find if difficult to contain the outrage I feel over the vile acts of some Georgia Republicans.  They dressed in full Republican regalia, put the Republican flag, the stars and bars, on display and attacked a child’s birthday party.

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I kid you not, it feels like we are going back in time in America.

In an Atlanta suburb this past weekend, Melissa Alford (a black woman) and her family were hosting an outdoor birthday party in Douglasville, Georgia, when a convoy of seven large pickup trucks donning Confederate flags interrupted the party and pulled into the grass. The occupants then called them niggers and threatened them with violence, according to multiple eyewitnesses, who also stated that the men actually flashed guns at them:

One of at least two cellphone videos from the incident shows Douglasville police officers holding back a group of black men and women as at least seven pickup trucks drive off. The trucks’ white passengers wave as the Confederate, American and military flags mounted on the vehicles flap in the air. .

“This is a child’s birthday party,” one woman in the crowd can be heard saying.

A second video shows the trucks gathered on a grassy area, and the N-word can be heard. A woman who shared the video said the trucks were on her property and their passengers were armed and threatened to “kill y’all [N-words].”

Inserted from <Daily Kos>

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I just can’t get my head around such vile, unbridled, Republican hate.

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Jul 292015
 

Last week I had a small but thoroughly enjoyable meeting with five of my guys.  The prison fouled-up the turnout, so ten were not released for it.  We discussed the importance of maintaining an ongoing personal inventory, and using it as a tool to recognize when we are wrong, admit it, make amends, and learn from it.  As always, I could not be more proud of them.  It was very hot, as the Activities section is over the kitchen.  I feel tired and sore, but I did get some good sleep last might.  Today is a grocery delivery day, so I have some cleaning to do in preparation.  The forecast high is 95° and will not dip below 90° until 8/3 at the earliest, so the next heat wave is officially here.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:22 (average 5/26).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Changing austerity measures starts with changing how we value our own work.

Like the frog in the pot that didn’t know it was boiling until it was too late, some of us have gotten used to these things. But some of us haven’t and aren’t willing to. Like Agnes Török, who filmed this moving poem that puts into words the frustrations so many of us have felt.

Her words are inspiration for those of us who’ve internalized economic disparities as our own character failures.

 

This hero truly understands Republican tinkle down policies. Kudos.

From The New Yorker: In what critics are calling a desperate attempt to draw the media’s attention away from Donald Trump, the other fifteen candidates for the Republican nomination have released a joint sex tape.

The tape, including such luminaries as former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, Texas senator Ted Cruz, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie, appeared briefly on major news Web sites before an avalanche of viewer revulsion demanded it be taken down.

According to Carol Foyler, a viewer who happened to catch the tape during its brief appearance on the CNN Web site, the video contained images “I may never be able to get out of my mind.”

“I couldn’t believe that these people would participate in such a thing,” she said. “Except maybe Santorum.”

Dang Andy! Lindsey Poo was a bottom.  I have no doubt that Frothy was the man on dog, but do we need to change a name from "Upchuck Huck" to "Buttf*** Huck"? Smile with tongue out

From Washington Post: Openly gay Americans can now legally marry, serve in the military (as long as you’re not transgender) and, as of Monday, lead a Boy Scout troop.

So what can’t they do? In fact, there are still several things gay Americans can’t do that straight Americans might take for granted.

We did some research and talked to the Human Rights Campaign’s legal director, Sarah Warbelow, to find out what openly gay Americans are still fighting for.

1. Give blood

This prohibition is specifically for gay and bisexual men, whom the federal government prohibited from donating blood in 1983, during the AIDS epidemic.

The Obama administration recently lifted the ban, but with one very important caveat: A man can only donate blood if he hasn’t had sexual relations with another man in the past year. The ruling was disappointing to LGBT rights groups.

"That’s really unrealistic to ask people," Warebelow said — "especially those who are in long-term relationships."

2. Be protected from housing discrimination in 28 states

In 28 states that don’t include sexual orientation in their housing discrimination laws, gay and lesbian Americans can be denied an apartment to rent, a home to buy or obtain a mortgage on the basis of their sexual orientation.

In the 30 states that don’t ban housing discrimination based on gender identity, transgender Americans face the same possibility.

3. Be protected from business discrimination in 28 states

In 28 states, gay and lesbian Americans can get kicked out of a restaurant, be refused services by a hairdresser or asked to leave a shopping mall. That number’s even higher for transgender people, who don’t have similar protections in 32 states.

The federal government also has no law prohibiting LGBT discrimination in public spaces and services.

In the states and cities that do have anti-discrimination laws — including about a dozen cities in Indiana — some conservatives have successfully pushed for a religious freedom bill to give extra legal protections to service providers who refuse LGBT Americans.

Click through for the other four. The battle against the Republican Reich for LGBT equality has just begun.

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Where InsaniTEA rules supreme.

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Jul 252015
 

RepublicansOnParade3

Here is the seventy-fourth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Tea Party member John Russell Houser, shown posing with a Republican symbol he had hung. He is so honored for demonstrating what a crazed Republican Ammosexual can do with gun.

0725RepublicanFlagJohn Russell Houser, of Phenix City, Alabama, posted frequently across a variety of online forums — from political discussions to message boards for Oldsmobile enthusiasts — where he complained about “moral decay” and media brainwashing.

“America is so sick that I now believe it to be the enemy of the world,” he wrote under the name Rusty Houser in a December 2013 comment [Republican Hate Site delinked] on Fellowship of the Minds. “I know next to nothing about Iran, but the little I do know tells me they are far higher morally than this financially failing filth farm.”

The 59-year-old Houser was less active on Facebook and Twitter, although he left behind some clues about his beliefs on those social media networks.

“If you don’t think the internet is censored, try reading a newspaper from a country that hates liberals the way I do,” reads his second — and last — Twitter post, from June 2013. The first argues that “Westboro Baptist Church may be the last real church in America [members not brainwashed].”

His Facebook account shows just two likes — the “I hate liberals!” political organization, which uses an avatar that reads “Stand with Rand,” and the Crossroads Irish-American Festival.

Posts on his Facebook page reveals an interest in limiting women’s influence over the church, a hatred for American culture, and complaints about liberals “brainwashing” Americans into hating their own country…

Inserted from <Alternet>

To be completely clear, to what extent, if any, Houser’s Republican views served as a direct motivation for his shooting spree is unknown, as Rachel Maddow explains in her coverage of him.

 

However, time and time again, we see Republicans throwing up their hands and saying, "It was mental illness!  We had nothing to do with it!” in response to violence by insane right wingers.  We’ve herd that claim far too often.  When Republicans keep using hate-filled rhetoric to keep the violent extremists they have welcomed into their party stirred up, they also need to take credit when one of the people they helped fill with hate goes off the deep end.  So regardless of Houser’s immediate motivation, his crime was Republican.

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