Oct 302014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 192.  Yesterday's CoDA meeting in prison went very well.  The guys dug pretty deeply into personal issues.  I mostly listened, and I can’t get into the things they said without violating their confidentiality..  Groceries are delivered and put away.  My attention is divided, because it’s the bottom of the 5th, with 2 outs.  Tomorrow I have to be ready to leave bright and early for my pulmonologist’s appointment (routine), and will probably not be back until mid afternoon, so my most likely posting for Friday will be a Personal Update and a holiday greeting.  Here’s hoping.

Late Update: Condolences to Nameless.  It was a good close game.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s tool me 3:24 (average 5:33).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Hat-Tip  JL A, Pat B, and James Maynard, all from Care2): Living with a cat for the first time, you quickly pick up on its behavioral quirks, many of which are common among other cats. What you soon find out is that cats aren't Republican. Here are 12 reasons why not:

1. Cats are curious about what you do in your bedroom, but they don't try to legislate away your freedom to do it.

2. Cats may take away your cushion, but they'll give it back to you with a gentle push.

3. Cats give you attention and sympathy when you're sick.

4. Females are treated with importance in the cat world.

Click through for the other eight. I'll add number thirteen. Even a neutered cat has more integrity in his kitty dingles than there is in all Republican officeholders combined.

From The New Yorker: \With just one week to go until the midterm elections, a new poll indicates that billionaires are likely to retain control of the United States government.

The poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, shows that the proxy candidates of billionaires are likely to win ninety-eight per cent of next Tuesday’s races, with the remaining two per cent leaning billionaire.

Although the poll indicates that some races are still “too close to call,” the fact that billionaires funded candidates on both sides puts the races safely in their column.

Andy isn't that far from the truth. Fortunately, most of the billionaires backing Democrats are not plutocrats.

From Upworthy: Fact: The political system in America is completely broken. And a huge reason it's gotten so bad is the influence of the almighty dollar. Understanding how we got to this point is both fascinating and utterly maddening.

 

This is an excellent video except it paints the problem as much more bipartisan that it is, in fact. The vast majority of corporate money, especially secret corporate money, is spent on behalf of Republicans. Even McConJob joined his fellow Republicans and voted to block the DISCLOSE Act, supported by Democrats.

Cartoon:

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Oct 292014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 191.  I’m rushing to get these articles written in before I leave to go to prison for volunteer work.  Pardon my brevity.  Because tomorrow will be a recovery and grocery delivery day, I may have no articles for Thursday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:10 (average 5:54).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league.

Scores:

8Scores

Standings:

8Standings

Perhaps I lacked wisdom when I invited a Sasquatch to play FOOTball. :-(

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Saying that he was “sick and tired of having my medical credentials questioned,” Governor Chris Christie (R-N.J.) had himself sworn in as a medical doctor on Sunday night.

Dr. Christie acknowledged that becoming a doctor generally requires pre-med classes, four years of medical school, plus additional years of residency, but he said that the Ebola epidemic compelled him to take “extraordinary measures, as we say in the medical profession.”

Dr. Christie said that, beginning on Monday, he would begin a series of random “house calls” to check New Jersey residents for Ebola and assign them for quarantine. “I can usually diagnose someone with Ebola in under a minute,” Dr. Christie said. “Even faster if I don’t actually see them.”

The doctor said that before moving forward with his plan to quarantine scores of New Jersey citizens he suspects of having Ebola, he consulted with other prominent epidemiologists, including Dr. Rick Perry, of Texas. “He concurs,” he said.

Bingo on PIGnocchio, Andy. Of course, Idiot, Son of Idiot, Named after Idiot and his misanthropic father perfected the phony medical certification routine.

From Daily Kos: Can anyone here name a  "news" outlet that would blatantly lie and then continue to lie even after being called out on it?  There are none–because Fox has never been one.  Legitimate journalists try to get to the truth, Fox (and friends) tries to make up the truth to suit their rightwing objectives.

 

The Republican Reichsministry of Propaganda, Faux Noise, has never been news. It has always been infoganda.

From Upworthy: Even though men can get it, I am not likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer in my lifetime. Regardless, I am dubious of the sea of pink ribbons, products, and promotional tie-ins that inundate our society. That’s not to say anyone who wants to wear pink and try their hardest to raise awareness is doing anything wrong — to the contrary! But I do think there’s room for criticism.

In other words, check out this funny video about pinkwashing.

Lying Komen Pink Propaganda Barf Bag Alert!!!

Shame on Upworthy for spreading Komen’s lying propaganda!! They are a virtual front for the Republican Party. 21% of donations to services is very little. Comparing that to the NFL’s charity percentage is apples to oranges. The NFL exists to make money, not to provide charitable services. Boycott Komen and give to an organization that helps women, Planned Parenthood.

Cartoon:

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Oct 282014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 190.  Tomorrow is a prison volunteer day.  Usually I facilitate CoDA meetings without leading them.  As a rule I prefer for my guys to lead them.  However they asked me to lead this one, so there is extra prep time.  My plan is to write articles before I leave, if I have time.  We’ll see.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 5:11).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A new study, by the University of Minnesota, indicates that fear of contracting the Ebola virus is highest among Americans who did not pay attention during math and science classes.

According to the study, those whose minds were elsewhere while being taught certain concepts, like what a virus is and numbers, are at a significantly greater risk of being afraid of catching Ebola than people who were paying even scant attention.

Interviews conducted with people who spent math and science classes focussing on what they would be having for dinner or what the student in front of them was wearing revealed the difficulty they are currently having grasping basic facts about Ebola.

For example, when a participant of the study was told that he had a one-in-thirteen-million chance of contracting the virus, his response was, “Whoa. Thirteen million is a really big number. That is totally scary.”

As Andy continues, I hope he’s wrong about how many are stricken by what I call Faux Noise Syndrome, because he’s talking about people, who vote for Republicans.

From Daily Kos: Last night, Bill Maher delivered a blistering final New Rule about what the matter with Kansas is.

 

While Bill is almost always funny, this time he’s funny, but he’s more spot-on.

From NY Times: When Jeb Bush decides whether to run for president, there will be no family meeting à la Mitt Romney, no gathering at Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport to go over the pros and cons. “I don’t think it’ll be like a big internal straw poll,” said his son, Jeb Bush Jr.

But if there were, the results of the poll are pretty much in. As Mr. Bush nears a decision to become the third member of his storied family to seek the presidency, the extended Bush clan and its attendant network, albeit with one prominent exception, are largely rallying behind the prospect and pulling the old machine out of the closet.

One Bush n the White House? Strike One! Shame on him! A second Bush in the White House?! Strike Two!! Shame on US!! A third Bush in the White House?!!?  Strike Three!!! The US is OUT!!!

Cartoon:

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Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breath free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Author: Emma Lazarus

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Oct 262014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 188.  Yesterday I reached into my drawer for a pair of undershorts and came up empty, so despite sleeping most of the day, I did the dreaded task last night.  Tomorrow is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, but my meditations will be limited.  I’m already religiously ecstatic.  I afraid I have another hectic week on tap.  Tuesday is a prison volunteer day, Wednesday is a grocery delivery day, and Thursday I have the appointment with my Pulmonologist, for which I recently had the CT Scan done.  So I’ll be intermittent with my posting.  I did complete my most important task of the year.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:53 (average 4:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: An organization of University of North Carolina athletic boosters expressed shock and outrage today over a report that a few members of U.N.C. sports teams may have taken real classes, despite the widespread availability of fake ones.

The report, which alleges that several players may have fulfilled the curriculum requirements of actual classes, sent shock waves through the U.N.C. booster community.

“These players apparently attended classes, wrote papers, and took exams,” Hal Cowlington, the president of a prominent U.N.C. booster club, said. “The impact of these distractions on their athletic performance is, to put it mildly, incalculable.”

Andy is on top of it. The last thing the boys on the Bubba Bagger Booster Bus ever intended is for college athletes, especially black ones, to actually get an education.

From Upworthy: Attacks on Canada are rare. But what’s special is how they handle times of crisis. Instead of getting engulfed with fear and sensationalism, they remain who they are. They won’t allow such an attack to shake them up or change them.

 

Kudos to Canadians. Statements like these are the polar opposite of what we are hearing from Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christians.

From Blue Oregon: Of all the sound bites gushing forth from the No on 92’s PR spin machine opposing GMO labeling, one stands out as a masterpiece of deception.

From their website:“Would Measure 92 end up costing taxpayers?

Yes. Measure 92 would create two new state bureaucracies to enforce and implement its costly regulations. The Oregon Department of Administrative Services staff estimated that inspection programs to enforce Measure 92 would cost taxpayers more than $14 million every budget cycle.”

The $14 million figure is everywhere – in their ads, in the Voters’ Pamphlet and on the lips of the PR professionals their campaign has hired to do their debating for them.

Yet the actual, official cost estimate from the Secretary of State’s office is that Measure 92 is “expected to result in direct expenditures by State agencies for initial one-time start-up costs estimated at between $550,000 and $600,000.”

This comes to a one-time cost of 15 cents per Oregonian for work performed by current staff… [emphasis original]

Click through for more. I’ve been inundated by No on 92 ads from phony farmers, ersatz environmentalists and scam scientists. Vote YES on Oregon 92.

Cartoon:

1026Cartoon

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Oct 242014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 186.  I’m rushing to get this finished before I leave for my volunteer work in prison.

The Victims Impact meeting went very well, and my presentation was well received.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:05 (average 4:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

1023-Broncos35-Chargers21

As penance for missing it, I must say 513 Hail Peytons. :-)

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Republican Gov. John Kasich got a lot of attention on Monday for acknowledging reality when he said that Obamacare repeal is "not gonna happen." Then he went even deeper, saying that the "political or ideological" opposition to Obamacare—and, in particular, Medicaid expansion—doesn’t "hold water against real flesh and blood, and real improvements in people’s lives." Two thoughts spring to mind reading that. Either John Kasich has given up any presidential aspirations or Kasich is seeing a shift in his party away from Obamacare insanity.

As it turns out, it’s neither of those things, because Kasich immediately "clarified" his position.

"I don’t back Obamacare. I never have. I want it to be repealed," he told The Washington Post in a telephone interview. "If the House and the Senate [are Republican-controlled] and we have a Republican president, Obamacare will be repealed flat out. Flat out. And it will be replaced."

So much for "real improvements in people’s lives." But that’s not the best part. He goes full McConnell in his backtracking talk with Politico.

Even when one acknowledges the need to feign sanity, the need to suck … nevermind … for money requires that they goosestep first.

From NY Times: Four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards were convicted and immediately jailed Wednesday for their roles in a deadly 2007 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisour Square that marked a bloody nadir in America’s war in Iraq.

A jury in Federal District Court found that the deaths of 17 Iraqis in the shooting, which began when a convoy of the guards suddenly began firing in a crowded intersection, was not a battlefield tragedy, but the result of a criminal act.

The justice here, although commendable, is incomplete, as long as the company exists in any form. Because it became known as the Republican Gestapo, it changed it’s name to Xe and then to Academi. as it remains as part of Constellis Holdings.

From Upworthy:

She’s already America’s sweetheart, and now she’s won an award for her anti-bullying work. As someone who was bullied herself, Julia Roberts can really relate to the teens she works with.

 

Kudos to Julia. And she’s right. It’s wrong to stand by and do nothing. But even worse, the Republican Party demands that bullying LGBT people is part of their right to religious expression.  How hateful!

Cartoon:

1024Cartoon

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Oct 232014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 185.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries, and then I need to prepare my materials for tomorrow’s prison volunteer day.  Tomorrow is also a high Holy Day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos are at home in the nationally televised Thursday night worship with San Diego, and I’ll be in prison, far from a TV.  When I return home and find out what happened, I’ll have to do penance.  It would be nice to have to say 515 Hail Peytons.  I hope to get articles prepared before I leave, to crash when I get home, and to post them when I wake up.  We’ll see.  However, I will probably have only a Personal Update on Saturday.

Late (early) Update:  I crashed at the keyboard, before I ran out of work, and I just woke up. :-(

Condolences to Canada over your terrorist attacks by extreme conservative pseudo-Muslims.  Extreme conservative pseudo-Christians, like the the Theocon wing of the US Republican Party, would have us react out of hatred.  Do not follow their lead.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 5:02 (average 5:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Could you imagine what it must feel like to be the one on whose shoulders the language of your people depends?

 

Major Kudos to Marie. We have already trashed so much native culture irretrievably, that whatever can yet be preserved needs to be.

From The New Yorker: A controversial new bill in the Texas House of Representatives would require those running for governor to show proof of the minimum I.Q. necessary to perform the duties of the office.

If the bill were to become law, every politician in Texas with gubernatorial ambitions would be issued an I.D. card featuring his or her photo, current address, and performance on a state-administered I.Q. test.

Andy has to be mistaken. Didn’t they outlaw IQ there? Don’t they already arrest anything brighter than a turnip? Won’t the RNC just issue fake ID’s to Republicans?

From Daily Kos: It was one of the great unanswered questions of the 2014 campaign: How in the world would the uninspiring Mitch McConnell build "enthusiastic" crowds to bring his campaign across the finish line?

Now we know the answer—with a checkbook.

McConnell will pay expenses in return for ‘enthusiasm’ at events

The Kentucky Republican Party is offering volunteers all-expenses-paid trips to join Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) campaign bus tour and "contribute to an enthusiastic atmosphere" at his events.

In exchange for transportation, meals, and lodging, the state GOP expects the lucky few chosen for the ride to "join local supporters in contributing to an enthusiastic atmosphere at each of his events."

I’d be overjoyed to attend a campaign event for Bought Bitch Mitch, and nobody would have to pay me to feign enthusiasm. Please pass the rotten eggs!!!

Cartoon:

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Now they’re campaigning to make it three times.

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Oct 222014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 184.  It’s already evening, and I finally have time to write.  ARGH!  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day, and Thursday is a major prison volunteer day.  Color me rushed.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:07 (average 3:53).  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:

7Scores

Standings:

7Standings

I could shoot Foster!

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: \Why any ostensibly rational person living in Kentucky, Tennessee, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, or Louisiana who saw this map, and still would think their states’ Republican leaders’ policies were delivering the economic growth their region so sorely needs is beyond comprehension.

 

Bubba Bagger should be hanging his head in shame!

From NY Times: Giving this city a measure of calm for the first time in weeks, 43 people who had direct or indirect contact with the Liberian man who died here of Ebola were declared Ebola-free on Monday.

The 43 people who were released from monitoring had all had potential contact with the Liberian man, Thomas Eric Duncan, before he was admitted to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas on Sept. 28. Ultimately in the coming days, a total of 48 people are expected to be cleared of any risk of contracting Ebola and will start rebuilding their lives, after a 21-day isolation that amounted to a self-imposed quarantine for some of them and a more serious state-ordered quarantine for others.

Republicans had better hurry. This issue is running out of steam as a way for them to fear monger. On the other hand, Faux Noise viewers may lot learn of this.

From Upworthy: Space is vast and mysterious and kind of generally mind-freakingly amazing. And yet, we’re not really trying to get there anymore. Neil deGrasse Tyson isn’t too pleased about that.

 

How true! It seems that Republicans would prefer to keep the known universe from expanding into the vast empty spaces between the ears of idiots who elect them, especially those idiots that choose not to vote!

Cartoon:

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