Aug 092016
 

I actually got to watch the Olympics for a few minutes last night.  I hope I live through the 2020 games.  I’d hate for my last Olympics to be the one I could not see well.  It’s a busy day with lots of paperwork to do.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:57 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: At a speech in Detroit on Monday, the Republican Presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump, spelled out the details of his economic plan, which calls for every American to inherit millions of dollars from his or her father.

“There are people at my rallies, desperate people, desperate because they want jobs,” he told his luncheon audience at the Detroit Economic Club. “Once they inherit millions from their father, they will never want a job again.”

Using an anecdote to show how his economic plan would work, Trump explained, “A man with zero dollars who inherited forty million dollars from his father would become forty million dollars wealthier.”

“We are going to make America rich again,” he said.

So, Andy, do you plan to return to doing satire?

From Daily Kos: And now for some friendly advice for my Republican friends. If you want to criticize President Obama on anything having to do with Iran, don’t waste your energy seething about "Iran" and "ransom" and "hostages" and what Ronald Reagan would do. It won’t end well for you. After all, it wasn’t Reagan’s inauguration that secured the release of 52 Americans held captive in Tehran, but months of negotiations by the Carter administration. And as it turned out during the Iran-Contra scandal, the American president who actually paid a "ransom" and "negotiated with terrorists" was none other than St. Ronnie himself.

In the midst of Republican accusations about Iran, don’t forget that Republicans love to project, accusing Democrats of vile sins against God, nature, and their patron Saint Ronnie, when the one who actually committed them was Saint Ronnie Ray Gun, himself.

From Alternet: “None of us will vote for Donald Trump,” a letter signed by 50 of the right’s top national security officials read. Dozens of top aides and cabinet members for President George W. Bush issued the letter Monday to warn against the Republican presidential nominee as a “risk” to America’s national security.

“From a foreign policy perspective, Donald Trump is not qualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief,” read the letter drafted by legal adviser at the National Security Council and the State Department under former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. Several of Rice’s many of closest aides at the White House and the State Department are all signatories to the anti-Trump letter, although the former secretary of state has issued no public statements on Trump’s White House bid.

In March, more than 100 GOP national security advisers signed a similar anti-Trump letter, calling the political neophyte “fundamentally dishonest” who “would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe.” Monday’s letter, however, is signed by several, even more prominent national security officials who cited Trump’s recent remarks about Russia as a catalyst for action. More on the signatories from the New York Times:

Among the most prominent signatories are Michael V. Hayden, a former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency; John D. Negroponte, who served as the first director of national intelligence and then deputy secretary of state; and Robert B. Zoellick, another former deputy secretary of state, United States trade representative and, until 2012, president of the World Bank. Two former secretaries of homeland security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, also signed, as did Eric S. Edelman, who served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s national security adviser and as a top aide to Robert M. Gates when he was secretary of defense.

I hate to say it, but that’s 100 endorsements we don’t want, considering that around ninety of them should be tried for war crimes.

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It’s either Republicitis or Republicosis!!

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Jul 072016
 

Yesterday my Ocular Oncologist's lead technician and head nurse both called in sick.  Therefore, I did not get my appointment until after my ride home was scheduled and did not get home from my 11:00 AM appointment until after 4:00 PM.  The good news is that the eye is healing well.  There was no apparent shrinking of the tumor, but none is expected yet.  We'll know if it was successful in six months.  The bad news is that there is very little we can do to correct my horrible vision until after my six month evaluation,  I'm 20/30+ in my left eye and 20/300 in my right.  In addition I have cataracts in both an d gave pronounced double vision  I'm getting a late start, because I tried to nap after breakfast.  Store to Door is taking this week off, so I'm got my grocery delivery from Safeway.com.  I got everything put away.  I'm very pooped.  Tomorrow I have PT with Courtney.  I'm still on light duty, but I trust she'll find some minor tortures.  Please expect no more than a personal update tomorrow.  For the record, I have nothing to cover the murder of two more innocent black men by police.  First, everything I would say is being said already.  Second, I just can't wrap myself around how many there have been without screaming.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 3:02 (average 4:44).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Don Christy is a self-described “patriot” and took it upon himself to join the 4th of July parade of vehicles in the Sheridan, Indiana. Wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and a blonde wig, Christy shocked parade-goers with a doll meant to look like President Obama in a toilet with the words “Lying-African” underneath. From the IndyStar:

"I'm not a Democrat. I'm not a Republican," Christy said. "I'm a patriot."

Christy said he is tired of political correctness and was just trying to be funny. The display was not intended to be racist, he said. Christy agreed that others have a right to be offended, just as he has the right to express his views.

"I apologize to anyone I offended, which would be a total liberal. I have my right to say things," Christy said. "Isn't that what the Fourth of July's about? Freedom.”

As noted by the large Trump signs on top of the golf car, Christy is a big fan of the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. He’s just tired of all this gosh-darned political correctness these days!

Bull!!  If this Racist Republican isn't one, then why is he goose stepping with the presumptive rectum of the Republican Party?

From NY Times: On July 28, 2002, roughly eight months before the American-led invasion of Iraq, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain sent President George W. Bush a personal note that alarmed some of Mr. Blair’s top national security aides — and was greeted with relief in Washington.

“I will be with you, whatever,” Mr. Blair wrote, in what appeared to be a blanket promise of British support if the United States went to war to topple Saddam Hussein, the Iraqi leader. Getting rid of Mr. Hussein was “the right thing to do,” Mr. Blair wrote, predicting that “his departure would free up the region.”

Fourteen years later, Mr. Blair’s pledge was revealed publicly on Wednesday as part of a voluminous, seven-year official investigation into how and why Britain went to war in Iraq.

The main conclusions in the report, by the independent Iraq Inquiry Committee, were familiar: that Britain, like the United States, used flawed intelligence to justify the invasion, that Iraq posed no immediate national security threat, that the allies acted militarily before all diplomatic options had been exhausted and that there was a lack of planning for what would happen once Mr. Hussein was removed.

There was a reason we called Blair "Bush's poodle". Both and more should be imprisoned for life.

From Alternet: Longtime Fox News host Gretchen Carlson shocked the media world on Wednesday by filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against her former boss, CEO Roger Ailes.

In her suit against Ailes, she also alleged that she faced a hostile work environment from many of her male colleagues including former Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy. Looking back on some choice clips of Carlson, we can see signs that she was sending out secret cries for help for years.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I can't help but believe that, after all the years of legs, cleavage, and batting her eyes like an obedient Republican bimbo,  she had to know why she was hired. I'm not defending Faux Noise sexism.  I abhor it, but she was clearly prostituting herself on camera for so long, that to cry foul at this point is hypocritical.

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May 082016
 

Almost every week, Republicans join a competition to see who can say the most outlandish things, and in the process, they push the envelope on just how vile InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Lord of Darkness endorses Trump.

cheney-usedcarThere’s not much of a joke here. Just an all-over skin crawl coupled with an all-over shudder and sickening gut twist. Dick Cheney has endorsed Trump. That’s all. In doing so, the Iraq-war architect has broken rank with other prominent Republicans like the entire Bush clan, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Mitt Romney. Not to mention House Speaker Paul Ryan who has so far just said no to Trump. We can only assume that Cheney just really wants to go to the GOP convention in Cleveland this summer. Perhaps the Darth Vader admirer’s dancecard [sic]is coming up empty these days.

Cheney said he would back Trump, despite earlier saying that Trump sounded too much “like a liberal Democrat,” when he criticized the decision to invade Iraq and said the Bush administration lied about the existence of weapons of mass destruction. Trump did not sound like a liberal Democrat when he stated this fact. He sounded like a man in the throes of a rare moment of lucidity.

But now, Cheney doesn’t care about that. Or he does not remember it, and as long as his artificial heart keeps ticking, he’s jumping on board the Trump carnival caravan. Woo hoo!…

Inserted from <Alternet>

ChickenHawk Cheney is a war criminal and needs a trip to The Hague.  This is the second of five listed vile moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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Three More BEEutiful Buzzes

 Posted by at 1:14 pm  Politics
Apr 262016
 

I have three video clips from Samantha Bee to share.

SamanthaBee

Last night on her show Full Frontal, Samantha Bee decided to take a closer look at the winners and losers of the GOP race for the White House.

She began with John Kasich, whose numbers effectively shut him out of any real shot for the presidency, but whose delusional optimism has kept him in the race. After a clip of Kasich saying he’s “studying how Lincoln got there,” and mistakenly stating that Abe occupied fourth place, Bee decided to correct the error.

“Actually, Lincoln was second,” Bee began. “But, yes, you’re in fourth place – out of three!Behind the ghost of Marco Rubio.”,,,

Inserted from <Alternet>

 

Sam does a wonderful job of trashing republicans.

In the next clips she discusses Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill.

Let’s put Sam  on the $7 bill!

On a more serious note, Sam interviews a former detainee of the GOP Gitmo Gulag,

All the torture he endured was perpetrated by Texas Torquemada, ChickenHawk Cheney and other Bush Reich war criminals.  All still need to be prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned.

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Jan 082016
 

No earth shattering events today.  Tomorrow will be busy, and next week unbelievably busy.

Short Takes 

Huffington Post — A widely circulated post on social media alleging Syrian refugees receive more money for food than Canadians on welfare is not true, say federal and provincial officials who also debunk other widely circulated claims.

The Facebook post, which also appears on Instagram, began circulating on Dec.18, and government officials say it is the latest in a series of false claims on social media.  

Federal and provincial officials told CBC News that the figures are simply "not correct," and federal monthly support for Syrian refugees is based on provincial and territorial welfare rates.

The haters are at it again!  Unfortunately, there will always be people who will hate, who cannot see justice except for themselves.

The Nation — From the look of the presidential campaign, war crimes are back on the American agenda. We really shouldn’t be surprised, because American officials got away with it last time—and, in the case of the drone wars, continue to get away with it today. Still, there’s nothing like the heady combination of a “populist” Republican race for the presidency and national hysteria over terrorism to make Americans want to reach for those “enhanced interrogation techniques.” That, as critics have long argued, is what usually happens if war crimes aren’t prosecuted.  

The recent history of US torture, he [Obama] said, “needs to be understood and accepted. We have to as a country take responsibility for that so hopefully we don’t do it again in the future.” 

So what is this "we"?  The average American had no say in the use of torture and other war crimes (ie carpet bombing).  I suppose some might argue that "we the people" elected the leaders, but why?  Surely it wasn't to commit war crimes.  Now the Republican presidential aspirants openly advocate policies to use methods of war classified as war crimes.  The article mentions a report, No More Excuses”, released 01/12/2015 which makes the following recommendations:

To US Authorities

  • The Attorney General, with the support of the president, should appoint a special prosecutor to conduct a thorough, independent, and credible criminal investigation into the CIA torture that examines all evidence, including statements from current and former detainees.
  • The president should acknowledge wrongdoing, apologize to victims of torture, and devise policies ensuring that victims receive appropriate redress, compensation, and rehabilitation services.
  • The president should declassify the full Senate Intelligence Committee Report on the CIA rendition, detention, and interrogation program, redacting only what is strictly necessary to protect national security, to ensure there is a full public accounting of government wrongdoing and that victims of torture can obtain redress.

To legitimately be the leader of the free world, the US and its government officials must walk the talk, respecting international law.  That will mean holding leaders and former leaders accountable.  To agree with the trials of Milosevic and Hussein at The Hague, but not ratify the creation of the ICC, is the height of disrespect for international law.

Huffington Post — Democratic lawmakers in Maine plan to move forward with a motion next week that could result in Gov. Paul LePage's (R) impeachment.  

The House order would establish an investigatory committee to look at eight separate charges against LePage, including the one regarding Good Will-Hinckley. It would report back to the legislature with its findings by April 1. 

"This would set up a House investigation committee to look at all eight counts in their totality to see if there is a clear pattern of abuse of power, misuse of public assets, any violations of state law," Chipman said. "We feel pretty confident there have been violations of law and that we'll probably be voting on impeachment."

Another "Divisive asshole" and bully.  I wonder if LePage is a Trump wannabe.  This is not LePage's first threat of impeachment, the first being in June 2013.  

Travelogue  I thought I might, from time to time, show you some beautiful locations.  The Earth as art!

grand-canyon-ISA

The Grand Canyon

the-wave-arizona

The Wave, Arizona

My Universe — 

up a tree

 

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Nov 102015
 

I’m still in considerable pain and hoping the donor site heals soon.  I’m in a wheelchair and have taken a lap around the unit chasing nurses.  I’m still to slow to ketch one, dang it!! Disappointed smile

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: On “ABC This Week,” Bernie was asked if he thought his agreements with Clinton outweighed his disagreements.

“Well, that’s — well, the answer is yes and no,” Sanders responded. “Yes, we do agree on a number of issues, and by the way, on her worst day, Hillary Clinton will be an infinitely better candidate and President than the Republican candidate on his best day.”

“But having said that, we have very significant differences and the key difference is I see a nation in which we have a grotesque level of income and wealth inequality,” 

Bernie is as right about this, as he is about virtually everything else. The very worst Democrats are infinitely better than the very best Republicans.

From NY Times: A Senate security officer stepped out of the December chill last year and delivered envelopes marked “Top Secret” to the Pentagon, the C.I.A., the State Department and the Justice Department. Inside each packet was a disc containing a 6,700-page classified report on the C.I.A.’s secret prison program and a letter from Senator Dianne Feinstein, urging officials to read the report to ensure that the lessons were not lost to time.

Today, those discs sit untouched in vaults across Washington, still in their original envelopes. The F.B.I. has not retrieved a copy held for it in the Justice Department’s safe. State Department officials, who locked up their copy and marked it “Congressional Record — Do Not Open, Do Not Access” as soon as it arrived, have not read it either.

Nearly a year after the Senate released a declassified 500-page summary of the report, the fate of the entire document remains in limbo, the subject of battles in the courts and in Congress. Until those disputes are resolved, the Justice Department has prohibited officials from the government agencies that possess it from even opening the report, effectively keeping the people in charge of America’s counterterrorism future from reading about its past. There is also the possibility that the documents could remain locked in a Senate vault for good.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch last week, Ms. Feinstein, a California Democrat, said the Justice Department was preventing the government from “learning from the mistakes of the past to ensure that they are not repeated.”

The Elephant in this room is that, if DOJ goes after Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and the other Republican war criminals for their atrocities, little else will get done in the resulting Republican gridlock. Nevertheless, we have no moral authority as a nation, as long as Republicans keep getting away with war crimes!

from The Washington Post: The Obama administration will ask the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court injunction that has held up a new program that potentially would shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation. The decision to take the case to the high court comes a day after a federal appeals panel ruled against the administration, keeping the new program on hold nearly a year after President Obama announced it.

“The Department of Justice remains committed to taking steps that will resolve the immigration litigation as quickly as possible,” said Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesman for the agency. “The Department disagrees with the Fifth Circuit’s adverse ruling and intends to seek further review from the Supreme Court of the United States. “

Administration officials said they hope the court will take the case in the spring and issue a ruling by June, which, if favorable, could allow the program to begin in the summer, with just months left in Obama’s term. Republican presidential candidates have said they would dismantle the program, adding urgency to the administration’s efforts to get it started.

Obama may well be making a mistake to put their fate in the hands ok SS Scalito, KKK Kennedy, Teabag Thomas, Republican Roberts, and worst of all, Schtupidenfuhrer Scalia, the five Injustices of SCROTUS, Republican Constitutional VD.

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Proof of Israeli War Crimes

 Posted by at 11:24 am  Politics
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.

0730compellingevidence

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 112015
 

I’m getting a late start today, because I’ve been busy talking to my friend with cancer, proofreading and editing a manual that another organization is preparing for prisoners on how to prepare for a parole board review, and planning an upcoming three day prison volunteer trip in September. I’m not fully well, but am still mending.  I hope you are having a fine weekend.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:46 (average 6:12).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We may still need one new player for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  Viv and her Hillbilly Lefties are now onboard. We may have found our last player. For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: From Business Insider:

The national Democratic Party released a new video Thursday that connects the entire Republican presidential field to the immigration remarks made by real-estate magnate Donald Trump.

The Democratic National Committee’s video is titled, "Retrumplican Party."

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

I say again, the reason Hairball is leading in the polls is that that he represents the actual values of the Republican Party. The others are freaking out over him, because he says directly the things that they disguise with dog-whistle rhetoric.

From NY Times: The first detailed accounts of the brutal interrogation program the Central Intelligence Agency established after the Sept. 11 attacks noted that psychologists and other medical professionals played key roles in abetting the torture of terrorism suspects. However, much about their role and their degree of responsibility in one of the most macabre and shameful chapters of American history has remained shrouded in secrecy.

A new report by a former federal prosecutor, first disclosed by James Risen in The Times, contains astonishing, disturbing details. It found that top members of the American Psychological Association, the largest professional organization of psychologists, colluded with officials at the Pentagon and the C.I.A. to keep the group’s ethics policies in line with tactics that interrogators working for the agency and the military were employing.

At a time when intelligence and Department of Defense officials were desperate for intelligence that would help them foil new terror plots, they were willing to pay handsomely for experts who could give the torture program a veneer of legitimacy. Prominent psychologists were apparently happy to indulge them. “A.P.A. chose its ethics policy based on its goals of helping D.O.D., managing its P.R., and maximizing the growth of the profession,” the report said.

Every psychologist and medical professional of any kind that participated in the Republican Torture program should charged with war crimes. Those who merely abetted the Republican torture program should be stripped of their licenses to practice ever again for violating their professional ethics.

From Alternet: After suffering through weeks of white men complaining how political correctness is "ruining comedy" (read: "people have stopped laughing at my jokes"), the Key and Peele Show’s latest viral bit involving pirates singing a catchy feminist shanty offered a much-needed respite, showing that comedy can be both funny and inclusive.

 

HAR!!

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Jul 102015
 

I can’t express how happy I am to have a wide open window and my A/C set on fan.  It will take a couple days for the building to bleed off the heat.  Old masonry structures are like that.  TGIF!!

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:39 (average 4:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

We may still need one new player for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  Viv and her Hillbilly Lefties are now onboard. We may have found our last player. For more information, click here.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: Yep, that’s what Jeb Bush said in a press interview with New Hampshire’s Union Leader. Unbelievable. People already WORK LONG HOURS, and we’re actually one of the most productive countries in that we work longer than any other industrialized nation in the entire world. Here’s the context in which Jeb Bush said his damning quote:

“My aspiration for the country and I believe we can achieve it, is 4 percent growth as far as the eye can see. Which means we have to be a lot more productive, workforce participation has to rise from its all-time modern lows. It means that people need to work longer hours and, through their productivity, gain more income for their families. That’s the only way we’re going to get out of this rut that we’re in.”

Call me crazy, but when we’re working up to 50 hours a week, and in many cases, more hours than that, and we’re not getting paid well in doing the work we do. Many people work long hours at the minimum wage level, and Americans work longer hours just to make the ends meet these days. The part-timers want to work full hours, but they can’t find other work, so they don’t often make ends meet without the assistance of government programs.

These are the facts, Jeb Bush, we already work damn hard, and we’re entitled to the right wages for our work. We should NOT be underpaid, we should NOT have our hours cut, we should NOT have our benefits cut so we work longer, and we should NOT be spending so much damn time at the office just to make ends meet.

Strike Three backtracked and said he was only referring to underemployed part time workers. However, the context in which he made the statement was as the means by which he intended to achieve economic growth of 4%/year. Increasing work for the underemployed could not possibly achieve even 1% growth, so either he’s lying about making YOU work more for less, and/or his entire economic plan is a lie. In my opinion, he’s lying about BOTH. Why? He a Republican, and he’s a Bush.

From Daily Kos:

Former President George W. Bush charged $100,000 to speak at a charity fundraiser for U.S. military veterans severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, and former First Lady Laura Bush collected $50,000 to appear a year earlier, officials of the Texas-based Helping a Hero charity confirmed to ABC News.

And…

The former President was also provided with a private jet to travel to Houston at a cost of $20,000, the officials said.

It’s obscene that GW ChickenHawk is not donating his time to help the heroes that he maimed by using them as cannon fodder in his criminal war.

From Raw Story: [T]he anti-LGBT owners of an Oregon bakery were not fined for refusing to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple – they were ordered to pay $135,000 in damages for intentionally causing their would-be customers emotional distress.

The case has attracted widespread media attention since the couple first filed their complaint in January 2013, and that is largely through the efforts of Aaron and Melissa Klein, the owners of Sweet Cakes by Melissa.

After the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries handed down the order last week, Aaron Klein claimed the ruling was an example of the “persecution of Christians” in the U.S.

However, the ruling shows the bakery owners had made Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer the victims of persecution and makes clear the payment was compensation for damages and not a fine or civil penalty.

I could agree that $135,000 would be a bit excessive as a fine, but the "Sweet Cakes" pseudo-Christian Republicans went beyond mere refusal of service. They published the lesbian couple’s address to make them a target for other gay-hating Republicans. I was targeted at home by peace-hating Republicans in 2003, so I know that $135,000 is not enough!

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Apr 142015
 

When I dug into my corporate reporting for my volunteer group, I discovered I have until mid-May to get that done, so I decided to blog instead, in addition to delving into the mess I need to tackle for grocery delivery day tomorrow.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:38 (average 4:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: South Carolina wants to be able to continue to ban gays and lesbians from marrying each other. They want to do that so much that they filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court that they should continue to be able to do so. In it, they make an "originalist" argument that if the Constitution is read just as its drafters understood it, gays can be discriminated against because women can be discriminated against. Mark Joseph Stern at Slate has all the crazy.

Here’s the gist of South Carolina’s fascinatingly sexist argument. The state wants to prove that the 14th Amendment—which guarantees "equal protection of the laws" to every "person"—was not intended to displace state marriage laws. And what did those laws look like at the time? One major feature: In many states, married women were not permitted to own property or enter into contracts and had no legal existence apart from their husbands. According to South Carolina, the framers of the 14th Amendment explicitly preserved the rights of states to deprive married women of the ability to function independently from her husband. This right to deprive married women of basic liberties, South Carolina argues, is enshrined in the 10th Amendment and is not at all undercut by the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equality.

Were SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD) to agree with this brief, not only would gays become the subjects of continued discrimination, but also, "barefoot and pregnant" laws would sweep those states, where Republicans have complete control.

From The New Yorker: Hillary Clinton has followed up the official announcement of her candidacy with a new campaign ad featuring nothing but kittens.

The sixty-second spot stars an assortment of kittens—tabbies, calicoes, Siamese, and a dozen other breeds—in a variety of adorable vignettes.

At various points in the advertisement, the kittens are shown playing in a sock drawer, tangled up in yarn, and chasing a duckling.

Clinton herself appears only in the final seconds of the ad, saying merely, “Hi. I’m Hillary.”

Andy, I certainly hope my kitty cousins are not exploited in such a shameful manner. Wouldn’t it be better to portray the kittens using Republicans as a cat box? I might get in on that action myself!!

From NY Times: One by one, four former Blackwater security contractors wearing blue jumpsuits and leg irons stood before a federal judge on Monday and spoke publicly for the first time since a deadly 2007 shooting in Iraq.

The men had been among several private American security guards who fired into Baghdad’s crowded Nisour Square on Sept. 16, 2007, and last October they were convicted of killing 14 unarmed Iraqis in what prosecutors called a wartime atrocity. Yet on Monday, as they awaited sentences that they knew would send them to prison for most if not all of their lives, they defiantly asserted their innocence…

…The judge, Royce C. Lamberth, strongly disagreed, sentencing Mr. Slatten to life in prison and handing 30-year sentences to the three others.

My only regret is that the top war criminals, Bush and Cheney, were not sentenced with them.

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