Aug 302015
 

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 nutty InsaniTEA can become.  I trust that you will believe it, when I tell you that last week was no exception.

Pat Robertson has figured out the culprit for this week’s stock market volatility.

RobertsonHatNot many people are familiar with Pat Robertson’s financial knowhow. Turns out he is an expert on international stock market volatility, and unlike Donald Trump, he does not think it’s all China’s fault. No, the blame for the stock market dive early in the week is both more local and more otherworldly.

According to Robertson, God in his infinite wisdom and abundant free time is messing with the stock market to punish wicked Americans for having legalized abortions.

“We will pay dearly as a nation for this thing going on,” Robertson, having some slight word retrieval problems. By “this thing going on,” he meant the Obama administration’s support for Planned Parenthood and women’s healthcare. “And possibly if we were to stop all this slaughter the judgment of God might be lifted from us. But it’s coming, ladies and gentlemen. We just had a little taste of it in terms of the financial system, but it’s going to be shaken to its core in the next few months, years, or however long it takes and it will hurt every one of us.”

His advice seemed to be to pull your money out of the market and place it in the hands of God, who can be reached care of Pat Robertson, coincidentally.

Inserted from <Alternet>

I have to admit that on very rare occasions, Robertson actually surprises me.  This is one of them.  I felt sure he was going to blame it on gay marriage.  This is only the firth of five Republican nutjobs from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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Aug 182015
 

I arose early this morning to do some cooking, before the sun came up, so I don’t have to turn on hot things on a 100°+ day.  I have some volunteer work to do, but I’m extremely tired and hope to hunker-down as soon as Store to Door calls to take my grocery order.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:18 (average 5:22).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: This man cannot be president.

I am not exaggerating what happened here.

If a mother was going to give up her child for adoption, the conservative legislature–supported and signed by one Jeb Bush– she was required to PUBLISH HER ENTIRE SEXUAL HISTORY in a major newspaper.

The idea behind it was… actually, I don’t know what the hell the idea was except to publically shame the woman.  (Publically shaming unwed mothers, by the way, is something JEB! actually loudly and proudly called on people to do.)

All I know is that it passed under our wacko bird GOP legislature.

It was called the Scarlet Letter law.

Click through for more. When it comes to misogynist "slut shaming", Strike Three is worse than Rush Limbarf.

From Common Dreams: The Nebraska chapter of the ACLU is threatening to sue one of the state’s public school districts over its invocation, for the first time in decades, of a McCarthy-era state law that requires employees to sign an oath of "love and devotion" to the United States.

Dating back to 1951, the law requires "all persons engaged in teaching in the public schools of the State of Nebraska and all other employees paid from public school funds" to sign the pledge of loyalty. The oath includes the following language (emphasis added):

I acknowledge it to be my duty to inculcate in the hearts and minds of all pupils in my care, so far as it is in my power to do, (1) an understanding of the United States Constitution and of the Constitution of Nebraska, (2) a knowledge of the history of the nation and of the sacrifices that have been made in order that it might achieve its present greatness, (3) a love and devotion to the policies and institutions that have made America the finest country in the world in which to live, and (4) opposition to all organizations and activities that would destroy our present form of government.

While on the books for over half a century, this year is the first time in recent decades that public school administrators have asked teachers to sign the pledge.

Of course it is unconstitutional, but when you stop and think about it, this thing could cut both ways. If applied literally, rather than mythically, teachers would be swearing opposition to SCROTUS (Republican Constitutional VD).

From Right Wing Watch: Yesterday, WorldNetDaily editor Joseph Farah wrote that he is always surprised when he gets accused “of being an apocalyptic doomsdayer” because, after all, people who believe in climate science are “the real doomsdayers in our world.”

The very same day, WorldNetDaily published an article claiming that this September will see a huge, cataclysmic event, a prediction that touched on the “blood moon” prophecy that the far-right outlet has been promoting for years. (Farah once starred in a WorldNetDaily movie about how blood moons signal the Last Days, and took offense when President Obama made a joke about Rep. Michele Bachmann’s claim that his presidency ushered in the End Times).

And just a few days ago, WorldNetDaily also posted this column, “Foreshocks of Armageddon,” which seems to contradict everything Farah just said by alleging that the Rapture and emergence of the Antichrist are just around the corner… [multiple links to World Nut Daily delinked]

What hypocrites! Earth to Republicans! Earth to Republicans!! Hello?!!? Is there anyone with a working brain in that bubble machine of yours? No? I thought not!!

Cartoon:

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Aug 102015
 

The good news is that I enjoyed the first glimmer of the Holy Ellipsoid Orb.  Viking fans should feel blessed.  The bad news is that a surprise heat wave has hit with temperatures in the 90°s for at least today and tomorrow.  Of course it has come just in time to coincide with  my voluntee3r day in prison.  While discretion might trump valor sufficiently for me to take the day off, my friend has her cancer surgery a week from tomorrow, so this is probably my last chance to work with my guys, until my three day volunteer trip late next month.  Discretion be dammed.  I’m going.  I’m also running late due to prep work for that, and  I got a late start too.  Thanks Lona.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:54 (average 5:46).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Tempers flared in the aftermath of Thursday night’s Republican debate, as rival candidates accused the billionaire Donald Trump of failing to back up his misogynist slurs with concrete and workable anti-woman proposals.

Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker led the charge, as both of them asserted that Trump’s sexist rhetoric paled in comparison with their own strong records of opposition to women’s rights.

Andy is spot on again. Any Republican who would win the Presidency would put all of Hairball’s misogyny into practice, and then some.

From NY Times: A day of peaceful protest commemorating the killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, by a white police officer one year ago ended in gunfire late Sunday as multiple shots rang out on West Florissant Avenue, the commercial district hit by rioting last summer.

A St. Louis County police officer was involved in the shooting, which occurred at about 11:15 p.m., after coming under heavy gunfire, the department said in a post on Twitter. Another department post said, “At least 2 unmarked cars took shots.”

First, I condemn this attack on police officers in the strongest possible terms. That said, I’m not at all surprised that it happened.

From Think Progress: After Jake Tapper, host of CNN’s State of the Union, asked Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina about Netflix’s announcement that it will offer a year of unlimited paid family leave, the former Hewlett Packard CEO said she opposes any requirement that employers offer their workers paid leave.

“I don’t think it’s the role of government to dictate to the private sector how to manage their businesses, especially when it’s pretty clear that the private sector, like Netflix…is doing the right thing because they know it helps them attract the right talent,” she said. “I’m not saying I oppose paid maternity leave. What I’m saying is I oppose the federal government mandating paid maternity leave to every company out there. [emphasis added]

First, Netflix does not offer family leave to employees in it’s DVD division. Second, the family leave (up to 12 months) Netflix offers other employees is NOT paid. Having exposed Carly’s Republican lie, let me point out that she stands in the forefront of the Republican War on Women.

Cartoon:

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Aug 042015
 

To many, it appeared that Planned Parenthood was in danger of losing their federal funding, due to a Bill sponsored by Joni “Pig Nuts” Ernst (R-IA) and Rand “Idiot, Son of idiot, Named after Idiot” Paul (R-KY).  It seemed that hundreds of organizations churned out emails that Planned Parenthood was doomed, unless we made a contribution to the sender.  In actuality Planned Parenthood was not in any danger at all.

0804PPServices

A Republican effort to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding came up short in the Senate Monday, with a Democratic filibuster leaving the bill from Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) seven votes shy of the 60 needed for passage. But the failure of the measure, which aimed to take away more than $500 million in federal funding from the organization, is likely just a prelude to a fiercer debate to come.

Republican presidential candidates such as Paul and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are threatening another government shutdown if federal money for the reproductive health and abortion service provider is not eliminated. Cruz told Politico that Ernst’s bill was nothing more than a "show vote," and that when it comes to the real fight, he is willing to do whatever it takes to defund Planned Parenthood.

The recent conservative attacks on Planned Parenthood follow the July 14 release of two heavily edited video clips in which Planned Parenthood officials appear to be negotiating the sale of aborted fetuses. The videos, part of a conservative campaign against Planned Parenthood, were produced by a little-known anti-abortion activist named David Daleiden, whose group, the Center for Medical Progress, is associated with the anti-abortion organization Live Action. The video was circulated by Groundswell, a conservative strategy group, which Mother Jones’ David Corn reported on back in 2013. Groundswell includes such players as Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and conservative journalists and commentators from outlets like Breitbart News, which broke the news of the first sting video…

Inserted from <Mother Jones>

If Republicans had been serious about passing this bill they would have tucked it into a must pass budget item originating in the House, forcing Democrats to obtain 60 votes to remove it.  Instead, they brought it to the floor knowing that Democrats would block cloture.  Only Donnelly (DINO-IN) and Manchin (DINO-WV) goose stepped with the Republican Reich,  May both suffer saguaro suppositories!  The final vote was 53 – 46.

The only Reason the Republicans did this is to have a dog and pony show that they could take home to display to their rabid base voters.  We can be sure they will try to keep this issue alive because they can use it as a distraction from the many subjects they wish to avoid on the campaign trail.  Nevertheless we need to know how to counter their lies.  The videos, on which they are basing this attack have been thoroughly debunked already.  Furthermore, several of the Republicans, who are screaming their outrage now, voted to fund research using fetal tissue in the past.

Finally, never forget that Republicans have their own comprehensive plan covering women’s rights:

barefoot

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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.

Cartoon:

0801Cartoon

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Jul 272015
 

I’m trying to take advantage of the last relatively temperate day, before the new heat wave begins in earnest.  I got up early and cooked a 3-day spaghetti with hot Italian sausage dinner.  Then I made a big breakfast of fried eggs and potatoes.  Because my friend with cancer is taking a rare trip to the prison tomorrow, I get to take a volunteer day with a small group of my guys for a CoDA meeting.  Then on Friday, I have to go out into the extreme heat for the routine quarterly surgery on my foot, so please expect me to be somewhat scarce for the rest of the week.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:06 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Tips:

Our season opens on Thursday, September 10, but there’s a lot to do between now and then.  Get to know your players.  Check for Bye week conflicts.  Keep track of injuries.  Follow your players’ progress during preseasons. Use Add/Drop to make needed changes from unclaimed players or propose trades with competitors.  If you have any questions ask.

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (classic 6/2014): America’s gun death rates — both nationwide and in the states — dwarf those of most other Western industrialized nations. The gun death rate in the United Kingdom in 2011 was 0.23 per 100,000 while in Australia it was 0.86 per 100,000.

States with the Five Highest Gun Death Rates 

(Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000)

1 Louisiana 45.6 percent 18.91

2 Mississippi 54.3 percent 17.80

3 Alaska 60.6 percent 17.41

4 Wyoming 62.8 percent 16.92

5 Montana 61.4 percent 16.74

States with the Five Lowest Gun Death Rates

(Rank State Household Gun Ownership Gun Death Rate Per 100,000)

50 Rhode Island 13.3 percent 3.14

49 Hawaii 9.7 percent 3.56

48 Massachusetts 12.8 percent 3.84

47 New York 18.1 percent 5.11

46 New Jersey 11.3 percent 5.46

For a list of gun death rates in all 50 states, Visit Here.

This is what I’d expect except for one thing. NJ hadn’t caught up to PIGnocchio’s policies yet.

From The New Yorker: The Republican National Committee has released the format for its first 2016 Presidential debate, to be broadcast by Fox News on August 6th:

1. Question from moderator to Donald Trump;

2. Ignoring of question by Donald Trump, followed by personal attack on Jeb Bush;

3. Feeble attempt at rebuttal by Jeb Bush;

4. Interruption by Donald Trump, followed by attack on other eight candidates on stage;

Andy has it pegged. Click through for the rest.

From NY Times: Rick Perry’s voice softens when he talks about the joy he gets from looking at his iPad and seeing “that 20-week picture of my first grandbaby.” Marco Rubio says ultrasounds of his sons and daughters reinforced how “they were children — and they were our children.” Rand Paul recalls watching fetuses suck their thumbs. And Chris Christie says the ultrasound of his first daughter changed his views on abortion.

If they seem to be reading from the same script, they are.

With help from a well-funded, well-researched and invigorated anti-abortion movement, Republican politicians have refined how they are talking about pregnancy and abortion rights, choosing their words in a way they hope puts Democrats on the defensive.

The goal, social conservatives say, is to shift the debate away from the “war on women” paradigm that has proved so harmful to their party’s image.

The Republican war on women has changed little, as barefoot and pregnant is still the objective. They are just using an even less honest tactic.

Cartoon:

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Apologies to the snake.

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Jul 212015
 

I’m getting a late start on a busy day.  The forecast high is only 80°, but the building is still retaining the heat.  Since tomorrow should be only 75°, I thing it will make the difference.  Tomorrow is a grocery delivery day, so I have some cleaning to do.  They just called for my order, and I reminded them to keep track of it.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:38 (average 5:23).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: In its unending desire to mollify its intolerant, bigoted base, the GOP appears ready and willing to throw single women under the bus, along with the same-sex couples whom we already know they hate. 

In wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of same-sex marriage, Republicans are pushing legislation that aims to protect Americans who oppose these unions on religious grounds. But critics say the language is so broad, the bill creates a license to discriminate that would let employers fire women for getting pregnant outside of wedlock.

The legislation, already with 130 Republican sponsors in the House and a companion bill in the Senate, is nobly titled the "First Amendment Defense Act," but in real-world terms it has less to do with the free "exercise" of speech or religion, but with the right to impose one’s bigotry (end economic power) on others, using "religion" as a fig leaf.

In GOPerville, women are supposed to be barefoot and pregnant, unless the woman is not owned by a man.

From NY Times: The United Nations Security Council on Monday unanimously approved a resolution that creates the basis for international economic sanctions against Iran to be lifted, a move that incited a furious reaction in Israel and potentially sets up an angry showdown in Congress.

The 15-to-0 vote for approval of the resolution — 104 pages long including annexes and lists — was written in Vienna by diplomats who negotiated a landmark pact last week that limits Iran’s nuclear capabilities in exchange for ending the sanctions.

There are two sides to this issue. On one is Benjamin "Butcher Bibi" Netanyahu (R-IS) and his Republican lackeys in Congress. On the other is the rest of the world.

From Right Wing Watch: Last week, John Hagee hosted his annual Christians United for Israel summit in Washington, D.C and during the event, Matthew Hagee conducted a short interview with Rep. Louie Gohmert about the recent nuclear agreement that the United States and several other nations struck with Iran.

Barf Bag Alert!!

 

If Go-Go Goosestep Gohmert and his Republican Supply-side pseudo-Christian allies are successful in preventing this peace accord and placing this nation of the path to war, their "god" who will get the glory has cloven hooves, a pointy tail, and a pitch fork.

Cartoon:

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