Oct 312016
 

Well it's been several weeks since my last post but not because I didn't want to post.  I suffered 2 intercostal muscle sprains, the first of which was extremely painful.  On top of the cold/sinus infection, it took 3 weeks to heal.  Fortunately, everything is almost back to normal.  I started teaching again after being off for the summer.  In addition to my volunteer work with the Family Council (no it is not a Republican entity!) at the care centre where my mother lives, I am now an ex officio board committee member for the care centre, an extension of my Family Council work.  So along with my physio, I am almost as busy as TC, heavy on the 'almost'.  OMG, there are only 8 days left until the US election!  There will be the birth of a new administration and then the country gets to deal with the afterbirth, however ugly it gets.  Remember,

DON'T BE COMPLACENT!

GET OUT THE VOTE!!

VOTE BLUE ALL DOWN THE LINE!!!

Short Takes

Think Progress — Today, our baby is the size of a pea.

Today, she’s the size of a grape.

We, like every excited soon-to-be parent, followed our baby’s growth each week with joy and pride. As a mother of advanced maternal age (I was 36 at the time), we chose to have a Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) to test for any abnormalities or genetic issues and were thrilled to learn that we were expecting a baby girl and everything seemed normal. With five nieces at the time, I knew the drill with baby girls and couldn’t wait to dress our little girl in their hand-me-downs. I dreamed of a gaggle of little girls running around my childhood home in Idaho jumping on the trampoline, digging potatoes out of the dirt with Grandpa, and baking in the kitchen with Grandma.  …

I am writing my story in solidarity with others who have suffered unspeakable, heart-wrenching loss. I am writing this because I am a woman with a voice, and a vote. I will not be silenced.

I am writing this because I am tired of the narrative of politicians who speak without informing themselves and who legislate based on gross untruths.

I will not be shamed by those who believe they have the moral authority to come between a woman, her body, her choice, and her family.

With all the Republican and pseudo Christian animosity towards women and their reproductive rights, this heart felt experience of one woman and abortion demonstrates just how far off Republicans are with their reproductive laws.  Click through for the rest of the article.

Alternet — With 11 days to go before Election Day, the FBI's announcement Friday that the bureau is reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while Secretary of State may be 2016’s October surprise, inflaming an already scorched race.

But nobody should confuse Clinton’s unfortunate use of a private email system in which a handful of classified messages seeped into the tens of thousands sent and received with Donald Trump’s lifetime of borderline criminality, as evidenced by being sued more than 4,500 times for his business practices, his extensive bilking of small businesses, his deliberate tax evasions, and his on-camera boasts of sexual assaults. …

trump_7

1. Boasts of sexually assaulting women. As almost everyone in America knows, Trump was caught boasting on videotape about imposing himself sexually on women, including the felony of grabbing their genitals. While he tried to dismiss his remarks as mere locker room bragging, a dozen women came forward to accuse him of improper behavior or sexual assault. Trump predictably accused all of them of lying and working for Clinton, and threatened to sue them all after the election. However, what Trump bragged about, and what the women said he did, is against the law.

Click through for the remaining 9 instances of Trump's illegal, at best, deceptive practices.  Trump does not consider his practices criminal, while he would lock up Clinton for less.

Think Progress — FBI Director James Comey alerted Republican members of Congress on Friday that bureau investigators would review some additional emails that might relate to Hillary Clinton’s email server. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee who has already vowed to spend the next several years investigating Clinton should she be elected president, quickly rushed to announce the news, falsely claiming that the case had been “reopened.”

Interference with an election coming not only from FBI Director James Comey, but also from Rep Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) who misread Comey's letter and passed on the mistake to others and the media.  Chaffetz has been after Clinton for some time and is committed to making her life a 'living hell' if she is elected POTUS.

The Atlantic — It would be unfair to call Donald Trump’s interaction with black voters a love-hate relationship, since there’s little evidence of African American enthusiasm for Trump. But the Republican campaign has pursued a Janus-like strategy on black voters—ostensibly courting them in public while privately seeking to depress turnout.  …

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump meets with faith and community leaders before delivering a speech, Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2016, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

… even if Trump doesn’t think he needs black voters, future Republican candidates will. Trump has made clear that he owes no particular allegiance to the Republican Party and has little interest in its fortunes without him, which allows him to be blithe about writing off the demographic. Other analysts, including Republicans, have been warning for years that the GOP cannot survive as a rump party of whites (and, increasingly, white men). But voter relationships have to be built over time; a bloc written off or alienated can take a generation or more to win back.

I remember listening to Trump at one of his rallies when he looked out at the crowd and said "Where's my African American?  There he is!" as he pointed to somewhere in the crowd.  I was offended by his comments but they are indicative of his personality and his attitude towards African Americans.  In the long terrm, Republicans need the African American vote, but in the present, they are doing everything they can to suppress the vote.  At the rallies, they woo the African American vote, but behind the scenes it is a different story.

My Universe —

Halloween pumpkin and black cat on wooden background

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Oct 262016
 

I'm having a very busy day.  I have a grocery delivery coming in the next couple hours, and need to unpack them and put them away.  Later Wendy is coming to scrub and de-stink the TomCat, tighten down the nuts and bolts on my power chair, do some light cleaning, and eat both the supper I prepared for her and some sweets to contribute to the Southern Exposure Project.  Tomorrow I'm going to the prison to help facilitate a Victims Impact Meeting, involving several outside victims and up to 100 of my guys.  Because I won't be home until quite late, please assume that I will be publishing Personal Updates only and Thursday and Friday and will not be sending links messages on Care2, so please don't worry.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today's took me 4:10 (average 5:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NBC: Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered the Pentagon on Wednesday to stop clawing-back the bonuses that thousands of soldiers got for reenlisting to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"There is no more important responsibility for the Department of Defense than keeping faith with our people," Carter said in a statement. "That means treating them fairly and equitably, honoring their service and sacrifice, and keeping our word. Today, in keeping with that obligation, I am ordering a series of steps to ensure fair treatment for thousands of California National Guard soldiers who may have received incentive bonuses and tuition assistance improperly as a result of errors and in some cases criminal behavior by members of the California National Guard."

Carter's announcement was greeted with cheers in Kempner, Texas where Don and Susan Haley — both Iraq War veterans — had been struggling to pay back the bonuses they got when they reenlisted a decade ago in the California National Guard.

I trust JD will be most pleased with this.

From US News: A new report finds that the global gender pay gap will not be closed for another 170 years if current trends continue.

 Click through to watch the video.  I had to remove it because it autoplays.

A woman's place is in the House… and the Senate… and the White House… and above the glass ceiling!!

From NY Times: Thanks to recent gains, the Democrats now have a clear but vulnerable lead in the race for Senate control. Prediction markets give them a 78 percent chance of winning control, according to PredictWise.

There are nine competitive races, and the Democrats need to win at least five of them (if they also win the vice-presidency, which breaks Senate ties).

Every weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, the Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.

Democrats have seemingly safe leads over Republican incumbents in Illinois and Wisconsin and are also favored in Nevada, Indiana, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Missouri is a toss-up.

If you see new polls from Pennsylvania and Missouri, pay particular attention. Recent polls have shown the Republicans slightly ahead, but the prediction markets seem to think the polls haven’t yet caught up to the Republicans’ Trump-inflicted wounds.

Keep an eye on North Carolina and Florida, too. The Republicans — Richard Burr in North Carolina and Marco Rubio in Florida, both incumbents — are still favored, but the Democrats have a shot.

I happily endorse every Democrat. Even a DINO is better than a Rump Dump Rectumite!

Cartoon:

1026Cartoon

The military doesn't want the F-22, but Republicans won't allow its removal from the budget.

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Sep 162016
 

I’ll be leaving in a few minutes for my PCP appointment with Megan.  She’ll call in a prescription to my mail order pharmacy and I’ll have a new med for nerve pain by Tuesday or Wednesday.  Light at the end of the tunnel looks so good.  I apologize for mot reminding out fantasy football players about last night’s game between the Jets and the Bills.  I’ve been so busy that I forgot to check the schedule.  I know that I caught me, as I failed to plug-in the wide receiver I intended to start.  It cost me 15 fantasy points.  ARGH!!  I’ll finish this when I return.  This is my only article today.

I’m back.  Megan put me on Cymbalta, so if I start promoting Rump Dump Trump, that’s why.  I think it might help with the nerve pain, if it doesn’t make me crazy… um… crazier.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:43 (average 4:38).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From YouTube (H/T KP Daily Funnies): Pinksourcing With Kristen Bell | Celebs Have Issues Ep. 1

Sadly, it’s damn accurate!

From Daily Kos: The NRA recently launched an ad portraying Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Jason Kander as weak on gun rights, which is usually an effective argument in conservative states like this. But Kander’s must-see response commercial is one for the books.

 

The evil incumbent, Roy Blunt (R-MO) is up 3.4 points in the polls. I’d love to see him get his Ammosexual butt kicked.

From NY Times: In an alarming victory for the gun lobby, Missouri’s Republican-controlled Legislature voted Wednesday to override Gov. Jay Nixon’s veto and enact a wholesale retreat from gun safety in the state.

The law will let citizens carry concealed weapons in public without a state gun permit, criminal background check or firearms training. It strips local law enforcement of its current authority to deny firearms to those guilty of domestic violence and to other high-risk individuals. And it establishes a dangerous “stand your ground” standard that will allow gun owners to shoot and claim self-defense based on their own sense of feeling threatened.

The author is correct to call MO the "Shoot Me" State.

Cartoon:

0916Cartoon

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Sep 132016
 

Hot weather has returned, albeit not the extreme heat of a couple weeks ago.  I’m still having a lot of trouble with nerve pain.  Hopefully it will only be another week to ten days, as I see Megan on Friday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:55 (average 4:57).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here are the results of Week 1 in our fantasy football league.

Scores:

1Scores

Standings:

1Standings

I got my butt kicked, but I don’t expect to do well this season.  I drafted last and had no players worth carrying forward, so I start from behind the 8 ball.  Congrats to Rob, Vivian, Patty Monster, Squatch and Dusty.  Pam, did you get the message I sent you on Care2?  Tom Brady, your starting QB, is suspended for the first four weeks.  You need to substitute Stafford for him for the next three games.

Short Takes:

From KP Daily Funnies: Tell Trump, "Release the Measurements"

 

Dang!! Rump Dump needs to visit a plastic surgeon to get a hand job!!

From Daily Kos: Planned Parenthood has been winning in the courts in 2016, as state after Republican-led state has tried to cripple the organization by defunding clinics. Now the Obama administration is stepping in to attempt to short-circuit those lawsuits with a proposed rule reinforcing existing law, preventing states from defunding Planned Parenthood or any other family planning provider for political reasons.

The proposed rule says that states cannot withhold Title X federal family planning funds from providers for any reason other than their "ability to deliver services to program beneficiaries in an effective manner." This would essentially make the same laws that apply to Medicaid—states can’t pick and choose providers the federal funds go to in the absence of fraud—apply specifically to Title X funding. Bottom line: if the rule is approved, states could no longer bar Planned Parenthood funding because some of its clinics provide abortions.

“This will make a real difference in so many people’s lives," said Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards…

It took far too long for Obama to learn the ropes and realize that, since Republicans are bad faith negotiators, even when they do make agreements with him, they always brake their promises. Now that he has learned, at last, and just does what needs doing, I’m going to miss this President.

From NY Times: The N.C.A.A., responding to a contentious North Carolina law that curbed anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, will relocate all championship tournament games scheduled to take place in the state over the coming academic year, the organization announced Monday night.

Among the events affected is the Division I men’s basketball tournament, the N.C.A.A.’s most prominent annual event, which had six first- and second-round games scheduled to be played in Greensboro in March.

The announcement followed the N.B.A.’s decision in July to move its 2017 All-Star Game out of Charlotte but was seen as a particularly substantial blow to officials in North Carolina, where college basketball is central to the state’s culture and pride. North Carolina has hosted more men’s basketball tournament games than any other state, an N.C.A.A. spokesman said.

Kudos to the NCAA. All things in the Republican Theocratic Police State of McCrorystan should be boycotted.

Cartoon:

0913Cartoon

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Aug 262016
 
nwed

Actually, I'll mention two days you probably didn't know about – with a tip of the hat to Lona the Napster.

First – August 26 was designated by Congress as Women's Equality Day by Congress in 1971 at the behest of Bella Abzug (remember her?)  The date was chosen because it was the day in 1920 that Congress certified the Nineteenth Amendment, giving women the right to vote (and incidentally to hold public office).

Second – August 26 is also National Dog Day.  National Dog Day was founded in 2004 by Animal Advocate Colleen Paige, who chose August 26 because it was the date that her family adopted her first dog "Sheltie" when she was ten.  Colleen is also the founder of National Puppy Day, National Mutt Day, National Cat Day, and other national days to bring attention to, and encourage adoption of, animals.  I hadn't planned to include this, but when I learned that more Americans are aware of National Dog Day than are aware of Women's Equality Day,  I thought I had better mention it, before someone else did, and get it out of the way.

Back to Women's Equality Day, which is what the column is really about, it was, as I said, created in 1971, by a joint resolution of Congress:

Joint Resolution of Congress, 1971
Designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been entitled the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are available to male citizens of the United States; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex; and

WHEREAS, the women of the United States have designated August 26, the anniversary date of the certification of the Nineteenth Amendment, as symbol of the continued fight for equal rights: and

WHEREAS, the women of United States are to be commended and supported in their organizations and activities,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women’s Equality Day, and the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place.

The responsibility for keeping it going seems to have (appropriately) fallen to/been adopted by the National Women's History Project, a non-profit educational organization, which, among other achievements, got March designated as National Women's History month.  They produce and provide resources for educators, speakers for groups, guides for historic site tours, and – well, you name it.  They offer an on-line trifold brochure in color about the Day and detailed instructions on how to print it.

Mrs. Abzug spearheaded the Day as a celebration of women getting the right to vote, but it has become more general in focus, and, while you may notice the brochure has a voting quiz, they also pick a different theme each year to highlight, connected to women's history in general rather than just voting.  This year the theme is "Working To Form A More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Servide and Government."  A very appropriate theme for 2016.  Last year, Time magazine developed and published the graphic on the right for National Women's Day, which is, alas, still pretty accurate.

But I also want to mention two other organizations who work every day to make it easier for women to vote.

We probably know each major party has a GOTV effort in place this very important year.  But the American Association of University Women, along with their other projects, is providing non-partisan GOTV skill training free through webinars, specifically aimed at registering women in the milliennial generation, through their "It's My Vote: I Will Be Heard" initiative.  This program also includes providing voter guides, and goes beyond that to training participants how to create their own voter guides if none are available which are specific to their area.  Yes, they have "University" in their name, but they are far from an elitist group.  They are envisioning holding these drives on campuses, but that's because they are timing this set of webinars with back-to-school.  I can't imagine them being upset if someone wanted to hold a drive in, say, a mall, nor if someone signed up a male or two while registering women.

Then of course, probably the grandmamma of all organizations which pair women and votes – it was founded, by Carrie Chapman Catt, six months before the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified – is the League of Women Voters.

The League began as a "mighty political experiment" designed to help 20 million women carry out their new responsibilities as voters. It encouraged them to use their new power to participate in shaping public policy. From the beginning, the League has been an activist, grassroots organization whose leaders believed that citizens should play a critical role in advocacy. It was then, and is now, a nonpartisan organization. League founders believed that maintaining a nonpartisan stance would protect the fledgling organization from becoming mired in the party politics of the day. However, League members were encouraged to be political themselves, by educating citizens about, and lobbying for, government and social reform legislation.

To this day the League concentrates on educating voters on issues rather than on candidates.  It is committed to being grassroots and non-partisan.  And it does register voters.  Last spring, League volunteers registered nearly 15,000 high school and community college students throough 350 registration drives.  They are looking to repeat or expand on this on National Voter Registration Day, which will be Tuesday, September 27.

However, the league does not stop at educating and registering.  It does get involved in fighting on issues.  Money in politics and defending the environment are the biggest, but there are some others as well.  You might be surprised how many others.  Click thrugh to the site and scroll down for a look.

Cross posted to Care2 at http://www.care2.com/news/member/101612212/4007182

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Aug 072016
 

I’m running late, as Wendy just left.  She left both the TomCat and the Cat Box bright and shiny.  We feasted on Baby Back Ribs! I’m very tired as the hot sticky weather kept me up last night, but we have three days of cool weather before the heat returns.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:12 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Alternet: In an effort to bolster his policy platform, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump announced Friday a new 15-member economic advisory council that does not include a single woman.

Rump Dump measures women’s intellect in bra size, not IQ.

From Crooks and LiarsA somewhat important question that Julian Assange manages to completely dodge.

 

If Assange had ducked discussing his complicity with Putin and Trump any harder, he would have quacked.

From Raw Story: North Korea has accused Washington of planning a pre-emptive nuclear strike, after the US announced it would deploy its B-1 bomber in the Pacific for the first time in a decade.

That’s insane even for North Korea. Is there a new leader there named Kim Jong-Trump?

Cartoon:

 0807Cartoon

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