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:

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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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Jul 152015
 

I have a busy day today.  I’m trying to keep pace with the news, watching Obama, and it’s a grocery delivery day, so I have all that work to do..  It’s also quite muggy.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 4:51).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: The former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin would bring much-needed dignity to the 2016 Republican field, a new poll shows.

According to the poll, conducted by the University of Minnesota’s Opinion Research Institute, Palin’s ability to articulate her positions on issues with precision and restraint is sorely lacking among other entrants in the G.O.P. race.

Additionally, voters said that the former governor’s breadth of knowledge in the fields of economics, foreign affairs, and American history would place her head and shoulders above the current crop of Republican hopefuls.

In the words of one voter who was surveyed, “When I hear some of these candidates talk, I sure do miss Sarah Palin.”

Dang Andy! As much as I hate to admit it, you’re right. Bloody Bullseye Barbie is rather tame, compared to the Clown Car.

From Daily Kos: I wonder if Rep. Steve "Melon Calves" King is going to commandeer Republican anti-LGBT policy like he commandeered the party’s anti-immigration policy.

It would have no force of law, but U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, on Friday announced he has introduced a House resolution for representatives to formally disapprove of the June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized gay marriage nationally. […]

King said the "resolution expresses the sense" by the House that the court ruling "unconstitutionally and indefensibly perverts the definition of marriage," that states are not required to license gay marriage and that "individuals, businesses, churches, religious groups and other faith-based organizations are encouraged, empowered, and protected to exercise their faith without fear of legal or government interference."

Since a Sense of the House resolution does nothing, this serves only as one more opportunity for Republican to voice their hatred and display their sedition.

From NY Times: A federal appeals court Tuesday handed the Obama administration another victory in its effort to guarantee coverage of contraceptives under the Affordable Care Act, rejecting a challenge by the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order of Roman Catholic nuns.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, found that the nuns could opt out of a requirement to provide contraceptive coverage under an “accommodation” devised by the administration. The rule does not impose a “substantial burden” on the nuns’ free exercise of religion, the court said.

Four other federal appeals courts — in the District of Columbia, Philadelphia, Chicago and New Orleans — have issued similar decisions upholding the accommodation, which is intended to address the concerns of nonprofit religious organizations that object to providing contraceptive coverage for women enrolled in their health plans.

Another win for women.

Cartoon:

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Jul 122015
 

I’m feeling especially tired today, having slept poorly.  Last night a group of black men kept me awake for over four hours, by walking up and down the street, screaming at the top of their lungs, and calling each other the N word.  I’m ashamed to admit that even I had more than one stereotypical thought about them.  It truly saddens me that thugs like these could trigger even a man like me, a man with a history of civil rights activism going back to the early 1960s.  I am very sorry.  I hope such behavior by very few does not counter the major positive influence exerted by the black community following the Republican attack on the church.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:38 (average 5:30).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Recruiting:

Recruiting is now complete for Lefty Blog Friends, our fantasy football league.  Pam and her End the GOP are now onboard. Welcome  Pam!! For more information, click here.  I will be publishing an article of tips shortly.  The live online draft is on 7/25 at 11:00 AM PDT.

Short Takes:

From NY Times: If the scramble to hold together Europe’s single currency has highlighted one thing, it is that national mind-sets can be more stubborn than the 60-year-old mantra of the Continent’s “ever closer union” once supposed. And no national psyche is more important to the outcome at this moment than Germany’s.

In insisting that Greece can stay in the euro only if everyone sticks to the rules, Germany has acted almost classically to stereotype. Its fondness for orderly procedure — the foundation of its post-1945 democracy — has prevailed even over its desire to lead 21st century Europe.

If Germany is serious about following the rules, perhaps they should repay the loans they forced Greece to make when Germany’s version of the Republican Party was in power during WWII.

From TPM: Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to make boosting middle class income and wages the focus of her economic agenda. The Democratic presidential candidate will point to stagnant paychecks as the central challenge facing the U.S. economy.

Clinton will lay out the themes of her economic plan in a speech Monday in New York. Clinton’s campaign says in a preview on Saturday that the speech will emphasize the need for the real incomes of everyday Americans to rise steadily along with corporate profits and executive compensation.

While Republican candidate Jeb Bush has called for an annual growth rate of 4 percent, Clinton will say that the nation’s economy should not be judged by a specific growth figure but rather by how much income rises for middle-class households.

At least she will drown out the campaign opening announcement by the Fartfuhrer of Fitzwalkerstan.  I want to know how Hillary plans to recover some of the wealth that Republicans took from poor and middle class citizens and gave to the super-rich.

From Think Progress: People who “want to kill babies” don’t want women to see their ultrasounds.

Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson spoke in length to the NRLC about his experiences as a physician administering ultrasounds. He talked about the advanced technology of ultrasounds that exists today, saying fewer people have had abortions since the technology has improved and women can see their fetus in detail on a computer screen. “How can anybody think that’s just a mass of cells?” he said. “That’s one of the reasons that the people who want to kill babies don’t want you to see that.”

A recent study found that looking at an ultrasound doesn’t change a women’s decision to have an abortion because the vast majority of women who seek out abortion services have already made up their mind. Nevertheless, 13 states have laws on the book requiring doctors to perform an ultrasound before proceeding with an abortion.

This is one of the five most absurd arguments made at a Republican Barefoot and Pregnant convention sponsored by NRLPAC. Click through for the other four.

Cartoon:

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May 312015
 

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

Phyllis Schlafly: Women enjoy the wage gap.

0531Phyllis_SchlaflyAnti-feminist crackpot Phyllis Schafly proved once again this week that she has never actually spoken to a single woman in her life. She has written another book, (hooray, what the world needs now is another Phyllis Schlafly book! She has written, oh,  like, 20 of them! Turning 90 has not slowed her down one bit!) The new one is called “Who Killed The American Family.” It’s a whodunit, of course, and as Right Wing Watch points out, "Spoiler: It’s not just the gays.”

Though there are many co-conspirators in the murder of the family, Schalfly zeroed in on an odd one durign the interview: “The free trade people who have done the work of the feminists by getting rid of [middle class] jobs.”

Kay, a little confused. Is this uber-Republican against a free market and free trade? And since when did feminists make it their mandate to get rid of middle class jobs? We must have missed that meeting.

Did someone say jobs? That reminds Schafly of the gender pay gap, which she said is actually something that women like. Unequal pay is a turn on.

“Women like to marry a man who makes more than she does,” she explained, patiently, again, “so then she can take time off and work fewer hours when she has something she’d rather do like have a kid and look after her children. So the pay gap, really, is something that women like.”

Schlafly has an interesting list of co-conspirators which she shared with VCY America’s very informative show “Crosstalk.”

No-fault/unilateral divorce, U.N. treaties from bureaucrats that don’t understand our way of life, expensive college loans and the family courts.  Also, there’s welfare reform, globalism vs. homemakers, psychological disorders, advice from newspapers, over-medicating children, and the influence of television and more.

She would have mentioned the Internet, but she does not know what that is.

There’s also the kitchen sink.

And the gays. Did we mention the gays?

Inserted from <Alternet>

I trust she also believes that women prefer to go shoeless and love the Republican requirement od pregnancy on demand.  This is just the fifth of five disastrous Republican moments from last week alone.  Click through for the other four.

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May 202015
 

Of course I’m still buried with work to do.  I’m waiting for Store to Door to deliver groceries.  Tomorrow I have an appointment to get my MRI results.  It’s with my doctor that moved across town, so I’ll be gone most of the day.  Expect a Personal Update at most.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:39 (average 5:13).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes: (all Kos to save me time)

From Daily Kos: Bill O’Reilly is a terrible, dumb, vicious, hypocrite. Now you might add wife-beater to that litany of the obscenities that come to mind when O’Reilly crosses your radar. Gawker is reporting that, according to documents from O’Reilly’s recently lost custody case against his ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy, O’Reilly is not just a vulgar verbally and mentally abusive, bullying type—he’s also a physically assaulting type of bully:

According to a source familiar with the facts of the case, a court-appointed forensic examiner testified at a closed hearing that O’Reilly’s daughter claimed to have witnessed her father dragging McPhilmy down a staircase by her neck, apparently unaware that the daughter was watching.

O’Lielly must have a Republican reason for such a Republican crime. Could it be that she demanded to wear shoes?

From Daily Kos: Today the Arizona legislature did what no other state in the nation has been mean-spirited enough to do: they cut lifetime welfare benefits to one year for everyone — adults and children, the physically and mentally disabled. Most states have a five-year limit, while thirteen others impose a two-year cutoff. Texas (of course) has a flexible limit that can be as short as one year, but even children are exempt in the Lone Star State. Not so for Arizona! We’re Number 1!

As a result, the Arizona Department of Economic Security will drop at least 1,600 families — including more than 2,700 children — from the state’s federally funded welfare program when the budget year begins in July.

It does not matter to Arizona Republicans that the federal government is paying for the aid. What does is that they get to starve hungry children.

From Daily Kos: Wired put together a very interesting piece on the renewable energy company Vortex. They are now field testing bladeless wind energy turbines.

Instead of capturing energy via the circular motion of a propeller, the Vortex takes advantage of what’s known as vorticity, an aerodynamic effect that produces a pattern of spinning vortices. Vorticity has long been considered the enemy of architects and engineers, who actively try to design their way around these whirlpools of wind. And for good reason: With enough wind, vorticity can lead to an oscillating motion in structures, which, in some cases, like the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, can cause their eventual collapse.

Wooo Hooo!!! Some good news for a change!!

Cartoon:

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The attackers were the people the Republican Party embraced and supported, as part of their Southern Strategy.

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