Sep 072014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 139.  What a rude awakening!  I took a cat nap after breakfast and did not wake up until after supper. :-(  Fortunately, I did my research before breakfast, so all I have to do is compose.  Tomorrow is a Holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb, and the mighty Broncos will be honored with the first Sunday night meditation.  They hope to dine on small horse, but last time they tried, the small horses’ Luck was amazing.  This time, it’s our pasture.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:55 (average 5:20).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: A special Upworthy partnership with the UN Climate Summit 2014. Made possible by Unilever Project Sunlight. Read more.

When you see photographs of the Earth from far away, the implications may not immediately be clear. This puts it all into perspective.

 

Amen!

From Daily Kos: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach—the same birther guy who thought it was a good idea to get President Obama’s birth certificate before considering a challenge to putting him on the ballot in 2012—is trying to help incumbent Republican Sen. Pat Roberts win reelection by refusing to allow the former Democratic candidate to remove his name from the ballot…

…Taylor, however, says he spoke with the head of the state’s elections division who told him that he’d done everything he needed to do in order to withdraw. Taylor’s withdrawal boosts the independent campaign of Greg Orman, who has a very good chance of unseating Roberts in November’s election.

Assuming Taylor is telling the truth—and given Kobach’s history as a bigoted right-wing lunatic I’d trust him over Kobach any day of the week—then Kobach is going to have a hard time explaining what appears to be a nakedly partisan move.

There is no crime Republicans will not commit to steal an election they cannot win legally. Get out the vote!!

From Think Progress: Canada leads the world in forest degradation, according to a new mapping project.

The project, put together by World Resources Institute, Greenpeace and multiple other groups, uses interactive maps to display forest degradation and destruction around the world between 2000 and 2013. According to WRI, more than 104 million hectares (about 401,546 square miles) — a chunk of land the group notes is three times the size of Germany — of the world’s remaining large, undisturbed forests, or Intact Forest Landscapes, were degraded in the last 13 years. The Northern boreal region of Canada, Russia and Alaska had some of the largest area of degraded forests, with the Amazon having the second-largest and the Congo basin the third.

In Canada’s tar sands region, forest fires and industrial development have destroyed or degraded almost two million acres of boreal forest since 2000, according to Peter Lee, Director of Global Forest Watch Canada. Lee told ThinkProgress in an email that Canada’s main driver of forest destruction is an “increased frequency and extent of forest fires” driven by climate change. These fires are likely converting areas that were once heavily forested into shrublands. Logging and road-building are the second-biggest causes of forest destruction and degradation, Lee said, and “massive increases in the pace and scale of energy developments, especially non-conventional oil and gas developments in northern Alberta’s tar sands region and also in north-eastern British Columbia with the shale plays,” is the third.

I almost always have reason to compare Canada favorably to the US the, but in this case Harper and his Harlots are outdoing us. They must have taken a course in Koch … never mind.

Cartoon:

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I have mixed feelings about the pageant.  Because I grew up in Atlantic City, it was the source of several pleasant childhood memories adolescent fantasies.  I understand that it tends to objectify women, but at the same time, it provided more scholarship money to women than any other organization in the country.  For me, it engendered respect for the beauty within women, not just without.

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Sep 032014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 135.  It has been an incredibly busy day, so this is tomorrow’s only article.  I cleaned in preparation for a maintenance inspection.  I ordered groceries for delivery tomorrow from Store to Door.  I learned that the prison has approved  joint executive body meetings this month.  During the week if the 21st of this month, I’ll be spending two nights in Salem for joint meetings between the Officers of out outside group and the officers of my guys’ inside group for planning and coordination.  I got my motel reservation and bus tickets.  I negotiated the migration of this blog to more a more powerful server while renewing our HSP service until September, 2016.  The blog may be offline, starting at about 2 AM Pacific time until that transition is complete.  If you could not get through, that’s why.  I’m so swamped, I even stole last year’s cartoon again.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 4:06 (average 5:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From NY Times: All over Mexico, children have begun making their way to school for the start of a new year — many stepping into run-down buildings without running water, new textbooks or trained teachers.

Spending is not the issue. Mexico budgets more for education, as a proportion of gross domestic product, than Brazil, Spain and even Switzerland. So where does the money go?

According to one calculation now appearing on a new “abuse meter” — a giant electronic billboard hovering over a busy intersection here in the capital — about $2.8 billion annually goes into the pockets of 298,174 no-show teachers and administrators who collect pay without working.

While I agree that Mexican teachers and administrators should not be paid for not working, it’s rather hypocritical of us to criticize. After all Republicans in Congress get paid a hell of a lot more than Mexican teachers, and they do even less than nothing.

From The New Yorker: In what he called “a provocative and defiant act,” President Obama charged on Tuesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin has started letting his calls go directly to voice mail.

Speaking at the White House before this week’s NATO summit, a visibly furious Obama said that Putin’s new practice of letting his calls go straight to voice mail “hampers our ability to discuss the future of Ukraine and other important issues going forward.”

Having left dozens of voice mails for the Russian President, Obama said that he tried to reach him via e-mail on Monday night but received an out-of-office auto reply.

“Given what he has been up to in Ukraine over the past few weeks, I find it impossible believe he has been out of the office,” Obama said.

No matter what Andy says, Obama is wasting his time trying to get in touch with Vladimir Putin (R-RU). Just like other Republicans, “GOP Pootie” will just lie to him anyway.

From Daily Kos: At the beginning of the year, we heard a lot of talk about how 2014 was going to be another Republican wave year, like 2010, or bigger [Limbarf delinked]. Now, however, it’s clear that 2014 has not followed the same trajectory as 2010.

By this time in 2010, Democratic fortunes were sliding downhill fast, according to generic congressional ballot polling questions. This year—not so much. Take a look at the trends (Loess curves):

0903Loess

Based on the Loess curves, we should win easily, but due to Gerrymandering Republicans have marked the cards and stacked the deck.  No doubt Joanne will agree that neither of us has ever said that it comes down to turnout. Riiiiiiiiight!! Get out the vote!

Cartoon:

0903Cartoon

And the Holy Light broke forth from the Ellipsoid Orb!

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Aug 302014
 

I have long supported the idea of a carbon tax because it is the most direct way for corporate polluters cover the cost they are now pushing onto taxpayers.  In several nations, the carbon tax ix making inroads.  Chile, for one, is making excellent progress since throwing off the murderous Pinochet dictatorship, established by Nixon, Kissinger, and the US Republican Party in 1971.

0830chile_glacierIt’s a big year for fighting climate change in Chile. A carbon tax is set to go before its House of Representatives next week, as part of a larger tax reform package that includes measures intended to fight air pollution and climate change. Chile would become the first country in South America to institute a carbon tax, and the second in Latin America after Mexico, which imposed its carbon tax in January.

A carbon tax is what it sounds like. The government charges emitters of carbon pollution for every metric ton they release into the atmosphere. Carbon taxes are gaining popularity as a way to massively cut the amount of carbon dioxide put into the atmosphere, while creating jobs, raising incomes, and cutting deficits in countries where they’re implemented. British Columbia, Canada has had a carbon tax since 2008 and has seen success cutting energy use and carbon emissions, and giving revenue from the tax back to low-income families to offset higher energy prices.

Chile’s initial tax will be $5 per ton of CO2, and Mexico’s taxes fuels at different rates, averaging out to about $3.50 per ton. Those are both pretty low, but once a carbon tax is in place, it can be raised. British Columbia’s started at C$10 per ton in 2008, ramping up over the years to C$30 in 2012. A study in California found that even a $200-a-ton carbon price would actually help businesses and create jobs in the state, though it’s far higher than anything that has been tried yet.

There is currently no carbon tax in the United States, and any attempt to pass one would be extremely difficult, thanks in part to a pledge from the Koch-backed organization Americans For Prosperity that requires signers to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” A third of the U.S. House of Representatives and a quarter of Senators have signed the pledge… [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Think Progress>

In 2008, Obama supported a Carbon Tax, while both Clinton and the Republican Party supported Cap and Trade.  In a misbegotten early attempt to foster bipartisanship, Obama switched to Cap and Trade, and the Republican Party disowned it immediately, calling it Cap and Tax and a Socialist, Kenyan conspiracy.  Now Republicans just support polluters, because that what the Koch Brothers want.  So we get to suck pollution, while Republican politicians suck … never mind.

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Aug 292014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 130.  This morning I was tied up trying to fix a computer problem.  In addition, I had no water for two hours, because maintenance had to do repairs in a neighboring unit.  I got my research done, but it’s much later than normal.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:51 (average 4:53).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Religious Ecstasy:

0828-Broncos27-Cowboys3

Short Takes:

From NY Times: The four-hour tours offered by one of the big gun ranges here are a popular tourist attraction. Starting at $200 a person, a bus will pick up visitors at their hotel in Las Vegas, 25 miles to the north, show them Hoover Dam and bring them to a recreational shooting range called Last Stop, where they can fire the weapons of their dreams: automatic machine guns, sniper rifles, grenade launchers. A hamburger lunch is included; a helicopter tour of the nearby Grand Canyon is optional.

But on Monday, one family’s adventure went horribly wrong. A 9-year-old girl from New Jersey accidentally shot and killed her instructor with an Uzi submachine gun while he stood to her left side, trying to guide her. A video of the shooting, which her parents recorded on a cellphone, suggests that the girl, in pink shorts and with a braided ponytail, was unable to control the gun’s recoil; the instructor, Charles Vacca, 39, was rushed to a hospital in Las Vegas, where he died Monday night.

I remember being a nine year old at an NRA shooting range, but the weapon they gave me was a single shot .22 short rifle, not an Uzi submachine gun. I consider any instructor who would put such a weapon in a child’s hands a victim of his own Republican Ammosexuality, but he and the girl’s idiot parents have emotionally scarred the girl for life. She is the real victim here.

From Christian Science Monitor: The toughened economic sanctions the United States and the European Union imposed on Russia a month ago over its actions in Ukraine appear to have had little of the desired impact.

Instead of pulling back from the conflict in eastern Ukraine, Russia appears to be escalating its involvement. On Thursday, Western officials asserted that more than 1,000 Russian soldiers have crossed the border into southeastern Ukraine to bolster beleaguered pro-Russia separatists.

That action quickly raised questions concerning what more and what kind of action the West is likely to take in response. And the quick answer appears to be: not much.

Vladimir Putin (R-RU), aka GOP Pootie, because the Republican Party adopted him on account of his hatred toward and persecution of gay people, is ignoring the sanctions, because he recognizes that we have our hands full with ISIS and he sees the power vacuum in the US, where Congress has the responsibility to decide military action against ISIS, but the Republicans in the House would rather duck their responsibility, and complain that Obama has not taken action, while suing him over the hast time he took action, when they complained that he hadn’t taken action.

From CBS: They rejected him in 2008 and 2012, but Iowa Republican caucus-goers may finally be ready to embrace Mitt Romney as their presidential nominee.

According to a new USA Today/ Suffolk University poll, 35 percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents in Iowa would vote for Romney in the 2016 GOP caucus if given the opportunity to do so.

The pollsters initially gave the voters a list of a dozen potential 2016 Republican candidates, not including Romney. Asked to name their first choice, 13 percent said former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (who won the 2008 GOP caucuses). Another 11 percent named New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, while 9 percent chose Texas Gov. Rick Perry and 7 percent chose former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

If the best they can come up with for 2016 is Little Lord Willard, infamous for Etching his Sketch, when reality does not suit them, Republicans are screwed in 2016. Vulture Capitalists make lousy candidates. Their greed sticks to them. Now we need to save the country by keeping them from increasing their power base before then.

Cartoon:

0829Cartoon

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Jul 182014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, say 88.  I’m rushing, because I have physical therapy in the morning, I’m tired, and I’m running out of day.  Depending on how badly the PT wipes me out, I may be AWOL for Saturday articles.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:48 (average 4:37).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Having cash in the bank, stocks, a 401(k), and a house (or houses) full of stuff worth money — that’s all wealth. And it’s great to have for two basic reasons: (1) It’s handy when the goin’ gets tough (e.g., expensive medical emergencies, car troubles, making tuition, etc.), and (2) having more wealth means having more freedom to think about and plan for the future, including retirement.

But over the last several decades, rule changes that benefit the rich have made wealth harder to come by for most of us. Take a look below.

0718rich

If you haven’t guessed, in the GOP War on the poor and middle classes, they’re winning.

From Daily Kos: If you think House Speaker John Boehner’s pre-impeachment lawsuit against President Obama for failing to implement Obamacare quickly enough makes him look like an obstructionist jackass who is more interested in political stunts than doing the right thing for the country, you’re not alone:

A majority of Americans view House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) lawsuit over President Obama’s delayed implementation of ObamaCare’s employer mandate as a “political stunt,” according to a new poll released Monday.

The survey, commissioned by liberal advocacy group Americans United for Change, found that 51 percent of voters don’t believe the lawsuit is legitimate, versus just 41 percent who do.

Moreover, 56 percent say the lawsuit is wasteful spending, with just 36 percent saying it is a good use of taxpayer dollars.

That’s exactly what I said, when Agent Orange first announced it.

From AlterNet: The Associated Press is reporting that a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane was allegedly shot down in Ukraine near the Russian border Thursday. An advisor to the Ukraine’s Interior Minister confirmed the report at 11:40am. The plane was flying at an altitude of 33,000 feet when it was shot down by a surface-to-air missile, Ukraine officials are reporting on Facebook.

A Russian aviation industry source told Reuters news service that the 777 did not enter Russian airspace when it was expected, but crashed in eastern Ukraine.

The Boeing 777 had 280 passengers and 15 crew members,  Interfax reported citing an an aviation industry source. It is reported that all passengers and crew have been killed. Twenty-three Americans were reportedly on the flight. 

Political tensions and violence have been high in eastern Ukraine near the Russian border. The Ukranian government is alleging that separatist rebels shot down the plane, and the separatists are blaming Kiev. 

My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims’ families. Of course Republicans say they know who is at fault.

Cartoon:

0718Cartoon

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Jul 152014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 85.  Last night I crashed big time, making me late in getting my articles posted.  I ordered my groceries from Safeway, because Store to Door shops at Fred Meyers, and this week, their specials stink.  So Tuesday is a grocery delivery day.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:58 (average 4:47).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: A recent tour of the United States-Mexico border by Texas Governor Rick Perry has had the unintended consequence of convincing thousands of immigrants that anyone can succeed in America.

After Gov. Perry and the Fox News host Sean Hannity toured the Rio Grande on Thursday, news quickly spread that the two men were actually among the most powerful in America, fueling the immigrants’ impression that the U.S. is a place where anyone can make it.

“When we learned that these two men were the governor of a large state and a top broadcaster from a major news network, it seemed too incredible to be true,” said an immigrant from Honduras, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “We all said to ourselves, if those two can succeed in America, imagine the wondrous things we might achieve.”

LOL! Andy needs to tell the poor immigrants that those two make it here only because of their willingness to sell their souls to and betray the America for the 0.1%.

From NY Times: The deal that Secretary of State John Kerry brokered to ease the Afghan election crisis with a sweeping audit of the vote was quietly built on an even more profound reshaping of the entire government system, American and Afghan officials confirmed Sunday: The sides have agreed to gradually create an empowered prime minister post after years of an all-encompassing presidency.

Nearly a decade after American officials pushed a Constitution that enshrined near-dictatorial powers for the president, it is a tacit admission that changing to a more parliamentary system — a fraught undertaking at any time — is now seen as crucial to holding the country together after years of mounting political crises and ethnic and factional hostilities, officials said.

The Bush Reich never intended the original Afghani government to be a real republic. They intended to create a fascist puppet dictatorship under Hamid Karzai, a pipeline expert working for Unocal.

From Think Progress: Last January, the two lawyers behind Speaker John Boehner’s lawsuit claiming that President Obama is not implementing Obamacare fast enough authored an article in Politico Magazine laying out the legal theory behind this litigation. Yet, this article contains a glaring misrepresentation of a recent Supreme Court decision that undermines much of the basis for this lawsuit.

David Rivkin and Elizabeth Price Foley are the lawyers behind Boehner’s lawsuit. In their Politico piece, they correctly acknowledge that the biggest obstacle to suing Obama is something known as the “standing” doctrine. Standing is the requirement that a plaintiff bringing a lawsuit must have actually been injured in some way by the person that they are suing. But neither Speaker Boehner nor any other member of Congress has been injured by President Obama’s decision to delay implementation of a provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring employers with more than 50 employees to pay a fine if they don’t offer a minimal level of health insurance coverage. Boehner has not lost his health insurance because President Obama delayed this provision. Nor has this delay cost Boehner a single cent.

Of course, all Boehner wishes to do here if to get his lawsuit tied up in the courts until after the elections. As I have said before, it is a mere pretense, and it’s only intent is to stop the Baggers from embarrassing the rest of the party by trying to impeach Obama.

Cartoon:

0715Cartoon

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Jul 102014
 

I’m writing for tomorrow, day 80.  I’m feeling quite tired, because my groceries arrived late, and I had to stay up waiting for them.  They also woke mw calling with a question while they were shopping.  They did nothing wrong, but the timing cost me sleep.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:54 (average 4:22).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Upworthy: Wouldn’t it be amazing if everyone took a stand? Maybe we can all take tips from these boys. A government report came out in France saying "teachers give preferential treatment to male students." So as a protest, the schoolboys deconstructed gender stereotypes in a very visual way. They were met by a counter-protest from an anti-same-sex-marriage group that was already hot under the collar about a new gender equality curriculum introduced in 2014. The curriculum includes teachings on LGBTQ tolerance and gender theory.

 

Can you imagine the hateful screams from Republicans, if the US had a gender equality curriculum that included LGBT tolerance?

From Daily Kos: One by one, the GOP’s talking points about President Obama’s management of the American economy have fallen by the wayside. Even before he first took the oath of office on January 20, 2009, Republicans were warning about the "Obama Bear Market." Instead, the Dow Jones has more than doubled in value in hitting record highs. Contrary to bogus Republican claims that the Obama stimulus program "did not create a single job" and "made the economy worse," the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and most other observers concluded his American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) boosted GDP, added millions of jobs and prevented "Great Depression 2.0." And with last week’s strong jobs report, the final GOP soundbite—that under President Bush "added jobs for a record 52 straight months"—has now been tossed into the rhetorical dustbin of history.

With word that the U.S. economy added a robust 288,000 jobs in June, the Obama White House noted that the private sector has added 9.7 million jobs over 52 straight months of job growth. If that 52 number sounds familiar, it should.

The "52 straight months" was a highlight of President Bush’s 2008 State of the Union address and has been faithfully regurgitated by Republicans ever since.

The job growth under Bush was slower than it has been in the last 52 months under Obama. The Republican growth was based almost completely on the bad debt created by Republican Banksters. The Republican crash at the end left a net job loss.  The last Republican lie I heard on their bogus record being broken is that Obama cooked the books.

From NY Times: Republicans chose Cleveland on Tuesday for their 2016 national convention, with the hope of appealing to Rust Belt voters who eluded them in the last two presidential elections, and an acknowledgment of the political value of ending the party’s nomination process sooner.

The city edged out Dallas after a review by the Republican National Committee that narrowed the field to the two finalists last week. Both cities aggressively courted party officials, with Dallas presenting cheerleaders and a parade of elephants, and Cleveland turning to the Browns’ first-round draft pick Johnny Manziel, a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback. The choice must be ratified at a meeting of the full Republican National Committee next month in Chicago.

While each party lost the state where it held its 2012 conventions, Republicans believe holding their convention in a vital swing state will help them from an organizational and message standpoint.

Perhaps Texan Republicans are so divorced from reality that the party does not want them on display, during the event intended to convince middle America that Republican officials and candidates are not the seditious bastards that they actually are.  On the other hand, I think that the author missed one key point. In Cleveland, John Boehner (R-OH), aka Agent Orange, already knows where the best bar and hookers are, saving the party money on research.

Cartoon:

0710Cartoon

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