Apr 082016
 

My new A/C is certainly powerful enough to cool my tiny place.  It’s also very loud, and the noise bothered me last night.  I’m sure I’ll get use to it, and after a night of three, I won’t even hear it.  I’m about to leave to go to PT with Courtney.  Later.  Back and pooped.  George needs an ankle adjustment.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:48 (average 4:45).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From The Guardian (H/T Daily Kos):A group of Polish women walk out of a church service to protest against a proposed tightening of the country’s abortion laws. The video, posted on Facebook, shows the women leaving as a priest reads out a letter in favour of the ban. In Warsaw, thousands of people have attended a pro-choice rally outside parliament, after the leader of the ruling party backed a call from Catholic bishops for a full ban on pregnancy terminations.

 

It looks like Poland has Republicans that hate women too!

From Daily Kos: In disappointing Tuesday news, the Wisconsin Supreme Court race went to Rebecca Bradley, a conservative. Bradley beat progressive candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg in the non-partisan election. Wisconsin residents are now stuck with Bradley for the next ten years.

It’s a sad end to an ugly race, and an ugly type of race at that. Judicial elections are rife with problems as a general matter—politics, bias, secret money, and low voter engagement, to name a few. But in Wisconsin the elections have been particularly grimy.

Bradley is so Republican, she makes Nancy Grace seem like a progressive. This is how she won.

From Media Matters: A Media Matters investigation of the discredited right-wing group Judicial Crisis Network (JCN), the main source of baseless smears against, and false characterizations of, Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, reveals a familial web of self-dealing between the organization, a major dark money funder of JCN called the Wellspring Committee, and a third nonprofit that also receives funding from Wellspring.

 

0408JCN_Graphic

Nepotism’R’Us, Nepotism (R-US), or just plain Koch sucking?

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Mar 242016
 

I took another nap this morning, because ii was cold, and I felt tired.  Portland is weird at this time of year.  When the sun hits the bricks in my building, it warms up and stays warm until late in the evening, but the temperature drops into the low 40°s at night, so my apartment is very cold in the morning.  Tomorrow I’ll be gone half the day or more for PT/OT with Courtney.  Expect no more than a Personal Update then, and I probably won’t be sending link messages at Care2.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 5:15).  To do it click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The infamous decades-long "War on Drugs" was actually a tool for the federal government to crack down on leftist protesters and "black people," a former Nixon White House adviser admitted in an interview published Tuesday.

John Ehrlichman, who served as counsel to former President Richard Nixon, explained the unfortunate use of the controversial policy in a 1994 interview with writer Dan Baum, that he revisited in a new article for Harper’s published this week.

"You want to know what this was really all about," Ehrlichman, who died in 1999, said after Baum asked him about government policies regarding drugs. "The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying," Ehrlichman continued.

"We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities.” [emphasis added]

At the time, we leftist protestor-hippies knew exactly what was going on, but we had lost our credibility, because the Weathermen had turned the antiwar movement violent.

From NY Times: It turns out that the most important voice in the Supreme Court nomination battle is not the American people’s, as Senate Republicans have insisted from the moment Justice Antonin Scalia died last month. It is not even that of the senators. It’s the National Rifle Association’s.

That is what the majority leader, Mitch McConnell, said the other day when asked about the possibility of considering and confirming President Obama’s nominee, Judge Merrick Garland, after the November elections. “I can’t imagine that a Republican majority in the United States Senate would want to confirm, in a lame-duck session, a nominee opposed by the National Rifle Association,” he told “Fox News Sunday.”

So Fecal Dump Trump would make Supreme Court Appointments up to The TEAbaggers at the Heritage Foundation, while Bought Bitch Mitch would make it up to Ammosexuals at the NRA.  ARGH!!

From Think Progress: Renewable energy investment set a new world record in 2015, with emerging economies led by China topping the investment of developed nations for the first time, according to a United Nations-backed report unveiled Thursday.

Last year, the world invested $286 billion in green energy — some 3 percent more than the last record set in 2011 — mostly on wind and solar, according to the report, put together by the Frankfurt School and United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). On the other hand, coal and gas-fired electricity generation drew less than half the investment made in solar, wind, and other renewables.

“China is by far in the lead, but you also have quite a few others,” Eric Usher, head of UNEP Finance Initiative, told ThinkProgress. “In the lead table of the top 10 countries, six of them are in developing countries … so we see a transition taking place.” China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is responsible for about a third of worldwide investment, or $102.9 billion. The United States, the second largest emitter, is a distant second with $44.1 billion — 20 percent less than it invested in 2014.

Other countries in the top 10 list include Chile, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil, and India.

I consider this news mixed. World-wide, it’s great news, but for the US to be investing about 40% of the Chinese investment and 20% less than a year ago is terrible news.  That makes it more likely that China, not the US, will own most of the green energy technology and have most of the green energy jobs.  Republican seditious sabotage is to blame.

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Mar 182016
 

On 23/02/2016, I posted  5 of the Most Appalling Acts of Incitement From Israel This Week by David Sheen, part of the Grayzone Project.

"…AlterNet's Grayzone Project, a journalistic initiative that aims to confront Islamophobia and expose the role that Western military interventions and pro-Israel forces have played in inspiring this growing plague. You'll find a mix of investigative reports, breaking news stories, essays, first-person accounts, exclusive videos and documentaries, and a wide mix of coverage from our friends and partners."

As I said in February, there is no doubt that the Jewish people suffered grievously at the hands of Hitler and the Nazis during WWII.  Throughout history, the Jews have suffered through pogroms and wars.  But it seems to me that they, at the hands of Netanyahu and his cronies, have become the oppressor.  No group of people is all bad, nor all good.  People are people.  But when one group openly calls for the annihilation of another, genocide, it is time to take action.

From Alternet — Our latest edition of Israel Incitement Watch focuses not only on the racist statements of Israel's political and religious leaders, but on the first-ever Pew poll of Israeli Jews, which found that racist sentiments were not confined to a fringe, but are embraced by a large segment of the population.

3. Chief rabbi calls for killing attackers and cutting off contact with seculars.

Wading into an ongoing national debate over how Palestinians who attack Jews should be treated, one of the country's two chief rabbis declared that it is incumbent upon Jews to kill them on the spot. “If someone comes to kill you, you kill him first," Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef said on March 12, telling Israeli soldiers to ignore legal and moral obligations to apprehend attackers with the minimum force necessary, whether these instructions come from "the High Court of Justice, or that some chief of staff" of the Israel Defense Forces.

In the same speech, Yosef renewed a biblical call to commit genocide of all "Amalekites." The Torah records the existence of a people called the Amalekites, though they have no known living descendants in the modern era. Nevertheless, this designation is routinely trotted out by right-wing rabbis to call for massacres of Israel's enemies du jour.

"If some terrorist comes to me now, and I know he's a terrorist, and we caught him. He doesn't have a knife in his hand, he doesn't have anything. And I know, Elijah the Prophet will come to me and tell me that he's from Amalek. Is it permitted to kill him on Shabbat? No. But Elijah the Prophet says that it's Amalek. Put him in prison, after Shabbat say a blessing and kill him," said Yosef.

Later in the week, Yosef called on religious Jews to prevent their children from socializing with children of secular families, even blood relatives.

This is the third example.  Click through for the other four.  So why is the US contributing so much foreign aid to Israel and its genocidal agenda?

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Mar 092016
 

I was out most of yesterday.  When I went to drop a storage box off at Lucia's, the house was in an uproar.  Lucia was at her new English class and Jonathan was chasing after Loliyo.  Arimina, the oldest girl, was minding the kids but things were really out of hand.  I stepped in, had the kids do their homework and ended up staying until Lucia arrived home.  The two youngest were in tears because of all the screaming.  I really need to find a strong male role model for Jonathan.  He's been on the Big Brothers waiting list for almost 2 years.  Tomorrow is physio and I hope a quiet afternoon.

NY Times — He has been depicted as a snarling demagogue in France, equated with Donald Duck in Spain, and described as worse than Lord Voldemort in Britain.

In Europe, the birthplace of the Enlightenment, Donald Trump has been treated variously as a disturbing curiosity or an entertaining political show barker. His nearly every move and pronouncement has been reported from Paris to Berlin to Helsinki, even as commentators on both left and right have dismissed the notion of President Donald J. Trump as the stuff of fantasy, or, at worst, a momentary lapse of reason.

That is changing. With a series of wins in key Republican primary states, and with the billionaire’s expected strong showing when 12 states hold primaries or caucuses on Tuesday, the European media, like its American counterpart, is adjusting to the prospect of a seemingly unstoppable Trump juggernaut. The reaction is a mix of befuddlement, outrage and panic, along with admiration in some unlikely quarters.

And satire. The Spanish newspaper El País recently published an imaginary letter from the grave in which Philip II, a 16th-century Spanish king who ruled a vast empire, offers advice to Mr. Trump. Noting that his nation had also suffered from roguish subjects demanding free handouts, and Muslim terrorists masquerading as peaceful citizens, the king advises Mr. Trump to “consider bringing back the Inquisition.”

I chose Hillary, but it was close. The truth is that from a pure ideological standpoint, I’m closer to Bernie but from a pragmatic standpoint, I’m closer to Hillary. That by the way is why I wanted Liz to run so badly as I believed her to be the perfect hybrid of the two.

Good approach in my view.  He's not looking short term, but also long term.

Global Research H/T Joanne D — Honduran environmental activist Berta Cáceres was shot and killed in her home in La Esperanza, Intibuca, Wednesday. While the killers’ ID remains unknown, activists, media observers and the Cáceres family pointed to the increasingly reactionary and violent Honduran government, which has frequently clashed with Cáceres over her high-profile activism against land dispossession and mining, and her defense of indigenous rights.

Berta Caceres (image: Goldman Environmental Prize)

There was widespread outcry and grief over her death, and the story was covered by major media in the United States. But there was a glaring problem with the coverage: Almost none of it mentioned that the brutal regime that likely killed Cáceres came to power in a 2009 coup d’etat supported by the United States, under President Barack Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Almost nothing is mentioned in the MSM about the 2009 coup d'état which has implications in the assassination of Berta Cáceres.  Here is how the Huffington Post reported her assassination:

But we need to call out the actors who share a moral responsibility for the murder of our friend and partner:

• the Honduran government, which leads the country with the world's worst track record of environmental killings, and which did not protect Berta Cáceres even though it had been ordered to do so by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights; 

• the dam builder, Desarrollos Energéticos S. A (DESA), which has close contacts with the country's security forces and has orchestrated an intimidation campaign against Berta Cáceres in recent months;

• and finally, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI), FMO, Finnfund and Voith-Siemens, the funders and corporations which underwrite the Agua Zarca Project with their loans and equipment contracts.

In terms of the current campaigning, how much of this revelation will come up and make a differtence?  Clinton is more hawkish than Bernie, and is that what the US wants and needs?

Mother Jones — Last week, Mitt Romney, the twice-failed GOP presidential candidate, delivered aspeech that blasted Donald Trump, the current Republican front-runner, calling the tycoon "a phony, a fraud" and citing Trump's "dishonesty" and his "bullying, the greed, the showing off, the misogyny, the absurd third-grade theatrics." It was a clear move on Romney's part to rally the GOP establishment against the celebrity real estate mogul whose endorsement he warmly embraced during the 2012 campaign. Naturally, Trump responded in kind. Within hours, at a campaign rally in Portland, Maine, he lashed out at Romney.

Trump noted that Romney had "failed horribly" four years ago. He claimed that Romney had begged Trump to endorse him in that race: "I could have said, 'Mitt, drop to your knees.' He would have dropped to his knees." His audience roared with laughter.

The three faces of Trump?   Andrew Harnik/AP

His comment, not surprisingly, didn't cause a stir. He's been spraying a fire hose of outrageous remarks since he entered the presidential race, and this one got lost in the wash. It's also a statement fully in sync with his arrogant schtick that divides the world into winners and losers. Though he's now blasting Romney for the original 47 percent insult to Americans, Trump, too, apparently views many Americans as parasites. The only difference is that his estimate is higher.

It is amusing to see Romney criticising Trump for the same things for which he was criticised.  To me, it appears during these primaries that the Republicans are eating their own.

My Universe — 

 

cat sleep innovation Getting some Zs!!!

cat reading

A good book and thou!

 

cat head massage

A head massage! So relaxing!

 

 

 

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Mar 032016
 

Today was a "me" day.  After physio, I went out for lunch and read my book as I noshed on a turkey sandwich and a green salad.  Then home to do the PP monthly report.  Unfortunately, I am having some technical difficulties which I will try to rectify tomorrow.  I ended up using a Lona cat nap which was refreshing.

Short Takes

Huffington Post — Retired neurosurgeon and bestselling author Ben Carson said in a statement Wednesday he does "not see a political path forward" for his campaign after his poor showing on Super Tuesday.

Carson announced he won't attend the Fox News GOP debate on Thursday in Detroit, and said he would further discuss his political plans at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on Friday.

"not see a political path forward" sounds suspiciously like Carson is suspending his campaign, but when asked to clarify, he simply said "We'll see."  I guess we will, just like we will see tomorrow at 11:30 am EST when Mitt Romney is scheduled to give a major speech on the 2016 presidential race.  Will he enter the Republican fray?

Just in, the Associated Press obtained excerpts of Romney's speech.  Read the CBC report.

Alternet — Valentino’s Ghost lays bare the truths behind taboo subjects that are conspicuously avoided, or merely treated as sound bites by the mainstream American media: “Why do they hate us?” “Why do we hate them?” What were the events that led to the 9/11 attacks? What are the politics behind the U.S.-Israeli relationship?  Why is there a robust debate about these subjects in Europe, the Arab World and in Israel itself, but not in the United States? 

At the end of the article is the full 100 minute documentary "Valentino’s Ghost" which I encourage everyone to watch. The articles title tells us much "Valentino's Ghost: Powerful Documentary Explores How US Foreign Policy in the Middle East Drives Islamophobia at Home" as experts "explain how the U.S. media and govt are the source of fear and loathing of Arabs, Muslims and Islam."

Raw StoryFormer ABC News anchor Ted Koppel said on Wednesday that his Fox News counterpart Bill O’Reilly has undermined journalists’ ability to interview Donald Trump.  

You have changed the television landscape over the past 20 years — you took it from being objective and dull to subjective and entertaining. And in this current climate, it doesn’t matter what the interviewer asks him; Mr. Trump is gonna say whatever he wants to say, as outrageous as it may be.”

The real estate mogul’s audience, Koppel added, was not even a television audience, but one better suited for Twitter.

“They deal in messages of 140 characters or less, which keeps it nice and simple,” he explained.

Good on Ted Koppel for nailing O'Lielly!

Daily BeastThe intellectual leader of the tea party movement in the Senate is secretly holding up a bill to help the residents of Flint, Michigan, who have been poisoned by their own water supply.   

Lee [Republican, Utah] doesn’t like that the proposal is not being put through the ordinary and time-consuming gamut of Senate procedures known as ‘regular order’; has objections on how money from the stimulus is being repurposed for water infrastructure; and is concerned about the federal government getting involved in what he views as a local issue.

Lee, an intellectual?  So this is how Republicans look after American citizens in crisis through no fault of their own. What a putz!

My Universe — 

 

cat gifs, cats gif, funny cat gifs, funny cat gif, cute cat gif, best cat gifs, cute cat gifs, animated cat gifs, cat animated gif, hilarious cat gifs

I'm in training!  I must improve my time before the Olympic trials!

 

cat gifs, cats gif, funny cat gifs, funny cat gif, cute cat gif, best cat gifs, cute cat gifs, animated cat gifs, cat animated gif, hilarious cat gifs

Whoa! Aliens! I'm outa here!

 

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Feb 232016
 

I am not a fan of Israel the country and government, not the people.  There is no doubt that the Jewish people suffered grievously at the hands of Hitler and the Nazis duriing WWII.  Throughout history, the Jews have suffered through pogroms and wars.  But it seems to me that they, at the hands of Netanyahu and his cronies, have become the oppressor.

From AlternetThe worst cases of racism to emerge from Israel this week demonstrate how non-Jewish minority groups are maligned and demonized, and how hawkish forces in the country then use this incitement to manufacture consent for meting out harsh treatment against the same groups.

Murder-manual author convicted of sedition.

At the end of the week, an Israeli court convicted on charges of sedition the author of a how-to handbook directing Jewish supremacists to murder Palestinians. The book, Kingdom of Evil, details several assassination scenarios, including “setting a house on fire with the residents still inside,” Ha’aretz reports. In July 2015, Jewish supremacists put the book’s specific instructions into practice, torching a home in the West Bank village of Duma and burning to death the Dawabsha family, including their one-year-old baby, Ali.

The Israeli government has filed no charges, however, against the author of another popular publication, which does not explain how Jews should murder non-Jews, but rather why they should. Two months ago, Israel’s High Court of Justice backed the Attorney-General’s decision not to press charges against the authors of The King’s Torah, which uses religious arguments to justify the killing of even non-Jewish babies. The authors, rabbis living in a Jewish-only West Bank settlement, were paid state salaries when they penned the tract.

This is the first of five outrageous acts from Israel geared to incite violence.   Click through for the remaining four.  It seems that Israel has become that which she despised.

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Jan 132016
 

Madaya is besieged by Assad's forces, and until yesterday (Monday) had not received any food, water or medical supplies since last October.  Kefraya and Foah have been besieged by rebel forces since last March and are equally desperate.  Starvation is being used by all sides as a tool of war and is being investigated as a war crime by the United Nations.

Map showing besieged parts of Syria

Reuters — Residents of a besieged Syrian town have told U.N. investigators how the weakest in their midst, deprived of food and medicines in violation of international law, are suffering starvation and death, the top U.N. war crimes investigator told Reuters on Tuesday.

An aid convoy on Monday brought the first food and medical relief for three months to the western town of Madaya, where 40,000 people are trapped by encircling government forces.

Another United Nations official who oversaw the aid delivery described on Tuesday how he saw malnourished residents, particularly children, some of whom were little more than skeletons and barely moving.

The U.N. commission of inquiry documenting war crimes in Syria has been in direct contact with residents inside Madaya, the commission's chairman Paulo Pinheiro said in an emailed reply to Reuters questions.

The Guardian — Pawel Krzysiek, spokesman for the International Committee for the Red Cross in Syria, accompanied an aid convoy on Monday to the town of Madaya, which has been besieged by forces loyal to the Syrian regime since July. Supplies were delivered as part of a deal under which convoys also entered two Shia villages, Fua and Kefraya, that are surrounded by rebels. Krzysiek provided the following account, which is excerpted from an audio message he recorded after entering the town and a telephone interview with the Guardian while he was on the ground.

It’s really heartbreaking to see the situation of the people. A while ago I was just approached by a little girl and her first question was: “Did you bring food? I hope that you brought food to Fua and Kefraya and to Madaya because we are really hungry.” And I believe her, she looked hungry.

It’s very dark here as there is no electricity. But I see people on the street, women, children, many of them are coming and thanking us for coming, greeting us. But some of them were shouting and asking “why so late?”

People are asking us: “Did you bring food? Did you bring food because all we have eaten last week is water with spices.”

Huffington Post — Rebels opposed to President Bashar Assad are in control of Madaya, a mountain town about 15 miles (24 kilometres) northwest of Damascus. Government troops and fighters from the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah have surrounded the town. Opposition activists and aid groups have reported several deaths from starvation in recent weeks.

Syria's U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari denied anyone was starving in Madaya and blamed Arab television especially "for fabricating these allegations and lies."

Speaking at U.N. Headquarters, he blamed "armed terrorist groups" for stealing humanitarian aid and reselling it at prohibitive prices.

"The Syrian government is not and will not exert any policy of starvation against its own people," Ja'afari said.

But O'Brien, the U.N. humanitarian chief, said all the evidence the U.N. has shows there has been very severe malnourishment, severe food shortages, and reports of people "who are either starving or indeed have starved and died."

madaya

Syrian Red Crescent aid convoys carrying food, medicine and blankets, leave the capital Damascus as they head to the besieged town of Madaya on Jan. 11, 2016. (LOUAI BESHARA/AFP/Getty Images)

BBC — Some 400 people in the besieged Syrian town of Madaya need to be urgently evacuated for medical treatment, says UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien.

Mr O'Brien was speaking after the UN Security Council held an urgent meeting to discuss the crisis in the rebel-held town near Damascus.

Earlier, an aid convoy brought food to 40,000 town residents who have been under government siege for months.

The UN says it has received credible reports of people dying of starvation.

Disturbing images follow

 Image result for pictures of madaya Image result for pictures of madaya Image result for pictures of madaya 

Comparatively few know the horrors that have been visited upon the people of Syria.  When I see the images of Madaya, Kefraya and Foah, I am reminded of the atrocities of the holocaust during WWII.  Some Syrians have been lucky to be able to get out, but others have not been so lucky. Words fail me. My heart aches for the innocents! Have we learned nothing from the past? . . . apparently not.  Ben O, Care2 several years ago shared some wise words with me:

Comfort the disturbed, disturb the comfortable.

 

 

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Dec 152015
 

There has been much ado about how the recent climate deal reached in Paris is non-binding.  The following article explains how that need not be important, because the parties involved made the commitment in good faith, and their reputation in the international community is tantamount.  While I agree in principle, we must not forget the exception to good faith.

1215badfaith

The Paris climate deal has been lauded as “historic,” “sweeping,” and “ambitious” — a way to lead the world into a post-fossil-fuel, less-than-2°C-warming future.

But it has also been ridiculed for being “non-binding.” That is to say that America and nearly 200 other countries all got together and agreed to try really, really hard to slow climate change and to submit ongoing progress reports, but didn’t set up penalties within the agreement.

Non-binding, though, does not mean meaningless.

It’s worth taking a moment and thinking about what a binding agreement is. If I offer to pick your child up from daycare Thursday afternoon, is that a binding agreement? You can’t, strictly speaking, punish me if I leave little Sarah sitting on the curb. But — and this is a big but — you can shame me. You can avoid me, distrust me, and not make any more social agreements with me.

This idea of social pressure and participation does not only apply to carpools. It also applies to the international community. Sure, China could renege on its promises to transition off coal. The United States could decide it’s not going to give any money to developing nations to help build renewable energy. But that would make for pretty bad foreign relations.

In fact, most international agreements rely on countries’ desire to continue having good relationships with their counterparts, Michael Burger, executive director of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, told ThinkProgress.

“International agreements operate under good faith,” Burger said. “Whether a country is an upstanding member of the international community is what’s at stake.”…

Inserted from <Think Progress>

The Republican Party does not give a rat’s ass for America’s reputation in the international community.  They proved that when they defaulted on our debt in 2011, causing a drop in our credit rating.  They are the exception to good faith, and they have seditiously tried to undermine these negotiations at every turn.  So the future livability of our planet may well depend on who we elect in 2016.

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Dec 132015
 

I have a nurse coming this morning to help me set up services at home, so if this is late, that’s why.  Tomorrow I have to go to TriMet to have my wheelchair measured, so expect only a Personal Update, and that late.  Today is a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos service is with the Raiders, and I get to see it.  Wooo Hooo!!

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos (Classic 10/2014):It’s been in the news. Now it has been confirmed. As of this past weekend, Raymond Leo Burke, America’s highest-ranking cardinal at the Vatican, was officially removed from the Vatican’s Supreme Court, and demoted to chaplain of the Knights of Malta, where he will reign with much less responsibility. The ultra-Conservative and anti-gay cardinal, continuously challenges the jurisdiction of Pope Francis, and the Catholic Church’s new receptive stance on homosexuality.

How ironic it is to find the demoted cardinal is from the United States. What does that say about America – that even the Catholic Church and a pope are ahead of so many anti-LGBT lawmakers and extremists in this country.

Weeks after taking office in 2013, Pope Francis asked, ‘Who am I to judge?’ speaking of the LGBT community.

Although I disagree with Francis on many issues, he is more willing to coexist than any other Pope has been.

From NY Times: Senator Ted Cruz of Texas surged to a 10-point lead in a new poll released Saturday of likely Republican caucusgoers in Iowa, signaling that his campaign is gathering momentum and suggesting that a long nominating fight is ahead.

Donald J. Trump, who continues to lead most national polls, was second in the Iowa poll, with 21 percent naming him as their first choice, compared with Mr. Cruz’s 31 percent.

Ben Carson, after leading an October survey by the same pollster, commissioned by The Des Moines Register and Bloomberg Politics, tumbled to 13 percent, followed by Senator Marco Rubio of Florida at 10 percent.

If anyone could be worse than Hairball, it’s Uranus Inspector.

From Think Progress: In a literally world-changing deal that was almost unthinkable just a year ago, some two hundred leading nations unanimously embraced a plan that will leave most of the world’s fossil fuels unburned.

As part of a concerted effort to avoid catastrophic climate change, the world unanimously committed to an ongoing effort of increasingly deeper emissions reductions aimed at keeping total warming “to well below 2°C [3.6°F] above preindustrial levels.” The full text of this Paris Agreement goes even further, with the parties agreeing “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”

Already, global coal use appears to be plateauing, and global oil use will likely follow suit in the next decade as countries ratchet up their CO2 targets.

To get an idea of how challenging these negotiations have been, imagine trying to get a substantive agreement on any major topic in the U.S. Senate if the requirement for success were unanimity! Tragically, conservatives in Congress are doing everything that they can to undermine this deal, which is humanity’s best chance to avoid decades if not centuries of needless suffering for billions of people.

In my view, this plan does not go far enough, but I prefer it to nothing at all.

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Dec 072015
 

Because I expect a very busy day today, preparing to return home on Wednesday, this is my only article today.

Religious Ecstasy:

1206Broncos17-Chargers3

Short Takes:

From The New Yorker: Moments after its conclusion on Sunday night, President Obama’s speech about combating ISIS came under heavy criticism from people with zero better ideas.

The President’s proposals, ranging from coalition air strikes against ISIS to beefing up intelligence about potential terrorists, were blasted for being “nothing new,” with the harshest criticism coming from people with nothing new.

“I was incredibly frustrated hearing the President say he would destroy ISIS,” New Jersey Governor Chris Christie told CNN. “ISIS needs to be obliterated.”

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz shared Christie’s scathing assessment of Obama’s speech. “The President seems to think that ISIS will go away just by us bombing them,” Cruz said. “If I am President, I will bomb them so hard that will feel like they have been triple-bombed.”

Andy is reporting straight news again. 😉

From YouTube:

 

Click here for a transcript of Obama’s speech.  Your thoughts?

From NY Times: The international climate change negotiations entering their second and final week encompass a vast and complicated array of political, economic and legal questions. But at bottom, the talks boil down to two issues: trust and money.

In this global forum, no one questions the established science that greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels are warming the planet — or that both developed and developing economies must all eventually lower their greenhouse emissions to stave off a future that could wreak havoc on the world’s safety and economic stability.

In a major breakthrough, 184 governments have already submitted plans detailing how they will cut their domestic emissions after 2020.

Those pledges are expected to make up the core of a new accord, which could be signed next weekend. The agreement is also expected to require countries to return to the table at least once every 10 years with even more stringent emissions reduction pledges.

But can those governments be trusted to do what they say they will do?

Republicans are committing sedition to make the international community believe that the US cannot be trusted to keep our word.

Cartoon:

1207Cartoon

64 years later, the Republican Party is repeating the attack.

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