Monday, March 30, 2015

Making Lemonade With Her Pants On Fire

Our less-than-savvy social media congresswoman, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, achieved Internet famosity last week with her Facebook request for Affordable Care Act horror stories. The whole thing backfired horribly for her. And rightfully so. She's been bad mouthing the Affordable Care Act and trolling for horror stories for ages. It's amazing how few horrors she has uncovered and how lacking in horror they are. Unswayed by the lack of evidence, she relentlessly presses on with her Sisyphean task of rolling her Obamacare boulder up the mountain. Only Sisyphus did it as a punishment.

Well, it turns out the backlash she suffered was not her fault at all. It had nothing to do with the overwhelming positive stories posted on her Facebook page by her constituents before attracting attention elsewhere. According to the email I received from her this evening, it was the liberal media attacking her. And the liberal media minions posted favorable stories about Obamacare on her Facebook page and attacked her.

I'm not crazy! I'm under attack!


Last week, on the 5th anniversary of Obamacare becoming law, I asked Eastern Washington families to share their Obamacare experiences with me — and I heard it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

But right away, the liberals in the media began attacking me. Over one and a half million viewers were pushed to my Facebook page to berate me and praise Obamacare. 

The New York Times, MSNBC, and radicals from San Francisco to Great Britain piled on. They’re trying to stifle the honest voices of people in Eastern Washington who are telling the painful truth about Obamacare. 

They don’t care about Republicans’ health care solutions or any proposal that doesn’t fit into their top-down, one size fits ideology -- that’s why it’s so critical that we defend ourselves and fight back against the liberal influence in our nation’s capital and in the left-leaning media. 

Can you help me fight back and defend the work my team is doing to fix America’s health care? 

Add your name to stand with me against the liberal media and their ruthless attacks. 



P.S. Don’t let the liberal media drown out the voices of Eastern Washington families. Add your name to stand with me against the liberal media barrage.

According to her email she says she asked us to share our Obamacare experiences. Mostly true for the Facebook post.

But when you clicked on the link to to tell your story, it's obvious she's not after your good experiences.

Whether Obamacare has turned your tax filing into a nightmare, you’re facing skyrocketing premiums, or your employer has reduced your work hours, I want to hear about it.

Regardless, the embarrassment and awkwardness she endured and the predicament she found herself in were the work of the liberal media, and not her misinformed, singleminded, Koch brothers funded obsession with overturning health care legislation that has benefited millions of Americans, including many of her own constituents.

But our congresswoman does have her priorities set.

Leave it to Cathy McMorris Rodgers to shoot herself in the foot, plant the gun in someone else's hand, claim to be the victim, and then use that to raise money her PAC.

Figuring this out was like the easiest episode of Columbo ever.

"One more thing, Congresswoman..."


 As if there was any doubt.

Try throwing a pebble.

Moving day.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Let's Play Golf

Steph and Josh are home for spring break. Josh's girl friend Amanda is also here. We decided to go to the nearby par 3 course to hit balls at the driving range. But we no longer have golf clubs. So we went to a thrift store and picked up five clubs. Two of the clubs were 60% off so we got all five for $4.10. Two large buckets of balls were $16. We sent 180 golf balls to their oblivion sometimes only inches away from where they started. We obviously lacked experience and the motivation to do better, but the people next to us took it in good humor. It was a blast.

Notice the left handed 3 iron.

 A lousy golfer made lousier with a lefty club.

 Josh gives Amanda some pointers.

 Amanda nails it.

 Oh, the ball is still there.


Training Day

I went riding the 24 Hour course this morning at Riverside State Park. The new bike is just about dialed in. After a couple of hours I noticed discomfort from keeping too much weight on my arms than so I think I just need to bring the handlebars back and up a little. Outside of that, I need to get more training rides in.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Making People Notice

A California attorney named Matthew McLaughlin is Internet famous again. I imagine he has turned off his phone since his number is well published and outraged people want to tell him what they think of him. Why are people outraged?

He's the guy who filed an initiative entitled "Sodomite Suppression Act".

Penal Code section 39 

a) The abominable crime against nature known as buggery, called also sodomy, is a monstrous evil that Almighty God, giver of freedom and liberty, commands us to suppress on pain of our utter destruction even as he overthrew Sodom and Gomorrha. 

b) Seeing that it is better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God's just wrath against us for the folly of tolerating wickedness in our midst, the People of California wisely command, in the fear of God, that any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method. 

c) No person shall distribute, perform, or transmit sodomistic propaganda directly or indirectly by any means to any person under the age of majority. Sodomistic propaganda is defined as anything aimed at creating an interest in or an acceptance of human sexual relations other than between a man and a woman. Every offender shall be fined $1 million per occurrence, and/or imprisoned up to 10 years, and/or expelled from the boundaries of the state of California for up to life. 

d) No person shall serve in any public office, nor serve in public employment, nor enjoy any public benefit, who is a sodomite or who espouses sodomistic propaganda or who belongs to any group that does. 

e) This law is effective immediately and shall not be rendered ineffective nor invalidated by any court, state or federal, until heard by a quorum of the Supreme Court of California consisting only of judges who are neither sodomites nor subject to disqualification hereunder. 

f) The state has an affirmative duty to defend and enforce this law as written, and every member of the public has standing to seek its enforcement and obtain reimbursement for all costs and attorney's fees in so doing, and further, should the state persist in inaction over 1 year after due notice, the general public is empowered and deputized to execute all the provisions hereunder extra-judicially, immune from any charge and indemnified by the state against any and all liability. 

g) This law shall be known as "The Sodomite Suppression Act" and be numbered as section 39 in Title 3 of the Penal Code, pertaining to offences against the sovereignty of the state. The text shall be prominently posted in every public school classroom. All laws in conflict with this law are to that extent invalid.

This is not Mr McLaughlin's first foray into the state initiative process. Back in 2004 he filed to have the King James version of the Bible used as a literary text.

I have no idea whether Mr McLaughlin considers himself a devout, well meaning Christian or if he's purposely trolling. But he certainly got a reaction.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Looking Towards The Future

I've been receiving frequent request for campaign donations from Cathy McMorris Rodgers. I'm not about to donate a dime.

I thought it strange and yet somewhat fitting that the subject line practically screams spam. "please read entire email", all in lower case.

She just got reelected last fall. Why does she need to finish this quarter strong? Three bucks? Heck, I don't even check the donation box on my tax form.

Since January she's been posting all kinds of stuff on her Facebook page. She's doing more videos, staying on the talking points as usual, but it's as if she's trying to increase her visibility. And unlike Ted Cruz she has registered her namesake domain name where she encourages us to join her and Rebuild the American Dream.

The background image is a touching photo of a man wearing a watch on his right wrist and the writing and graphics on his T-shirt reversed. Maybe the mirror image of Cathy is more appealing?

There, I fixed it.

Then she takes the money that you donate to rebuild the American dream and gives it to other candidates of her choosing. Nice.

If only Carnac the Magnificent was here to tell us if Cathy McMorris Rodgers is looking to be on the ticket--as Vice President, obviously, since the party is run by white men--in 2016.

Last December her PAC spent $2500 on a speech coach. 

If you've watched her latest videos you can understand why she should ask for a refund.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Told My Story - Helped With The "Investigation"

Today Cathy McMorris Rodgers posted this on her Facebook page.

This week marks the 5th anniversary of #Obamacare being signed into law. Whether it's turned your tax filing into a nightmare, you’re facing skyrocketing premiums, or your employer has reduced your work hours, I want to hear about it. Please share your story with me so that I can better understand the challenges you're facing:

I thought it would be cool if people posted stories about how the Affordable Care Act helped them so she could understand the challenges we no longer have to deal with.

It's not perfect, but it's better than it was before and better than the nothing the Republicans have had over five years to come up with.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


I was running barefoot during lunch today. A woman walking down the sidewalk towards me saw me and detoured out into the street. As I ran by, I heard her voice, dripping with disdain, saying, "WEIRDO!"

Fuckin-A, lady. And proud of it.

Today I was carrying my Bluetooth player and streaming tunes from my smart phone during my commutes. On the way home after work, Bob Seeger was cranking out Hollywood Nights when I distinctly heard a bell ringing in time with the music. I was thinking I didn't remember a bell in that song when I realized it was coming from a nearby church.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

He Knows Better

In his recent interview with VICE News, President Obama spends the last couple of minutes addressing marijuana legalization. It starts at 14:40.

At 16:40 he says Congress could reschedule marijuana. That's total bull and he knows it. The Executive Branch is in charge of that. How easy is it to reschedule a drug? Just look at how Hydrocodone was moved from Schedule III to Schedule II last year.

Did you see the smoke rising in the background from his pants being on fire?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Downtown Bike Lanes Open House

There was a nice turnout for the open house this evening. It's great that the city is going to create and extend the bike lanes on Main and Spokane Falls Blvd. And while it's not the best possible design, it's basically all the city can do with the grant money they have for this.

Washington State Penitentiary

Work took me down to Walla Walla yesterday and today. (There are more wine tasting shops in Walla Walla than there are Baptist churches in Abilene, Texas.) We visited with people at the state penitentiary on a project to allow prisoners to electronically file their case documents. While there we were treated to a tour of the facility. Lots of razor wire and remotely controlled gates.

The coolest part was the Sustainable Practices Lab. Inmates take donated and scrap materials and make things. There's a wood shop, a bicycle repair shop, and aquaponics where they raise tilapia. Green houses are under construction and seedlings are already growing, waiting to be moved as soon as the green houses are finished. Inmates repair office chairs, exercise equipment, and wheel chairs. They sew backpacks, make quilts, and clothing for children. They also make stuffed bears.

They insisted we each take a bear. Each bear is assigned an unique prisoner number. I got #000101 along with a certificate attesting to my guardianship of said bear.

And then I walked a half-mile through the prisoner to the other side holding a stuffed bear like I do when I hold Kathy's purse. Like a football.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Missoula Visit

Kathy and I drove to Missoula to hang out with Steph. yesterday we hiked along Rattlesnake Creek in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area. Steph loves being outdoors and she's been doing some serious hiking in the mountains with friends.

 Obligatory H&K photo.

 It was like that when we got there.

 Mountain Steph.

 Someone likes livin' on the edge.

Today we checked out Fort Missoula. There's a cool train you're not supposed to climb on, which Steph did. Otherwise we never would've known how the bell sounded. It was loud.

Next to the museum is an area loaded with old machines used in the timber industry years ago.

Chain. and gear.

I learned a couple of new things while in the museum. The US Army at Fort Missoula had the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps back in 1896.

These men, all African-American, as a test of Army bicycles rode Spalding military bikes from Missoula to St Louis, which totally sucked. These guys were hard core. The Army decided the bike would not be able to replace the horse. 

The other thing I learned was that Fort Missoula was used to hold Japanese detainees as well as Italian non-military men during World War II. I learned that over 2,000 Japanese-Peruvians were kidnapped from Peru and held in internment camps in the US. When WWII ended they were "voluntarily" repatriated to Japan. Damn, that's cold.

We had a great visit with Steph. It was good to see how well she is doing and give and get a couple of hugs.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

America's Two-Tiered Justice System

Today we have an excellent example of our two-tiered justice system. General David H. Petraeus admits to providing classified information to his biographer, lying about it, and illegally storing classified information. He signed a plea agreement in which he will be convicted of a misdemeanor and subject to up to 12 months in prison. His sentencing has not taken place yet.

Interestingly, the judge is not a party to the plea agreement and does not have to accept it, which could force a new agreement or a trial. But I have no illusions that something like that would happen here.

General Petraeus was in a position of trust. General Petraeus violated that trust. General Petraeus has money and connections. General Petraeus will get off lightly.

I'm reminded of a song.