Our Daily Thread 10-31-14

Good Morning!

It’s Friday!!!

But how can it be Oct. 31st/Halloween already?

At least it gives me a reason to use my favorite colors today. 🙂

Today’s header photo is Spooky/Scary birds, ton’s of ’em in fact. The sun was setting and the lake was already in shadow. The whole flock flew over us and landed in the sunlit tree to catch the last of its rays for the day. The tree looked orange in the fading light. Beautiful, and quite a sight to see. They’re cormorants I believe.

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How many did you count in the header photo?

Here’s another Spooky/Scary bird, or at least he thought so. 🙂

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On this day in 1517 Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace Church.

In 1860 Juliette Low, the founder off the Girl Scouts, was born. 

In 1868 Postmaster General Alexander Williams Randall approved a standard uniform for postal carriers.  

In 1941 the U.S. Navy destroyer Reuben James was torpedoed by a German submarine near Iceland

And in 1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam. 

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Quote of the Day

Friendship is the golden thread that ties the heart of all the world.”

John Evelyn

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 It’s this guy’s birthday. What’s scary is that this was ever popular. 😯

Yeah it’s the short version because I can only take so much. 🙂

And it’s Dex Alexander’s too.

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QoD?

What‘s your favorite color?

Prayer Requests 10-31-14

It’s Friday, so please remember to pray for Mumsee, Mike, and the young folks at the Nest.

Anyone else have something to share?

Psalm 119:18-41

18 Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.

19 I am a stranger in the earth: hide not thy commandments from me.

20 My soul breaketh for the longing that it hath unto thy judgments at all times.

21 Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed, which do err from thy commandments.

22 Remove from me reproach and contempt; for I have kept thy testimonies.

23 Princes also did sit and speak against me: but thy servant did meditate in thy statutes.

24 Thy testimonies also are my delight and my counselors.

25 My soul cleaveth unto the dust: quicken thou me according to thy word.

26 I have declared my ways, and thou heardest me: teach me thy statutes.

27 Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.

28 My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

29 Remove from me the way of lying: and grant me thy law graciously.

30 I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.

31 I have stuck unto thy testimonies: O Lord, put me not to shame.

32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end.

34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart.

35 Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight.

36 Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.

37 Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity; and quicken thou me in thy way.

38 Stablish thy word unto thy servant, who is devoted to thy fear.

39 Turn away my reproach which I fear: for thy judgments are good.

40 Behold, I have longed after thy precepts: quicken me in thy righteousness.

41 Let thy mercies come also unto me, O Lord, even thy salvation, according to thy word.

News/Politics 10-31-14

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. They won’t happy unless they can spy on your phone.

From NationalJournal  “The Obama administration is ramping up its campaign to force technology companies to help the government spy on their users.

FBI and Justice Department officials met with House staffers this week for a classified briefing on how encryption is hurting police investigations, according to staffers familiar with the meeting.

 The briefing included Democratic and Republican aides for the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, the staffers said. The meeting was held in a classified room, and aides are forbidden from revealing what was discussed.

It’s unclear whether the FBI is planning a similar briefing for Senate aides.”

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2. Yes, vote fraud is a myth, but non-citizens are still voting.

And O’Keefe strikes again.

From NationalReview Could non-citizen voting be a problem in next week’s elections, and perhaps even swing some very close elections?

A new study by two Old Dominion University professors, based on survey data from the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, indicated that 6.4 percent of all non-citizens voted illegally in the 2008 presidential election, and 2.2 percent in the 2010 midterms. Given that 80 percent of non-citizens lean Democratic, they cite Al Franken ’s 312-vote win in the 2008 Minnesota U.S. Senate race as one likely tipped by non-citizen voting. As a senator, Franken cast the 60th vote needed to make Obamacare law.

North Carolina features one of the closest Senate races in the country this year, between Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan and Republican Thom Tillis. So what guerrilla filmmaker James O’Keefe, the man who has uncovered voter irregularities in states ranging from Colorado to New Hampshire, has learned in North Carolina is disturbing. This month, North Carolina officials found at least 145 illegal aliens, still in the country thanks to the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, registered to vote. Hundreds of other non-citizens may be on the rolls.”

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3. Here’s more.

From PJMedia   “An election integrity watchdog group is suing the state of Maryland, alleging that it has discovered massive and ongoing fraudulent voting by non-U.S. citizens in one county. But because of the way that the non-citizens are able to cast votes in elections, the fraud is likely happening in every single county and subdivision across the state. The group believes that the illegal voting has been happening for years.

The group, Virginia Voters Alliance, says that it compared how voters in Frederick County filled out jury duty statements compared with their voting records. The group’s investigation found that thousands of people in Frederick County who stated that they are not U.S. citizens on jury duty forms went on to cast votes in elections. Either they failed to tell the truth when they were summoned for jury duty, or they cast illegal votes. Both are crimes. The same group previously found that about 40,000 people are registered to vote in both Virginia and Maryland.”

Nope. No fraud here. 🙄

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4. Yes please! Democrats can blame Harry Reid’s rule change if it happens. 🙂

From TheWashingtonExaminer  “Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., says he would be willing to repeal Obamacare with a simple majority if he takes over as majority leader in January, his spokesman told the Washington Examiner on Thursday.

The announcement comes just days before Tuesday’s midterm congressional election, in which Republicans have a strong chance of seizing the upper chamber from the Democrats and putting the Kentucky senator in charge.

“Leader McConnell is and has always been committed to the full repeal of Obamacare, and he’ll continue to lead efforts to repeal and replace it with patient-centered reforms that enable greater choice at lower costs. He knows it won’t be easy, but he also believes that if Republicans are fortunate enough to take back the majority we’ll owe it to the American people to try through votes on full repeal, the bill’s most onerous provisions, and reconciliation,” McConnell spokesman Brian McGuire wrote in an emailed statement.”

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5. Not shocking.

From FoxNews As many as 20 to 30 former Guantanamo Bay detainees — some of whom were released within the last three years — are suspected by intelligence and Defense officials of having joined forces with the Islamic State and other militant groups inside Syria, Fox News has learned. 

The development has cemented fears that the U.S. military would once again encounter militants taken off the battlefield. 

The intelligence offers a mixed picture, and officials say the figures are not exact. But they are certain at least some of the released detainees are fighting with the Islamic State, or ISIS, on the ground inside Syria. Others are believed to be supporting Al Qaeda or the affiliated al-Nusra Front in Syria. 

A number of former detainees also have chosen to help these groups from outside the country, financing operations and supporting their propaganda campaigns. “

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Our Daily Thread 10-30-14

Good Morning!

Today’s header photo is quite possibly the coolest bird I’ve ever seen. I looked over the side of a bridge and there he was, hunting at the edge of the lake about 10 feet away. I took a bunch of pics and he never moved. Here are a few more.

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Click the pics for a larger view.

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On this day in 1831 escaped slave Nat Turner was apprehended in Southampton County, VA, several weeks after leading the bloodiest slave uprising in American history.  

In 1938 Orson Welles’ “The War of the Worlds” aired on CBS radio.  

In 1943 a declaration was signed by the Governments of the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the United States and China called for an early establishment of an international organization to maintain peace and security. 

And in 1993 Martin Fettman, America’s first veterinarian in space, performed the world’s first animal dissections in space, while aboard the space shuttle Columbia. 

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Quote of the Day

Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.”

John Adams

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 Today is Bryan Goggin’s birthday.

And it’s Grace Slick’s too. I can’t help it. It’s the first thing that comes to mind whenever I hear her name.

Now good luck trying to get it out of your head. 😯

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Anyone have a QoD?

Prayer Requests 10-30-14

Today is Thursday, so please remember Jo and the folks in PNG.

Anyone else have something to share?

Psalm 119:1-17

¹Blessed are the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the Lord.

Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.

They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways.

Thou hast commanded us to keep thy precepts diligently.

O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes!

Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments.

I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.

I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.

11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

12 Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes.

13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of thy mouth.

14 I have rejoiced in the way of thy testimonies, as much as in all riches.

15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

16 I will delight myself in thy statutes: I will not forget thy word.

17 Deal bountifully with thy servant, that I may live, and keep thy word.

News/Politics 10-30-14

What’s interesting in the news today?

1. A glitch in the program or intentional vote fraud by the programmers?

From CapitolCityProject  “An Illinois man was well aware of the stories dealing with votes being switched from Republican to Democrat on touch voting machines in his county and decided to record his own results using the camera on his phone.

What exactly did he capture as he was voting? His votes appear to be marked Democrat even though he is trying to vote Republican. The video is slowed down at points to show where his finger is landing.”

I’d have an easier time believing it’s a glitch if it didn’t always seem to favor the Democrats.

Here’s another.

From BaltimoreCBS/Local  “Early voting just started last week in Maryland, but there are already accusations that some voting machines are changing Republican votes to Democrat. Now Republicans are calling for an investigation by the State Board of Elections.”

“As Marylanders go to the polls, there are concerns that the vote you cast may not be for the candidate you want.

“We’ve heard from scores of citizens in our district and around the state who have had this problem where they hit one button to vote for one person, and when they go to the summary they see that the other person was checked,” said Del Nik Kipke, (R) Anne Arundel County.

Republicans say they’ve received several dozen reports of Republican votes being changed to Democrat.”

So is the SEIU still involved with machine maintenance and programming?

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2. Sure, and the dog ate my homework. 🙄

From TheDailyCaller  “The Democrat-controlled Senate Select Committee on Ethics said that it never received a complaint pertaining to Democratic Sen. Harry Reid and the Obama administration’s efforts to approve visas for certain investors, according to a government watchdog group, despite previously confirming that it received the complaint — and saying that it opened an investigation.

The nonprofit government accountability organization Cause of Action sent the ethics committee, chaired by Democratic California Sen. Barbara Boxer, a recent letter asking for follow-up on its Dec. 16, 2013 complaint, which detailed Reid’s ex parte communications with then-U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas, who now serves as deputy secretary in the Department of Homeland Security.”

“Senate Ethics Committee Chief Counsel and Staff Director John C. Sassaman called Cause of Action to state over the phone that the committee “never received” the complaint, according to Cause of Action executive director Dan Epstein.

But Cause of Action received a signed returned receipt from the Senate mail dated Dec. 20, 2013, according to the organization.”

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3. Doctors are opting out of ObamaCare exchanges.

From CNSNews Over 214,000 doctors won’t participate in the new plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA,) analysis of a new survey by Medical Group Management Association shows. That number of 214,524, estimated by American Action Forum, is through May 2014, but appears to be growing due to plans that force doctors to take on burdensome costs. It’s also about a quarter of the total number of 893,851 active professional physicians reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In January, an estimated 70% of California’s physicians were not participating in Covered California plans.

Here are some of the reasons why:

1.      Reimbursements under Obamacare are at bottom-dollar – they are even lower than Medicare reimbursements, which are already significantly below market rates. “It is estimated that where private plans pay $1.00 for a service, Medicare pays $0.80, and ACA exchange plans are now paying about $0.60,” a study by the think-tank American Action Forum finds. “For example, Covered California plans are setting their plan fee schedules in line with that of Medi-Cal-California’s Medicaid Program-which means exchange plans are cutting provider reimbursement by up to 40 percent.”

2.      Doctors are expected to take on more patients to make up for the lost revenue, but that’s not happening, because primary care doctors already have more patients than they can handle. “Furthermore, physicians are worried that exchange plan patients will be sicker than the average patient because they may have been without insurance for extended periods of time, and therefore will require more of the PCPs time at lower pay,” says the study.

The study also points to two reasons that doctors might not get paid at all:

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4. This lady has an attitude problem. The state is also seeking a court ordered quarantine.

From NBCNews  “Kaci Hickox, the nurse who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, vowed to fight Maine officials who are seeking a court order to force her to self-quarantine at home.

Hickox, who is holed up in a house in the town of Fort Kent, gave the state until Thursday to let her move freely and threatened to take the matter to court herself. But Maine Health Commissioner Mary Mayhew said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that “when it is made clear by an individual in this risk category that they do not intend to voluntarily stay at home for the remaining 21 days, we will immediate see a court order.”

Mayhew didn’t use Hickox’s name because of privacy regulations, but Hickox is the only person in the state known to have had direct exposure to Ebola patients. Asked specifically about Hickox’s case, Mayhew replied, “We will make it mandatory.”

Hickox emerged from her home Wednesday to tell reporters that she and her attorneys had been in negotiations all day with state officials but that the impasse remained.”

The President says they’re unnecessary, yet the military is ordering it for returning soldiers. Talk about mixed messages.

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Peter’s Pack of Pickled Pigskin Picks- Week 10

Ten games. Ten weeks into the season. But so far, no one has gotten all ten games correct. Several times someone got 9 of ten. Gotta love college football when it is difficult to be 100% accurate in predicting the outcome of ten games. So, without further ado, here are our ten choices. (Boise State doesn’t play this week, so Idaho is represented by the not-as-good Vandals.)

Get your guesses in by Saturday, Nov. 1 @ 11:30AM EDT.

 1. Air Force @ Army – The battle for the Commander-in-Chief Trophy comes to West Point. Air Force can clinch it with a win, having beaten Navy already.

2. Purdue @ #17 Nebraska – B1G game? Not really.

3. #4 Auburn @ #7 Ole Miss – Big game? Yes, indeed.

4. Kentucky @ Mizzou – I suppose you could call this a border battle, even though the border is short (I am not even sure if there is anyway to get from MO to KY without going through IL or TN.)

5. #24 Duke @ Pittsburgh – The Demon Deacons are in the Top 25! (Yawn. They have a weak schedule.)

(EDITOR’S NOTE) (That’s Blue Devils Peter. The Demon Deacons are from Wake Forest. And don’t be hatin’)

6. Tennessee @ South Carolina – Chas might be pleased with the result of this one.

7. #14 Arizona @ #25 UCLA – Another test for the Wildcats. The PAC-12 South is on the line. 4 of 6 in the Top 25. 5 of 6 could claim the South title.

8. Arkansas State @ Idaho – How do these Sun Belt Conference teams pay their travel expenses?

9. Pillow Fight: Georgia State @ Appalachian State – The Sun Belt also has a lot of bad teams. These two are a combined 3-12. (And Idaho is 1-6.)

10. Tie Breaker (pick winner and score): #10 TCU @ #20 West Virginia  – By Ricky’s request. A Big 12 showdown between #2 and #3 in the conference.

Disclaimer: There is no prize other than bragging rights and the opportunity to pick the next Tie Breaker game. Winner determined after all games are played.