Saturday, January 10, 2009

Saturday Git'cher Toes ATappin' Blogging

Alert: If you have your keyboard on one'a them slide-out trays, like I do, shove it back under the desk lest you knock it to Kingdom Come with yer knees when ya get ta dancin'. Don't ask me how I know this...

Check out the two backup gui-tar pickers. I think one of 'em is Keith Richards.

Chuck Berry & Linda Ronstadt ~ Back In The U.S.A.

Michael Moore Lays Out His ‘Conditions’ for Sanjay as Surgeon General


"Larry, I'll withraw my objections if Sanjay is prepared to film a segment where he shoots himself in the leg with an unregistered gun, and then seeks treatment under the 'health care plan' of an unemployed auto worker whose job has been shipped overseas."


Note to Sanjay: first you'll go to jail for illegal handgun possession, discharging a firearm within the city limits, and maybe attempted murder. Your AMA affiliation may make it gang-related, which enhances the sentence. Then your leg will turn green and fall off. Best of luck.

Goodbye to Bush in Three Minutes

David Swanson at AfterDowningStreet:

Cindy Sheehan asked if I could record a 3-minute goodbye message to Bush and Cheney for her radio show, so I wrote down and read the following:

Never more than in this moment, George, have you been a uniter, not a divider. The joy at your departure is world-wide and wonderful. But I don't want to fully embrace it because I don't want this to be the last we see of you. When I was four years old I watched Richard Nixon leave, and that was just about the last we saw of him, and that is what brought us you. Instead, we should have had monthly reports of regret and repentance from Nixon's prison cell for 20 years. You yourself may have longer than 20 years to live, although with your boss we may have to hurry or invest in a heart transplant. My strongest wish, George, is to give you and Dick and Rummy and Condi and Yoo and Bybee and all the gang what you have denied to so many others: a fair trial.

Your stupid smirk and Cheney's nasty grimace will thankfully no longer be omnipresent, but the damage you have done will be much harder to remove, and if we do not punish you for it, it may be repeated and never undone. I wish you no ill. If letting you go drink and golf would impose a democratic rule of law on future officials, then that's what I would favor. As it happens, of course, that would only encourage people as mean and destructive as your brother Jeb, although not specifically Jeb, of course, since nobody with your last name will be able to win an election in this country for 50 years.

If you pretend to pardon the people who committed your crimes for you, we will challenge that absurdity in court, and we will pursue state, local, civil, foreign, and international prosecutions until you are behind bars.

Washington D.C. is going to look something like a colder version of New Orleans before you drowned it this month as millions of people get drunk on the delirium of seeing you drag your contemptible carcass out of town. Two events I plan to take part in illustrate the mood.

On January 19th, we're going to gather in DuPont Circle, march to the White House, and throw shoes and boots at you. Check out to see what we have planned.

On January 20th, we have a permit for an Arrest Bush demonstration on the sidewalk in front of the FBI building along Obama's inauguration parade route. We're going to be sending a clear message to your successor. Take a look at

We've created nice warm sweatshirts that say Arrest Bush and Cheney, and people can go to to buy them. We'll be dressing for success, George, but without the flight suit, the aircraft carrier, or the bullshit.

You've lied to us for eight years, so the truth may not catch your attention, but this is the truth: we will not rest until you are convicted and incarcerated. (my em)

No, we won't.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris ~ Roses In The Snow

Friday, January 9, 2009

2009: All panic, all the time?

Mark Morford on 2009 and some New Year's Resolutions.

Is this the year? Is this the one where it all comes together and it all begins to make some sort of strangely cohesive sense, where you really begin to sink into warm pools of calm awareness laced with laughter and love and really healthy teeth, where you finally accomplish or at least begin all those lingering and latent projects you've been craving for so long, like learning to bake orgasmic homemade bread or creating that hyperliterate travel/sex blog or meditating at dawn, all while reminding yourself every single day to tell everyone around you how beautiful and important and luminous they are, and how grateful you are every moment just to be here, sharing space with them, touching the planet, feeling it all, entirely clothing optional?

Or was that last year? And this one can be summed up in two little words: "More Ambien"?


8. Organize sock drawer in armoire of fears
9. Stop and smell the roses
l0. Stop and smell the roses, and then lean in a little closer and actually lick one to see if it tastes like God or sex or marshmallow or merely pesticide and dirt
11. Realize I do not have to stop and smell the roses all the time because goddammit I have a metaphorical rose right there under my karmic nose at all times, and I merely need to acknowledge it and appreciate it now and then and maybe get a nice little bud vase to put it in. And hell, maybe I don't even like roses, and that's perfectly OK, roses are totally overrated and overexposed anyway, right? Like vitamin water? Like Scarlett Johannsen? Like that guy from Maroon 5? Now orchids. There's a flower for you. I mean, a good orchid makes your average rose look like a toothless hag at the prom, you know? Basically like comparing fine rum to a bottle of Two-Buck Chuck, am I right? No contest, really. Yes, gimme a suggestive, dangerous orchid any day over a pitiable, lumpy rose. But hang on -- can you really stop and smell the orchids? Do they even have much of a scent? Besides, orchids are pretty sexual, yonic, pornographic, even. Sort've makes you want to do more to them than merely smell them, you know what I mean? Wait, would they arrest you for that sort of thing? I bet they would. Bastards. Then again, as catchphrases go, I suppose "stop and hump the orchids" has a pretty lousy ring to it. Hideous bumper sticker, too. OK, so roses it is. They are sort've nice, to be honest. Beautiful, even. Sorry about what I said before. I was just being a shmuck. Hell, who doesn't love a nice bouquet of roses? No one, that's who.

24. Write more while slightly drunk (see previous)

Well, looks like he's keepin' one of 'em anyway. Heh. Enjoy.

Idiot Stick

So I was reading an article about a resurgence of folks growing their own food, with this photo posed to resemble Grant Wood's American Gothic.

Jesus Christ, buddy, take a grinder to that fuckin' shovel! And get a spade for digging and use that thing for flingin' the dirt. It would embarrass me all to shit to get caught in a newspaper photo with my shovel in that condition! City folks, bah!

I use a shovel virtually every day, during the winter anyway, and have an extensive collection of them. The right tool for the job, and keep 'em in good shape.

The folks in the photo are in Topanga Canyon, I think. I know what they grow up there, and have for fifty years and more. Be sure to smoke at least three helpings a day. Heh.

Pipe Dream

This is so ridiculous I couldn't resist.

Joe the Turdherder Plumber is going to be a war correspondent for ten days or so in Israel for the wingnut blog Cheetos Dust & Jizz In Mom's Basement Pajamas Media. Go see Jon Stewart on this (fast forward to 3:30).

One of Joe's comments was, "Being a Christian, I'm pretty well protected, I believe."

Stewart said he should repeat that as often as possible while over there. Heh.

Note to Israel and Hamas: Lest this clown's very presence in your area, where he has no business being at all, prolong the armed conflict while you argue over who gets to hand the ignoramus his ass, I have a bilateral solution:

Each of you hand him one cheek, neatly wrapped in butcher paper of course. One kosher, one halal.

Moral values ...

And these are the people who would lecture us over the 'morality' of sex education and the availability of birth control.

Ignoring sex education does not appear to be working very well. Bible studies and pretending as though sex doesn't happen with teens is not a policy. Wouldn't it be nice to see this Congress put an end to the silly abstinence programs that cost so much and deliver consistently bad results? Oh wait, we need to be fair to them too despite the facts.

Mississippi now has the nation's highest teen pregnancy rate, displacing Texas and New Mexico for that lamentable title, according to a new federal report released Wednesday.


What's moral about bringing so many unwanted children into the world? What is so moral about young men and women, barely adult, having to give up any dreams they might have had to support a child (children) at such a young age? It kills me to come home in the afternoon and see so many young girls in my neighborhood (lotta Good Catholics here) pushing baby carriages instead of being in school, instead of looking wide-eyed at the world deciding which part of it to conquer.

When I was 17, the world was my oyster, living in the Far East and enjoying as many of life's pleasures as I could, the last thing I wanted was to be 'in the family way'. Thankfully, birth control and STD protection was available from the military if not in the local area, but in many places in this country it's not an option. We see how well teens can control their hormones just because Preacher Man and Jesus tell them to.

In these lean times, our money can be better spent than supporting abstinence-only sex ed programs (I also have this little constitutional, separation of church and state issue). In this day and age, where people are losing their jobs by the hundreds of thousands, it is wholly unfair to bring unwanted children into the world to young parents whose means are few and potential is slim. Only the children suffer; the teen parents and their babies.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dear Sarah,

Yes, you're right. It is about class. Caroline Kennedy has more class in the tip of her little finger than you do in toto.



"History has passed by a two-state solution."

Here is an excellent conversation on the Israeli-Palestinian situation. Not a sound bite, 26 minutes. Schedule some time and watch it. Some startling points, at least to me.

Cheers to the tour that ends in brew

This may be of interest to some of you jetsetters:

One of Amsterdam's most popular attractions among young adults, the Heineken Experience, has reopened after a year of renovations.

The new Experience updates its offerings with several high-tech exhibits targeting the YouTube generation.

For instance, visitors can perform karaoke of the cheesy Dutch classic song "Tulips from Amsterdam" against a backdrop of canals - and instantly send a video clip of the event by e-mail to their friends.

There ain't enough beer in the world to get me to do karaoke. I'll pass out long before I'm drunk enough.

At the end of the tour comes - what else? - a bar stocked entirely with Heineken. As a gag, bartenders serve water to anybody who tries ordering a Bud.

I'm surprised they don't trot out a horse with a tap handle on it...

"May you live forever, you son of a bitch"

William Rivers Pitt in a letter to Bush about his legacy:

From a certain perspective, one could argue that you have been the most successful president the country has ever seen. Think about it, because according to your definition of "success," it's true. You came into office looking to make your friends richer, and to fulfill as best you could your most overriding personal belief: that government is the problem, so government must be damaged and denuded to the point of impotence. Through your tax cuts and your two vastly expensive boondoggle wars, you made your friends rich. By unleashing Mr. Cheney and your other minions, you tore the Constitution to shreds and tatters. You have achieved both goals in smashing style, so from that certain perspective, you have triumphed.

Could you also, from the proper perspective, be considered our greatest president?

Perhaps, someday, if we make it so.

It will be in the best interests of many powerful people if we as a nation simply dismiss you and forget you ever happened. A lot of news media people want us to forget you, because in forgetting you, we would forget the media's vast complicity in your actions and misdeeds. A lot of rich people making new fortunes from war profiteering and defense contracts want us to forget they and you even exist, as it would make it possible for them to do it all again someday. A lot of politicians who stapled themselves to you would simply adore it if we forgot about you. The Republican Party would be forever in our debt if we forgot about you.

No. We will not forget you. We will remember.

We the people are going to save you from ignominious oblivion. We will remember. You could be the president who doomed America, the worst president of all time, but we must not, will not let that happen. You will be remembered differently, because we will hold the memory of you high, and behold you, and say, "Never, never, never again." We have tasted the soot and smelled the blood on the wind; we have seen how fragile our way of government is when placed in the hands of low men such as you, and because of that, you will be remembered for all time.

Your greatness will be defined by how we rise to overcome and undo what you have done. Your greatness will stand forever if we never, ever forget the hard, bitter lessons you taught us. We are responsible for this republic, for our Constitution, and for each other. We are our brother's keeper. You taught us that by becoming our Cain. You nearly slew us, but here we stand, and we defy the place in history you would relegate us to. We defy you, and by doing so, we rise.

Something like you must never again be allowed to happen to this country, and if we save ourselves by preventing you from ever happening again, your greatness is assured. You are the tallest of all possible warnings, and a promise all of us must solemnly and stalwartly keep. If we can damn you to the past, we will save our own future.

May you live forever, you son of a bitch.

I've read a lot of stuff by Mr. Pitt, and this is the first time I've seen him swear. Bush'll do that to a fellow.

The 'comments' made me shake my head as well. Most of them agreed with Mr. Pitt, but enough of them called the truth about Bush 'leftist bs' that it makes me realize they're still out there.

A new day may be about to dawn, but we must not let down our guard. The forces of evil in our country, like the Taliban, are going to regroup and try again.

Harry Reid Seems To Be Bungling The Burris Situation

A poem by Tony Peyser:

Who is best describing this huge problem?
If you ask me, for damn sure
It's that savvy blogger over at firedoglake;
That would be Jane Hamsher.

Her basic point is so convincing; shouldn't
Senator Reid be a bit
Less angry with Burris & much more at that
Traitor from Connecticut?

A quote from Jane:

A seventy-one year old dude who hasn't held office for 14 years, appointed by a crook, takes the Senate Majority Leader to the cleaners.

Yep, he sure did.

Paging Dr. Gupta!!!

Obviously, this woman never puffed up a fattie:


And now, we’re going through it too. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug on college campuses today. While this isn’t anything new, it’s still something to consider, especially when short-term effects of smoking include distorted perceptions, difficulty solving problems and complications with learning and memory.


Listen to me. Aside from what it does to your lungs (better than cigarettes iin my book, because it at least does something for ya while it kills ya), pot is not a dangerous drug. Ever heard of anyone OD-ing on marijuana? You smoke too much, you fall asleep after killing a box of Twinkies and a half gallon of chocolate milk.


But still, some of my classmates claim they can write more profound papers and engage in better conversations when high on marijuana. Others say they hit the pipe nearly every day and can still pull high GPAs. They say it’s just a phase.


Let's see. Built outstandingly good race engines - check. Written 14 novels - check. Designed and remodeled my house ... myself - check.

If more people smoked dope and the world would be a better place. If anything, it should be legal for medicinal purposes, let alone the lives it will save in the 'War on Drugs' if it's legalized and taxed (remember the recession?):

On Tuesday afternoon El Paso Mayor John Cook vetoed a resolution unanimously passed by city council that would have asked the U.S. government to begin a serious debate on legalizing narcotics.

Earlier in the day city council passed a resolution, ration[aliz]ing that the best way to stop the drug wars in Juarez may be to legalize the drugs here in the United States. It was part of a larger resolution outlining several steps for the United States and Mexico to take in order to cut down on the number of murders between rival drug cartels. Last year more than 1,600 people were murdered in Juarez.


Of course, what then would the prison industry do?


The headline of this story tells you all you need to know about how the War On (Certain American Citizens Using Non-Pharmaceutical, Non-Alcoholic, Tobacco-Free) Drugs occupies a position in the public discourse that is considered unassailable. The City Council’s resolution just asks the federal government to debate drug legalization, and the headline reads: “Mayor Cook Saves City From Possible Embarrassment” - because nobody serious would ever question the Drug War! How embarrassing to have the gall to ask Senator Hutchinson to even think about investigating alternatives to spending $50 billion a year trying to stop people from using drugs!


Wonder what we could do with that money, eh? The 'War on Drugs' has done nothing but make foreign drug lords rich, get a lot of people killed, and a whole lot of other people thrown in jail for non-violent, minor offenses. Thing is, over the last 30 years, the flow of drugs has just gotten heavier. How long does it take this country to figure out when they're fighting losing battles?

Quote of the Day

Our pal 'Nucks:

... Harry Reid needs to be put to pasture like a three legged goat with a Hard On.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Quote of the Day - Tres


... This has been about the most inauspicious beginning of any congress I've seen, a total embarrassment to the Senate Democrats, who've managed to make the House look like the more restrained, deliberative body ...

Jesus Christ, Harry, we all told you this would happen a week ago.

The Ponzi Scheme Presidency

Six words: Tomgram. Recommended read. Take a lunch.

Eight years of bodies, dead, broken, mutilated, abused; eight years of ruined lives down countless drains; eight years of massive destruction to places from Baghdad to New Orleans where nothing of significance was ever rebuilt: all this was brought to us by a President, now leaving office without apology, who said the following in his first inaugural address: "I will live and lead by these principles: to advance my convictions with civility... to call for responsibility and try to live it as well."

He lived, however, by quite a different code. Destruction without responsibility, that's Bush's legacy, but who's counting now that the destruction mounts and the bodies begin to pile up here in the "homeland," in our own body count nation? The laid off, the pension-less, the homeless, the suicides -- imagine what that trillion dollars might have meant to them.

Quote of the Day deux

From an op-ed you should read by MoDo:

I know Caroline Kennedy. She’s smart, cultivated, serious and unpretentious. The Senate, shamefully sparse on profiles in courage during Dick Cheney’s reign of terror, would be lucky to get her.

Amen. From your lips to Paterson's ears, Red.

More Sanjay

Paul Krugman

So apparently Obama plans to appoint CNN’s Sanjay Gupta as Surgeon General. I don’t have a problem with Gupta’s qualifications. But I do remember his mugging of Michael Moore over Sicko. You don’t have to like Moore or his film; but Gupta specifically claimed that Moore “fudged his facts”, when the truth was that on every one of the allegedly fudged facts, Moore was actually right and CNN was wrong.

What bothered me about the incident was that it was what Digby would call Village behavior: Moore is an outsider, he’s uncouth, so he gets smeared as unreliable even though he actually got it right. It’s sort of a minor-league version of the way people who pointed out in real time that Bush was misleading us into war are to this day considered less “serious” than people who waited until it was fashionable to reach that conclusion. And appointing Gupta now, although it’s a small thing, is just another example of the lack of accountability that always seems to be the rule when you get things wrong in a socially acceptable way.

I wonder when it will become 'socially acceptable' to say out loud that Big Pharma/HMO/AMA for-profit health care is a big ripoff and that we need a universal single-payer system like the civilized world has?

Panetta Symbolism


Why DiFi and Rocky
Don't Like Obama's Pick for CIA

Update zwei:

Why Feinstein broke with Obama on Panetta

Shorter: Ego and political pecking order. It will pass, and Panetta will be in.

As much as I would like to see DiFi and others in fear of prosecution for aiding and abetting war crimes, they're immune from that.

Sanjay ...

Michael Stickings:


It seems to me that what is needed in a surgeon general is also someone who can make the case for, or at least someone who is supportive of, a reformed public health care system, given that this seems to be, as many of us hope it genuinely is, one of Obama's main policy priorities. But is Gupta an advocate of such reform? I have my doubts. As he exposed in his critique of Michael Moore's movie Sicko back in July 2007, he seems to be very much a part of, as well as a defender of, the status quo, namely, the corporatized health care system controlled by Big Pharma and the HMOs. As I put it then, he picked apart Moore's movie, avoided subjecting the existing system and/or Moore's critics to similar evaluation, and failed to address the most serious flaws of the American system, namely, the enormous costs even to those with insurance and the utter lack of insurance for millions." So is this really the man who should be the spokesman for public health in the United States?



How it's gonna work ...

With the 'economic stimulus'. You and me ain't gonna see much. Krugman:


What this says is that there’s a reasonable economic case for including a significant amount of tax cuts in the package, mainly in year one.

But the numbers being reported — 40 percent of the whole, two-year plan — sound high. And all the news reports say that the high tax-cut share is intended to assuage Republicans; what this presumably means is that this was the message the off-the-record Obamanauts were told to convey.

And that’s bad news.

Look, Republicans are not going to come on board. Make 40% of the package tax cuts, they’ll demand 100%. Then they’ll start the thing about how you can’t cut taxes on people who don’t pay taxes (with only income taxes counting, of course) and demand that the plan focus on the affluent. Then they’ll demand cuts in corporate taxes. And Mitch McConnell is already saying that state and local governments should get loans, not aid — which would undermine that part of the plan, too.

OK, maybe this is just a head fake from the Obama people — they think they can win the PR battle by making bipartisan noises, then accusing the GOP of being obstructionist. But I’m really worried that they’re sending off signals of weakness right from the beginning, and that they’re just going to embolden the opposition. [my ems]


Give the Rethugs an inch and they'll take a mile. I'll hand it to Barry for stating, unequivocally, that he didn't want to see any pork in the stimulus bill, but it just torques the Rethugs' collective sphincter for the middle-class and poor to get anything. And you know they'll threaten Harry Reid with filibuster and it'll be over. I'd be surprised if we even see a $1000 tax cut once McConnell et. al. begin throwing their usual tantrums.

I know Obama is a smart guy, so I'll assume he's had his eyes open over the past few years (but he's been in the Senate, so who knows) and recognizes the Republicans' MO for what it is. If he's gonna leave it to the Senate Dems to carry his water, he's in for 4 years of disappointment. I hope I'm wrong, but the only people Reid and Co. stand up to are fellow Democrats. Obama better have some way of keeping them in line or the economic situation will get far worse before it gets better.

The Republicans have had 8 years to line the pockets of the wealthy at the expense of our economy. When rich folks pay taxes on a smaller percentage of their income than I do, when corporations and wealthy individuals are allowed to move profits offshore with impunity, when a man who swindles $50 bln gets house arrest in his Park Ave. apartment instead of being a suck boy for the MS-13 gangbangers in Rikers, and when you have a political party devoted to seeing these trends continue, nothing will be accomplished if they are allowed to control the discourse.

I'm willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt that he knows all this. I just hope he has a good plan to deal with the Republicans and the egomaniacs in his own party who would rather let him fail than lose face. You know Feinstein and Rockefeller are gonna make him pay for the Panetta diss. They're gonna fuck him when he needs their support most. While I'm certainly hoping for change, I don't see how the crop of Senate Dems, a good portion of whom have been there forever, will let it happen. They've gotten pretty comfortable with the status quo and change will certainly affect them as well.

We'll see. I'm hopeful but not optimistic.

Quote of the Day

Deacon Blues:


Who the f*ck cares what DiFi and Rockefeller think at all about national intelligence? Both of these traitors have enabled every illegal thing that Bush has done these last eight years, ranging from the Geneva Convention war crimes and CIA interrogation and rendition policies, to the FISA gutting and domestic spying illegalities. Both have sat by, gotten briefings, and allowed it all to happen, and are just as guilty of treason as the administration is. And I'm now supposed to care that DiFi thinks that Panetta is a bad choice?


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bush Spins Scandalous Neglect of Vets

Consortium News

It’s not uncommon for Presidents to embellish their accomplishments upon leaving office, but George W. Bush, who will exit the White House leaving the country in the worst shape since Herbert Hoover, has gone a step further, moving past exaggeration into outright lying.

One of the surprising claims that stood out among the combined 90 pages of so-called accomplishments was the White House’s glowing assessment of Bush’s record on veterans’ issues. Bush claims he “provided unprecedented resources for veterans” over the past eight years and provided “the highest level of support for veterans in American history.”

The White House made these claims in the face of what former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld might have called a “known known” – that the treatment of veterans returning from deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan has been a national disgrace, highlighted most dramatically by the neglect and substandard care given wounded troops at Walter Reed and other military hospitals.

For his part, Bush stacked the VA with political cronies, such as former Republican National Committee chairman Jim Nicholson, who as VA Secretary defended a budget measure that sought major cuts in staffing for healthcare and at the Board of Veterans Appeals; slashed funding for nursing home care; and blocked four legislative measures aimed at streamlining the backlog of veterans benefits claims.

Bush's appointees also obstructed scientific research into the causes of Gulf War illnesses dating back 18 years to Operation Desert Storm and opposed medical research on treatment for 210,000 of those veterans.

As for funding, Bush proposed a 0.5 percent budget increase for the VA for fiscal year 2006, which amounted to a “cruel mockery” of Bush’s promises to do everything to support veterans and soldiers, Rep. Lane Evans, D-Illinois, said at the time.

Even after Nicholson’s resignation, the Department of Veterans Affairs continued to be buffeted by scandals, including a cover-up in an epidemic of veterans’ suicides and attempted suicides.

“Bush is the worst failure for our veterans since Hoover,” Sullivan said, expressing shock that the President “would shamefully continue his legacy of lies to the American people as he and his political cronies are forced to leave office on Jan. 20.”

"What kind of President pats himself on the back with 200,000 veterans sleeping homeless on the street every night?” Glantz said in an interview. “What kind of administration puts out self-congratulatory press releases while over 6,000 veterans commit suicide every year?

The kind we're hopefully about to start getting over, Mr. Glantz. The kind who use soldiers up and throw them away when they get too battle-damaged to fight any more.

Yet, Bush’s White House is now hoping that its last-minute propaganda barrage will, if nothing else, cloud some of the memories about its failures and misjudgments. Bush’s critics, however, are not willing to so easily forget.

No, we're not likely to forget. Go read the rest.

Bush the AWOL wouldn't know a Veteran if one bit him on the ass. If the Chimp had the balls to get out to the VA facilities, jails, under bridges and overpasses, some mean streets and even some childhood bedrooms where traumatized Vets are holed up, one of 'em might just do that.

Bush just doesn't give a shit about the Veterans he used so poorly than he does about anyone besides his rich cronies. We're all just 'the help' when it comes to furthering his Repug/Big Money takeover agenda. Expendable in the service of the Ruling Elite.

My burning desire is to outlive that punk son of a bitch so I can piss on his grave.

"Last of the California beach towns"

This has nothing to do with politics, but it does have to do with one of my favorite places. Take a five-minute trip Out West and go read about and look at pitchurs of Cayucos.

If ya want to actually go there, get aholt of me and I'll getcha around the normal high tourist cost with some of my recommendations based on years of nickel-nose experience in the area.

Outhouse arsonist strikes again


Yet another portable toilet on San Francisco's Russian Hill was set ablaze early today.

And Bush claims he's kept us safe from terrorist attacks. Ha!

DINO Feinstein

Mrs. G used the expression "got her knickers all in a twist" about not being informed of the Panetta appointment just as she handed me my bowl of oatmeal. Gee, thanks, hon. Just what I wanted to think about as I stared at the gray, amorphous lump of my breakfast was DiFi's knickers. I'm not sure if the blackberries helped my visual or not...

Following up on Fixer's post a little, here's a DiFi quote from long ago and far away when it was easy for her to go along with the enemy. She should only do so with her supposed own.

Think Progress, with links and a neat little box showing her votes for various Bush appointees. As in all of 'em.

In justifying her vote to confirm Porter Goss as CIA director in 2004, Feinstein said, “I believe the President should have the prerogative to appoint who he wants to be the DCI, or for any other senior position, subject only to the requirement that the person be qualified for the job.” [...] (my em)

Hell hath no fury like a powerful millionaire political lady scorned, I guess.


It's all Water under the Board

From Attaturk at Firedoglake:

Epic-moral-fail. (Reference is to Kappas, but it fits. - G)

Leon Panetta may not have been working on intelligence case reports, but on this issue he's sterling. And if there is to be a CIA head, then let it be one that will let the professionals do their job, while putting a line in the sand they will NOT cross. Feinstein had no problem voting for pro-torture Attorney General Mike Mukaskey and pro-torture CIA head Porter Goss and both have by and large bought Bush's bullshit for 8 years running, but heaven forbid someone who will not run the CIA like a "24" episode be appointed.

Adding my voice to the general din, yo, Di, STFU.

Al Franken Lives For Our Sins

The Rude Pundit weighs in on Senator Franken's singlehanded un-pussification of 2000 and 2004.

When Al Franken decided to run for the Senate in Minnesota, it was as one type of crusade, to redeem the seat of Paul Wellstone, ripped away by Wellstone's death in a plane crash and then by Republican subterranean ratfuckers, who manipulated Wellstone's memorial into some kind of anti-American face fart. Franken, who has talked repeatedly about this as another kind of scar, went into the election to take down Norm Coleman, the slick as shit huckster who was elected over Walter Mondale, the Wellstone surrogate in 2002. There was redemption to be had, and someone with celebrity and name recognition and deep pockets was the person to do it.

What the election turned into was another kind of redemption for Democrats. 'Cause, see, when Franken didn't concede the tight race back in November, he finally stood up and said let's see what happens when you actually fight for all the votes cast. When he decided not to be a mensch, like Gore and Kerry did with their tails between their legs, he demonstrated that Democrats can get into the kind of bare knuckle fight that Republicans have challenged them to time and again. And win.

Franken is no pussy, despite his Stuart Smalley schtick and his general mild-mannered public persona. He was on his High School wrestling team and ain't a bit afraid to mix it up.

Reid, Pelosi, et al, you can learn a lot from him. You can take on Repugs and beat them, not just other Dems.

If real bare-knucklin' was allowed in Congress, you could address me'n Fixer as 'Senator' or 'Congressman'. Heh.

Quote of the Day

Our pal Creature on the Panetta appointment:

... how sad is it that I'm happy the new CIA Director is against torture? This shouldn't even be a debate, let alone a cause for joy.

By any other name ...

One of the reasons I love Maru and her contributors is because of the names they have for the Chimp. UL decided to post the collection:

Asshole from El Paso
Awol von Bunnypants
aWol von Lazyass
Awol von Retard
Awol von Stupid
Awol McAsshat
Awol McBubbleboy
Awol McFakecowboy
Awol McPenisenvy
Awol Wonderboob
Awol Wonderchimp


And that's just the "A" section. Heh ...

Dianne Feinstein ...

Should shut the fuck up:

Dianne Feinstein is having a little public fit because she wasn't consulted about Panetta and had instructed the president-elect that he had to choose an "intelligence professional." Well, excuse me. When did Difi get a veto on cabinet appointments?


She sure as hell voted to confirm every asshole the Chimp put up, from cabinet positions to Supreme Court justices. I just love these Dems who are nutless when it comes to standing up to the Rethugs, but are just itching to pick a fight with another Dem.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Peru to Sue Yale Over Artifacts
Demands its skull and bones back.

Yugo Ends Production
Leaves GM, Ford, Chrysler as only remaining makers of clunkers.

Many more.

It's shopping day. Over the mountains and through the woods and out of this frozen hell*, to Costco we must go. See yas later.

*It's actually not so bad since the holiday influx of tourons and skiers has left. At least I think they have. I'm so scared of the way those city slickers drive, I ain't been out much.

The value of a life ...

It's about demonizing the brown people:


I can't express how many emails I've received in the last week from people identifying themselves as "liberals" (and, overwhelmingly, American Jews); telling me that they agree with my views in almost all areas other than Israel; and then self-righteously insisting that I imagine what it's like to live in Southern Israel with incoming rocket fire from Hamas, as though that will change my views on the Israel/Gaza war. Obviously, it's not difficult to imagine the understandable rage that Israelis feel when learning of another attack on Israeli civilians, in exactly the way that American rage over the 9/11 attacks was understandable. But just as that American anger didn't justify anything and everything that followed, the fact that there are indefensible attacks on Israeli civilians doesn't render the (far more lethal) attacks on Gaza either wise or just -- as numerous Jewish residents of Sderot themselves are courageously arguing in opposing the Israeli attack.


It's what I learned not long after I married into a Jewish family (overwhelmingly Democratic and progressive). Everything Jewish is good and Israel can do no wrong (let alone the remarks I've endured over the last 20 years about my ancestry but that's a post for another time).


More to the point: for those who insist that others put themselves in the position of a resident of Sderot -- as though that will, by itself, prove the justifiability of the Israeli attack -- the idea literally never occurs to them that they ought to imagine what it's like to live under foreign occupation for 4 decades (and, despite the 2005 "withdrawal from Gaza," Israel continues to occupy and expand its settlements on Palestinian land and to control and severely restrict many key aspects of Gazan life). No thought is given to what it is like, what emotions it generates, what horrible acts start to appear justifiable, when you have a hostile foreign army control your borders and airspace and internal affairs for 40 years, one which builds walls around you, imposes the most intensely humiliating conditions on your daily life, blockades your land so that you're barred from exiting and prevented from accessing basic nutrition and medical needs for your children to the point where a substantial portion of the underage population suffers from stunted growth.


It's about valuing certain lives more than others. 5 Israelis are dead and so far, the retribution has taken 500 Palestinian lives. It reminds me of the stories my grandfather told me of how the SS operated when it came to dealing with resistance movements, be they in France, Holland, or Russia. Collective punishment. For the life of a single German soldier, 10, or 50, or a hundred locals would be executed. How is different? How is the invasion of Lebanon in '06 (for the lives of 2 Israeli soldiers) different? To me, they're just excuses to attack and 'end the problem once and for all' (read into that what you will).


If you see Palestinians as something less than civilized human beings: as "barbarians" -- just as if you see Americans as infidels warring with God or Jews as sub-human rats -- then it naturally follows that civilian deaths are irrelevant, perhaps even something to cheer. For people who think that way, arguments about "proportionality" won't even begin to resonate -- such concepts can't even be understood -- because the core premise, that excessive civilian deaths are horrible and should be avoided at all costs, isn't accepted. Why should a superior, civilized, peaceful society allow the welfare of violent, hateful barbarians to interfere with its objectives? How can the deaths or suffering of thousands of barbarians ever be weighed against the death of even a single civilized person?


It's this disregard for the lives of innocents that bothers me. There are a million and a half people in the Gaza Strip; are they all guilty of launching rockets into Israel? Should they all be made to suffer? Because they voted for Hamas, who promised them the chance to live a normal life? By that extension (George Bush served two terms), every American should pay for the deaths of those civilians our troops and mercenaries have killed in Iraq. Do you feel you should?


So many of these conflicts -- one might say almost all of them -- end up shaped by the same virtually universal deficiency: excessive tribalistic identification (i.e.: the group with which I was trained to identify is right and good and just and my group's enemy is bad and wrong and violent), which causes people to view the world only from the perspective of their side, to believe that X is good when they do it and evil when it's done to them. X can be torture, or the killing of civilians in order to "send a message" (i.e., Terrorism), or invading and occupying other people's land, or using massive lethal force against defenseless populations, or seeing one's own side as composed of real humans and the other side as sub-human, evil barbarians. As George Orwell wrote in Notes on Nationalism -- with perfect prescience to today's endless conflicts ... [ems in original]


The Israelis have been using this strategy against the Palestinians for 40 years and it isn't working; in fact, it's making things worse. And, since we're so closely tied to Israel, blame is cast on us as well for our unqualified support of their actions. We have enough sins of our own to pay for, in the region and throughout the world, without being splattered with the shit Israel is tossing at the fan.

The Palestinians have been squeezed by Israel for 40 years, not just in Gaza, but the West Bank as well, steadily increasing their territory while the Palestinians crowd more people into dwindling acreage.


As a lifelong supporter of Israel, I long admired the state for its tenacity, its refusal to contemplate surrender or nonexistence, its bravery in the face of daunting odds. But there is a huge difference between fighting the remnants of the great Turkish empire and an assault upon a defenseless civilian population when you have the best army and armaments that the contents of the American Treasury can buy.


It is time for a Palestinian state, one that functions, one that can police itself, feed itself, and care for its people. Once the average Palestinian has freedom of movement, can support himself, and keep his family safe, groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, and even al-Qaeda will wither and die. These groups are born of hopelessness and desperation and if people can see a future for themselves, they will not resort to violence. The violent groups will be marginalized and eventually go away (or shrink to a manageable size). The Palestinians have not had a future, aside from occupation and embargo, for 40 years.

It's time for a different solution. It's time for the U.N. to take the lead (France's President Sarkozy has been spearheading the cease-fire effort) and for the U.S. to stop giving the Israelis cover by vetoing every Security Council resolution condemning their actions. It's time for us to butt out and let someone without a vested interest try to fix the situation. Too many lives depend on it.

"Smaller than life ..."

'Daddy' Frank Rich bids the Chimp a not-so-fond arrivederci:


The joke was on us. Iraq burned, New Orleans flooded, and Bush remained oblivious to each and every pratfall on his watch. Americans essentially stopped listening to him after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, but he still doesn’t grasp the finality of their defection. Lately he’s promised not to steal the spotlight from Barack Obama once he’s in retirement — as if he could do so by any act short of running naked through downtown Dallas. The latest CNN poll finds that only one-third of his fellow citizens want him to play a post-presidency role in public life.


I'd like him to play a post-Presidency role in a supermax prison. And because it might not be obvious to all Americans, a pamphlet with the Chimp's 'accomplishments' is being distributed.


This document is the literary correlative to "Mission Accomplished." Bush kept America safe (provided his presidency began Sept. 12, 2001). He gave America record economic growth (provided his presidency ended December 2007). He vanquished all the leading Qaeda terrorists (if you don’t count the leaders bin Laden and al-Zawahri). He gave Afghanistan a thriving "market economy" (if you count its skyrocketing opium trade) and a "democratically elected president" (presiding over one of the world’s most corrupt governments). He supported elections in Pakistan (after propping up Pervez Musharraf past the point of no return). He "led the world in providing food aid and natural disaster relief" (if you leave out Brownie and Katrina).


2 1/2 weeks and King George will be on his way and not a minute too soon. If I fixed cars the way George Bush 'fixed' America, I'da been out on the street years ago.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Not-So-Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

This one's dedicated to Mrs. G.

BCB Band sings a song called Tennessee Whiskey by George Jones which is a song about the love of a woman freeing him from the clutches of alcohol addiction.

Go ahead and shoot! I dare ya!

(apologies to the late Cleavon Little, and Mel Brooks)

Quote of the Day

EssEffChron on "Iraq, oil and the Bush administration":

[...] Back in 2002, the better class of commentator sniffed at the naiveté of "No Blood for Oil" - the chant of anti-war demonstrations around the country. But blood for oil may not be the worst of it. The worst, in the war's subdued and sorry denouement, may prove to be blood for no oil.