Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cluster flip

This ain't no shit!


Another one stolen from YubaNet.

Stumblebumble Rumble


Stolen from YubaNet.

Saturday Kumi-daiko Blogging

I love this shit! More about Taiko here.

Japanese Taiko Drumming by Auckland's Haere Mai Taiko.

Hit it, boys!


Thanks to mikew7, NZ.

The Married Men

This goes out to Repug pols everywhere and especially the residents of (Hypocri)C Street:

Linda Ronstadt and Phoebe Snow perform "The Married Men" on SNL May 19, 1979



Thanks to PhillysVideoVault.

Pat Buchanan and the Long Goodbye

A 'must read' from Mark Karlin:

In retropsect, it was an iconic showdown: a lesbian new media superstar smacks down the open racism and gender bias of one of the most enduring and brazen defenders of white male entitlement.

So it was when Rachel Maddow -- pushed to the limits of her cordiality -- swatted down Buchanan's pugilistic assertions of white male mental superiority for the Supreme Court.

It's the Alamo for white male affirmative action, and Buchanan (and his media counterparts such as Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity) know that if they don't start a rebellion of white guys (who will be even more armed thanks to the NRA soon), the sheer demographics of America are facilitating a long goodbye to white males having absolute power over the destiny of the nation.

The psyche of the white male yearning for the patriarchal hierarachy was reassured by Bush as president -- who proved that any idiot white male could rise to the top of the pyramid (my em), even if his strings were being pulled by two other white males: Cheney and Rove. But then the psychic crack-up happened: an African-American male was elected to the highest office in the land by a landslide.

So for the Pat Buchanans of the world who saw Clinton as a Bubba who had betrayed them, Bush gave hope that the ante-bellum order of white male plantation dominance would be restored.

And then it all came crashing down and now is manifesting itself in demagogic outbursts of forcefully overtaking the government and restoring the white man on top.

That's Pat Buchanan and the long goodbye in a nutshell, because the tide of American demographics is wresting power from the white male, forcing a power sharing agreement that they don't want any part of.

Note to Pat O'Saurus: Want in one hand and shit in the other. See which one fills up first.

Please read the rest.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Have I mentioned that I Emmylou?


Emmylou Harris ~ Someday My Ship Will Sail

Thanks to clydeclark.

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Pat ...

"White people built this country."

Oliver Willis has examples.

Triple Banjo Brain Bleach!

A comment on Fixer's post:

Before you go for the ice cream, think of Limbaugh in a Speedo.

Gee, thanks David for that visual!

Sorry this took so long, but I ran screaming into the woods when I saw that one! Had to wait out there a while because I didn't have any pants on at the time and had to wait for my neighbor to finish mowing her lawn before I could come back. Then I looked for the brain bleach. Found several empty bottles, but no luck. I was looking for some rifle cleaning patches to attach to a length of stainless steel safety wire so I could floss through my ears when I remembered this video. Should be an acceptable substitute.

Tony Trischka appears on Late Night with David Letterman. Guests include Steve Martin, Bela Fleck, Michael Daves on guitar, Skip Ward on bass and Britanny Haas on fiddle.

Song is "The Crow" by Steve Martin.


Thanks to gbtexas for the video and toddspire for the description.


Afterthought:

I think it's telling that Fixer and I both posted music videos at about the same time. The 'Speedo' comment must have affected us both in a similar fashion and we needed some serious musical soothing.

Friday Contemporary Jazz Blogging ...

To quote a commenter at YouTube:

The rippingtons make me want to make love with several monkies until I get a monkey crabs. I love it ...


Either you love it or don't.



The Rippingtons - Aspen


Enjoy your Friday evening!

Got a lot to say now ...

Assholes. Where were you two clowns when you were rubber stamping Bush's idiocy? The time to speak up was then, instead of pandering to the mouth-breathing 'base' of your party. Fucking whores.

Two former Republican members of Congress have accused their GOP colleagues of putting party politics over the Constitution during the Bush years, arguing that they failed dramatically to check the White House's use of executive powers.

Former Reps. Mickey Edwards (R-Okla.) and Chris Shays (R-Conn.) made the argument that if the Republican-controlled Congress had exhibited greater oversight during former President George W. Bush's time in office, they could have prevented some of the most calamitous results of that administration and even saved thousands of lives.

...


That's why you two morons are former congressmen. Assholes.

Thanks to Maru for the link.

Kyl Rejects, Guv Protests, McCain Blows Stack

From Daily Kos:

So...John McCain supports Senator Kyl's demand that the Obama administration cancel the stimulus...but when the Obama administration asks state officials whether or not they agree with Senator Kyl's demand, McCain calls it a "threat against the citizens of Arizona."

Put another way, John McCain's message is this: "Don't do what I say I want you to do, because if you do what I say I want you to do, then you're doing nothing but threatening me. AND GET OFF MY LAWN! DAMMIT!"

And they wonder why we think they are a bunch of lunatics.

Heh. I'd like ta sneak up on McLame while he's noddin' off in his rocker on his front porch in between his bouts of semi-lucidity when he waves at passing cars, and wire his blow-off valves (his ears - you old boiler operators know what I'm talkin' about) shut so the excess steam couldn't get out and then back off a safe distance and watch his head explode the next time he spouts some talking points.

Governor Secesh Goodhair is doing something similar. First he rejected $555M in federal stimulus for unemployment, and now he's trying to get a $170M "loan" (yeah, like "loaning" money to yer brother-in-law) for the same unemployment fund and is expected to ask for $650M for it this year. No stimulus, please, but give me the money.

Where's my dog clippers? I wonder if he naps...

What a bunch of fuckin' hypocrites.

Heh ...

Swiped from our pal, and fellow New Yorker, D-cap:

Harry Potter & The Senate Judiciary Committee

Tony Peyser

Our Hogwarts hero has a skill
(One of the charms of being him)
Where his dad's magical cloak
Can make others stop seeing him.

Southern Republicans, of whom
The rest of us should be wary,
Think that their expensive suits
Make them invisible like Harry.

But regardless who their tailor is
The truth is that anyone could
Give them a glance and still see
They're wearing sheets & a hood.

Progress ...

Drifty:

...

40 years ago we were a nation that spent billions of dollars on the crap shoot of putting three men on top of 3,200 tons of hellfire wrapped in an aluminum skin and firing the whole thing at a dead rock 240,000 miles away because our destiny demanded it.

40 years later we are a nation that will not spend billions to keep its 300 million citizens alive, healthy and productive because the insurance industry lobbyists who own our politicians forbid it.

...


Welcome to America of the 21st Century.

It's Pat!

And I'll bet Buchanan still doesn't get the SNL reference. Heh.

Here's Rachel trying to talk sense to Pat Buchanan. She does her best, but I hope she learned from this exchange that reason and facts mean absolutely nothing when dealing with old white racist, anti-semitic, misogynist throwbacks.

Just as an aside, there's a minute or so of President Obama's speech in front of the NAACP yesterday. He has an entirely different persona in front of a black audience and it's terrific! If he hadn't gone into politics, he'da made a damn fine hellfire shoutin' preacher! Shit, I'd go to church to listen to him. Then I'd throw a little offering in the plate to help pay for the roof that got hit by lightning and caved in because I was there...



And from a long article at Media Matters about Buchanan, long because it has to be to crowd in a good sampling of his racist, anti-semitic, and he-man-woman-haters comments over the years:

Incredibly, MSNBC trots him out to discuss race and gender issues, as though the views he represents are needed for "balance." And so MSNBC viewers are treated to the bizarre spectacle of Pat Buchanan loudly insisting that everyone else is a racist. Sonia Sotomayor? Racist. Harry Reid? Racist. Eric Holder? Displays "almost paralyzing stupidity" in talking about race.

If there is a consistent theme to Buchanan's rhetoric over the past four decades, it is that the real bigotry is displayed by women and minorities, and bigotry's real victims are white males. At this point, it would be surprising if he didn't call Sonia Sotomayor a racist.

But the most extraordinary thing about MSNBC's continued employment of Pat Buchanan is that all of this barely scratches the surface. Anyone willing to devote a few minutes can easily find dozens, if not hundreds, more examples of flagrantly over-the-top rhetoric targeting racial and ethnic minorities, women, gays, and immigrants, among others -- from the '60s through the present day.

Pat Buchanan's bigoted comments are not merely an aspect of his public persona; if they are not what he is best known for, they should be. MSNBC needs to explain why they are not disqualifying.

I think they keep him around for about the same reason the CDC keeps a smallpox sample, in case there's a breakout and they need to study it again. He needs to be in a museum, perhaps at the Creation museum in Kentucky next to the dinosaurs Jesus buried 6000 years ago. Or maybe at the Holocaust Museum as an example of what to look out for.

Buchanan seems to be longing for the old days, when women were all about Kinder, K├╝che, Kirche, and unquestioning submission to white males, which is what God made them for, of course. A time when the 'good' 'colored' 'knew their place' and were thus a 'credit to their race', and when 'uppity' ones could be dealt with with a rope. When Jews were baggy pants comedians and caricatures of evil and the Nazis knew how to deal with them, by God.

Heaven to him will be a place with all angry, bitter old white men carping about how they were so beset upon when the world went mad and the people they had oppressed wised up and talked back. I hope he finds it. Soon.

She'd be eminently qualified ...

If she weren't a fat broad*:

Since President Obama announced his pick for the nation’s Top Doc, Internet message boards have been atwitter with the observation that Dr. Regina Benjamin is fat.

...


Just shut the fuck up. I suppose everybody mistook C. Everett Koop for Kate Moss? It really pisses me off that when these assholes have nothing to pick on about a person, they turn to their weight, which is somehow a disqualifier for everything.

Listen to me. Peoples' body shape is dictated by genetics. Everybody in my family puts weight on easily. I've had a problem with my weight since I was a little kid. If I don't watch everything I eat, I start growing. When I was in the military, I worked out more than most in order to keep in shape. Since I've been out (and getting older) I have to watch it even closer because I don't get the same amount of exercise I did back then. It really pisses me off when people pick on things about others they have no control over, be it weight, color, ethnicity, looks, whatever.

That said, if you don't see a beautiful woman in the picture below, you need to get your eyes checked.



I wish her all the best of luck in her new job and I commend her tenacity in the face of overwhelming odds (on many levels).

Regina Benjamin is a rural family physician forging an inspiring model of compassionate and effective medical care in one of the most underserved regions of the United States. In 1990, she founded the Bayou La Batre Rural Health Clinic to serve the Gulf Coast fishing community of Bayou La Batre, Alabama, a village of approximately 2,500 residents devastated twice in the past decade by Hurricanes Georges, in 1998, and Katrina, in 2005. Despite scarce resources, Benjamin has painstakingly rebuilt her clinic after each disaster and set up networks to maintain contact with patients scattered across multiple evacuation sites. She has established a family practice that allows her to treat all incoming patients, many of whom are uninsured, and frequently travels by pickup truck to care for the most isolated and immobile in her region ...


If you're hurting, I'm certain her weight would be the farthest thing from your mind if they brought you to her emergency room. You'd be thanking whatever you worship she was your physician. Idiots.

*Great thanks to Athenae for the link.

Quote of the Effin' Week!

HuffPo, with video:

"...we're going to do that crack cocaine thing that you and I have talked about before." - Senator Sessions (R(acist) - Alabigotama) at the Sotomayor hearings.

Context be damned, Jeffie-Beau, it would do you a world of good ta puff one up. It would do us a world of good if you got caught at it.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Global Gas Pump

Iraq was always about the oil. Still is. And ever will be. Tom Klare at TomDispatch. Take a lunch.

Has it all come to this? The wars and invasions, the death and destruction, the exile and torture, the resistance and collapse? In a world of shrinking energy reserves, is Iraq finally fated to become what it was going to be anyway, even before the chaos and catastrophe set in: a giant gas pump for an energy-starved planet? Will it all end not with a bang, but with a gusher? The latest oil news out of that country offers at least a hint of Iraq's fate.

For modern Iraq, oil has always been at the heart of everything. Its very existence as a unified state is largely the product of oil.

When President George W. Bush launched the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, his overarching goals all revolved around the geopolitics of oil. He and his top officials were intent on replacing Saddam Hussein's regime with one that would prove friendly to American oil interests. They also imagined that, greeted as liberators by a grateful population, they would preside over a radical upgrading of Iraq's petroleum capacity, thereby ensuring adequate supplies for American consumers at an affordable price. Finally, by building and manning a constellation of major military bases in a grateful Iraq, they saw themselves ensuring continued American dominance over the oil-soaked Persian Gulf region, and so the energy heartland of the planet.

All of this, of course, proved to be a mirage. [...]

More of a 'pipe dream'.

[..] The Bush administration, which looked with alarm at Saddam Hussein's growing ties to Russia and China, invaded the country in part to reassert American dominance in the Persian Gulf region and diminish the role played by Moscow and Beijing. Today, Washington appears to welcome the growing role of Chinese and Russian firms in the rehabilitation of Iraq's dilapidated energy infrastructure.

Yeah, ya fucked that one up good, Georgie boy.

For devastated Iraq, of course, these last years were a disaster and real reconstruction of the country still remains a long way off. For the United States, gone are expectations of converting Iraq into a model Middle Eastern democracy, or of inserting a Western-trained, pro-U.S. regime in Baghdad. Nor is there any expectation that the state-owned Iraq National Oil Company will be completely privatized -- once the dream of Bush-era neocons. Nonetheless, the (re)emergence of a functioning Iraqi petro-state working closely with foreign energy firms to boost global oil supplies (with American troops, whether based in Iraq or neighboring countries, providing ultimate security) would be an outcome that could be sold to Congress and, presumably, a majority of the American public.

So it has finally come to this dismal possible end point: after all the blood and tears, all the death and destruction, almost all interested parties seem to be returning to the only vision of the country, however depressing, that has demonstrated any viability. In the future, Iraq is likely to be an oil-fueled petro-state with no function other than to service global markets and enrich local elites as well as the technocrats that assist them. This may be not be an inspiring vision -- especially for Iraqis who have suffered so much -- but it might possibly be the only reality available that will circumvent the horrific bloodletting of the past 30 years.

Instead of lying us into that clusterfuck with all the 'WMD' and 'mushroom cloud' bullshit, what if Bush had just come right out and said, "We're going to invade Iraq for its oil. We're going to get thousands of your sons and daughters killed, not to mention hundreds of thousands of sand niggers who aren't really human beings anyway and exist only to serve white folks, their betters, so you can drive your SUVs and thus further enrich the corporate ruling elite. We're going to have a permanent military presence there for generations to come in order to protect your God-given American right to live the sybaritic (If he'da known such a word. The speechwriters coulda made him practice it.) lifestyle of spoiled rich white people that you've become accustomed to, but on the cheap because you're not as rich as you think you are and live on borrowed money anyway. We're going to spend trillions of dollars, but we're going to borrow the money from China and run our criminal imperialistic war of agression off the books so you'll never see the cost until we can't pay the mortgage and the Chinks come to foreclose. Your kids and grandkids will get stuck with the bill, but I don't care because me and my peeps are rich and won't be affected by it, and you'll be dead and fuck the goddam next generation anyway, the ingrateful little bastards who'll bitch about what we did to them just so we could avoid seeing the writing on the wall. The oil is going to run out someday and we'd better be the ones to get it. Let's go get what's ours even if it puts the lie to everything we claim to believe in! Besides, you people are all suckers and I'm doing what my corporate and neocon masters want."

It wouldn't have made a bit of difference. With the Repug Congress, the corporate Bush-suckin' media, and half our country being ignorant wingtards at the time, we'd be exactly where we are now.

Bush coulda saved himself a lot of trouble just by being out front about his big oil grab. Too bad he doesn't know how to tell the truth, and it's not Repug and neocon policy anyway.

Quote of the Day

Seymour Hersh in "The Man Who Knew Cheney's Secret" at The Daily Beast:

"The last time they said the government doesn’t torture; this time it's the government doesn’t assassinate."

The next shoe to drop...

Quote of the Day

Jill:

... I suppose it's to Sotomayor's credit that she's able to sit through all the manure being thrown around the Judiciary Committee without telling these gasbags just how full of shit they are ...


Late for work. See yas ...

While I love Europe ...

They have some of the same problems we do. Take Bush accomplice and war criminal Tony Blair. Is he going to Den Haag in an orange jumpsuit with a glow-in-the-dark 'P' stitched on the back? No, he's gonna be the next EU President ... probably:

And the trend of [sending] failed politicians to Brussels continues. Europe really knows how to prevent the EU from making progress and being viewed as a joke by its constitutes. If there's a country that doesn't send its rejects to Brussels I'm [not] aware of it. This is precisely why the EU Parliament and Brussels in general are viewed as a non-serious sideshow that is ignored by most. Think of it as a retirement plan for politicians who are past their sell-by date. In Blair's case, not only did he lead an invasion of another country but now he's cashing in by working with bankers who he propped up who then dragged down the economy. How convenient for everyone to ignore that little detail as the UK figures out how to work through this deep recession.

...


I'd be nice if we had a place to send our losers where they can still feel like they're in charge, yet can't do any appreciable harm. Instead, ours seem to stay around forever, coming to our attention periodically like a chronic case of hemorrhoids.

How much ...

For your soul?

Members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, who opposed a version of health care reform that the panel passed today, have on average received more money from the industries fighting against the measure's public health plan component than those who voted "yes."

...


A breakdown of who got what here.

I'll have faith in my government again when all the money is taken out of lobbying; when the K Street crowd has to use objective fact to sway their reps instead of campaign cash. Ain't holding my breath.

Thanks to Ol' Fez for the link.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I coulda told ya that ...

Shit, I remember my dad giving me this dimple in my forehead. Heh ...

WEDNESDAY, July 15 (HealthDay News) -- Fetuses that are only 30 weeks old may already possess short-term memory, Dutch researchers report.

...


But whatever short term memory I had got killed in '73 and it hasn't been seen since.

Quit bitchin' ...

Mrs. F does that every autumn:

"I thought somebody had bought Europe with my credit card," said Josh Muszynski, from New Hampshire.


Be glad they didn't get yer AMEX. I gotta pay off the equivalent of the European debt every October. I wonder if I could get away with the "bank made a mistake" excuse?

Are you people fucking drunk?

Yes, this* should end well:

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizonans with concealed weapons permits will be allowed to take a handgun into bars and restaurants that serve alcohol under a bill signed Monday by Gov. Jan Brewer.

...

Drinking while carrying a weapon would be illegal.

...


So why the fuck would you bother going into a bar with a firearm?

We have a saying in my neighborhood. "Instant Moron: Just add alcohol." I'm making a tub o' popcorn and getting an online subscription to the Arizona Republic for my entertainment.

Dumbasses.

*Link thanks to Maru.

Observations ...

As I watch the Sotomayor hearings (at this particular time watching Jeff Sessions' follow ups), I get the feeling, by her body language (she reminds me a lot of Mrs. F - in intellect, demeanor, and knowledge of her particular field of law) that she wants to get up and punch Sessions in the eye.

Go for it, girl!

White Man’s Last Stand

MoDo on Sotomayor:

A wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not know that a gaggle of white Republican men afraid of extinction are out to trip her up.

After all, these guys have never needed to speak inspirational words to others like them, as Sotomayor has done. They’ve had codes, handshakes and clubs to do that.

She even used a flat tone when talking about the “horrific tragedy” of 9/11, when she was living near the World Trade Center. And she was mechanical in explaining to a grumpy Senator Orrin Hatch that banning nunchaku sticks did not dent the Second Amendment because the martial-arts weapons’ swing “can bust someone’s skull.”

But the barbed adjectives didn’t match the muted performance on display before the Judiciary Committee. Like the president who picked her, Sotomayor has been a model of professorial rationality. Besides, it’s delicious watching Republicans go after Democrats for being too emotional and irrational given the G.O.P. shame spiral.

W. and Dick Cheney made all their bad decisions about Iraq, W.M.D.’s, domestic surveillance, torture, rendition and secret hit squads from the gut, based on false intuitions, fear, paranoia and revenge.

Sarah Palin is the definition of irrational, a volatile and scattered country-music queen without the music. Her Republican fans defend her lack of application and intellect, happy to settle for her emotional electricity.

Senator Graham said Sotomayor would be confirmed unless she had “a meltdown” — a word applied mostly to women and toddlers until Mark Sanford proudly took ownership of it when he was judged about the wisdom of his Latina woman.

And then there’s the Supreme Court, of course, which gave up its claim to rational neutrality when the justices appointed by Republican presidents — including Bush Sr. — ignored what was fair to make a sentimental choice and throw the 2000 election to W.

Faced with that warped case of supreme empathy, no wonder Sotomayor is so eager to follow the law.

This goes out to Repugs everywhere and particularly those who recognize the end of them is thankfully in sight at last. Now if the Injuns will just put little red flags on their arrows to make it easier to find the bodies before they stink up the joint even worse...

And no, we're not particularly politically correct around here.


Thanks to rsensorat3, Canuckistan.

"He is sweating profusely... "

Ray McGovern

So far the summer has been mild in the Washington, D.C., area. But for former Vice President Dick Cheney the temperature is well over 100 degrees. He is sweating profusely, and it is becoming increasingly clear why.

Cheney has broken openly with former President George W. Bush on one issue of transcendent importance — to Cheney. For whatever reason, Bush decided not to hand out blanket pardons before they both rode off into the sunset.

It is getting close to history time. You do not need to be a cracker-jack analyst to understand that Cheney is feeling betrayed — that he is thinking not of Libby, but of himself, and fearing that, if our system of justice works, he could be in for some serious, uncommuted jail time.

As if unprecedented decisions to torture, in violation of international law and the War Crimes Act of 1996, can be accurately described as “policies” over which there can be honest disagreement. This is about crimes, not “policies.”

What has pretty much escaped notice in the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM) is that the former Vice President has also reminded us all that President Bush was the “decider.”

That unusual word sounded quite macho as Bush strutted about reminding us often that he was also “commander in chief.” But now, it could be the kiss of death — for Bush, as well as for Cheney.

Ooooooh...the blood is rushing from my head...

Approval of torture, assassination, warrantless eavesdropping — hey, there is quite enough to go on, and increasing signs that Cheney will be called on the carpet.

What we have been focusing on, however, glosses over Cheney’s key role in purveying lies to get our representatives in Congress to approve a war that qualifies for what the post-WWII Nuremberg Tribunal called the “supreme international crime” — a war of aggression.

We shall have to demand that Attorney General Eric Holder do his duty and move quickly to start the process to hold accountable those responsible for dragging our country down into a moral abyss.

Please read the rest.

It will do my heart good when the FBI or US Marshals drag The Dick out of his final Undisclosed Location, which may bear a striking resemblance to Saddam Hussein's hidey-hole. They'll find it by the smell of fear emanating from a coward and war criminal who sent thousands to die and murdered hundreds of thousands of others for no good reason.

Bush? Another coward and war criminal, but he won't be so hard to catch. When they go for him he'll just be sitting at home in his rich white enclave with his usual deer-in-the-headlights look on his face. They may have to pull his finger out of his nose to put the handcuffs on.

I hope they spend the days before their hangings in adjoining cells with live audio out. The recrimination and whining will be most amusing in a macabre sort of way.

The 10 Dumbest Things Republicans Have Said About the Sotomayor Hearings

At AlterNet. Liquid alert with a twist: Besides the obvious danger of your keyboard going up in a cloud of smoke from short circuits, you may burn yourself if you drink anything whilst reading this when it starts to boil from outrage.

From sexist attacks about Sotomayor's "temperament" to a rigorous interrogation about the definition of nunchucks, GOPers came up with a multitude of embarrassing ways to try to hinder the Supreme Court nominee's confirmation.

Ah, yes, the dreaded nunchaku. I think every one of these Repug dickwads should be issued a set. Then we could watch them beat the crap out of themselves. Maybe butterfly knives as well. A coupla days of them trying to open those and they'd have to use an intern to jack off. Oh, wait - they do that already. The 2d Amendment is about guns, you fucking idiot. There's even video of the Wise Latina wasting her time trying to explain this silly shit to Orrin Hatch (Idiot - Cult State).

8. In what was perhaps one of the odder moments of the hearings, Hatch forced the nominee to expound on the dangers of nunchucks, a martial arts weapon. The point, of course, was the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms and how it played out in the 2009 case Maloney v. Cuomo. But all-in-all, a strange topic for a Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Watch it:

Sotomayor Explains The Many Dangers Of Ninja Nunchucks

Shorter: If you live anywhere you can't swing a cat without hitting someone, like New York and California, two billy clubs on a string are already illegal and rightly so.

The craziness and incompetence on display at the hearings has been more than matched by the absurd smears leveled at Sotomayor in the conservative media. The shining lights of conservatism -- Pat Buchanan, G. Gordan (Sic. Any vowel other than 'o' is the pet peeve of anybody named 'Gordon'. Grrrr. - G) Liddy and Rush Limbaugh -- have outdone themselves with uninformed, offensive rants about the nominee.

7. The Committee for Justice* -- a right-wing group opposed to Sotomayor's confirmation -- is airing ads claiming that the Yale graduate led a terrorist organization. According to Think Progress:

The claim that Sotomayor led a terrorist organization apparently refers to her service on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, a mainstream civil rights organization. It seems that, in the right-wing mind, a group that protects Latinos from race discrimination is exactly the same as al-Qaida.

Any even slightly brown person is the same to wingtards. Scares the shit out of 'em.

Puh-lenty (not the governor) more.

House Health Care Bill

Here's a summary. Text here, 1018 pages. Links.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yes, go right ahead ...

We need another Cheney in the White House as badly as we need another Bush in the job.

Fantasy script ...

Wouldn't mind seeing this on Wolfie's:

Liz Cheney: Investigating my dad would prove Americans 'can't trust Democrats with national security.'

Maru: Letting your dad rot in prison would prove Americans still care about the goddamn rule of law, you fucking twat.


Heh ... Right on, sister.

This should ...

Make wingnut heads explode. Happy Bastille Day!



La Marseillaise


The subtitles are a bit ... off in the translation, but good for a giggle. Heh ...

Live-Blogging of Jeff Sessions Committing Fellatio at the Sotomayor Hearing

RP on the Sotomayor hearings. Do not miss! Caution: May be some bad language.

Hey, look, it's racist wad of fuck Jeff Sessions of Alabama...

Sotomayor says, more or less, "Lick me, fucker. Look at what I did, not what I said." When Sessions asks about Sotomayor's statement that appellate court is where "policy is made," she kick Sessions' bony ass all over the place.

Oh, yeah, Sessions is gonna act like he's got something, because the knuckledraggers back home need to see him beat up a Hispanic woman.
...

There's a reason why stereotypes of backwards ass country fucks exist.

Hey, just a fuckin' minute here, city boy...

Sotomayor kicks him in the nuts and says to stop teabagging himself and don't be an idiot...

Sessions doesn't actually give a fuck what she says or how she answers. He is trying to get her to crack, like if she is pushed, she'll bring out maracas and yip and trill her voice, revealing the whitey-hating freakin' Rican within.

Sessions: "Why didn't you use the cases I want you to use to decide Ricci?" Sotomayor: "Um, the Supreme Court decided it using the same issues I used."

- When Sessions asks if Sotomayor "understood" Ricci and the other firefighters and their concerns, it's really just "C'mon, Judge Spic, you don't give a shit about white people."

Thus, Jeff Sessions cupped the balls of the racist right as it came in his...

More.

Dear Judge Sotomayor,

Please stand up, look that fucking idiot Lindsey Graham square in the eye, and tell him, with all due respect, to go fuck himself. He's such a sanctimonious, patronizing piece of shit.

Regards and good luck,

Fixer

Tiny Airports Get Stimulus

Some that aren't so tiny as well. This is just kinda interesting.

ProPublica. Links at site.

The Federal Aviation Administration has now allocated all [2] of its $1.1 billion in stimulus money for airport improvements. But the complex set of rules [3] laid out in the recovery act has led to some counterintuitive results.

The biggest winners aren't the busiest airports. And more than $100 million is going to airports that have fewer than one flight an hour [4] -- airports that cater to recreational fliers, corporate jets or remote communities.

Aside from California, Alaska has received the most airport money. Many communities there are so isolated they lack construction equipment, increasing costs.

I get a visual of two Inuits and a pick an' shovel...

Here's a map of the airports that will get some money. My little Truckee-Tahoe Airport is on it as are Reno-Tahoe and Carson City. You can put your mouse on an airport near you and see how much they're going to get.

I live about a mile from our airport. This is a resort area and a lot of rich folks, rich enough to have an airplane anyway, fly in and out all the time. There's also an EAA Chapter there because we're in some kind of experimental/aerobatic flying area where if you get the plane away from the houses you can do what you want. It's a reasonably busy airport for being out in podunk country.

There's two things the airport needs to do with the money, as I see it.

First, they need to cut down the trees at the west end of the runway. Folks who don't fly out of high altitude airports (ours is at 5900') very much sometimes don't take 'density altitude' into account and end up in them after a very short flight. It would be easier to find them without the trees.

If you have a Flight Simulator program, try taking an early no-horsepower Piper Cub off our runway. You'll see what I mean. Many years ago, our airport was in a different place, and the little sneezers just went off a cliff and let gravity finish their takeoff roll.

Just as an aside, the old joke about 'please confine all crashes to the far end of the runway' takes on new meaning here since the east-west runway is in two different counties. It's a 'which first responders do we call this time?' kinda thing. Heh.

Second, they need to provide some kind of air defense for our world-class shit plant located north of the runway. Since most of the cocaine and other pharmaceutical party goods come into the affluent North Lake Tahoe area via our airport, we should do more to prevent a speed-crazed pilot from crashing into it. Since the treated water flows directly into the Truckee River and thence to Reno for people to drink, the last thing I want is for the residents of that august city to get our drugs for free. It's a 24-hour city and they can go buy their own!

Almost thirty years ago, a local cop (who is a friend of mine) wrote a several-part article in our local paper about the cocaine route through Truckee into North Lake. I went looking for a cite, but it's too old and I couldn't find one. I did, however, find this lovely, well-written, and insightful article about a local flying experience. Thank you, Google.

One problem we don't have here is runway snow removal. There's a lot of snow, but the airport folks have it handled. Good thing, too. I don't even wanta think about how a pilot puts tire chains on to land...

The 8th Level

This is Scott Shane and Jane Mayer on Charlie Rose last night, talking about the CIA, torture, rendition, secret prisons, and Cheney. Long but worth watching.

A lot of folks, including Glenn Greenwald, think AG Holder's investigation of torture will only be directed at low-level operatives like at Abu Ghraib. This is probably so, but...

The last 5 minutes of this 27 minute clip address this. To crudely paraphrase Ms. Mayer, "Probably not legally containable...their lawyers have already prepared charts showing up to 8 levels of authorization...fingers pointed straight up...Bush and Cheney authorized it (big smile)".

When Holder rubs the lamp the teeny little bit he plans to, he's liable to get a bigger genie than he ever thought. This is good.

I wonder if the Republicans realize ...

How bogus they sound to an American with more than 2 functioning brain cells? I mean, when they're not whining like schoolchildren, they're trying to 'hide' their racism behind code words.

Why don't you all just come out and say it? "We don't want no spic bitch on the Supreme Court." It's not that hard. Everybody knows what you're saying around your "ethnic" and "empathy" and "sympathy" proclamations. Say it. "We don't want her letting more of the brown folks share the American Dream." Simple. It's what you're saying amongst yourselves anyway. It's what you're trying to get across to the clowns who vote for you. Hint: They only have two brain cells; you want to make sure they have no doubt about what side of the fence you come down on.

Take Jeff Sessions. This dork couldn't find his ass with both hands tied behind his back, yet he sits there and lectures a woman far more accomplished, far more intelligent, than he could ever hope to be. A woman who knows the law at least as well as her own children. To paraphrase Lawrence O'Donnell: 'You don't have to pass a test to be a committee chairman (or ranking member), you just have to sit in Congress longer than everyone else.' That he has the balls to talk about "prejudice" is the ultimate in hypocrisy and chutzpah.

These are the same people who swore John Roberts and Sam Alito were pillars of the legal community*, completely unbiased, and questioning their "empathy" and "sympathy" were out of bounds:

... Jeffrey Toobin, a well-respected legal commentator, has recently reported that "[i]n every major case since he became the nation's seventeenth Chief Justice, Roberts has sided with the prosecution over the defendant, the state over the condemned, the executive branch over the legislative, and the corporate defendant over the individual plaintiff." Some umpire. And is it a coincidence that this pattern, to continue Toobin's quote, "has served the interests, and reflected the values of the contemporary Republican party"? ...


Lotta empathy going on there, just not for people of color (or ethnicity). Hopefully, that tool Lindsey Graham was right when he said, paraphrasing: 'Barring an earth-shaking scandal, Judge Sotomayor will be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice.'

The Republicans have become a joke, an obvious one. Between Sarah Palin, Rush Lintball (and all of his ilk), and the racist hypocrites in Congress, they will eventually be laughed into oblivion. Thing is, it ain't happening soon enough and they stand to fuck up even more stuff in the interim.



DenuciaRush


*Link via Digby.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Death Squads, Cheney, and American Standards

The Rude Pundit. I am leaving out his first paragraph because it will make you seriously consider not eating lunch.

The point here is that, right now, with just a little revealed and a more-than-likely horrible lot more waiting in the shadows like Orson Welles in The Third Man, it seems that Dick Cheney was, at the very least, concocting with the CIA a plan for a secret assassination army. Surely, we'll hear soon about how many terrorists were killed by crack shots, their heads brought to Cheney so he could use them for a delicious freedom stew, keeping the skulls as trophies until he had enough to construct a throne of bone. And, really, and, c'mon, what would be surprising would be to find out that Dick Cheney wasn't constructing a skull chair.

Yet, bizarrely, some Republicans are saying there shouldn't be an investigation into the potential that the CIA was putting together a death squad and that the Vice President told the CIA to lie to Congress about it. It's as if they're throwing up their hands in a comical "what can you do?" gesture, as if they're saying, "Well, that's just Cheney," and a laugh track will play to cover their asses.

While it's screamingly frustrating to keep saying, "But...but...if Clinton..." and just sigh, Republicans set the bar lower than a snail turd as to what's a scandal worth having investigated. Fucking "Travelgate"...

There's your scales of Republican justice: travel office employees fired? It's a crisis that demands millions of dollars spent to discover nothing. Potential secret CIA death squads and the involvement of at least the Vice President in lying to Congress in violation of the law? Nah, why bother? Let's move forward, not look back.

Yet the very nature of investigation and criminal proceedings is to look backward, with the knowledge that the past very much impacts the present. If Attorney General Eric Holder does go forward with a probe of Bush-era torture policies and if Dianne Feinstein and other Democrats are serious about looking into the CIA/Cheney story, then we will be making baby steps back to being a nation that actually gives a flying rat's fuck about the laws we pass.

And if we don't look back, if we simply attempt to bury the past in our inexorable march forward with the knowledge that unpunished crimes have been committed, then we, all of us, become co-conspirators. We all carry that burden then, that we know we are a country that has done wrong, but we are unwilling to prove it and punish those who ordered the commission of crimes in our name.

Amen.

Sotomayor hearings

BuzzFlash:

Live Blogging on Sotomayor Hearings. Watch for the GOP to Play to the Palin Know-Nothing Peanut Gallery.

Gee, ya think?

More on 'C'ult Street

In case you missed it:

Oh, the irony...and a serious note.

Ironic Times

Illinois Senate Race Wide Open
Early bidding frantic.

British Scientists Create Human Sperm in Laboratory
With nothing more than a men's magazine.

“Waterboarding,” “Staycation” Added to Merriam-Webster Dictionary
“Wet Willy,” “Middle Class” dropped.

??? ~ News Quiz ~ ???

Marines training in the mountains with pack mules for the mission in Afghanistan is a good example of:

A ) resourcefulness, imagination
B ) ingenuity, ability to adapt
C ) determination, tactical brilliance
D ) why we shouldn’t be there and won’t succeed
Hint: can you spell “exit strategy?”

The answer is:

E) The more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war.

The use of mule pack trains is very common in the Sierra Nevada (example) and the base where they do this is right down the street from me. Go read this.

Bottom line: I want my Marines so trained up on whatever they gotta do to get over in Clusterfuckistan that they get home alive. 'Exit strategy' is not up to them.

When life gives you lemons ...

Make lemonade. Jill:

...

But l'Affaire Ensign has served one useful purpose, and that is to blow the door off of the "C Street House", which seems to be the headquarters of "The Family"'s efforts to replace American democracy with something akin to Divine Right of Kings ...


It's time to clear the Jesus freaks out of government and the military. It's all these fucking 'pillars of morality' who got us into messes we're in to begin with. This is fucking America, you cult-ass motherfuckers. No one has a divine right to any-fucking-thing and the military is not 'God's Crusading Army'. I'm tired of these sanctimonious, hypocritical, fuckwads deciding what's good for me and millions of people around the world who neither believe nor accept their fucked up worldview.

Fuck you. All of you. If you wanna preach 'god's word', go back to the congregations who believe your mystical bullshit. I'm tired of having to put up with your false morality, American exceptionalism, and all around disrespect of anyone who doesn't believe your drivel. You wanna live in a theocracy? Move to Iran. But I'll be damned if I let you turn Washington into Tehran.

A few 'bad apples' ...

I had a little hope there for a while when AG Holder hinted in a Newseek article that investigations into the 'torture regime' might be in the future. Yeah, well if there is an investigation, it won't be of those ultimately responsible for the war crimes. Greenwald boils down all the bullshit:

Yesterday, I treated this new Newsweek report that Eric Holder is "leaning toward appointing a prosecutor to investigate the Bush administration's brutal interrogation practices" as something to celebrate. But new facts about what that investigation would entail and, more importantly, would exclude -- facts added by today's Washington Post -- strongly suggest it's the opposite. At least if that article is to be believed -- and it seems clear that Holder dispatched his allies to leak his plans in order to gauge reaction -- the investigation will only target "rogue" CIA interrogators who exceeded the limits of what John Yoo authorized, and would not include high-level policy makers who authorized the torture tactics and implemented America's torture regime ... [my em]


Let's see. In my book, any 'authorization' Yoo gave went far beyond the limits of the Constitution and Geneva Conventions to begin with. It wasn't just 'a few bad apples'. The entire bushel was rotten to the core:

...

But just as was true for the Abu Ghraib abuses, many of the worst instances of detainee abuse cannot be extricated from -- but rather are directly attributable to -- the torture policies authorized at the highest levels of the government. To target low-level interrogators while shielding high-level policy makers would further bolster America's two-tiered system of justice, in which ordinary Americans are subjected to merciless punishment while the most powerful elites are vested with virtual immunity from the consequences of their lawbreaking ...


Once again, those at the top will skate when it was their cowardly bed wetting after 9/11 (and the realization of the potential profits) that created the culture we saw in Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, and the secret CIA gulags in Eastern Europe. It wasn't 'rogue operators' who set these things up. arranged the funding, staffing, and logistics; that came from the top.

I put this in the same category as I do health care. If the Obama administration doesn't want to do it right, they shouldn't even bother because the results will be worse than we have now. We all voted for Obama and the Dems because they promised change. Since he's been in the White House, the places change was needed the most have remained status quo.

Does he think his novelty and intellect alone will restore America's credibility in the world after two terms of Bush? Does he think his daughters will charm everyone into respecting us again? Like the majority of U.S. citizens, those around the world are looking to us for change and inspiration.

As we saw in Africa this weekend, millions of people welcomed the message of hope and dedication he brought them. He told them they must prosecute their war criminals and end governmental corruption, yet Mr. Obama is unwilling to do that back home. Let me tell you, even the most downtrodden, hopeless, and desperate people understand hypocrisy when they see it. If you're inclined to lecture others about cleaning their houses, you might want to get out the broom yourself.

No change will come anywhere until Obama authorizes full and complete investigations into what went on during the Bush years. Giving inspirational speeches abroad and spouting platitudes at home won't cut it, not so long as the cover up of abuses continues.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The other Linda ...

Gord's post of the great tune by Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris got me in the Linda Ronstadt mood but my favorites are more along these lines:



Linda Ronstadt - Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered

Partita ...

As I love Mozart's Divertimenti, so I also love Bach's Partitas:



Scott Ross (Harpsichord) - Bach Partita #1 (I)[BWV 825] (II, III)

Across The Border

A pretty song and a nice slide show of Western scenes from coolram52.

The Bruce Springsteen song "Across The Border" from the CD "Western Wall/The Tucson Sessions" by Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris. Neil Young joins in on harmony vocals and a mean harmonica (my favorite harmonica solo next to Stevie Wonder in "Isn't She Lovely"). This was a really underrated CD in my opinion.

This is a song sung from the viewpoint of someone getting ready to head north across the border. The mention of the Brazos and the word 'corazón' lead me to believe it's not about the Canadian border despite all the pretty gabachos in the video.

Slim Palin rides 'er on down

Click to embiggen

Daddy Frank on Palin. Links at site:

[...] Most important, she stands for a genuine movement: a dwindling white nonurban America that is aflame with grievances and awash in self-pity as the country hurtles into the 21st century and leaves it behind. Palin gives this movement a major party brand and political plausibility that its open-throated media auxiliary, exemplified by Glenn Beck, cannot. [...]

That resentment is in part about race, of course. When Palin referred to Alaska as “a microcosm of America” during the 2008 campaign, it was in defiance of the statistical reality that her state’s tiny black and Hispanic populations are unrepresentative of her nation. She stood for the “real America,” she insisted, and the identity of the unreal America didn’t have to be stated explicitly for audiences to catch her drift. Her convention speech’s signature line was a deftly coded putdown of her presumably shiftless big-city opponent: “I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except that you have actual responsibilities.” (Funny how this wisdom has been forgotten by her supporters now that she has abandoned her own actual responsibilities in public office.)

Funny. Ha. Ha.

Even now, the so-called mainstream media can grade Palin on a curve: at MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” last week, Palin’s self-proclaimed representation of the “real America” was accepted as a given, as if white rural America actually still was the nation’s baseline.

The Palinists’ bogus beefs about double standards reached farcical proportions at Fox News on the sleepy pre-Fourth Friday afternoon when word of her abdication hit the East. The fill-in anchor demanded that his token Democratic stooge name another female politician who had suffered such “disgraceful attacks” as Palin. When the obvious answer arrived — Hillary Clinton — the Fox host angrily protested that Clinton had never been attacked in “a sexual way” or “about her children.”

Americans have short memories, but...

These are the cries of a constituency that feels disenfranchised — by the powerful and the well-educated who gamed the housing bubble, by a news media it keeps being told is hateful, by the immigrants who have taken some of their jobs, by the African-American who has ended a white monopoly on the White House. Palin is their born avatar. She puts a happy, sexy face on ugly emotions, and she can solidify her followers’ hold on a G.O.P. that has no leaders with the guts or alternative vision to stand up to them or to her.

Weird ain't it? The Repugs don't have the guts to stand up to a loudmouth minority that can't possibly elect them, and the Dems don't have the guts to stand up to the Repugs in favor of the people who elected them.

Former CIGNA executive says Michael Moore was right all along

citisven at Kos

Ok, so haven't seen anyone write about this, and while we right here all know that the insurance companies literally go over dead bodies in their profiteering ways, in an interview with Bill Moyers that aired tonight on PBS, Wendell Potter, former Head of Corporate Communications at CIGNA, admits that Michael Moore nailed it on the head in his movie, Sicko. It's a 30 minute interview that comes close to a confessional of the health insurance industry's enslavement to Wall Street, and I really really hope everybody in this country gets to see this. It's the only thing you'll ever need to show if anyone ever questions the public option or rambles on about the dangers of government bureaucrats. IT'S THE ONLY TV YOU'LL EVER NEED TO WATCH TO KNOW THAT WE'VE BEEN COLLECTIVELY GETTING JACKED.

I watched the show last Friday night and he's right.

I recommend everyone go and watch this video and then forward it to as many people as you can.

So do I.

Update: people in the comments were suggesting that this would be a great time to rewatch Sicko, especially since Wendell Potter has come out to say it's the ultimate education tool. Thanks to teh google it can be imbibed in its full length right here.

I got the email Michael Moore sent out and it has this youtube link to the part of the interview where Potter talks about industry strategies of discrediting him:


More here.

Cheney Is Linked to Concealment of C.I.A. Project

NYT

The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush administration had put a high priority on the program and its secrecy.

I have no idea what the program was, but it doesn't surprise me one damn bit.