Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Satisfied Mind

This is a counterpoint to Fixer's post. The richies better hope there's a lot to be gained in the afterlife with tons of money and what they had to do to other people to get it.

A Johnny Cash song performed by Gram Parsons when he was with the International Submarine Band - film clips taken from the Fallen Angels DVD, featuring clips of the Flying Burrito Brothers, Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, Altamont Speedway 1969, Emmylou Harris.

Actually, it was first performed by Porter Wagoner.

Gram Parsons and the International Submarine Band ~ A Satisfied Mind

Thanks to harpohat.

Generic Pop-Up Meds

Got this via email from my buddy Arnie:

In pharmacology, all drugs have two names, a trade name and generic name. For example, the trade name of Tylenol also has a generic name of Acetaminophen. Aleve is also called Naproxen. Amoxil is also called Amoxicillin and Advil is also called Ibuprofen.

The FDA has been looking for a generic name for Viagra. After careful consideration by a team of government experts, it recently announced that it has settled on the generic name of Mycoxafloppin. Also considered were Mycoxafailin, Mydixadrupin, Mydixarizin, Dixafix, and of course, Ibepokin.

Pfizer Corp. announced today that Viagra will soon be available in liquid form, and will be marketed by Pepsi Cola as a power beverage suitable for use as a mixer. It will now be possible for a man to literally pour himself a stiff one. Obviously we can no longer call this a soft drink, and it gives new meaning to the names of "cocktails", "highballs" and just a good old-fashioned "stiff drink". Pepsi will market the new concoction by the name of: MOUNT & DO.

Thought for the day: There is more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra today than on Alzheimer's research. This means that by 2040, there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs and huge erections and absolutely no recollection of what to do with them.

That's a truism! When it comes to sex, I can't always remember who gets tied up...

Saturday Cross-Cultural Chase Scene & Music Blogging

I like Latin music. Last night I watched Latin Music USA, described thusly by PBS:

Latin Music USA is a story about American music. Fusions of Latin sounds with jazz, rock, country, rhythm and blues - music with deeper roots and broader reach than most people realize. It’s a fresh take on our musical history, reaching across time and across musical genres to embrace the exciting hybrid sounds created by Latinos; musical fusions that have deeply enriched popular music in the US for over more than five decades.

The show traced the history of Latin music in the US from its days of anti-Mexican racism in the '50s, from groups like Little Joe and the Latinaires, up through Freddy Fender, Selena, Linda Ronstadt, and finally to the most popular group in the US that you've never heard of (10,700 YouTube vids!), el grupo Norteño Los Tigres Del Norte.

A good show and I learned some new things, like about Los Tigres. Some things I already knew were reinforced:

1. Country music is country music, don't matter what country or what they call it.
2. Any Mexican music with even a trace of 'oom-pah-pah' in it was influenced by German settlers along the border.
3. It's illegal for a Mexican song to not contain the word 'corazon'.
4. Some things are just fuckin' universal.
5. If ya work on the engine, work on the brakes too...

Los Tigres Del Norte ~ La Camioneta Gris (The Gray Pickup)

Thanks to eviljack80 (pronounced 'ayveelhahkochenta', I think), Mexico.

Why Journalists Shouldn't Be Defending Fox Newsl

It gives me great pleasure to type Dan Froomkin:

The Obama administration's recent characterization of Fox News is a long overdue acknowledgment of the obvious: Fox News is not a legitimate news organization -- indeed, after many years of serving as the research and messaging wing of the Republican Party, it has now gone beyond even that, to become the electronic evangelist of an ultra-partisan and non-reality-based world view.

The White House "attack" on Fox is being derided as bad politics, as ineffective and as a distraction from more important issues -- all of which may be true. But doesn't it kind of matter that, when it comes to the substance of what Anita Dunn, David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel, and now even Obama himself have said, they're exactly right?

Pretending that Fox News is fair and balanced only serves the right wing, in the same way that it only served the Bush administration when traditional-media reporters pretended Bush didn't have a credibility problem -- and didn't call him out for his lies -- for fear of appearing partisan. It's self-muzzling, plain and simple.

One of the startling shifts in the last decade has been how so many of the most important policy issues of our time have become matters not of honest political debate, but of competing realities (only one of which, mind you, is supported by facts.) During the Bush years, whether it was related to Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, progress in Iraq, torture, or tax cuts for the rich, Bush and his acolytes operated in their own fictional world -- with the traditional media only rarely issuing a reality check.

And Bush seemed positively furious by the end of the interview, when Engel had this to say: "The war on terrorism has been the centerpiece of your presidency. Many people say that it has not made the world safer, that it has created more radicals. That there are more people in this part of the world who want to attack the United States."

Get it? The difference here is that everything Engel said was true. He was doing his job very well indeed -- with a rare amount of courage. That was his big "mistake" in the eyes of the White House -- speaking the truth to the president.

But for Washington's real journalists to rush to the defense of Fox News would be extremely short-sighted, and yet another dismal example of inside-the-Beltway camaraderie run amok. Sure, some of these people may be our friends -- and there are a few journalists at Fox who have maintained a modicum of integrity -- but the fact is that overall, these are people who have made a conscious decision to get out of the truth business. They don't deserve our support -- or our silence about what they really are.

Much more, including an exhaustive description on:

A message from Dan about how to find me:

We'll find ya, Dan!

Once a Dick, Always a Dick

Hillbilly Report

The Republican Party as a whole is suffering from a huge case of mass amnesia. They seem to forget that they are the ones that crashed our economy. They seem to forget that they are the ones that made the whole world hate us. They forget that every policy they enacted was a miserable failure and that our country is paying huge, steep price for it now. In the case of Dick Cheney, he has forgotten that he was the one that dropped the ball on Afghanistan by insisting on a failed, costly in lives and treasure, war in Iraq.

Months after thankfully being escorted out of public life, and months after making a fool of himself speaking on things he obviously knows nothing about, Dick Cheney has been proving yet again that well, Once a Dick, always a Dick.

Enjoy the rest, including videos and this jewel:

Frank Gaffney to Ron Reagan Jr. "Your father would be ashamed of you."

Ron Reagan Jr. to Frank Gaffney: "You Better Watch You Mouth About That Frank"

That's the ticket! We need more of that with these Repug throwbacks! Kudos, Ron.

Unlike wealthy Americans ...

Well-to-do Germans understand the idea of "shared sacrifice". Auntie:

A group of rich Germans has launched a petition calling for the government to make wealthy people pay higher taxes.

The group say they have more money than they need, and the extra revenue could fund economic and social programmes to aid Germany's economic recovery.


What was that? Not "I got mine and fuck you"? How is this possible?


"The path out of the crisis must be paved with massive investment in ecology, education and social justice," they say in the petition.


Bleedin' Commies, they are!

Great thanks to Chris for the link.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday Evening Emmylou Blogging

A song about the dangers of drinking. (Wink)

Emmylou Harris & The Nash Ramblers with The Oak Ridge Boys ~ Leavin' Louisiana

Thanks to bluegrassrootstv.

"I ain't drunk ...

I'm just drinkin'." Heh ... The great Albert Collins:

Albert Collins - I Ain't Drunk

Hellfire justice

I see where we're deploying MQ-9 Reapers off Somalia to 'monitor' pirates. This is good. Coupla Hellfires, 'monitoring' done for the day, it's Miller time.

I suggest we expand this program to include the 'pirates' we're paying big money to besmirch our name.

A federal judge's ruling Wednesday won't shutter a war crimes suit against the security contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater, despite the fact that lawyers must refile their claims against the company.

64 Iraqis -- including the estates of 19 who died -- have sued the company, now called Xe, for indiscriminate beatings and killings.

Judge TS Ellis III dismissed several of the suits on Wednesday, citing a new ruling by the Supreme Court which raises the bar for allegations of war crimes.

"Ellis's ruling was not necessarily a response to faulty pleadings by the Iraqis' lawyers, but rather appears to be the result of a Supreme Court decision that came down after the Blackwater cases were originally filed," The Nation's Jeremy Scahill, who has covered the case closely, wrote Thursday. "In a 5-4 ruling in May 2009 in Ashcroft v. Iqbal, the court reversed decades of case law and imposed much more stringent standards for plaintiffs' to document facts before going to trial, According to Ellis's ruling, which cites Iqbal, the Iraqis must now file complaints that meet these new standards."

Another right-wing ruling to protect powerful right-wing outfits from 'justice'. Yeesh.

Blackwater's image has been so tarnished that the company was forced to change their name. In August, two former Blackwater employees accused the company of pimping out Iraqi children.

The declarations described Blackwater as “having young girls provide oral sex to Enterprise members in the ‘Blackwater Man Camp’ in exchange for one American dollar.” They added even though Prince frequently visited this camp, he “failed to stop the ongoing use of prostitutes, including child prostitutes, by his men.”

One of the statements also charged that “Prince’s North Carolina operations had an ongoing wife-swapping and sex ring, which was participated in by many of Mr. Prince’s top executives.”

According to the two former employees, Blackwater supervisors in Iraq sometimes sent men back to the United States for wanting to “kill ragheads,” excessive drinking, steroid use, or failure to follow weapon safety procedures, but “Mr. Prince and his executives would send them back” with a reprimand to the supervisor for costing the firm money. Blackwater even fired “those mental health professionals who were not willing to endorse deployments of unfit men.”

The former employees stated that Prince was engaged in illegal arms dealing, money laundering, and tax evasion, that he created “a web of companies in order to obscure wrong-doing, fraud, and other crimes,” and that Blackwater’s chief financial officer had “resigned … stating he was not willing to go to jail for Erik Prince.”

There's a video as well.

A little 'Hellfire justice' would go a long way towards setting Blackwater/Xe right.

Marijuana Prohibition: Another Failed Social Engineering Idea

Good article by the improbably named Nuke Brunswick in The Mountain Messenger (photo - no website yet) via YubaNet:

The fall marijuana harvest is pretty much over; the stalks are hanging upside down to cure, law enforcement is sitting by the fire with its feet up, having done the show-and-tell tip-of-the-iceberg photo op pot busts, destroying crops with a street value greater than the cost of the Afghanistan war. Right.

Where did all this Reefer Madness come from?

It wasn't church groups or enraged parents or law enforcement that plunged America into the first skirmishes of the disastrous and incredibly expensive war on drugs. It was Big Cotton. Hemp was promising to be a better and more useful crop for making fabrics than the white stuff, so the cotton industry sent a wave of lobbyists, armed with FEAR, to Washington.

About then Harry Anslinger appeared on the scene. [...]

Anslinger found a powerful ally: William Randolf Hearst, who had invested heavily in the timber industry to feed his chain of newspapers and didn't want to see the development of hemp, a possible competitor to wood. DuPont joined the crusade, wanting to remove hemp as a possible competition to its new product: nylon.

Let the hysterical times roll! And the newspapers of the day were up to that challenge. "The marihuana cigarette is one of the most insidious of all forms of dope, largely because of the failure of the public to understand its fatal qualities," editorialized a paper in the nation's capitol.

Racism was a powerful weapon wielded by the opponents of cannabis. A Montana legislator said, as his state prepared to outlaw the weed, "All Mexicans are crazy and this stuff is what makes them crazy." A newspaper editorial in 1934 told its readers, "Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows, and look at a white woman twice."

Yellow journalism won and The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed.

When Nevada County District Attorney Mike Ferguson was getting ready to retire I asked him about the War on Weed. Did he think the DEA should switch its emphasis from marijuana to meth?

"I think it's a good idea," he told me. "When you look at the impact of what meth is and what it does to people, it should be prioritized." He agreed that the old concept of "Reefer Madness" applied more correctly to meth than pot.

He's off somewhere on his sailboat now and law enforcement still finds it a lot harder to nab the highly mobile meth cookers than it is to bust something that stands in one place for six months.

Editor's note: The Mountain Messenger, California's oldest weekly newspaper since 1853, is published on Thursdays from Downieville, California.

I just threw that last bit in there because Downieville's main claim to fame is:

In July 1851 Downieville gained a distinction it may not have wanted when a mob lynched a Mexican woman, known as Juanita, for the murder of a white miner. It remains the only lynching of a female in California history.

I think I would qualify that by saying it is the only recorded incident of lynching a woman. Those old mining camps were pretty rough.

It's actually a nice destination for lunch on the hotel deck where you can be wetsuit-mooned by gold panners in the Downie River.

F**: "Obama started it! He hit me back! Waaaah!"

I was accused once in exactly the same way by a schoolyard bully.

Think Progress

Media Matters: Fox News’ attacks on the Obama White House ‘have been occurring since January 20.’

Finally he hit the sonsabitches back. He's a lot more patient than I am.

The Two Rude Pundit

RP's got a coupla good ones today:

Photos That Make Christian Conservative Brains Short Out

Dude, I want a photo OF christian conservative brains(?) shorting out.

Yes, the photo, of Barack Obama becoming the first American president to publicly celebrate the Hindu holiday of Diwali, is about a week old, but the reaction to it from the nutzoid right wing is as steamy fresh as a new cow pie in a Vermont meadow on an October morning.

This is not an endorsement of such things. Indeed, there should be no public ceremonies of any faith at the White House. But it's always a wonder what sets off the right, from the smallest gestures. You know who liked it? India. You know who organized it? Kal Penn. Goddamn, is there nothing Kumar can't do?

On the coultergeist and other 'tard gasbags:

You know how you know you've become completely and utterly irrelevant as a writer? When you're still arguing a twenty year-old point. For in her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "a neo-Norma Desmond's diary of utter madness"), Ann Coulter re-re-re-re-argues the Willie Horton ad from the Bush the Less Stupid vs. Dukakis campaign of 1988. Why? Because Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews said it first. No, seriously, Coulter, who is at this point just a twig-shaped dildo specially designed to fit Sean Hannity's ass, spends half her weekly column on her spin on the "facts" of the Horton case only because Olbermann and Matthews mentioned it in passing while discussing Fox "news" and its anti-Obama bias.

Regarding this whole kerfuffle over whether the White House saying that Fox "news" isn't really a news outlet, but a propaganda wing of the Republican Party, was this up for discussion? Considering what whiny little bitches Fox people have been about the whole thing, it's pretty damn hilarious that what the Obama administration ended up revealing is not that the President has thin skin. No, it showed that Fox and its hosts and reporters and, by extension, Rupert Murdoch are faux bullies: one little nudge and these pussies go running around telling everyone that they were pushed down.

By the way, the fucking strangest thing in Coulter's column? This description of Daily Kos's founder: "Frito Bandito-accented Markos Moulitsas." Not even remotely true. Criticize away on Markos. Hell, have at it as racist as you like, if that's your thing. But at least pretend like you're actually listening. Oh, wait, that's right. Facts are to Ann Coulter as coyote piss is to deer.

If only facts would make her run across the road in front of a Mack truck...

Nazi looted art found at future site of Bush presidential library

The Political Carnival

That's some blog title. It's not mine, it belongs to The Hill:

Two valuable works of art looted by the Nazis during World War II have been discovered at Southern Methodist University (SMU), which is the future home of the George W. Bush Presidential Library.

I vill not make any Chimpenfuhrer jokes. I vill not make any Chimpenfuhrer jokes.

Because if I did, I'd be just like those mean ol' Tea Tantrumers and ClusterFoxers linking Obama to Hitler, right?

The former president's office declined to comment on the story.

Of course, this Bush/Hitler connection comes to mind, no matter how hard I try to suppress it.

No mention of how they got to SMU or how long they've been there. My guess is they were brought from Germany and Austria where they were found after the war by Bush family minions and have been at SMU with the university's full knowledge ever since.

War has been very profitable to that famiglia, damn them. It still is. Read the links.

And by the way ...

Fuck Olympia Snowe.

Once more for good measure.


And once for good luck:


TPM talked to Snowe today and she said "it would be difficult" to allow a health care bill to come to a vote in the Senate if it had the dreaded public option. Difficult? DIFFICULT? You want difficult, Senator Snowe? Try getting turned down for insurance because of pregnancy, past C-section, or being a victim of domestic violence? How about going bankrupt from health care expenses, even if you have insurance? What about the 45,000 people per year who die because they don't have health insurance? Do you think maybe it is difficult for them and their families?


Oh noes!!!!1

The White House doesn't like Fox 'News'! You know, an administration has never singled out a 'news organization' for retribution.


In 2001, indicted scumbag Tom DeLay boycotted and personally refused to appear on CNN.
In 2001, congressional conservatives were engaged in a boycott of CNN.
Also in 2001, CNN’s president met with GOP leaders to hear "concerns" about purported bias.
In 2002, GOP leadership reportedly threatened or engaged in Crossfire boycott
2002: GOP boycott of Crossfire "has become official policy."
In 2004, NY Times reporters were excluded from Air Force Two
In 2006, GOP House members sought punishment, possible prosecution of NY Times
In 2008, Bush counselor Ed Gillespie attacked NBC, accusing the network of "blurring" the lines "between the 'news' as reported on NBC and the 'opinion' as reported on MSNBC."


Whiny little twats. More at Maru's.

Quote of the Day

Oliver Willis:


Harry Reid is "leaning" to support the public option in the health care bill. Of course its far past time for he and the president to quit "leaning" towards things and crap if they’re gonna crap.


About the market ...

Yes, a lot of people are glad the stock market is going up again but a good portion of folks are understandably gun shy.


Most people are happy that the Dow is rising again because it's considered a leading indicator. But for middle class people in their 50s and 60s who managed to save for retirement, it's a rueful and wary eye they are keeping on the market right now. Between their house losing half of its value and their retirement accounts taking a stomach churning nosedive, they would love to enjoy this stock market rally, but they have a long way to go before they are back to where they expected to be at this point in their lives. They're watching, but I don't think there's all that much pleasure in it quite yet.


Of course there isn't because last year, people saw how fast it could all go to shit. Now they see the profits on the Street skyrocketing once again, yet their home value is nowhere near what it was 18 months ago (I got news for you, it'll never be that again.).

Until there is comprehensive regulation of the financial services industry, most people expect nothing but a cycle of bubble and bust for the foreseeable future. It's time to roll back the lassiez faire attitude of government toward business, cultivated in the Reagan years. As we've seen with health care, energy, the news media, or any other corporatized industries, big business does not know best and the 'free market' is the first casualty of deregulation.

If Congress and the President want to do anything to ensure a stable economy, reinstating the regulations put in after the Great Depression would be an excellent start. They can throw as much money as they want at the problem but with out a strict set of rules for business to follow, the financial industry will continue to remain nothing more than a high-stakes, high-risk gambling house with taxpayer money as their stake.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Clearly labelled establishment

Got this via email from my pal Bev.

Click to em-fook-hing-biggen

Problem solved


WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 21, 2009 - Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.) introduced legislation today that would prevent cruise ships from dumping sewage and other waste into coastal waters.

Just put the stuff in Fixer's empty whiskey bottles and let it float safely to shore where it can be dealt with. Put a little food coloring in it and dump it off red states. The natives will just think it's a bonanza of Repug kool-aid and drink it.

You can't make this stuff up...

Fed calls for closer scrutiny of bankers' compensation

I just thought this was a terrific juxtaposition on the front page of the LATimes. Heh.

Conservatives roar; Republicans tremble

Gordon tingles! A little good news for a change!


Many top Republicans are growing worried that the party’s chances for reversing its electoral routs of 2006 and 2008 are being wounded by the flamboyant rhetoric and angry tone of conservative activists and media personalities, according to interviews with GOP officials and operatives.

And this is somehow supposed to be a bad thing? I don't think so.

But the reality of the GOP during the Obama presidency is that the party’s image and priorities are in many ways being imposed on Washington — driven by grass-roots energies that lawmakers and strategists can scarcely control.

The only Republicans standing up to Beck and other conservative activists right now are familiar iconoclasts like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and New York Times columnist David Brooks — both of whom are distrusted by many Republicans for their frequent departures from conservative orthodoxy.

Sorry, probably shoulda given you a 'liquid alert' there...

Brooks, a Republican who has written both favorably and critically about Obama, amplified Graham’s concern with the party’s obsequious relationship with Beck and Limbaugh. “It is a story of remarkable volume and utter weakness,” he wrote. “It is a story as old as ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ of grand illusions and small men behind the curtain.”

Hey, you fuckers cranked up the Wurlitzer and now you can't control it. Tough shit. You crapped in your bed, now lie in it.

The debate means the argument over whether outspoken talk show hosts are reviving a beaten party or trashing its brand is likely to persist through the 2010 midterms and into the 2012 presidential primary.

What argument? They're trashing it, and rightly so and doing a fine job of it I might add. The lunatics are finally in charge of the asylum, and the Repugs are getting what they deserve.

The only thing better would be a buncha prison sentences.

Quote of the Day dos

This is about Repugs v Obama v ClusterF**. Buchanan figures in this one too. Heh.

Think Progress

“I also have to laugh,” liberal talk radio host Bill Press said during the segment. “When two Republicans want to hurt a Democrat, what do they do? They compare him to another Republican. It’s crazy.”

Repugs? Crazy? I think yer onto something there, Bill.

Quote of the Day

The Rude One:

While one should not advocate kicking an old man in the nuts, neither should one advocate not kicking an old man in the nuts. Especially when that old man is Pat Buchanan ...

It's already begun ...

Haven't the wingnuts been saying the Obamas are gonna indoctrinate our children into their ... something? Well, here's proof:

They're all gonna be hula hoop playing, pot smoking, Motown loving, dirty fucking hippies. The brainwashing is nearly complete. Heh ...

Pic stolen from Virgo Tex.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Dream Vacation

I got this via email from an old schoolmate I hooked back up with on Facebook after 47 years.

Click to embiggen

Why The (Impure) Public Option is (Probably) Gaining Momentum

FiveThirtyEight, the best political analysis blog going. Here's just a few:

1. The tireless, and occasionally tiresome, advocacy on behalf of liberal bloggers and interest groups for the public option. Whatever you think of their tactics -- I haven't always agreed with them -- the sheer amount of focus and energy expended on their behalf has been very important, keeping the issue alive in the public debate.

2. The fact that the CBO thinks it will save money.

3. The seeming inevitability of health care reform, which neuters the voices of those who aren't opposed to the public option per se so much as the entire project of health care reform.

4. The fact that the locus of power has shifted from the Gang of Six -- Bingaman/Conrad/Baucus/Snowe/Grassley/Enzi to the Group of Six -- Pelosi/Dodd/Obama/Reid/Baucus/Snowe.

6. The fading from memory of the tea party protests and the "government takeover" meme.

My favorite, imp that I am, and also somewhat of an involuntary expert on 'senior moments':

9. The insurance industry's "senior moment": forgetting that this isn't 1993 and that the shelf life of a misleading study would be measured in hours (rather than days or weeks) and would damage its credibility in the process.

More, and many comments as well.

The public option is the essence of health care reform, along with regulation of the insurance cartel. It is the gateway to single-payer which the cowards took off the table right out front and our Ninja Jedi Prez put back on with the stealth public option.

The Warning

I watched "The Warning" on PBS Frontline last night. If you missed it, hit the link.

The Drudge Retort

Warning: Watching this episode of Frontline may (and should) make you sick to your stomach.

“The Warning” is a Frontline episode that aired this evening about derivatives trading and the demise of our economy. The main players were Alan Greenspan, Robert Rubin, and Lawrence Summers — all Ayn Rand disciples who believed that all regulation was bad. They honestly believed that the markets would regulate themselves, even after the Savings and Loan Scandal of the 80s. They even believed that fraud shouldn’t be investigated.

The “warning” was made back in the mid 90s by head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Brooksley Born. The economy appeared to be humming along beautifully. The stock market was soaring. There was a huge surplus of jobs. We even had a balanced budget!

But it turned out, a cancer was growing. It was the completely unregulated derivatives market — a giant, multi-trillion dollar ponzi-scheme. Brooksley Born attempted to alert Congress to the pending disaster but was met with violent opposition by Greenspan, Rubin, Summers, and most of Congress. Not only was she not allowed to regulate the markets, her power to do so was taken away. And the market was further deregulated with the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 and the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 and the

Less than 10 years later, our economy completely collapsed.

According to Ms. Born, this will happen again and again unless there are some new regulations, to which I would add jail sentences, toot de fuckin' sweet.

The still unregulated OTC Derivative scam is starting over again as we speak.

Headline of the Day

Has Right Wing News Doomed The Republican Party?

Oh please God, I hope so...

Pennsylvania state lawmaker: Veterans who support climate change legislation are ‘traitors.’

Think Progress, links at site:

A coalition of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, under the name Operation Free, is on a 21-state bus tour to alert the public about the dangers of global warming and its threat to national security. Upon hearing about the group’s visit to Pennsylvania, State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) blasted the veterans as “traitors” and compared them to Benedict Arnold:

As a veteran, I believe that any veteran lending their name, to promote the leftist propaganda of global warming and climate change, in an effort to control more of the wealth created in our economy, through cap and tax type policies, all in the name of national security, is a traitor to the oath he or she took to defend the Constitution of our great nation!” Mr. Metcalfe’s email reads. “Remember Benedict Arnold before giving credibility to a veteran who uses their service as a means to promote a leftist agenda. Drill Baby Drill!!!”

Rep. Metcalfe, who served in the U.S. Army from 1980-84, today defended the remarks, saying that “if the type of policies that an individual promotes undermines the Constitution and the law of the land in our country, then they are not patriots.”

Speaking as a Veteran myself, fuck you, Daryl. Your service as the Permanent Latrine Orderly in the 833rd Mess Kit Repair Battalion, or whatever it was you did, hardly qualifies you to call Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans 'traitors' because they are speaking out against your corporatist agenda, you fucking asshole.

Anybody who calls me a traitor to my face is going to get punched. Not that this bastard has the balls to do that to these climate change activist Veterans, but I hope a couple of them can get their hands on him.

Maybe while he's recuperating he'll have time to actually read the Constitution. That's probably too much to hope for. It's easier to hide behind if he doesn't know what's in it. Thank God he's only a state rep.

Quote of the Day

Comrade Misfit on Afghanistan:

... If raw military power was what was needed, the Afghan schools today would be teaching Russian as a second language ...

Bye-bye Bernie ...

It's about time a judge enforced the "pooper-scooper law" and got this piece of shit off the streets:

A federal judge on Tuesday revoked bail for Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York police commissioner who is facing conspiracy and fraud charges.


Before revoking the bail of Mr. Kerik, Judge Robinson described him as a "toxic combination of self-minded focus and arrogance, and I fear that combination leads him to believe his ends justify his means."

"He sees the court’s rulings as an inconvenience," Judge Robinson said, "something to be ignored, and an obstacle to be circumvented."

After the proceeding, Mr. Kerik loosened his tie and removed papers and a wallet from his pockets. He then carefully took off a chain and medallion and handed it to one of his lawyers. He was led away, not in handcuffs, by court officers.


I'm sure a few of his new neighbors will take the chance to 'welcome' him into his new digs.

Great thanks to Watertiger for the link.

Look on the bright side ...

You get to go to exotic locales, meet interesting new people, hunt them down, and kill them.

You see, this whole PTSD thing is a real bummer and it just depresses everybody. Christ:

So these researchers (being encouraged, of course, by fine organizations like the American Enterprise Institute) are working to counterbalance all that gloomy, depressing stuff like post-traumatic stress disorder that people associate with serving in a combat zone.


Just another attempt to downplay what the neocons have done to our military over the past 8 years.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Year In Ridiculous Republicans

From Real Time with Bill Maher via HuffPo. I can't snag this so put down your drink, click here and go see it. Example from the episode guide:

On Michelle Bachman

The floor of a cave called. It wants its bat shit back.

Crazy takes on crazy Repugs. Go.

Web Surf to Save Your Aging Brain

From Yahoo!News:

MONDAY, Oct. 19 (HealthDay News) -- Surfing the Internet just might be a way to preserve your mental skills as you age.

Researchers found that older adults who started browsing the Web experienced improved brain function after only a few days.

Oh yeah?

Obama's commendable change in federal drug enforcement policy

Glenn Greenwald, links at site.

This is one of those rare instances of unadulterated good news from Washington:

The Obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday.

Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state laws.

Beyond the tangible benefits to patients and providers, there is the issue of states' rights. Fourteen states have legalized medical marijuana, many by referendum. The Bush administration's refusal to honor or even recognize those states' decisions -- by arresting people for doing things which are perfectly legal under state law -- was one of many examples giving the lie to the conservative movement's alleged belief in federalism and limited federal power (see here, for instance, how John Ashcroft and GOP Senators tried deceitfully and undemocratically to exploit the aftermath of 9/11 to prevent Oregon from implementing its assisted suicide law). Constitutionally and otherwise, what possible justification is there for federalizing decisions about whether individuals can use marijuana for medical purposes? Ironically (given the "socialism" and "fascism" rhetoric spewed at it by the Fox News faction), the Obama administration's decision is a major advancement for the rights of states to have their laws respected by the federal government.

The War on Drugs is the pernicious precursor to the War on Terror in so many ways, beginning with the relentless erosion of civil liberties; endless expansions of federal powers of detention, surveillance and militarized involvement in other countries; and a general pretext for remaining in an endless "war" posture. Anything that moves even a little bit towards abandoning the orthodoxies which sustain it should be applauded. And whatever else is true, being free of gun-wielding DEA agents is a real benefit for people with serious illnesses and those who provide them with medical treatments prescribed by their physicians.

UPDATE: A newly released Gallup poll today finds support for full-scale legalization of marijuana (not just for medical use) at an all-time high, with "44% of Americans in favor of making marijuana legal and 54% opposed" (h/t Law Enforcement Against Prohibition). As Gallup put it: "Public mores on legalization of marijuana have been changing this decade, and are now at their most tolerant in at least 40 years."

Much more in the article.

This is a step in the right direction. Obama said he would do that and now it appears that he has.

Now we need to legalize weed and get it over with.


Medical-pot backers react to new Obama policy

American exceptionalism ...

Or, How many times do I have to say this?

Traveling as much as we do, the Mrs. and I have friends in many different countries. Almost unanimously, they say that what bugs them most about America and Americans is the attitude that everything we do is the right thing or, at the least, be accepted without question because we know better. They consider it an extreme arrogance, especially those from cultures far older than ours.

Greenwald looks at "why they hate us" and puts lie to the response that it's our freedoms which bother them:


Note, too, the vast gap between how Americans perceive of their actions (mere "aberrations") and how so much of the rest of the world perceives of it, especially those in the targeted regions. So much of this disparity is explained by a basic lack of empathy: imagine if every American spent just a day contemplating how they'd react if some foreign army from a Muslim nation invaded and bombed the U.S., occupied the country for the next several years with 60,000 soldiers, killed tens of thousands of citizens here, set up secret prisons where they disappeared Americans for years without charges or even contact with the outside world, imposed sanctions that blockaded food and medicine and killed countless children, invaded and ransacked our homes at will, abducted Americans and shipped them halfway around the world to island-prisons, instituted a worldwide torture regime, armed their allies for attacks on other Western nations, and threatened still other invasions.


And to top it off, we give the foreign tourists who do want to visit our beautiful country a hard time in the name of "keeping us safer".

We've become an international bully, especially with regard to Muslim nations. A good segment of our population looks at them as subhuman or animals, their lives worth nothing and that was perpetuated by the Bush administration. If President Obama doesn't change attitudes soon (he's made a good start) we're going to lose a lot more tourist dollars and make more enemies in the Muslim world.

We've lost too much already, respect, credibility, and money in the name of "homeland security" and fear mongering. Locking innocents up without charge, torturing them, and murdering them, along with occupying their countries is not the way to "win hearts and minds". All it does is dig us into a deeper hole. If we really want to keep our country safe, we have to stop threatening people with violence and occupation and we have to stop turning friends into adversaries. It's time to start "walking the walk" instead of lecturing others with a heavy air of hypocrisy as we do what we please.

Monday, October 19, 2009

ObamaCare to include psychological counseling for Republicans

The Seminal at FDL.

Breaking news: At a White House press briefing, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius announced that a deal was being cut with congress to include a special program in the upcoming health care reform, commonly known as ObamaCare. “In recognition of the traumatic stress syndrome that uniquely afflicts many Republicans, we are adding a program to provide psychological counseling for those Republicans who want it. We hope that the bipartisan nature of this gesture will help to ensure speedy passage of the legislation.”

Kathleen Sebelius went on to explain the thinking behind the new program. “We are aware of the serious mental problems being faced by many Republicans in the current situation. It’s not easy going from ‘This is my country, suck it up!’ to ‘You are an undesirable, and a rather hysterical one too’. We Democrats were in a similar position eight years ago, so we know what it’s like and we can feel their pain,”

Most leading Republicans decried the move. “The White House is trying to label Republicans as loonies, but there’s nothing wrong with us! Just look at those town hall protests in August, and the tea party demonstrations. Those were good loyal patriotic Republicans just displaying their core values. The constitution gives us the right to act as we please, and we intend to keep on yelling and screaming and running around with guns until we get what we want!” proclaimed Newt Gingrich.

“It’s the liberals who are crazy!” agreed Rush Limbaugh. “Next thing, they’ll be prescribing lobotomies for conservatives! Well, if anyone tells me I need a lobotomy, I’ll give him a piece of my mind!”

Asked if he was disappointed by the lack of gratitude on the part of Republican leaders, President Obama shrugged his shoulders and pointed to polling showing that many Republicans suffered from feelings of disorientation, alienation and inferiority. “We’re just trying to help these poor souls, these unfortunate fellow Americans, so they can once again lead productive lives and make positive contributions to society. Of course, we are aware that there are many cases where the psychological condition is so serious that we have to face the fact that we’re talking about a lost cause.”

“But isn’t being a Republican a ‘pre-existing condition’?” asked one of the journalists.

“Ah, now that’s a very good point,” replied Obama. “That’s why it is so important that we get the ‘public option’ included in this legislation. We’ve talked to representatives for the health insurance industry, and they’re unanimous on this. There isn’t a single one of them who are willing to attempt to get Republicans to accept reality.”

To be continued…

Better yet:

Click to embiggen

I would like to volunteer my services as a 'street surgeon'. I've never done a lobotomy with my K-Bar, but it can't be too much different than poppin' off a bottle cap. It might take openin' the gourds of quite a few Repugs to get the technique and the flat rate down pat, but what the hell, we got plenty of 'em.

Note to wingtards: You can save yourself from all this by remembering, and acting upon, the old adage:

"Better a bottle in front o' me than a frontal lobotomy."

Whatever takes the teabaggers etc. out of the political discussion, or rather turns their idiot blathering into a discussion by their absence, is fine with me.

Sarah Palin Goes Down Cheap

Her $29 book is going for $9 on Amazon. It's not even out yet. Heh.

BuzzFlash Editor's Blog

Yes, Palin and "Going Rogue" -- not released until November 17 -- are going down cheap, at a price usually reserved for what are called "remainder" books, the surplus stock of a book that is dramatically discounted.

Of course if you give it away, you can have a popular product, so it's no surprise that as of October 19, "Going Rogue" is number 4 on Amazon.

And the right-wing think tank media infrastructure, which is so successfuly integrated, is indeed giving it away!

The right-wing rag site, NewsMax, is offering "Going Rogue" free with a subscription, or for a cost of -- coinky dink -- $9.00.

For close to four decades, the GOP and the right wing have synergistically intertwined -- with the backing of the oligarchy -- think tanks, electoral politics, the media, and book sales (with cross-promotion of books and think tank "fellows" on the programs of RWNJ media shills).

This is something that BuzzFlash and some others have noted is critically lacking among the progressives. A lot of it is due to the limited financial backing received by progressive causes (just ask us at BuzzFlash), and a lot of it has to do with a more well-oiled structure on the right.

Meanwhile, the right wing knows how to practically give away books and get them to the top of the bestseller lists.

They sure do go down cheap, don't they?

This is one of those books that wingers will just have to have and will never read. Might be a good book to hollow out to stash stuff in. Nobody'll ever open it.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Motion to name blue ribbon commission to recommend committee to hire consultant to research cost of conducting study tabled.

Pakistan's Nukes Secure, Says Army Chief
After wresting phone from militants.

Recession Over, Say Economists
No it's not, say non-economists.

Deficit Hits All-Time High of $1.42 Trillion
Goldman Sachs reports record profits of $1.42 trillion.

White House: GOP Calling Shots for Fox News
“Nonsense,” says Fox News spokesman Michael Steele.

Hummer Drivers Receive 5 Times as Many Tickets as Other Drivers
Statisticians attribute it to karma.

Black helicopters ...

This is the stuff of crap spy novels. Unfortunately, a good many of us are gullible enough to believe the propaganda:

Depending on your perspective, the Oath Keepers are either strident defenders of liberty or dangerous peddlers of paranoia.


More specifically, the group's members, which number in the thousands, pledge to disobey orders they deem unlawful, including directives to disarm the American people and to blockade American cities. By refusing the latter order, the Oath Keepers hope to prevent cities from becoming "giant concentration camps," a scenario the 44-year-old Rhodes says he can envision happening in the coming years.


Folks better get out from in front of their TVs and breathe fresh air again. To these people, life is one big Oliver Stone movie.


"The whole point of Oath Keepers is to stop a dictatorship from ever happening here," Rhodes, a former Army paratrooper and Yale-trained lawyer, said in an interview with the Review-Journal. "My focus is on the guys with the guns, because they can't do it without them.


I'd say you're about 8 years too late, pal. All your rights left during the Chimp's reign. Where were all of you then? If I had to guess, I'd say they were the ones cheering the loudest for us to "go kill some ragheads".

Great thanks to Oliver Willis for the link.

Don't get busted ...

In Mexico. It seems to have turned into the Midnight Express of my youth:


Mr. Zuñiga, then 26, was charged in the shooting death of a gang member from his neighborhood. Ballistic tests showed Mr. Zuñiga hadn't fired a gun. Dozens of witnesses saw him working at his market stall during the time of the murder, which took place several miles away. And he had never met the victim. Still, he was found guilty by a judge at trial and sentenced to 20 years in prison.


As an experienced traveler, I'd recommend better places to spend your travel dollar. Granted, the police probably won't do this to a U.S. citizen but kidnappings by drug dealers and other criminals are common enough to give me pause.

The Mrs. and I prowled all over Mexico when we were younger but it was better then. The cartels weren't as powerful there and the cops, or so it seemed, weren't as corrupt. At least, they looked out for the tourists who spent money there. Now the cops make more through payoffs than they do legitimately so it's far easier for them to look the other way.

And for those interested, the same goes for Jamaica. The Dutch islands are much nicer. If you have to be on the mainland, try Costa Maya or Belize.

At the least ...

Arlen knows how to follow a script. Can't say that for the rest of the Dems:

Sen. Arlen Specter told Fox News' Chris Wallace that the Republican Party was the party of "no, no, no" when it comes to passing meaningful health care reform. While Specter believes the public option is "gaining momentum" within the Democratic Party, the GOP is the "party of obstructionism," said Specter.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

US Troops in Iraq talk about Halliburton & KBR

This not only pissed me off to the nines, it gave me a good idea how to pay for health care: cut the Halliburton/KBR/Blackwater/Contractors/Mercenaries/Whatever off at the knees and let 'em walk home.

Interviews with US troops and Halliburton employees explain what is happening in Iraq.

The vid is about Iraq, but it applies as well to Afghanistan where we also have more 'contractors' than we do troops. We pay through the nose and get virtually nothing for the money.

Thanks to truthtrekker.

Goldman Can Spare You a Dime

Daddy Frank on the Vampire Squid that is Wall St.:

Teddy Roosevelt’s trust-busting crusade ultimately broke up Standard Oil. Though Goldman did outlast three of its four major rival firms during last fall’s meltdown, it is not a monopoly. And there is one other significant way that our 21st-century vampire squid differs from Rockefeller’s 20th-century octopus. Americans knew what oil was, and they understood how Standard Oil’s manipulations directly affected their pocketbooks. Even now many Americans don’t know what Goldman’s products are or how it makes its money. The less we know, the easier it is for reckless gambling to return to capitalism’s casino, and for Washington to look the other way as a new financial bubble inflates.

Those Obama fans who are disappointed keep looking for explanations. Is he too impressed by the elite he met in Cambridge, too eager to split the difference between left and right, too willing to compromise? As he pursues legislation, why does he keep deferring to others — whether to his party’s Congressional leaders or the Congressional Budget Office or to this month’s acting president, Olympia Snowe? Why doesn’t he ever draw a line in the sand? “We know Obama has good values,” Jeff Madrick said to me last week, “but we don’t know if he has convictions.”

What we also know is that if Teddy Roosevelt palled around with John D. Rockefeller as today’s political class does with Wall Street’s titans and lobbyists, the tentacles of the original octopus would still be coiled tightly around America’s neck.

As the vanquished 'original octopus' morphed into today's 'vampire squid', it adapted by offering lotsa bait to politicians and its grip is now very firm.