Saturday, August 21, 2010

Manzanar, the song

I was doing a little nose-to-the-grindstone (heh) research of my music for future music videos when I ran across the song below, Manzanar. I've done a few posts on the title subject, easily accessible from the latest one in February.

I wanted Brainers to hear this song but I wouldn't have dared to put a song about involuntary US government confinement of US citizens onto a video of the absolute freedom of riding a motorcycle. Nope, ain't gonna do that.

What to do, what to do? Go lookin' for it elsewhere, ya lazy old fart. Look for it I did.

Whether you're a liberal thinking in terms of right-wing camps for you, or a wingnut thinking in terms of commie pinko camps for you (the better choice!) doesn't matter - it's been done well within living memory for no better reason than fear and hate. It was wrong then and it's wrong now and it will be wrong forever. Mrs. G grew up with kids born in these places.

I usually say 'enjoy' but that is hardly the word for this. Watch and listen and think. And never forget.

The first one is by Laurie Lewis (wiki) from the CD Wounded Heart of America, a collection of Tom Russell's songs done by him and others which I highly recommend.

Thanks to MrLawliet1989.

And this one:

Public domain footage set to Tom Paxton's version of Tom Russell's song about the Japanese relocation in WWII.

Setting this to public since the copyright owner (of the audio track) seems cool with it.

Thanks to AbnerMull.

Let's Not Overthink This

Digby on the latest right-wing lie that Obama is a Muslim:

In a less politically correct time they probably would have used a different word.

They call him a Muslim -- and are quite suddenly lashing out at "his people" almost a decade after 9/11--- simply because they aren't allowed to call him what they want to call him. Sure, they don't think Muslims are American. They also don't think liberals are American, blacks are American, Mexicans are America, gays are American, atheists are American or anyone else who doesn't identify themselves explicitly with them are American. They are, you see, Real America. Everyone else is not.

This stuff is like water --- it always finds a way to seep out. Calling Obama a Muslim is just a convenient way of justifying their existing bigotry toward everything he actually is. It's not really all that complicated.

She's right, but it actually is more complicated than that: as long as The Haters' attention is misdirected to focus on Obama, Pelosi, Reid, liberals, gays, Mexicans, and blacks, it's not focused on their real enemies who are working them like a rented mule.

More Homebrew Music Video

I got such a nice response to my first one which I posted yesterday that I decided to shoot the works. This is all I have for now. I gotta go out and put some miles on my video camera lest I start repeating myself! It's a damn dirty job, I tell ya, but someone's gotta do it. Heh.

Pretty music and cruisin' down the road without having to watch where you're going. It doesn't get any better than that! You don't even have to have handlebars bolted to your desk like I do...

As long as folks enjoy my eclectic (some might say 'odd') music I'll try to make this a weekly feature.

Herb Pedersen sings his own composition "Easy Ride". Not a motorcycle song but I ain't got no late night truckin' blues video. I like this song and hope you do too.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou singing to her daughters Meghan and Haillie

I wish they were my daughters too...

Thanks to TheChoughs, UK.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Inaugural Homebrewed Music Video Blogging

Using the theory that the 'Friday Document Dump' is an ingenious invention to keep as many people as possible from seeing something, I present my first ever homebrewed music video.

Me 'n Mrs. G went for a nice 30-mile ride this past Monday, up to Donner Summit and back. I turned my camera on for the return trip and got 21:29 of video. You can go see the raw vids at my YouTube channel. There's even some of Mrs. G (in Part 3), whom I conned into taking the lead against her better judgment. You can even hear me doing it in my best Simon Legree twirling-my-pencil-moustache voice. She actually only did it because we were about to get run over. Heh.

If you go see those, turn your volume down. There's absolutely nothing wrong with my motorcycle, and I can barely hear the wind and mechanical noise and feel the vibration when I'm motoring along, but the little camera sure can. The music is a nice way to hide all that and let you have a nice visual to a pretty song.

There's a lot of good music on YouTube, but there's even more good music that ain't. I'm going to put up stuff I like over time. I finally figured out how to do it, i.e. read the directions and used my head a little to get the common point between where my music is and where my video editor can snag it.

This is one of my favorite songs on one of my favorite albums and I think the footage fits it pretty well. Sometimes I sing this to myself while I'm riding. So far I've managed to get my eyes back open in time...

I emailed Ms. McCaslin (Mr. Ringer is no longer with us) and asked her permission to use this and she sent me a very nice reply and said more or less to knock myself out, so here it is:

Note: there's a very tiny glitch at the end and it's too much trouble to get it out. Maybe someday...

"Strawberry Roan" by Jim Ringer and Mary McCaslin (site, wiki) from the LP/CD "The Bramble and the Rose". Song written by Bob Simpson. One of the best motorcycle songs ever.

Thank you Mary for your permission to use this.

Scene is eastbound from Donner Pass to Donner Lake.

If ya liked this one, there's more in the pipe. If ya didn't, yer in for it...

Ironically, this could prove there is a God...

Fat chance.

Thanks to YubaNet.

Thank God global warming is a hoax

If it's Friday, it must be Wednesday's Morford:

I mean, right? You know? Because gosh Jesus in angry apocalyptic heaven, wouldn't it be just terrible if it were all true?

Wouldn't it be horrible if all this stunning, insanely mounting, irrefutable evidence -- death, floods, fires, heat waves, the worst this and the most violent that in 1,000 years -- were some sort of surefire, cumulative sign that we have, if not directly caused, then wildly accelerated and amplified the imminent implosion of this planet?

But we didn't! And we haven't! And we aren't! I mean, whew.

I am delighted to be reassured by the fringe right wing that the piles of dead bodies, millions of lost homes, and even the very sun itself are part of a vast conspiracy, a plot to form an evil one-world government, a lefty liberal charade even in places that don't understand or care what the hell a liberal is. See? Do you understand how powerful the lie? Amazing.

[...] Here is your big lesson: Do not listen to people who actually know things. Only listen to people who react, negatively and whiningly, to people who actually know things. It's the American way.

[...] But I repeat: It's not our fault. Seven billion rapacious, industrialized bipeds have the impact of a feather. All this destruction and death? It's just God's will -- except for those places that don't believe in a Christian God. Serves them right, doesn't it?

I must be more of a Believer than I thought. The weather's been very nice here, and there's nothing much around here that can fall on me or inundate me. Unless God drops it on me from the sky, that is.

Headline of the Day

U.S. Soldiers Punished for Not Attending Christian Concert

Understanding America's Class System

You may not agree 100% with this rant by Joe Bageant, I certainly didn't, but it's worth a read.

How about them political elites, huh? Five million bucks for Chelsea Clinton's wedding, 15K just to rent the air-conditioned shitters -- huge chrome and glass babies with hot water and everything. No gas masks and waxy little squares of toilet paper for those guys.

There's a picture. Pretty fancy port-a-cans!

Yes, it looks big time from the cheap seats. But the truth is that when we are looking at the political elite, we are looking at the dancing monkey, not the organ grinder who calls the tune. Washington's political class is about as upwardly removed from ordinary citizens as the ruling class is from the political class. For instance, they do not work for a living in the normal sense of a job, but rather obtain their income from abstractions such as investment and law, neither of which ever gave anybody a hernia or carpal tunnel. By comparison, the ruling class does not work at all.

This political class stands between all of us down here and the tiny minority in the ruling class waaaaaay up there, wherever the hell up there is. No use to squint. You can't see it from where we are. That comes in mighty handy in denying the existence of a ruling class.

On the other hand, you do not need to see an egg-sucking dog in action to know what to expect -- or not to expect. [...]

And besides, the ruling class holds all the money, not to mention the media that informs the populace as to what is going on in our country. It controls our health care, our banking and retirement funds. It controls our education or lack of education, and it controls the price, quantity and quality of the food we eat. It controls the quality of the air we breathe, and soon, through pollution credits, even the price they will pay for that air. Most importantly, it holds concentrated legal and governmental authority, not to mention the machinery of both parties to grant itself more authority.

In the face of all this stands a very diverse public, which regardless of what some might claim behind a few beers, is not about to take up arms or use force to unseat the ruling class. When your life and your family are so utterly controlled by persons and forces that you cannot even see, you don't take such risks. That's not gutlessness. It's common sense.

The higher truth is something we recognize when we encounter it. We may not have the right words, or all the facts, but we can feel it in our bones. Intuition is the first glimmer in the distance. It goes unsaid that we always have the choice of not looking in truth's direction, or not looking for it at all. Seldom is it a pleasant sight, which is the chief sign that it is truth. Even the best of it arrives to the sound of ominous bells.

Much, muuchhhh more.

You Hate America If You Are Against Park 51

The Rude Pundit was not going to write about the Not-At-Ground-Zero Not-Just-A-Mosque again today. For, truly, there's a few more important things going on in the world, like, you know, the floods in Pakistan and that war you might not really remember in Afghanistan. But the complete fucktardation over the building of a Muslim organization's community center on a shitty block in the vicinity of the seedling of an office building that will be known as "the Freedom Tower" is another of those continuing demonstrations of what a bunch of simpletons fill the airwaves, streets, and legislative halls of this country.

Here's what GOP House candidate Ron McNeil said to schoolkids at a Panama City, Florida forum: "That religion is against everything America stands for. If we have to let them build it, make them build it nine stories underground, so we can walk above it as citizens and Christians."

GOP House candidate. Figures. Someone needs to grab that sonofabitch by the stackin' swivel and esplain to him that he shouldn't preach hate to school kids.

Let's bottom line this shit and then the Rude Pundit's done: You despise this country if you think the Cordoba Initiative should move its planned community center. You have no understanding of the Constitution. If fact, you are in opposition to it. You have no respect for freedom of religion or speech. You are a coward who believes that the Constitution and the nation are too fucking weak to handle such freedoms. If you're not one of the crass politicians seeking to exploit the simpletons for your gain or a ratings-whore on Fox, you are a vile, hate-filled, unprincipled lump of shit who thinks that rights are only good when convenient for you, and you are too fucking lazy to fight for anything other than your prejudice and hatred. That's easy, motherfucker.

But because the Rude Pundit does believe in principles and rights, he thinks it's nobody's fucking business (including the mythologized 9/11 families) where the damn thing's built. What's more, even though he thinks you're a knuckle-dragging yahoo, he'd defend to the end your right to yowl your imbecility through your facehole.

I wish them knuckle-dragging yahoos came with volume or 'mute' controls, but he's right. Choices have consequences. Words are choices and words have meaning, and I think it's perfectly OK to defend their right to yowl their imbecility whilst standing over their supine form after punching them in the facehole for their hateful spew.

It ain't Florida ... 2

The Summer Palace and The Hermitage. Off to dinner ...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

America In Darkness

A 'must read' by William Rivers Pitt.

Things have come to a pretty pass when I'm the guy saying it would be really helpful if George W. Bush were still around. I'm saying it, and I mean it, because this country could really use his brand of wisdom right now.

Let me be clear: I despise the man. Loathe him. He was quite simply the worst president in all of American history; if a future president wants to outstrip his deplorable record, they will literally have to crash the Earth into the Sun to pull it off. He is a thief, a liar and a murderer, and I consider the fact that he has not been called to account for his serial crimes against the American people and the world to be a failure of leadership equal to Hitler's decision to open a second front. If George W. Bush were on fire in front of me, I would not piss on him to put him out.

But I'd really like to hear from him right about now. [...]

Damned if Mr. Pitt ain't right. Did you feel the Earth's axis shift for a second?

Just Say Now

An update on the California initiative to legalize the herb.

Rolling Stone

[...] "Not so long ago, the pro-pot people used to be the nutty ones," says Doug Linney, a longtime environmental organizer who serves as the lead political consultant for Tax Cannabis. "Now it's just the opposite."

This law-and-order approach plays well with soccer moms in Los Angeles, who often provide the swing vote in California politics. "Like most things in politics these days, it's going to come down to the conflicted baby boomers," says Bill Carrick, a prominent Democratic consultant based in Los Angeles. But leading Democrats are still shying away from the measure, fearing that legalization will be used against them as a wedge issue. At recent meetings, both the California Democratic Party and the California Labor Federation voted to remain neutral on Prop 19. "The Democratic point of view, which is understandable, is that we don't want to be seen as the party of drugs and dope," says Carrick.

In fact, advocates argue, the campaign to legalize pot could actually have the opposite effect, sparking a "burnout turnout" that will boost Democrats in November. When asked how the party can get first-time Obama voters to show up this fall, the 78-year-old chairman of the California Democratic Party, John Burton, gave a one-word answer: "Pot." Indeed, polls indicate that legalization could lure Obama voters to the polls like no other issue. The progressive blog Firedoglake and Students for Sensible Drug Policy recently launched a "Just Say Now" campaign, both online and through college campuses, to turn out young voters. And Nate Silver, the noted political statistician, believes that polling on pot, which shows legalization with a 50-50 chance of passing, may undercount its true support. In a reverse of the so-called Bradley Effect, in which white voters support black candidates in public but vote against them in private, voters may denounce legalization to pollsters but quietly support it on Election Day. Silver dubs this the "Broadus Effect" in honor of Calvin Broadus, better known as Snoop Dogg.

If the measure does pass, proponents believe that the White House will not challenge it in court — much as New York was allowed to stop enforcing alcohol laws in 1923, a decade before Congress ended Prohibition. "I would hope the Obama administration and Attorney General Holder would see this as an example of the gen­ius of the Founding Fathers, who looked at the states as 'crucibles of democracy,' " says Wheaton, who drafted the ballot initiative. For now, however, advocates concede that Prop 19 faces an uphill climb. "We're fighting almost a hundred years of lies," says Mauricio Garzon, the campaign's director. Similar measures failed in Alaska and Nevada twice in the past decade — as well as 38 years ago in California, when the initiative was coincidentally also named Prop 19. "The burden of proof is always on the yes side to change the status quo," says Mark DiCamillo, director of California's Field Poll.

Yet proponents of legalization are cautiously optimistic about the current political climate. "If it fails, it fails temporarily," says Dan Rush, who predicts victory this year. "We'll take what we've learned from this initiative and create one that can win on the 2012 ballot." And if Democrats lose their congressional majority in November, as some are predicting, perhaps they can go to California and smoke away the pain.

Marijuana prohibition started in the '30s as an anti-Mexican political numbers game. In the '60s, it became part of a generational war between the Masters Of The Universe and Boomers when young white people discovered it along with countless other lies that came from the top down. Prohibition has been idling along as a way to punish people ever since, but it has been getting weaker and weaker - possession of small amounts was decriminalized in California from a felony down to a misdemeanor and then an infraction (like a traffic ticket) maybe twenty or so years ago, and on down to the legalization of medical marijuana. A lot of cop shops don't even bother trying to enforce it any more unless they have Mexicans and blacks to oppress.

Now it's on the ballot. We're almost there. We've come a long way since LeMar and it's only taken 46 years.

Yes on 19.

An Open Letter to Newt Gingrich

From Andy Ostroy:

Dear Newt (May I call you Newt? Not because I seek any sort of convivial familiarity, but simply because you remind me of a slimy lizard):

There's been lots of speculation lately as to your political motives and aspirations, and whether or not you're planning a run for the White House in 2012. So I am here to ask you, in fact beg you, to please run for president. There, I've said it. And I mean it with all the passion and dedication of a card-carrying liberal who wishes to see your political fortunes erupt like Mt. Vesuvius. And if I may be so bold as to ask, even beg, for another favor...please name Sarah Palin as your vice-presidential running mate. This would be a Tea Bagger's dream ticket, and a Democrat's wet dream ticket. My goodness, I believe I just soiled myself a little just thinking about it.

Just think, after you and The Wasilla Wonder are nominated you can start thinking about your cabinet, and how you can stock it with brilliant 21st Century thinkers and bridge-builders like Rand Paul, Ken Buck and Sharron Angle. Sean Hannity could be your Communications Director. Rush Limbaugh your head of Community Outreach. You can even revive Dick Cheney and appoint him your Middle East Special Envoy. I hear they just love him over there. Good grief, man, just think about the bazillions of fired up Tea Party peeps you'd draw to the polls.

Now here's the good part. [...]

Yep. Go.

Headline of the Day

Badtux tipped us off to this in 'comments' on this post. I don't give enough of a shit about that broad to go look it up, but when it popped up in front of me...

Ann Coulter Bounced From Right-Wing Conference Over Appearance at "Homocon"

So long Annie Boy. You've been cast out by the True Believers for not being nutzoid enough. Never thought I'd see the day. Heh.

It's not about the mosque...

Will Bunch hits the nail on the head:

Which brings us to the present crisis: Mosques in America. It should tell you something that the backlash against Muslims practicing their faith in America is far greater in 2010 than it was in the months immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. That's because the political firestorm with its epicenter in lower Manhattan really has nothing to do with 9/11 or its aftermath, and everything to do with "the Other" the awful forces and fears that have been unleashed in the last couple of years -- fears that craven politicians like Gingrich, Palin and the formerly rational Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota are eager to surf into the White House in 2013. If the Manhattan mosque controversy were really about our 9/11 sensibilities, how does one explain the opposition to other Islamic houses of worship from Tennessee to California to Staten Island?

Let's face it: This country has long had its Know-Nothings and its Birchers and its McCarthyites, but it never had gizmos like Fox News or Sarah Palin's Twitter feed to fuel toxic ideas so far so fast. It's time we admit these seemingly disconnected battles over "anchor babies, mosques, and a black man in the Oval Office are all part of the same war against "the Other," and that we are in the fight of a lifetime.

No shit.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pee Wee Does Sturgis

I got this from my pal Frank who is a gold mine of funny stuff, some of which is printable. Heh. He's also our friend CAFKIA's brother.

Pee Wee is the perfect ambassador of, er, normal society to the biker world. I'm sure that will let you sleep better at night.

copy right of NBC 2010.

Thanks to SockNinja100.

The good Mama Grizzlies speak out

This vid was posted day before yesterday and has gotten 55,000 views. Don't mess with Mama Grizz!

Watch these Mama Grizzlies speak for themselves -- then you can speak out. Visit and sign our pledge to vote in November.

Also see Care2Causes and EMILY's List.

Thanks to emilyslist.

It ain't Florida ...

Our first day in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Headline of the Day

The Psychotic Hysteria of Republicans and "Terrorist Babies." The GOP Should be Gagged with Diapers.

Loaded ones.

The Right-Wing Judy Garland

Click to embiggen

It may not be as controversial as the building of a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, but if history tells us anything about the Religious Right’s relationship with The Gay, there should be a hot time, not only on the evening of September 25, when GOProud, the organization that claims to be “the only national organization representing gay conservatives and their allies,” hosts HOMOCON 2010, but during the lead-up to the event as well. GOProud’s special guest will be … let the trumpets ring out … Ms. Ann Coulter.

“The gay left has done their best to take all the fun out of politics, with their endless list of boycotts and protests. Homocon is going to be our annual effort to counter the ‘no fun police’ on the left,” said Christopher Barron, Chairman of the Board of GOProud.

“I can’t think of any conservative more fun to headline our inaugural party then the self-professed ‘right-wing Judy Garland’ – Ann Coulter.”

I'm speechless...

My first thoughts are a) these guys have kicked 'crazy' and 'self hatred' and 'delusional' up a notch, and b) Coulter is having trouble finding gigs, which is a good thing.

Much more.

The Baltic ...

Our first stop in the Baltic, Talinn, Estonia. Medieval Europe at its best.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Daughter's off ta college and I'm gonna go pee in the woods...

This is just kind of a heartwarming column by Chris Erskine on his daughter going back to college after the summer break.

I mean, who needs that kind of noise? Her time home this summer has been a thunderstorm of slamming doors and thumpy footsteps across oak floors. She closes the refrigerator, ka-BOOM. She closes the garage door, ka-BOOM. When late to stuff, as she inevitably is, her steps ka-BOOM-ka-BOOM-ka-BOOM across the living room and all the way to the car.

It's kind of like when Elvis used to ride horses through Graceland, except louder. Yesterday, our house surrendered. And the foundation wiggled a half-inch deeper into the earth.

Attention, world: Geeks are all the rage. Lord help hunks like me and you.


"I have to pee," he says with a shrug, then leaves the house like he's just won a Corvette.

This used to distress his mother, this out-of-doors habit. Shamefully old school, she was of the opinion that human beings should use bathrooms whenever possible. Then she had two sons and realized that urinating outside was one of the great joys of boyhood — especially between the ages of 4 and 74. No one really understands men, especially women.

So true. Sometimes I eschew the porcelain convenience and save it up 'til I walk the dogs and can mark my spot in the woods.

Peeing outdoors illustrates the difference between men and women as well as anything: Men face out of the wind. Women face into it. If that ain't 180° out, I don't know what is.

There's more, but I'll just leave ya with this teaser:

Speaking of which, we had this discussion the other day at breakfast, two other husbands and I sitting at a fast-food stand along the boulevard as summer whizzed by.

One of the dads proposed: "Could you ever be totally honest with your wife?" at which point...

We The Bigoted People

Thanks to YubaNet.

The "Ground Zero Mosque" and Victim Worship

The Rude One

Here's one of the stupidest things said so far about the whole big ball of stupid that is the "controversy" over the Muslim community center being built two blocks from the sight of the former World Trade Center: "Everything Bloomberg and Barack Obama say about this sounds right. But if the only constituency that matters here - the ones left behind by the victims of Sept. 11 - think they're wrong, they are." That bit of solipsism masked as empathy is from New York Daily News writer Mike Lupica.

Enough. Truly, enough. This is written with utter sympathy for people who lost loved ones or were hurt or made ill by the attack on 9/11. But it is with complete disdain and a "fuck you" to those who exploit their pain in order to spread hatred (and that includes some of the victims themselves). There is something appalling and sick about watching preening bags of fuck prance around on Fox "news" and use dead people as shields so they can say bad things about Democrats, liberals, and/or Muslims.

And, by the way, have you ever spent time in the blocks around Ground Zero? It ain't some pristine site of our American revirgination. It's a filthy downtown of a city, like every filthy city downtown. The streets are dirty; there's homeless people all around; there's discount stores, fast food joints, and other crap places in between the decent buildings and public art. Some of the people from outside the city who want to talk about "honoring the dead" or some such shit probably buy the crap Twin Tower souvenirs from the Middle Easterners selling them at grubby tables across the street, between Ground Zero and the Trinity Church, or they get street meat from Halal carts. Fuck, before the 9/11 attacks, it was a fucking wasteland at night and on the weekends down there. The Cordoba House? That's on a block that no one walks down unless they're specifically looking for a place there, not because it's dangerous, but because it's just another goddamned city block with nothing special about it.

So, really, truly, take your sudden belief in the glowing sanctity of the ground that holds the construction site of an office building that will be filled with Wall Streeters dicking over Middle America and shove it up your opportunistic and hateful asses.

There's been a lot of "they've got the right to build the mosque there, but they shouldn't" going around. I heard one guy on TV, I don't know who, compare it to civil rights thus: "you can sit anywhere on the bus you want, just not in the front".

Naming Climate Change Disasters After the Deniers

Peter H. Gleick

So, I have a new proposal. Henceforth, just as we give names to hurricanes, I propose we name climate disasters after those who deny the reality of climate change in the face of incontrovertible scientific evidence. After all, why use generic names and tarnish all future Andrews, Betsys, Charleys, and Katrinas when we can remind ourselves that without these individuals' stubborn opposition in the face of all evidence, we and our children could have lived in a world where these events were far less prevalent. And just for fun, I have some modest examples here:

There are several, but this one cracks me up:

The Inhofe Lake Mead Bathtub Ring: Water levels in Lake Mead on the Colorado River have dropped to levels not seen since the reservoir was first filled in the 1930s, threatening water supplies throughout the southwest, and exposing whitened rock rings around the lake's edge. Over the last decade, the Southwest has suffered the sharpest temperature increase in North America, rapidly diminishing snowpack, loss of vegetation, expansion of forest pests, and rampant wildfires.

I think Inhofe (R - Oil) should more appropriately have had the Gulf oil volcano named after him, but this is still a good idea.

By the way, I've seen the Lake Mead Bathtub Ring. It's as ugly as the inside of the deniers' minds. It's also a portent of bad things to come.

It's a trick question, right?

Robert Creamer

What's the difference between mainstream Republican leaders and the Tea Party extremists that have been winning Republican primaries across the country?

Reminds me of this:

Q: What's the difference between pygmies and a women's track team?
A: One's a buncha cunning runts and the other's a buncha running....

Sorry. I guess that doesn't fit very well since Repugs and teabaggers are both, but I can't control what pops into my mind.

The main difference is the willingness of the Tea Party gang to say what they believe out loud. This, of course, is driving Republican political consultants crazy. Republicans have never gotten elected by laying out to the voters the core components of their economic agenda. When they have been successful it has generally been by soft-pedaling or sugar-coating the things that mattered most to their corporate backers and playing instead to the fears and anxieties of their rank and file voters.

Nor, of course, did Bush campaign on the pledge that he would take the long-term surplus in the federal budget he inherited from Clinton and turn it into more debt, during his term, than all of the presidents before him in American history put together.

This year, the Republican establishment is not worried about the primary victories of Tea Party candidates because they will advocate "far out" extremists policies. Most of the Republican Party leadership agrees with those policies. The problem is that these candidates don't seem to have enough sense -- or political experience -- to know that they're not supposed to go around talking about those policies before they're elected.

Good long article, but this sums it up:

[...] Tea Party extremists who haven't learned yet to moderate their language - and earnest true believers like Paul Ryan who think they can convince America that what's bad for them is good for them - have complicated the Republican problem. [...]

The Repugs have been successful in lying and fearmongering to Americans to get them to vote against their own best interests for years decades. The real question now that the economy has people paying more attention and might actually listen to the Repug spew is:

Will it work this time?


Quote of the Day

Howard Fineman in a Newsweek article about Repug fearmongering for the upcoming election. This is good on more than one level:

Given where Republicans — and come November, maybe the country — are headed, I wanted to interview a well-known Republican of color. Rep. John Boehner was out of town, so I called former representative J. C. Watts of Oklahoma. [...]


Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Polls Bad News For Obama, Congress, Both Parties
Good news for one-worlders, anarchists, end-timers.

Congressman: Terrorists Having Babies Here, Training Them Overseas
Then returning to run for congress.

Schism in Conservative Ranks
Anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-union, anti-big government wing splits from anti-black, anti-Latino, anti-gay, anti-Semite wing.

United they stand, divided they fall. Things are so shitty, that qualifies as good news. Yeesh.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Following up on Fixer's post, just below and at Worlds, the Nord-Ostsee-Kanal is a very interesting and scenic waterway.

Brought to you by the UCA, here's a choice of videos on how the canal works and the Kiel Canal in 9 minutes. Be sure to duck for the bridges!

Anchors aweigh ...

Made the ship yesterday afternoon and pulled out of Amsterdam right on schedule. We're in the Kiel Canal now, heading for the Baltic.