Saturday, February 12, 2011

Mountain Music

I like mountains and mountain music so it only follows that I've been watching and listening to Tibetan music. If you can follow that logic, you've come to the right place. Heh.

A few things I've noticed:

Their music has different styles and genres just like ours or music anywhere. The one I like the best is, naturally, not much different than the stuff I listen to anyway.

The videos are terrific!

Just looking at their horses, Tibetans are huge!

A lot of Tibetan music is posted by the Chinese to further the mistaken impression that Tibet is part of China.

This music has gotten me so relaxed I make the Dalai Lama look as tense as a meth head in a cop bar.

no description available

Like it woulda helped...

Subtitled for your convenience. Enjoy.

Thanks to greybuffalo (website).

These Musicians Are Revolting

To quote that grand old man, the late Utah Phillips, "makin' yer own music without corporate involvement is an act of revolution".

It don't matter where in the world you are or if you can't hear it or understand it too well, neither. Just enjoy it.

EWOB 2010 zaterdag
Kathy Kallick en Annie Staninec
"You don't love me anymore"
Jamming and enjoying

Thanks to stovagrasa, Netherlands.

Shameless Blogwhoring

This and this are just a coupla the reasons you should relax by going to Fixer & Gordon once in a while.


Kevin Drum at MoJo on FOXProp and Miss Becky:

As I've said before, lots of Glenn Beck listeners aren't in on the joke. Unlike Roger Ailes, Jonah Goldberg, and every staffer at the Heritage Foundation happy hour, they don't realize that the Fox News Channel puts this man on the air fully understanding that large parts of his program are uninformed nonsense mixed with brazen bullshit.

....Conjure in your mind a retired grandfather. He served in World War II, voted twice for Ronald Reagan, and supports the Tea Party. Awhile back, he started watching Glenn Beck....

Actually, we don't have to conjure this. Richmond Ramsey has done it for us. I've mentioned before that lots of Fox viewers have the channel on all day long, basically as background noise, and Ramsey says he's noticed this too. His piece is called "Fox Geezer Syndrome":

....Then I flew out for a visit, and observed that their television was on all day long, even if no one was watching it. What channel was playing? Fox. Spending a few days in the company of the channel—especially Glenn Beck—it all became clear to me. If Fox was the window through which I saw the wider world, for hours every day, I'd be perpetually pissed off too.

....Back home, I mentioned to a friend over beers how much Fox my mom and dad watched, and how angry they now were about politics. “Yours too?!” he said. “I’ve noticed the same thing with mine. They weren’t always like this, but since they retired, they’ve gotten into Fox, and you can’t even talk to them anymore without hearing them read the riot act about Obama.”

Speaking as a not-so-rare exception, getting older does not necessarily mean getting wiser.

Abraham Lincoln, Inflationist

Paul Krugman

There was a time when Republicans used to refer to themselves, proudly, as “the party of Lincoln.” But you don’t hear that line much these days. Why?

The main answer, presumably, lies in the G.O.P.’s decision, long ago, to seek votes from Southerners angered by the end of legal segregation. With the old Confederacy now the heart of the Republican base, boasting about the party’s Civil War-era legacy is no longer advisable.

But sooner or later, Republicans were bound to notice other reasons to disavow Lincoln. He was, after all, the first president to institute an income tax. And he was also the first president to issue a paper currency — the “greenback” — that wasn’t backed by gold or silver. “There is nothing more insidious that a country can do to its people than to debase its currency,” declared Representative Paul Ryan in one of two hearings Congress held on Wednesday on monetary policy. So much, then, for the Great Liberator.

Economics discussion ensues Naaaap time!

Wednesday’s hearings aren’t likely to have any immediate effect on monetary policy. But they offer a revealing — and appalling — look at the mind-set of one of our two major political parties. We’ve always known that the modern G.O.P. wants to take America back to the way it was before the New Deal; but now it’s clear that the party wants to build a bridge to the 19th century, and maybe even to the antebellum era. Backward, march!

Ah yes, a return to the good old days of rum, sodomy, and the lash. Ooops, slightly different reference. vast profits on cotton due to no labor cost.

Egyptian Democracy Protesters Vs. Teabaggers: A Totally Unfair Comparison

The Rude Pundit does what the title of the post suggests.

Whereas an Egyptian in Tahrir Square generally says things about how Mubarak has demonstrably repressed the masses of citizens, a teabagger makes sputtering, guttural noises that amount to "Blurgh. Obama. Blurgh," which has about as much of a basis in reality as it does in English syntax and grammar. It's a fascinating phenomenon, one that should probably be studied by linguists, sociologists, and stand-up comedians.

Indeed, one of the things the events in Egypt have shown Americans is what a serious effort to overthrow a government looks like. It's enormous, it's sustained, and it's angry. If one calls one's movement a "tea party," even if it's named after the night a bunch of drunken thugs in costume hired by greedy merchants vandalized British ships, then one shouldn't be surprised if one's movement behaves like a bunch of little girls pouring water into tiny cups for their stuffed bears.

The other difference? In Egypt, they have been revolting against a government that has stripped away their rights, with the arrest and random torture of citizens, with a three-decade state of emergency in existence, with corruption wrecking the standard of life for the populace. The Egyptians have been intense and unrelenting, sacrificing their time, their bodies, their jobs, and, in some cases, their lives in order to guarantee democracy in their country, doing so with comparatively little violence. In the United States, a few cranks didn't like the way an election went. And they wandered aimlessly for a little while, listening to their incoherent speakers, fondling their guns that most of them will never really use, but, oh, they can fantasize, and then they went home until it was time to vote again, probably stopping at the Taco Bell drive-thru on the way to watch Beck on the Tivo.

Now, which method worked? So, dear, pseudo-active teabaggers, put up or shut up. But mostly, shut up. And enjoy the sight of an actual revolution instead of your fake one. Watch history being made instead of pretending that you are part of anything other than a minor blip on a dim radar.

Minor blip = a nauseating speed bump in our country's dignity. Go read the rest.


Chooch has to get a couple shots and Ziva has to get her pre-surgical bloodwork done as she's going under the knife on Wednesday for a spay procedure so we're off to the vet.

"I HATE shots, dad."

"Did you say 'surgery'?"


You know, from the howling the little one did, you'd think somebody was killing her. As soon as they tried to clean the spot where they were gonna take blood she started wailing. Oy! But we're home and everybody survived ... barely. Wednesday's gonna be fun.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

An old Johnny Cash tune first released in 1958.

From Nashville Now 1980's

Emmylou Harris ~ I Still Miss Someone

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Be afraid ...



I find it ironic that this is being revealed at the same moment that I'm watching the events in Egypt unfold on my TV in the background. Lot's of talk about freedom there, with shots of Joe Biden in the corner of the screen extolling the virtues of democracy and liberty for all. And as an American I don't think I've ever felt more paranoid in my life.



There are supposed to be institutions which limit what can be done in pursuit of those private-sector goals. They're called "government" and "law." But those institutions are so annexed by the most powerful private-sector elites, and so corrupted by the public officials who run them, that nobody -- least of all those elites -- has any expectation that they will limit anything. To the contrary, the full force of government and law will be unleashed against anyone who undermines Bank of America and Wall Street executives and telecoms and government and the like (such as WikiLeaks and supporters), and will be further exploited to advance the interests of those entities, but will never be used to constrain what they do. These firms vying for Bank of America's anti-WikiLeaks business know all of this full well, which is why they concluded that proposing such pernicious and possibly illegal attacks would be deemed not just acceptable but commendable.

The law is only for us. If you're a corporation or filthy rich, you can do as you please. Maybe it's time for our own Cairo?

Fuck donating to politicians, support WikiLeaks and support Anonymous. They are our last line of defense.

Light Blogging Today

Gotta take the Mrs. to the offal awful opful fuck it eye doctor this morning. We think she's got a ripe cataract. She'll be in good hands with Doc Shakes. He did my last one.

I call him "Doc Shakes" because he came in to see me while I was getting prepped to have him slice 'n dice my eyeball. His hand was shaking uncontrollably and he said he'd had 12 cups of coffee to make sure he stayed awake while he was working on me. Fuckin' joker. I like that in a man. Heh.


All went well. She goes under the knife March 23 to get the first one fixed, an as yet unspecified date for the other one. I think she may get a little confused by being able to see without glasses for the first time in fifty years, but she'll get used to it.

Update the Twoth:

I found out (because I asked) that Doctor Camp doesn't pull that shaky hand jive on just anybody. He's only done it to a coupla folks. He has to pick patients that he figures a) won't freak out, and b) that'll get a kick out of it. I feel honored to have been so chosen.

Insh Allah!

The dictator is gone. Let's hope the Egyptian Army doesn't squander the trust of the people.

You can't predict ...

The point where people will come to say "enough":

In the last three years, America’s military and intelligence agencies have spent more than $125 million on computer models that are supposed to forecast political unrest. It’s the latest episode in Washington’s four-decade dalliance with future-spotting programs. But if any of these algorithms saw the upheaval in Egypt coming, the spooks and the generals are keeping the predictions very quiet.


Over the past three years, the Office of the Secretary of Defense has handed out $90 million to more than 50 research labs to assemble some basic tools, theories and processes than might one day produce a more predictable prediction system. None are expected to result in the digital equivalent of crystal balls any time soon. [my em]


Hey, when my balls itch, I know it's time to take a shower ...


While we all know the GOP will come together at election time, it's nice to see them eating their own in public:

Dick Cheney just popped up here at CPAC to introduce his old pal and Bush administration colleague Donald Rumsfeld. Fans of Ron Paul turned what should have been a friendly moment before an audience of fellow conservatives into a screaming match and protest action that resembled what a Cheney-Rumsfeld hug at the Netroots Nation convention might look like.


One shout of "where's Bin Laden?" rang out as Cheney spoke of Rumsfeld.

That led to the pro-Cheney contingent (which it should be said greatly outnumbers the opposition) to shout the hecklers down with the familiar "USA, USA" chant.


Extra butter ...

Great thanks to our pal Skippy for the link.

See yas!

And don't let it hit ya in the ass. I wonder how batshit crazy the Rethug replacement is gonna be?

Arizona Republican Jon Kyl said Thursday he won't seek re-election to a fourth term in the U.S. Senate in 2012, creating another open seat as Republicans try to take back control.


Figure it out ...

You fucking "Southern Heritage" assholes better figure out which America you want to live in. The war is over and you lost. Slavery, and the institutions that supported it, is nothing to celebrate. If you commemorate Confederate generals (especially this motherfucker), you're supporting treason. Period.

And for good measure: You should be ashamed of your history, not proud of it.


And for those of you who are breaking my balls, are you telling me this is something to be proud of?


Forrest was most known for directing a massacre of black Union soldiers who had already laid down their arms at Fort Pillow in April 1864.

"It is in connection with one of the most atrocious and cold-blooded massacres that ever disgraced civilized warfare that his name will for ever be inseparably associated," according to an obituary published in The New York Times at his death in 1877.

"The garrison was seized with a panic: the men threw down their arms and sought safety in flight toward the river, in the neighboring ravine, behind logs, bushes, trees, and in fact everywhere where there was a chance for concealment. It was in vain. The captured fort and its vicinity became a human shambles."


Following the war, Forrest worked to bring disparate Klan groups under a centralized authority. He was eventually elected Grand Wizard.

"Forrest probably did not object to the violence, per se, as a means of restoring the pre-war hierarchy, but as a military man, he deplored the lack of discipline and structure that defined the growing KKK," according to a biography by PBS' Antiques Roadshow.

"I am not an enemy of the negro," Forrest was quoted as saying. "We want him here among us; he is the only laboring class we have."


Go ahead, defend him and those of his like.

Why is it ...

That a man who was born on 3rd Base and thinks he hit a triple, who's lost his shirt more times than an Okinawa business girl, is looked at as a potential leader of this nation, let alone as some expert on high finance?


Only in America.


I guess, after the Chimp, the bar is set really low.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Gay Pirates Are Invading Tampa!


Eugene Delgaudio, a Republican official in Virginia’s Loudon County, best known for claiming that gay TSA agents were getting their jollies patting down male passengers’ junk, is sending out a letter to his constituents claiming that radical homosexual pirates have invaded Tampa Bay, Florida, and are roaming the streets. [...]

Apparently, sex acts performed by non-open homosexuals are a-okay, which, of course, conveniently gives a pass to those thousands of closeted gay Republican politicians. We’re looking at you, Eugene.

Some gratuitous personal FYI from the writer:

Once you’ve done the bolero with a torero you want no more-o the senora, as they say, more or less, in Seville.

You have to go read this. Set yer drink down.

Quote of the Day II

RJEskow on proposed budget cuts in the ongoing Repug war on poor people, aided and abetted by some Dems:

"Austerity" is defined as "the trait of great self-denial (especially refraining from worldly pleasures)." Austerity economics, on the other hand, is the practice of denying others things that they need while at the same time ensuring your own continued privilege and comfort.

It's the American Way.


Our pal the Ornery Bastard weighs in on the President's part in all this with "Quote of the Day III":

Do this at your own peril. When people start freezing to death in sizeable numbers, it is coming home to roost on your doorstep, fucking idiot.

One term President would be the best fucking thing to happen to you.

We knew that

Media Matters

Asked what most viewers and observers of Fox News would be surprised to learn about the controversial cable channel, a former insider from the world of Rupert Murdoch was quick with a response: “I don’t think people would believe it’s as concocted as it is; that stuff is just made up.”

“It is their M.O. to undermine the administration and to undermine Democrats,” says the source. “They’re a propaganda outfit but they call themselves news.”

And that’s the word from inside Fox News.

If Murdoch finds him he won't be inside FOXPAC very long. Either that or Murdoch'll just shrug and admit it and go about his business. Their viewers don't give a shit about the truth. Or even facts. They're just happier'n a pig in shit that FOXPAC is against that Muslim Commie Kenyan.

Quote of the Day

The Rude Pundit on The "Insanity" of the GOP Reaction to Energy Independence Projects in the wake of all the money they spent on wars and other shit that made them think they had dicks:

Essentially, this country's like the kids of crack addicts: they don't have money for food 'cause Mom and Dad blew it all gettin' high.

Christ ...

Since I'm home, working on the house, I've had cable on in the background just to keep an ear out about what's going on. At 9 a.m., I have the choice of Kyra Phillips on CNN or upChuck and Savana on MSNBComcast. They all suck.

It's Auntie Beeb in the morning now.

If you support the NRA ...

You're just a tool.

Cliff Schecter has a great 2 part series (I, II) up about the NRA and where they get their money:


There is plenty of circumstantial evidence that the NRA's mission has nothing to do with its members, but everything to do with protecting the profits of the gun manufacturers who support the organisation with big bucks - not to mention pay the million-dollar-plus salary of the NRA's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre.

After all, those lunches at The Palm aren't going to just pay for themselves.


This might explain the NRA's need for constant crisis marketing (Obama's coming with the Legion of Doom to take your guns!) to misinform the public at large and shake their members' wallets loose - the NRA's very own "We've got trouble! Right here in River City!" routine.

Of, course, the direct influence that gun manufacturers exert over the NRA and their huge windfalls when there are runs on guns and ammunition, also readily explains the NRA's play to paranoia and fringe politics, and their view that no gun sale is a bad gun sale.


As I've said many times here, ain't nobody advocating taking away anyone's guns, but until people stop the "no compromise" attitude toward logical gun control, the only ones making out are the leadership of the NRA and the gun manufacturers. You want to give them your money (I gave up my membership about 20 years ago, when I couldn't deal with the crazy shit anymore), fine, but these people don't care how many die in their effort to sell product. If you can sleep at night supporting that, good on ya.

I'll give him this ...

Unlike other Republicans, this guy had the class to resign directly when caught with his pants down shirt off:

Rep. Chris Lee of New York abruptly resigned Wednesday evening, hours after a gossip Web site reported that the married Republican had allegedly sent flirtatious e-mail messages and a shirtless photo of himself to a woman he met online.


I mean, as a Republican, he could have kept on going and very little would have happened to him. A Rethug with a conscience; didn't think there were any of them left.

Dear Republicans/Teabaggers,

How's that "repeal healthcare reform" thing working out for ya?

Oh, the irony. The Politico interviewed several GOP representatives who opted out of their Congressional health care plans, and discovered they're all having second thoughts about that whole 'repeal and replace' thing. If it's not the cost of individual insurance that's getting them steamed, it's the pre-existing conditions.


Welcome to our world, assholes.



Wednesday, February 9, 2011

How to rule the world for five minutes

Hmmmm. Five minutes. Might be able to do a little of what needs to be done. Fifteen minutes would be better, and I think I might be able to pull it off if I had a whole day. I mean, there's B-52 and C-130 flying time to consider, to places like North Waziristan and to Gitmo from D.C. and Wall Street. Ah, to dream...

If it's Wednesday, it must be Morford.

There are many ways to have national or even international media attention heaped upon your head for a short burst of time, if you so desire. Why you would desire such a thing is, of course, between you and your demons. Choose wisely.

But by far the best and most delightful, time-tested method by which you can get yourself some international attention -- and easily my personal favorite, if for no other reason than you can make the entire thing up from scratch, usually while naked and delirious and at least partially drunk -- is to proclaim, calmly and clearly and without a hint of irony, the imminent end of the world.

Dictators and gun rampages, wasted celebs and abusive parents, ridiculous excess and pornographic debauchery so normalized that nothing's shocking anymore? It's all part of the plan, baby, more evidence that Jesus is coming back real soon now, and he can't wait to party with Charlie Sheen, cash in his Apple stock and finally redeem that Groupon for 50 percent off a Sonoma wine tasting/hot tub party with 100 of his closest cherubim.

All that in five minutes? Sounds like fun but it sure don't leave much time for stoppin' ta smell the roses...

Paris Underground

For you Francophiles, here's a view of Paris you might not have seen.

'Cataphiles' like to explore, illicitly, the maze of tunnels, caverns and half-flooded passageways under the French capital, stepping over a few skeletons and piles of ruins, some from the time when Romans called the city Lutetia.

The quarries (carrieres in French) are not to be confused with Paris' catacombs, which were made into a national museum and harbor millions of carefully piled skeletons relocated in the 18th century from the city's overflowing cemeteries.

This is no tourist destination. Because the city quarry inspectors have made it difficult to reach the underground no-man's land without special permission, getting there can be a test of strength and courage. It requires the ability to climb through secret, cramped access holes with very little breathing room. Rocks and even ceilings can fall at any time.


Why Glenn Beck Ought to Be Repeatedly Cock-Punched (Caliphate Edition)

The Rude One on Bill O'Rally after his interview with Obama:

But let us get back to you, dear Bill O'Reilly. Look, you know you're not gonna out-crazy Beck. For, at this point, watching Beck is like watching a shit-covered dog sit in a sewage ditch and lick its own balls for an hour at a time. One just wonders if the dog realizes it's rolling in feces, if it's hurts its neck to lick its balls for so long, and why one can't turn away from the disgusting and confusing sight. So, unless you're willing to get down in that stream of human waste and fuck that dog, you're just not crazy enough to go nose-to-nose with it. (It seems more of a Hannity thing to do, anyways.)

Ultimately, Beck is to O'Reilly what George W. Bush is to Ronald Reagan: the devolved version that makes the terrible original seem less odious by comparison. We shouldn't forget, however, how truly awful O'Reilly is. The lesser of two evils is still evil.

What don't you get?

Sean Paul Kelley (in toto):

Food riots across the Middle East, starvation in portions of sub-Saharan Africa, India outsourcing crop growing to Africa, China importing mass amounts of cereals, 100* plus temperatures in Russia, a failed wheat harvest there, massive winter storms two years running in the American Northeast, epic, biblical scale floods in Australia, and last but not least a tie for the warmest year on record?

What part of anthropogenic climate change do we not understand?

Green power or not?

Seems the choice has been made for us:


The cables, released by WikiLeaks, urge Washington to take seriously a warning from a senior Saudi government oil executive that the kingdom's crude oil reserves may have been overstated by as much as 300bn barrels – nearly 40%.


According to the cables, which date between 2007-09, Husseini said Saudi Arabia might reach an output of 12m barrels a day in 10 years but before then – possibly as early as 2012 – global oil production would have hit its highest point. This crunch point is known as "peak oil".


As less and less oil gets pumped out of the ground, the higher the price-per-gallon will be. If the automakers want to keep selling cars, they'll come up with a replacement for the internal combustion engine before people can't afford to buy gas. Like I always say, if you want people to change, hit 'em in the wallet.

Thanks to Chris for the link.

So tell me again ...

Why we've wasted so much money and so many lives over there as opposed to having killed a half million of them (as vengeance for 9/11) and left off?

An Afghan physiotherapist will be executed within three days for converting to Christianity.

Said Musa, 45, has been held for eight months in a Kabul prison were he claims he has been tortured and sexually abused by inmates and guards.


I thought we were bringing "freedom" and "democracy" there? After 10 years, it doesn't look like much of either has taken hold. Time to go.

Thanks to They Gave Us A Republic for the link.


Another example of why we should split tomorrow:

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday compared Western reconstruction teams in his country to "plumbers" who were no longer needed and said they should leave.


Karzai's comments, his latest outspoken swipe at Western allies of his government, came during a press conference at the presidential palace in Kabul.


See yas!

Never thought I'd say this ...

But thank you Teabaggers:

Thanks to the Tea Party, today's vote to extend the Patriot Act failed to pass. It had been introduced on the suspension calendar and needed 2/3rds to pass. When the Tea Party bloc broke with Republicans, there weren't sufficient votes to pass it.


On several levels.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The real 'realism' on Israel

Go read Doughy Pantload who is in Israel for the first time and therefore an expert on everything.

As we've recently been reminded, Israel is the only truly democratic regime in the region, and therefore the most stable. But, we are told, if we were only more conciliatory to corrupt dictatorial regimes and more sympathetic to the "Arab street," the region would be more stable. (Ironically, this is very close to Israel's own position, no doubt because it will take any peace it can get.)

Israel sure has a strange way of trying to get "any peace it can get" and of showing its respect for democracy by its treatment of the Palestinians.

Will Rogers defined an 'expert' as anyone who's more than fifty miles from home. He's still right.

Hypocrisy, Thy Name Is Repug

Think Progress

Rep. Posey Can’t Say If He Takes Govt. Health Care Because He Doesn’t ‘Know’ If He’s ‘A Federal Employee’

Probably gets direct deposit and has never seen the "Treasury of the United States" in big letters on a paper check. Dick.

However, none of these excuses can compare to the one given by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) (Figures. Yeesh. - G). ThinkProgress recently spoke with Posey, who gained notoriety in 2009 for sponsoring the original “birther bill” in Congress. We asked the congressmen if he plans to turn down government-subsidized health insurance for himself in light of his push to repeal health care reform. His response: “I don’t know. Am I a federal employee?” Watch it:

Watch it if you can stomach another lying hypocritical fucking Repug.

ThinkProgress followed up with Rep. Posey’s press secretary George Cecala. Mr. Cecala confirmed for us that Congressman Posey is, indeed, a federal employee. In addition, despite Posey’s attempts to evade the question, Mr. Cecala told us that the Florida Republican does accept government-subsidized and managed health care and has done so for his entire congressional career. When asked how the congressman would respond to the hypocrisy angle, Mr. Cecala told us “you can’t just single out members of Congress and then just ignore other federal employees who receive the same benefits.”

Sure we can. The 'other federal employees' aren't taking our money and subsidized health care with one hand and trying to deny the same benefits to everybody else with the other.

Ya think?

Raw Story

In what will likely be seen as something of a Freudian slip by the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said recently in a Mexican news interview that the United States cannot legalize drugs as a means of fighting the black market because "there is just too much money in it."

The comments drew criticism from legalization advocates who argued her position was a misunderstanding of the situation.

Clinton evidently does not understand that there is so much money to be made by selling illegal drugs precisely because they are illegal. [...]

"I can't help but wonder what everyone on the left would say if this preposterous analysis came from Sarah Palin, rather than Hillary Clinton. [...]"

Oh, if only...

I love ya, Hil, but ya done stepped on it this time.

The real reason drugs can't be legalized is, of course, that too much money - our money - flows into federal, state, and local pockets in The War On Some People Who Use Drugs, and that politicians of all stripes benefit greatly from the Prison Industrial Complex.

Headline of the Day

China’s poor treated to fake rice made from plastic

Gee, who knew they've got Taco Bell in China?

American Public Shows How it Would Cut the Budget Deficit

Verrrrry interesting. At World Public Charts and graphs too, with circles and arrows on the back of each one telling what each one is*...

*Apologies to Arlo and Alice.

A new study finds that when average Americans are presented the federal budget in some detail, most are able to dramatically reduce the budget deficit and resolve the Social Security shortfall.

Through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, on average, respondents cut the discretionary budget deficit projected for 2015 by seventy percent. Six in ten solved the problem of the projected Social Security shortfall through adjustments in payroll taxes, premiums, and benefits. The projected Medicare shortfall was also dramatically reduced.

Much, much more.

You and I could do this too. There are two things we have to understand and admit to ourselves first:

1) This whole deficit/debt thing has been going on so long and has been allowed to grow into such a monster that spending has to be cut at the same time taxes go up at least for the more affluent. It's gonna hurt for all of us. A lot now rather than a whole lot later. Fat chance.

2) The real key to the solution: let folks do it who aren't running for re-election.

Denial on de Nile

Will Durst on Egypt:

The whole world holds its breath as we view through splayed fingers the unrest that is the Egyptian uprising. Or as Hosni Mubarak sees it: ten or twenty rabble rousing unemployed slacker agents of the West with too much time on their hands up to no good.

Further demonstrating a cluelessness best measured in Jersey Shore degrees, the Egyptian President screwed up the order of the Unofficial Despot Rebellion Response Handbook, unleashing a mob of pro-regime protesters before blaming the press for all his problems. Every second-year Egyptian Military School cadet knows the first thing you do is blame the press. One thing I've always been curious about, what do pro-regime protesters chant? "Up with Repression!" "Jobs Aren't for Everybody!" "We Want Better Torture!"

Same as right-wingers everywhere.

Diplomatically, of course, Obama needs to be careful. His task is to encourage the demonstrators while allowing the Egyptian leader to save face. Fortunately, equivocation is one of our President's strong suits. This guy has straddled so many fences he could build a tree house in a redwood from the splinters in his butt. A skill Mubarak must now regret, he never bothered to learn.

Heh. More.

Breaking a Sarah Palin Fast

El Rude-o breaks his 'Palin-free February' fast on some of her ignorant-speak comments on Egypt. It's OK, brother Rude-Man, nobody's been able to stick to it. It's like vowing to not eat Mexican food and then going to a quinceñera - no way. The temptation is simply too great for mere mortals.

Those are all from an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, a venue so friendly to Palin that it makes Fox "news" look like Cardinal Richelieu's men on an iron maiden bender. She had shut the fuck up for a little while (except for a bizarro Facebook rant on how much she hated Obama's State of the Union address). But now she's weaving sentences that are so incomprehensible that you wonder if there's a race of extraterrestrials she's actually speaking to. Or maybe it's just the solemn call of the loon. Or teabagspeak. Either way, she has as much business talking about Egypt as a deranged rat has.

She and Glenn Beck are teetering on the brink of oblivion. They are hanging by their thumbs above a black hole that will suck them away, into irrelevance. And who are we not to give them a nudge? In fact, who are we not to stomp on their fingers until they are screaming into the void and disappearing from our public consciousness for good (or until they show up on Celebrity Rehab Fat Club for Attention Whores or something).

Maybe the snowbilly grifter can suck Miss Becky off. The edge, that is...

Terminator, anyone?

You knew this was just around the corner:

The Northrop Grumman -built U.S. Navy X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstration (UCAS-D) aircraft has successfully completed its historic first flight at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB), Calif.


Heh ... Soon the "Top Gun" competition will resemble Robot Wars.

Go to the mirror, boy ...

Glenn Greenwald has a great piece this morning about how the US media can look at Egypt without noticing the similarities:


But so intertwined are the U.S. and Mubarak -- still -- that such narrative separation was impossible. Not even American propaganda could whitewash the fact that the U.S. has imposed Hosni Mubarak's regime on The Egyptian People for decades. His government is not merely our ally but one of our closest client regimes. We prop him up, pay for his tools of repression, and have kept him safe for 30 years from exactly this type of popular uprising -- all in exchange for his (a) abducting, detaining and torturing whom we want, (b) acting favorably toward Israel, and (c) bringing stability to the Suez Canal.

And yet it's remarkable how self-righteously our political and media class can proclaim sympathy with the heroic populace, and such scorn for their dictator, without really reconciling our national responsibility for Mubarak's reign of terror. Thanks to this Look Over There genre of reporting, we're so accustomed to seeing ourselves as The Good Guys -- even when the facts are right in front our noses that disprove that -- that no effort is really required to reconcile this cognitive dissonance. Even when it's this flagrant, we can just leave it unexamined because our Core Goodness is the immovable, permanent fixture of our discourse; that's the overarching premise that can never be challenged.


And just to get you out of bed, a little from the Who:

The Who's Tommy: Go To The Mirror!

Quote of the Day


... What most people didn't realize then, and still don't realize, is that the shining city on the hill was a gated community of mansions into which only the wealthiest Americans were allowed ...

Dear Florida,

If you thought you were fucked before, wait until your new governor gets done with you.


Education would be hit with a $3.3 billion cut. Per-student spending, currently at $6,843.51, would be cut by $703, or 10 percent. Scott, though, is banking on savings from his proposed pension fund changes, if approved by the Legislature, and local school money freed up this year by a one-time federal infusion of non-stimulus cash[*], to trim that spending cut to $300 per student.

He proposes saving $1 billion on the state-federal Medicaid program for low-income and disabled people by reducing fees paid to doctors, hospitals and other providers by 5 percent. Growing enrollment, though, still would increase Medicaid spending by $2 billion for a $22 billion total.

Democrats said Scott is pursuing the same policies that got Florida into its present financial fix. State economists say revenues will fall $3.6 billion short of paying for high-priority to critical needs in the next budget year. House leaders also want to hold $1 billion in reserve, which would widen that gap to $4.6 billion.





More on this from Think Progress:


Scott already presides over a state with one of the most regressive tax systems in the country. The average tax rate on a low-income individual in Florida is 13.5 percent, while the average tax rate on the someone in the richest one percent of Floridians is a paltry 2.6 percent. Instead of finding new sources of revenue, Scott decided to cut into services designed to help those who are already bearing the burden of financing the state, while lavishing tax breaks on corporations.


[*]Fucking Tea Party asshole will take federal funds though, won't he?

When Bill Kristol calls you crazy ...

You know you're ready for the room with rubber wallpaper:

Neoconservative columnist Bill Kristol called out conservatives, and in particular, Glenn Beck, for fear-mongering about the unrest in Egypt, saying that "when Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left," he's "marginalizing himself."


Although, I do agree with Kristol on one point (go figure, but stranger shit's happened):


Kristol continues: "Nor is it a sign of health when other American conservatives are so fearful of a popular awakening that they side with the dictator against the democrats. Rather, it's a sign of fearfulness unworthy of Americans, of short-sightedness uncharacteristic of conservatives, of excuse-making for thuggery unworthy of the American conservative tradition."


But don't you get it, Bill? Conservatives can't allow true democracy because they'd go the way of the dinosaur soon enough.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Thanks to YubaNet.

Blame, Not Shame

Go read MoDo on Rumbo's self-serving pack of lies book:

So many to blame. So little space.

Yeah, 815 pages isn't near enough room to shift the blame.

When you think about it, it was really all the fault of his nemesis, George Herbert Walker Bush. Rummy writes how humiliating it was to run for president briefly in the 1988 Republican primary, with no money or name recognition, when front-runner Bush didn’t bother to show up for their candidate forums. Rummy has never hidden his disdain for Poppy, whom he regards as a flighty preppy who didn’t have the brass to march into Baghdad and take down Saddam Hussein. The end of the Persian Gulf war was about manners. The first President Bush had promised the allies he would merely shoo Saddam out of Kuwait, so that’s all he did. Any more would have been “unchivalrous,” as Rummy quotes Colin Powell saying.

There were those in the military who considered Rumsfeld the devil incarnate, and those in diplomacy who considered him more ruthless than any global despot. Rummy dismisses reports of his masterminding as inaccurate rumors.

W., however, loved Rummy’s blunt muscularity and contempt for weakness. “I was still surprised by Governor Bush’s request to see me,” Rummy writes about the president-elect. “He had to be aware that I did not have a close relationship with his father.” At some level, that must have appealed to the wimp-phobic W., who spent more time trying to be Ronald Reagan’s heir than his dad’s.

He blames Colin Powell for posturing with the press and George Tenet for being so cocky about Saddam’s phantom W.M.D. He claims viceroy Paul Bremer messed up Iraq, occupying too long, ignoring the chain of command and carving out a separate relationship with the president.

He even delicately blames the president, for not making incisive decisions at times on pressing matters and for not scheduling “a high-level meeting on my proposals” sent in a memo.

He says it was Tommy Franks who didn’t want a lot of ground forces in Tora Bora, when Osama got away from us. He blames the generals for not telling him he needed more troops to secure Iraq — as though he would have listened. He blames the Geneva Convention’s drafters for not knowing detainees of modern “asymmetrical” wars would need rougher treatment. He blames the Supreme Court for its “novel reasoning” defending detainee rights. He blames Katrina on ...

Oh, never mind. You get the idea.

I get the idea. I get the idea that he should be in Gitmo with the rest of The Worst Administration Ever.

Their Own Private Idaho


Neo-Nazis dominate tiny German village

It is set behind a six-foot (two-meter) wooden fence topped with razor wire; a guard tower shines a floodlight at night, and dogs bark incessantly through the padlocked steel gate. The black-white-and-red German imperial flag used in the last years of the Kaiser flies overhead — a common neo-Nazi substitute for the outlawed swastika banner. Through the fence on an inside door the smashed Star of David logo can be seen.

Legally, very little can be done to expel the neo-Nazis — they carefully skirt German laws against displaying Nazi symbols, like the swastika or the SS runes, and the banned songs people hear in the night cannot be pinned on any one individual.

"They sit around the bonfire and sing these songs — `Adolf Hitler is mein Fuehrer' they sing — they call out `heil' — there are sometimes as many as 300 right extremists at these parties," Birgit Lohmeyer said.

"Maybe today they're not talking about Jews but about foreigners in general, but their ideals are exactly the same.

The bonfire could attract a heat-seeking missile, I am sure.

And where's Stasi when ya need 'em? Oh, that's right, it's all one Germany now. The Fifth Reich to these clowns.


I guess 300 right-wing extremists ain't that many in a country the size of Germany. There's that many at W**M*** any given Saturday morning.

Reagan: Morning After in America

David Corn

Why the Gipper's tax-cut guru is aghast at today's GOP.

Good enough article to go read.

Shorter: G.E. spokesman Reagan made everybody feel good with happy talk while he fucked the joint up, as in "Please, sir, may I have another?"

Today's Repugs have skipped that part. They're just fuckin' the joint up and don't give a shit how anybody feels.


Click to inflate Reagan's image. Everyone else is doing it.

A tip o' the Brain to John Sheffius.

Headline of the Day

Freshman GOPer Didn't Know Government Paid For Her Health Benefits

David Aquarius said it best in a comment at this post:

You know, remember back in grade school when we used to keep the bullies from beating up on the slow kids that ate paste and drooled?

Well, those bullies finally got their revenge. They got the paste eaters elected to Congress.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

280 Iraqi Prisoners Removed from Camp Honor Just Before Human Rights Inspection, Taken to Camp Justice
Later transferred to Camp No One Will Hear Your Screams.

Finland: Nuclear Storage Site Will Safely Hold Radioactive Waste 100,000 Years
Unless something unforeseen happens.

Republicans Say They Can Cut Billions From Budget
Without hurting Koch brothers.

Exxon Reports Better-Than-Expected 53% Profit Increase Due to Lower Taxes
Also helpful: takeover of U.S. government.


To all those crazy (and you know who you are) Packers fans out there!

Varnishing my desk. Back later.


This one was my favorite. Hey, I'm a hopeless dog person.

I liked the little kid in the Dick Cheney Darth Vader outfit next.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Los Tres Entierros De Melquiades Estrada

I've wanted to see The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada since it came out about 5 years ago. Never got the chance until I got a DVD of it at Safeway for 5 bucks.

It's a really good movie. It's a really dark movie, kind of a modern western film noir. I'm not sure how it did at the box office, but it won all kinds of awards.

There's all kinds of videos of it at YouTube, but this trailer does a fair job.

Melissa Leo, the oldest gal in the flick at 45, nekkid was worth the 5 bucks all by itself! Sort of a comedy scene about, er, failure to erect, yeah, that's it. Perhaps the shallowest moment in a deep flick, but that's how I roll.

Thanks to howlingsin.

Rumsfeld Overheard: "War Lies Are Cool Now"

War Is A (formerly AfterDowningStreet)

Donald Rumsfeld began his new book tour with some frank comments, including these:

"War lies? Does anybody really give a rat's ass now? You know what? You know what? They do. They do because war lies are actually cool now. We began the invasion of Iraq in October 2001, but the invasion of Iraq paid off."

"Once we'd expended hundreds of billions of dollars killing hundreds of thousands of people and completely devastated the nation of Iraq, with the only tangible result being a dramatic rise in anti-American sentiment and violence around the world, I proposed a different strategy, and do you know what that jack-ass post-turtle two-bit moron from Crawford did? He told you all that he would keep me on after the election. After the election he gave me the old snake-skin boot in the posterior and told you that he'd had to lie to you so that you wouldn't know the truth. And you said 'Oh OK, well that's all right then. Thanks for explaining it to us. Thank you, sir, may we have another? Thank you, sir, may we have another?' You dumbasses.

"You want to learn something about the way the world works? Buy my book. Do you know why Ronald Reagan was a great president? Do you want me to tell you? Because he believed his own bull. That's what it takes. You think we lie to you for the good of the nation. That's not how it works. We lie to ourselves for the good of our careers, and the marketplace of ideas makes that good for the nation. Or not. That's a known unknown.

"Let me just leave you with this, you embarrassing facsimiles of sentient animals. Let me provide you, outside of your comprehension, a little demonstration of your inability to be awakened by a five alarm fire in your jock straps. Are you ready? Here it goes. We're making progress in Afghanistan.

This shit really works. See my "Fear The Facts" post a couple below this one.

They might as well just come out and say they're lying. We all know it anyway. Some of them are. And why not? They know they're safe from prosecution, in this country at least.

Headline of the Day

Surge of immigrants from India baffles border officials in Texas

Fear of Facts Endangers the Nation


What may be hurting our country more than anything is a thick-skulled mentality that refuses to face the facts.

Sad to say, people don't necessarily change their minds when their erroneous assumptions are corrected. A University of Michigan study found that misinformed people, particularly those loyal to their politics, rarely change their minds when exposed to corrected facts in news stories. Instead, they often become more strongly set in their beliefs.

This restriction of intelligence may be America's most baffling and self-destructive problem. The nation's complex challenges won't get solved by all the dead brains cells insisting that President Obama is foreign-born, death-panels are coming, and gun controls destroy liberty.

While we're at it, let's deny the fact that the carbon we're producing from oil, gas, and coal is causing global warming.

Why are many of us so obtuse? [...]

Read on...

Wallflowers at the Revolution

Daddy Frank on Americans' media-fed ignorance about Egypt and the Middle East:

A month ago most Americans could not have picked Hosni Mubarak out of a police lineup. [...]

The live feed from Egypt is riveting. We can’t get enough of revolution video — even if, some nights, Middle West blizzards take precedence over Middle East battles on the networks’ evening news. But more often than not we have little or no context for what we’re watching. That’s the legacy of years of self-censored, superficial, provincial and at times Islamophobic coverage of the Arab world in a large swath of American news media. Even now we’re more likely to hear speculation about how many cents per gallon the day’s events might cost at the pump than to get an intimate look at the demonstrators’ lives.

Perhaps the most revealing window into America’s media-fed isolation from this crisis — small an example as it may seem — is the default assumption that the Egyptian uprising, like every other paroxysm in the region since the Green Revolution in Iran 18 months ago, must be powered by the twin American-born phenomena of Twitter and Facebook. Television news — at once threatened by the power of the Internet and fearful of appearing unhip — can’t get enough of this cliché.

The social networking hype eventually had to subside for a simple reason: The Egyptian government pulled the plug on its four main Internet providers and yet the revolution only got stronger. “Let’s get a reality check here,” said Jim Clancy, a CNN International anchor, who broke through the bloviation on Jan. 29 by noting that the biggest demonstrations to date occurred on a day when the Internet was down. “There wasn’t any Twitter. There wasn’t any Facebook,” he said. No less exasperated was another knowledgeable on-the-scene journalist, Richard Engel, who set the record straight on MSNBC in a satellite hook-up with Rachel Maddow. “This didn’t have anything to do with Twitter and Facebook,” he said. “This had to do with people’s dignity, people’s pride. People are not able to feed their families.”

Al Jazeera English, run by a 35-year veteran of the Canadian Broadcasting Company, is routinely available in Israel and Canada. It provided coverage of the 2009 Gaza war and this year’s Tunisian revolt when no other television networks would or could. Yet in America, it can be found only in Washington, D.C., and on small cable systems in Ohio and Vermont. None of the biggest American cable and satellite companies — Comcast, DirecTV and Time Warner — offer it.

Unable to watch Al Jazeera English, and ravenous for comprehensive and sophisticated 24/7 television coverage of the Middle East otherwise unavailable on television, millions of Americans last week tracked down the network’s Internet stream on their computers. Such was the work-around required by the censorship practiced by America’s corporate gatekeepers. You’d almost think these news-starved Americans were Iron Curtain citizens clandestinely trying to pull in the jammed Voice of America signal in the 1950s — or Egyptians desperately seeking Al Jazeera after Mubarak disrupted its signal last week.

The consequence of a decade’s worth of indiscriminate demonization of Arabs in America — and of the low quotient of comprehensive adult news coverage that might have helped counter it — is the steady rise in Islamophobia. [...]’s no wonder that Americans are invested in the fights for freedom in Egypt and its neighboring dictatorships only up to a point. We’ve been inculcated to assume that whoever comes out on top is ipso facto a jihadist.

Our media and pols figured out long ago to treat us like mushrooms - keep us in the dark and feed us shit and we will think(?) the way they want us to.

Puff up another one!

This guy was stupid before he puffed up his first fattie:

... As Daily Intel writes, Michelson was interested in growing his own plants—he even bought all the seeds and materials needed for it online. But something was itching at him still. So he called 911 ...

Blogroll Amnesty Day

Late to it this year (thanks to the flu) so I'm directing you to other folks' pages who've found some great blogs you might not know about.

Skippy: Here, here, here, here, and here.

Nucks: Here.

Jill: Here.

Vagabond Scholar: Here.

Left in the West: Here.

Pruning Shears: Here.

Cookies in Heaven. Here.

Mike Finnigan/C&L [our pal Michael Stickings filling in]: Here.

That should hold ya for the better part of the morning. Chelsea v. Liverpool in a couple hours. Don't bother me. Heh ...

Switzerland ...

It's beautiful this time of year*:

GENEVA (Reuters) - Former U.S. President George W. Bush, under fire from human rights group over allegations of ordering torture, has canceled a visit to Switzerland where he was to address a Jewish charity gala.

Bush was to be the keynote speaker at Keren Hayesod's annual dinner on February 12 in Geneva. But pressure has been building on the Swiss government to arrest him and open a criminal investigation if he enters the Alpine country.


Aside from the fact Obama should have the CIA "disappear" him to Geneva, it says something that our former leadership (Bush, Cheney, and cabinet members) can't travel abroad for fear of arrest.


Stolen from Maru:

*Great thanks to our pal Montag for the link.