Saturday, September 10, 2011

'Credible Threats' Made to US Government

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) September 10,2011 – The Department of Homeland Security said today that it was studying several "credible threats" made to the United States government in a two-hour broadcast Wednesday night from a location believed to be the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.

Homeland Security spokesman Harland Dorinson said that the Department did not want to alarm the American people, "but whenever you have a group of individuals threatening to dismantle the US government piece by piece, it has to be taken seriously."

While stopping short of saying that the speakers were engaged in some sort of jihad, Mr. Dorinson did note that a tone of religious extremism dominated the video.

"One speaker in particular, seemed bent on rolling back the advances of science and plunging America back into the Dark Ages," he said.

But the most terrifying moment in the tape came when that same speaker received thunderous applause from the audience after threatening to execute people.

"We're posting pictures of this individual on our website," Mr. Dorinson said. "Hopefully he will be captured before he can carry out any of his plans."

Dead or alive.

On the 9/11 Memorial

I have heard "9/11" in some way, shape, or form Every. Single. Day. for the last 10 years, more when Giuliani is running for something.

How about a fucking DAY OFF from it instead?

First Repuglican Discovered!

The background:


This week in Republican science... same as every other week in Republican science, really. Since experts can't be trusted, science journals are propaganda, and evidence is not, you know, evidence. That's why we'd like to bring you segment 1323 of our ongoing series "chipped stone tools, why they will never replace traditional pointy sticks."

The announcement this week of the remarkable hominid fossils found in South Africa, brought us a refined picture of our family tree.

John Timmer at ars Technica admits worries about the GOP hatred for knowledge.

Personally, I wouldn't vote for a candidate who rejects science and expertise, and as a voter, I'd like to have a viable choice between two qualified candidates. At the moment, it's looking like I won't.

What would the world be like if we had two parties living in reality, offering policies based on reason? Maybe another few million years of evolution will get us there.

Don't bet on it. The money shot:

Based on the most complete hand specimen ever found, Au. sediba had an extra-long thumb and powerful fingers, which it could have used to make tools despite still having a small ape-like brain.

The first Repuglican? I rest my case.

The question remains: did Jesus bury this specimen and the dinosaurs and dig the Grand Canyon all by himself 6000 years ago or did he have help?

I'd like answers too ...

Via Avedon, "The 10 unanswered questions of 9/11."

I'm not one for conspiracy theories but there are far too many inconsistencies in all the post-event investigations. I don't know about anybody else, but if I ever find out that someone let 9/11 happen, or it was orchestrated from within, I'm gonna get my pound of flesh.

Heh ...

Pic stolen from here.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Age before beauty.

Emmylou and Willie on the Townes Van Zandt classic with and inset of the man himself.

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Perry: The New Chimp?


[...] Rick Perry is the spitting image of George W. Bush, but with all remaining nuance stripped out. He is the Bush id, with any pretenses at compassion or sincerity stripped away, leaving just the dumb, mean-spirited parts.

I suspect that will have more appeal to conservative die-hards than pundits are currently willing to admit. There is a hunger for mean, among the conservative base, and a hunger for punishing the nebulous other, whether that means the unemployed, the poor, the sick, the old, union workers, public sector workers, immigrants, disaster victims, Muslims, or anyone else. Rick Perry may suit them in a way that a Bachmann, Santorum, or Cain could not. He is just as fringe as any of those tea party favorites, but he has something each of them lacks: He looks like a Republican president. Specifically, he looks like their most recent Republican president.

The Republican base isn't looking for a new Reagan: Reagan was too moderate. They're looking for a new George W. Bush.

Only not so intellectual this time.

Headline of the Day

Al Qaeda's Project for Ending the American Century Largely Succeeded

They couldn't have done it without Bush and Cheney.

Quote of the Day dos

El Rude-o on Obama's jobs speech:

Perhaps ... we're searching the speech for turds of hope to polish into gold.

Quote of the Day

Michelle Bachmann:

I’ve been a part of the real world for all throughout my life.

[wipes lemonade from monitor and keyboard]

Can't be good ...

Folks around here know I have no love for Israel's policy toward Palestine, but I think the Turks are just poking Israel with a sharp stick:

Turkey's naval forces would escort Turkish humanitarian aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister has said, following Israel's refusal to apologise for its deadly raid on an aid flotilla heading to the besieged Palestinian territory in May 2010.

"We have humanitarian aid to be sent there. And our humanitarian aid will not be attacked anymore, as happened to the Mavi Marmara," he told the Al Jazeera on Thursday.

"Turkish warships will be tasked with protecting the Turkish boats bringing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip."


Too many people with fingers-on-triggers in too small a space under high stress. In that tense environment, the margin for error is very small. I hope level heads will be in command on both sides and it goes off without incident.

Wah-wah-wah ...

A circus? Personally, calling Congress a circus is an understatement. It's a fucking asylum:


Bachmann gave an unsanctioned rebuttal to President Obama’s job speech in a Capitol Hill TV studio Thursday night in which she dismissed the address as so much warmed-over Obama rhetoric with little or no chance of success. She called it “just a retread of everything he’s put forward before that’s failed.”

But what really grinds her gears was what she called his blatant "insulting of Members of Congress" that came "almost right out of the gate" in his speech.


Were I King of the World, I'd have the lot of them dragged out and put up against the wall (I wouldn't even bother with the blindfold and cigarette). Start fresh and advise the new bunch that they could easily end up the same way. Now that's an incentive.

I'm so sick of these assholes.


Our buddy 'Nucks (in toto):

Political Circus

That is what our president actually called what the fuck has been going on with our elected representatives.

My question is, who the fuck is the Ring Leader?

Good question.

And no ...

The Mrs. and I will not be celebrating the "9/11 Gala Weekend". In fact, we're hoping to avoid as much of it as we can. Instead, we will be remembering our lost friends and neighbors* privately.

We feel** it is long past time to move on.

*And the soldiers and civilians who've given their lives under the auspices of the lie that they were fighting to protect us from another attack.

**For those who don't know, my wife is a survivor of both World Trade Center attacks.

Good speech ...

Last night but if Barry can do anything, it's bring the oratory when he needs to. I generally like what he had to say (outline of the American Jobs Act), but I can't see this getting through the House without a lot of whining and crying by the Republicans. I can't see it getting through the Senate without enough votes to break a Republican filibuster. Obama is gonna have to shove it up their asses.

Going to Cantor and Boner's districts over the next few days is a way to do it, but if he wants this to go through, he's gonna have to lead from the front on it. If he leaves it in Congress' hands (like he did with health care 'reform'), it will die by a thousand cuts.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Live-blogging the Dead End Quarter Batcrap Crazy Lie-and-Pander-Fest Debate

A few more minutes of insanity is a drop in the bucket and won't hurt you unless this shit comes true. The more exposure these whackos get, the better.

Think Progress

10:20: Get the federal government out of health care. End the minimum wage. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme. Obama is a liar. Watch a ThinkProgress video compilation of the craziest moments from tonight’s debate:

Much more. Worth a read.

Tamale Wagons: Nurseries of Crime?!

Nice article in the LATimes
L.A.'s original street food

The downtown food-truck scene of today was preceded by more than a century by the horse-drawn tamale carts of the late 1800s.

This is the one that comes by my house

Tamales were a natural to become L.A.'s first street-food fad, given their utilitarianism, cheap pricing and irresistible taste. The origins of the city's tamale sellers remain murky, although newspaper accounts place them as far back as the 1870s, and by 1880, a Los Angeles Herald article commented, "The experience of our Eastern visitors will be incomplete unless they sample" a Los Angeles street tamale.

Note to our Eastern visitors: Your 'experience' with street tamales only begins with the eating. Heh. But I digress...

Not everyone appreciated those first loncheras. L.A.'s press sensationalized any fight, quarrel or theft committed around the eateries, leading to a perception in polite circles that they weren't safe (typical headline: "Says the Tamale Wagon is a Nursery of Crime"). As early as 1892, officials tried to ban them; in 1897, the City Council proposed to not allow tamale wagons to open until nine at night at the behest of restaurant owners who didn't like their crowds. Four years later, Police Chief Charles Elton recommended they close at 1 a.m. because they offered "a refuge for drunks who seek the streets when the saloons are closed for the night."

Oh fuckin' A! Nothin' like a coupla 2AM soggy tamales outta the back of a truck ta let ya see whatcha was drinkin'!

They also found an ally in Councilman Fred Wheeler. In 1920, he offered an impassioned defense in council chambers when tamale wagons once again faced the ax. "The tamale put Los Angeles on the map," he thundered. "These wagons are almost an institution of our city. Cabrillo and his sailors are said to have found them here when they landed. Drive these wagons from our streets? Never!"

On Cabrillo, who got here in 1542:

The next morning, October 8, Cabrillo came to San Pedro Bay, which was named "Baya de los Fumos" (English: the Bay of Smoke), after the burning chapperal that raised thick clouds of smoke.

Sure it wasn't smoke from burning tamales? In any case, he got that one right.

But tamaleros, of course, never disappeared. They've continued in Southern California's barrios ever since the tamale wagon's heyday, clandestinely hawking their masa miracle from coolers, car trunks, even pushcarts, to the masses, the deliverers of our eternal sacrament — our birthright — of cheap, glorious street food.

Arellano is the author of "Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America," which will be published in April.

I will be pre-ordering that one!

If there ain't Meskin food in heaven, then Dear Jesus, I don't wanta go.

Quote of the Day II

TPM live-blogging whatever that GOP thing last night was:

9:35 PM: Jon Huntsman defending science on stage at GOP event and the crowd goes silent like a candidate were forced to explain a NAMBLA membership.

The pitch ...

To ban religion. Two ad men from Aus make commercials about banning religion. I'm down with it.

Stolen from here.

Quote of the Day


... DICK CHENEY is giving advice to future politicians, which is kind of like the Manson family taking over for Dr. Phil ...

Honorable Mention:


... And for some odd reason Newt Gingrich is trying to look like Justin Bieber.



And ... speaking of horrible pictures ... did you see Voldemort Darth Dick Cheney's interview with Jon Karl when he took his battery out? All I could think of was this post from the Rude One. Were I in Karl's position, I'da grabbed that battery and threw it out the window.

So ...

We're led by a coward. Why in Hell did he bother running to begin with?

President-Elect Obama's advisers feared in 2008 that authorities would oust him in a coup and that Republicans would block his policy agenda if he prosecuted Bush-era war crimes, according to a law school dean who served as one of Obama's top transition advisers.

University of California at Berkeley Law School Dean Christopher Edley, Jr., above, the sixth highest-ranking member of the 2008 post-election transition team preparing Obama's administration, revealed the team's thinking on Sept. 2 in moderating a forum on 9/11 held by his law school (also known as Boalt Hall). Edley was seeking to explain Obama's "look forward" policy on suspected Bush-era law-breaking that the president-elect announced on a TV talk show in January 2009.

But Edley's rationale implies that Obama, or at least his team, feared the military/national security forces that the president is supposed be commanding -- and that Republicans have intimidated him right from the start of his presidency even after voters in 2008 rejected Republicans by the largest combined presidential-congressional mandate in recent U.S. history.


Unbelievable. Time for him to pull an LBJ and let somebody who's not scared of the job run for it. Fucking jerks.

The Rethugs have blocked any policy agenda he had anyway, just a coup by another name. I'm so tired of Obama and the incompetents he's surrounded himself with.

And an addendum: If you don't see the Weimar - Nazi dynamic going on here, you're blind.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Strange bedfellows

Robert Reich and Andy Borowitz. Reality IS satire now.


Perry Outlines Bold Proposal to Repeal Twentieth Century

Gov. Perry said that at an appointed time, he would ask every American to pray to God to send the country back to the nineteenth century: "Basically you just need to click your heels together and say ‘There's no place like home.'"

Shortly after his speech, rival candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn) blasted Gov. Perry for borrowing from her own plan to take the country back to the Middle Ages.

But in a positive piece of news for the Texas Governor, a new poll shows him leading the pack among voters who describe themselves as delusional.


Tonight's Republican Debate: The 19th Century or the Stone Age?

Nonetheless, listen tonight, if you can bear it, for anything other than standard Republican boilerplate since the 1920s — a wistful desire to return to the era of William McKinley, when the federal government was small, the Fed and the IRS had yet to be invented, state laws determined worker safety and hours, evolution was still considered contentious, immigrants were almost all European, big corporations and robber barons ran the government, the poor were desperate, and the rich were lived like old-world aristocrats.

But the Republican Party that emerged in the 1970s began its march back to the 19th century. By the time Newt Gingrich and his regressive followers took over the House of Representatives in 1995, social conservatives, isolationists, libertarians, and corporatists had taken over once again.

Some Democrats are quietly rooting for Perry or Bachmann, on the theory that they're so extreme that they'll bolster Obama's chances for a second term and make it easier for congressional Democrats to scare Independents into voting for a Democratic House and maybe even Senate.

I understand the logic but I'd rather not take the chance. A Perry or Bachmann wouldn't just take us back to the 19th century. They'd take us back to the stone age.

We are so screwed...

Happy fun cloud will kill you now

If it's Wednesday, it must be Morford...

Have you seen the future? Have you felt its hot, Wi-Fi enabled breath on your nervous and sweaty neck? Don't worry: You will.

Have you heard about the cloud? I bet you have. The cloud is the new oxygen. The cloud is the new Bieber. The cloud is the Next Supreme Step toward a gloriously sanitized uber-paradise where all worries vanish, all wires come unplugged and the cackling world government manipulates the whole thing very, very carefully.

Does it not, furthermore, remind us that we are nothing if not the balls-out most ridiculous and megalomaniacal species this side of the GOP inbreeding with the cast of "Jersey Shore"? You bet it does.

I get this awful visual of Snooki hollering "ride 'em, cowboy!" to Goodhair...

Or worse. Crazy Eyes and The Situation...

Must stop there. Brain is melting.

Quote of the Day

Abraham Lincoln via Steve Hynd:

"If any man tells you he loves America, yet hates labor, he is a liar. If any man tells you he trusts America, yet fears labor, he is a fool."

"All that harms labor is treason to America."

Euro-peein' ...

I touched on this about a month ago, the question about why the EU was created in the first place and on its longevity. Mr. Aravosis joined an interview of economist Joseph Stiglitz who echoes the sentiment:


RYAN: Quick Question, since we're here in Europe, the euro, a lot of people are stressed - the French are stressed, the Italians, the Spaniards, people are really worried about the future of the euro. What's your take on where things are going?

STIGLITZ: Well, I think they should be worried about the future of the euro. When the euro was created there was a general recognition that it was not, what we call, an optimal currency area. It was going to be difficult. If one part of Europe faced, you might say, a greater shock than other parts, it wouldn't be any problem if everything is going well. But it was in a period of economic downturn -- we are now facing that, and the problems that were anticipated have now come to the fore.


Indeed. Europe is a conglomeration of nation states, each with a different culture and government with relatively weak central control from Brussels/Strasbourg. Stiglitz continues:


ARAVOSIS: A three-front war instead of a one-front war.

STIGLITZ: Exactly. And the hope was, I think on the part of some, that when the further actions that were needed to make the euro work, that they would be taken, and that would require the creation of a European solidarity fund for stabilization. Those actions, the framework has now been taken, but the concern is the magnitude of what is required may not be up to what they are willing to do, and the political process in Europe is very slow. It has to be ratified by each of the parliaments. So, the question is, given the speed with which the economic events are unfolding, whether Europe will be able to respond fast enough. And, I think there is a resolve among the political leaders of most of the countries to make it work. But that may not be enough, given the turbulence in financial markets.... [my em]


The Euro, and the Eurozone, will always be at the mercy of the weaker economies and legislative sloth. Until revenue control and financial regulation become the sole purview of the central government, the future of the Euro will always be up for debate. As long as the client states are able to control their monetary policy as if they still used a national currency, there will be undue stress on the Union in hard times. As I said a month ago, the individual European states have to go all in or there was no point in creating the EU in the first place.

Why am I concerned over the future of the Euro, aside from the fact I have family and friends in Europe who would be hurt by the breakup of the Eurozone? Stiglitz again:


ARAVOSIS: And why should we care as Americans what happens, so the euro doesn't do so well?

STIGLITZ: The breakup in the euro, or even turbulence in the euro, is going to mean that the European economies, one of our major trading partners, will be doing badly.


And if the Europeans do badly, so will we.

Just wait ...

The Republicans will put the kibosh on this*:

The number of businesses approved to accept food stamps grew by a third from 2005 to 2010, U.S. Department of Agriculture records show, as vendors from convenience and dollar discount stores to gas stations and pharmacies increasingly joined the growing entitlement program.

Now, restaurants, which typically have not participated in the program, are lobbying for a piece of the action.


What? People using government money to actually eat in a restaurant? That will never do. If they can afford to eat in a restaurant, they don't need food stamps. Bad enough they have TVs and cell phones.

It's the same thing with drug testing public assistance recipients and putting a time limit on benefits. Anything that makes poor folks' lives a little more bearable is completely out of bounds for the Republicans.

*Thanks to our pal Lambert for the link.

What's the point?

If you listen to the NRA, you'd think the answer to crime prevention would be for everyone to be armed. Fine. Then how come people, when in a position to maybe stop a crime, don't? If you have the time to watch him reload, you have the time to take a shot - only takes one. Ain't no point in having it if you don't use it when you need to, pussy.

So ...

The status quo will be maintained.


"I think putting money back in the pockets of working families is the best way to get demand rising, because that then means business is hiring, and that means the economy is growing. So I'm going to propose ways to get America back to work that both parties can agree to," [President Barack Obama] said. [my em]


If "both parties can agree to" it, it probably ain't worth a shit to regular folks, let alone the paper it's printed on.

Link stolen from David Atkins.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Howzat workin' out for ya, Ricky Boy?

Following up a little on Fixer's post.

Texas cut fire department funding by 75 percent this year

The majority of Texas is protected by volunteer fire departments. There are 879 volunteer fire departments in Texas and only 114 paid fire departments. Another 187 departments are a combination of volunteer and paid.

For that reason, aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could be more important than ever to the state where wildfires have recently been raging.

Smooth move, Ex-Lax. YOU slash state funding for the Texas cellar-savers and WE get to pay for it with that federal gummint money you claim not to like.

A word about wildfires in the west. One time, I was driving south through Nevada from Oregon on US 95 through a series of thunderstorms. There were 33 - I counted - lightning-caused fires on either side of the road for about fifty miles. A coupla acres each and the entire firefighting effort that I saw was half a dozen blanketasses with shovels in the back of a Ford pickup.

It was sufficient. None of the fires came within ten miles of a structure. I think the Indians were just there to respond in case any of them did.

A minimal effort like that is fine out in the middle of nowhere. Not so fine where people live.

I live in the middle of a pine forest that stretches for hundreds of miles. Just here around my town, there are more fire departments than you can shake a stick at. My town has gone from a volunteer fire department (motto: "We haven't lost a foundation yet!") with a coupla paid firefighters who drove the trucks to where the volunteers would hopefully show up, to a professional paid fire department with four fire stations and all kinds of modern equipment. They put out fires and save lives and God bless 'em.

All the little towns and even some of the ski areas around here have their own fire departments. They all have mutual assistance pacts. A forest fire is no respecter of city limit signs. We have CalFire, BLM, and the Forest Service. We have access to air tankers, water-dropping helicopters, hotshot (wiki) and jail inmate hand crews from anywhere in the state or other states if we need them. Shit, I think we've called on Mexican bomberos to come help on occasion.

In short, when there's a fire, the idea is to PILE ON.

Cuts are happening and they're killing people and destroying property. The point is that every last dime for all this is from our tax money and I don't begrudge one damn penny of it. It's something we do for ourselves and one another as a society where we give a damn about others.

Oh, that's right, current Repug policy is "I got mine and fuck you", never mind if some people get terribly hurt. After all, low taxes and services are what people want, right? Right? I hope the current awful conditions in Texass bite Ricky Boy right on the ass.

I hope they're a lesson to other governors etc. as well. There's such a thing as false economy where saving money now will cost a hundred times as much later.

Headline of the Day

Rabid Dog Briefly Mistaken for Tea Party Candidate

Receives Standing Ovation at Missouri Rally

Hey ...

Much as I bust on Texas, deservedly so, I wouldn't wish this on anybody.

Wow ...

Some of god's mouthpieces are actually getting it ... you know, that Jesus never said "I got mine so fuck you":


Four members affiliated with the religious group Faith In Public Life held a brief press conference during FFC’s afternoon intermission to denounce the GOP’s adherence to the philosophies of anti-government, anti-religion author Ayn Rand. The leaders — Rev. Jennifer Butler, Jim Wallis, Rev. Derrick Harkins, and Father Clete Kiley — asserted that the GOP efforts to cut funding from many anti-poverty programs while balancing the budget on the backs of the poorest Americans were not in line with Christian values: [my em]


Color me surprised.

Great thanks to our old pal (in blog years) Skippy for the link.

Hopefully ...

The President is taking lessons:


[Teamsters union president James] Hoffa riled up Fox News and the right wing Monday with a Labor Day speech in Detroit in which he called Republican members of Congress "sons of bitches" and said union workers are ready to "go to war" with the tea party next year and "take out" Republicans at the ballot box.

Hoffa said he'd say the exact same words all over again.

"I would because I believe it," he said. "They've declared war on us. We didn't declare war on them, they declared war on us. We're fighting back. The question is, who started the war?"


If Mr. Obama would talk like this, he'd win in a landslide next year. This is what Liberals/Progressives want to hear. Obama should have been saying this the minute they tried to break the unions in Wisconsin.

The Republicans have declared war on unions and the middle class (the majority of Americans, by the way) and the President should be standing up for them, not working to pad the pockets of the rich by caving in to the Republicans at every turn.

E.J. Dionne:

Let’s get it over with and rename the holiday “Capital Day.” We may still celebrate Labor Day, but our culture has given up on honoring workers as the real creators of wealth and their honest toil — the phrase itself seems antique — as worthy of genuine respect.


That the language of Lincoln and John Paul is so distant from our experience today is a sign of an enormous cultural shift. In scores of different ways, we paint investors as the heroes and workers as the sideshow. We tax the fruits of labor more vigorously than we tax the gains from capital — resistance to continuing the payroll tax cut is a case in point — and we hide workers away while lavishing attention on those who make their livings by moving money around.


Yeah, the "job creators". Just like WMDs in Iraq. Just another excuse to loot the Treasury on behalf of the rich and the corporations while the rest of us are left sucking wind.

If Obama keeps on his current course, even if he is reelected, he won't have much of a country left to govern by the end of his second term. Being "above the fray" (if not actually beholden to big business) ain't gonna cut it anymore. The road down which we're headed affects us all, regardless of party affiliation and regardless of wealth or the lack thereof, in a very bad way. Regardless of ideology, it's time for Mr. Obama do what people like Krugman and Stiglitz and the "professional Left" (and history) have been telling him to. He's done the opposite so far and it's obvious where that's gotten him. It's time for him to do the right thing, not what his people are telling him is politically expedient (that doesn't seem to be working either).

As some of my southern friends like to say, it's a "come to Jesus" moment for the President. It's time for him to figure out who America really is, the top 2% or the rest of us who bust our ass to buy the crap that keeps them in the style in which they're accustomed. It's time for him to stop trying to curry the favor of rich white guys because they're never gonna let him in the club. [Dr. King rolls over.]

Heh ...

Pic stolen from the General.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Headline of the Day

America's Intellectual Deficit Is More Dangerous Than Its Financial One

To blithely rearrange an old saying about mary-ju-wanna, it's better to have brains in times of no money than to have money in times of no brains.

Rude Pundit Twofer

Absence of Labor Day

Today, on CNN's American Morning (where apparently only Ali Velshi got the day off), the question of the day was "Do unions help or hurt America?" The responses were surprisingly not insane, and a good many were pro-union. Of course, it was a stupid fucking question, being asked in a studio that probably contained union members, but, as with so many things these days, CNN was merely giving credence to the anti-worker rhetoric spouted by the right. Are unions good or bad for America? Well, shit, considering that corporations come up with ways to hire near-slaves whenever they can, it shouldn't even be a question.

Of course, if actual actions by unions got even a tiny fragment of the coverage that the Tea Party gets if it farts in a windstorm, you might realize that they really do represent the majority of Americans: the ones who want decent jobs and decent treatment and decent standards of living and who understand that the wealthy in the country (what we used to call "capital") are the very people who are trying to destroy unity in the working class through bullshit like the Tea Party.

[...] Maybe you did hear that organizers of the Pittsburgh Labor Day parade, with tens of thousands of participants, told anti-union politicians to go fuck themselves, that workers are not their props, and that they can't march.

But, if you did hear that last one, that's only because thuggish union members were being mean to the poor, poor politicians who want to strip away their right to exist. And we can't make the lapdogs of our corporate masters feel bad, can we? [...]

Today's Republicans vs. the United States (Part 1)

On last night's under-the-radar podcast/online radio venture, Cheater and the Rude, the Rude Pundit posited another way to think about the Republicans and their relationship with America. It's a variation on the abused partner metaphor, one that's a bit more extreme: At this point, Republicans have gotten so batshit and destructively irrational about their hatred of Obama and the Democrats that they've become like the psychotic boyfriend who grabs his girlfriend who's threatening to break up with him and puts a razor to her face, saying, "I'm gonna make you so ugly, no one will ever fuck you again. And then you'll only have me" before horribly scarring her.

What more can we make of a party that seems determined to wreck whatever it can in order to the nation to shit, calculating that frightened Americans will turn back to Republicans.

To take it further, this year has become about whether or not you give a shit about America. The battle that is occurring in our politics is so ludicrous that it begs belief. We are, in essence, arguing over whether or not there should be a United States of America. This ain't liberal hysteria. This comes from listening, reading, and watching the right, including nearly every candidate for president.

The USA they want damn sure won't be the "shining city on the hill" although there will no doubt be a few "shining gated and heavily guarded communities on the hill". Too bad the sheep who help the plutocrats pull this off won't be allowed to live in them. When (if?) they come to their senses it will be too late.

Just sayin' ...

Pic from here. Click to make bigger.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

McCourt Offered $1.2 Billion for Dodgers by Chinese Government
Would be more caring, responsible owners.

Now that's funny!

Totally batshit crazy is the new normal.

Airline Billing Dispute Reveals Existence of CIA Rendition Flights
Detainees still owe money for in-flight drinks, meals.

Report: Weapons Manufacturers Lost More Than 16,000 Guns in Two Years
Hopefully they fell into the right hands.

Getting a gun that that "fell off the assembly line" eliminates a lot of the middle men involved in getting one that "fell off a truck". Much more efficient.

Cheney Boasts He Urged Bush to Bomb Syria
Also Berkeley, San Francisco.

Report: Climate Change Prompting Rise in Mental Illness
Particularly among presidential hopefuls.

Combination USB Drive/Vibrator Debuts
Not recommended for business meetings.

I'm going to go look for video of that...

Just a thought ...

I hear the talking heads on the TV saying President Obama has to "go big" in his jobs speech on Thursday. When asked what he should do, they all say "he has to have a plan that Republicans will sign on to."

I'll posit there is nothing the President can propose the Republicans will sign on to. The President has to "go big" and then shove it up the Republicans' collective ass. We all know that ain't gonna happen. Hopefully, there'll be a football (soccer) match on somewhere I can watch instead.

This ...

Will be so good. Anything that can "make wingnut heads explode" is fine with me.

Quote of the Day

The title of a post at Jill's:

It's not called "Labor Day" to commemorate the work of hedge fund managers and cost-cutting CEOs

It's only a matter of time ...

[A big welcome to Crooks and Liars and Skippy's readers! Thanks, Mike and Skippy! - F.]

Before we storm the gates. Gordon posted a piece from Greenwald yesterday and his message at the end is portentous:


Shorter: the government hates and fears us for our freedom*.

In this age of the interwebs, fortunately, word gets out a lot faster to more people and it's only a matter of time before people wake up and start demanding their share. When people are starving and unemployed (especially the youth), and they see the rich living it up, they're gonna want their piece of the pie:


So as average wages fall, and nearly 14 million people remain unemployed, America’s economic recovery has almost entirely benefited corporations. This development adds another chapter to the decline of the middle class, whose incomes are shrinking and wages are stagnating. Last year, top executives’ salaries increased 27 percent, while workers’ salaries increased only 2 percent. At the moment, income inequality in America is the worst it’s been since the 1920s, as the richest 1 percent make nearly 25 percent of the country’s income.

When they see the political class, of either party, is no longer on their side, when they hear how much the rich and corporations rake in while they can't feed their kids, when they are told what meager help they might expect from the federal government will be cut, when they don't have any hope of getting out from under, when they're told the rich shouldn't have to pay taxes and all the burden is upon the poor and middle class, when unemployment of the nation's youth reaches 30 - 40%; that will be the day when the corporatocracy will get its comeuppance.

While those in Washington look at the numbers and percentages, I'll ask you to picture 14 million desperate people in a large group, more by the time it gets really bad. Do these arrogant assholes think their private security (and their cronies in local police departments) can protect them from the will of the masses? There will be a "let them eat cake" moment (we've traveled too far down the Road of Impunity for it not to happen). Now it's just a matter of when it happens and what the American people will do at the time.

Obama had the power to stave off that moment, had he used his momentum and voter popularity just after his election to do the right thing (he could have enacted a "shit sandwich Friday" and everybody would have gladly eaten it once a week). Instead he made it worse, either by being bought, cowed, or just inept. That door has since closed.

Unless something radically changes in the next 4 years of Obama's term (if he actually gets himself reelected), we will be irrevocably set on the path to a probably violent class war. It will be then that Americans will see change. The only questions will be the form it will take and how many will survive it. Look to the East; Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Syria, just a portent of what will happen here. People are people, all over the world, and when people get desperate, they will do whatever it takes. I hope our elected officials keep that in mind over the next few years.


D-cap sees things that way too:


This President is a nothing more than Richard Lugar or Chuck Hagel or John Warner - a somewhat moderate 80's Republican. He is no progressive and I don't think he is much of Democrat. In fact I don't think of much of Obama at all anymore.

... I guess we really do need a Republican to lead us completely off the cliff to finally wake the fuck up. Apparently reason, logic and presenting the facts don't work in a world competing with Justin Bieber's car accident or J-Lo's divorce.


*The government fears us. Period.

I can't understand ...

Why none of them are in jail, but then, we live in a rich man's world and that's as far removed from reality as anything can be:


You know how this works, don't you? The banksters involved pay the ratings agencies to rate the bonds. The rating agencies get paid according to the rating that they give to the bonds. So they get higher fees for rating mortgage-backed tripe AAA than they would if they rated them AA (or C).

But nations pay no ratings fees to S&P, so they don't have any qualms about how they rate nations.


You know what the problem is? We have too many people not producing anything; too many "middlemen". Too many people are making money in this country by doing nothing else than moving a piece of paper from one place to another.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The decade's biggest scam

Glenn Greenwald nails it:

First, this wastefulness is seen as inefficient only if one falsely assumes that its real objective is to combat Terrorist threats. That is not the purpose of what the U.S. Government does. As Daniel Weeks explains today, the Congress -- contrary to popular opinion -- is not "broken"; it is working perfectly for its actual owners. Or, as he puts it, "Washington isn't broken -- it’s fixed":

Our problem today is not a broken government but a beholden one: government is more beholden to special-interest shareholders who fund campaigns than it is to ordinary voters. Like any sound investor, the funders seek nothing more and nothing less than a handsome return -- deficits be darned -- in the form of tax breaks, subsidies and government contracts.

The LA Times, and most people who denounce these spending "inefficiencies," have the causation backwards: fighting Terrorism isn't the goal that security spending is supposed to fulfill; the security spending (and power vested by surveillance) is the goal itself, and Terrorism is the pretext for it. For that reason, whether the spending efficiently addresses a Terrorism threat is totally irrelevant.

Second, while the Security State has little to do with addressing ostensible Terrorist threats, it has much to do with targeting perceived domestic and political threats, especially threats brought about by social unrest from austerity and the growing wealth gap. This Alternet article by Sarah Jafee, entitled "How the Surveillance State Protects the Interests Of the Ultra-Rich," compiles much evidence -- including what I offered two weeks ago -- demonstrating that the prime aim of the growing Surveillance State is to impose domestic order, preserve prevailing economic prerogatives and stifle dissent and anticipated unrest.

Read the rest. Shorter: the government hates and fears us for our freedom.

Quote of the Day

John Cole via Jill:


We seriously have the dumbest politics in the world, the stupidity of which is surpassed only by the mediocrity of our journalism.