Saturday, August 2, 2008

Freeborn Man

A lively little ditty to brighten your day. This video was on YouTube's front page today. Are they recommending things based on your viewing habits like Amazon now? Fine by me.

Tony Rice guitar , Jerry Douglas dobro , Sam Bush mandolin , Mark O'Connor fiddle and Béla Fleck on banjo.

Bush operative crashed Barney Frank's Press Conference: Why?

Diatribune has a good piece on the Repug obssession with refusal to sensibly modify medical marijuana laws, and on the War On Some Drugs. My first quote is a line that could be the quote of the day every day about Repugs in general:

I am truly sorry, but there is nothing at all responsible about believing bullshit and bragging about it.

Here we see the overarching need to have impeached Bush reflected again: from now until January 20th this ugly administration will be pulling out the stops and crashing through whatever remains of their agenda to utterly destroy this country.

Keeping the very unimportant marijuana plant illegal is a higher priority for the GOP than those who do not contemplate this issue can possibly imagine. We spend approximately $0 to $50 billion a year on the "drug war". I am told that $40 billion would fund a SCHIP-like program for more than 2 years.

Thus we can assert with confidence that enforcing pot laws directly prevents children from having access to healthcare. Good show! VERY Republican.

The "drug war" is about 90% marijuana prohibition, 10% about genuinely serious drug issues. Mostly its about enforcing the stupidity of reefer madness: laws against the cannabis plant, and maintenance of the propaganda stream, making sure that accurate information and genuine intelligent discussion are obliterated any time they break out.

That's why the highly-paid PhD liar was sent to crash Barney Frank's press conference: because Frank's bill represents serious, if incremental, progress in reforming these stupid cannabis laws.

Fixing cannabis laws ought to be a core element of Democratic party reform. It's a bad situation that can be fixed easily because it is entirely arbitrary. THere was never a salient reason to make pot illegal. People will cite a thousand reasons, none of them are remotely legitimate. It's all based on lies.

When we get verifiable factual assertions in the MSM, it will be like the collapse of Communism. When the lying finally stops the whole thing will just crash down.

The last two paragraphs, while true, make me wonder what the author was smokin'. As far as drugs go, most of us know that marijuana is pretty much lemonade, but it's been made into such a hot-button subject that it isn't likely to be 'a core element of Democratic party reform' anytime soon.

As far as 'salient reasons' why pot and other drugs were made illegal, it was largely about racism and government control, and still is. Some laws were needed way back when cannabis, opiates, and cocaine were widely available in over-the-counter consumer products and the whole country was stoned on them, but the modern (since the '30s) laws were pretty much designed to oppress minorities.

A pretty good overview of American narcotics laws and the waxing and waning of attitudes towards dope over the years in The American Disease: Origins Of Narcotic Control. Check it out.

Gay For Rachel

A good article about Rachel Maddow at The Nation, and yes, I'm like totally queer for her.

Matthews is far from the first talking head to get this treatment. Long before this primary season, clips of Maddow, an Air America host often invited on cable news shows as a ballsy gremlin of the left, zipped around the Internet. Her specialty was making Tucker Carlson's head explode, or getting under Buchanan's skin until all he could do was gibber at her about socialism. But presidential election cycles provide the hot klieg lights under which character actors mature into media leading ladies, and at 35, with fewer than five years of national broadcast experience under her belt, Rachel Maddow is the explosive star of the season. She's gone from being a popular guest analyst on MSNBC to an exclusive commentator to a regular guest host for the network's prize pig, Countdown With Keith Olbermann. Now there is increasing clang and clamor over the possibility that she will get her own show on MSNBC.

What's remarkable about Maddow's ascension is not its velocity--Hurricane Katrina made Anderson Cooper in less than a week--but the shifts in media it may demarcate. Maddow is one of the few left-liberal women to bust open the world of TV punditry, which has made icons of right-wing commentators like Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin. Unlike her beautiful, bilious conservative female counterparts or the cocksure boys-on-the-bus analysts, however, Maddow didn't get here by bluster and bravado but with a combination of crisp thinking and galumphing good cheer. Remarkably, this season's discovery isn't a glossy matinee idol or a smooth-talking partisan hack but a PhD Rhodes scholar lesbian policy wonk who started as a prison AIDS activist.

Much more. Enjoy.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Quote of the Day

The Misfit:

... So, six weeks before the election, the news is going to be filled with stories coming out of the criminal trial of a senior GOP senator ...

God, I love Ted Stevens ...

Hey ...

A federal agency that does its job? Mr. Philadelphia:

A divided Federal Communications Commission has ruled that Comcast Corp. violated federal policy when it blocked Internet traffic for some subscribers and has ordered the cable giant to change the way it manages its network.

In a precedent-setting move, the FCC by a 3-2 vote on Friday enforced a policy that guarantees customers open access to the Internet.


Chalk one up for the First Amendment!

McNasty's McNasty

The American Age Of Denial

Pack a lunch and please accept this Tomgram as a reading assignment.

Thanks largely, however, to one man, Gorbachev, who consciously chose a path of non-violence, after four decades of nuclear standoff in a fully garrisoned MAD (mutually assured destruction) world -- and to the amazement, even disbelief, of official Washington -- the USSR simply disappeared, and almost totally peaceably at that.

You could measure the era of denial up to that moment both by the level of official resistance to recognizing this obvious fact and by the audible sigh of relief in this country. Finally, it was all over. It was, of course, called "victory," though it would prove anything but.

And only then did the MADness really began. [...]

In the meantime, it was clear by century's end that the "peace dividend" would go largely to the Pentagon. At the very moment when, without the Soviet Union, the U.S. might have accepted its own long-term vulnerability and begun working toward a world in which destruction was less obviously on the agenda, the U.S. government instead embarked, like the Greatest of Great Powers (the "new Rome," the "new Britain"), on a series of neocolonial wars on the peripheries. It began building up a constellation of new military bases in and around the oil heartlands of the planet, while reinforcing a military and technological might meant to brook no future opponents. Orwell's famous phrase from his novel 1984, "war is peace," was operative well before the second Bush administration entered office.

Call this a Mr. Spock moment, one where you just wanted to say "illogical." With only one superpower left, the American Age of Denial didn't dissipate. It only deepened and any serious assessment of the real planet we were all living on was carefully avoided.

A Fierce Rearguard Action for Denial

This, of course, brings us almost to our own moment. To the neocons, putting on their pith helmets and planning their Project for a New American Century (meant to be just like the old nineteenth century, only larger, better, and all-American), the only force that really mattered in the world was the American military, which would rule the day, and the Bush administration, initially made up of so many of them, unsurprisingly agreed. This would prove to be one of the great misreadings of the nature of power in our world.

The response to 9/11 was, to say the least, striking -- and craven in the extreme. Although the Bush administration's Global War on Terror (aka World War IV) has been pictured many ways, it has never, I suspect, been seen for what it most truly may have been: a desperate and fierce rearguard action to extend the American Age of Denial. We would, as the President urged right after 9/11, show our confidence in the American system by acting as though nothing had happened and, of course, paying that visit to Disney World. In the meantime, as "commander-in-chief" he would wall us in and fight a "global war" to stave off the forces threatening us. Better yet, that war would once again be on their soil, not ours, forever and ever, amen.

The message of 9/11 was, in truth, clear enough -- quite outside the issue of who was delivering it for what purpose. It was: Here is the future of the United States; try as you might, like it or not, you are about to become part of the painful, modern history of this planet.

And the irony that went with it was this: The fiercer the response, the more we tried to force the cost of denial of this central reality on others, the faster history -- that grim shadow story of the Cold War era -- seemed to approach.

Damn, he's good.

McFlop Sweat

The kool-aid is wearing off of Joke Line:

A few months ago, I wrote that John McCain was an honorable man and he would run an honorable campaign. I was wrong. I used to think, as David Ignatius does, that McCain's true voice was humble and moderate, but now I'm beginning to think his Senate colleagues may be right about his temperament. From what I can gather, Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, a Republican, reflected the views of many of his colleagues earlier this year when he said:

"The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine...He is erratic. He is hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me."

The erratic nature of McCain's campaign seems to be confirming that judgment. The McCain I used to know would never have touted his own courage as he did a few weeks ago when he said:

"I had the courage and the judgment to say that I would rather lose a political campaign than lose a war.It seems to me that Senator Obama would rather lose a war in order to win a political campaign."

Courage is grace under pressure. McCain showed it when he was a prisoner of war, and on many issues--yes, even on his stubborn insistence that the surge would work--but he is not showing it now. He is showing flop sweat. It is not a quality usually associated with successful leadership.

I doubt if many Americans would recognize 'successful leadership' if it bit 'em on the ass, which it won't if McCain wins.

Wal-Mart Warns of Democratic Win

Pretty extensive article at The Murdoch Street Journal

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is mobilizing its store managers and department supervisors around the country to warn that if Democrats win power in November, they'll likely change federal law to make it easier for workers to unionize companies -- including Wal-Mart.

Yes, Democracy is liable to raise its ugly head in the workplace once again. Damn commies, wanting a little bigger slice of the pie.

They're desperate and dangerous

Go read this one at Think Progress

To Provoke War, Cheney Considered Proposal To Dress Up Navy Seals As Iranians And Shoot At Them

They're running out of time. Put NOTHING past them.

All seriousness aside, I'd love for Cheney to shoot at Navy Seals. Heh. Unlike his 80-year-old hunting partner, they shoot back. There'd be so much lead in him they'd need a forklift for The Dick instead of pallbearers

"I'll go all Joisey on ya..."

Following up on Fixer's post, here's Brian Williams, just back from Iran where he interviewed Ahmadinejad, on The Daily Show. Funny, but there's an interesting line about the Military Industrial Complex. Nothing we didn't already know, but I've never heard it on TV before.

It's 1 August ...

It's Friday, and the tickets for our vacation a month from today (yay!) came in the mail yesterday. For the moment, I could give a shit less about the whinings of the McCain campaign.

TGIF. I'll see yas after work when I will probably care a little more about a miserable, little old man who wants the Presidency at any cost, though I will post a little musical interlude to go with yer morning coffee. Vestards Simkus at the 88s:

Franz Josef Haydn - Piano Sonata No. 54

And, since it's Friday, I'll put up a cute Cattle Dog pic too:

Princess Shayna, my supervisor.

Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

And a big "fuck you" ...

To the moron from Texas:

The Bush administration and its radical theories of executive power suffered yet another blow today from the judiciary, as a Federal District Judge, John D. Bates of the District of Columbia District Court -- a Bush 43-appointed (and generally very pro-Bush-administration) Judge as well as the former Deputy Independent Counsel for the Whitewater investigations -- held in a 93-page ruling (.pdf) that Bush aides Harriet Miers (former White House counsel) and Josh Bolten (White House Chief of Staff) are not entitled to absolute immunity from Congressional subpoenas ... [my em]

There are some congresspeople waiting to ask you some questions, suckas.

Christ ...

They'da ratfucked Barry either way:


What the McCain campaign doesn’t want people to know, according to one GOP strategist I spoke with over the weekend, is that they had an ad script ready to go if Obama had visited the wounded troops saying that Obama was...wait for it...using wounded troops as campaign props. So, no matter which way Obama turned, McCain had an Obama bashing ad ready to launch. I guess that’s political hardball. But another word for it is the one word that most politicians are loathe to use about their opponents—a lie.


So, tell me, using tactics like this, how is McSame distancing himself from the Chimp/Karl Rove modus operandi?

Great thanks to our pal UL for the link.

Quote of the Day

Our pal Creature looks at recent history:


Impending global nuclear war...Iran potentially having nuclear weapons in the next ten years...

Hmmmm. I guess one with that perspective might consider the Bush Administration to be somewhat alarmist. What do you think?


Picture this ...

McCain, his pants around his ankles, reading the newspaper, cock in hand, screaming "HE'S A NIGGER!" as little puffs of dust spew from his limp little pecker (did the Viet Cong let him keep it?).

Switch to Obama in blackface, a fedora with a zoot suit on. "Because, you know, I don't look like none a them there preznits on da dollah bills." [/Kingfish (or Uncle Remus if you prefer) voice]

Seems, somehow, that now the gloves are off and McCain is allowed to resort to his own type of 'Southern Strategy'.

From NBC's Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, and Domenico Montanaro
Earlier this morning, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis released this one-sentence statement: "Barack Obama has played the race card, and he played it from the bottom of the deck. It's divisive, negative, shameful and wrong."


I was wondering how they were gonna work in that all Obama's supposed faults are "because he's black". Now, supposedly, Barry has opened the door. Now, supposedly, McSame can yell "nigger, nigger, nigger" (or something close) and will be immunized from the consequences.


Ol' Fez-head is of the same mind:


How many weeks before Kristol or Krauthammer pull out "contumelious"?

Infrastructure ...

Our shit's falling apart and we gots no money to fix it:


No money. Gee, with war spending running $10 billion a month or better, that's a big shock. And given that Dorquemada has financed his clusterfuck of a war entirely on credit, like the dissolute spendthrift that he is, there will be no money for such projects for a very long time.


I'm going to work to fix some shit that can be fixed ...

So tell me ...

How McCain's plan to keep troops in Iraq will ever achieve the 'victory' he's been assuring us of?

Many people have said it, but now a respected think tank has put its imprimatur on it: the "global war on terror" is a misguided concept. A major new RAND study look at how terrorist groups have historically ended, concludes that in most cases, political accommodation and infiltration -- not brute force -- broke up the groups.


Because the only 'victory' that will be accepted is control over Iraqi oil, and the profits it generates, and that requires brute force.

Same old ...

Song and dance. Digby:

Mr. McCain’s campaign is now under the leadership of members of President Bush’s re-election campaign, including Steve Schmidt, the czar of the Bush war room that relentlessly painted his opponent, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, as effete, elite, and equivocal through a daily blitz of sound bites and Web videos that were carefully coordinated with Mr. Bush’s television advertisements.


McCain, regardless of what he says, has embraced the Bush Doctrine, even down to the Lee Atwater/Karl Rove campaign tactics. It still remains to be seen if the American people are as stupid as I think they are.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Readin' doesn't necessarily make ya smart

Following up on Fixer's post and PhysioProf about where the deranged 'anti-Liberal' who shot up women and children in a church might have gotten the idea:

Let's Try Democracy

"Inside the house, officers found 'Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder' by radio talk show host Michael Savage, 'Let Freedom Ring' by talk show host Sean Hannity, and 'The O'Reilly Factor,' by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly."

I give those right-wing assholes a lot of credit for pushing this now-murderer over the edge with their tripe, tripe they fucking well know isn't true but that will appeal to their 'base', morons even by the standards of Repug sheep, and make them a lot of money.

I won't go into my decidedly non-liberal views on firearms laws, but one legally armed citizen could have stopped the shooting. Jesus and all the firearms laws that are only followed by law-abiding citizens sure as hell didn't.

Whole lotta shakin' goin' on...

Earthquake in L.A.?

Nah ... Gord found an all-you-can-eat at the Taco Hell. Heh ...


At the Crazy Coyote Mexican Grill, server Maria Ruiz, 21, said she "just kind of like froze" when the shaking started. The picture frames on the wall started moving and then she "heard what sounded like a really loud rattle," Ruiz said. In the kitchen, cups started falling over. "I was pretty scared," she said.

By about 12:15 p.m., things were back to normal in the restaurant, and she had to get off the phone to serve a third plate of chorizo and scrambled egg burritos to a rather large customer who queried, "Earthquake? What earthquake? I just thought one of the burritos was extra good. Usually they don't induce movement quite that fast. Mas salsa, por favor, and make the next plate the al pastor ones, please."

I mighta, er, edited that a little...

Ve haff vays...


In his eight days around the world, Barack Obama learned a lot.

His meeting with Angela Merkel taught him a whole new expression.

“When we were talking about Iran,” he told me, “it turns out that carrots and sticks in German is sweetbread and whips, which I thought was a little more evocative.”

No shit! 'Carrots and sticks' invokes a visual of trying to coax a recalcitrant donkey into doing what you want. 'Sweetbread and whips' brings up a vision of a large blond scantily leather-clad lady tapping her palm with a riding crop whilst trying to talk me into something!

No wonder Fixer likes Germany.

Off today ...

They're doing a facility audit at the shop today and Harry thought it best if Sam and I took the day off (just in case they send the guy who popped me for $400 for not blowing a horn). So I get to stay home and do more drywall. Oy! See yas later after I absorb me some news.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Quote of the Day

Mr. Petulant:

On July 25th, "Pastor" Scott Gillis Murray decided to break into a woman's home, rummage through her drawers, steal her sex toy and lube, and then break his leg fleeing the scene. Excuse me. He stole "one adult toy personal entertainment device and one bottle of personal lubricant."


So he's laying there, on the front lawn, screaming from the pain of his broken leg, with a dildo and lube? Somebody get him a puzzle because he has far too much free time.

Earthquake in L.A.?

Nah ... Gord found an all-you-can-eat at the Taco Hell. Heh ...

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- A magnitude-5.4 earthquake shook the Los Angeles metropolitan area Tuesday, leaving residents rattled but causing no serious damage or injuries.


Grab some Pepto, pardner, and lay off the breakfast burritos with hot sauce.

I'm going ...

As soon as the price comes down a bit. There are three things I have to do before I die. One is going on a photo safari in Africa for a few months. Two is doing the Maine to The Keys run in a 40 foot sailing yacht with the Mrs. The last is going into space.

MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) — The space tourism race marked a milestone Monday as British mogul Sir Richard Branson and American aerospace designer Burt Rutan waved to a crowd from inside the cabin of an exotic jet that will carry a passenger spaceship to launch altitude.

The photo-op was the public unveiling of the White Knight Two mothership before a crowd of engineers, dignitaries and space enthusiasts at the Mojave Air & Space Port in the high desert north of Los Angeles.


Virgin Galactic envisions a future where space voyages will become as common as airplane travel. It wants to fly 500 people into space in the first year for $200,000 a head. If it succeeds, that would be on par with the same number of people who have gone up in 45 years of space travel.

So far, more than 250 wannabe astronauts have paid the full amount or put down a deposit to fly with Virgin Galactic, but when they will float in zero gravity is unknown. Rutan has declined to release a schedule. Virgin Galactic stopped predicting after it said in a 2004 press release that flights could begin in 2007.


Dude, I'm there. Hope they run it better than his airline though.

Can't wait ...

Until he's somebody's bitch. Hopefully he's big, black, and hung like a Clydesdale. Now that's justice!


The Justice Department has just handed down a grand jury indictment against Republican Senator Ted Stevens consisting of seven felony counts of making false statements. Basically Stevens is being charged for failing to disclose over $250,000 in gifts he received from 1999-2006, as well as improperly favoring fishing legislation that would benefit his son.


Bend over, sucka ...

Late ...

Running late this morning. Had to drop the Mrs. off at the airport. See yas after work ...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Die, bitch ...

And take Cheney with you:

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Robert Novak said today he has been diagnosed with a brain tumor but says that, “God willing,” he plans to be back at work soon.

Novak said he was diagnosed Sunday with a tumor and will soon begin treatment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.


Thanks to Mustang Bobby for the link.

Quote of the Day

PhysioProf loses his fucking mind, and rightly so:


How much money you wanna bet that this deranged fuck spent plenty of his time listening to and reading despicable sick-fuck piece-of-shit traitorious hateful scum like Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and Bill O’Reilly tell him that “libruls” have ruined America and deserve to die? Those right-wing shitbags’ hands are as bloody as if they pulled the trigger themselves.


Believe or die, bitchez!

I know the Jesus freaks are fucked up ...

But an "abstinence thong"?

And just a note: If I came across (pun?) a hottie wearing one of them in the heat of the moment, I'da chewed 'em off. If you're waiting for the jeans to come off to preach abstinence, you've already lost ...

More incompetent than the Chimp?

Headline at Crooks and Liars:

McCain ad attacks Obama for not visiting the troops by using video of Obama visiting the troops

At least the Bush team hid his incompetence until after he was 'elected'.

Compassionate Conservatism ...

Remember when those were the watchwords? Avedon has examples of how that works:


And Wendy Whitaker broke the law when, at the age of 17, she went down on her 15-year-old boyfriend (which I'm sure ruined him for life), so now she's on the sex offenders register and 11 years later being hounded out of her home while she's trying to settle down with her husband. To protect the children. And Maria Ventura broke the law by being in the country illegally, so it was just and proper that when she was arrested, here children were abandoned on the shoulder of the interstate at 2:00 in the morning.


Hey, they're the spawn of an illegal, who gives a fuck? It seems the conservatives are only compassionate toward their own, like Scooter Libby, who was 'too good a man to spend time in jail'.

As she says earlier in the post:


I can't begin to count the ways that conservatives have murdered people, from the million or so Little Nero and Big Dick are killing in Iraq and Afghanistan to those additional numbers who died when they ignored warnings of an attack from Al Qaeda, when they deliberately refused to allow relief to New Orleans, when they encouraged insurance companies to refuse lifesaving medical care to people who had already paid for it, and so on, and so on - and never mind the astonishing theft of services and a future for all those people who've lost pensions they worked to earn at Enron and the airlines and wherever else these things are going on. And these people who have destroyed so many lives will never see a day in jail.


I'm hoping Karma and Fate have a hand in holding them accountable because Justice surely won't. Justice only works when the little guy breaks the law. Being a multimillionaire and loyal political hack is a "Get Out Of Jail Free" card.

It's Monday and I'm already disgusted.

Questions ...

POP has them:


We have such a great opportunity with Senator Obama and yet it is possible that we could lose it. What’s it going to take to make everyone understand how damned important this election is for us and for the future of the United States?

Wish I knew, sister.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Circling the bowl ...

This AF fighter jock's career, that is:

One of the more dangerous phenomena in aviation is an F-16 pilot whose marksmanship is better than his situational awareness. Two soldiers discovered this on the Utah Test and Training Range one night in April 2007. An F-16 pilot lost sight of his target while rolling into a strafing run using night-vision goggles, acquired their rented GMC Suburban instead, and converted it to Swiss cheese.


Pic at the link. Ooops ...

Great thanks to Danger Room for the link.

Sausage ...

Pic stolen from Montag. Click to embiggen.

Sunday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging ...

With a Fixer twist. My people in Germany call themselves hillbillies because they live in a little town up in the mountains. This is the music I grew up listening to:

Gitti & Erika - In München steht ein Hofbraühaus

And a little American redneck music too:

BCB Band - Redneck Mother

Ever heard of a 'Sooner Dog'? That's one who'd sooner shit in the house than go outside. Heh ...

Back to drywall.

Sunday morning Mozart ...

A little Amadeus to wake you up nicely over coffee, courtesy of the New Tokyo Chamber Philharmonic, Yatsuto Kimura at the baton:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

Since Gord's out of town, I'll try to find some good redneck music later.