Saturday, February 28, 2009

Independence Day

This was a very controversial song when it came out a few years back. It's about a gal who burned her house down to get away from spousal abuse, from the point of view of her eight-year-old daughter. A lot of radio stations refused to play it, fearing perhaps correctly that other abused women might get ideas and upset the apple cart of good christian male dominance. A truly subversive song in a long tradition*, it was a huge hit. Ofishul embedding-disabled video here.

Here's the kicker. From a Planned Parenthood video at Youtube:

"Politicians never hear the verse; they only hear the chorus."

Songwriter, Gretchen Peters, took solace in those words the night her song, "Independence Day," was used to introduce Gov. Sarah Palin to the RNC. She had just finished a performance in Ft. Worth, TX, and her song — about a woman in a desperate situation — had been used by a politician who didn't know what it was about.

Heh. The moron wingtards do that a lot. The money end thinks one country song's as good as any other, just as brainless as their base, so any one will do if it has some patriotic or conservative soundin' words like 'independence' or 'let freedom ring' in it. The indisputable fact that they ain't got a fuckin' clue about anything, and particularly that 75% of us finally caught on to it, helped this country a lot in the last election.

Martina McBride is an outstanding country singer as I hope you will agree.

Thanks to Icechick65.

*Men can sing about women any way they want, but when women, particularly in country music, sing about rebelling against the way they are treated by men, the 'men' who run radio stations, church & civic 'leaders', etc., get the ass and don't want people to hear them. People hear them anyway. See also:

Kitty Wells - "It Wasn't God Who Made Honkytonk Angels"

Loretta Lynn - "The Pill" (cover); "Don't Come Home A-drinkin' (with lovin' on your mind)"

And perhaps the most murderous and funniest one ever:

The Dixie Chicks - "Goodbye Earl". Heh.

Saturday Emmylou, Woody & Arlo, The Boss, Bono, Taj Mahal, Little Richard, and John Mellencamp Music Blogging

Holy crap! This is from the end of a PBS show from '88. After I read the credits, which wasn't too hard because there are over two minutes of them, I wanted to rush right out and get the DVD! Made it all the way to the pickup when I realized I had forgotten my keys. They were in my pants pocket...

You know the song, and the sentiment may come true again after the Repugs die. They kick it up a notch at 2:46.

Thanks to WellExcuuuseMeee. Yer excuuused.

Joe's Last Train

This has been one of my favorite songs for years. I've been waiting and watching for it to come up on YouTube and thanks to Desertphile for finally doing it.

The older I get, the more I relate to the song. The best line in it, in my opinion, comes out in my head (a cacophonous, jumbled place at best) as "The bikes kept gettin' faster while poor ol' G got slow"*.

This is dedicated to all you old farts like me out there and especially my old friend Bev, who also likes this song. Also to everyone else, whom I hope will be old farts some day.

The Country Gentlemen ~ Joe's Last Train

*Fixer might hear it as „das Fahrräder gehaltene getting äder, das schneller ist, während armes ol G langsam erhielt“. Wagner instead of Bluegrass, no doubt. Babel Fish, left sidebar, is fun!

AG Holder: No more medical marijuana raids

The Political Carnival, with video.

Speaking at a press conference on Feb 25 with DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart, and reiterating a position made by the White House following DEA raids in California on February 4, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters that ending federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries "is now American policy." The Attorney General's comments are the latest sign of a sea change in federal policy that prohibits the use of medical cannabis in the thirteen states that have enacted such laws.

Easing suffering: What a socialist, pinko commie, hippie, America-hating thing to do.

Well, I'm sure that's the way the wingtards (thanks, 42) will spin it.

It will save billion$ and ease a lot of suffering, both from medical conditions and from turning people into criminals for the anti-puritanical act of smoking an herbal remedy.

Tales from the CPAC crypt

P.M.Carpenter with today's 'must read'.

One of the many pleasant aftereffects of ultraconservatism's crackup is the retirement of a civic need for appalled spectators to demonize its out-patient disciples -- or whacko-ize them, if you will -- because they're doing such a marvelous job of it all by themselves.

Heh. They're starting to do to themselves what we've been doing for years. There's never been a doubt in my mind, and they're proving we were right all along. I feel so, so, vindicated! Life is good...

"Man, this CPAC thing is crazy," observed Mr. Samuel Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. Joe the Plumber, to fellow attendee Mike Huckabee -- and that's probably the sanest thing we'll ever hear Sam/Joe utter. With concise but tragically fleeting lucidity, he captured the moment, the spirit, the zeitgeisty degeneration of his semi-philosophical compadres.

Sam/Joe Wurzelbacher/Plumber was, as the Politico reported, "a headliner at a Thursday panel titled 'Conservatism 2.0.' " A headliner, mind you: an itinerant, breathtakingly clueless bullshitter was a CPAC-Chosen One to enlighten the multitudes on the fundamentals of conservatism. Breathtaking indeed.

Much, much more. All the usual suspects, some conspicuous by their absence. These assholes even embarrass other Repugs! No small feat.

The CPAC cluelessness is sorta funny in a creepy scary way.


From Steaming Pile's diary at Kos:

If I were the chairman of the Republican National Committee, I would assume that I had an open invitation to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, a meeting of the rightest of the right held in Washington every year about this time. I would express my deepest concern over what this conference is doing to my party, and express it in as blunt of terms as possible, all the better to make the attendees understand what I was about to say. It would go something like this:

Fellow conservatives, each year, you descend upon Washington, D.C., and each year you invite the most divisive, shrill, ridiculous, and downright dangerous people to speak. If I remember correctly, Ann Coulter was here last year, and you all gave her a standing ovation after she said, "(the usual Ann-speak that gets people riled up)" This year, you are giving an award to a man who has said he hopes President Obama fails before a live radio audience of millions.


So please, for the love of God, get the hell out of here and quit stinking up the place while there is still a Republican Party to defend. Just go. And don't let the door hit you on your asses on your way out. Thank you.

Of course, I am not the chairman of the RNC, and I doubt the actual chairman of the RNC would have the stones to deliver remarks like this to a bunch of right-wing crazies exactly one rung higher (? - G) on Darwin's Ladder than the Ku Klux Klan. So instead of expressing concern that will either fall upon deaf ears or provoke hostility, I'll rejoin you all in the cheap seats, order another beer and some nachos, and watch the implosion of the Republican Party in progress.

And a fine spectacle it is!

Things have certainly changed

I think my Marine Corps has gotten a lot more, er, how do I say this in a politically correct way, same sex socially progressive since my day. In Ye Olde Corps we only did this if there were no girls to dance with. And never in dress blues in public! Unless, of course, alcohol was involved.

Tell the AG: Rove must testify


Here is my 'additional message':

I know what happens if I Fail To Appear in my local court - a bench warrant is issued and I am arrested and hauled into court in handcuffs and leg irons. Why is Rove any different?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Rant Blogging

I'm sure we've all heard that the Obama administration is reversing the GHW Bush ruling, started in 1989 in the wake of the invasion of Panama to oust Noriega (sound familiar?).

Pentagon to allow photos of U.S. war dead

I think this is fine. They deserve recognition for their sacrifice if their families, not neocon presidents, see fit.

One thing - these are not pictures of 'war dead'. They are photos of highly sanitized flag-draped aluminum containers that contain corpses or parts of corpses.

I have a suggestion. Put helmet cams on Army medics and Navy medical corpsmen. Little lipstick cams with a real-time satellite uplink. Raw footage available 24/7.

See what they see and hear what they hear. Watch what these first responders do to try to save lives while the shooting is going on all around them. Hear men who have just had their legs blown off scream for their mothers. Let people see a 20-year-old medic, not a surgeon but trying to do a surgeon's job on his knees in the dirt, try to stuff a man's intestines or brains back in, or put a man's jaw back on. Show the look that comes over a soldier's face as he bleeds out and dies. Listen to very brave men cry when a soldier or Marine, or a hundred of them, die in their arms because there's no power on earth that could have saved them no matter how hard they tried.

Maybe, just maybe, if enough people heard and saw this stuff they'd realize that war is the absolute most serious thing a nation can do and the decision to go to war is not to be left up to one man and a radical cabal to be used for political, imperialistic, and monetary gain.

That is exactly what Bush1 and his moron spawn were trying to keep people from thinking about when they refused to allow pictures of aluminum boxes. Fill people's heads with 'patriotism' and 'spreading democracy' and baseless fear and other bullshit propaganda so they'll get behind the crimes their so-called 'leaders' are perpetrating.

War is last-ditch, in extremis, save-our-ass shit and had better be saved as the last resort danger-close final protective fires, and only when all else fails. Our young warriors, and thank God for them, would charge Hell with a bucket of water if we told them to, and we had better be damned careful in future not to send them off to die for nothing like in Iraq.

One of our esteemed readers said it's Friday and I should chill. OK. Here's a little light entertainment for a Friday afternoon:

"...akin to FDR's New Deal rolled into Lyndon Johnson's Great Society"

Even though I am absolutely dazzled by most of the stuff OUR President has done so far and the sheer speed of it, both to undo The Bush Darktime and fast-forward the future, I would never gush about him like Mark Morford does. But I'll sure as shit link to him so you can go read!

[...] "Oh my God, did we really do it? Is that lucid, impeccably centered man really the leader of the free world?"

You can even take it a tiny step further. You can, as I recently did, glance up at the screen during Obama's congressional address and see not only a young, composed, African American president speaking to the populace in more thoughtful, articulate language than we've heard in a decade, but also note that he happens to be surrounded by a female Speaker of the House and a female Secretary of State and a smart, funny VP who, refreshingly, is not a sneering warmongering torture fanatic who enjoys sucking the blood from live baby sharks.

I mean, good Lord, what sort of astonishing snapshot is this? Two strong, powerful women and a deeply graceful black president? What country is this again?

(If, for some reason, you're also feeling a bit masochistic, you can take these moments to imagine how it might be if John McCain were the president right now, and Sarah Palin was right there next to him, grinning and winking like a truck-stop Barbie, and just how violently unstable and sour and doomed you would feel. Fun!)

Maybe longtime pundit David Gergen said it best when he noted that Obama's agenda is more than merely a stack of dramatic, expensive proposals. It's actually more akin to FDR's New Deal rolled into Lyndon Johnson's Great Society; the grand sum of what Obama is attempting to do just so happens to be "the greatest political drama in our lifetime."

This seems to be the bottom line, at least for now. We have, for the first time in just about forever, an enormously ambitious, confident, risk-taking president so full of grand and even borderline radical ideas they barely fit into a single generation, much less a single speech, and we have him at a time when we need, well, someone exactly like that.

I agree. Please enjoy the rest.

One Flew Over the CPAC’s Nest


"Alright, you maniacs, you lunatics, after checking out effin' freaks like Joe the Plumber and John Bolton, you're now qualified to run for president on the Republican platform."

"Attention all CPAC attendees, it's time for your meds."

Make it a double dose of something lethal. It's the only thing that will cure them and put an end to crap like this:

John Bolton at CPAC: The Benefits of Nuking Chicago
When I saw him doing that, I told Mrs. G that if I ever got close enough to him to do it, I'd punch his fuckin' lights out. She said so would she.


Make it a triple dose. Make that syringe smoke!:

McConnell: ‘Who wants to hang out with guys like Paul Krugman…when you can be with Rush Limbaugh!’

These Repug CPAC-suckin' morons make pond scum look like a higher life form.

"Harnesses the awesome power of the word 'clean'!"

From thisisreality and This Is


Raw Story

Beware the "greenwash."

That's the underlying message of famed filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen's latest side-project: A television commercial lampooning the myth of "clean" coal through the visual metaphor of an air freshener that spews black smoke.

I should have known! This ad has 'Coen brothers' stamped all over it!

You know the Rethugs are finished ...

When this asshole is a keynote speaker at CPAC:


Last year President Bush and Cheney were the stars of the event. And Mitt Romney chose the conference to announce that he was suspending his campaign.

This year, Cheney and Bush are off the agenda, replaced by ghosts of the campaign trail like Joe the Plumber (Joe Wurzelbacher) and documentarian John Ziegler, who has been making the rounds to restore Sarah Palin's self-imposed media debacle with his documentary "Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted." And of course Rush Limbaugh will be there as the biggest draw. [my em]


Joe the Plumber, Sarah Palin, and Bobby Jindal. If these are the poster children of the conservative movement, you might as well start digging the hole now. The sad part is, they'd still get a quarter to a third of the votes.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thursday Bonus Emmylou Blogging

Man, I gotta chill from all the Jindal shit. My sides hurt. What better way than to watch and listen to Emmylou doing Steve Earle and Hank Williams? Hmmmm. That mighta come out wrong...

Emmylou Harris & The Nash Ramblers ~ Guitar Town & Half As Much

Thank you to GainControlAgain.

On Jindal: "I peed myself!"


One day after delivering the official Republican response to President Obama's address to Congress, Gov. Bobby Jindal received high marks for cheering up a recession-weary nation that has not had a good laugh in months.

Across the country, Americans of all walks of life gave thanks to Gov. Jindal for giving them the most precious gift of all: the gift of laughter.

"They say that laughter is the best medicine," said Toledo housewife Carol Foyler. "If that's the case, Bobby Jindal is just what the doctor ordered."

Tracy Klugian, a computer technician in Modesto, California, responded to Gov. Jindal's speech in a way that was echoed by many others: "I peed myself."

The Republican National Committee applauded Gov. Jindal for his performance, and announced that the official GOP response to the president's radio address would be delivered by Carrot Top.

We are laughing the Repugs into the ground over that moron Jindal! That's a good thing, and we've damn sure got a little levity comin' after the last eight years. It'll be over soon and we'll be back in the trenches, but I'm going to enjoy it for as long as it lasts.

Ode To Bobby “Kenneth the Page” Jindal

OK, I'm workin' Jiveass like a redheaded stepchild. It's sooooo easy and I'm havin' a real good time, too! I'll quit eventually, but as St. Augustine of Hippo said:

"Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet"

Mad Kane

I hate to pile on to the Bobby-Jindal-channeled-Kenneth-the-Page assault. Okay I lied … I just love to pile on.

Ode To Bobby “Kenneth the Page” Jindal
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Dear Bobby, is Kenneth your twin?
From your voices, I’d swear you were kin.
You’re the GOP’s best?
Then the GOP’s quest
For the White House is done — you can’t win.

But you should try. It would be the last nail in the Repugs' coffin.


A 'Quote of the Day' from "Kenneth The Page" Responds To Bobby Jindal Comparison (VIDEO):

"This Jindal guy sounds like a real goober."

Oh, this is just so good...


The quote above should read:

"This Jindal guy sounds like a real goober...natorial representative."

Da Goobernator! Even better!

O mais non, mon Prez!

From President Obama's speech the other night:

As for our auto industry, everyone recognizes that years of bad decision-making and a global recession have pushed our automakers to the brink. We should not, and will not, protect them from their own bad practices. But we are committed to the goal of a re-tooled, re-imagined auto industry that can compete and win. Millions of jobs depend on it. Scores of communities depend on it. And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it (my em).

That implies that the automobile was invented in the United States. It was not.

I typed 'history of the automobile' into the Google and the very first of 367,000,000 responses was at Wiki, surprise, surprise. Fascinating stuff, but even if we limit 'automobile' to Internal Combustion Engine-powered rigs, we get:

Early experimenters using gasses included in 1806, Swiss engineer François Isaac de Rivaz who built an internal combustion engine powered by a hydrogen and oxygen mixture and in 1826, Samuel Brown who tested his hydrogen-fuelled internal combustion engine by using it to propel a vehicle up Shooter's Hill in south east London.

A few responses farther along came the question, "Who invented the automobile?". They came up with the same answer Mrs. G did:

If we had to give credit to one inventor, it would probably be Karl Benz from Germany.

A Kraut. Figures.

Here in the U.S. we developed the automobile certainly, such things as the assembly line, intermittent windshield wipers, and the easily-removable back seat pour l'amour, but we didn't invent the damn things.

Am I the only one who picked up on this absolute factual error by Obama? You'd think the wingnuts would be all over it like the itchy unsightly rash they are and use it as a talking point to try to negate Obama's whole speech, vision, agenda, his legitimacy as President, and yea, his entire existence.

Mrs. G says they're not as bright as they used to be. She's right again. And, yes, we're old enough to remember smart Repugs.

Jindal Is Batshit Insane

From Mike Kuykendall, aka 'indigentahole'. Heh.

Yes, I said it. That's not even snark- I can conclusively prove it. Ready?

Link is to a piece by Max Blumenthal:

Did you know about the exorcism? The name that came from The Brady Bunch? Those and other surprising facts about one of America’s fastest rising young politicians.

Mr. Kuykendall concludes:

Anyone who can thinks they helped exorcise a demon in college needs to be kept as far away from the Football as possible. I mean, George W. Bush was bad, but at least he seemed like a half-hearted fundamentalist, at best. This guy seems to deeply believe some of the most outlandish supernatural tenets of Catholicism, as well as thinking he has a duty to exorcise convulsing friends instead of doing what every parent teaches their child to do in the same circumstance; call 911.

We don't need any more right-wing religious nutjobs with identity and daddy issues. We tried that already. Doesn't work, to say the least.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

Continuing the nationwide smackdown of Little Bobby Jiveass, Jon Stewart addresses Jindal's moronic response to President Obama's speech.

Late ...

I woke up late and then had to gas up the cars. In lieu of my incoherent ranting, listen to this. It'll get your morning (and your feet) started.

The Spinners - Rubberband Man

Dig the outfits. Heh ...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hey, where ya gonna go when de volcano blow?*

I was so dazzled by Nucks' abso-fuckin'-lutely excellent post that Fixer linked to (Don't miss it! He gives Jiveass Jindal what for!) that I went looking for stuff. Here's a really cool interactive map of about 24 volcanoes on the Wes' Coas'. I tried to put it in here but it was waaay too big.

I can sometimes see Mt. Lassen, 114 miles away, from Martis Peak Lookout. Scroll down at the 'Lassen' link for a cool rotating panoramic view.

There's a couple of 'em down by the Mexican border, but I drive right through the Long Valley Caldera every time I go to L.A.

Here's a little of what the USGS has to say about future eruptions in that area:

Although the chance of a volcanic eruption in any given year is small, future eruptions will occur in the Long Valley area. Because volcanic unrest can escalate to an eruption in a few weeks or less, USGS scientists are closely monitoring activity in this region. To be able to provide the public with reliable and timely warnings before an eruption, the USGS has joined local and State authorities in developing procedures for responding to changing levels of volcanic unrest in the Long Valley area. The ongoing work of the USGS Volcano Hazards Program in this and other volcanic regions of the United States helps to better protect people's lives and property from volcano hazards.

Check out the USGS Volcanic Hazards Program. Complete with live web cams! Right now they're monitoring a volcano in Alaska that's fixin' ta pop that Moosebreath can see from her house.

Jindal thinks this shit is Librul pork? I got a #10 can of jalapeños that I volunteer to shove up his ass open end first to teach him a little about volcanoes. I'm glad a little of my money is going for this stuff. It's my back yard too, and I wanta know which way to run and how far.

Is JJ against spending money to monitor conditions and warn his constituents about impending natural phenomena too? Not that they ever have those in Hurricane Alley. Or is he just such an ignorant backwoods Repuglickin' coon-ass swamp fuck that he's either never heard there are volcanoes in this country, or else he wants the Left Coast blown off the map?

Or did he just pick a line out of the stim that sounded like no one would climb his frame for it? Note to Jiveass-jee: There's about 40,000,000 Americans that live within range of volcanoes, dumbass. Ya fucked up, and I hope you get the prez nom in '12 too. Or vice-prez nom under Moosebreath, better yet. Your defeat will be the end of you both, we'll be rid of you, and the nation will be safe from your ignorant Repug ideology for a generation. It'll take that long to fix all your Repug fuckups anyway.

A quote from 'Nucks. My sentiments exactly:

Damn, I certainly would hate for your ass to pay one fucking nickel for any monitoring, ya know.

Kiss my ass you ignorant fuck.

*And thank you Jimmy Buffett!

Run, Bobby, Run

I hope he gets the Rethug nom in '12. Seems he's already alienated the folks in 5 states. At the least, he's pissed Nucks off:


Back to the subject here, Mr. Jindal, have you ever heard of a called Seattle?

How about Mt. Rainier?


Shut Yer Fucking Mouth about things you have no clue about, eh?


Lots, lots more at the link, being there's a volcano in Nucks' backyard and he knows a lot about 'em. Seems to me, we ain't spending enough to monitor Mother Nature.

"But I miss the feeling ...

... of people's lips on my ass."

What the fuck? Is he fucking Al Bundy or something? The Chimp's got nothing to do, so he slums with the locals. He's as bad as the retired old men who sit around the shop and watch me work.


[C]ustomers arriving for an organic gardening class — and even store employees — were surprised Saturday when the [former Boy King] showed up to, um, shop. According to the store, Bush walked in around 11 a.m. wearing his presidentin’ outfit: a bomber jacket with the presidential seal on the left breast and his name on the right. Accompanied by a small Secret Service detail, Bush signed autographs and posed for photos.*


You were the leader of the free world, man. Get a fucking grip.

*Quoted from Maru, as if you couldn't tell, so it might not be quite verbatim but you get the picture. Heh ...

Krugman Jindal Response: GOP Has Become 'The Party Of Beavis And Butthead'


The full gamut of punditry had little praise for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's rebuttal speech Tuesday night. Notably, Nobel laureate economist Paul Krugman, responding to the flak Jindal gave high-speed rail and volcano-monitoring, has labeled the GOP 'the party of Beavis and Butthead':

From Krugman:

And leaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.

The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.

Jindal and McCain. Heh. They left out Moosebreath. If we're goin' with ridiculous cartoon characters, I'll go with the catastrophically dissipated Betty Boop-ish bimbo Toot Braunstein from 'Drawn Together'.

Bush Dine 'n Dash

This comes under the heading of "ya can't make this shit up!". Luckily, we don't have to!

ERUSALEM — It may be known as Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's last scandal. If it isn't settled soon, the brewing controversy also has the potential to become the first diplomatic dust-up between President Barack Obama and America's strongest Middle East ally.

At issue is an unpaid $320 bill for dinner with a White House advance team at a restaurant near Olmert's official residence.

"It's embarrassing for me to have to go to the White House," co-owner Shahar Levy told Israel's newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. "But for this amount of meat and alcohol, they need to pay me."

Perhaps they feel it is an honor to be stiffed by Bush's posse. Oy. Welcome to the club, Shahar.

This time!

Cheyenne Scouts Patrolling The Big Timber Of The North Canadian, Oklahoma
Frederic Sackrider Remington, 1889

Click to wayembiggen

During President Obama's speech, he made no bones about the fact that this is Bush's Depression that he inherited. He kept using the phrase "This time" which I took to mean that we're going to do something different when giving money to banks instead of just giving money to banks.

Anyway, it brought to mind something I thought up, or maybe stole, years ago. I have a very cheap reproduction of the above painting hanging on my living room wall. Mrs. G paid eight bucks for it at the local Methodist Church rummage sale about 15 years ago. I've always liked it, as well as just about anything else by Remington, and more by many other Western artists.

I didn't even know the name of the painting until I went looking for it to share it with you. I've always just called it "This Time!" and made up this caption for it:

"We're going to do things different this time. This time, we're gonna ride down there and steal the cattle and make love to the women!"

Certainly not exact, but I think it's analagous to Obama trying to do things the right way as opposed to the way Bush did it.

"Damn that Lincoln. Abe's to blame for Jindal"

Mercifully, I dozed off during Jindal's throwback talking point response to President Obama's speech last night. I didn't miss anything. I knew what he was going to say and he said it. Stepped on his weenie big time too and I'm enjoying hearing the reactions to him, especially from some of the Repugs who may finally realize the deep shit they're in if that jingoistic little jiveass is the best up-and-comer they got. Heh.

Greg Palast

Damn that Abe Lincoln. When Louisiana and Mississippi seceded from the Union, a sensible president would have sent them a box of chocolates with a note, "Goodbye and good riddance."

Jindal, and some other Republican governors, notably Haley Barbour of Mississippi, are actually turning down millions in federal funds for their own state's unemployed out of fear that, four years from now, they may have to maintain full unemployment insurance like the rest of America.

As an economist, I can tell you that the only industry Mississippi leads in is deep-fried chicken-dog manufacturing. I will admit that Louisiana and Mississippi can boast of growing employment at several casinos and cathouses spilling across what the locals charmingly call the "Coon-ass Riviera." Jindal's Louisiana is, after all, the state that solved its unemployment problem by sending its unemployed to Texas in FEMA trailers.

Smart. Make thousands of homeless and unemployed leave the state = no homeless and unemployed! Our state's doin' just fine, thank you.

Jindal himself is a product of a more advanced culture: His parents are Democrats. The Jindals are Hindus who come from the Punjab in India, a state known for its welfare safety net. Jindal, turning away from the successful example of his parents' politics and culture, has gone native, becoming a born-again Christian Republican who doesn't accept Darwinian evolution nor Keynesian economics. (I hear he may complete his redneck makeover next week by marrying his cousin at a tractor pull.)

Sounds like Jindal has the same kind of daddy complex as George Bush. Oh fucking swell. I think we know how that works out.

Years back, when I worked as an economic consultant to New Orleans, the Louisiana State Legislature was about to require that schools teach evolution as merely a theory equal to the Bible's literal creation myth. When asked if this would harm big employers' views of the state, I said, "Not at all: most national employers think of Louisiana as a state filled with Bible-thumping, dumb-bell rednecks. You won't have to worry about changing that impression."

OK, it's easy to make jokes about America's own Third World states. And before I get a zillion complaints, I'll be the first one to note that Louisiana has birthed the extraordinary, including the greatest of America's investigative journalists, the late Ron Ridenhour, jazz, Ruth Chris' Steakhouse, and gris-gris. And it was Louisiana that long ago led the nation in social reform, whose governor in 1932 led the national fight to create a program now known as "unemployment insurance." Really.

Nevertheless, Jindal's rejection of funds for his state's own unemployed simply follows a history of local Republican plantation-mentality cruelty. [...]

Now, once again, the Republican Party, by making Jindal the party's official spokesman, is adopting the Barbourous refusal to reach out a saving hand to Americans drowning in this economy.

So, let me make a suggestion for Governors Jindal and Barbour. If you cannot join America in accepting our President's call to arms against disaster, if you reject our President's State of the Union -- then leave the Union.

I think it would do just as well to exempt those states from paying federal income tax. And also exempt them from receiving any of ours.

A 'comment':

There once was a cracker named Hollis
Who used animals for his solace.
His children had scales
And prehensile tales
And voted for Governor Wallace. (c. 1966)

Jindal is planning to run for President, I think it's safe to say. Let him. If he's the best the Repugs can do, we're safe.

If the money guys hate it ...

It must be a good idea:

Yesterday, Nancy Pelosi announced that a housing bill which could come up for a vote this week would include the "cram-down" provision, which would allow bankruptcy judges to modify the terms of mortgages for borrowers on their primary residence (currently judges have the ability to do this on secondary residences). This is an important provision, which most economists believe will be the best tool homeowners can have for them to stay in their homes, and for lenders to agree to loan modifications. The banksters hate this idea, mainly because they know it would blow the whistle on their consistent violations of the spirit and the letter of the Truth In Lending Law, in their mania to lock as many people into mortgages as possible without regard for ability to pay, so they could sell those mortgages on as securities, and so on and so forth. This ultimately is the fault of the lender, who are clearly the irresponsible ones in the whole scenario. [my em]


Spot on. You can't tell me that these guys didn't take advantage of human nature. Whenever I take out a construction loan (I'm using their money while mine makes more interest than their loan costs), I'm besieged with questions: "Are you sure you don't want to take more, Mr. Fixer? You know you can borrow up to 150% of the value of your house; don't you? You certainly qualify." And they look at me like I'm crazy when I decline.

That's the thing they counted on; people accepting whatever the mortgage lenders say they can afford. Who wouldn't want the best home possible to raise their family? Who wouldn't want their kids to live in a nice neighborhood and go to good schools, given the opportunity? Now, when this house of cards is falling down, they point the finger at those who "bought homes they couldn't afford". As if Joe & Jane the Homebuyer held a gun to the banker's head and forced him to offer the loan.

I remember the first time I tried to buy a brand new car. It was 1981, I was 19, had a steady job (U.S. Air Force), and paid my bills and I tried to get a car loan. $6995 for a Chevy Chevette (remember those shitboxes?) and was laughed out of every dealership and bank I went to. Even the Military Credit Union wouldn't give me a loan. In hindsight, I wouldn't have given me a loan either (A nineteen year old kid in the service spends too much money on beer and pussy).

Now, a guy making $35K a year, the sole breadwinner in a family of four, is not a candidate for a mortgage on a $500K McMansion by any rational measure (let alone the loans they wrote for 'flippers'; those who suddenly thought they were Bob Vila and bought second and third homes for profit), yet mortgage bankers wrote hundreds of thousands of them. While I'd question the homeowner's judgment for accepting, it is up to the bank to assure the buyer is qualified to pay. These 'bad mortgages' or 'Big Shitpile' were nothing more than a means to an end; a vehicle with which the banks could make more money.

The bankers have to feel some pain for it was their bad judgment that got us into this mess. Akin to giving a 2 year old a loaded pistol and telling him to have at it. They can't be allowed to divest themselves of all these bad loans without loss at the taxpayers' expense. It is the reason the stock market is taking these big hits lately; because they all see their profits and perks evaporating as the President calls for actual responsibility, not the lip service the concept of "responsibility for one's actions" has been given for the last decade.

The banks are responsible for a lot of the mess we're in now and they know it, and they don't want to step up and take their medicine. They have gotten enough of our money and have been allowed to use it for everything but what it was intended for. Their corporate boards are still seated and their CEOs still have jobs, and they are back with their hands out. It's time for a little giveback before they're allowed to take any more. It's time for the banks to voluntarily modify the bad mortgages they wrote in return for taxpayer help and if they don't, they should be forced to.

As regulars around here know, I'm not one for nationalizing anything* (the government sucks at running businesses) but if the banks won't cooperate than tough shit. We're on the balls of our ass and these idiots think they can walk away from this unscathed. I applaud Mr. Conyers for trying to make sure they don't.

*With the exception of health care, wherein all of the HMOs and pharmaceutical firms should become property of the U.S. government.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Bitch! Dyke! Faghag! Whore!"

No, not you, Congressman (R - Anywhere). This is art!

EssEffChron Theater Section:

"I've been young for an incredibly long time," says New York performance artist Penny Arcade, "and I've eked out that imposture longer than most people are able to." That makes it all the more fitting that the onetime Warhol Factory superstar is making her full-scale San Francisco theatrical debut with a show in which she talks about sex and art, surrounds herself with professional erotic dancers, and performs a striptease to a reading of Lenny Bruce's classic obscenity speech.

That's a little scary! I like older gals, but...


Toking Points


Reporting from Sacramento -- Could Cannabis sativa be a salvation for California's fiscal misfortunes? Can the state get a better budget grip by taxing what some folks toke?

An assemblyman from San Francisco announced legislation Monday to do just that: make California the first state in the nation to tax and regulate recreational marijuana in the same manner as alcohol.

He's gonna get 'so much resistance from behind'. Read on.

Anti-drug groups are anything but amused by the idea of California collecting a windfall from the leafy herb that remains illegal under federal law.

But the biggest boon might be to the bottom line. By some estimates, California's pot crop is a $14-billion industry, putting it above vegetables ($5.7 billion) and grapes ($2.6 billion). If so, that could mean upward of $1 billion in tax revenue for the state each year.

"I'm a martini guy myself," Ammiano said. "But I think it's time for California to . . . look at this in a truly deliberative fashion."

He sees the possibility of an eventual truce in the marijuana wars with Barack Obama now in the White House.

A White House spokesman declined to discuss Ammiano's legislation, instead pointing to a transition website that says the president "is not in favor of the legalization of marijuana."

Several cities in California and around the nation have adopted laws making marijuana the lowest law enforcement priority, including Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Denver and Seattle.

I would like to see Lawn Guyland added to that list. It pains me no end that my pal Fixer is a criminal simply because he likes to smoke his vegetables...

This measure will no doubt fail. This time. Maybe next time too, but eventually ...

Go read the rest. Many links, including a couple to the 'Food' section. Heh.



It also has the backing of Betty Yee, who chairs the state Board of Equalization, which collects taxes in California. An analysis by the agency concluded the state would collect $1.3 billion a year from tax revenues and a $50-an-ounce levy on retail sales if marijuana were legal.

Sounds kinda steep, but still cheaper than lawyers, court costs, fines, jail time, and a criminal record. Fixer will have to fix a lot of Fiats to pay the taxes on those bales...

Repugs are all assholes. Duh.


Jim Bunning on his prediction that
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg would drop dead
soon and be replaced with a wing-nut

Quote of the Day два

A comment on a piece in Think Progress about Bush's mis-speaking tour on how he kept us 'safe':

“kept the country safe for more than seven years”

Unfortunately he was President for eight years. It’s like saying falling off an 80 story building is perfectly safe for more than 79 stories.

And then, splat.

And that one teensy little attack he let slip by? Well, he didn't start trying to prevent them 'til the next day so it doesn't count. To be fair, and it's as fair as I care to be to him, his bumbling efforts foiled a few attacks that would have never succeeded, like the pizza delivery clowns in New Jersey, and the morons in Miami that were recruited to get busted, stuff like that.

He better thank his lucky stars the real terrorists were happy with the results of 9/11 and are content to wait a while before the next one.

Footage of US troops training for D-day uncovered

Telegraph (UK)

Unseen footage of American soldiers training for the D-day landings in North Devon during the Second World War has been unearthed by an amateur historian.

If you're as fascinated by WWII footage as I am, go see this. Article and short video excerpt.

Why Condi's Memoirs Will Be Three Volumes

Tony Peyser

Because she's told so many lies,
An editor must've said, "Look
There's no way to spin them all
If you're only writing one book."

I guess it's the same theory as spreading the manure over the whole garden rather than leaving it in one big pile.

Quote of the Day

Maru on Sarah Palin's latest whine fest about the media being unfair to her:


Howard "Screamin'" Dean, Al "I invented the internet" Gore, serial rapist Bill Xlintoon and his murdering lesbian wife Hitlary could not be reached for comment. Socialist commie B. HUSSEIN Osama and his Muslim baby-mama were too busy terrist fistjabbing to make a statement.

The defense rests.

Questions and Answers ...

POP haz them:

I just have to wonder, what is the point of the Republicans fighting President Obama every step of the way? Would they rather see our country totally experience a financial meltdown than maybe just give a little and put their politics aside? [my em]


That would be a "yes", darlin'. Personally, I think they have something big to hide and they'd rather let us go under than have it exposed. Too many of 'em would go to jail if it were. I'm dying to know what it is.


And for a well thought out answer (as opposed to my early morning wisecracks), go see the Oracle of Well Thought Out.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Whorage ...

Check out my 42-inch Brain. Heh ...

Click to embiggen.

Got my flatscreen up plus some decorating in the house.

And what it's like to be an anal German.

Wingnut Welfare Drying Up

Obviously a regular reader of the Brain, Paul Krugman follows up on Fixer's post:

From the Journal:

The jobless rate is hanging high — for many of the roughly 3,000 political appointees who served President George W. Bush. Finding work has proved a far tougher task than those appointees expected.

OK, let’s have our minute of Schadenfreude … now let’s talk about why this is significant.

As an economist, I’m supposed to believe in incentives; and the remarkable cohesiveness of conservatives has a lot to do with incentives.

Show some independence, and you’ll face a lavishly financed primary challenge from the Club for Growth. Be a loyal soldier, and you will be taken care of — through what’s commonly referred to as “wingnut welfare.”

Thus, lose an election, and a think tank with the usual funding sources will create an America’s Enemies program for you to direct. Mess up the occupation of Iraq, and you’ll be appointed to run the World Bank; mess up there, and there’s still a chair waiting for you at AEI.

But it appears that wingnut welfare is breaking down when it comes to former Bush officials. Is this the beginning of the end for movement conservatism?

Some 'comments':

No, its just the beginning of the ‘George W. wasn’t a real conservative’ campaign (so conservatism can’t be blamed for his mistakes).

Maybe there’s just too many of them to deal with. It’s like being faced with an ally’s refugees when a crisis hits.

Re-education camps, perhaps?

Ah, yesssss...

Perhaps not for conservatism; the beliefs of conservatives have withstood reality for generations, and almost certainly will continue to do so.

Nothing makes me happier than knowing 2,000 passively evil idots who sold out their country can’t find work. I invite them to go to Iraq and look for opportunities there. Fox keeps saying there’s a big democratic success story there.

I think three million Iraqi widows will be delighted to see them.

Many more.

In related rumors, former Bush appointees are queuing up for space under bridges in the better conservative suburbs and rural districts with Wal-Marts (possible employment?), an increasing number of beat-up Lexuses are being seen with their back seats folded down to provide sleeping space, and refrigerator cartons are going for record prices on the spot market.


Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Tax Cuts in Stimulus Will Offer Immediate Help
They'll help pay higher state taxes.

There's nothing wrong with your set. That sobbing sound is coming from me.

Neanderthal Genome Mapping Near Completion
So far it closely resembles genome of humans who don't believe Neanderthals ever existed.

Furious CNBC Reporter Blames Low Income Homebuyers for Crisis
Apparently they consistently tricked the world's largest financial institutions into lending them money.


Mr. Peanut, 93
Of salmonella poisoning.

Marijuana Legalization More Popular than Key Conservative Leaders

Matthew Yglesias

Needless to say, support for marijuana legalization is pretty much a “fringe” view in national politics. And it certainly doesn’t have majority support. And yet put it in perspective and this is what you get.

To further put it in perspective, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if hemorrhoids are more popular than Conservative Leaders. I know they have more socially redeeming qualities.

Stimulus ...

We were out stimulating the economy on Long Island all weekend getting stuff for the new construction (Home Depot was happy to see us after 2 weeks vacation "About time you showed up; we had to lay off three people since you been gone.") and installing some of the lighting. I was also hanging artwork ("A little to the left; no, a little to the right; no, up a little, no down a little."), and wiring the entertainment center. Oy!

So, while I'm doing all this, I had CNN on as background noise and I hear the Rethug 4, the governors who say they won't accept the stimulus money, with their made-up excuses for not taking federal largess. I wonder if the residents of their respective states feel the same way and will remember come Election Day.

I'm with our Senator Schumer (a first) that whatever money they don't take should be spread to the states who do. Fuck 'em. The sad thing is, I know Louisiana could benefit from the cash, so could Mississippi, and I feel for the folks in those states but hey, you elected these assholes. We can use the scratch.

That said, I got an infrastructure project for ya. My street. Jesus H. Christ, I haven't seen it this bad in 35 years. Good god, driving home is like taking a lap on the Goodyear test track. I asked Mrs. F yesterday, as we're approaching the house and I swerve to miss a crater, "Hey, baby, how long have we been living on the Moon?." Hey, Suffolk County Department of Public Works, Barry gave you the bread; start paving, mofos.

Off to work. Construction pics later.

If there was any doubt ...

The 'justice' process at Guantanamo was a flawed, kangaroo-esque, endeavor, this should assuage them:


Seven prosecutors have resigned from the military commissions process in protest. These aren't bleeding heat liberal hippies --- they're prosecutors. And from this man's account, these prosecutions are so tainted by disorganization alone that it's nearly impossible to imagine that justice can be done.


Indeed. For a JAG lawyer to resign, let alone seven of them, the moral outrage must be pretty high. I hope Obama puts an end to this quickly. It is a bloody, festering sore on the ass of America.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Holbrooke on Clustereffistan

Don't miss this. Runs about 40 minutes.

"We don' gotta play you no stinkin' chicken songs..."

...but we will. A song about a man on a mission and the baddest fighting chicken ever 'til he met a badder one, by one of the best singer-songwriters out there! And believe me, 'out there' ain't far off the mark. I'm a huge fan. A little commentary after the song as well.

Tom Russell ~ Gallo del Cielo

Note: Since Dave Alvin mentioned "Blue Wing", you can hear Tom sing it to a bunch of truly misconfused Norwegians by looking for it in the thumbnails at the end of the video, or here.

Thanks to johntaine, who makes and sells DVDs you may be interested in.

Ice Ice Baby

This one's for MandT because all theirs melted. It's raining today and this one's melting too.

Click to embiggen.

"Almost level, West Virginia"

Watch this.

Thank you to HeadOnRadioNetwork. These folks are good Americans and subversives.