Saturday, March 7, 2009

Hillary gives Russkies wrong Red Button!

The Swamp

What's a little humor between Doomsday players?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went for a little joke today about resetting relations with the Russians, but it turned out the joke was on her.

Clinton, presenting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a gift-wrapped "reset" button, called the "little gift" symbolic of what President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have been saying about the U.S. and Russia.

""We want to reset our relationship," she said.

Yet something may have been lost in translation in the gift before closed-door talks in Geneva. The word on the button was meant to say "reset" in Russian.

"We worked hard to get the right Russian word," Clinton told Lavrov. "Do you think we got it?"

"You got it wrong," Lavrov replied - the word actually means "overcharge.''

"We won't let you do that to us," Clinton said, with the two laughing.

Shit, anybody can confuse перезапуск* and перезаряд. I do it all the time. Those may not be the exact words they got confused, but given the literary license I have proclaimed for myself, sort of borrowing from Bush, the 'unitary smartass' theory, they're close enough.

I'm glad Hil and the Russian gent got such a good laugh over an object that has come to symbolize nuclear holocaust. Laughter is a good thing, and if the joke was on Hil, so what? She's a good sport and we need a little levity after Bush's Russian 'policy' of 'Let's have a new Cold War! Whee!'.

I think we should get many, many copies of the button with 'overcharge' on it and give them out to Bush and the Repugs' corporate and financial cronies, from Wall Street to Blackwater and beyond. I think we should also wire the buttons, so if they push them...Poof! Then we can 'reset'.

*Sounds like trying to get yer car started with the help of the gardener - "Hey, Perez, poooosh!"

Saturday Central Coast Redneck Music Blogging

Some nice scenery along California's Central Coast from about Santa Barbara to Salinas. I think the train is Amtrak's Coast Starlight.

Dan Tyminski also plays with Alison Krauss and Union Station and was George Clooney's singing voice in O Brother Where Art Thou which is one of the best movies ever, IMNSHO.

Dan Tyminski ~ Wheels

Thanks to nshields and Rounder Records, one of the better record companies.

Saturday Off The Hook Hip-Hop Metaphorical Music Blogging

I've liked Harry Belafonte and Calypso music for fifty years, and it's amazing how old things get seen in a new light with the passage of time. This song is a perfect metaphor, albeit a mite bright and cheery, for what the Repugs and their corporate and financial cohorts, 'Matilda', are doing to us, '...she take me money an' run Venezuela'. Long at 9:31 and worth every second!

Harry Belafonte ~ Matilda

Thanks to WelllExcuuuseMeee.

Republicans battle a truth commission

Well, yeaaahhhhh. So what's new? The Repugs have been waging a war on truth in all its forms since I can remember. Oh, I know what's new! This time, some of 'em might go to jail!

Joan Walsh. Links at site.

Republicans rolled out their arguments against a "Truth Commission" to investigate Bush-era interrogation and detention issues at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing today. They're pretty predictable.

[...] Sen. John Cornyn insisted Congress has already investigated all these allegations and a commission would be "an indictment of congressional oversight responsibilities." Yes, Sen. Cornyn, it would be.

Rivkin is an interesting figure: He's never met a Bush power grab or anti-terror policy he couldn't defend. [...]

So according to Rivkin, other countries can't prosecute such abuses, only we can. But we shouldn't. Got it.

Two-thirds of the American people want to see some kind of investigation (a plurality prefer a criminal probe to a mere fact-finding commission). The Democrats can't get away with doing nothing after this lawless eight years. They can't let stand Bush officials' claims to be above the law. That conception of the absolute power of the presidency to violate human rights and break the law was rejected last November. I think Leahy is looking to start with what he can get. We'll see how far this crusade goes.

It'll go farther if we keep pushing it, like pushing a car that's stuck in a mudhole. The Repugs are the mudhole and it's gonna take a lot of shoulders against the trunk lid.

Neocons Wage War on a 'Realist'

Robert Parry with today's 'must read'.

In a normal world, people in Washington might welcome the hiring of a “realist” to oversee the production of U.S. intelligence analyses, with the hope that even if the truth doesn’t set you free, it at least might be the foundation for sound policies.

But that is not the world in which the United States finds itself. In today’s Washington, the city’s preeminent newspaper publishes a neoconservative attack on President Barack Obama’s choice to oversee intelligence analyses because the person is a “realist.”

Freeman’s chief offense, according to The New Republic’s Jon Chait in a Washington Post op-ed, is that the appointee is “an ideological fanatic” because Freeman believes excessively in “realism” and fails to apply a moral filter when looking at the world.

In Chait’s neocon critique, “realism” is not simply a hard assessment of what today's challenges are; it is an “ideology” – and thus open to dismissal as simply a competitive way of understanding the world.

Oh yeah, like the neocons 'understand the world' real well. Yeesh. Maybe Disney World. Fantasyland. Fine. Keep 'em out of politics and positions of power.

The neocons, who are essentially right-wing intellectuals wanting to bend U.S. government policy in directions that fit their ideological interests, recognized early on that seizing the main levers of information inside Washington was crucial. So, they took aim at two targets in particular: the CIA’s analytical division and national journalists.

But the neocons and the Right launched a fierce attack against Freeman because he threatens their influence over U.S. intelligence estimates and thus their ability to exaggerate dangers and to manage the perceptions of politicians and the public.

So, as Chait does in his Post op-ed, the neocons have transformed Freeman’s realism into evidence that “he’s an ideological fanatic.”

Go read how this applies to our Israel policy. Here's a tease:

But Chait’s real beef with Freeman appears to be that he thinks the “Israel Lobby” actually exists in Washington. It is a staple of neocon rhetoric that anyone who observes the political clout of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee or other influential pro-Israel groups must be an enemy of Israel.

If you acknowledge it, or admit you see it, you're an enemy of Israel.

Folks, this is the crux of the biscuit when it comes to neocons and misguided Middle East policy. Go read the rest, please.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

I've posted this song before, but not this performance.

Royal Albert Hall 1995

Emmylou Harris ~ One Of These Days

Thanks to onebarton2

Friday, March 6, 2009

Adapt, Improvise, and Overcome

Young Marines today are a lot smarter than in my day. I never heard of this, and if anybody did, they weren't talkin'.

Ladies, we love you and respect you, but this is typical bratty guy stuff. Please don't go.

Bitch Slaps, Butt Boys, and Kiss My Ass

Pablo On Politics is a terrific site. Under that lovely picture of Rushbba the Hutt's heinie, Pablo links us to the following:

Margaret and Helen, which I posted a coupla days ago.


You know what's great about all this Rush nonsense? It looks like the Democrats, from Robert Gibbs to Rahm to the DCCC, are finally using some of the techniques of bitch-slap politics against the Republicans. If GOPers are put on the spot and agree with Rush, they're taking an unpopular position about the direction of the country. If they disagree, they're immediately forced to grovel and look weak doing it. Only in this case it's sort of like the bitch-slap theory combined with jujitsu, because the Dems are actually getting Rush to administer the slaps. I'm about your age, and I'm not sure I've ever seen the Dems have the confidence to make Republicans look weak like this.

Actually, the Repugs don't need any help making themselves look weak. They knocked themselves down and the Dems jumped in. Rahm knows those good old street fighting techniques and he's teaching the rest of them. I wish he'd school Reid a little.

Digby, links at site:

Limbaugh is now calling people "butt boys." This is on top of his adorable comments that Republicans are being asked to "bend over and grab their ankles" because Obama is black. I realize that the term "butt boy" is fairly common in junior high locker rooms as a synonym for sycophant, but when did it become ok to say this on radio? Does the FCC know that it literally means submissive, teenage anal sex (with a strong implication of coercion?)

I've written many posts about Rush over the years so all this new interest in him as a leader of the Republican Party is old news to me. I think this one, from 2006, may the most pertinent:

Notice how Limbaugh and the preachers pander to the depraved imagination? It's not religious values these people are selling. They are selling a brutal, domineering, degenerate culture, making their listeners and viewers wallow in it, plumbing the depths of the subconscious, drawing forth Goyaesque images of bestiality and violence and death. That's a feature of some religions, to be sure, but it's not the nice upright Christian morality everybody's pretending it is.

When the troop handlers in the Marine Corps wanted us to go somewhere in a tightly bunched line, the command was 'Asshole to belly button, maggots! Close it up! Make the man in fronta ya smile!'. We kept our flys buttoned. The Repugs don't, and it brings visions of a prison conga line right after a fresh batch of pruno hit the yard. Heh.

Damn, but this is fun to watch! We've waited a long time and we deserve it!

Bush succeeded quite well at all the wrong things

Bush damn near was successful at destroying our country, The Constitution, the economy, and our reputation world wide. Other than that, not so much.

Winning Hearts and Minds

Sent to us by John Gall from Suburban Guerrilla (their masthead photo is terrifying!).

This is what Harry and several other lame-ass dems need to have given to them.

He's right. Being a former expert on receiving this sort of motivational speech, please enjoy this one delivered by an expert!


The Secret Republican Apology Machine

Ever wonder how Republicans are able to tuck their tails between their legs and apologize to Rush Limbaugh so quickly after they've offended their leader?

We've uncovered the secret Republican Apology Machine!

John Yoo’s growing disgrace

The Last Chance Democracy Cafe on that moral coward and Bush toady's recently released 'legal' opinions:

The use of the military envisioned in the Yoo-Delahunty reply appears to transcend by far the stationing of troops to keep watch at streets and airports, a familiar sight in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. The memorandum discussed the use of military forces to carry out “raids on terrorist cells” and even seize property.

“The law has recognized that force (including deadly force) may be legitimately used in self-defense,” Mr. Yoo and Mr. Delahunty wrote to Mr. Gonzales. Therefore any objections based on the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches are swept away, they said, since any possible privacy offense resulting from such a search is a lesser matter than any injury from deadly force.

What utter nonsense. Equating the actions of public officials in ignoring the Fourth Amendment with the private right of self-defense? That’s like arguing it’s fine to serve motor oil on scrambled eggs, since, after all, it works great in your car. The one situation has nothing to do with the other.

Speaking as a guy who has had motor oil on just about everything (Harley-Davidson Regular Heavy [105 weight on the Saybolt Universal Seconds scale, 60 weight SAE, aka 'stove oil'] with 10,000 miles on it is chewy and has a nice metallic bite to it), that is a very apt analogy.

And a guy as bright as John Yoo had to known that. But he had a job to do — to defend the indefensible.

And to his never ending shame he did it.

Oh, and by the way, there are apparently more Yoo opinion memos, some perhaps even worse, still to come.

The more the merrier.

Yoo and the others were told that they needed to come up with legal-sounding opinions to cover the higher-ups' asses and justify abrogation of the Constitution, most likely by Cheney, to be signed off on by his trained Chimp, and did it. They all need to be in prison.

Of Limbaugh and Steele and their pending doom: A morality tale of heavenly justice

P.M. Carpenter

Look at the bright side: The one thing that makes these Bad Times of Bush's Depression bearable is watching the End Times of his party. The experience is, to use a bit more of the hip eschatological lingo, rapturous.

I realize and even accept that the amusing Dark Side has life left in it yet -- the gods of our choice work in mysterious, downright befuddling ways -- but as John Weaver, a former apprentice to the frustrated sorcerer John McCain, put it yesterday: "We're working damn hard to see how fast we can hit rock bottom."

Exactly which circle of hell would that be, Mr. Weaver?

And then there is indeed that other GOP leader, its de facto leader, that rancid slab of fatheaded bombast, Mr. Limbaugh.

..."why doesn't President Obama come on my show? We will do a one-on-one debate of ideas and policies."

Well, that would be one way for Rush to lose weight, because there wouldn't be anything left of him. Obama could outthink Limbaugh in a coma, and in person he'd just paw him for a while, then chew him up and spit him out and leave him as the Walking Dead.

Ever so much more.

I don't want our President to waste his time on that gasbag, and he won't. It'd be fun to watch but he has better things to do.

As to 'which circle', just cross dat ol' Styx nine times and drop yer gear, Repugs.

Quote of the Day

Our pal, UL, who goes off. Heh ...


Rushpublicans now want Obama to fail like Bush failed. It legitimizes their never-changing bullshit, which the poor taint sniffing, fist exchanging fuckers know is bullshit but yet, they still cling to it's soft warm and gooey aftermath essence. Hold me!
This is what they do and how they are, and it's been like this for a long time.


Housekeeping ...

As those of you who use Blogrolling to keep links in order on their pages know, it's been teh suck (I haven't been able to add links to it in months) since they 'updated' to v2.0 (merely an excuse to hang ads in front of you, unless you pay). Since they ain't getting any money from me, I'm gonna redo the blogroll infrastructure here at the Brain this weekend.

That said, I'd like those of you whom I haven't/couldn't added/add to the blogroll yet to take a couple seconds while you're reading this and send me an email with your URL and the name of your blog so I can include it. We've got quite a few commenters whose blogs I don't have up and it'll save me going through the comment archives to find it (I got little enough time on my hands). If I can do this in one shot, it'll make shit easier.

Thanks for your help.

And a note to Gordon: There's a lot of pages you go to that I don't have up; could ya ship me an email with 'em so they can be included too? Thanks, pardner.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Just Another G-Day* In Paradise

*Term is from a fine compliment from Fixer. We've had these at both ends of the United States of Brain Land this week.

Dave The Berm Fairy and his Case 580 Super M Magic Wand
Click to waaaay embiggen.

This is gonna get a little Fixer & Gordon-ish. If details of The Wonderful World Of In-The-Field Snowthrower Repair and How Nice It Is To Have Friends bore you, the shorter version is: Dave saved my ass yesterday.

It snowed here for a coupla days. I went out yesterday to clear the driveway, a daily ritual during snowstorms. I discovered toot de sweet that the snow was unusually heavy, real avalanche snow, and my snowthrower was having difficulty plowing through it. It was ten feet forward, ten feet back, twelve feet forward, ten feet back, and so on. This was shaping up to be real work, which I am generally allergic to.

A note here to folks who don't have the need for a snowthrower or have never used one - if you think all you do is walk along behind the thing and it does all the work, I'm glad for you for not having the need to know. That's sometimes the way it works if the snow isn't too heavy and the machine is working properly. Sometimes you have to really get physical with the sumbitch and horse it around with all your might. It's just a fancy 200-pound snow shovel, after all.

For you technoids, I'm runnin' an MTD 8hp 26" track job. It's on its 14th winter, and the horsies have shrunk a mite, I think. 8-horse is the generally accepted minimum necessary around here, although a 5hp Honda is just as good and an 8hp Honda is da kine! You get what you pay for.

After about five minutes, I had made it the length of the Tacoma, which normally takes about twenty seconds. I began to realize how this was going to go. Fuck me.

I had noticed for a while that my machine wasn't runnin' right, but we've had an unusually light winter and the thing did its job OK so I let it go. It would quit running instead of idle, and on top end would hunt, 8-stroke, run up and down on the governor, etc. I could get it to almost run right with the adjustable main jet which is easily accessible. 35 years experience told me that the slow speed mixture screw needed a 1/4 turn one way or the other, but it's a minor pain to access it.

I figured I was gonna need all the performance this thing had left in it, so I got out the tools, undid five fasteners to get the carb cover off, and adjusted it. Took maybe ten minutes. I work even slower when I'm working for free than when I'm getting paid. Heh.

Ran like a champ! With apologies to Dave Dudley (BCB Band cover), "got 'er wound up and she wuz runnin' like never before". Whee!

Rememberr the 'ten feet forward, ten feet back' part? The motor was running great, but now the machine wouldn't back up! I had to physically pull it back. No fun. I'da collapsed and died before I got to the end of the driveway at this rate.

Again, I knew what was wrong. I had done this before. Now that the engine ran properly, it was overpowering the clutch, which term is a compliment to the antediluvian good ol' Amurrican technology that passes for a drive train in these things.

It's American-made which means it can be easily repaired by the owner which, because it's American-made, he's going to have to. Good circular thinkin', Sparky, and there is something to be said for it. Honda figured out how to keep things from breaking nearly as often by using up-to-the-minute technology, but when they do, the average owner is in the arms of the Honda dealer at $100 an hour.

Back to the garage. Well, just outside it in the snow anyway. Plastic bag under the gas cap and up on its nose. Bottom plate off, gear shaft out, replace drive rubber (an in stock item at my house), button 'er up, and back at it. Probly 30 minutes, a fair bit of which was finding the replacement drive rubber which I had hidden from myself five years ago after the last time I did this job. Remembered to take the plastic bag out from under the gas cap this time before I tried to start the engine. Heh. I'm getting better...

While the thing was apart, up shows The Berm Fairy. Now, I don't know Dave real well, and I've never asked him to remove my berms. He's just been doing it for a coupla years unbidden, bless his heart. Day before yesterday was the first time I've ever caught him at it, and he says he does it because I'm a Good American. I don't care if he does it because he thinks I can sing real loud in church!

Dave's an excavating contractor, a working man who made good. He's dug foundations and done general dirt work around here for years. He dug the foundation for my next door neighbor Clancy's house. Clancy rents out the house and lives in a bachelor's dream tree fort over the garage. They're good friends. Dave comes by to clear the berm next door and just voluntarily does mine while he's at it. Dirt, snow, mox nix. He's got the gear and, like all gearheads, loves to run it.

I called in the pups who were sniffing around his loader while it was working, o potential horror!, put 'em in the house, and ran, well, plodded, down the driveway with a six-pack of Heineken's Best Berm Removal Fuel. I told Dave my snowthrower was apart and asked would he please take a coupla more cuts so I could get my Dakota out (really back in. I coulda powered it out.) and this he did. I got the pictures after an up-'n-down re-plod to get the camera. As he left, I snapped to attention and gave him a Good American full-on Marine embassy guard snappy-ass hand salute, which he returned by turning his ball cap backwards and giving me a thumbs up.

Thank you, Dave. By the way, he doesn't mind being called 'The Berm Fairy'. If he did, I'd be movin' 'em myself and it took guts or a lack of commmon sense to ask him, but I'm a joker. So's he.

Here's what the driveway looked like when he got done:

I had cleared the driveway and the Dakota the day before of about an equal amount of snow, so that's one day's accumulation. Nothing out of the ordinary around here.

I put the snowthrower back together and it worked fine. I got the driveway cleared just enough to satisy the desire to be dug out enough to not be snowed in but not as much as I would have liked. It was hard. It wouldn't throw the heavy snow very much past the buildup at the sides of the driveway, and it avalanched down for twenty feet ahead as I cut near the sides about three or four times. Elapsed time about three and a half hours, normally takes about an hour, and there's more to do. It's gonna take some shovel work and another snowthrower pass to get it the way I like it. Maybe tomorrow. My typing finger is about the only thing I got today that doesn't hurt when I try to use it. It ain't snowing today and the Sun is shining brightly and all's well with the world.

A final note: I'm a mechanic, not that I really need to be to work on a simple gadget like a snowthrower, but I have many thousands of dollars' worth of tools, of which I used maybe fifty bucks' worth on this job, and I keep wear parts in stock. If I had had to call the small engine repair joint, have 'em come get it, fix it and return it, it would have cost a coupla hundred bucks, more if they'da missed the track drive problem the first time. That's if they had the time in the middle of a snowstorm, and if they had the one part I used in stock, which they probably wouldn't have because there's no MTD dealer in town. It could have taken a week to do what I did in less than an hour, and that would be a week of tire-trampling the snow until it was solid bumpy ice, or shoveling it by hand, or paying someone like Dave about a Benjie to plow you out. It can add up. The total out-of-pocket expense of this whole saga was a long-gone $6 for the drive rubber and $8.50 to thank Dave. The Boy Scouts got one thing right: Be Prepared.

Harry Reid's big decision: the filibuster

P.M. Carpenter on the economy.

And who holds the one critical key to success? It's not the economists; they're already doing their part, boosting pharmaceutical sales of antidepressants. Nor, even, is it the president, who's all-too aware of what the economists are doing, and consequently is motivated to do much more himself. Nor is it Nancy Pelosi, who possesses that marvelous elixir of legislative action: simple majority rule.

No, it's our mild-mannered, soft-spoken, always considerate, forever(?)-compromising Harry Reid. That's who. A man perhaps misplaced in time -- a parliamentary leader with Chamberlainlike gentility rather than Churchillian wartime cajones (sic - s.b. 'cojones'. Get a Meskin editor, P.M. - G)

Harry, you're going to have to change. And the first little to-do item in your personal reinvention is confronting the action-crushing obstacle of "phantom filibusters," soon to be (non)launched again with unsurpassed verve by that minority platoon of inactivist No-ism, GOP senators.

Besides, it is, as noted, the "mere threat of a filibuster" that today rules the Senate floor and every possible progressive move. It's the problem that poses as the pre-problem with fixing the even bigger problem: the economy. It will bottle up every authentically activist measure in perpetuity.

But, as political scientist David RePass observes in the Times, arm in arm with an army of similar observations elsewhere, "fixing the problem would not require any change in Senate rules. The phantom filibuster could be done away with overnight by the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid. All he needs to do is call the minority’s bluff by bringing a challenged measure to the floor and letting the debate begin."

That's a necessity I'd love to see: the clueless likes of a James Inhofe slouching on the Senate floor for hours on end, with C-Span's intense eyes bearing down, inarticulately struggling to justify to the desperate, embattled American people why the War on the Great Recession should not be waged with overwhelming force.

Come on, Harry. Make 'em do it. Make them make the public fools of themselves they are. Because odds are, they'd wise up fast.

Ya see, Harry, the whole point of having power is the ability to use it if you have to. All it takes is some balls.

George W. Bush’s Disposable Constitution

Scott Horton in Harper's:

Yesterday the Obama Administration released a series of nine previously secret legal opinions crafted by the Office of Legal Counsel to enhance the presidential powers of George W. Bush. Perhaps the most astonishing of these memos was one crafted by University of California at Berkeley law professor John Yoo. He concluded that in wartime, the President was freed from the constraints of the Bill of Rights with respect to anything he chose to label as a counterterrorism operations inside the United States.

John Yoo’s Constitution is unlike any other I have ever seen. It seems to consist of one clause: appointing the President as commander-in-chief. The rest of the Constitution was apparently printed in disappearing ink.

We may not have realized it at the time, but in the period from late 2001-January 19, 2009, this country was a dictatorship. (my em)

It's not news to a lot of us, but thank you for finally noticing it in print now that it's safe.

That last sentence was unfair to Mr. Horton. Yes, we knew BushCo was shredding the Constitution. We didn't begin to know the exact details until these memos came out. I think it's the tip of the iceberg.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Yes they can ...

Pic glommed from our pal UL. Click to prolapse.

Quote of the Day

Comrade PhysioProf:

... If you think of yourself as some kind of rational moderate right-winger, you need to start a new political party ...

Perfect Match

Parody Wire

Joe better get about fifty gallons of that 'male enhancement' stuff. His wedding night's gonna be like falling down a coal chute.

Joe, since you'll eventually have to use the changing table* at WalMart and since you'll have a case of diapers under one arm and eight babies under the other, I wanta see ya open the door of the men's room with yer teeth!**

*Yes, ladies, there are diaper-changing tables in men's rooms. I have only seen it used one time, and that was plenty. Forty Hell's Angels takin' a shit break after All-U-Can-Eat Burrito Nite doesn't smell that bad!

**The doors of most men's rooms push open, so he can get in with his forehead. He's gonna have to get back out, though, and the normal men's-room-door-opening-device, i.e. his left pinkie finger, may not be in position.

OxyContin Fires Rush Limbaugh as National Spokesman

"According to the president of OxyContin, and I quote: 'It just got to the point that Rush was starting to give psychotic delusions a bad name'."

"Kiss My 83 Year Old Ass"

It appears I have a theme today involving backsides and lips.

Margaret & Helen. Go. It's worth it just to see the masthead picture.

The election is over. Barack Obama is now President Obama and Bush has slithered back to Texas where I am sure he will drink himself into obscurity. Palin seems to have been successfully de-clawed for now. I have sworn off Rush Limbaugh and The View, and Fox News was never really an option for me. So… now what do I do? I think I might read a few of that big-footed Ann Coulter’s books and then point my “guns” at her scrawny ass. She bugs me almost as much as Palin so this could be fun.

But until then, I would like to comment on that Ass Hat who has been posting as Anonymous:

Granny! Such language!

So Anonymous, if we didn’t have anything good to say these last eight years it is because there was nothing good to say during these last 8 years. Nothing.

And if you don’t like what I have to say then you can kiss my 83 year old ass because on this blog I am the decider. I mean it. Really.

And while I am on a roll… the same thing goes for all these Republican jack asses in the Senate and House who suddenly have an opinion about everything. Shut your pie holes. You had your chance and you blew it.

It’s nice to have an intelligent person in the Oval Office again. I mean it. I really, really mean it.

That sounds like one old lady the kool-aid wore off of. That is the reason Obama and the Dems won.

The Rush to Kiss Rush's Ass

Andy Ostroy

What's going on here? Didn't voters overwhelmingly reject the brand of hard core conservativism that Limbaugh spews every day? Don't Limbaugh's views appeal to just a small, ever-shrinking, myopic and increasingly obsolete GOP base? Just what are Republicans so afraid of then? Why is it that they clearly reject him when speaking candidly and viscerally about the future direction of the party, only to later tuck tail between legs, retract, parse and apologize? The answer is simple: they fear the shitstorm Limbaugh will relentlessly and mercilessly unleash before his alleged 22-million punishing listeners at election time if they don't.

Thanks to these spineless GOP leaders, and much to the delight of Obama, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and Democrats everywhere, Limbaugh's become the Party's Tony Soprano. To be sure, he's clearly getting off on the power trip and, much like his TV counterpart, will bloody anyone who gets in his way. And that makes the left quite happy. With Limbaugh steering the ship, there's sure to be another Republican Titanic in 2010.

That's a little hyperbolic, but it's a nice thought.

Then again, Rushole is all hyperbole masquerading as a grand philosophy and coming off looking like the drug-addled, bloated jackass that he is. To us. The 'bottom' Repugs lap it up and ask for more, harder and dryer this time. Ooooh, Big Daddy, give it to those godless commie fucks! Fuck us gooooood!

Whether he actually believes his own spew or not, and he probably does, the gullible true-believer wingtards sure do, and with his $400M contract he's takin' it to the bank.

"You're not in good shape when Tucker Carlson is the voice of reason."

Today's 'must read' from FearTheReaper on CPAC, Jiveass Jindal, and the Repugs.

[...] Republicans appear to be a rare type of animal that have no ability to learn and adapt. It’s not often you get to watch people run into a burning house, but that is exactly what they are doing.

It is, quite simply, amazing to watch.

The fact that Republicans chose this awkward man to make their rebuttal speech is quite sad. This is supposed to be their new shining star. This was the guy who was going to hit it out of the park. Why? Because he is clinging to the same ideas that lost Republicans control of the House, the Senate and the White House. Not only is he sticking with those failed ideas, but he’s also brown. What's not to love? He's saying stuff old white guys say –– BUT HE'S BROWN. It's like God gave the GOP a gift basket, except when they opened the gift basket, they discovered it was full of turds.

[...] Every year, conservatives get together to watch their leaders give speeches they can masturbate to. [...]

Get back to calling Democrats Socialists. Go backwards. Way, way backwards. To a time before the Internet, when one could blatantly lie during the State of the Union rebuttal. Constantly throw the term “socialist” around, even though most people under 30 could give a shit and don’t see it as the terrifying threat the old folks do. Why don’t they see it as a threat? Well, probably because you clowns have been calling people who are not socialists, “socialist” for so long, the true meaning of the label is gone. Poof. You ruined your own boogyman, idiots.

Sure, some of you tools will say that liberals do the same thing. You are right, many liberals called Bush a fascist. Many. Just not THEIR FUCKING LEADERS. Not the people running the party.

But Republicans have decided the way to go is in the direction of willful and blustery ignorance. Those arguing for another way, well…

Carlson got in a bit of a dust-up with the audience when he spoke Thursday. Arguing that conservatives need to put more effort into digging up facts and rely less on opinion and punditry, he noted that The New York Times, a favorite target of conservative wrath, at least cares about spelling people's names right.

"NOOOOOOO," arose a moan from some in the crowd.

"I'm merely saying that at the core of their news-gathering operation is gathering news."

"NOOOOO . . ."

You're not in good shape when Tucker Carlson is the voice of reason. But that's their answer. “No.”

No to reality.

No to facts.

No to a future.

The Repug response to defeat and looming irrelevancy reminds me of an apocryphal tale of rigidity of thinking. A Marine has to abandon ship. As a result of his training, rigid discipline, and fear of his superiors, he will grab his rifle instead of a life jacket and step blithely off the rail. He might go straight to the bottom, but he's not about to lose that rifle!

No to a future.

Limbaugh nation ...

They allowed him to usurp the reins of the Republican Party and now they'll have to live with it:


The problem is that the Republican Party went all in with the conservative movement over the past 25 years. George W. Bush's America was Limbaugh Nation and Limbaugh Nation was George W. Bush's America --- they have nothing else. They are nothing else.


All they are is the equivalent of a Third World dictatorship; anyone speaking out against the tin-horn general is put up against the wall (figuratively). Any questioning of the doctrine is not allowed. This is why you hear no new ideas coming from Republicans. It is why, when you see the Rethug talking heads on TV, they parrot the same old worn out lines: "Cut taxes!" "Tax and spend Democrats!" "Moral values!" "Trickle-down economics!" "The Clintons!"

It's why Americans aren't fooled anymore. After all these years of the same catchphrases being bandied about (and 8 years of Republican rule), the wreckage of "conservative ideology" is strewn all around us; proving the bankruptcy of their ideas. It's as if the Republicans have all turned into Baghdad Bob, clueless about what's really going on, mindlessly repeating their talking points while the 'barbarians' have breached the city gates. The post-election Republican Party has become the party of oblivious, clueless twits, showing ultimate devotion to a man whom drugs and fast-living has addled beyond repair. Reality has no place in the 21st Century GOP.

It is doubtful they will learn from this dust up between Rush and Michael Steele that's kept us all on the left so very entertained. It seems that when their token black man gets 'uppity', the rest of them fall in line (led by their token brown man) to excoriate him and display their fealty to the Supreme Leader. It would be funny if the consequences weren't so damned serious.

Folks bitch about how the Dems can't fall into line like the Rethugs and I say that's a good thing. Yes, it makes things much more complicated but at least there is a debate, not ideology-driven but issues-driven, and, by and large, the best interest of the American people is the motivator. I could not belong to a party whose sole reason for existence is 'ideology or bust' and accruing more power, banishing any new thought or debate to the trash bin.

It is fun to watch, but I seriously hope the Republicans get their act together and kick the 'conservatives' and 'neocons' out, permanently, and put Americans first, before ideology. As my wise old CO said to me during the Cold War: "Pray the Soviets never collapse, Sarge," he said to me. "Because whatever replaces them will probably be worse." (We got al-Qaeda) I feel the same way about the Republicans. While they are antithetical to everything good for the country, they are a known enemy, one we can deal with. The next bunch might not be satisfied with debate.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Quote of the Day

Roger Ailes the Good:

Michael Steele -- You be da eunuch!

A question ...

I've been meaning to ask for a long time. Was Rick Sanchez born a buffoon or has he been practicing all his life? WTF? I could produce a better show out of my garage.

Setting sail on a sea of disposable plastic


A handful of young men and women are constructing one of the strangest vessels ever seen on the San Francisco waterfront - a fantastic plastic catamaran made of cast-off plastic bottles filled with dry ice.

When it is finished, sometime next month, the boat, a 60-foot catamaran named Plastiki, will sail out the Golden Gate bound across the Pacific for Australia, a voyage that will be either an absolute disaster or a huge sensation.

Plastic bottles, he said, "take a huge amount of energy to manufacture," and are used and then thrown away. Only a fraction, he said, are ever recycled. "It is a symbol of waste," he said.

The most startling feature is that the twin hulls of the catamaran will be made of 12,000 to 13,000 plastic bottles, the kind soft drinks come in. So far the expedition has 6,000 or so.

And just the other day, de Rothschild said, technicians came up with a new kind of glue to bond the hull material together - a mixture of sugar and cashew nuts.

Doesn't sugar dissolve in water? Better think that one over, Sparky.

This idea has endless possibilities. Fill soda bottles with oil and lash them together. Bingo! Instant oil tanker! Or fill the effin' things with natural gas and fly 'em over. I digress.

Use that special glue to hold all the cheap plastic crap from China together and shove it eastward. The glue will dissolve enough by the time the barge reaches these shores to easily break it into truck-sized lumps for delivery to W**M***s across the land.

And I'm sure the Fixers will enjoy a cruise on the MV Toliterflaskebåttendam.

Red Light Express

[A big Brain welcome to Crooks & Liars readers. - F]

The latest Repug stimulus lies from Think Progress. Many links and a video.

In the days and weeks since President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, conservatives have distorted its provisions in a desperate attempt to mislead the public about what the package will do. First they mocked parks preservation funds as spending on “grass.” Then they repeatedly and falsely claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sought $30 million to save a mouse. And they completely made up a mythical high-speed rail line between L.A. and Las Vegas, gleefully attacking the “magnetic levitation” train apparently because they thought the term sounds funny.

The term might sound funny to Repug ignoramuses, but maglev trains are totally bitchin'.

The highest recorded speed of a maglev train is 581 km/h (361 mph), achieved in Japan in 2003

That's L.A. to Lost Wages in under an hour. If such a train were to exist, that is, and it's not a bad idea. I-15 on weekends is a 200-mile-long 80MPH desert traffic jam. Howsomever, there are many more important transportation priorities than high-speed delivery of people's money to playground operators.

This one's a doozy:

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ) took the lies to a new level today when he — with the help of an enthusiastic Fox News’s Megyn Kelly — declared that the 2009 omnibus bill included funding for a train traveling straight from “Disney” to Nevada’s most famous brothel, the Moonlight Bunny Ranch (Employee of the Month is 'Air Force Amy'. - G):

KELLY: It’s a super railroad, of sorts — a line that will deliver customers straight from Disney, we kid you not, to the doorstep of the moonlight bunny ranch brothel in Nevada. I say, to the moonlight Bunny Ranch brothel in Nevada. So should your tax dollars be paying for these kinds of projects? […]

Heh. High-speed rail from one 'Fantasyland' to another! Win-win! I got no problem with it except it's another Repug lie.

The Moonlight Bunny Ranch is in Carson City, which is 320 miles from Las Vegas, 50 miles farther than Vegas is from L.A. If one were to go from Carson to L.A. via Vegas, it's about 590 miles. The direct route is about 360 miles.

Prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas, but there are many legal brothels a lot closer to it than The Ranch. In that desolate desert country you can see them from miles away at night. One light bulb - nothing, a thousand light bulbs and no gas pumps - pull right in, weary traveler. The Ranch must have been the only brothel this dildo congressman ever heard of, even though he's from right next door in Arizona. Maybe he's just been from state capital to state capital in an airplane, and then a limo to The Ranch. Drunk and at night, sometimes it's hard to tell where you are.

Or maybe he just likes to watch the HBO shows with his pants around his ankles. I hope he goes blind.

Reid’s office confirmed that Franks is referring to a proposal to refurbish a historic railroad line (See F&G on the V&T too- G) between Gold Hill, NV, and Carson City — hardly a direct line from L.A. to the “doorstep” of a brothel. Considering there’s no funding for high-speed rail between L.A. and Las Vegas — despite Republicans’ frenetic assertions to the contrary — the idea of a Disneyland-Bunny Ranch supertrain is far-fetched, to say the least.

Ironically, at the end of the pathetically ill-informed segment, Kelly asked how politicians can be held accountable for these mythical boondoggles; Franks replied with praise for Fox News: “Fortunately, people like yourself and Fox News are a tremendous help in that regard because they tell the people — you know, sunlight has a way of being an accountability all by itself.”

The only problem with sunlight is getting it under the rocks where F** and the Repugs live.

Why the GOP is terrified of Obama's budget

In case you missed it.

The reasons ...

I'm late today. Hadda dig out the car and I still have to empty the dog and take the Mrs. to the train station. That said, you should read this post from Krugman on the reasons why we're in this mess to begin with.


Mr. Bernanke cited “the depth and sophistication of the country’s financial markets (which, among other things, have allowed households easy access to housing wealth).” Depth, yes. But sophistication? Well, you could say that American bankers, empowered by a quarter-century of deregulatory zeal, led the world in finding sophisticated ways to enrich themselves by hiding risk and fooling investors.


That's what it all boils down to. Republican "fiscal conservatism" = Greed

Later ...

Monday, March 2, 2009

Popcorn time!

God, I'm just sitting back watching this Rush Lintball/Michael Steele prick-waving contest as they fight like 10 year old boys in the schoolyard.

Mr. Aravosis:

Well, it's clear who wears the pants in that family. Steele now says that, while he said Rush Limbaugh was "an entertainer," "ugly," and "incendiary," those weren't the words he was thinking. Those words just magically ushered forth from the mouth of the Republican party chair - he was basically speaking to the media while speaking in tongues. Or perhaps he was drugged. Or simply stupid. Whatever the reason, it's a rather amazing admission for the head of the entire Republican party to say that he give interviews and says things that he has no idea how they come out of his mouth.


Some old Haitian lady put the Caribbean voodoo mojo on my ass!

Oliver Willis:


Jesus, that is pathetic. A bigoted pill-popping knuckle dragging blow hard is running a major political party, and nobody over there has even half a ball to stand up to him.


I got a few questions for Republicans. You say you want to do what's best for America. Since when has Rush done anything for anyone besides Rush? Since when has Rush been responsible for a town, city, county or state and the people who elected him? It's assholes like him who got you into this mess to begin with.

Keep fighting, boys. While you're busy, President Obama can do what he must to try and fix your mess and I can kick back with an extra large bucket of popcorn ... extra butter.

Quote of the Day - Zwei Trois

Tristero on the Rethugs' perpetual 'filibuster threat':


Until this kind of dangerously stupid nonsense stops, I think riding roughshod over Republicans sounds like a damn good idea.

I think we should be beating them like rented mules.

Quote of the Day II and Off The Hook Hip-Hop at CPAC. No, really.

From 'The Wildest Moments From CPAC' by Max Blumenthal.

Joe the Plumber on newfound influence, group linked to U.S. senator warns of “extraterrestrial activity,” white nationalists, and more video from the conservative conclave.

The quote:

Inside the modern conservative movement, racial resentment pays, but intellectual honesty about it can ruin your career.

Off The Hook Hip-Hop:

I met the world's first self-proclaimed "Republican rapper" on the second day of the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference. He is Hi-Caliber, a former construction worker from New Jersey who told me that after just 10 minutes of listening to right-wing radio shock jock Michael Savage ranting about "Islamofascism" and illegal immigration, his "whole views on the world changed." Now Hi-Caliber records inspired battle anthems against President Barack Obama, who he denounces as a "socialist in the White House;" he attacks Nancy Pelosi as "phony baloney;" assails the liberal media; calls for a border fence; and warns darkly of the Fairness Doctrine.

In this Daily Beast exclusive video, Hi-Caliber kicked some of the most novel rhymes I have ever heard. Hear him for yourself.

Yes, by all means, hear him for yourself. You'll have to go to the link to do it because I'm not going to besmirch the Brain by putting up trash like that. I don't think it's exactly what 'Uncle Tom' Steele has in mind. Heh.

There are several vids at the link. Go puke first. Shower when you get back.

The batshit Christian Zionist “Extraterrestrial” Video is the perfect example of the loonies that are left populate infest the far right. Don't say I didn't warn you.

CPAC: Zombie Jamboree

CPAC attendees eagerly await Rushole's speech

I was reading a piece at HuffPo called 'GOP:R.I.P.':

The Republican Party, America's second oldest political party and a force in American politics and government since the time of Abraham Lincoln, died on March 1. It was 155 years old.

Death apparently resulted from injuries suffered during a violent mugging by 67 millions voters last November, ...

However, police did not rule out the possibility of suicide. [...]

The time of death was uncertain, but Lanier said it probably occurred shortly after several witnesses heard the victim declare, "If Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter and Ron Paul represent my future, I'll kill myself."

Yeah, yeah, murder, suicide, who fuckin' cares as long as they're dead, right?

Then I gots ta thinkin', a dangerous pastime for me, well, if they're so fuckin' dead why are they still here?

Because they're the undead, that's why.

A zombie is a reanimated human corpse. Stories of zombies originated in the Afro-Caribbean spiritual belief system of Vodou, which told of the people being controlled as laborers by a powerful sorcerer.

Suits 'em to a T! I can dig the 'controlled as laborers by a powerful sorcerer' part, and I hope they can see the multiple ironies in their continued quasi-existence as being rooted in Afro-Caribbean spiritual beliefs, but I doubt it. Heh.

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word entered English circa 1871; it's derived from the Louisiana Creole or Haitian Creole zonbi, which in turn is of Bantu origin.[2] A zonbi is a person who is believed to have died and been brought back to life without speech or free will.

Hmmmm. Well, the Repugs only have enough 'free will' to accept their garbage ideology without thought or question, but they sure as shit got plenty of speech!

A philosophical zombie is a concept used in the philosophy of mind, a field of research which examines the association between conscious thought and the physical world. A philosophical zombie is a hypothetical person who lacks full consciousness but has the biology or behavior of a normal human being; [...]

Whew! Totally back on track!

I was gonna try and work the phrase 'death warmed over' into this, but then I thought of Ann Coulter and just din't. Stinking and rotting, yes, warmth, no.

Here is my suggested theme song for CPAC and the 'new' Repug party. It's kinda 'off the hook hip-hop', too. I'm sure Fixer will be thrilled at the location. Heh.

Come ta think of it, the Coultergeist is actually mentioned in the song a coupla times.

The Kingston Trio ~ Zombie Jamboree


I just found out that if you click on the second icon from the right in the video's toolbar, it will go to full screen. Makes it a little grainy, but it's pretty cool. Hit 'esc' to un-fullscreen it.


"Next", of course is Rushole. When he steps off the dock he will drown them all. Salvation for the rest of us.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Fed Downgrades Economic Forecast
From “weak” to “run for your lives!!”

Psychedelic Frogfish Found at Ocean's Bottom
Marine biologists haven't seen anything like it “since the sixties.”

Colleges Warn Students About Spring Break in Mexico
Urge common sense precautions during binge drinking, drug taking, orgies.

Study: Consumers of Pornography Tend to Be Conservative, Religious
And pillars of the community.

Quote of the Day

From the Political Forum at Amazon:

Rush is to GOP as OxyContin is to Rush

Pray for an overdose.

Snowed ...

We are having what I call a "G-Day"*. Ain't no way I'm driving 30 miles in this mess so I'm finishing up the cabinet doors and drawers on my construction project.

The view from my front window. Click to embiggen.

*G-Day = The kind of snowfall Gordon gets in one shot in his neck of the woods. We can handle snow here in NYC, but 14" of it in one storm is over the top. I don't think I've seen 5 cars pass the house all morning.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

This might not be a big hit in Utah

Following up on Fixer's post about porn and Repug hypocrisy, I feel compelled to demonstrate that suggestive is a lot more fun than hardcore porn. I ran across this while I was shopping for a new vacuum cleaner. Sure I did... Damn, it's hard to type and use a mouse with my left hand...

The only editorial direction I have ever had from Fixer was 'hold down the porn to a dull roar'. I trust this does not violate the edict.

I would buy every appliance in this video if they came so, er, plushly equipped...I think I'm about to be reminded that Mrs. G already has a perfectly good rolling pin.

Thanks to misterpopvideo.

Metaphorical video of Repugs at CPAC

Woulda been cooler if he'da done it on his bike. Wouldn'ta helped, though. Like after Rushole officially became leader of the Repug party at CPAC, it's all downhill from there. Good.

The video was shot at Paradise Cove. You can almost see Rockford's trailer...

Thanks to kmcnally. Just as an aside, I have a friend also named K. McNally who went from being a Harley-Davidson mechanic to a bail bondsman to a Nevada Highway Patrol trooper and never changed his clientele. Heh. He was a real wheeler-dealer too. I nicknamed him 'Blarney Finagle'.

Sunday Crazy alt.Redneck Music Blogging

One of my favorite old Parsons/Hillman songs about L.A. From New York City. New York City?! Git a rope...*

Steve Earle, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings ~ Sin City

*Reference is to an old salsa picante ad when a buncha cowboys sittin' around a campfire discover where their salsa came from. I guess salsa from NYC is некультурный out on the range.

Thanks to johnkontos123.

I Just Don't Look Good Naked Any More

Were ya ever sunbathing at the beach and a gang of people tried ta put ya back in the water? This song's for all of us that's happened to.

John Westbrook and Larry Gibson performing Sheb Wooley's song at the 2007 St. Anthony, Idaho Cowboy Poetry Gathering

Thanks, easygibson.

Quote of the Day

From Daddy Frank's column, a 'recommended read' as always:

The good news for Obama is that he needn’t worry about the Republicans. They’re committing suicide.

Thanks, Pop!

Tell me more ...

About "moral values", you fucking hypocrites:


However, there are some trends to be seen in the data. Those states that do consume the most porn tend to be more conservative and religious than states with lower levels of consumption, the study finds.

"Some of the people who are most outraged turn out to be consumers of the very things they claimed to be outraged by," Edelman says.

It turns out that Utah is the nation's leading consumer of broadband pornography. Which is deliciously ironic news considering that Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, a godbotherer of the Mormon persuasion, just spent a few weeks stonewalling the Senate Judiciary Committee with his hissy kabuki over the nomination of David Ogden for Deputy Attorney General. Why? Because Ogden -- GASP! -- worked for pornographers! (That's what Orrin Hatch calls it when somebody does legal work on First Amendment issues and Playboy magazine is footing the bill.)


Firstly, Playboy ain't porn (Journalists and newspapers could learn a few things from them). Secondly, if the 'moral' folks stopped watching porn, there wouldn't be a "pornography problem" to begin with.

Great thanks to watertiger for the link.