Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tahoe woodies

Now that I've got your attention, those are really big around here. This weekend is the annual Concours d'Elegance and Woody Week for them. Sometimes I think rich people don't have enough to do...

Click here to view the list, complete with photos...

Why is it ...

The only politician who's in touch with reality on the health care issue is Howard Dean? I realize he's a doctor but it's hard to believe the others are so in the tank. Money talks, I guess:

WASHINGTON - Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean says there can be no meaningful health care overhaul in America without a public option for individuals not now covered.

Dean, a medical doctor and former chairman of the Democratic Party, said in a nationally broadcast interview that the strong Republican opposition to the plan that President Barack Obama is pushing doesn't surprise him. Dean said, "We've had a government system for 50 years. The Republicans didn't like it then. It's called Medicare."

He also said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show that he can't imagine any health care overhaul without a government-funded option, asking "why would you put a trillion dollars into something that hasn't worked." [my ems]


You know, come to think of it, one of the dumbest moves the Dems ever made was booting him from the DNC chair.

Link thanks to Nunya.

Night Rider's Lament

Nanci Griffith does this song better than about anybody! With yodelling! This has only been up at YouTube a coupla days. I've waited sooooo long...

This goes out to everybody that followed their heart in their choice of career and did what they wanted to do instead of doing something sane and making a lot of money like their parents told them to.

To get the full effect, go outside at about two in the morning on the night of a full moon and sit astride your porch railing. If you live above the second floor, be careful.

Nanci Griffith ~ Night Rider's Lament
Thanks to kennethrm.

Saturday Techno-Classical Music Blogging ... (Part 2)

Okay, so I'm on a thing today:

Bond - Pachelbel's Canon in 'D'

Father's Day Bluegrass Festival

The 34th Annual Father's Day Bluegrass Festival is being held this weekend in Grass Valley CA. Check the lineup here and listen to it live here.

Remember, it don't mean a thang if it ain't got the twang! Enjoy.

Why “playing it safe” is killing American newspapers

Irony is not dead. It just smells like it. An excerpt from a piece by Froomkin:

If we were to start an online newspaper from scratch today, we’d recognize that toneless, small-bore news stories are not the way to build a large audience — not even with “interactive” bells and whistles cobbled on top. One option might be to imitate cable TV, and engage in a furious volume of he-said/she-said reporting, voyeurism, contrarianism, gossip, triviality and gotcha journalism. But that would come at the cost of our souls. The right way to reinvent ourselves online would be to do precisely what journalists were put on this green earth to do: Seek the truth, hold the powerful accountable, expose the B.S., explain how things really work, introduce people to each other, and tell compelling stories. And we should do all those things passionately and courageously — not hiding who we are, but rather engaging in a very public expression of our journalistic values.

I guess we've seen where 'journalistic values' and not being a neocon got him!

Tweet This, Mothertweeter

More GOP "Huckster" Hoekstra Get His Lunch Handed to Him by Twitterers.

Thanks, BuzzFlash.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris ~ It's A Hard Life & Abraham, Martin, And John

Thanks to BlueGrassRootsTV.

Standup Obama

From Countdown. Enjoy.

Saturday Techno-Classical Music Blogging ...

I enjoy the fact today's artists are working with the old masters' scores and arranging them for instruments never conceived in the classical era. As regulars here know, I'm a big fan of Bond for that reason. Vanessa Mae is also good. Give it a listen.

Vanessa Mae - Vivaldi Techno Remix

I know ...

I've been really cynical about health care reform but there is a bright spot. The stubborn old Liberals in the House have had it with the spineless fools in the Senate:

The Democratic Party showed on Friday what it's capable of when led by the majority of its members rather than its conservative wing. In stark contrast to Senate Democrats, who spent the week backpedaling on reform, unified House Democrats unveiled a draft health care overhaul bill jointly endorsed by three powerful committee chairmen.


Where the Senate Finance Committee's outline of a bill didn't include a public health insurance option for people to buy into, the House version includes a robust public plan that would operate nationally and compete with private insurers on a level playing field to keep them honest.


While the Senate has cowered from the debate over a public option in the face of Republican and conservative Democratic opposition, [Rep. Charles] Rangel said he relishes the battle.

"I'm anxious to take on those people who oppose a public option," he said. He'll have public opinion on his side. A recent poll showed 3 out of 4 people want a public plan as part of health care reform. "We've got the momentum." [my em]


Heh ... Charlie's a tough Korean War vet from Harlem who knows how to fight. This should be fun if he gets pissed enough to put a boot in Harry Reid's ass.

Link thanks to Joe.

Friday, June 19, 2009

PSA/Quote of the Day


... Oh, and I will no longer be linking to the new moonie times ...

That would be the now Froomkin-less Washington Post.

Win-win ...

And not for us. Scarecrow via Digby:


1. The insurance companies get the federal government to mandate that everyone must purchase insurance. (Insurance companies 1, consumers 0)

2. There are only private insurance plans available. (Private Insurers 2, consumers 0)

3. The federal government gets states who feel like it to create an exchange to help consumers shop for -- and insurance companies sell -- their private insurance. (Private insurers 3, consumers 0) [And insurance companies get an extra point in states that don't like federal intrusion]

4. The federal government then subsidizes consumers to help them pay the full premiums charged by the private insurance plans. Insurers win! 4-0!


Bend over, here it comes again.

Fuckups From Beyond The Grave

Think Progress. Links at site and video if you must.

Caught Up In Nostalgic Reagan Hysteria, ‘Student Of History’ McCain Credits Him For 1968 Prague Spring

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been having a tough time with the current situation in Iran. He has been criticizing President Obama’s “hands off” approach and encouraging him to get more involved (despite expert opinion that says otherwise). But former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger — a McCain supporter whom McCain recently called “the smartest man in the world” — said this week that he thinks Obama “has handled this well.”

Last night on Fox News, McCain and Sean Hannity joined in with the right wing’s Reagan-era hysteria, with Hannity arguing that Obama should offer “some moral support the way that Ronald Reagan offered moral support” to anti-communists. But in this instance, McCain got carried away, crediting Reagan for something that happened well before he became president:

McCAIN: You and I are both students of history and we’ve seen this movie before. When Ronald Reagan stood up for the workers in Gdansk in Poland, when he stood up for the people of Czechoslovakia, in Prague Spring, and America did. And some good Democrats did, too.

Perhaps McCain needs a new history lesson. The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia when Communist Party leader Alexander Dubcek allowed greater speech and assembly freedoms when he came to power… in January 1968. Ronald Reagan had just completed his first year as California’s governor at that time. Soviet and other Warsaw Pact troops invaded eight months later to end the reform movement.

Epic fail F in History, Johnny boy. Goddam, I'm glad that senile old bastard didn't get elected president. Moosebreath'd had him committed by now and we'd really be in the shit.

In actual fact, Reagan really did know how to deal with Iran. He and his CIA connection G.H.W. Bush were the ones who got Iran to NOT release the hostages so he could be elected president.

McLame shouldn't feel too bad. Everybody gets it wrong when they invoke that particular Evil Spirit. Al Jazeera credited California's fiscal trouble to Reagan, which is probably true, being governor in 1978, which he wasn't, and the legislative supermajority coming in with Prop 13, which it didn't, having predated the Prop by 45 years.

The crisis didn't start with Schwarenegger; nor did it start with the grand fraud perpetrated by Enron. It began when Ronald Reagan was governor in 1978 and pushed through Proposition 13 -- a major tax reduction that also instituted the requirement of a 2/3 majority

Yeesh. You can't get much more wrong than that. Go get 'em, Badtux. I already did a little.

This goes out to McLame and allwrong Jazeera as a proposed new theme song:

Alison Krauss ~ Ghost In This House

Thanks to LuckystarCountry.

Liquid Alert!

Rove: I’m Horrified That A News Network Would Be A ‘Cooperating Partner’ Of The White House

Hey, you with the wet-'n-dry vacuum and the roll of paper towels - shoulda read the headline first. Heh.

Froomkin’s Sins of the Village

I like the idea of calling D.C. "The Village", particularly after seeing the M. Night Shyamalan pretty dumb movie of the same name. There's a whole world outside that fence you're not allowed to get close to! Heh.

Emptywheel on Froomkin getting canned from WaPo:

Aside from Froomkin's sheer productivity (particularly as compared to his colleague, Dana Milbank, who complains about writing 3-4 750 word columns a week), these posts reveal certain things. On some issues--torture and wiretapping--Froomkin is increasingly critical, particularly as to Obama's "schizophrenia" regarding "transparency." On financial, health care, and foreign policy issues, Dan has been balanced--critical at times, but definitely appreciative of the complexity of Obama's task and his successes there. And of course, he's still beating up Bush and Cheney.

And that, apparently, is enough to get you fired from the Village rag.

To my mind, Glenn Greenwald has the best take on this so far.

All of this underscores a critical and oft-overlooked point: what one finds virtually nowhere in the establishment press are those who criticize Obama not in order to advance their tawdry right-wing agenda but because the principles that led them to criticize Bush compel similar criticism of Obama.

Sure, Froomkin's critical. He's critical in serious ways--perhaps more serious than his criticisms of Bush. But they are--as Glenn said--principled.

Is that what gets you fired in the Village these days? Adhering to principle over party?

Read Greenwald. He hits many nails on the head.

You can get fired from anywhere for putting principle over anything the boss wants you to do. It's better to get fired than quit over it because you can get unemployment. Trust me.

I'm not worried that we'll lose Froomkin's voice. He'll be back somewhere soon. It's WaPo's mistake and WaPo's loss.

Judge rejects argument Cheney needs to be shielded from Daily Show

Raw Story

Tired of waving the national security flag, Obama administration lawyers are apparently trying another tactic to get the courts to back Bush administration arguments which never worked to prevent the release of critical documents. Forget Qaeda or North Korea, late night hosts who tell jokes are why the government should retain its secrets.

“A federal judge yesterday sharply questioned an assertion by the Obama administration that former Vice President Richard B. Cheney’s statements to a special prosecutor about the Valerie Plame case must be kept secret, partly so they do not become fodder for Cheney’s political enemies or late-night commentary on The Daily Show,” R. Jeffrey Smith reports for The Washington Post.

The AP reports, “Justice Department lawyers told the judge that future presidents and vice presidents may not cooperate with criminal investigations if they know what they say could become available to their political opponents and late-night comics who would ridicule them.”

Politico’s Josh Gerstein adds, “Sullivan didn’t decide immediately whether the summary and notes of the Cheney interview should be made public, but the judge said Bradbury’s declaration was inadequate to justify withholding the records. He ordered the Justice Department to supplement its filings by July 1 and to produce the documents for him to examine in private.”

Well, good for the judge. Other than that, it's un-fucking-believable that DOJ would use that as an argument.

That said, The Dick is probably in more danger from late-night comedians than he is from DOJ, dammit.

Shorter Republicans ...

Pic stolen from our pal Nunya.

Happy Friday! Off to work ...

We know now, with certainty ...

That Bob Dole is senile and Tom Daschle is an idiot:


Acknowledging that there is little chance for bipartisanship in the House, Dole urged Senate Republicans to give up any thought of filibustering the health bill. "We need a group of Republicans who will give an early demonstration that bipartisanship is possible," he said.

Daschle, in turn, said he thinks the Democrats should not attempt to ram a health bill through the Senate by using the budget reconciliation device to pass it with 51 votes, rather than the 60 votes most legislation requires.


Why is it the Dems always name spineless patsies to lead the party in the Senate?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thursday Afternoon Smartass Music Blogging

The smartass is me, not these gals. They're pretty good. This goes out to all y'all that have had yer hearts broken lately by people in high places. Like the White House. Yes, you may call me names.

Gray Sky Girls ~ Sea Of Heartbreak

Thanks to BlueGrassRootsTV.

More Polls and the 'Liberal Media'

Think Progress

Major Media Headlines Pretend That Latest Polls Show Obama’s Policies Are Unpopular

You can go read it, but I'll skip to a comment:

ralph the wonder locust Says:

Good thing we've got Faux News as an "opposition channel", what with all these radical far left news sources sugar-coating everything to make the President look good.

Here's my take on Our President's performance so far in five short months on the job:

He's headed in the right direction against entrenched money that doesn't want things to change unless it's even more in their favor. If you watch real close, he's doing things in very small increments because it's the only way to do them. He has a LOT of problems to solve to un-fuck-up the joint after basically 29 years of Repug greed and imperialism. Clinton was barely a blip, and Bush sank the country damn near once and for all. He has priorities, and despite the number of irons he has in the fire, the cows still have to be branded one at a time in order of importance and can't be done all at once.

The frog is in the water and the stove is turned on.

In case you don't think I'm lefty enough or impatient enough, you're right. Nobody is going to get everything they want out of Obama, nor can they nor should they, but if we support this guy in office like we did in his campaign, everybody except the far right and the far left will get big improvements over time.

P.M. Carpenter has a coupla good posts about what he thinks Obama is up to. I tend to go along with him.

Obama: An FDR progressive, whether hard-lining progressives believe it or not


Obama is dragging the center leftward, a few pragmatic inches at a time

An old bull and a young bull were standing on a hillside looking down at a pasture full of beautiful young cows. The young bull said, "Wow! Hey, Pops, let's run down there and make love ta one a' them cows!". To which the old bull replied, "Let's walk down and make love ta all of 'em."

The old bull (ahem!) knows best.


Think Progress. Links and comments at site.

Today, House Republicans offered a substance-less alternative to the Democrats’ health care plan. The GOP “plan” comes on the same day that Gallup releases new numbers showing the GOP ranks last when it comes to who the public thinks would get health care reform right. Only 34% of Americans are confident that Republicans in Congress will make the correct decisions, which is less than the insurance companies (35%) and the pharmaceutical companies (40%). The public’s faith in President Obama comes in at 58%, while confidence in Democratic leaders in Congress is at 42%:

You'd think doctors would be in favor of anything that lets them and their patients decide what's needed without a third party in some for-profit insurance company cubicle far away standing between them trying to deny as much care as possible.

You'd also think that doctors would support anything that simplifies their paperwork without some clown in each of 1000 insurance company cubicles trying to stiff them as much as possible.

You'd think they'd be falling all over themselves calling for single-payer.

Of course, that doesn't take into account their expectations of high pay and returns from investments in hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, HMOs, etc., not to mention the leasing of office space and their cut from the pharmacy in the medical building they own. Most doctors are Repug businessmen. See 'high pay and investments'.

I don't quite understand the results of the above poll, both that I think folks' trust in doctors is too high, and also that confidence in Pharma, insurance companies, Dem leaders in Congress and most particularly Repug congresstoads is waaaay too high.

To put this in words I can understand, I trust my mechanic to fix my car. I don't necessarily want him setting transportation policy.

With the exception of Fixer and me, of course. Everything would be high speed and low drag! Fuck it, let us figure out high speed, low drag health care too. We couldn't do much worse than the so-called 'experts'.

Single Payer Health Care

We're not going to get single-payer anytime soon, but we might get a 'public option' which will open the door for it later. We have to demand a lot to get a little.

Sign Bernie's petition.

Date Posted: 06/16/2009

Our current private health insurance system is the most costly, wasteful, complicated and bureaucratic in the world. Today, 46 million people have no health insurance. Even more are underinsured with high deductibles and co-payments. Close to 20,000 Americans die each year because they don’t have regular access to a doctor. "The time is now for our nation to address the most profound moral and economic issue we face. The time is now for our country to join the rest of the industrialized world and provide cost-effective, comprehensive quality health care to every man, woman and child in our country. The time is now to take on the powerful special interests in the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and pass a single-payer national health care program."

Twit of the Day

That would be Pete "Stepped On His Weenie" Hoekstra (Imbecile - MI).

Talking Points Memo

Earlier today, Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) put up this astonishing post on Twitter, likening the oppression of the Iranian people to the plight of House Republicans:

Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House.

In the hours since, the Twitter community has responded -- with massive heckling. Here's just a small sample of some of the best ones:

luckbfern @petehoekstra I stand in solidarity with the oppressed rich white men of Repub Party in the House. #GOPfail Allah Akbar!

netw3rk @petehoekstra Someone walked in on me while I was in the bathroom. Reminded me of Pearl Harbor.

I can dig that one. Anybody walks in on my morning constitutional, or before the hazmat guys are done afterwards, is likely to go down like Arizona!

TahirDuckett @petehoekstra ran through the sprinklers this morning, claimed solidarity with victims of Hurricane Katrina

paganmist @petehoekstra Had to move all my stuff to a new office w/o a corner view. Now i know what the Trail of Tears was like. #GOPfail

There's plenty more of these and comments too.

I had kinda thought Twitter was pretty inane, but it's sure good for stuff like that, and its worth in getting word out of Iran to the world is turning out to be way above its former perceived potential.

On using it myself? I'll pass. I think ya gotta have one of them little cameras with a phone in it.

Quote of the Day

Susie Madrak:

It’s just another day here in the Obama Whiplash Derby, in which I’m either saying, "God, I can’t believe I voted for this guy!" or "Wow, great idea!" - sometimes within the same five minutes. (Boy, does my neck hurt.)


No shit.

Late for work. Bye ...

So, just like California ...

Our federal government treats a select group of gay folks like human beings (sorta) and says "fuck you" to the rest of 'em.

Faced with growing anger among gay and lesbian supporters, the Obama administration today announced extension of some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees, but stopped short of offering full healthcare coverage.


Gee, thanks. Could ya spare it, mate? [/sarcasm]

You know, I'm tired of hearing about "American values" when we can deny 15% (thereabouts) of our population rights the rest of us enjoy and take for granted. I'm tired of hearing the "freedom and democracy" drumbeat with regard to Iran when, for a good portion of our population, "freedom and democracy" are certainly something much less.

Talk to me when all of our people can enjoy the rights and freedoms affirmed in the Constitution. Talk to me when we're not the only civilized nation where close to 20% of its people walk a thin line between medical care and starvation. I don't want to know about "values" and "freedom" and "rights" in other places until we clean up our own act. I don't want to hear "we don't want to become Europe" when Europe does more to respect the value of its citizens and their contributions than we do; when Cuba has a better healthcare system than we do.

Instead of strutting about and preening like superior beings, telling everyone how great we are, when more and more of our people are getting left behind every day, it's time we actually did something. In my neighborhood, bullshit doesn't cut it, positive action does.

Nothing's gonna change ...

Testifying before Congress, the health insurance big shots basically gave our elected reps the finger.

An investigation by the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations showed that health insurers WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group and Assurant Inc. canceled the coverage of more than 20,000 people, allowing the companies to avoid paying more than $300 million in medical claims over a five-year period.

It also found that policyholders with breast cancer, lymphoma and more than 1,000 other conditions were targeted for rescission and that employees were praised in performance reviews for terminating the policies of customers with expensive illnesses.


Why bother buying insurance to begin with if they're just gonna drop you when you need them the most? Slimy fuckers ...


The executives -- Richard A. Collins, chief executive of UnitedHealth's Golden Rule Insurance Co.; Don Hamm, chief executive of Assurant Health and Brian Sassi, president of consumer business for WellPoint Inc., parent of Blue Cross of California -- were courteous and matter-of-fact in their testimony.

But they would not commit to limiting rescissions to only policyholders who intentionally lie or commit fraud to obtain coverage, a refusal that met with dismay from legislators on both sides of the political aisle. [my ems]


Fuck them, especially when you see what they're getting paid (click on the link). You know why these motherfuckers have the balls to show their ass to Congress? Becuse half the twits asking them questions also take lobbying money. The insurance execs know that no matter what our spineless reps say in the committee room, they'll vote for whatever the insurance industry says they should.

In a perfect world, there would be no argument that single-payer is the way to go but we won't get anything even closely resembling it. In the end, the insurance companies will make out and we'll end up paying more, either through increased taxes or directly, in higher premiums. It'd be nice if the people we elect to represent us would actually give a shit about us rather than protecting a source of campaign donations.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dammit, Gordon!

I got a jukebox in my head. Can't help it, always been there. There's always a tune going though my head, usually relevant to whatever the current situation might be. Gord has a knack for subliminally suggesting tunes with his posts. The Vipers tune (with all the cars and pretty girls) got me thinking about tunes I'd listen to while driving and this one popped into my head. I played it a lot when I was seeing a woman in Dallas while being stationed at White Sands on a long TDY and I used to drive back and forth every time I got a free weekend:

Golden Earring - Radar Love

Rat Rod Rock

I needs me a midweek break from Iran, Iran, Iran, neocons, Repug whining, yada, yada....

YouTube recommends things for me to watch. I even watch 'em sometimes.

I never heard of these guys, and in my exhaustive research I found out there's more bands called 'The Vipers' than you can shake a stick at, but I think this is this one. I can dig it - easy for the tattoo artist to spell when he's inkin' up the groupies, evokes kinda a bad boy image. Cool.

I ain't really a rock and roll guy, but what got me goin' on this one was the shot of the old Ford flathead about two seconds in. I loves me some flatheads! It's an old fart thing. The slightly-less-than-show-quality real world po' boy hotrods are cool too. Remember, form follows function, and the main function of these things is ta haul ass and pick up the kind of girls your mother warned you about. Then the pictures of about every girl my mother ever warned me about. The ones I managed to meet were all very nice girls, even the crazy ones, heh, and are probly grandmothers by now. Don't look at me...

The Vipers ~ Dust In My Pants

Thanks to Termite58.

Before we get carried away ...

Expecting an overthrow of the theocratic system in Iran by popular groundswell (yes, I'm talking to you, conservatives), this 'revolution' is not that deep. Robert Fisk*:


[The protest] is absolutely not against the Islamic republic or the Islamic revolution.

It's clearly an Islamic protest against specifically the personality, the manner, the language of Ahmadinejad. They absolutely despise him but they do not hate or dislike the Islamic republic that they live in.

The Ayatollahs will remain after this Ahmedinejad dustup is long forgotten. It would behoove those in this country, who think this is the next best thing to a U.S. bombing campaign, to realize they might just be disappointed.

*Great thanks to Dr. Fez for the link.

Seeing it ...

For what it is. At least the President gets (he's been obtuse on several other issues) the fact Fox 'News' is nothing but a propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee:

Shamelessly swiped from Oliver Willis.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How I spent my afternoon ...

I had the distinct honor and privilege to meet up with regular reader and commenter John Gall, his lovely wife Delaine, and his college buddy Bob at a local seafood place the Mrs.* and I used to frequent when we were dating. John and his wife were in from Iowa, visiting Bob (who lives about 4 hours north of the Island) and made the trip down so Delaine could finally see the ocean (seems John made a promise to take her a long time ago and he finally came through ... heh) and to visit yours truly, which flatters me to no end.

We put down a few, had some of the local shellfish, and talked our asses off. 3 hours went far too quickly. I'm tickled to death to have had the opportunity to meet such righteous folks.

Safe trip home, guys. Glad you're taking back some good memories from my home.

*Unfortunately, Mrs. F is in Boston on business and couldn't attend, which is a shame because she has a far better personality than I do. Everybody likes her better than me. Heh ...

Lawn Guyland - the 51st state?

Hey F-Man - go chime in on this.

Bob Bogle


TACOMA, Wash.-- Bob Bogle, lead guitarist and co-founder of the rock band The Ventures, known for 1960s instrumental hits including "Walk, Don't Run," has died. He was 75.

I spent my teenage years in the surfing subculture of Southern California. "Walk, Don't Run" was an anthem along with songs by Jan & Dean and The Beach Boys. It's playing in my head right now.

Those were good times and the music was a big part of it. Thanks, Bob. Godspeed.

Thanks to diceophonic.

Iranians have learned from us

Stolen from

"We gotta sink the Eurodam 'cuz the world depends on us"*

If there's anybody out there who enjoys sea cruises, this one'll make ya puke.

The Ostroy Report has an inside man. I'll make ya go read it with just this one line:

Sounds like our nation's leading conservatives are having a gay old time at sea.....

Sounds like they're gettin' inta the old Royal Navy seafaring spirit of "Ah, for the good ol' days of rum, sodomy, and the lash! Arrghhhh!". Traditionalists all. What happens in international waters stays in international waters and it won't get shown on U.S. TV. Waiting for the crew's cell phone vids on YouTube...

*Apologies to Johnny Horton. This time it ain't nothin' against the ship. It'd be like sinkin' the Noah's Ark Of Evil.

Iran Recount

From the Beeb:

Iran's powerful Guardian Council says it is ready to recount disputed votes from Friday's presidential poll.

Shorter analysis from BuzzFlash:

Iran's powerful Guardian Council says it is ready to "recount" disputed votes from Friday's presidential poll. Excuse our cynicism, but when "recount" doesn't mean "recount," but rather "diffuse the opposition by holding off a week but then announce again an Ahmadinejad victory by a slightly lower majority and by then the steam has gone out of the opposition."

That's about it.

Legal Pot in California in 2010?


There is a buzz moving through the culture, as the public attitudes around cannabis use are rapidly shifting, that the legalization of marijuana in some states, particularly California, is a growing possibility.

An array of new circumstances -- Democrats in power, economic recession leaving states starving for revenue that could come from taxing cannabis sales, less funds for law enforcement and Mexican drug operatives moving into the US to grow huge amounts of untaxed pot, contributing to the horrible drug violence South of the Border -- support the growing public support for legalization of pot.

At the epicenter of legal pot talk and strategic political action is Richard Lee, a highly successful pot entrepreneur, who over the past decade has turned the "uptown" entertainment area of downtown Oakland, California into what many call Oaksterdam, a play on Amsterdam, their sister city in Holland. A centerpiece of the Oakland transformation is Oaksterdam University which Lee founded to prepare people for jobs in the cannabis industry. As he told MSNBC, "my basic idea is to professionalize the industry, and have it taken seriously just like beer and distilling hard liquor." The University, along with half a dozen other "cannabis businesses," controlled by Lee bring thousands of visitors to Oakland daily.

California Pot Legalization Initiative

And it was Richard Lee who raised eyebrows among many last week, including some in the "drug reform establishment," when he announced an effort to qualify for the California statewide ballot in November of 2010, The Control, Regulate and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, the first major statewide initiative designed to legalize marijuana for personal use.

Where's that petition? Bring it to me! Besides removing millions of harmless people from being criminals and a shot in the arm (heh) for the snack food industry, our ballot initiative process could use a little redemption too!

The article is quite a bit longer. Please enjoy. You heads trace it with yer finger so you won't lose your place, or print it so you won''t forget what ya read.

Also see:, the newly minted organization he started to push the initiative, calls for the legalization of small amounts of marijuana for personal possession by adults 21 and older, and allows cities and counties the option of regulating sales and cultivation. The legal amount would be 1 ounce for personal possession, with cultivation allowed in a space no larger than 5 feet by 5 feet.

It'll be a good thing if this works.

Losing enemies ...

HTML Mencken understands the neocon mindset. They need someone to blame. Used to be the Commies and the blacks. Then it was the Mexicans and Latin Americans who got in here under the wire (or over the fence as it were). Then it was Liberals and Progressives. And the latest are the Muslims. Without someone to blame for their ills and vilify for their differences, they just ain't happy. Heaven forbid the Iranians actually get them some democracy:

War is the goal of the neocon collective; more subhuman than subhuman is their motto. Always has been, always will be. Neocons have to have an external enemy, legitimate or manufactured: it gives them political power and gives them — for lack of a better phrase — personal fulfillment. War is the force that gives meaning to their lives, makes them feel part of something important. Some people collect stamps, others like to attend church; neocons fap* to destruction wrought by America or Israel on "eeevildoers," preferably dusky and Muslim.


I mean, on actual policy that doesn't involve "kill 'em all", they got nothin'.

*Fap = Masturbate, for the uninitiated.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Headline of the Day


The Theocrat Party of Utter Failure crawls deeper up its own ass

Inspiration ...

The Iranian elections got this going through my head today. I've found inspiration in this scene since I saw it on Broadway as a young boy. William Daniels is John Adams.

Is Anybody There? - 1776

Dear Republicans,

Stop whining about people calling you racist. You are.

Exhibit A:

... commenting on a report posted to facebook about a gorilla escape at a zoo in columbia, s.c., friday, longtime gop activist rusty depass wrote, "i'm sure it's just one of michelle [Obama]'s ancestors - probably harmless ...

Exhibit 2*:

... Now, in a second instance of Republicans playing the race card against the Obamas, Wonkette notes that a racist e-mail was sent out by a legislative staffer for Tennessee GOP state senator Diane Black ...



*Link thanks to Watertiger.

Heads up ...

To dog owners in the NY Metro Area:

There has been an increase in Lyme disease among dogs in our area. And now, there is growing concern that means we'll see the same in humans.

Veterinarians in New Jersey say they're seeing an increase in cases.

The New Jersey Department of Health is urging residents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of Lyme disease, as well as the importance of seeking medical treatment.


You should check your mutt every time they come into the house. The distinctive Lyme telltales in humans are hard to see on dogs. If you're in doubt, make an appointment with the vet.

Heh ...

Via Avedon, Great Redneck Inventions. There's a couple in there Gord might appreciate too. The limo's my favorite.

Homogeneous Nation

The swastika between his runnin' lights will make a damn fine point of aim.

Thanks, YubaNet. I think.

Shocker in Iran: Election Won by Pat Buchanan

I should be ashamed for posting this, but the devil in the form of Don Davis made me do it. Heh.

"When it came to voting for a theocratic Nazi sympathizer, Buchanan had it all over Ahmadinejad - he's not only a much better dresser, but can even get Jews to vote for him."


"...this post-election situation looks to me like a crime scene."

Juan Cole's got the goods on the Florida 2000 Ohio 2004 Iranian "election". Links at site. A 'must read' if you're interested in the details.

But just as a first reaction, this post-election situation looks to me like a crime scene. And here is how I would reconstruct the crime.

As the real numbers started coming into the Interior Ministry late on Friday, it became clear that Mousavi was winning. Mousavi's spokesman abroad, filmmaker Mohsen Makhbalbaf, alleges that the ministry even contacted Mousavi's camp and said it would begin preparing the population for this victory.

The ministry must have informed Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who has had a feud with Mousavi for over 30 years, who found this outcome unsupportable. And, apparently, he and other top leaders had been so confident of an Ahmadinejad win that they had made no contingency plans for what to do if he looked as though he would lose.

They therefore sent blanket instructions to the Electoral Commission to falsify the vote counts.

This clumsy cover-up then produced the incredible result of an Ahmadinejad landlside in Tabriz and Isfahan and Tehran.

The reason for which Rezaie and Karoubi had to be assigned such implausibly low totals was to make sure Ahmadinejad got over 51% of the vote and thus avoid a run-off between him and Mousavi next Friday, which would have given the Mousavi camp a chance to attempt to rally the public and forestall further tampering with the election.

Much more.

More in my column, just out, in

Shorter: Mox nix as far as Obama and our Iran policy is concerned which weak and ineffectual president Iran has as long as the supreme leader is really in charge.

It would have been nice not to have to deal with a Holocaust denyin' loudmouth nutjob. Oh, well...

Iran protest cancelled as leaked election results show Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came third

[Welcome to all Google Blog Search readers - F.]

Telegraph (UK)

Iran's reformist presidential candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi has called off a major rally to protest last Friday's election results, amid claims police had been cleared to open fire on protesters.

Speak out, get shot. A Repug's dream...

Mr Mousavi's cancellation of the protest came as sporadic disturbances continued around the Iranian capital, and reports circulated of leaked interior ministry statistics showing him as the clear victor in last Friday's polls.

The statistics, circulated on Iranian blogs and websites, claimed Mr Mousavi had won 19.1 million votes while Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had won only 5.7 million.

The two other candidates, reformist Mehdi Karoubi and hardliner Mohsen Rezai, won 13.4 million and 3.7 million respectively. The authenticity of the leaked figures could not be confirmed.

And probably won't be. Whaddya wanta bet all the ballots have already gone up in smoke?

Iran's Sham(e) Election

Texas Viking sums up Iran's "election" in two short paragraphs:

Just the way it was handled tells you something is wrong. When 85% of a country's population votes using paper ballots - and the result was announced a mere 2 hours after the polls closed, something is wrong.

How the heck do you process millions of paper ballots in two hours? You don't. So it's obvious that the true story is that the conservative religious types running Iran have had a sham election that has a lot of Iranians hopping mad. And it's a shame. Change was in the air and the people were ready for it, just like in the U.S. in 2008. But nothing scares religious hardliners more than change.

Change is pretty easy to prevent when you have all the guns and media and the means to silence communication and don't give a shit what your own people or the rest of the world thinks.

I guess that settles it...

A tip o' the Brain to Newsifact.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Many viewers without converter boxes say they're happy with change (shown), won't make switch.

Poll: 52% of Republicans Can't Name Who Speaks for Party
But they support them 100%.

Special Feature: Who Speaks for the Republican Party?
Here are six different voices, each expressing a different concern.

Rush Limbaugh:
fears Obama will succeed.

Glenn Beck:
fears Apocalypse is imminent.

Sean Hannity:
fears communist takeover.

Ann Coulter:
fears Muslim takeover.

Newt Gingrich:
fears Latina takeover.

Dick Cheney:
fears jail.

Right-Wing Fears Borne Out
First Gitmo detainee brought to U.S. escapes from maximum security prison, steals nuclear weapon, hijacks stealth bomber.

That boy's come a long way from stump breakin' goats!

Quote of the Day

Da Fez on Rich "Starbursts" Lowry on the Iranian elections:


Yes, the right tactic is to win in a squeaker and dispatch young whiners in suits to seal the win.

Does anyone believe ...

That any part of the health care system will end up getting "reformed"?


And all this confusing chatter around the issue --- which started out with a pretty strong national consensus that the system was broken and that fundamental reform was needed --- plays perfectly into the hands of those who seek to preserve the worst aspects of the status quo and turn the crisis into yet another opportunity to profit at the taxpayers expense. Almost overnight the debate has become all about reassuring people that nothing's going to change.


I am seriously doubtful anything decent will come out of Congress. There are too many politicians in Big Health Care's pocket; to many vested interests out there determined to ensure the status quo. The statement above says it all - "nothing's going to change" because it would hit too many rich people in the wallet. From the doctors who make more than baseball players to the insurance and pharmaceutical companies who pad their bottom line under the current system.

Digby closes perfectly:


This is just beginning and a lot can happen, but I can't say that it's going very well so far. They took single payer off the table before they even began, so they are starting this negotiation with this public plan option as the leftward position to be bargained away in the inevitable "compromise." The way they're going we'll be lucky if we don't end up with "reforming" Medicare into a private, for profit insurance company.

Indeed. Probably, the status quo might be the best option after all because after everybody gets done fucking around, it'll be worse than it is today.

A little advice for the President. You wanna win on health care? Start releasing the torture photos and direct the Attorney General to begin investigations into the Bush administration. I tell you what, my friend, if you don't cut the Rethugs' legs off first, destroy the influence they have left (and branding them criminals will do it), you'll never get anything meaningful through Congress on the health care front.

Either shove it up their ass or don't bother (none of this half-way "bipartisanship" bullshit) because the Republican Party has made it their mission to make your term in office as difficult as it can be. If you don't grind 'em into the dust, they will continue to throw roadblocks in your way and expect you to 'compromise' to get around them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bring 'Em Home! Quick!

Thanks to barbequestopper, UK.

Still Willin'

This is probably my favorite Linda Ronstadt video of all time. I've posted it before. Here's my quote from back then, still holds:

I've always liked this song. I've been from Tehachapi to Tonopah. Back roads? There's four U.S. Highways in maybe 300 miles between those burgs and they are back roads! I can relate to the 'weed, whites, and wine' and 'importing untaxed goods' parts as well.

I'm doin' it again. This is an updated version. The older version is gone anyway.

Linda Ronstadt - Willin'
Live 1976
Little Feat cover

Thanks to GustavoOrozco00, Venezuela.