Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hooker Jay and the Health-Care Fatwah

We got this comment on this post:

And Gord, about that bloggin' bug biting me on the ass again. Well, a video bloggin' bug bit me instead! Just might have to be quiet for a while again. Then again, maybe not -- they haven't gitmo'ed Rude Pundit yet so I could stay in the clear!

This is our old pal Sizemore. A few more lefty rants like this and the Repugs'll be hidin' under their beds! Well, those that aren't already. They like it under there. They can touch each other. We need a lot more lefties, progressives, Dems, and just plain pissed-off folks to sound off like this.

Hooker Jay, formerly of the "A Corrupted Kids Show" podcast, goes off on a health care rant blasting politicians, lobbyists, rightwing Tali-Born Again preachers, pill poppin' pundits, crony Capitalists, and so called centrists. America's health care system must have a public option that is exactly like a beer run -- everybody chips in, everybody gets it, and nobody gets rich.

Damn, sounds a little like me too. Heh. I like it! I don't agree with him 100%, but plenty close enough.

Caution: Not work safe. PG+ to R-rated for language, nudity, violence, and general attitude.

I'm sure comments are welcome at YouTube as well as here, and go to his YouTube channel and subscribe. YouTube will let you know right on your sign-in page when he puts up a new one.

Good question ...

Jim "Mimus" Yeager asks:

where are all the third-party folks? how come they aren't going out of their way to make any noise? seems to me, now that the republicans are thoroughly discredited and the democrats clearly prefer catering to the special interests who donated the most to their campaigns to serving the people who elected them, the time is ripe for a great third-party awakening.


Never really been a 3rd party guy. I was always hoping the Dems, after being kicked around for so long, would do some kicking back, since they're in fat city and all. Apparently not. Maybe it is time for another party that can actually compete but I would think, cynic that I am, such a party (with that type of influence) would be coopted by the special interests soon enough.

Liberties ...

Only a coward like David Brooks would sit through this:


BROOKS: You know, all three of us spend a lot of time covering politicians and I don’t know about you guys, but in my view, they’re all emotional freaks of one sort or another. They’re guaranteed to invade your personal space, touch you. I sat next to a Republican senator once at dinner and he had his hand on my inner thigh the whole time. I was like, ehh, get me out of here.


Anybody, man or woman, who would take liberties like that with me, uninvited, would be making a visit to the emergency room to get the bones in their fingers reset.


Let me ask you something. If someone puts his hand on your inner thigh, do you just sit there? Even if he is a Senator, I'm pretty sure I would move the hand --- or stab it with a fork. Do these media parasites value their access so much that they are willing to grant any kind of "access" themselves? And here I thought the term mediawhore was a metaphor.


Whores, in the truest sense of the word.

Last Night In Baltimore

Seeing as how our playful un-PCness has already got us in trouble with the distaff side (we're used to it), might as well fuckin' go for it! Heh.

I've piled off a few ships with my shipmates and a pocket fulla money and done this, but this is a common experience even for men who've never seen a ship, so this is dedicated to every man out there who at some point will nod knowingly and say, even if very quietly, 'been there, done that, when do we do it again?'.

Also, this might very possibly be the highest and best use of anime.

This is another anime/boggard crossovers clip featuring the tune "My Last Night in Baltimore," which was performed by the world famous Poxy Boggards. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks to LordDrakoArakis, who has lots of these.

Weekend CaliPot Update

Censorship in California: Marijuana Ad Campaign Rejected by TV Stations

We'll take up the slack. Yo, MPP, send us a check. Or a prescription. Heh.

From MPPstaff.

Legal pot, taxed or not: 6 public health issues

On the data side, I compiled every bit of published research about marijuana (positive and negative) from the previous thirty years, researching every conceivable symptom and/or adverse event. The results were published and widely cited. I also gave talks using this same information about the health implications (and the quality of the data to support or refute claims) to any group interested in hearing it.

So how'd that go? While giving the exact same talk, using the exact same slides, I received impulsive, giddy gifts from both a San Francisco medical marijuana club (an enameled marijuana pin - "finally, a physician willing to speak the truth about how safe marijuana is!") and from the Santa Clara police department (a navy-blue district attorney mug - "finally, a physician willing to tell the truth about how dangerous this drug is!"). I had simultaneously become the unwilling darling of both ends of the spectrum. I learned from this experience two things:

1) there is a desperate need for data-based information looking at marijuana in the less-emotional context of a pharmaceutical medication, and

2) no matter how data-dry and context-bias-free you present marijuana information, passionate people will often hear what they want to hear.

Enjoy the rest.

Boom Time

Click to embiggen

Graffiti at Fixer's house?

New photo gallery from Operation Khanjar.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris and the Hot Band ~ White Line

Thanks to TakenAlso.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Fun (Featuring More Ass Than Usual)

I mentioned somewhere that Fridays, ideally, are for fun. To which I would add "cheap an' easy", but that's neither here nor there. Oh, OK, maybe it is. Anyway, The Rude One, who obviously follows the Brain's every move, seems to agree with me.

Truth be told, it is a nice ass. Jailbait ass, yes, but a nice ass. And if the photo actually showed President Barack Obama checking out junior delegate ass at the G-8 summit, it might be worth a word or two. But it doesn't. It shows a frozen moment when Obama was turning his head. (Nicolas Sarkozy is another matter - that's a man scoping out la booty.)

The response of some on the right is an ejaculatory spray of spooge as if Matt Drudge just got a picture of Barack Obama getting a blumpkin from a tranny whore in the men's room of the Buenos Aires airport (or, for Drudge, "Tuesdays"). [...]

The point here, as ever with the conservative commentariat, is not that they're having fun. It's that it's fun about a lie. When we in Left Blogsylvania laughed our asses off at Bush's stupid facial expression when he couldn't open a Chinese door or when he massaged the shoulders of the leader of another country, it was because he actually did those things. (And, well, that motherfucker did look like a chimp.)

It's just kind of pathetic, this desperate attempt to mock Obama, as if catching him in a butt glance will mitigate the myriad sins of the Republicans. It's like seeing a limping frog trying to get to a quickly drying puddle.

However, if Obama had been checking her out, well, c'mon, can you blame him? Look at that ass.

Speaking as a married man, even a man on a diet can look at the menu, and most times the home cookin's better than the fancy French shit. I think Obama is well aware of that.

I kinda like the idea that there's a little boom-boom goin' on in the White House after eight years of silence in that regard. Sixteen if ya only count connubial whoopee...


Just fer shits 'n giggles, I'll let you identify this one. It won't be hard.

Thanks to Thespadecaller.

A different kind of gasbag than we're used to...

This is just for fun. From the EssEffChron. Links added by moi.

Two generations of Goodyear sightings have conditioned us to call it a blimp, but in truth the Eureka is a zeppelin. Whatever you call it, the world's largest airship - 15 feet longer than a Boeing 747 - launched its first full weekend of sightseeing flights over Monterey Bay last month.

Airship Ventures began flying over San Francisco Bay in November. The Eureka, which was built in Germany and is one of only three zeppelins in the world, berths at Moffett Field.


"Eureka" is also fitting because it's California's state motto.

"America's favorite hottie milf ditzball politico moose-slashin' anti-choice anti-feminist destroyer of linear grammar "

Morford on Palin:

I know, I know, we all said we were entirely sick to death of you, Sarah, never wanted to hear another folksy, semi-coherent peep, were hugely grateful that you had mercifully receded like a perky red tide back up to the rural bucolic animal-skinned parts of podunk rusticville from whence you came. I know.

I know, good Sarah, we said all that. And oh dear God, we meant every word, too. No lie. We really, really meant it. Like you cannot believe. Really.

But now, something is amiss. Something feels, how do I say this, a little bit sad. Now that you've up and quit as America's favorite hottie milf ditzball politico moose-slashin' anti-choice anti-feminist destroyer of linear grammar, we feel adrift and lost, a nation without its favorite squeaky purple balloon.

No one ever imagined you'd step up to the mike and deliver one of the most barely coherent, side-steppin', nonsensical, what-the-hell-is-she-talking-about resignation speeches of all time, leaving your role as the right wing's most unlikely taste sensation to ... well, no one knows exactly who. Michele Bachmann? Trust me, Sarah, that flat-out nutbucket can't hold a candle to your winkin', smirkin', carefully manicured caricature of a smart female. Her ignorance and homophobia are far too literal and obvious. You were so much more fun, largely because no one can really understand a single word you say.

So now, we take it all back. I know, it's a bit humiliating to admit, but the nation needs you, Sarah.

Or, more specifically, liberals and Democrats need you, given the simply spectacular job you've done of helping drag the Republican party, if not further to the extremist nutball right, certainly much further down the ladder of intelligence, respect and viability, than even Bush could've dreamed. As long as you're serving as the GOP's hood ornament, and as long as Rush and O'Reilly and Glenn Beck are behind the wheel, the Republican party has not a single prayer of relevance and capability in the next two decades.

In other words, Sarah, the best the left can hope for is for the right's most extremist, silly or otherwise unhinged figureheads -- that's you, Sarah! -- to keep doing exactly what they're doing, shoving out the moderate voices of their own party in favor of wacky fanaticism and raging on about homosexuals and abortion and God, thus locking in Obama's second term and further guaranteeing their own delightful irrelevance.

Do you see, Sarah? We need you here, to keep doing your fine and upstanding and nonsensical work, keep making the right the adorable laughingstock of the world it has so very become.

I don't know if 'adorable' is quite the right word, but who am I to argue with a word- and thoughtsmith like Morford?

And don't worry, Mark. She's not going anywhere. She quit to make money, just a career move - she has to go national because graft in Alaska is too slow. If she helps tank the Repug party the rest of the way, I'll say she deserves every goddam dime she can squeeze out of whatever it is she thinks she's got.

Quote of the Day

Dr. Fez:

... Mommy and Daddy pay off your mistress and her cuckolded husband. Now THAT'S the Republican way!

Do you realize ...

That probably more than one (just going by the odds*) advanced civilization is being destroyed?

Four galaxies collide. Pic from here via Oliver Willis.

*The Milky Way - the galaxy in which Earth and the Solar System is in a relative backwater - holds hundreds of millions of stars and is about a hundred thousand light years in diameter. It is home to at least one intelligent, advanced civilization (though that's a judgment call in my book). In four galaxies, there have to be two or three, unless you're of the belief that God created all this vastness just for us ... you know, the ones in the backwater of the Milky Way.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Just desserts ...



The Minnesota GOP has sent a check to Senator Al Franken for almost $96,000 to partially reimburse him for defending the election contest under the state's "loser pays" law.


Yes! "Loser" being the operative word.

"McNamara's Damned"

We got this from a comment on this post and I thought it deserved to be seen by all:

This is stolen from elsewhere, not written by me:

"McNamara's Damned"
(to the tune of "McNamara's Band")

Oh! His name was McNamara,
Was the leader of the damned.
Although they lacked in morals,
Somehow got to rule the land.
Invaded disobedient puppets,
And hated freedom for all.
Thousands did not get funerals,
After they're shot against a wall.

Oh! The guns go bang, the innocents hang,
And the corpses blaze away;
McCarthyists pump like old buffoons
While politics they do play;
Fascist sadomasochists think torture's a hoot,
And constitutions they disband;
A detriment to democracy was McNamara's hand.
Chopvac | 08.07.09 - 14:06 | #

Thanks, Chopvac.

Mavericky moose-huntin' victimized...twit?

The Rude Pundit, obviously a regular reader of the Brain, expands on Fixer's post:

Somewhere, you know the Clintons are laughing their asses off at Sarah Palin punking out of politics. And that'd be even as they shake their heads listening to bullshit pundit after bullshit pundit declare that poor Sarah Palin and her poor kids and her poor husband were treated oh-so-very cruelly by Katie Couric and the Bloggers.

Shit like this is on an endless loop on CNNMSNBCFox. It's pick and choose the most fucked-up stuff some commenter on Daily Kos wrote while insisting that the beleaguered Palins were treated worser than the worstest any family has ever been worstly treated in the history of worstness. Oh, and Tina Fey hurt her feelings.

Fuck them and fuck her. Sure, people are gonna say mean shit about her. Sure, Andrew Sullivan might get a bit obsessed over whether or not Trig's Palin's kid or not. And if a candidate preaches abstinence but her daughter gets knocked up before marriage? That'd be kind of relevant. But the mainstream media, for the most part, when it wasn't jacking off about how mavericky this moose-huntin' twit (Get an editor, RP. Shoulda been 'twat' - G) was, questioned whether or not Palin was smart enough or experienced enough to be vice-president. Hey, those are legitimate lines of inquiry, even if George W. Bush took them off the table for a few years.

And as for who's been treated worse?

Whether or not Bill and Hillary Clinton had Vince Foster murdered was discussed on mainstream news channels, not just dismissed as sheer madness. Elected Republicans made jokes about Chelsea Clinton's awkward adolescent looks. And when someone investigates Sarah Palin and talks about the shape of her vagina and how she sucks a dick, then we can even begin to talk about who is treated unfairly. It wasn't just some cranky-ass blogger. It was the way the national media functioned: as a nonstop Clinton attack machine. The Clintons fucking took it all, like Rocky against Apollo Creed, man, in Rocky II.

And all this shit was even before blogs existed. What kind of fucktarded shitstorm would have cycloned through the nutzoid right and the 24-hour news networks, desperately trying to fill time until the world ends, if blogs had been around? Oh, right, ask Barack and Michelle Obama about birth certificates, Bill Ayers, and secret Muslim terrorist agendas.

Palin got a taste of it, like a particularly intense amuse bouche. And, as the Rude Pundit said yesterday, if she were truly the honest person her plummeting number of supporters believe she is, she would have simply said last week that she couldn't take it anymore and everyone can kiss her ass. But, hey, maybe Rachael Ray needs some competition.

Shit, Moosebreath ain't a pimple on Rachael's ass. At least Rachael's cute and, lightweight TV cooking show/cookbook author/travel host that she knows she is, doesn't try to bullshit people into thinkin' she's something she's not, like Palin trying to convince people she's something besides another ignorant wingtarded white trash phony christian.

Palin? Honest? Not even when everybody commutes on flyin' pigs. Ain't happenin'.

Oh shit oh dear, I've victimized her...

Light 'em up!

New Tires Made of Oil from Orange Peels

We'll be able to get our recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C just by ridin' around with Fixer! Win-win!

If President Obama Doesn't Achieve a Government Health Insurance Option, His Presidency May be Imperiled

Mark Karlin

The Republicans and their corporate sponsors have long known that if a governnment option gets a toe-hold it could to lead to a fundamental re-alignment in which many of the middle and working class Americans that they have demagogued to hate their government come to see the very same governnment as a friend and savior of their health. This is what has happened in nations around the world that have national healthcare -- and a government option isn't even national healthcare, but it will be in time because once you take the profit and excess healthcare costs created by private health insurance out of the system, the default will be Medicare for everyone.

Me 'n Mrs. G get Medicare next year. It's going to cost us about $15 Grand to get there. It hurts, but we can do it. We dare not let our COBRA lapse because at our age, anything can go wrong at any moment. Also, we're both motorcyclists and a rousing good broken leg can cost ten times that without insurance these days.

I think my point is that that's a lot of money for younger folks with kids who are just starting out in life with lotsa payments to make. If they don't get their insurance through their work, they're screwed whether they get sick or busted up or not. It's just too expensive.

I bring up my beer run metaphor once again: Everybody, even and maybe especially people who don't need much health care now, kicks in. Everybody gets the health care they need whenever they need it for life, and they will need it sometime. Socialized medicine? Sure, or maybe 'communal' as in 'shared' is a better word. Repugs don't like 'comm'-anything because it reminds them of communists and hippies whom they're scared of and don't like, and they ain't much for 'sharing' anything either, especially at a cost to profit.

Fuck them.

Maybe 'civilized medicine' is a better term.

By the way, I've always gotten my health insurance through Mrs. G's employment. The health care plan at most of the motorcycle shops I've worked at was to drag you out in the middle of the street and call 911. Given that most motorcycle mechanics with sudden onset medical problems are already lying in the middle of the street courtesy of some moron in a Buick, it wasn't really much of a chore for the shop staff. And since some citizen would usually call the cops to come arrest the scooter trash who was blocking traffic and get him outta the way of their important mall run, the shop guys didn't even have to make the call. The Service Manager was more worried about the customer's bike anyway. That they had to go deal with.

We knew Obama in Illinois. As anyone who reads BuzzFlash knows, we fiercely fought for him in the Democratic primary and the general election.

But we did not know that his desire not to alienate the D.C. villagers would lead to his capitulation on change and evolve it into an acceptance that he is not going to risk leadership with the audacity of fighting for what Americans need for their healthcare, and what will be most cost-effective. In short, Rahm Emanuel and others are telling him that the moneybags of the health insurance industry have too much power to be defeated by the President of the United States.

In the case of Barack Obama not taking the fight for the government option to the mat, we may be seeing a serious character flaw -- a man who can't distinguish between the raised expectations of fighting rhetoric and an actual fight.

Mr. President, if those bastards are too much for you to handle, call a meeting of all the insurance and pharma people and their lobbyists and senators too. Have me and Fixer officiate at the meeting. We'll have single payer in ten minutes. Twenty minutes if there are TV cameras present because we'll have to be more gentle. You can get it through while they're all out cold. It'll only take that long because we'll want a smoke break. The 'rhetoric' will be pretty basic and I don't think it'll be much of a 'fight'.

As our BuzzFlash columnist Phil Carpenter noted this morning, if President Obama doesn't get a bill with a full government health insurance option, he may not only have caved into the powers with the profiteering billions, he may have lost his re-election campaign.

Maybe, maybe not. The stoopids amongst us elected a court-appointed Epic Fail president pretty recently. They might re-elect an elected one too.


BUZZFLASH GUEST COMMENTARY by Brad Reed of Commonweal Institute

The Neocons Have No Credibility, So Why Do They Get So Much Media Exposure?

Shorter: Anything more complicated than the neocons' "We Have The God-Given Right To Rule The World By Any Means Necessary" message makes the highly-paid political analysts' heads hurt.

For those of you unfamiliar with the neoconservatives - or neocons, as they are often referred to - they're a clique of right-wing foreign policy ideologues who think the use of American military power is always justified under any circumstances. The endgame, as neocon Max Boot put it, is to have American troops occupy the "troubled lands" that "cry out for the sort of enlightened foreign administration once provided by self-confident Englishmen in jodhpurs and pith helmets."

That's the same outfit they have the hookers wear to administer the beatings. The English liked that too and they ruled the world.

Ask the Limeys how that's been workin' lately.

*In the neocons' case, Keep It Simple and Stupid.

Repeal DADT Bill. Do Tell!

Congressman Patrick Murphy (D - PA-8) gets Gordon's Alternate Brain Good Guy Of The Week Award.

Nightmare scenarios ...

Jill has a question:

Can you imagine if the Republicans had the White House, the House of Representatives, and a 60-vote majority in the Senate?

The sphincter tightens thinking about it.

Sarah who?

No longer the darling of most of the GOP (but still going strong with the spank-your-monkey faction - "Ooh, I love rubber!"), her only career from here out will be as a fishwife (Rush Lintball's fishwife):

New Jersey GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie's campaign has no interest in help from Sarah Palin after the former vice presidential candidate stepped down as governor of Alaska, in part to help Republican candidates across the country.


Palin is getting a lukewarm response in Virginia, the other high-profile governor's race this year. Republican candidate Bob McDonnell said Tuesday his campaign had conversations with the Palin camp, but stopped short of saying whether he wanted her help.


The Rethugs might be losers, but they sure don't want to be linked to a quitter.

Great thanks to our pal Maru for the link.

Yeah, good thing ...

Hillary Clinton was never viciously persecuted like Sarah Palin:


Has Palin been accused of murder? Have the charges been conclusively proven false by three separate special prosecutors to the tune of many millions of taxpayer dollars in investigations that last for years and personally cost her millions of dollars in legal fees? No? Then I think she needs to rethink her claims.


Is that all Republicans do? Whine?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Conyers Proposes, Rove Deposes

Raw Story

Former Bush White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was deposed by lawyers for the House Judiciary Committee, Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) said in an interview Tuesday.

Rove’s deposition took place over a period of some eight and a half hours, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending around 6:30 p.m, ET — and the lawyers took several breaks, Conyers said.

Conyers wouldn’t say what Rove told investigators or whether Rove would appear before his committee again.

As long as we hear what he said used against him and others in court, I'll be happy.

Blogger Emptywheel, noted for her reporting on all things related to Plamegate, remarks, “Supposedly, there will be transcripts produced, Harriet and Karl will review them, and then we’ll all get our greedy little hands on them. Given that it’s summertime in our nation’s capital, it’ll take at least a few weeks for all that to transpire.”

“But we might get a Karl transcript before we get a Cheney interview,” Wheeler adds.

Cheney's runnin' out the clock. He knows he'll die before any of the details of his crimes are used against him. Later this afternoon would be fine.

Pro-marijuana ad pushes pot as Calif. budget fix

AP. You can see the ad here. Caution: It's not at F** Noise, but it's their video.

A pro-marijuana group is launching another television bid to legalize pot in California — this time with the pitch that legalizing and taxing the drug could help solve the state's massive budget deficit.

The 30-second spot, airing Wednesday and paid for by the Marijuana Policy Project, features a retired 58-year-old state worker who says state leaders "are ignoring millions of Californians who want to pay taxes."

We're payin' 'em anyway. Might as well be for something good.

In a phone interview, Herndon said that before filming the ad, she had not told very many people about her marijuana use. But she said her concern over the state's fiscal crisis and her support of medical marijuana led her to go public.

"I came out of the closet with this ad," she said.

She said she was approached to star in the ad while her husband was taking classes at Oaksterdam University, an Oakland trade school that trains students to grow medical marijuana.

Speaking as a product of, and booster for, vocational education - hear! hear!

An ad at the bottom of that article led me to this:

Vaporize Your Herb

Other than being the most expensive bongs I ever heard of, what do you think of that?

We've come a long way from a Prince Albert can full of weed for $10, I think.

Folks can say whatever they want about how us Californians have fucked ourselves over financially with Prop 13 and our supermajority law and our demand for services all for utopian free and yada-yada, but if we get legalized marijuana, we won't even notice the blathering. Heh. The most serious problem will be the empty Sara Lee counter at the market.

Why newspapers are dying

Professor Smartass in reaction to WaPo's hurriedly-backed-off-of-since-it-got-out offer of access to public officials for money, just one of the reasons we seldom like to link any more to the Neocon Post:

Weymouth's hard-to-believe apology as well as the original idea for the event itself shows why newspapers and our democratic process are dying: the public is fed platitudes and PR spin to herd them toward pre-approved opinions while the real debate is going on behind closed doors between those who have the money to buy the outcome they want.

The original article shows one part of the problem is nepotism. Weymouth got her job not because she is the crème de la crème of journalists but because she is the grand-daughter of famed owner Katherine Graham. Owning the press no more makes you a competent publisher than being the first president Bush's son makes you a competent president.

Obviously, being part of the ruling elite doesn't make you smart, only greedy.

We need a new model of press, perhaps like the Guardian in the UK that is run like PBS & NPR here (but the Guardian doesn't have to beg for corporate donations). We should also fully fund PBS & NPR, so they aren't beholden to corporations and the foundations of the wealthy to stay in business.

If the presidency of George W. Bush, the Enron collapse, the theft of countless pensions, the attempted theft through privatization of Social Security, the banking crisis, our health insurance system that puts profits ahead of saving lives, and our on-going wars for oil and pipeline routes in the Middle East were not evidence enough, Katherine Weymouth provides further proof that the financial elite in this country is as morally and intellectually crippled as George W. Bush--and just as dangerous when their hands are on the levers of power.

It's not just newspapers. The 'financial/ruling elite' may be more dangerous than ever now that they've seen threats of a loss of power, however slight, with Obama and the Dems in the majority. They've circled the wagons and are doubling their efforts against us.

From a post by Thom Hartmann on a completely different aspect of the far right's war on us:

As the 1983 American Heritage Dictionary noted, fascism is: "A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

Get ready.

We will be fighting against this forever. We must.

Lessons learned from Vietnam? None.

Bob Herbert on the Devil calling McNamara home:

Long after the horror of Vietnam was over, McNamara would concede, in remarks that were like salt in the still festering wounds of the loved ones of those who had died, that he had been “wrong, terribly wrong” about the war. I felt nothing but utter contempt for his concession.

McNamara, it turns out, had realized early on that Vietnam was a lost cause, but he kept that crucial information close to his chest, like a gambler trying to bluff his way through a bad hand, as America continued to send tens of thousands to their doom. How in God’s name did he ever look at himself in a mirror?

Lessons learned from Vietnam? None.

More than 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam and some 2 million to 3 million Vietnamese. More than 4,000 Americans have died in Iraq, and no one knows how many hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Even as I was writing this, reports were coming in of seven more American G.I.’s killed in Afghanistan — a war that made sense in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, but makes very little sense now.

Made sense then, makes no sense 7 years on. In the end, probably to no gain except profit. Two more parallels to Vietnam. Nice goin', George.

None of these wars had clearly articulated goals or endgames. None were pursued with the kind of intensity and sense of common purpose and shared sacrifice that marked World War II. Wars are now mostly background noise, distant events overshadowed by celebrity deaths and the antics of Sarah Palin, Mark Sanford and the like.

The obscenity of war is lost on most Americans, and that drains the death of Robert McNamara of any real significance.

It's not lost on me, but Herbert is right. The only significance of his death is to bring this shit up again. Not that anybody except us old farts care.

Dear Mayor Villaraigosa,

Stop whining about this ...


Jackson’s memorial service comes at a tough financial time for the California City. Last month when the Los Angeles Lakers won the NBA Championships, the city was unable to scrounge up enough cash to hold a traditional victory parade, instead opting for a celebration at the Forum. Half of that $2 million tab was reportedly paid for by AEG Live.


... And send the remainder of the bill to the Jackson family. The taxpayers didn't ask to have this classless spectacle foisted on them and shouldn't be forced to absorb the costs of security for it. With all the records MJ sold since he died, a cool mil should be pocket change.

And by the way, can we put him to rest now and get on with real news? I am so fucking sick of this shit.



Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Froomkin Hired By HuffPo

Does he get privileges with MFBTGR*? Good news from Glenn Greenwald:

Huffington says that it is Froomkin's views on the media that, for her, is his primary appeal. The key to vibrant, successful journalism, she said, is "getting away from the notion that truth is found by splitting the difference between the two sides, that there is always truth to both sides." Huffington argues that establishment journalism is failing due to "the idea that good journalism is about presenting both sides without a voice -- without any passion." The outlets that continue to adhere to that "obsolete" model "are paying a price." Froomkin -- who has written extensively about how passion-free, "both-sides-are-equally-valid" journalism is the primary affliction of the profession -- echoes that view: "The key challenge is to present an alternative to the 'splitting the difference' culture that has infested traditional media."

The split is to the right, Dan. If it was in the center it wouldn't be a problem. The right wing would never be mentioned in the same sentence as 'truth'.

*My Favorite Big Titted Greek Redhead

Palin Not Fade Away

El Rude-o on Palin:

Hell, even if she had said, "Governoring is boring and I'm sick of people buggin' me for stuff. I'm headin' to L.A. to make shitloads of money, fuckers," it would have been more honest.

At this point, though, Michael Jackson's funeral has more dignity.

Thanks a great steaming pile for that reference, Rude One. Yeesh. Can't they just bury the poor bastard? Yeah, under the center ring at B&B.

[...] Reading Kristol's pathetic whine of a column is like taking pleasure in watching a man eat a shit sandwich and pretending it's fine ham.

In the Washington Times, Tony Blankley, a man who looks like he just ate a whole meatball sub, writes, "And though many a conventional politician might be seen as a quitter if he resigned from office -- I have a very strong hunch Mrs. Palin is constitutionally incapable of being seen as a quitter. Because she is not. She is constantly taking on the biggest challenge on her horizon." You got that logic? If anyone else quit, they'd be a quitter. But if Palin quits, she's not. Thus Tony Blankley finally achieved his goal of licking his own asshole.

Over on MSNBC's Morning Starbucks, Mika Brzezinski, who always looks like she's just aching for a spanking, said yesterday that if Palin were a man, we wouldn't be judging her so harshly for resigning. She's wrong on that account, but she's right that we'd treat a man differently. We'd call him a "pussy." (Bonus points: Brzezinski declared that she's not a feminist.)

Ever so much more...

Aw, shit...

After I read this article,

Rahm Emanuel Signals White House Is Willing To Compromise On Public Plan

I sent this e-mail:

Dear President Obama,

My wife and I voted for you and like you and want you to succeed, but...

If you do not get a 'public option', you have not 'reformed' health care and your Presidency will be a failure for the rest of your term. Period.

Pardon me for putting it this way, but screw the health 'insurance' industry and its Republican politicians. They're the ones who got us into this mess and they're not the ones who will get us out of it.

The time for 'health care for profit' is over. Unlike the dinosaurs of old, these dinosaurs see the end coming and are fighting it tooth and nail. The American people must win this one and enter the 21st century with health care for all like the civilized nations have.

Health care should be like a beer run: everybody kicks in, everybody gets it, nobody gets rich.

Please do the right thing.


Not that it will do any good. I don't have $1.4M a day to spend. It just made me feel better.

The 'beer run' reference is from here.


I know the Repugs are not solely responsible. They have a lot of help from the Dems in holding us back from the correct path. I didn't mention that in my e-mail because I didn't want to further Obama's delusions about non-existent bipartisanship for any other reason than to keep the lobbyists' money flowing in like seawater into New Orleans.

Update II:

BuzzFlash headline:

President Obama Offers Weak Reassurance that He Will Back Government Option in the End.

Rahm's trying for the 'trigger' option. It won't work. Period. The big insurers will just co-opt it and nothing will change.

Note to Obama: Bitch slap that little fucker and get him pointed in the right direction. I like Emanuel, but not this time.

Galloway on McNamara: Reading an obit with great pleasure

[Welcome to Crooks and Liars readers!]

Joseph L. Galloway at McClatchy

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." —Clarence Darrow (1857–1938)

Well, the aptly named Robert Strange McNamara has finally shuffled off to join LBJ and Dick Nixon in the 7th level of Hell.

McNamara was the original bean-counter — a man who knew the cost of everything but the worth of nothing.

Please read the rest. Mr. Galloway reminds us of David Halberstam, author of The Best and the Brightest which was an insight into the flawed thought processes that got us into "McNamara's War".

If you don't think the Vietnam War is still important, kindly remember that, coming on the heels of Civil Rights and being the main cause of social upheaval when many people saw the light and many didn't, it brought us Richard Nixon and the Reagan/Bush era. We have had one President and one president who were Vietnam-era draft dodgers, but the country is still too afraid of crazed Vietnam Vets to have one of them for Prez and we probably won't. The wounds are below the surface now, but they're still festering.

Those of us who came of age during those days will never, I say again never, forget it for all our days on this Earth. It still matters.

There's also a description of a bizarre event involving McNamara and the Martha's Vineyard ferry. The moral of the story is: Eat your Wheaties so you can throw rather than push.

One down, one to go:

Click it

Социализированная медицина ...

According to Krugman and the CBO*, it works:


But last week the budget office scored the full proposed legislation from the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). And the news — which got far less play in the media than the downbeat earlier analysis — was very, very good. Yes, we can reform health care.

Let me start by pointing out something serious health economists have known all along: on general principles, universal health insurance should be eminently affordable.


We can afford 'socialized medicine', and no, I don't have a problem with the name:


After all, every other advanced country offers universal coverage, while spending much less on health care than we do. For example, the French health care system covers everyone, offers excellent care and costs barely more than half as much per person as our system.

And even if we didn’t have this international evidence to reassure us, a look at the U.S. numbers makes it clear that insuring the uninsured shouldn’t cost all that much, for two reasons.


The only thing standing in the way of a comprehensive health care overhaul are those in the pockets of Big HMO.

*Link thanks to Mr. Aravosis.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quote of the Day

Our pal UL:

... I can see the end of Sarah Palin's political career from my house!

"...hotter than Satan's taint"

The Rude Pundit goes to a teabagging party, with pictures. His closing thoughts:

No, instead you sigh, thinking that it's too hot a day. You debate in your mind whether or not this is a real movement or just a bunch of people who too readily believe all the goddamn lies they're fed. You get a free sno-cone (sour apple flavor). You listen to the costumed kids sing, "God Bless America." You leave when the band starts to cover Lee Greenwood's fucking song. You go to see fireworks downtown after the local symphony plays. You hear that people around here don't put pro-choice or pro-Obama stickers on their cars because they'll get keyed. You know this is America, too, yes, and, unlike the tea partygoers, you recognize it because, even as they celebrate a so-called "revolution" and hope for another, some things never change.

Some things never change. Ya can't fix stupid.

What's wrong with this picture?

From a photo gallery of Operation Khanjar ("Strike of the Sword").

If this dumbass Jarhead thinks those bullets are diggin' into the base of his skull now, wait 'til an enemy bullet hits one of 'em.

Note to dumbass Jarhead: Flip the belts over so the hurty things are pointin' away from yer apparently unused brain housing group.

He probably hangs his grenades by their safety pins too. Yeesh. Dibs on his iPod. If we can find it.

Note to the Commandant: I know where you can get an Old Corps Marine as a highly paid civilian consultant who can explain very simple things to today's young Marines in terms they can understand. Things like if they're gonna do stupid shit, at least don't get photographed doing them. I'll bring my own 2x4. At cost plus, of course.

Robert McNamara, 1916-2009 -- and America's tragic memory loss

Attytood, links at site.

Robert McNamara died today at age 93. As Secretary of Defense for Presidents John F. Kennedy and more notably Lyndon Johnson in the mid-1960s, it was McNamara who oversaw America's tragic military buildup in Vietnam. That made McNamara -- right up until today's news -- a vivid anti-icon to those Baby Boomers who opposed the war -- and I think you can make the case that his death is that of the most historical significance of the slew of recent "celebrity" passings, no matter how many millions of people are gathering outside the Staples Center to remember the Gloved One.

Bob McNamara was not a great man. He was a man with great intelligence that didn't prevent him from executing a plan that led to the unnecessary slaughter -- for reasons that remain hard to fully comprehend -- of tens of thousands of Americans and many more Vietnamese. [...]

The life of Robert McNamara was a personal tragedy, but it was also an American tragedy, our tragedy -- because even after McNamara spelled out everything that went so horribly wrong in Vietnam, he lived long enough to see a new generation of the self-appointed "best and brightest" in Washington pay absolutely no mind to the lessons of our recent past.

In Iraq, as in Vietnam, our policy-makers knew nothing or cared little about the long history and convoluted ethnic and religious politics of Mesopotamia's Fertile Crescent. In Iraq, as in Vietnam, there was no plan for the proper military follow-up to a period of "shock and awe" bombing. In Iraq, as in Vietnam, we totally misjudged the "nationalism" of the people who lived there and how they would react to a long American occupation. And perhaps most importantly, In Iraq, as in Vietnam, there was no real "public debate" as we marched headlong and foolishly into the 2003 -- with way too many "unexamined assumptions," "unasked questions," and "readily dismissed alternatives."

I actually spoke, very briefly, on the phone with McNamara in early 2003 in an effort to interview him for the Daily News. Like a few other journalists in that critical hour, I was hoping some of his tragically acquired wisdom might infuse the tepid pre-war discussions, and like all other reporters in those pre-war months, he told me he was holding off on commenting (as noted in the link above, he had a lot to say in 2006 when it was too late). That was a damned shame -- even though I can't imagine it would have tipped the rigged scales.

It wouldn't have. The Vietnam War started as a response to supposed communist expansion during The Cold War, then lost its purpose and dragged on and on to no good end.

Bush's War was about ideological and personal selfishness, arrogance, and ego.

The big constants between them were corporate profits and hundreds of thousands of deaths to no good end.

So long, Mac. I hope you fuckin' fry for eternity.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Search begins for exiled tyrant Bush.

Percentage of Americans Covered by Private Health Insurance at 50-Year Low
But thank God we don’t have socialized medicine.

Many States on Brink of Financial Collapse
Residents of neighboring states advised to purchase firearms.

FBI: Saddam Told Interrogators He Bluffed Having WMD to Scare Off Iran
Worked like a charm.

Not again ...

The tea baggers are back.

The Republican Party of Duval County is backing away from their promotion of an event that featured numerous controversial comparisons of President Barack Obama with German Dictator Adolf Hitler. The event, a Tea Party held at the Jacksonville Landing on July 2, was organized by the First Coast Tea Party. However, the Duval County Republican Party promoted the event with e-mails that stated "Paid by Republican Party of Duval County" ...

Pics of Stupid Republican Tricks at the link. I'm running late this morning. Hope you all survived the 4th.

Great thanks to Digby for the link.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

What they're not getting ...

More than one blogger has problems with what Vice President Biden told Little George this morning concerning Israel vis a vis Iran:


"Israel can determine for itself — it’s a sovereign nation — what’s in their interest and what they decide to do relative to Iran and anyone else," he said, in an interview taped in Baghdad at the end of a visit there.


As I heard it, Joe is giving Israel enough rope to hang herself. It might be in Israel's interest to bomb the shit out of Natanz but it is Israel's greater interest to continue getting the level of subsidy it currently enjoys from us. I wouldn't presume for one second Biden is giving them carte blanche.


After sleeping on it, I'm inclined to think, should Israel bomb the shit out of Natanz, the protection of the U.S. veto at the U.N. might disappear, rather than American donations.

Same old, same old

[A big Brain welcome to Crooks and Liars readers.]

Just a great quote from Smedley Butler:

I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.

Some things never change. Sigh.

Sunday Glasharmonika Music Blogging

Fixer likes ta play that highfalutin' classical stuff. Well, two can play at that game!

Invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761. Music by Wolfgang A. Mozart. Played by French artist Thomas Bloch, exhibiting the glass harmonica in the Paris Music Museum, Nov. 29, 2007.

From elsewhere at YouTube:

The instrument, an invention of Benjamin Franklin, was quickly banned after its inception. It was said to provoke insanity. The unique harmonics have also been said to import therapeutic powers.

Yes, insanity is therapeutic...

Thanks to johntamaro.

Sunday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

Dated 15 Jan '09. Still waitin'...

Cledus T. Judd - Waitin' On Obama


Quote of the Day

Think Progress, with video:

During a townhall in Waukon, IA Tuesday, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) was asked by a constituent of his: “Why is your insurance so much cheaper than my insurance and so better than my insurance?” When Grassley struggled to explain the details of his own health care plan, the elderly man followed up, “Okay, so how come I can’t have the same thing you have?” Grassley said, “You can. Just go work for the federal government.” (my em)

How about you Iowans exercise yer 'public option' and send this clown back where he came from?

"When the going gets weird,...

...the weird turn pro" - Hunter S. Thompson

Paul Begala

[...] Sarah Palin makes Mark Foley, the congressman who sent filthy emails to pages look almost normal. She makes David Vitter, the senator who was hanging out with hookers, look almost boring. She makes Larry Craig, caught hitting on a cop in a men's room, look almost stable. She makes John Ensign, the senator who was having an affair with a staffer, look almost humdrum (and compared to the rest of the GOP whack-jobs, he is). And she makes Mark Sanford, the governor with the Latin lover, look positively predictable.

It was an almost impossible mission, but in resigning from office with 17 months to go in her first term, Sarah Palin has made herself the bull goose loony of the GOP.

Now that's an accomplishment!

[...] A lot of people thought that about George W. Bush. He couldn't be so block-headed, they said. He couldn't be as childish and churlish as he came off. Oh yes he could. And so, too, might Ms. Palin be as vapid and puerile as her inane statement suggests.

We will know. In the fullness of time (and I predict, not much time) we will know. Again and again in her statement, Gov. Palin returned to the nettlesome ethics inquiries that have been visited upon her since she signed on to be John McCain's running mate. No doubt they are annoying. But does anyone believe that's why she's resigning? No, there's more to this story. And Ms. Palin's resignation only increases the chances that we will all know the rest of the story soon. Or, as she might put it:

We will all KNOW the "rest of the Story" *((SOON!))*

Waiting with bated breath...

Dear Sarah,

Let me clue you in to something. Bloggers don't scare easily.


"I'll sue you for defamation!" is the toothless wonder of the legal world. The bluster is meant to scare people, intimidate them, and get them to be quiet. In this particular case, it's not going to work ...

It's time for you, and your attorney, to STFU and realize your fifteen minutes is up. The more you yell and threaten, the more dirt we're gonna dig up on your ass. If there's one thing we've learned after 8 years of Bush is how to play the Republican game if we have to. Only you know how many skeletons hang in your closet and it's up to you whether they stay there or not. Good luck.