Saturday, December 19, 2009

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't

Paul Krugman on the health care bill. A 'must read':

It’s not the bill progressives hoped for. But it’s the bill that can pass, now.

And here’s what happens if a bill isn’t passed now: Democrats lose seats — maybe a lot of seats — in the 2010 midterms. A weakened President Obama wins reelection, maybe - but even that isn’t certain. No way he has the votes for another try at health care before 2015. Quite possibly, there isn’t another chance until 2021.

Some people say that we should throw it away and start over; is this what they have in mind? Because that’s the reality of what would happen.

We can come back to this. Progressives can push for bigger subsidies; stronger exchanges; a reinstated public option; stronger cost controls. Some of these things can be done through reconciliation. Having this bill in place will make it easier, not harder, to do these things than having passed nothing.

I’m not happy — this is too flawed a bill for joy — but I am relieved (or will be once I’m sure that Joe Lieberman isn’t going to pull a double-cross). You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.

Unfortunately, I think he's right, dammit. Please read it.

I Fought The Law

Nanci Griffith & The Crickets do their old tune made famous by The Bobby Fuller Four. Man, them Crickets got old...

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

California Zephyr

This song was recorded quite a few years ago, but the video is new. Filmed, no doubt, and posted by her husband who goes by garrufat. Ms. McCaslin is on a cross-country tour and they are posting vids every few days of her travels. You can see her in the video.

Old locomotives are like old motorcycles - you can see what makes them work and there's nothing subtle about them.

Mary McCaslin ~ California Zephyr

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou on the Beatles song, from a Lowell George Benefit concert in 1979. Poor video quality but thought worth sharing as rare to see Emmylou performing this song live.

Brian Ahern, Emmylou's then husband on guitar.

Emmylou Harris ~ Here, There, And Everywhere

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Just Shut. The. Fuck. Up ...

To quote Maru: "... the presiding officer, one huge-balled Sen. Al Franken, said no. "Sit down and STFU. Seriously."

Quote of the Day

Oliver Willis:

... On the course of this debate I’ve come to hate the U.S. Senate and if we played under the rules as they are used today, I would still be waiting for civil rights legislation to pass ...

Only England should have a House of Lords.

Basically ...

If you're seeking an abortion in the state of Oklahoma, you're a selfish whore.

Shopping Day

Breakfast at Q's and then Costco. Go hit the blogroll or wait 'til me or Fixer get home (wink). See yas later.

Headline of the Day dos

Todd Palin encourages himself to "get the hell" out of America.

Note to Todd: Build yerself a snow ramp pointed west. Get way the hell back and aim yer champeenship-winnin' snow machine at it and punch it! Maybe you can make it to Russia.

Headline and Quote of the Day

Hugo Chavez: If the climate was a big capitalist bank, you would have already saved it


Late for work. Go hit the blogroll or wait until Gordon wakes up. Glad it's Friday ...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It's Miller Time

I think I'm going to relax for a while...

California population growth slowest in more than a decade



California's population grew less than 1% in the last year, the slowest growth rate in more than a decade as migration to the state barely kept up with the significant number of people leaving, according to state Department of Finance data released today.

Across the state, natural increases rather than migration accounted for the largest source of population growth. Los Angeles County, for instance, lost more people than it gained through migration but grew slightly to 10.4 million people from July 2008 to July 2009 because births outstripped deaths.

Now if we can just get deaths to outstrip births...

Maybe we can put something spermicidal in such water as we have left.

"...when that great ship went down..."*

I luurves me some cruise ship metaphors!

Thanks to YubaNet.

*Apologies to Titanic.

"California's Sarah Palin"

Oh fucking swell. Just what we need.

Read about it here. Listen to it here.

Beck defends clause counting blacks as three-fifths of a person

Batcrap Crazy Miss Becky has absolutely defined a Constitutional 'strict constructionist' for us: racist.

Raw Story

Glenn Beck offered listeners a rather unique version of U.S. Constitutional history on his radio show Tuesday.

In response to a question from an African-American caller, Beck defended the original "Three-Fifth Clause" in the Constitution, which deemed African-Americans to be "three-fifths of all other persons."

Beck's interpretation of the motives of the Founding Fathers for writing the three-fifths clause is highly curious, as it did ultimately serve as a key Constitutional justification for establishing African-Americans an unequal and thus holding them as slaves.

His assertion that Founding Fathers cleverly designed the clause to set the stage for the abolition of slavery is also a dubious version of history.

This is not the first time that Beck has made controversial comments about the Constitutionality and justifications for slavery.

To paraphrase one of the King Henrys in regard to Thomas Becket, "Will no one rid us of this turbulent racist cretin?"

Headline of the Day Plus

U.N. Officials Say American Offered Plan to Replace Karzai

Mr. Galbraith said in an interview that he discussed but never actively promoted the idea of persuading Mr. Karzai to leave office.

Heh. 'Persuaded' as in the way we persuaded one of our Presidents of the Republic of Vietnam, Ngô Đình Diệm, to leave office?

Hey, whatever works. Maybe it'll work this time...

W**-M*** Cheats Soldiers

Stars and Stripes

WIESBADEN, Germany — Overseas military customers ordering gifts online from certain retailers might get an unpleasant surprise when shipping and handling fees are tacked on at the end of the purchase.

Those same customers might be most surprised to find that retail giant Walmart had the biggest markup.

On a $120 purchase, charged $10.35 to ship to an APO address, compared with $2.10 to a stateside address. For most items, charged the same to ship to an APO address as a stateside address. And Target offered shipping on a $120 purchase to an APO address for less than to a stateside address.

But Earl Small, the postmaster at Wiesbaden Army Airfield, said that the shipping and handling charges have nothing to do with the military postal system or the U.S. Postal Service.

According to Small, when companies ship to APO addresses in Europe, the order is shipped to New York, after which the Department of Defense picks up the tab to get the package to an APO address.

On, the company says shipping costs will be higher to APO addresses due to higher transportation costs.

“There is no higher transportation costs,” Small said. “Companies are abusing the system and making a killing.”

Charging deployed service people for costs the taxpayers actually pay. Pretty similar to their stance on health care for their lowest-paid employees.

W**-M*** has a consistent M.O., in the absolute criminal sense, in the pursuit of profit. 'Support the Troops!' by cheating them. It's the American Way.

Senate Unveils CompromiseCare™

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) - The United States Senate today unveiled details of its health care plan, tentatively called CompromiseCare™:

* Under CompromiseCare™, people with no coverage will be allowed to keep their current plan.

* Medicare will be extended to 55-year-olds as soon as they turn 65.

* You will have access to cheap Canadian drugs if you live in Canada.

* States whose names contain vowels will be allowed to opt out of the plan.

* You get to choose which doctor you cannot afford to see.

* You will not have to be pre-certified to qualify for cremation.

* A patient will be considered "pre-existing" if he or she already exists.

* You'll be free to choose between medications and heating fuel.

* Patients can access quality health care if they can prove their name is "Lieberman."

* You will be entitled to natural remedies, such as death.


His Special Comment (text and video) from last night. Spot on!


The "men" of the current moment, have lost to the "mice" of history. They must now not make the defeat worse by passing a hollow shell of a bill just for the sake of a big-stage signing ceremony. This bill, slowly bled to death by the political equivalent of the leeches that were once thought state-of-the-art-medicine, is now little more than a series of microscopically minor tweaks of a system which is the real-life, here-and-now version, of the malarkey of the Town Hallers. The American Insurance Cartel is the Death Panel, and this Senate bill does nothing to destroy it. Nor even to satiate it.


What I said ...

In a thousand words, Creature says in a couple sentences:

... Many have been whining that Obama is not leading on healthcare reform, he is leading, just not in a direction I would like. I wanted conservative arm-twisting, but it's liberal arms that are red and sore today.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fix it!

(Stays on top today - G)

Fixing shit is what I do, and I do it well. Everything from lawnmowers to jet engines, I can figure out what's wrong with it and make it work correctly, or let you know it's beyond hope. All except our political system. I wouldn't have a clue of where to start. This health care "reform" process shows me it's pretty well beyond hope.

Athenae has a great post up this morning about the clusterfuck this process has become:


We don't care who had to give what to get what, out here in the world where it's cold and we're broke. We don't care how important this is politically to anybody, or why what we were promised -- fixing a broken health care system -- has now been watered down to an expansion of the current health care system we're required to subject ourselves to. We don't care that some conservative Democrat had to explain it to his district, or somebody somewhere pissed Joey Lieberman off by calling him a dick on her blog so there motherfuckers eat it for breakfast and lunch, or that Harry's trying really hard, or Obama never promised this or that or the other thing.

We just want them to FIX IT and not make us a party to their unending bullshit.


And that's all it is; political posturing, playground finger-pointing, and the only people losing out are the folks who need real reform most desperately.

The U.S, Senate is nothing but a bunch of spoiled brats who want to protect their positions; what the average American needs be damned. Had any of them any principles, their reelection would be the last thing on their minds. It seems the only 'work' they do is to kill time between campaigns.

The talking point now is that "some Americans being covered is better than none" and I call that bullshit. In this day and age, when every "western", industrialized nation has single-payer, or something very close to it, and even some Third World toilets have better health care options than we do, the health care 'debate' we're having in this country is nothing more than disgraceful. Every American should be covered, from birth until death, by a not-for-profit health system that knows no equal anywhere in the world. Instead we are given a bag of shit and we're supposed to feel grateful.

The America of the 21st Century is the land of, by, and for corporate interest and the 300 million of us be damned. "Just vote and shut up, and take what we give you" is the way of life now. Be happy with whatever crumbs that fall from the giant's lips that you're able to grab. Can't get enough? Petition charities to give you a handout, that's the American Way. Large portions of our population can't afford to get sick, are one hospital visit away from financial ruin, and we call ourselves "the greatest nation in the world"? We should be ashamed of ourselves.

I don't know what the answer is. I don't know how we can fix this system where the moneyed hold the reins of power and refuse to consider anything but their own interest. They're not in it to carry out the will of the majority of their constituents but the will of those who give them the majority of their campaign funds. The system has to change but those who can effect change are quite happy with what we have.

What to do? I don't know, short of revolution, but too many are still too comfortable for that to happen. At least with a car, I know what it will take to repair whatever is wrong. It might cost a lot, the thing might be beyond hope and cheaper to scrap and get another, but at least I can tell a customer what his options are. In our political system, we only have two, criminals or incompetents, and choosing either one or the other will not fix what is broken. Neither wants to fix it because then all of them would be on the unemployment line. Politics should be a calling, not a career and these people have made a career out of enriching themselves to the detriment of those they're supposed to represent and protect. They've given us a shit sandwich while they eat prime rib.

"The Greatest Nation On Earth" has become nothing more than a failed empire and a sad irony.

Quote of the Day

Comrade Misfit:


"Please get involved again in Afghanistan" is a request to the Russians that would be about as attractive to Moscow as if the Chinese had asked us for help with their little border war with Vietnam in the late `70s and early `80s. Either that, or the sound that the Muscovites are hearing now is laughter emanating from the Kremlin.

Senator Death

Thanks to YubaNet.

Howie's pissed


Howard Dean says ‘Kill the Senate bill!’

This is essentially the collapse of health care reform in the United States Senate. Honestly the best thing to do right now is kill the Senate bill, go back to the House, start the reconciliation process, where you only need 51 votes and it would be a much simpler bill.

Dean’s call for invoking the reconciliation process may give cover to Senate progressives who are having to swallow hard to accept the legislation as it appears it will be crafted. While reconciliation poses formidable challenges to the Senate Democrats, the primary concern is that following such a path would necessarily push the the debate into next year, something the White House is dead set against.

The WH is dead set against it because a)it has other things to do, like continue to un-fuck-up the Bush years and, b) it's an election year in a coupla weeks and Dems are going to take a bath unless the electorate comes to its senses, which it won't, and elects even more Dem senators to give them the overwhelming majority I wish they had now.

Killing the bill and starting over might be a good idea but it means a failed Obama presidency and the Repugs win. It ain't in the cards.

Obama got what he wanted all along

Glenn Greenwald on the White House's role in the health care bill. A 'must read'.

Looked at from the narrow lens of health care policy, there is a reasonable debate to be had among reform advocates over whether this bill is a net benefit or a net harm. But the idea that the White House did what it could to ensure the inclusion of progressive provisions -- or that they were powerless to do anything about it -- is absurd on its face. Whatever else is true, the overwhelming evidence points to exactly what Sen. Feingold said yesterday: "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place."

Suck it, Progressives. You were sold out from the gate.

Shovel faster, dammit!

I don't know whether this is adding insult to injury or shovelling shit against the tide or both. Links at site:

Sen. Bernie Sanders says he is "not naive" and expects to lose, but the Senate on Wednesday will debate for the first time in American history a proposal to create a single-payer, Medicare-for-all health care system, according to statements from the Vermont independent's office.

Under Sanders' amendment, the single payer system would be regulated and funded by the federal government through a payroll tax and an income tax, but it would be administered by the states. The amendment starts from the premise that health care is a human right, and that every citizen, rich or poor, should have access to health care, just as every citizen has access to the fire department, the police, or public schools, supporters say.

"In my view, the single-payer approach is the only way we will ever have a cost-effective, comprehensive health care system in this country," says Sanders.

Grrrrr. Gee thanks, Bernie. We know that.

Maybe the so-called health care legislation we're going to get will be so bad that single-payer will look a lot better after a while. Perhaps shortly after the nation is flat broke and destitute and Lieberman's clients have all the money.

"...9...10...Yer Out!"

First and last lines of a post by John Nichols on the health care clusterfuck:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is, famously, an ex-boxer.

Reid got sucker punched. And real reform is down for the count

The question is who paid him to throw the fight?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Whoa, Mule!*

Thanks to YubaNet.

*Apologies to damn near everybody:

Thanks to MikeB43.


Go read this:

We are overwhelmed, yes, by tale upon tale of the sadness and horror brought on by this country's willful neglect of its citizens because we need to please some mad god of capitalism. And because we need to soothe the vanity of politicians, like Joe Lieberman.

Lieberman's gotta be punished, or they gotta get rid of Reid. There's gotta be consequences for Lieberman. He's gotta lose his Homeland Security committee chair, maybe even be ejected from the caucus. He's gotta be publicly defiled. If there was any kind of justice right now, Lieberman should be locked in a glass room with the ghost of Lyndon Johnson. Motherfucker would be on his knees after five minutes, begging to give LBJ a rim job for mercy's sake.

Or, instead, Lieberman should be forced to eat the body of Jacqueline Kelly. He should have to taste her diseased organs and mutated cells. He should have to stare at her dead face as he ingests her faded skin and deteriorated muscle. And if he can't do it on his own, he should have her bones shoved down his throat until he fucking gags. Then maybe he'll understand that we're not talking about abstract numbers of people dying. We're talking about real corpses.

Headline of the Day Plus

Steele’s Economic Plan: Take Away Unemployment Benefits

Some of the nearly 300 'comments':

HomerSexual says:

Republicans: When they aren’t proving that their brains don’t work, they’re showing that the hearts don’t either.

USNclerk says:

someone let Mikey near a microphone again didn’t they?

Bob says:

How do we create jobs?
r: Cut taxes
How do we increase gov’t revenue?
r: Cut taxes
How do we make health care affordable?
r: Cut taxes
How do we cure cancer?
r: Cut taxes
How can the Cowboys win in December?
r: Cut taxes
How can Tiger remain faithful?
r: Cut taxes

All equally viable answers to the questions.

In the "Huh?" dept., incomprehensible but clever:

tombaker says:

swedes are socialist.

therefore, a viking named obama krugman begat the global warming hoax by awarding the nobel prize to algore, and using acorn as a cat’s paw to force the banks to let minority welfare recipients buy million-dollar south beach condos.

and if that’s not perfectly clear to you, you’re obviously a fascist!

I actually scrolled down the rest of the way and speed-read the comments. Took about 5 minutes. They started to degenerate into back-and-forth left v right arguments about the economy, sometimes reasoned, sometimes not, and it got personal to an extent. Kinda like ol' SouthKnoxBubba days, only not as intelligent.

Kinda went off on an odd tangent there.

Weed closer to ballot for '10 election


Supporters of an initiative that would legalize marijuana in California say they have collected enough signatures to ensure that it will be on the November 2010 ballot.

The petition drive, which was run by a professional signature-gathering firm, collected more than 680,000 signatures, 57% more than the 433,971 valid signatures needed to put it on the ballot, said Richard Lee, the measure's main proponent.

"It was so easy to get them," Lee said. "People were so eager to sign."

It's not on the ballot yet and, believe you me, the anti-fun people will go through those signatures with a fine tooth comb to weed out, you should pardon the expression, invalid ones, and 'invalid' will mean whatever they want it to mean.

It's looking good for now, though.

Now if we can just remember to go to the polls...and remember why in the voting booth...

The Republican Party Has Become the New Confederate States of America

Good rant by The Well Infidel:

Today, 144 years on, a new version of the south has risen again. Now the Confederacy is the Republican Party. Lincoln would not recognize nor want any part of Today's Republicans are the party of the Radical Right of loud and angry, uncivil tea party activists, religious fundamentalists and Know-Nothing morons who want as their leader a certified airhead named Sarah Palin. The GOP or God's Own Party goes rogue against science, reason, separation of church and state, equitable taxation and policies of moderation. For eight years while in power with George Bush and their own Congress, they removed restraints on Wall Street, started two wars and subsidized the pharmaceutical industry via drugs for seniors - and paid for none of it - and now they scream at the Democratic leader for growing deficits.

The problems facing the nation are at least as destructive as those extant in 1861. Slavery is off the table, but other perils to decency, peace, harmony, prosperity and tranquility must be faced, such as::

Long list follows.

...the new Confederates see government as a zero-sum struggle between the righteous (them) and the craven (liberals and other godless socialists lacking values).

[...] Today's rebels, or maybe rogues, are small-minded, mean-spirited bitter little people.

We should not discount the very real possibility that, even united (which we clearly are not), these problems will prove intractable. If that is the case, then America's best days as a nation have passed. Keep your passports current.

For now, it seems the Republican Confederates have declared war on the Republic. Since the new Red State Confederacy is everywhere if clustered in the heartland and south, Unionists must live among Rebels. The Republican Confederates are armed, dangerous and deeply demented, they love god and they do not take kindly to Democrats large or small case.

Be vigilant. And be well.

I don't have a passport, and I'm not letting those assholes run me off. They're right up there with the Nazis in the way they need to be dealt with IMNSHO. I'm concerned about what they might do, but I'm not scared of them. If we give in to the batcrap right, the terrorists win.

The oath I took to defend this country and the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, still stands. I never un-took it.

My rifle is clean, my powder dry, my bayonet sharp, if it comes to that.

Note to Democrats in Congress:

From Mr. Aravosis:


You had the best chance in decades to make a difference in all of our lives, and you chose to blow it. You don't deserve our praise. Or our votes.


Don't expect to see me at the polls next November.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Tahoe Picks Up 5.5 Feet of New Snow in 3 Days


NORTH LAKE TAHOE, California/Nevada Dec. 14, 2009 - A powerful storm rolled into the Lake Tahoe region last Friday and didn't quit until it had dumped 5.5 feet of new snow at the ski resorts' upper elevations, with eight feet of snow falling in the last seven days.

"These are absolutely some of the best early winter conditions we've ever had," said Tourism Director Andy Chapman of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association. "The past two storms have really set us up for the holidays and a long ski and board season."

Sounds like a guy who doesn't have to move his own snow. Or maybe he does, but he just wants the skiers to come spend their money and not think about mundane things like that.

I'm not at the 'higher elevations' like the tops of the ski resorts, and I certainly didn't get 5.5 feet of snow, but the coupla feet we got since Friday kept me and everybody else busy.

Saturday, I cleared my driveway three times, including at 11:30 PM, and once on Sunday. This was a warm storm and the snow had a good, though not extreme, water content and it behooved me to not let it build up to where the eight tiny, tired horsies in my 16-year-old snowthrower either wouldn't throw it or would just make ice bricks which I'da had to clear outta the discharge chute with a motorcycle tire iron every three feet.

We got a coupla day break in the storms yesterday and I detailed the work of the weekend by getting all of my driveway back, which entailed hundreds of square feet of shovel work to loosen packed snow so the 'thrower would throw it. We've got at least three more months of winter and if I let this go now it will just cause problems later.

I became re-acquainted with 64-year-old muscles that slept through the spring and summer. It hurts to type today.

It helped that The Berm Fairy came by each day. Thank you Dave, you saved me considerable work and the Heineken berm-removal fuel is on the way.

The icing on the cake was that we had five, count 'em five, power outages on Saturday and Sunday. For the first one, which fortunately came and went in daylight, me and Mrs. G went to Emergency Power, which means I put 8 D-cells in a boom box and listened to some good country music on KVMR.

Mrs. G called the power company and an actual person answered the phone and said for her to send me outside and check the circuit breakers and see if I could spot any downed lines since nobody else had called. I've been here 30 years and knew that probably no one was home at the other ten houses on our 11-house leg, but I put on my boots and went out and stood in three feet of snow and checked the breaker and looked around at the power lines, all OK.

A few minutes later the guy called back and said someone else had called and said their power was out as well and they had heard something go 'pop' and that it wasn't just us after all and they would send out a crew. Nice personal touch, that. The PUD crew cruised around and finally replaced something about two power poles from my house.

The next outage came in the middle of the night and we couldn't have cared less. The only reason we knew it was out for a coupla hours was from all the little green digital clocks Mrs. G had to reset when she got up in the morning.

Good thing they got that one fixed. Do not mess with our coffee maker's ability to make coffee!

The next one was on Sunday afternoon. Mrs. G was blasé by this time and didn't bother with Emergency Power. I came in from the driveway and she was sitting on the couch with her MP3 in her ear. She finally noticed me and shouted hello. Heh.

There were a couple more real short outages of a few minutes each. One of 'em came as it was getting dark on Sunday and made me cuss because you never know how long they're going to last and an outage at night is a pain in the rear - getting batteries and lamp oil into everything and maybe having to fire up the woodstove etc. since the gas heater won't work with no power. I wonder how folks with wood pellet stoves get by, since those feed the pellets electrically. Shovel 'em in by hand, I guess.

We decided to go to 'power outage plan B' on Sunday evening even though the power was on, which is to eschew using our electric appliances and go out to dinner. There's nothing quite as frustrating as having an outage in the midst of cooking dinner. Generally, we drive 'til we get to the first place where the sign is lit, indicating 'power on', and chow down.

We went to our favorite Young Gentlemen's Drinking & Fighting Establishment, which is the very first place you can get to from our house with a neon sign, and had a nice dinner. One of the power company trouble crews was there having dinner as well, and I thanked them for their hard work over the weekend. These guys and other crews were slammed over the weekend and looked it.

It's a beautiful sunshiny day today. I have a few details to mop up outside, but it's all worth it to live in this place.

Tiger Woods must die

Do not miss Mark Morford on Tiger Woods and the whole pop culture cycle.

I find I am, almost against my will, utterly delighted by the Tiger Woods crash-and-burn who-woulda-thunk slut-of-the-week pornstars-n-skanks flameout shockfest circus funhouse megaspectacle.

The following paragraph nails my own sentiments exactly.

It was not a quick realization. Fact is, I have never once cared the slightest bit about Tiger Woods or anything he has ever done, represented, embodied. I have zero interest in golf, don't care for insipid multimillionaire celebrity endorsements, gated Florida mansions or blinged-out Cadillac Escalades, and I have never once found myself remotely enchanted or bedazzled by anything Woods has said or done, largely due to the fact he doesn't appear to have much of a discernable personality or any spiritual fire to speak of, and his sole accomplishment seems to be making a mountain of cash by playing one of the world's most boring, nonathletic sports exceptionally well.

It's the same old story, really. Woods is now in the midst of nothing less than a classic, time-honored pattern that just might be one of our nation's finest, most insidious inventions of all time.

Do you know this pattern? I bet you do. It's the same one that's been followed, with varying success, by all sorts of rock stars, supermodels, actors, athletes, pastors and politicians since George Washington was caught indulging his gay fetishes in an opium den in Paris. It's a blueprint that appears to work best in a ruthless capitalist system, not only because this is where wealth, power and ego can explode out of scale so quickly, but because capitalism gave birth to the damn thing in the first place.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a crack appears. A dire mistake is made. An Escalade crashes into a tree, a line of cocaine is snorted near a paparazzi's hungry camera, a random drug test comes back positive for steroids, a gay prostitute proves he's had frequent meth-addled sex with a powerful homophobic televangelist Christian nutball. You know: same ol', same ol'.

You know what happens next. All sorts of delightful pop culture hell breaks loose. Celebrity has spectacular flameout, reveals self to be far more debauched, wicked, strange, stupid than gullible fans and followers ever wanted to believe.

I am confidently suggesting that Woods will crash, burn, be stomped into cultural oblivion in the coming months, only to rise again. It's virtually guaranteed. Unless Woods is revealed to have murdered a few hookers in Vegas or says something in a public microphone about his love of dog fighting and watching gay porn with Glenn Beck, his rosy future is a lock. Well, maybe.

[...] Let him win a few big tournaments and donate all the proceeds to the Las Vegas Skank Rehabilitation Fund, and he's all set.

So take heart, Tiger. Yes, it's about to get far, far worse. Yes, you will be America's punchline for many months to come. [...]

So play your transgressions right, Tiger, and they might just become, in the mangled gears of the American celebrity machine, a sublime asset. Your trespasses will be forgiven, your star repolished, your image reborn, your giant suitcase full of condoms replenished. Soon enough, you will again have all the lame car endorsements, ugly sweaters, and slutty party-girl waitresses you can handle. God bless America.

Fuckin' A and who cares? It's all nonsense.

AP DESTROYS the Phony Climategate Scandal!

FightingRegistrar at Kos

In a piece that was just posted today (Sat. 12/12 - G), the AP, after having objectively reviewed the emails from "Climategate" comes out unequivocally on the side of Truth.

The 1,073 e-mails examined by the AP show that scientists harbored private doubts, however slight and fleeting, even as they told the world they were certain about climate change. However, the exchanges don't undercut the vast body of evidence showing the world is warming because of man-made greenhouse gas emissions.

True, some of the emails show many of the scientists to be cantankerous, overly political, slightly mysterious, or in some cases, downright childish. Nevertheless, the theory that man-made activities are causing Global Warming remains intact, despite the whining of Conservatives.

More, but the shorter version is that these scientists were trying to very slightly fudge tree ring data from Russia, and it was ten years ago fer chrissake. Shit, Moosebreath was probably watching them gather the data from her house.

The Regressive Deniers will hang their hat on anything because they have nothing, but their corporate masters demand it for profit's sake.

A tip o' the Brain to The Political Carnival.

Disaster and Denial

Paul Krugman with today's 'must read':

When I first began writing for The Times, I was naïve about many things. But my biggest misconception was this: I actually believed that influential people could be moved by evidence, that they would change their views if events completely refuted their beliefs.

But he’s a rare case. Just how rare was demonstrated by what happened last Friday in the House of Representatives, when — with the meltdown caused by a runaway financial system still fresh in our minds, and the mass unemployment that meltdown caused still very much in evidence — every single Republican and 27 Democrats voted against a quite modest effort to rein in Wall Street excesses.

Talk to conservatives about the financial crisis and you enter an alternative, bizarro universe in which government bureaucrats, not greedy bankers, caused the meltdown. It’s a universe in which government-sponsored lending agencies triggered the crisis, even though private lenders actually made the vast majority of subprime loans. It’s a universe in which regulators coerced bankers into making loans to unqualified borrowers, even though only one of the top 25 subprime lenders was subject to the regulations in question.

Oh, and conservatives simply ignore the catastrophe in commercial real estate: in their universe the only bad loans were those made to poor people and members of minority groups, because bad loans to developers of shopping malls and office towers don’t fit the narrative.

In part, the prevalence of this narrative reflects the principle enunciated by Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” As Democrats have pointed out, three days before the House vote on banking reform Republican leaders met with more than 100 financial-industry lobbyists to coordinate strategies. But it also reflects the extent to which the modern Republican Party is committed to a bankrupt ideology, one that won’t let it face up to the reality of what happened to the U.S. economy.

Shorter: The Repugs are so committed to Project Obama Fail that they don't care if the country goes down the shitter as long as they can reinstall themselves and their failed ideology back in power.

Please read the rest.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

New Russian Missile Failure Sparks UFO Frenzy
Among those desperate for some intelligent beings to come down here and slap some sense into us.

New Internet Site Manages Your Social Networks After You Die
Currently, most of your Facebook friends are actually dead.

Ads Tailored to Your Web Surfing Habits Can Reveal a Lot About Yourself
If you keep getting ads for cheap meds and porn sites assume you're a lonely sleazeball.

Also, a holiday TV preview.

Lots of great viewing this time of year, if you're under house arrest. Here's a preview:

"A Very Basic Cable Christmas" (Bravo)
Reality star Jon or Kate welcomes the Hogans, the Kardashians, the Gottis, Hef's girlfriends, the Real Housewives of New Jersey and Nadia Suleman (Octomom) in an hour of public domain songs and improvised sketches.

"A Very White Christmas" (Fox News)
Fox News anchors, correspondents, morning hosts and pundits celebrate Christmas and whiteness.

"A Very Mormon Hanukkah" (C-SPAN)
Sen. Orrin Hatch hosts a Hanukkah celebration from the Mormon Tabernacle, with guests the Osmonds, Elie Wiesel and special guest, atheist author Richard Dawkins.

Then again, you may want to serve out your sentence in prison.

Must be a good movie ...


skippy is on the record as having grave doubts about james cameron's new flick avatar. however, apparently the movie's themes of pro-indigenous peoples, pro-environment, anti-contractor bais are making the hardly-ever-right wing collective head explode:


Anything with that result can't be bad.

He just had to go ...

In other words, they would have found any excuse (lie) to get rid of him*, American and British lives be damned:

Reporting from London - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said he would have found a justification for invading Iraq even without the now-discredited evidence that Saddam Hussein was trying to produce weapons of mass destruction.

"I would still have thought it right to remove him. I mean, obviously you would have had to use and deploy different arguments about the nature of the threat," Blair told the BBC in an interview to be broadcast this morning.


Blair is as big a war criminal as Bush and Cheney.


Dr. Attaturk with a corollary:


In Great Britain, thanks to the fact that investigations actually occur to hold past Administrations opposed to here...the shit is hitting the fan. Witness the crazed dancing of Tony Blair coming to terms with the consequences of his actions.

But in this country Dick Cheney and his spawn are allowed to lie without even being challenged in interviews, let alone be accountable for their war mongering.

*Thanks to Thers for the link.

Who'da thought it?

In Texas?

HOUSTON — Annise Parker made history Saturday by becoming Houston's first openly gay mayor, seizing 53.6 percent of the vote in the city's hotly contested election.

"This election has changed the world for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. Just as it is about transforming the lives of all Houstonians for the better, and that's what my administration will be about," Parker told supporters after former city attorney Gene Locke conceded defeat.


I usually don't have much good to say about Texas, but good on 'em. Didn't think there were that many open minds in that state.

Great thanks to scarce for the link.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sunday Twofer Old-Time Dope Music Blogging

Cab Calloway-"Smoking Reefers" unreleased (banned) ?

Thanks to heavymetalprophecy.

Harry (the Hipster) Gibson blends jive & barrelhouse as he pounds out his boogie woogie like Jerry Lee Lewis pounding out rock n roll. A hipster poet precursor to the Beats & even the hippies, his daring lyrics occasionally got him into trouble. "Who Put The Benzedrine In Mrs. Murphy's Ovaltine?" is an updating of an old Irish folk song "Who Put The Overalls In Mrs. Murphy's Chowder?" that ended up getting Harry "The Hipster" Gibson black listed from radio play, and put his career on a downward slope it wouldn't recover from until the seventies. While the lyrics now seem tame and humorous, the far stiffer morality of 1944 considered it as taking things just a little too far.

The animation is from the 1938 Max Fleischer Betty Boop cartoon classic titled "Sally Swing," courtesy

Who Put the Benzadrine in Mrs Murphys Ovaltine? - Harry "The Hipster" Gibson (1944)

Thanks to clotho98.

Nouveau Food Trucks

I useta think it was cool when the taco truck would magically appear at breakfast or break time and serve freshly cooked sandwiches and tacos. That was the stone age.


A new wave of mobile vendors is altering the way we look at that hallmark of Los Angeles' street cuisine, the taco truck. Broadening the offerings to be had on four wheels, these trucks demonstrate a decidedly more experimental -- and often more expensive -- culinary sensibility. These are the Nouveau Food Trucks.

An extensive list follows. Here are a few of the odder-sounding ones:

2. Asian Soul Kitchen

A fusion of Asian food and American soul food. Twitter: @itsbentobaby

18. Don Chow Tacos

Another fusion taco truck. This one lets eaters go traditional (carne asada, carnitas or chicken) or go fusion (kung pao chicken, Chinese barbecued pork, soy-ginger tofu or shrimp) with tacos, burritos or tortas. ($2 to $6). Twitter: @DonChowTacos

20. Fishlips Sushi Truck

This roving sushi truck serves spicy tuna rolls, California rolls and crunchy rolls plus tamari sushi. ($2.50 to $9) Twitter: @Fishlips_Sushi

21. Flying Pig truck

Specializing in high-end, pork-themed street food with a mix of Asian and French flavors. Owned and run by classically trained chefs Joe Kim and James Seitz, they hope to use the truck as a testing ground for their upcoming restaurant Butalanai. Twitter: @FlyingPigTruck

31. India Jones Chow Truck

This gourmet Indian food truck cruises the streets of West L.A. serving parathas, curries, samosa spring rolls, bhaji, aloo tikki and lamb, fish, chicken, shrimp and paneer frankies devised by chef Sumant Pardal. Twitter: @IndiaJonesCT

34. Komodo

Komodo specializes in uncommon burritos: the Cobb salad burrito, a cheeseburger burrito, a BBQ burrito and, of course, their take on the Asian fusion burrito. Twitter: @komodofood

You just know that one's called 'the Dragon Wagon'. Heh.

35. LA FuXion

Pronounced "LA Fusion," this truck features awkwardly-spelled Asian/Latin eats such as "xogalbi" tacos (Korean-style marinated beef topped with a South American-style green sauce); "xofu" tacos (grilled tofu in ginger and garlic sauce; $2); and "xuna" tacos (tuna sashimi topped with a Japanese-style sauce on tostada; $3). Twitter: @LA_FuXion

Many more. Enjoy.

A thought for Hanukkah ...

From our pal PhysioProf:


If I had only one day’s worth of oil, I’d pour it all over [David] Brooks and pray to motherfucking Yahweh to make the shit burn for eight motherfucking days. Reading his fucking gag-inducing drivel is as painful as a third-degree burn.

We're having family over today, including one of the guys who was with the Maccabees at the time (dad-in-law). Heh ...

A good Hanukkah to all our Jewish friends.