Saturday, March 27, 2010

Playing the game ...

Finally Barry gets what he has to do. Montag:

President Obama has announced 15 recess appointments in an attempt to get a fully functioning government in the face of unrelenting Republican obstructionism. This is 15 out of 74 that have been blocked ...

That's it, homeboy, shove it up their collective ass.

Hey, that's government property!

Vid stolen from Oliver Willis.

I love determined dogs. Heh ...

Saturday Crazy Redneck Music Blogging

I've been a fan of Kathy Kallick (and here) for thirty years. She's the best female bluegrass singer you've never heard of.

“A profound songwriter and expressive singer, San Franciscan Kathy Kallick is a mountain gal at heart. Her singing has always been earthy and passionate. As a songwriter, she knows how to pen beautiful impressionistic pieces with memorable contemporary messages. A troubadour and exquisite storyteller, (her) arrangements are tightly crafted, with each song given its own non-formulaic treatment.”

There's been a dearth of good videos of her on YouTube, but it's getting better. This is a pretty good one.

Kathy Kallick and the band perform her song "Wildflowers" at the grand opening of the new Freight and Salvage Coffee House in Berkeley. The band members from left to right are: Annie Staninec, Tom Bekeny, Kathy, Dan Booth and Greg Booth.

Fitting. F & S was one of her early venues lo those many years ago with the Good Ol' Persons band.


Thanks to aksliderdobro.

Necessity is the mutha of invention

This is the late Dewey Balfa telling Aly Bain about his early life. Good Cajun fiddle music and scenes of life on the farm, but check out the home-brewed rig for harvesting crawdads at about 2:29.

From 'Aly Meets The Cajuns' 1988 UK documentary

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

An open letter to conservatives

At TPM. The writer did an incredible amount of work on this. The best all-their-sins-in-one-great-steaming-pile piece that I've seen. Hundreds of links and 727 comments as of now.

I could not begin to quote from it. Just go.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

An old favorite.

(james taylor, steve winwood sheryl crow, levon helm, emmylou harris & jacob dylan)

Thanks to toctoc05, Spain.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Long may she wave!

Thanks to YubaNet.

Challenge to David Aquarius: C'mon, dude, surely someone can stick a bong in Washington's jibs and do something with his hair on your state flag.

Having Absolutely Nothing To Do With The Above Dept.:

Check out this cruise ship metaphorical 'toon too.

Crafty Beer Labels

Just for fun. LATimes.

Craft beers, loosely defined as local brews produced by traditional methods, reflect not just specifics of their regions but offer a peek into the psyches of their creators as well. Like any label, those on craft beers bear a brand name and product information and meet the legal requirements of state and federal law.

But the estimated 1,500 craft brewers in the U.S., who sold slightly more than 4 million barrels of beer in the first half of 2009, are an intensely independent lot. Having broken from the conformity of so-called macro-brews, like Coors or Miller or Budweiser, microbrewers naturally take the next step and produce labels as quaint and curious and quirky as the liquid in the bottles.

Some of the stories beer labels tell turn out to be a bit too provocative for the authorities who oversee the industry.

Nude Beach Summer Wheat Beer, produced by Stevens Point Brewery Co. in Wisconsin, was banned for the mere suggestion that the sunbathers on the bright and playful label were, well, naked behind those strategically placed surfboards and volleyballs.

State liquor authorities in Maine and New York banned the import of Santa's Butt Winter Porter, a seasonal beer that made a visual pun out of a portly Santa seated on a wooden beer keg — known in the industry as a "butt."

And here in California, Weed Beer, brewed in the tiny town of Weed, came under fire for its bottle cap, which jokingly urged shoppers to "Try Legal Weed." (They also offer "Shastafarian Porter" - G)

Heh. Crack a cold one, fire up a fattie, and enjoy the rest. I added the links like extra foam.

Official member: Evil Gay Conspiracy

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

The Kiss Of Death


PHOENIX — John McCain and Sarah Palin will be back on the campaign trail Friday, their first time campaigning together since McCain lost the presidential election a year and a half ago with Palin as his running mate.

Johnny me boy-o, I have senior moments too, but I would have thought you'd have remembered and learned from that experience. Or at least had people to do that for you. I guess votes from the lunatic fringe are the best you can hope for. Maybe you're just plain not naturally wingnutty enough for AZ anymore and have to work too hard to achieve it and need her help.

Hey, if Trailer Trash Barbie works for McCain, great. I'd rather have the vitriolic flip-flopper and disagreeable grumpy old man stay in the Senate than get that RWNJ Hayworth. They've already got Kyl and one of those is too many.

Best case scenario, though a way outside longshot bet at best, is that Rudy Garcia might slip through the cracks in the Repug party and not only put a Dem in the AZ seat, but restore some respect to the name 'Rudy' which Julieannie has singlehandedly made into an object of scorn and derision. Fat chance, but...

Besides, a Latino senator would make AZ Repugs' heads explode. Heh.


Poll: Majority Favor Earlier Bedtime for McCain


Paul Krugman with today's 'must read':

I admit it: I had fun watching right-wingers go wild as health reform finally became law. But a few days later, it doesn’t seem quite as entertaining — and not just because of the wave of vandalism and threats aimed at Democratic lawmakers. For if you care about America’s future, you can’t be happy as extremists take full control of one of our two great political parties.

To be sure, it was enjoyable watching Representative Devin Nunes, a Republican of California, warn that by passing health reform, Democrats “will finally lay the cornerstone of their socialist utopia on the backs of the American people.” Gosh, that sounds uncomfortable. And it’s been a hoot watching Mitt Romney squirm as he tries to distance himself from a plan that, as he knows full well, is nearly identical to the reform he himself pushed through as governor of Massachusetts. His best shot was declaring that enacting reform was an “unconscionable abuse of power,” a “historic usurpation of the legislative process” — presumably because the legislative process isn’t supposed to include things like “votes” in which the majority prevails.

A side observation: one Republican talking point has been that Democrats had no right to pass a bill facing overwhelming public disapproval. As it happens, the Constitution says nothing about opinion polls trumping the right and duty of elected officials to make decisions based on what they perceive as the merits. But in any case, the message from the polls is much more ambiguous than opponents of reform claim: While many Americans disapprove of Obamacare, a significant number do so because they feel that it doesn’t go far enough. And a Gallup poll taken after health reform’s enactment showed the public, by a modest but significant margin, seeming pleased that it passed.

"Pleased that it passed" might not be the right phrase; "relieved that it's over" might be a better choice.

For today’s G.O.P. is, fully and finally, the party of Ronald Reagan — not Reagan the pragmatic politician, who could and did strike deals with Democrats, but Reagan the antigovernment fanatic, who warned that Medicare would destroy American freedom. It’s a party that sees modest efforts to improve Americans’ economic and health security not merely as unwise, but as monstrous. It’s a party in which paranoid fantasies about the other side — Obama is a socialist, Democrats have totalitarian ambitions — are mainstream. And, as a result, it’s a party that fundamentally doesn’t accept anyone else’s right to govern.

In the short run, Republican extremism may be good for Democrats, to the extent that it prompts a voter backlash. But in the long run, it’s a very bad thing for America. We need to have two reasonable, rational parties in this country. And right now we don’t.

No, we damn sure don't and haven't had for a long time, and it ain't nowhere near over. Before anything useful can emerge from the ashes of The Party Of No You Can't, it has to burn all the way to the ground, burn itself out, its ashes cool and settle for a while, and start over, this time with adults at the helm. Said adults might not have been born yet.

Waterloo Too

Obama addresses Congress

Thanks, F-Man. I could watch them Swedish babes all day. I happen to know via my far-flung network of operatives that Fixer is staring up at the underside of one of 'em as we speak. Heh.

Here's the pre-ABBA version:

Thanks to Alabamon.

Who's Waterloo?

Posted without comment:


Personally, if this is the tact the GOP is going to take in its insatiable hunger to regain power, I'm all for it. Nothing like positioning yourselves as crybaby, sore-losing, self-serving obstructionist do-nothings hellbent on selling your souls, and the nation's best interests, in order to win a few House and Senate seats. So much for McCain's "country first" campaign promise. As we've seen this week, what truly comes first is the coffers of their fatcat corporate special-interest pals and the personal bank accounts of their rich, tax-loathing constituency. Fuck the poor, the middle class, the sick, the needy, the uninsured. I got mine, now go get yours. At least we know what matters most to these selfish elitists.

Last July Republican Sen. Jim DeMint (SC) arrogantly predicted that health care reform would fail and become Obama's "Waterloo" and that "it will break him." With this week's victory and the political capital its bestowed on the president, even conservatives like American Enterprise Institute fellow David Frum fear that Republicans have not just blown an unprecedented opportunity to help shape major policy, but also served to empower Obama, which is the exact opposite of what they aimed to accomplish. "The political imperative crowded out the policy imperative. And the Republicans have now lost both." He said Obama's health care victory is now the Republicans' Waterloo. "We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat."


Abba - Waterloo

Great thanks to Maru for the link.

Up next: Immigration reform from Trafalgar ...

But of course ...

It's Bill Clinton's fault, or some shit like that. Same old song and dance:

I can hardly believe it, but apparently America's wife beaters have actually decided to use the defense that these Democrats are "asking for" death threats from the right wingers because they are "making them mad." I documented Sere and Cantor's warnings this morning, but there are more:


Just like the girl who dressed provocatively asked to be raped because she made them horny. Assholes ...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Coyote update ...

The NYPD finally got their man coyote.

TRIBECA (WABC) -- The coyote stalking the city was cornered in an outdoor parking lot in TriBeCa.

The coyote was spotted walking the bike path along the West Side Highway, south of the Holland Tunnel, just before 11 a.m.

Police were accompanying the coyote, which was walking in the bike path along Hudson River Park.

They followed the coyote into an outdoor parking lot, near Watts Street.

Members of the NYPD's elite Emergency Services Unit tranquilized the coyote and pulled it out from under a red car in the parking garage.


Gotham is safe once again. Now, if they could find some way to make the Pakistani cabbies stop driving on the sidewalks, we'll be okay.

Music, Food, & Sex

Well, that about covers LIFE!

An enjoyable article in the EssEffChron

There are songs about love, songs about loss and songs about love lost. There are plenty of songs about trucks and trains, moonlit nights and dogs, but most of those are still about love, loss and love lost.

Then there are a surprising number of songs - across all genres - about food.

Apparently, food is the balladeer's perfect muse. Food is life.

"It's sacramental, it's worship, it's celebration and it's human need," says Marsh. Which means it's often a metaphor for sex.

The two are inextricable, he says. "It's the sensuality and carnality of food that makes it a fitting topic."

The Texas Tornados surely had something other than dip on their minds when they sang about "making guacamole all night long."

Food and sex "are the quickest paths to the most dopamine," says Colin Brooks, a member of the Band of Heathens. [...]

You mean to tell me that when I slather way too much guacamole on way too many burritos on All-U-Can-Eat Burrito Nite I'm actually subliminally bonin' on down on Mexican food? I thought that was just for hot dog buns with (mild) mustard.

But, while many food songs are about sex, sometimes a doughnut is just a doughnut.

Oh yeah? Hold the sprinkles...

It's Official!


Measure to legalize marijuana will be on California's November ballot

The measure's main advocate, Richard Lee, an Oakland marijuana entrepreneur, savored the chance to press his case with voters that the state's decades-old ban on marijuana is a failed policy.

"We're one step closer to ending cannabis prohibition and the unjust laws that lock people up for cannabis while alcohol is not only sold openly but advertised on television to kids every day," he said.

There was a woman on TV last night who said, and I paraphrase a little, "what kind of message will this send to the children?", which is one of the big anti-pot talking points we're going to hear, no doubt.

Look, lady, if you have kids, set the example for them by NOT smoking dope, drinking booze, snorting coke, or shooting heroin around them, and if you must, at least quit fucking barnyard animals while you're loaded where they can see you. Use a little common sense and take the goats outside. Yeesh.

I've got a hunch that legalization will cause a lot of the kids to lose interest in smoking weed. Just sayin'...

Possession of an ounce or less has been a misdemeanor with a $100 fine since 1975, when Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown, who was then governor, signed a law that reduced tough marijuana penalties that had allowed judges to impose 10-year sentences.

In case I haven't mentioned that there are good reasons for Moonbeam to be our next governor besides the fact that he isn't a rich Repug CEO with delusions about corporate power translating easily into governing the ungovernable and those who wish to be, there's one.

Just as an aside, he was on TV yesterday with his old '67 Plymouth, talking about how he was glad it had bench seats so Linda Ronstadt could slide a little closer on dates. I'm down wid dat! Heh. I've been looking for the video with no success, drat the luck. I did find this one though. Don't miss!

Where was I? Oh, I remember...

With polls showing that a slim majority of voters support legalization, the legalization campaign will be trying to appeal to a slice of undecided voters who are mostly mothers. "It's always easier for people to say no than to say yes for an initiative," said Mark Baldassare, the pollster for the Public Policy Institute of California.

The informal KCRA poll yesterday was 64% for, 36% against. If that's 'slim', I'll take it!

We will see...


Good article by Doc Gurley:

SO what do I know about this issue? As the physician and City public health administrator tasked with the initial implementation of Proposition 215 (legalizing medical marijuana) - I learned a lot.

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:


El Rude-o Corrects

In a post about Catholic Molestation and Republican Tantrums The Rude Pundit included this:

Correction: Earlier this week, the Rude Pundit erroneously called the Iwo Jima flag-raising photograph "staged." However, as several rude readers pointed out, the photographer says it was not, and all evidence points to that being the case. Either way, Glenn Beck is still a motherfucker.

I was one of the 'several'. He even used the link I sent him to his Facebook page. I have, of course, blogwhored this post to him as well. Heh.

Thank you for the correction, Rude Man.

And yes, Glenn Beck is still a motherfucker.

Headline of the Day

Facebook 'linked to rise in syphilis'

Must have something to do with FarmVille...

Outclassed ...

In IQ, coordination, and common sense. The NYPD is on the trail of a coyote and things don't look promising:

Coyote in Holland Tunnel: Didn't Pay Toll

We're told that the NYPD's elite Emergency Services Unit has been called to the Manhattan side of the Holland Tunnel to chase down a coyote initially spotted in the tunnel.

According to the most recent report from the cops, the commuting coyote left the tunnel and was last seen on Varick Street. "It's an ongoing job right now," a police spokesman told us moment ago.


And of course, New Yorkers are rooting for the coyote (except those with little frou-frou dogs).

As of 5 minutes ago, Wile E. is still on the lam. Heh ...

Video here.

Can't stand it ...

While Keith and Rachel are must-see viewing in Casa de la Fixer every evening after dinner, neither the Mrs. or I can stomach Matthews (I even concede to watching the Mrs.' HGTV shows during the 7 pm hour). Digby documents his latest jackassery with regard to our hero, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Huge Balls).

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Quote of the Day

Maru (who else?):

The syphilitic tranny, warned by the Canadian govt not to use hate speech in her act, cancelled her gig when she realized she would have absolutely no material left.

Heh ...


Bonus Maru:

Rush Limbaugh, who vowed to leave the country if HCR passed, has gone back on his word. On the positive side, thousands of young Costa Rican boys can now sleep peacefully knowing the odious, Viagra-swilling gasbag won’t be rolling by any time soon.

Heh ... squared.

Health Care

I got this from my old school pal Paul in Hawaii, the lucky bastard. Take it for what it's worth.

[ No matter where you stand on Health Care Reform, it’s a good idea to be aware and informed. Here are the elements as seen from the White House:

Since the House of Representatives voted to pass health reform legislation on Sunday night, the legislative process and its political impact have been the focus of all the newspapers and cable TV pundits.

Outside of DC, however, many Americans are trying to cut through the chatter and get to the substance of reform with a simple question: "What does health insurance reform actually mean for me?" To help, we've put together some of the key benefits from health insurance reform.

Let's start with how health insurance reform will expand and strengthen coverage:

This year, children with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied health insurance coverage. Once the new health insurance exchanges begin in the coming years, pre-existing condition discrimination will become a thing of the past for everyone.

This year, health care plans will allow young people to remain on their parents' insurance policy up until their 26th birthday.

This year, insurance companies will be banned from dropping people from coverage when they get sick, and they will be banned from implementing lifetime caps on coverage. This year, restrictive annual limits on coverage will be banned for certain plans. Under health insurance reform, Americans will be ensured access to the care they need.

This year, adults who are uninsured because of pre-existing conditions will have access to affordable insurance through a temporary subsidized high-risk pool.
In the next fiscal year, the bill increases funding for community health centers, so they can treat nearly double the number of patients over the next five years.

This year, we'll also establish an independent commission to advise on how best to build the health care workforce and increase the number of nurses, doctors and other professionals to meet our country's needs. Going forward, we will provide $1.5 billion in funding to support the next generation of doctors, nurses and other primary care practitioners -- on top of a $500 million investment from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Health insurance reform will also curb some of the worst insurance industry practices and strengthen consumer protections:

This year, this bill creates a new, independent appeals process that ensures consumers in new private plans have access to an effective process to appeal decisions made by their insurer.

This year, discrimination based on salary will be outlawed. New group health plans will be prohibited from establishing any eligibility rules for health care coverage that discriminate in favor of higher-wage employees.
Beginning this fiscal year, this bill provides funding to states to help establish offices of health insurance consumer assistance in order to help individuals in the process of filing complaints or appeals against insurance companies.

Starting January 1, 2011, insurers in the individual and small group market will be required to spend 80 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Insurers in the large group market will be required to spend 85 percent of their premium dollars on medical services. Any insurers who don't meet those thresholds will be required to provide rebates to their policyholders.

Starting in 2011, this bill helps states require insurance companies to submit justification for requested premium increases. Any company with excessive or unjustified premium increases may not be able to participate in the new health insurance exchanges.
Reform immediately begins to lower health care costs for American families and small businesses:

This year, small businesses that choose to offer coverage will begin to receive tax credits of up to 35 percent of premiums to help make employee coverage more affordable.

This year, new private plans will be required to provide free preventive care: no co-payments and no deductibles for preventive services. And beginning January 1, 2011, Medicare will do the same.

This year, this bill will provide help for early retirees by creating a temporary re-insurance program to help offset the costs of expensive premiums for employers and retirees age 55-64.

This year, this bill starts to close the Medicare Part D 'donut hole' by providing a $250 rebate to Medicare beneficiaries who hit the gap in prescription drug coverage. And beginning in 2011, the bill institutes a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the 'donut hole.' ]

The bill doesn't do everything as quickly as we would like, but these things will help people right away. It's a start, and it's better than what we had, which was virtually nothing.

The black commie Nazi did it!

If it's Wednesday, it must be Morford.

Behold, with the astonishing passage of flawed-but-incredible health care reform, we have the concomitant, frightening realization that this remains one of the most acidic, bitter, hopelessly divisive times to live in America and care a whit for national politics while maintaining a shred of morality, hope, a progressive soul.

Like millions, I was fairly convinced it simply could not get much worse or more acrimonious than when Dubya ran the nation into the ground, embarrassing and humiliating us planetwide a thousand times over as the rogue idiot pseudo-cowboy laughingstock war-hungry prick of the civilized world. I was wrong. But not in the way I imagined.

In short, despite all their whining and infighting, the left wasn't pushing HCR because they wanted to stick it to the GOP. They weren't pushing it because they wanted to personally profit from various corporate cronies, though I'm sure some certainly will. They weren't pushing it due to multiple personal agendas. It was an authentic, at least somewhat egalitarian push to advance a basic ideal of the nation. Well, mostly. Which, in politics, is about as good as it gets.

The Republicans, on the other hand, were pure venom. Theirs was a systematic fearmongering, a nonstop bombardment of misguidings and untruths, an acid bath of panic overlaid with a fine sheen of racism and rage. This is turning out to be easily the nastiest, meanest GOP organization in ages, the house that Karl Rove built, a group shaming their own party's once-noble legacy. Even Reagan, who claimed Medicare would destroy the country, would be stunned at this gang's level of savagery.

If Nancy had told him about it...

Verily, health care reform will go down in history for many things -- Catholic nuns kicking ass, Ted Kennedy not having to roll in his grave, Democrats actually vaguely unifying -- but few are as amusing as the creation of the silliest political movement in recent American history, the Tea Party, a group barely cognizant of what it even stands for, with zero grasp of the history it's named after, who nevertheless will doubtlessly grab every tax benefit, housing subsidy, COBRA extension, Restoration Act moneys and (now) health care benefit that evil socialist Obama hands to them and their sniveling home states, even as they spit tobacco juice in his face. Adorable.

Yeah, ain't it just?

Lots more. Go.

Sore Losers Don't Even Know When They've Lost

El Rude-o

What else? Sarah Palin did something retarded, which is a little like saying "Sarah Palin breathed." Her SarahPAC (motto: "You think these hair styles are cheap?") has a poster up on Facebook (of course) that uses gun crosshairs to demonstrate where to target members of Congress for "defeat." Or shooting. Either way. The poster says, "It's time to take a stand," to which one wants to respond, "Um, didn't you already take a stand and lose?"

More offices of Democrats have been targeted by brick throwing idiots. Bart Stupak has received death threats. Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and all of their wannabes are declaring Democrats and liberals enemies of the United States. Somebody is going to get fucking killed, and it ain't gonna be Beck, even if he implies Barack Obama wants to shiv him.

We on the left used the rhetoric of battle during the Bush administration. But we used it when people were actually being killed and tortured by our nation. There's a vast qualitative difference to saying you are going to fight against people who lied us into war and saying you are going to take down those who are trying to get health care to poor people.

What this belies is the point the Rude Pundit's been making again and again: not one of these mass actions is going to happen. There will continue to be incidents, yes, and some of them may even veer into what we might call, if we weren't such racists, "terrorism." But mostly, this is done, this health care battle. The last stand happened. The battle was joined. The war was fought. And we won. And you lost, dear conservatives. Now, stop trying to dictate the terms of your defeat.

Yeah, like that'll happen.

Republicans: Stuck Between Their Crock And A Hard Place

The lovely Mad Kane on HCR. Links at site:

Repeal (requiring a veto-proof majority as long as Obama is president) is virtually impossible, not to mention unpopular. But the very GOP lies that came close to blocking health reform have brainwashed the Republican base into demanding its rescission. Consequently, many Republican leaders feel forced to perpetuate their doomsday and Armageddon claims and fight for repeal, even though they know it’s a lost cause.

Republicans: Stuck Between Their Crock And A Hard Place
By Madeleine Begun Kane

The GOP base screams “Repeal!”
And Republicans pledge to with zeal.
Cuz they set their own trap
With their factual gap:
Nixing laws that have widespread appeal.

On the theory of in for a dime, in for twenty cents, here's another Mad lim:

How ironic that GOP state leaders are vowing to challenge the Affordable Health Care for America Act in court. For a party that’s always lambasting trial attorneys and activist judges, Republicans sure are litigious:

Republican Trials (Limerick)
By Madeleine Begun Kane

Republicans constantly boo
Trial lawyers. They do it on cue.
For a party that feels
Such attorneys are heels,
The GOP sure likes to sue.

Note to the Repugs: Keep up the good work. Eventually, you'll come to like losing, even look forward to it.

Headline of the Day Zwei

GOP Seeks Federal Mandate: Everyone Must Buy Their ‘Bullshit’

Isn't that unconstitutional?

What they got, nobody wants. Might as well pass a law saying we gotta patronize eighty-year-old hookers. Oh, that'd be redundant, huh?

Green Capitalists


A proposal to put the legalization of marijuana in California to a vote this November is causing some growers of the plant in the state to worry about a sharp drop in the value of their crop if the measure succeeds.

Watch for the Cheeb Lobby to spend millions on this. They need the War On Some Drugs. Another good reason to legalize this lovely roadside weed.



On Wednesday, Los Angeles County elections officials must turn in their count of valid signatures collected in the county on a statewide legalization initiative. The number is virtually certain to be enough to qualify the initiative for the November ballot, according to a tally kept by state election officials.

That will once again make California the focal point of the long-stewing argument over marijuana legalization, a debate likely to be a high-dollar brawl between adversaries who believe it could launch or stifle another national trend.

Dollars again. Yeesh.

California is not alone in weighing legalization. Several state legislatures have considered bills and two other Western states may vote on initiatives. In Nevada, a measure aimed for 2012 would allow state-licensed pot stores. And a campaign in Washington hopes to put a legalization measure on the fall ballot.

I'm down wid Washington! Me 'n David Aquarius have a date for a "beer (ice tea for me, mox nix) an' a legal bong".

The shocker is Nevada. NV looks at pot like CA looks at guns - not friendly at all. I have a friend in Nevada who told me that the one thing he really liked about California was that we could keep our pot on the coffee table. You can still go to prison there for possession. Nevada's a trifle backwards in some respects.

I think it's because it slows the deal. The goal is 90 hands an hour: "Wow, man. Should I hit or stand on 9? Lemme have another toke and ponder it", unlike the effect of the free booze in the 24-hour casinos: "Yahoo! Hit that 19! Come on, two!"

But I digress...

The 10-page California initiative would allow anyone 21 or older to possess, share and transport up to an ounce for personal use and to grow up to 25 square feet per residence or parcel. It would allow local governments, but not the state, to authorize the cultivation, transportation and sale of marijuana and to impose taxes to raise revenues.

That's a lot like prostitution in Nevada: it's up to the counties. In Washoe County (Reno) and Clark County (Lost Wages), prostitution is illegal and hookers and johns are criminals. Just over the county line in the, and I hesitate but not much to use this term, cow counties, heh, they become respected taxpaying citizens and valued customers. Fiscally for business and county revenue, it's the difference between living and dying.

If it's OK for pussy in Nevada, it'll be fine for weed in California. Now we gotta work on this 'transporting across state lines' crap. Both ways. Whee! Heh.

To make the ballot, the measure needs 433,971 valid signatures. By Tuesday, it was just 15,000 short. Los Angeles County, where supporters collected 142,246 signatures, is expected to put it over the top.

Sounds good. Stay tuned in and turned on.

In related news:

Apparently, in Missouri, it's illegal to sell even fake weed. Clear the oregano off the shelves!

The end of The Age Of Reagan? Bring it!

A 'recommended read' in the NYTimes

For all the political and economic uncertainties about health reform, at least one thing seems clear: The bill that President Obama signed on Tuesday is the federal government’s biggest attack on economic inequality since inequality began rising more than three decades ago.

Nearly every major aspect of the health bill pushes in the other direction. This fact helps explain why Mr. Obama was willing to spend so much political capital on the issue, even though it did not appear to be his top priority as a presidential candidate. Beyond the health reform’s effect on the medical system, it is the centerpiece of his deliberate effort to end what historians have called the age of Reagan.

"The Age Of Reagan": Weak government lets the Robber Barons roll. It's the American Way!

It's way past time to end it.

Before he became Mr. Obama’s top economic adviser, Lawrence Summers told me a story about helping his daughter study for her Advanced Placement exam in American history. While doing so, Mr. Summers realized that the federal government had not passed major social legislation in decades. There was the frenzy of the New Deal, followed by the G.I. Bill, the Interstate Highway System, civil rights and Medicare — and then nothing worth its own section in the history books.

Now there is.

It bears repeating: "...the New Deal, followed by the G.I. Bill, the Interstate Highway System, civil rights and Medicare — and then nothing..."

The four out of the five that came in under Democrats helped people. The Repug one lets us drive to the poorhouse really fast. Or at least without traffic lights.

Headline of the Day

Ari Fleischer quits PR job for Tiger Woods because his legacy was so bad it harmed Tiger’s rehabilitation.

Bush's flack is making a whoremonger look bad. Oh my sides, they hurt...

Listen up ...

All you conservative 'constitutional scholars':


Nowhere in the constitution does it authorize the Federal Aviation Administration or the Center For Disease Control either, so I guess they're out too. The fact that the founders weren't psychics or time travelers is a real problem for us, apparently.


And for those who say it's unconstitutional to force people to buy insurance, they do it with auto insurance every day. And yes, I know it's regulated by the individual states, but how do you think the feds got them to comply? By withholding highway funding. Any states that try to opt out of HCR will be pressured by the loss of federal funds they probably can't do without.

Grab 'em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow. HCR is a done deal.

The real deal ...

That would be Joe Biden of course. I heard somewhere, while they call Roosevelt's initiative the "New Deal", they're gonna call HCR the "Big Fucking Deal".

Heh ...

Vid stolen from Adrastos.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Quote of the Day

Our pal David Aquarius in comments on my earlier post:

Expecting cooperation from the Repugs is like expecting Pamela Anderson to get an Oscar.

We have HCR!

And a really good thing about it is that wingnut heads are exploding!


This wasn't just a major victory for Obama. This was a resounding defeat for the increasingly marginalized Republican Party and its controlling and now thoroughly repudiated conservative movement.


Still decompressing...

...from one helluva case of truck lag. Unloaded the truck and unpacked, still workin' on un-fuckin'-up my gear (military guys will understand that after a change of station), catchin' up on email, snail mail, etc. No energy. All I wanta do today is eat and sleep.

Nothing much goin' on today anyway. In the wake of lyin' & losin' on HCR, the Repugs are redoubling their efforts in doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, vowing to stomp on their weenies even better this time. I suggest cleats or golf spikes - hurry up and get it over with. I haven't heard this much whining from adults in, well, never.

See yas tomorrow.

"... a dick wrapped in a flag ..."

... As someone on the intarweb pointed out, the teabagger party logo looks, appropriately enough, like a dick wrapped in a flag ...

Just go.

Heh ...

Like they cooperated in the first place:

Democrats shouldn't expect much cooperation from Republicans the rest of this year, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) warned Monday.


"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," McCain said during an interview Monday on an Arizona radio affiliate. "They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."


Shaddap and get back up on the porch, grandpa. Little old dick.

Thanks to Digby for the link.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Doctor Will See You Now...And Pronounce You Dead

David Frum

No illusions please: This bill will not be repealed. Even if Republicans scored a 1994 style landslide in November, how many votes could we muster to re-open the “doughnut hole” and charge seniors more for prescription drugs? How many votes to re-allow insurers to rescind policies when they discover a pre-existing condition? How many votes to banish 25 year olds from their parents’ insurance coverage? And even if the votes were there – would President Obama sign such a repeal?

We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat. [...]

So today’s defeat for free-market economics and Republican values is a huge win for the conservative entertainment industry. Their listeners and viewers will now be even more enraged, even more frustrated, even more disappointed in everybody except the responsibility-free talkers on television and radio. For them, it’s mission accomplished. For the cause they purport to represent, it’s Waterloo all right: ours.

For once, Frummie, I hope you're right.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Say they'll move to Canada.

Obama: Congress Must Act on Financial Reform
GOP warns any reform could mean end of free checking.

GOP: Health Bill Rammed Down Our Throats With No Debate
Unlike invasion of Iraq.

U.S. Senate Bill Threatens China Over Currency
If they don’t revalue yuan, we’ll stop borrowing money from them.

The payoff ...

You know Stupnagel didn't come around out of the goodness of his heart. The women got thrown under the bus once more and they're pissed, rightly so:

The president of the National Organization for Women said her group is "incensed" about the impasse-breaking deal between President Obama and a group of anti-abortion Catholic Democrats that seems likely to allow historic health-care reform legislation to pass the House later Sunday night, saying the planned presidential executive order "breaks faith with women."

Other reproductive rights groups, as well as abortion opponents, are also displeased with the compromise.


As our pal Creature said:

Maybe one day Americans won't be held captive by another group's religious doctrine, but today is not that day.

Great thanks to Mr. Aravosis for the WaPo link.

Fake Boner ...

Jeez, Skippy, the real one is bad enough. Do we need another dick with hair on its head? Heh ...

For real Stupid Republican Tricks, see Digby.

The Vote on Health Care Reform: The End of the Tea Party?

Here's The Rude One's prediction on Friday before the health care bill passed:

Here's what's going to happen after the vote on the reconciliation bill in the House on Sunday: Almost every Tea Partyer who was out there protesting will go the fuck away. They will devote whatever energy they have left to posting comments on blogs and Facebook pages. Their leaders, desperate to still be relevant and still draw a paycheck, will try to come up with some other phantom issue to whip up enthusiasm. But once it passes, no one will give a shit except the people it helps. The Civil War won't be re-fought. The Constitution won't be shredded. One or two states might try to force their misinterpretation of the 10th Amendment. Soon, Beck and Hannity and Michele Bachmann and Steve King will discover another Republic-ending crisis, probably immigration reform, and we'll start the magical cycle all over again.

Meanwhile, those poor, ignorant bitches and bastards in the photo up there will shuffle home, curse the process, and, like good corporate tools, continue to suck down fast food and sodas and buy shit they don't need because it's cheaply made in China and sold at Wal-Mart and proudly drive gas-devouring vehicles and keep their children stupid and tell themselves that they aren't the problem, no, they are the solution, wondering how to fill the desperate couple of hours between the end of Limbaugh's radio show and the start of Beck's TV rants, despising those who are attempting to do something for them and their neighbors, wondering where their country went, when, after all, this is where it's gone.

For a couple of them, the day will come when they lose their jobs. And the COBRA runs out. And maybe for a moment they panic about where they're going to get health insurance for themselves and their families. And then it will hit them, that "oh, yeah, there's that" and it just might end up okay. But, like the dunces who want the government to keep its hands off their Medicare, they will go on thinking the same, doing the same, never learning, never changing.

We are Americans, after all. Our swinish laziness, blissful ignorance, and blithely cruel selfishness is something our soldiers are fighting and dying for right now.

It's okay. The rest of us will be out here trying to do good, even for those who would like to see our blood discolor the streets.

Note: If the health care bill doesn't pass, then, well, consider the Rude Pundit teabagged.

It passed, RP. Your chin's still a teabag virgin. Don't worry, they'll try again.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Gotta see the orthopaedist ...

From patting ourselves on the back so much.

Just shaddap and get back to work:


Can I just say once again how much I hate these little "Mission Accomplished" press conferences? I realize that it's human to want to celebrate the (apparent) end of a hard fought battle and that they all loved to be stroked by each other in public, but it's unseemly.

Instead of telling each other how wonderful they all are, perhaps they could spend time time explaining why the bill is important and thanking the American people for their forbearance. They can give each other big smooches and hearty pats on the back when the cameras stop rolling.


Jesus Christ, I do more before 10 a.m. than these idiots do in a month. If I stopped to congratulate myself every time I finished a job, I'd be 6 months behind. Just do what we pay you to do and leave the celebrations for happy hour. And by the way, this bill ain't anything to celebrate over in the first place.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Been busy having fun and it's still barely Saturday out west here!

Emmylou Harris ~ Waltz Across Texas Tonight

Thanks to arthurfromholland, Netherlands.