Saturday, February 5, 2011

Varmint Dancing

Whether you like cowboy music or don't like it yet, if you ever get the chance to see Riders In The Sky (wiki) in person, go. They put on a Cowboy Themed Multi-Media Music & Comedy Show that will knock yer socks off.

I am not endorsing their product because I know nothing about it, but thanks to 00YellaWood00.

Republicans Vote To Repeal Obama-Backed Bill That Would Destroy Asteroid Headed For Earth

From America's Finest News Source:

Repealing the act, which opponents have branded 'Obamastroid,' has been the cornerstone of the GOP agenda since the law's passage last August. Throughout the 2010 elections, Republican candidates claimed that the Democrats' plan to smash the space rock and shield citizens from its fragments was "a classic example of the federal government needlessly interfering in the lives of everyday Americans."

"This law is a job killer," said Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), who argued the tax increases required to save the human species from annihilation would impose unbearably high costs on businesses. "If we sit back and do nothing, Obamastroid will result in hundreds of thousands of lost jobs, which we simply can't afford in this economy."

Many GOP members have also criticized the legislation for what they consider pork-barrel spending, claiming the act includes billions in "giveaways" to NASA, nonperishable food manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies contracted to produce mass volumes of vitamin D supplements in the likely event that dust from the asteroid's impact blots out the sun for a decade.

In an effort to counter Republicans' claims, Democrats have asserted that the long-term benefits of preventing the United States from being incinerated by an explosion several billion times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb would far outweigh the initial monetary outlay.

Repugs would see the prevention of the destruction of the human race and maybe the planet as a victory for Obama and Democrats and are therefore against it.


Headline of the Day

Son Says Reagan Would See Today's GOP as 'Mean-Spirited and Stupid'

Perhaps he would, in a rare moment of lucidity. And he'd be right.

I'm glad all this Fatted Calf Reagan Worship is happening on a weekend so it doesn't fuck with the important shit.

Debunking the Reagan Myth

Paul Krugman on Ronald Reagan, who wasn't really a President but did play one on TV and whose addled reign we still suffer from. This is from January 2008:

Historical narratives matter. That’s why conservatives are still writing books denouncing F.D.R. and the New Deal; they understand that the way Americans perceive bygone eras, even eras from the seemingly distant past, affects politics today.

[...] The fact is that how we talk about the Reagan era still matters immensely for American politics.

Bill Clinton knew that in 1991, when he began his presidential campaign. “The Reagan-Bush years,” he declared, “have exalted private gain over public obligation, special interests over the common good, wealth and fame over work and family. The 1980s ushered in a Gilded Age of greed and selfishness, of irresponsibility and excess, and of neglect.”

For it did fail. The Reagan economy was a one-hit wonder. Yes, there was a boom in the mid-1980s, as the economy recovered from a severe recession. But while the rich got much richer, there was little sustained economic improvement for most Americans. By the late 1980s, middle-class incomes were barely higher than they had been a decade before — and the poverty rate had actually risen.

I understand why conservatives want to rewrite history and pretend that these good things happened while a Republican was in office — or claim, implausibly, that the 1981 Reagan tax cut somehow deserves credit for positive economic developments that didn’t happen until 14 or more years had passed. (Does Richard Nixon get credit for “Morning in America”?)

And like Reaganomics — but more quickly — Bushonomics has ended in grief. [...]

This is, in short, a time when progressives ought to be driving home the idea that the right’s ideas don’t work, and never have.

The right’s ideas don’t work, and never have. You can't change their minds. Bring up the record, they just trot out the folk tales they always use and call you a commie.

A Mid-Winter's Tale

Today is the mid-point of winter. It's half over. Most of our snow has so far sailed over our heads and landed on a lot of you. It's been extreme for some of you folks so I thought I'd try and cheer ya up. Here's an article from yesterday's Sierra Sun, my local paper, by noted area historian Mark McLaughlin about the most severe winter around here ever. I hope it makes you feel better.

Weather patterns were erratic during the winter of 1938, Tahoe's biggest winter. Heavy rain in December 1937 caused major flood damage, but by mid-January there was less than a foot of snow covering the high country. Colder storms finally ripped into the region at the end of January, blasting residents with 12 feet of snow in less than a week. It was the opening salvo of an epic three-week storm.

In February, severe blizzards buried Tahoe communities with more than 9 feet of snow in seven days. At one point, Tahoe City was completely isolated with no automobile traffic and all communication cut off. For 10 days the overwhelming snow shut down Southern Pacific's horse-drawn, express mail and passenger stageline between Truckee and Tahoe City. Small towns throughout the Sierra were inundated by the snowfall. Tahoe City and Truckee residents endured in relative safety, though those areas received 17 feet of new snow within 16 days. There were no mail deliveries to the North Shore for more than a week and no fresh food for twice that long.

By Valentine's Day, the snow was 20 feet deep on Donner Summit. During a rare break in the weather, the steamer that regularly circled Lake Tahoe with mail and deliveries arrived back in Tahoe City. The captain mentioned if anyone wanted some horsemeat, it was available at Glenbrook, Nev. Apparently a caretaker there shot a horse due to injury and was willing to share the meat if anyone was interested. The story spread to San Francisco and even Los Angeles that snowbound Tahoe residents were running out of food. On Feb. 17, the San Francisco Examiner quoted Tahoe City Constable Harry Johanson as saying he was “holding in reserve 1,000 pounds of fresh horsemeat, should the situation get serious and the need for fresh meat become acute.”

California Governor Merriam was alerted and the San Francisco Call Bulletin newspaper enlisted United Airlines to organize an emergency food drop at Tahoe City. Local residents built signal fires in the middle of the Tahoe City Golf Course and that night two airplanes swung in low, dropping 10 boxes of bread, meat and vegetables. Half the boxes shattered when they hit trees, but the remainder was retrieved by cross-country skiers and distributed around the community.

The winter of '38 started late, but made up for it with powerful storms in February. By May, a record 67 feet of snow had buried Donner Pass, the greatest snowfall in Tahoe history.

67 feet of snow "made up" for a "late start" to winter! Sometimes I think we're fuckin' crazy around here. Heh.

This year, we had an early start to winter but there's not much snow* left at my house and the weather has been very nice and I hope that pattern will continue for you as well.

*Coupla feet or less on the ground, bare ground around the trees. "Not much" can turn into "waaaaaay too much" overnight of course, but like the fellow who jumped off the 30th floor said as he went by the 15th floor, "so far, so good".

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou on the Hank Williams Snr song

Emmylou Harris ~ Half As Much

Thanks to 1000Magicians, UK.

Friday, February 4, 2011

A right-wing combo plate of stupidity, insanity, and talking points, with sides of conspiracy and apocalypse

You must go see the Guardian UK's take on Miss Becky and some of the other right-wing nutjobs' reaction to the unrest in Egypt.

To cut to the chase, a new caliphate will emerge in the Middle East and push further east until China, as Beck puts it, says "Knock it off guys" and takes over India, reaching some way into Pakistan. The caliphate will then push north, which is when it will absorb the UK:

What happens to the overwhelming radical population of the UK, of radical Islamicists. What happens? Do they just sit around on their hands or do they see an opportunity? When you take the Marxists and you combine them with the radical in Islam the whole world begins to implode

So there you have it, an "Archduke Ferdinand moment" which will split Europe, the Middle East and Asia into Chinese and radical Islamic zones. In the full Beck, he also introduces Bill Ayers (who Sarah Palin had in mind when she accused Barack Obama of "palling around with terrorists"), Hizbullah and Code Pink, a feminist antiwar group. But that's enough for now.

We useta say that the most dangerous man in the Marine Corps was a 2d Lieutenant with a map and a compass, but when it comes to getting lost nobody, but nobody, is the equal of Miss Becky with a blackboard and a piece of chalk!

There is so much to quote in this beautifully distilled lump of what's wrong with unlimited garbage free speech that I can go no farther. The last line offers a jewel:

And then there are more non-partisan positions, such as Glenn Beck's Egypt protest theories show he's finally lost the plot.

From the link:

Of course it’s all connected. The media won’t tell you the truth. Only Glenn Beck will.

The man has finally blown a gasket. His pattern-recognition machine is spewing smoke and shards of metal.

Out his ears. His 'brain' done blowed up from no oil pressure. Heh.

Don't miss these. It's fun.


The Rude Pundit on the upcoming 30th anniversary of Reagan's and our nation's Alzheimer's. Links at site:

[...] It's the centennial o' the birth o' the greatest President that ever Presidented in Presidentin' history. Ronald Reagan, motherfuckers. The man who knocked down the Berlin Wall with a single swing of his mighty dick while finger-fucking Margaret Thatcher and taking a shit on Grenada. He would have been 100 years old had he lived to see this coming Sunday, but who needs the birthday boy when you can have all the cake you want?

Fuck, yeah, let's drag his bones outta the ground so we can ground them up and freebase the dust so that we can shoot it straight into our veins so we can feel some of that Reagan morning in America high one more time, fuckin' A, that shit's like the finest heroin. You get that in ya and you feel that brief buzz, that warmth and delusion of goodness and rightness that tricks your brain into believing that the high is reality and reality is just the buzzkill. No wonder Republicans are addicted to it. No wonder so many Democrats wanna get stoned on it, too.

You can come up with your own ways to celebrate that don't involve shooting up. Like:

1. Go to Best Buy and max out your credit cards on the most extravagant, useless shit you can find, like 3-D TVs and smart phones that you can implant in your brain so you can only think in Google searches and text messages. Make sure it's expensive. Then, when you're tens of thousands of dollars in debt, make sure you die so that your kids have to pay for all of it.

Hey, it worked on the Soviet Union!

Here's one for Grenada Vets:

2. If you're pissed off at your neighbor, but he's an ex-boxer, go to the local day care center and kick the asses of the children there. Declare that you win, even if no one knows what you were fighting for.

More. Go.

(Bonus way to celebrate: Read the Rude Pundit's "tribute" to Reagan upon his death in 1994. It's the finest way to skullfuck the memory of the awful, cruel, incompetent puppet of a man who set the nation on its current path to doom and demise.)

Fear ...

Not the ginned up, scary A-rab fear of our current generation that sent thousands of our young men and women to their deaths needlessly "fighting for our freedom", but the real, existential fear that was quite legitimate in 1942:


That terrifying [Axis] momentum was felt most keenly in the United States, which until recently was half convinced it could sit out this world war on the sidelines. Now a reluctant belligerent, America saw itself caught between two hostile, agressive powers, one over each coastal horizon.

In those early days after its involuntary entry into the war, panic must have been a palpable feature of the nation's mood. While it mobilised for the best, America feared for the worst. In its March 2, 1942 issue, Life magazine distilled that national anxiety into six maps, each portraying a different scenario for Axis invasion.


If you look over the maps at the link, you'll see we weren't worried about a couple goat humpers in a cave the press turned into supermen with super powers but large armies of industrial powers who'd already conquered major parts of two continents. They had a right to be scared. That is what "fighting for our freedoms" means. In the "War on Terror", we have more to worry about, in terms of losing freedoms, from our own government than we do from al-Qaeda.

If you don't know about Frank Jacobs' Strange Maps site yet, you should take the time to go through it. I always find it intriguing.

Co-opted press ...

NYT v. Guardian. A good read from Marcy Wheeler:


Under cover of off the record meetings with top national security officials, the NYT collaborated with the government, at the least on damage control, if not their investigation of WikiLeaks. The Guardian, by contrast, was unwilling to do more than warn State what general topics they’d cover on a day to day basis.


Just another example how the "free press" is no longer, very much by their own choosing. I believe we saw that before the balloon went up in Iraq.

And another point that Marcy touches on is the fact Bradley Manning is their only suspect in the leaks:

... Geoff Morrell’s press conference last week made it clear that they still only consider Bradley Manning a person of interest in the leak of the larger dump, meaning that if he leaked them, they haven’t identified how he did so ...

When they know there's someone else (link NSFW) out there too. How? Document security:


Now we get to the good part. The feds have made it clear that they are looking for other leakers (aside from BM). Meatballs now know why.

Not all the State Dept cables obtained by WikiL bear the SIPDIS header tag.


I'd even suppose there are more than one. Whether we'll see anything Earthshaking in American papers is yet to be seen (maybe McClatchy) but I'm sure the rest of them will "cooperate" with the US government in fear of reprisal or some other such motivation. We'll have to look to the foreign press to learn anything of substance, probably, and the corporate news media won't touch it at all unless they're trying to skewer Assange.

I don't know ...

Why I bother but it has to be called out for what it is (but they haven't invented a word to describe the immense amount of stupid in Sean Hannity's body):


Now Fox host Sean Hannity has proclaimed that in the entire history of the world, only one democracy has ever arisen out of an uprising — Iraq.


The stupid, on several levels, is detailed at Pensito Review.

It burns ...

In light of this winter ...

This is believable:

Stunning his handlers, from the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club, as well as tens-of-thousands of fans and spectators who make the pilgrimage to this tiny Pennsylvania berg, the infamous prognosticating groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, saw the shadow of the abdicating, half-term former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, which spelled out we are in for winter, extending through 2012.


I still have a base of snow (3" of ice now) in the yard from Christmas plus everything that fell on top of it. The way it looks now, it will be 2012 before it melts.

Great thanks to J. Thomas Duffy for the link.

Are you serious?

It's not like the balloon went up yesterday. We've been there a decade and this piddly shit hasn't been ironed out yet? What. The. Fuck?

Drugs, swearing and a sometimes insurmountable language barrier are just some of the cultural problems facing US troops striving to hand security to their Afghan counterparts by 2014.

Americans are infuriated by Afghan soldiers smoking hashish while Afghans hate the often florid swearing of US troops, soldiers told AFP in the Zhari and Arghandab districts in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan.


We gotta go. If we're still dealing with dope smoking and cursing, it'll be 3 lifetimes before they get it together. These people love fighting too much for us to leave them unsupervised.


Although drugs are banned in the Afghan National Army (ANA), many still take them, according to both sides.

"If I don't, I fight with the other soldiers twice a day. It relaxes me," explained Munawar.


"I'm bored, let me beat up one of my buddies." Or "It's 1600, time to kick Sarge in the ass."

Shit, I'd give them all opium, tell them which direction to shoot, and then split before the dust settles.

What a fucking horror show. We. Have. To. Go. NOW.

Policing themselves ...

Or, "No shit":

The Senate Ethics Committee's decision to appoint a special counsel to lead the investigation into activities surrounding Sen. John Ensign's (R-NV) affair with a political staffer is raising age-old questions about the panel's relevancy.

Members of Congress are the first to admit that they hate serving on the Ethics Committee, and policing their peers puts them in an unusually awkward position. If that's the case and the panel has to farm out its work to true professional investigators, then why have lawmakers investigating their colleagues misbehavior in the first place?


And we all know that if you're a Republican, the odds of having to be accountable to anything are slim to none. Has self-policing ever worked?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's a theme today ...

Well, a dual theme. A mashup of "Insane Clown Posse" and "Guys in Funny Hats meet Aliens" ... something like that.

Anyway, I mentioned in comments to Gordon on my planet post that all of "God's Mouthpieces" would shit themselves when having to revise our place in the Big Scheme of Things if we discovered (or they discovered us) intelligent life on one or more of these new planets they found.

... Wouldn't somebody's Good Book have hinted that He put His children somewhere else too? Wouldn't "God's representatives" have some inkling of His grand plan, being they lecture us all the time on how in touch with the Big Guy they are?

So that said (the "Guys in Funny Hats" part), we get to the "Insane Clown Posse" part. Amanda has a thoughtful post up (and gives BillO the Clown a kick in the process) about why the religious folks have a problem with gravity:


I sometimes still find that people on the liberal, or at least thoughtful, side of the fence still think that global warming denialism and creationism are discrete things borne out of an emotional need not to believe either in global warming or evolution, and while that’s true, I think it’s deeper than that. I think that science itself is under attack, and that the reason that conservatives are so eager to lash out against it has to do with an anti-modernist bent. This is especially true when you understand that science really is a threat to religion. A lot of people say it’s not, because science doesn’t address "spiritual" needs, but said folks are really overrating the importance of spirituality for most people---or assuming that this urge isn’t better scratched by loving others and enjoying life. Religion really draws its power from explanation. It gives order to the world. And science is poaching that territory rapidly, which pisses off authoritarians, because they rightfully understand that if they lose the power to create facile goddidit explanations for everything from gravity to the problem of evil, they will lose their power over people. Thus, the attack not just on specific scientific theories, but on science in general, and most of academia, as well.


Conservatives of any stripe, be they from the church (all of 'em) or of the political bent, can only survive if people are kept in the dark. Knowledge is power they have to keep the public ignorant. History holds many examples of this and now science and religion are rubbing against each other in more places than ever. Won't see it in my lifetime but it would be nice to see what humanity can do once they shrug off the crutch of religion.

Hosni Mubarak splits Israel from neocon supporters

Politico. Interesting.

As Israeli leaders worriedly eye the protests and street battles in neighboring Egypt, they’ve been dismayed to find that the neoconservatives and hawkish Democrats who are usually their most reliable American advocates are cheering for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s fall.

The Egyptian autocrat has kept his side of a chilly peace agreement with Israel for thirty years, permitting an era of relative stability in the Jewish state. And as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear in a cautious speech to the Knesset Wednesday, Israel is deeply worried what will happen to that relationship when Mubarak departs.

One of the big reasons Mubarak kept to the deal is that Egypt, and the Egyptians, got tired of going to war with Israel and getting their asses handed to them every time.

And indeed, while voices cheering Mubarak’s fall can be found across the political spectrum, the Israeli-style fears of the future can be found largely on the margins, and are more likely to be found in the old-line conservative – not neoconservative—foreign policy circles that sometimes clashed with the neocons inside the Bush Administration.

Not often enough.

A longtime nemesis of the neocons, Zbigniew Brzezinski, said he didn’t care much about the stand they are taking on the unrest in Egypt and the broader region, but he couldn’t resist a quick dig.

“I don’t take neocon views very seriously, except when they result in U.S. policy which, in turn, means it turns into a disaster,” (my em) he said, a view he’s elsewhere attached to his criticism of the Iraq war.

Get 'em, Zbig!

Some are worried about this and some are not. Extensive article.

All your problems, instantly solved

If it's Thursday, yesterday musta been Morford.

Generation Facebook is totally bummed, dude. Incoming freshman across the nation report their emotional health is at an all-time low, even though they've barely been on the planet long enough to understand the question, even though they've only been alive about as long as it takes a good single-malt Scotch to reach nirvana.

It's gotten so bad that even the "best and brightest" of today's college flesh admit they'd rather get a good grade, a compliment, some sort of ego-fluffer aimed at their fragile personalities, than have sex. I know, right? What's a porn-loving, kink-obsessed, devoutly hypocritical nation to do?

Does saying "Gee, for a fat girl you don't sweat much" during sex count? Always worked for me...

Some say it's Facebook's fault, that there's a sinister side effect to the world's largest online narcotic, given how whenever you check your friends' status updates, everyone invariably seems to be happier and hornier, traveling and singing in the rain, eating better and doing more giant tennis balls of cocaine with Charlie Sheen than you, so you feel horrible and cut off, and you flip over to the porn, glumly.

Could this be the answer to everything? Turn the heat down a little. Have more sex. Burn more calories. Lose more weight. Stay off the Facebook. Avoid pseudo-happy people who really aren't happy but just pretend to be in their overblown status updates. Emotional health rises! Compliments abound! Problem solved! Everybody into the pool!

OK, maybe not. [...]

I know, it will never happen. We are too obsessed with sex and intolerance, with gender and genitalia. The political right, in particular, absolutely despises you who are reading this sentence right now. It's true. Did you hear how the Republicans are currently seeking to enflame their most fearful, ignorant base by way of igniting the abortion fight all over again? Yep.

How will they do it? By attempting to redefine rape, of course, so as to make it seem less, you know, rape-y.

The GOP would hereby like to inform all women and especially younger girls that, unless physical force was involved, it wasn't actually rape. Therefore, if you got knocked up, the Repubs ain't paying for no slutty abortion, y'hear? Drugged, incest, statutory? Too terrified to struggle? Too bad for you, kiddo. The Republican Party hates you, and your terrifying vagina.

I think Ann Coulter useta have one of those...

So buck up, distraught youth. Sure, the wolves are at the door. Sure, the economy is acrumble. What else is new? The world ain't so bad. In my day, we had to dial rotary phones with our fingers. We had to buy our pot illegally. We had to wait four days for a letter. Buy records in a store. Read a map. Invest in Exxon. Buy newspapers. Use dial-up modems. Endure George W. Bush.

[...] What the hell else do you want, a pony?

There is rarely anything to add to Morford, so just...go.

A glimmer of hope...

Glenn Beck Posts Biggest Ratings Drop Of Any Cable News Show In January

So what's behind this drop? It's entirely possible viewers are simply tiring of the chalkboard and the high rhetoric, which has been notably higher of late. And needless to say Beck is not the phenom he was a year ago, merely by dint of the country becoming more familiar with him.

The more you know about him, and it doesn't take much, the less you want him soiling your TV screen or your car speakers.

Glenn Beck is many things but he is not hard news (nor does he generally attempt to be). And considering the nature of the news, perhaps it's not entirely surprising that viewers were clicking away for a while. Sometimes it's nice to be told the world is not ending.

Maybe people are realizing that Miss Becky's koolaid is made of bullshit and snake oil and they're tired of the taste and being told to drink it.

The Reagan Ruins

There's going to be a lotta bullshit flyin' about Ronnie Raygun's 100th birthday, which is also the 30th birthday of his Alzheimer's.

The last few ¶ of a piece by Robert Borosage on the mess he left us with.

Family values, the Republican reach to the evangelical right, were cynically used to divide Americans, not unite them, targeting blacks, women (or feminazis in Rush Limbaugh's lingo), and gays. Reagan, steeped in the ways of Hollywood, was the utter cynic. He was the only divorced man to occupy the White House, was at best a distant parent, and generally avoided going to church. While he pandered to the Christian right, he was never very serious about pursuing their agenda.

Today, America is more unequal, its middle class is weaker, its manufacturing sector is hollowed out, its bloated military, laden with baroque weaponry, can start wars but not win them. Under the banner of conservatism, predatory corporate interests -- Big Oil, Big Pharma, Wall Street, global corporations, agribusiness -- have fleeced taxpayers while feathering the nests of the few.

So let's celebrate Ronald Reagan's style. He was a great communicator, an aw shucks American original, a genial optimist. He was a transformational president who launched America on a misguided, 30-year experiment with market fundamentalism. But let's not forget the reality. His race bait politics of division were inherited from the dark side of Nixon. And his conservatism has cost this country dearly.

No shit.

Insane Clown Posse

Following up on Fixer's post about the CPAC Annual Psychopathic Convention, or as it is called at Fixer's link and elsewhere, "The Insane Clown Posse", I got ta thinkin' (uh-oh) about insane clowns. Which led down the twisted passageways of my mind to one of my favorite TV shows, Tripping The Rift and its insane clown Darph Bobo, a Repug if there ever was one!

Darph Bobo is the supreme Dark Clown. He wants to take over the universe because he was teased as a child. He attended high school with Chode, and the two also spent time in prison together. He has a belittling wife, Bernice, and a daughter, Babette. Bobo is often seen with his "clown trooper" guards - a parody of Storm Troopers, while the name is a play on clone troopers. Both his name and outfit are a parody of the Darths from the Star Wars movies, as is his desire to construct a Death Orb, a deadly battle station, which is an obvious parody of the Death Star.

Here's how I hope the CPAC Insane Clowns end up:

Thanks to llinsazz.

Why Ann Coulter Is a Cunt, Part 1,390,873

I don't even need to suggest you go read El Rude-o as he unloads on that aging pathetic skank. Have some fun!

Let us take a break from protest violence and health care reform stupidity and blizzards and typhoons to enjoy the exquisite thrill of kicking someone when she's down:

How awful it must be to be Ann Coulter, especially right now. On that horrible precipice that, to the disgrace of our sexist society at large, many women face of having to choose between aging gracefully and openly or becoming a Joan Rivers-esque plastic surgery gargoyle. Looking around as she sees that her brand of crazy has been co-opted from her by younger, hotter, and dumber upstarts or one-upped by the even crazier, like Glenn Beck and his conspiracy theories so barking-at-one's-own-shit insane that UFO conspiracy theorists say, "Whoa, motherfucker, that's nuts." Yeah, one might feel pity for Ann Coulter if she didn't have a long, long history of being such a cunt.

To paraphrase a quote (out of a book and my head, no cite. Please don't make me look it up.) about The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Eagles, the Coultergeist perfected the style, and Palin and Bachmann took it to the bank and Coulter's hangin' on by the skin of her I-don't-wanta-know.

So, one could ask, and one should, "Why the fuck bother? If Coulter's way past her expiration date and getting lumpy and stinky, why not just walk away?" And the answer is simple: because fuck her. Because she's responsible in no small part for our current disgusting state of political argument. Because you don't get a free pass. Even if, sometimes, the only way to get revenge on the monsters in this world is to piss into their graves.

And load that bladder up, like Patton did before he pissed in the Rhine.

Looks like ...

God's gonna be a little busier:


Discover's Phil Plait puts today's findings in proper perspective: "Mind you, Kepler is only looking at a sample of stars that is one one-millionth of all the stars in the Milky Way. So it's not totally silly to take these numbers and multiply them by a million to estimate how many planets there may be in the galaxy...70 million Earth-size planets, and a million in the habitable zone of their stars. A frakking million. In our galaxy alone." [my em]

I'd posit, with those odds, some sort of intelligent life has sprung up on at least one of them. Ya think Jesus got there too? Wonder what the Bible says about that?

Great thanks to Susie for the link.

We're in ...

When we want to be, and out when we don't:

Members of the state Legislature, including Arizona's de facto governor, Senate President Russell Pearce, have introduced a bill that essentially would have Arizona secede from the union without having to do so officially.


Twits. If you're gonna go, you'd better go all the way, because if you want to come back, I got a "2nd Amendment solution" for ya. You don't get protection from the US armed forces, nor do you get benefits of being American unless you're all in. Ain't no halfway here.


It's called SB1433, (See it here.) It creates a 12-member committee within the legislature that could "vote by simple majority to nullify in its entirety a specific federal law or regulation that is outside the scope of the powers delegated by the people to the federal government…"

Committee members themselves would decide this, then pass along their recommendation to the full Legislature. If, in turn, a majority of state lawmakers go along with the committee then, according to the bill, "this state and its citizens shall not recognize or be obligated to live under the statute, mandate or executive order."


Let's start a fund drive to move the border fence. Let 'em worry about their own security. I'm tired of paying taxes for a buncha freeloading idiots who don't want to pay their share and cherry pick which parts of the Constitution they want to abide by.

They called us un-American when we bitched about the loss of lives in a war there was no reason to be in, yet it's so American to disregard whatever laws of our own country they don't like? What happened to "America, love it or leave it"? These idiots in Arizona, and those in Texas, and every other buncha clowns who threaten secession, must not love this country at all being they're in such a big hurry to leave.

If you want out, go all the way. This way we don't have to deal with your ignorance and stupidity anymore.

Great thanks to Oliver Willis for the link.

The annual psychopath convention ...

It's that time again:

In case you haven’t been paying attention or are trying (understandably) to block it from your memory, the annual CPAC conference is going to be at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington from February 10-12th. Among the confirmed speakers:

Rep. Michele Bachmann, Inspiration for the Who’s “suicidal psychopath.”
Gov. Haley Barbour, bloated racist
Hon. John Bolton, group sex-loving psychopath
Andrew Breitbart, lying, racist psychopath
Ann Coulter, anorexic, Islamophobic closet trangender psychopath
Hon. Newt Gingrich, Islamophobic, chronically unemployed psychopath
David Horowitz, Liberals on the campus-fearing psychopath


And there are more psychos at the link. With them all in one place, it would be a good time for a raid by the Mental Health Department. Bring a big net and get 'em all at once.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A 60-second letter to your congresscritter

I posted about this some time ago. Please go read. Damn, didn't seem that long ago. Tempus do fugit, don't it? But I digress.

I got this yesterday via the jungle drums of the trials club I belong to:

We've all heard about the nonsense surrounding lead poisoning and kids motorcycles. Finally, so politicians are acting on this.


Go here:

Put in your name and address and show your support. This actually makes a difference. 60 seconds. GO NOW!


If you can see your way clear to do it, please go do this. Dirt bike riding is one of the best family sports there is.

I hate this phrase, but this time it's true, so tongue-in-cheekily, it's for the children. Barf.

Staten Island Chuck

I like him better than Punxatawney Phil because Chuck bit Mayor Bloomberg (like every good New Yorker should) a few years back. Every year we wait to see not if Chuck sees his shadow or not but whether he will bite the Mayor again.


"No shadow, no shadow," Bloomberg said, donning the infamous thick leather gloves he began wearing ever since Chuck, formally known as Charles G. Hogg, chomped on his finger two Groundhog Days ago. "Spring is coming!"

News of the Bizarre That Almost Makes Sense

Bill seeks to let one-armed people use switchblades

State Rep. Sheryl Briggs, D-Mexico*, said Friday that she's asking Maine to comply with a federal law that allows individuals with one arm to own or carry any switchblade knife with a blade of 3 inches or less.

*Mexico, Maine, is an old mill town. Them old down-east maquiladoras were dangerous places to work. Probly lotsa folks missing limbs. Heh.

But seriously, folks, there are flaws in this proposed law.

First of all, most, not all but most switchblades are flimsy pieces of shit that won't hold an edge and are good only for stabbing. I'm sure that's not the usage the nice Democratic lady had in mind. She's just trying to help lefties, so to speak, and doesn't know much about knives outside the kitchen.

As a mechanic/homeowner/general all 'round guy, I've found myself in the position of a one-armed person many times - you've got aholt of something with one hand that needs to be cut and you need ta out with yer folder, open it, and do the job with the other. With a little practice and some judicious easing of the fit of the blade in the handle ahead of time (valve grinding compound works well), you can open it easily with your thumb. When you are done, operate the release with the same thumb, close it against your leg and put it back in the belt sheath.

Alternatively, put a piece of string inside the handle so the tip of the blade protrudes slightly out of the handle. You can then open the knife by catching the tip on the seam of your pants leg with a lateral swiping motion (be careful if you're wearing shorts). This won't work on knives that have been used as screwdrivers and no longer have a tip. Heh. In experienced hands, this method is lightning fast.

These days, opening a pocket or belt knife with one hand is easier than ever. My Buck Bantam has ambidextrous thumb studs which make my old-school methods obsolete.

There are other one-handed knives available. I do not recommend butterfly knives to the one-armed, as a considerable amount of practice and skill is required to avoid having no hands (see one method). Heh. Also, they're illegal everywhere except, apparently, swap meets and the Phillipines.

Also, there are other one-handed knives such as the Smith & Wesson Out-The-Front Tanto and the German Paratrooper Folder and many others.

(Note to BudK: Keep them catalogs comin', boys! The American Flag Guitar Lighter with the lights that run up and down the neck is killer!)

Given the negative image of switchblades and the fashion faux pas of carrying one without the slicked-back pompadour and Cycle Champ jacket, I would suggest that Mexico, Maine, simply let its arm-challenged citizens carry fixed-blade sheath knives so they won't have to open them, or for the more Scottish amongst them, a wee dirk stuck in the top of the sock next to their wallet and smokes, or for the more Marine-oriented, a Ka-Bar, or...

Ah, fuck it, katanas, scimitars, kukris, cavalry swords, claymores, and bat'leths for everybody! See 'BudK' above. Heh.

Headline of the Day

Afghans can only watch in envy as Egypt revolts

On the one hand, uh-oh.

On the other, rise, goat humpers, and free yourselves! That would accomplish whatever mission it is we're there to do and we could leave.

To everything, spin, spin, spin...*

*Apologies to The Byrds.

This builds on Fixer's post below. The right wing is spinning the whole Egypt thing to their own purposes against Obama and toward any damn fool thing they want to do.

David Corn on the Obama Hate Machine (which I think is a poorly constructed term, but...):

The Egyptian crisis is far from over; Obama and his team can hardly be fully judged. But to date, they have represented the United States well. In fact, Republican leaders in Congress have not been complaining. Yet the Obama Hate Machine has seized on the Egyptian uprising as another opportunity to slam the president. Conservative columnist Dick Morris, who once upon a time was a consultant to President Bill Clinton, hammered Obama for failing to stand with Mubarak against Islamic "extremists" trying "to take over the country." Fox News contributor Ralph Peters blasted Obama for not sufficiently supporting the Egyptian protesters. The right-wing Washington Times editorial page slammed Obama for having "abrogated any leadership role in resolving the turmoil in Egypt," noting, "When the time calls for action, Mr. Obama sits on his hands." The newspaper suggested that Obama's moves would lead to al-Qaeda taking over Egypt. Andrew Breitbart's published a posting by Wayne Allyn Root, a leading libertarian, that predicted that the United States would soon be hit by Egyptian-style "riots, revolt in the streets, and economic paralysis" and that Obama "might turn out to be just as intolerant to dissent as Mubarak."

Then there's Glenn Beck. In his own bizarro fashion, Beck tied the rebellion in Egypt to radical forces in the United States and elsewhere that are scheming the demise of the United States:

"We have evidence of the uber-left, the anarchists and the communists and the socialists, the radicals, sowing the seeds and helping those in Egypt. All they want is more pressure on the United States. This isn't about the people there. This is about changing the globe. . . . The storm that I've talked about for so many years is here. The coming insurrection is here."

Oh, this is far beyond Barack Obama, he added. The uber-left and the Islamicists, he asserted, "are plotting together." Presumably to destroy the United States and take over the world -- and Obama's not doing anything to stop them. (He might be rooting for them!) Beck called on his followers to prepare for food riots in the United States. This is, of course, crazy talk. But it's the filter through which millions of Americans are viewing the historic events in Egypt.

The Obama Hate Machine never takes a vacation. But its eager exploitation of the uprising in Egypt cheapens the stirring images of those brave Egyptian citizens seeking democracy and the right of free expression. This is no surprise. There's always demagoguery to wage and paranoia to fuel.

As my response to the Quote of the Day just below, yes, sometimes Beck's followers and other teabaggers and right wing loonies are funny with their dorky hats and misspelled signs and deserve to be laughed at, right in their faces.

Other times, they should be taken as seriously as a two-step snake and dealt with pretty much the same way if they can't be avoided. They're dangerous.

Quote of the Day

Mr. Mass-transit:

I know that decadent coastal liberal elitists like myself aren't supposed to laugh at the True Patriot Americans who watch Glenn Beck's show, but really... If you're a genuine fan of the ravings of this lunatic then you deserve to be laughed at.

A thought ...

About this whole Egypt thing. There must be a lot of sphincters tightening in Tel Aviv and Washington.

Over the last couple days, in my flu-induced stupor, I've been trying to envision what could come to pass after Mubarak finally leaves. Both the US and Israel have been lulled into a false sense of security over the past 3 decades and I get the feeling everybody's running around with their hair on fire now that the collapse of the Mubarak/Sadat government has happened so quickly after so long. You can bet whatever becomes of Egypt, the next government won't be as friendly to the US and Israel and certainly not as receptive to our interests as Mubarak was.

I'm surprised the conservatives haven't gone full bore to turn the Muslim Brotherhood into the next al-Qaeda/Hamas/Hezbollah/Islamic Jihad etc.

Oops, silly me. It seems they've infiltrated us already.


And lo and behold, I'm watching James Baker on MSNBComcast right now referring to the Muslim Brotherhood as "enemies" and "radical Islamists" who will "attack Israel". The Neocons should be having a circle jerk right about now.

Nearly peed myself laughing when Baker said something about "protecting the democratic processes" in Egypt. To hear him say it, Mubarak was a friend to all, including furry woodland creatures.

Only in America ...



And then I thought about what kind of person, in the face of all this, would choose to honor a key architect and enabler of America’s torture regime as a “Defender of the Constitution.” You’d have to be an unfortunate combination: partisan, cynical, intellectually empty. You’d have to perceive of the Constitution primarily as a cheap prop in a public relations campaign, and be willing to exploit it that way. You’d have to be ignorant of irony and oblivious to Orwell.


That's all the Constitution is to conservatives, a cheap prop ... or toilet paper.

Heh ...

Stole this from our pal Jersey Guy's Facebook page. Jerry the Dog's automatic ball thrower.

I'd love something like this for my two monsters but that machine would be nothing but a pile o' parts in an hour.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Statement on Florida Court Ruling

From Ethan Rome, Director of HCAN:

“Judge Vinson gave Republican governors and attorneys general what they wanted, a decision that advances the GOP’s extremist agenda to return control of our health care to the insurance companies. This is judicial activism on steroids. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final say on the legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, and it has corrected such lower-court mistakes when other major laws like Social Security, the minimum wage law and the Voting Rights Act were passed. Two other federal district judges have already upheld the new health care law.

“With consumers already benefiting from the law, this litigation is really about the Republican Party protecting health insurance company profits at the expense of workingfamilies. The Republican politicians who marched in lockstep to bring this suit aren’t really interested in the new law’s individual-responsibility rule. This lawsuit is just another tactic in the Republican Party’s campaign to give our health care back to the insurance companies no matter what the cost.

“The American people will not allow the courts or the Congress to bring us back to the time when insurance companies could exclude people because of pre-existing conditions,drop people for getting sick, or let benefit caps force people with serious diseases into bankruptcy.”

The American people have nothing to say about it. The phrase in the statement that bears repeating is:

Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court will have the final say on the legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act

I'm not sure "fortunately" is the right choice of words what with this SCOTUS pretty much a wholly-owned subsidiary of Corporate Amerika. The right wing is doing its best to force this in front of The Supremes for just that reason.


The Rude Pundit weighs in:

[...] Because, see, the Supreme Court is probably going to be making a decision in 2012 on the Obama administration's appeal of Judge Rodger Vinson's decision that the entire Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 be tossed aside like a used fuckrag. [...]

So the Rude Pundit would advise the White House to start prepping for what happens if the Supreme Court strikes down the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. That means more than just a few rallies by the president. That means that Democrats need to get on board, especially those who voted for it. Shit, it's gonna be used against Democrats in 2012, even if everyone who supported it ends up claiming they were victims of Kenyan hoodoo mind-control. Double down on that motherfucker. Make commercials with people who benefited from it. Run 'em on Fox "news" to twist the heads of the yahoos. It won't be difficult.

Wanna know why? Here's a real conversation between the Rude Pundit and an ultraconservative relative this month:

Go see.


Relative: So I guess I have to support it now.

Rude Pundit: Yeah, you do.

In other words, make it so that people fucking fear the Supreme Court overturning the law. Make it so that they're willing to vote out of office anyone who wants to take it away. Make it so that they're begging for the law to have a public option so that there's no question over the constitutionality of it (remember: we're prepping for a negative ruling). Make it so that the next Congress will have to fix it.

The anti-health reform forces scare people into thinking it's the beginning of communist tyranny fascistic Nazi Stalinism. Or some such shit. The counter-argument can't be, "No, that's silly." It has to be, "You'll fucking die without it."

Fuckin' A. Scare the crap out of 'em. That's the way the Repugs do it and they're used to it and it works.

Time to go, Hosni

Egypt’s military pledges it won’t use violence against protesters

Mubarak's toast.


Montag agrees.

Bolton: If Mubarak falls in Egypt, Israel should bomb Iran

Raw Story

Bolton, a neoconservative, has a long history of promoting military strikes on Iran.

No shit. If that neocon motherfucker wakes up in the morning, Israel should nuke Iran.

Let's hope neither happens.

2012 Republican presidential candidates all have flaws

Besides being Repuglican'ts, you mean? Imagine that! Chris Cillizza lays 'em out:

That's an emerging bit of conventional wisdom about the slow-forming GOP race. And it's right - except that it omits one very important fact: All - that's A-L-L - of the Republicans considering runs for the nomination carry at least one major flaw that could keep them from victory.

Let's take a look at the Achilles' heel of some of the best-known candidates:

Yada yada...

"The answer to the riddle lies in the future, not the past," he said. "Who can capture the imagination of Republican primary voters? That is the question."

First of all, if they had any imagination they wouldn't be Repugs.

Second, they don't need imagination. FOXPAC et al will tell them what opinion to have and whom to throw their vote away for.

Headline of the Day

Set your drink down. Just sayin'...

Michele Bachmann Delivers Tea Party Address to Egyptian Protestors

We're Better off Than Egypt -- Right?

RJ Eskow

A tourist who was interviewed last night from Cairo spoke for millions of his fellow Americans when he said he couldn't imagine living a country like Egypt. It is hard, isn't it?

Imagine: A government run by and for the rich and powerful. Leaders who lecture others about "sacrifice" and deficits while cutting taxes for corporations and the wealthy. A system so corrupt that rich executives can break the law without fear of being punished. Increasing poverty and hardship even as the stock market rises. And now, a nation caught between a broken political system and a populist movement that could be hijacked by religious extremists at any moment.

No wonder they're upset! Why, we'd be marching in the streets too.

Heh. Americans are waaaay too lazy. A lot of 'em can barely roll off the couch to wave their guns around.

Egypt's been plagued by the same contradictory "cut taxes and reduce the deficit" logic we're hearing in the US. And why not? It serves the same web of financial interests.

Wall Street banks have a record of chronic criminality in the United States, yet continue to maintain a level of political power and influence that would look familiar to any Egyptian.

Egyptians face much greater hardships and dangers than Americans do, and it would be wrong to minimize either their difficulties or their bravery. But while we shouldn't trivialize our differences, it's also wrong to ignore our similarities. If we do, it lets our nation's leaders do far less than they should be doing to create real economic and political change. It allows us to admire the Egyptian people without challenging our own consciences. It lets us admire their activism without seeing the need for action here at home.

Sometimes it's easier to admire courage in others than it is to seek it in ourselves.

No 'sometimes' about it. Always.

RJ waxes a little hyperbolic, but not all that much. Go read the rest.

Me ...

And Dr. Fez:

Joints hurt - check
Back hurts - check
balls hurt - check

Hooray, the Flu has arrived!

Why ...

Are this man and his henchmen still free? Bush and Cheney have as much as confessed to war crimes, yet they're allowed to run around free to make even more money:


He followed it up by saying that he was glad the Congress decided to pass The Patriot Act and renew it again no matter which party was in the majority and defended his administration's spying and torture, or as he called it "enhanced interrogation" that he claimed was necessary to keep us safe from terrorism. He also claimed that The Patriot Act assured that civil liberties were not undermined.


Monday, January 31, 2011

On right-wing lying and paranoia

Good excerpt from the TPM Book Club.

From the late 1940s to the late 1980s, the story that drove conservative politics was that of the Cold War. It was the story of an epic conflict between the good guys -- the God-fearing, freedom-loving, capitalist United States of America -- and the bad guys -- the atheistic, repressive, communist USSR. Every political event, from antiwar protests to the United Nations to national health care, could be understood within the frame of this conflict.

As the Cold War began to dissipate in the 1980s, a new breed of conservatives sought to replace this story with one called the Culture War. This was the story of an epic conflict between the good guys -- the God-fearing, freedom-loving, capitalist "ordinary" Americans -- and the bad guys -- the elitist, secularist, socialist, tyrannical liberals and their black, gay, and Latino allies. Every political event, from environmental regulation to financial crisis to national health care, could be understood within the frame of this conflict. Many of those promoting this story explicitly compared it to the Cold War.

Yeah, they ran outta commies to blame so they had to make some outta whomever was handy - US.

The Culture War story has been particularly appealing to many conservatives because of the way that it vindicates an American social group that had fallen into disfavor. After the civil rights movement, racial and religious tolerance became preeminent virtues in modern American society. As social barriers from race to gender to sexual orientation fell like dominoes, the media disparaged and ridiculed racists, xenophobes, and religious dogmatists who fought the changes.

The Culture War narrative turns this modern worldview upside down. In this story, white, Christian conservatives are the victims; liberals and minorities are the intolerant bigots who oppress them. That's the reason that Fox News has spent so much time presenting President Obama, Justice Sotomayor, and a host of black, Latino, or gay officials as anti-white, anti-Christian, and anti-American.

The election of a black president did not create the extreme right-wing backlash any more than the recession did. Rather, Obama's election fit neatly into a narrative that has been steadily gaining popularity for thirty years and thus stoked a fire that had long been burning and spreading through both economic booms and busts. Until the country can shake itself free from this narrative, the paranoia that we have seen the past two years will continue to seduce millions of Americans.

In other words, when pigs fly.

Pay China And Screw The Old Folks

Josh Marshall

This is a fascinating piece about a new GOP plan to avoid raising the debt ceiling. The idea is to pay the Chinese government -- and other foreign lenders -- first and withhold payments to Social Security beneficiaries and other obligations to US citizens.

If passed, Toomey's plan would require the government to cut large checks to foreign countries, and major financial institutions, before paying off its obligations to Social Security beneficiaries and other citizens owed money by the Treasury -- that is, if the U.S. hits its debt ceiling. [...]

The debt won't be all that hits the roof. Watch for a whole buncha gray haired and wrinkled 2d Amendment remedies.

Get Internet Access When Your Government Shuts It Down


Does your government have an Internet kill-switch? Read our guide to Guerrilla Networking and be prepared for when the lines get cut.

Interesting. I'm glad someone's thinking about it.

Should you be interested...

Al Jazeera English


I Want My AJE

“We’re fairly sure our programming is of interest,” said Stebbins, side-stepping a bit. “We knew that we’d be forced to look for non-traditional means of distribution.”

Indeed. Though approximately 120 million homes from Jerusalem to Jakarta to Germany tune in to AJE every day, the station has been all but shut out of the U.S. market. Unless you live in Burlington, Vt., or Northeast Ohio, where two local cable networks defied the industry by adding the channel to their line-ups, the only way to see the channel’s programming is on YouTube, or by paying for either a subscription broadband service or a satellite dish from French company GlobeCast. In Washington, D.C., a tiny satellite company called Washington Cable has the channel available, but so far, its customers — several government agencies, as well as a small number of apartment complexes, including the famed Watergate — don’t want it.

Though spokespeople from TimeWarner, Comcast, and News Corp (which owns DirecTV) refused to speak in any detail about their decision not to carry the channel, those with knowledge of the industry say AJE never had a chance on U.S. soil.

Makes sense. We might actually learn something about American policy in the Arab world. Best if The Great Unwashed stay ignorant.

"Vitter and Rand would extinguish the welcoming light held aloft"

Mark Karlin

Senators David Vitter and Rand Paul are introducing legislation to deny US birthright status, guaranteed under the 14th Amendment, to children born on American territory to "illegal immigrants."

What's missing from the proposed law - if passed - is that it needs to require the removal of Emma Lazarus's poem, written in 1883, from the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. In "The New Colussus," Lazarus intones:

"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

In fact, just remove the Statue of Liberty itself from New York Harbor and replace it with a giant "no vacancy" sign.

Nah. That would involve government spending. Just cover the poem with a placard that reads "Whites Only".

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Feds Seize Catapult in Mexico Used to Hurl Drugs Into Arizona
Later seize catapult in Arizona used to hurl guns into Mexico.

Filibuster Will Continue in Senate
After passage of Gridlock & Paralysis Enhancement Act.

Balance of Trade Picture Improves Suddenly
Helped by soaring sales of U.S.-made tear gas canisters.

Utah Moves to Name M1911 Semiautomatic Official State Gun
Mass murderers who don't use it face stiff penalties.

An iconic all-American handgun, and we should feel lucky it only holds 7 rounds.

Fighting back ...

Montag has a good idea:

... This would be a good time for everyone to file an FOIA with the FBI for Rep. Issa's file ...

Quote of the Day

Gail Collins via Maru:

Is Michele Bachmann the new Sarah Palin?

And do we really need a new Sarah Palin? Shouldn’t the first one be made to go away before we start considering replacements?


This is why ...

The concept of a "Republican woman" is so alien to me. How can any woman support this:


Let me reiterate this: If you were raped and your rapist didn't cut you, shoot you, or otherwise leave marks on your body, then according to Republicans, you were not raped, you only had maybe less-than-enjoyable sex.

When the political party you support marginalizes you (take note, Log Cabin Republicans), it's time to move on. Any group who would force a woman to carry her rapist's child to term should turn every woman's stomach.


How this shit would work in real life:


So if your twelve-year-old is sexually attacked by a neighbor, and her attacker says he'll kill her if she doesn't keep quiet and do what he wants, in Chris Smith's world she wasn't actually raped. And if your twelve-year-old becomes pregnant as a result, and your insurance doesn't cover abortion, and you want to use your flex or HSA money to pay for it, Chris Smith won't let you do that either. Because Chris Smith thinks your daughter is a dirty slut who asked for it.

And this is one of the new GOP Congress' first priorities.


Again, I ask Republican/conservative/Tea Bag women; is this what you support? For your daughters? For yourself?

Is this what passes for "family values" nowadays?

Hypocrisy ...

We haz it. The Grumpy Old Man was on TV this weekend, reiterating our support for the Egyptian people and "human rights". Nicole talks about our commitment to ensuring human rights:


Yes, let's talk about the importance of human rights when the Egyptians know only too well our killing of hundreds of thousands Iraqi civilians and displacement of a million more; our stealth war in Pakistan, killing wedding parties with drone strikes; our refusal to even count how many Afghan casualties we're responsible for; our blind eye to the human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Yemen, etc. Especially since we've been using the repressive aspect of Egypt's government to do our dirty work with rendition and torture, something that is not unknown to the general citizenry. Yup, we're really on the right side of history for this one ...

Yeah, we're all about human rights, as long as they don't stand in the way of our "national interests".

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Headline of the Day

California Lawmaker Receives Racist Death Threat Warning ‘Rush Limbaugh Will Kick Your Ch-nk Ass’

Further demonstrating that hate radio has no effect whatsoever on the unhinged.

Walk Like An Egyptian*


Mohamed ElBaradei

Then, as protests built in the streets of Egypt following the overthrow of Tunisia’s dictator, I heard Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s assessment that the government in Egypt is “stable” and “looking for ways to respond to the legitimate needs and interests of the Egyptian people”. I was flabbergasted—and I was puzzled. What did she mean by stable, and at what price? Is it the stability of 29 years of “emergency” laws, a president with imperial power for 30 years, a parliament that is almost a mockery, a judiciary that is not independent? Is that what you call stability? I am sure not. And I am positive that it is not the standard you apply to other countries. What we see in Egypt is pseudo-stability, because real stability only comes with a democratically elected government.

As far as the U.S, is concerned, 'stability' in Egypt is our due, meaning that we've been paying them to be on 'our side' for years, i.e. keep them from causing trouble for Israel.

If you would like to know why the United States does not have credibility in the Middle East, that is precisely the answer. People were absolutely disappointed in the way you reacted to Egypt’s last election. You reaffirmed their belief that you are applying a double standard for your friends, and siding with an authoritarian regime just because you think it represents your interests. We are staring at social disintegration, economic stagnation, political repression, and we do not hear anything from you, the Americans, or for that matter from the Europeans.

Oh, they'll 'hear from us' when this all shakes out. We'll go with the winners, among whom we'll be popular once again as soon as they see the checks still cash. I'm glad this is happening under a Democratic administration. Under the Bush administration we would continue to stand with good ol' boy Mubarak as the legitimate head of Egypt even if he was based in Zurich so he could be near his stash of our money.

Of course, you in the West have been sold the idea that the only options in the Arab world are between authoritarian regimes and Islamic jihadists. That’s obviously bogus. If we are talking about Egypt, there is a whole rainbow variety of people who are secular, liberal, market-oriented, and if you give them a chance they will organize themselves to elect a government that is modern and moderate. They want desperately to catch up with the rest of the world.

When the 'rainbow coalition' is in charge of Egypt, I will gladly make public the video of me doing the Dance Of Joy nekkid in the snow. Won't even have to get cold. I have footage of that in stock. With the 'shrinkage' photoshopped out, of course. Heh.

Big talk, but I won't have to make good on it.

The Tea Party Wags the Dog

Daddy Frank on the Repug responses to the SOTU. Links and a good 'toon.

This time we were spared a “You lie!” But once Obama segued into a rambling laundry list and the “prom night” bipartisan photo ops lost their comic novelty, the night’s storyline inevitably shifted to the reliable diva antics of Michele Bachmann, the founder of the House’s Tea Party Caucus. For all the Republican male establishment’s harrumphing, it couldn’t derail her plan to hijack the party’s designated State of the Union response with one of her own. More Katherine Harris than Sarah Palin, Bachmann is far more riveting television bait than Paul Ryan, the bland congressman officially assigned the Bobby Jindal memorial slot after the New Jersey governor Chris Christie was savvy enough to take a pass.

The G.O.P. grandees’ consternation was palpable. Earlier in the day Bachmann had dispatched an e-mail announcing that her speech would be carried live by Fox News. But when the time came, Fox relegated the live feed to its Web site, forcing viewers to scurry to CNN, of all places, and delaying its own television recap until after prime time in the East. Rupert Murdoch’s other major organ, The Wall Street Journal, toed the same line, burying Bachmann’s speech in a half-sentence in its print edition the next morning. By then, John Boehner, seconding the disdain of Eric Cantor, was telling reporters that he hadn’t watched Bachmann because of “other obligations.”

What were they all afraid of? The answer cuts to the crux of the right’s plight less than three months after its supposed restoration. Having sold itself in 2010 as the uncompromising champion of Tea Party-fueled fiscal austerity, the enhanced G.O.P. caucus arrived in Washington in 2011 to discover that most Americans prefer compromise to confrontation and favor balanced budgets in name only.

Irony ...

Or, "Keep your government hands off my government money":


Palin's quirky invocation of the "Spudnut Shop" here in Richland Washington as an example of American "can-doism" is far more ironic than you and most of your readers likely realize.


4th Round of the FA Cup this weekend. I might show up later but I never miss a Cup match.


The FA Cup was first held in 1871–72, and is the oldest association football competition in the world.[1] Because it involves clubs of all standards playing against each other, there is the possibility for "minnows" from the lower divisions to become "giant-killers" by eliminating top clubs from the tournament and even theoretically win the Cup, although lower division teams rarely reach the final.


2 weeks ago, a team from the little town of Stevenage beat Premier League side Newcastle United. Next to the World Cup, in my opinion, this is some of the best football you can watch.


For those who care: Crawley Town is through to the fifth round. Unfortunately, they drew Manchester United for their next match.