Saturday, March 5, 2011

In der bunker

This clip has been used for all kinds of stuff. It even has a genre - the "Hitler Downfall Parody* Video". There are two of these so far about the Wisconsin power grab. Different approaches, both pretty good.

"The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality. I think it's only fair if now it's taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like."

First one's here.

This is the better of the two according to Josh Marshall.

Thanks to WIGovPR.

Quote of the Day

From a MoDo column about Afghanistan:

“Every conflict in the world today has its origin in the imagination of British map drawers,”...

Emphasis mine.

So would I ...

Jill says what I have for a long time:


What I've told these people is that if I had to pay, for example, $2000 more a year in federal taxes at my income level, but within five years our nation's economy would be on a sound footing, I'd do that in a heartbeat. And I don't even have children who are going to need a nation that doesn't look like a Mad Max movie. If I had to pay more in state taxes to get my state back on even keel within five years, I'd do it. And those numbers really WOULD make a difference to what I take home. So why is it such anathema to ask the wealthiest Americans to pay a few thousand more a year?

I'd be more than willing to pay a couple percent more in federal taxes if we had good roads and infrastructure, good education for all our kids, and single-payer or affordable health care for everyone. But, by golly, the rich folks better kick in their share too.

Don't need no steenkin' driver...

Rare footage of the time I took Fixer for a ride. Or tried to. Don't worry, he saves the damsel in distress and comes up smellin' like a rose like he always does. I just sat in the mud puddle like I always do.

Thanks to dantedite, Mexico.

Clip is from Sherlock Jr. (1924) starring Buster Keaton.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris & The Hot Band ~ Drivin' Wheel

Thanks to truemmylou.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cajun Recruiter

I got this from my buddy Arnie. Some of the facts are wrong, it's a joke, but given the way the military is trying to cheat Vets outta their bennies the upshot is right on the money:

[Boudreaux, the smoothest-talking Cajun in the Louisiana National Guard, Got called up to active duty. Boudreaux's first assignment was to a military induction center, and because he was a good talker, was assigned the duty of advising new recruits about government benefits, especially the GI insurance to which they were entitled.

Before long, the Captain in charge of the induction center began noticing that Boudreaux was getting a 99% signup rate for the more expensive supplemental form of GI insurance. This was odd, because it would cost these low-income recruits $30 per month more for the higher coverage, compared to what the government was already providing at no charge.

The Captain decided that he would not ask Boudreaux directly about his selling techniques, but instead he would sit in the back of the room at the next briefing and observe Boudreaux's sales pitch.

Boudreaux stood up before the latest group of inductees and said, 'If you got da normal GI inshoranse an' you go to Iraq an' git yoself kilt, da governmen' gonna pay you beneficiary $20,000.

If you take out da supplemental inshoranse, which cost you only t'irty dollar a mont, den da governmen' gotta pay you beneficiary $200,000.'

'NOW,' Boudreaux concluded, 'which bunch you tink dey gonna send ta Iraq furst?']

Heh. Not far off the mark.

White House Home Brew!

From Obama Foodorama:

Brewed with one pound of honey from this year's 160-pound harvest from the White House Bee Hive, the Ale was made by an unnamed White House chef who is a home-brewing enthusiast. The President, First Lady, and their guests sampled the special suds for the first time this evening. The label on the bottle reads "Brewed With White House Honey."

To go with the Ale, the Obamas served a menu that highlighted regional favorites from both Packer and Steeler countries--er, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania:

Menu follows. Shorter: lemme at it and screw the heart attack!

Enjoy the post, but here's my point:

Untaxed booze in the White House! Obama is a great American!

I know it's legal to make beer, ale, and wine at home. It's the, er, spirit of the thing.

Thanks to fkazz, Japan.

Southern Conservatives Reveal Their True "Family Values"

Legal Schnauzer

Perhaps nothing delights progressives quite like having a conservative Republican proven to be a fraud on "values" issues. It's particularly delightful when a conservative is outed in the deep-red South.

Two such outings have happened in recent days, and I'm so broken up about it that I can't wipe the smile off my face.

The Schnauz goes on to describe these instances, stuff I've never even heard of in fifty years of hangin' out with bikers and dopers and other degenerates like Libruls and mechanics. Jackin' off near a park where kids hang out, fer chrissake!

Conservatives always have a ready excuse when they get caught with their pants down--or unzipped, as the case might be:

(Lamest excuse I ever heard, and I've heard a few! - G)

Probably didn't want to use the restroom because there might be perverts in there.

So you may well ask, "Whaddya bother with this shit for? It's a well-known fact that all Repugs are hypocritical perverts."

The answer lies deep in Schnauz's post:

It's too much fun to pile on when the opportunity arises.

Fuckin' A! Er, I mean, Amen, Brethren!

Question of the Day

Why Can't Republicans Just Tell the Truth?

There's an article, but the short answer is:

Because it would put them out of business. Or worse, they'd sound like Liberals! Gasp! Either way it would derail the gravy train.

Jon Stewart Nails Fox News Hypocrisy On Teachers Vs. Wall Street Pay Levels


Given how much Fox News has called teachers unions greedy for their pay and benefit packages, Jon Stewart expected them to have a consistent record of calling out greed in other sectors as well -- perhaps even in the financial sector.

Big surprise: the record is hardly consistent.

On Thursday night's Daily Show Stewart began by pretending to buy into the Fox argument that teachers are grossly overpaid.

He then played footage from just a few months ago that showed Fox anchors wailing that the Bush tax cuts must be extended for people making over $250,000 per year because those people, as one anchor put it, were almost living in poverty.

"See the difference?" Stewart asked. "Regardless of the greed-based, slightly sociopathic job bankers did wrecking our economy, those people were there every single day, twelve months a year."

A Day Without a Mexican


Texas state Rep. Debbie "Terror Babies" Riddle has introduced a new bill that would make it a serious crime to hire an illegal immigrant. But her bill allows one exception:

Under the House Bill 2012 introduced by a tea party favorite state Rep. Debbie Riddle — who's been saying for some time that she'd like to see Texas institute an Arizona-style immigration law — hiring an undocumented maid, caretaker, lawnworker or any type of houseworker would be allowed. Why? As Texas state Rep. Aaron Pena, also a Republican, told CNN, without the exemption, "a large segment of the Texas population" would wind up in prison if the bill became law.

"When it comes to household employees or yard workers it is extremely common for Texans to hire people who are likely undocumented workers," Pena told the news giant. "It is so common it is overlooked."

No, this is not from the Onion. It's from a Texas Republican. Though it's getting harder and harder to tell the difference these days.

The difference is that the Onion folks have to think to come up with ridiculous stuff like that. Apparently the lack of a thought process works too. Repugs are especially gifted that way.

"let your freak flag fly"

The Rude Pundit on the Supremes' WBC decision:

Let's get a couple of things straight here: Almost no one actually supports the Westboro Baptist Church, a handful of inbred, dick-faced, walking cumstains whose accumulated intelligence and number of teeth drag the human species a few rungs down the evolutionary ladder to that level where throwing one's own shit is seen as a valid expression of dissent. [...]

But, ah, shit, much as it sucks, the Supreme Court's 8-1 decision was correct to affirm the right of the inbreds to wave their retard signs of hate. "This nation's destruction is imminent," cackled one of the inbreds like Walter Brennan on a meth binge. That was in appreciation of the decision and completely without irony.

So you see that sign up there at the Wisconsin State Capitol? It reads "Walker Sucks Koch," in reference to Governor Scott Walker and the wealthy conservative financiers whom he blows. What the Supreme Court also said was that, as long as it's in a public space, let your freak flag fly, man. "God Hates Fags" is now where the bar has been set. Surely we can be more creative when it comes to more of our causes. Justice John Roberts told us to go for it.

Be careful. For once, Rude-Man misses the point: IonlyOKIYAR.

Don't they have a law ...

Against consorting with "known terrorist organizations", let alone taking money from them?

Former Indiana Congressman Lee Hamilton (D) and former CENTCOM Commander Anthony Zinni told the Inter Press Service that they were paid to appear at recent events supporting the MEK, an Iranian opposition group currently considered a terrorist organization by the State Department.


Or is it that some "terrorist organizations" are less terrorist-y than others? Or is it that "terrorism" is okay if they're terrorizing somebody you don't like? Or is it that these guys are big shots and this is America and big shots can do anything they damn well please?

I'm going for "all of the above".

"Shared sacrifice"...



Here's the roll call on the vote. A total of 236 Republicans voted, and all of them opposed the effort to end public subsidies for oil companies.


Also note, ending the subsidies would save the federal government tens of billions of dollars, making a significant dent in the deficit-reduction campaign that Republicans pretend to care about. It's a reminder that the GOP's commitment to fiscal responsibility is shaped in large part by who'll suffer as a result of the cuts -- working families can feel the brunt of the budget ax, under the GOP vision, but ExxonMobil can't.


Not one House Rethug voted to kill the subsidies to oil companies ($53 billion worth), but those lazy, BMW-driving union teachers are driving us to bankruptcy. Realizing, of course, that the money taken from the oil companies would go a long way to satisfying the Rethug/Teabagger demand for cuts to the budget (that's assuming they're actually worried about the deficit).

As anyone with half a brain knows by now, the Rethug plan has nothing to do with "deficit-reduction" or "spending cuts". It's all about breaking the middle class, period.

So ...

What don't our elected representatives understand?

Pic from here.

Quote of the Day

Michelle Kraus:

... You know listening to him [Charlie Sheen] was like listening to ranting of the crazy uncle who spent a bit too much time alone in the attic drinking lighter fluid, and diddling himself ...

Heh ...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Two words ...

Bristol Palin:

In a radio appearance on Monday, Mike Huckabee attacked actress Natalie Portman for having a child "out of wedlock." Huckabee said that it's "troubling" to see people like "Natalie Portman or some other Hollywood starlet who boasts of, 'Hey look, you know, we're having children, we're not married, but we're having these children, and they're doing just fine.'" Huckabee added that "it's unfortunate that we glorify and glamorize the idea of out of children wedlock."


But I guess the collective memory has forgotten about that already.

Quote of the Day


... I am so used to authoritarian cops who don't give a damn about anyone else's rights that I'm deeply impressed by the Wisconsin cops who are refusing to allow themselves to be used against the governor's political opponents ...

George Will Is Confused...

What's new about that, you may well ask. Given that being confused about things he knows nothing about but being an expert on everything anyway is his stock in trade, this is something new he's an expert on but knows nothing about. HuffPo:

One way of looking at high-speed rail systems is that they are a means by which distant communities get connected, economic development and jobs are fostered, and workers with a diverse array of marketable skills can improve their mobility and thus their employment prospects. But another way of looking at high-speed rail is that it's some nonsense that came to a bunch of hippies as they tripped balls at a Canned Heat concert. That's my takeaway with George Will's latest grapple-with-the-real-world session, in which he attempts to figure out "Why liberals love trains." It's "Matrix" deep, yo:

Actually it's not. It's "falling off a log" simple, yo: Will doesn't know jack shit about anything other than a narrow (minded) right-wing agenda, and he's not real clear on that.

Time was, the progressive cry was "Workers of the world unite!" or "Power to the people!" Now it is less resonant: "All aboard!"

Yes. Because Karl Marx invented mass transit.

Much more.

I like trains for a lot of reasons. I like the idea of loading my pickup with all my travellin' junk in it on a flatcar so I have it when I get wherever I'm going and pay for the railroad's wear and tear instead of my own. I hear this is big in the Back East I-95 corridor.

Also, I like the 'street art' on the sound walls in the cities. Railroad tracks always go through the oldest part of towns because they were laid a long time ago. Think 'inner city' and 'spray paint'. Some of it's gorgeous.

You see beautiful things you'd never see from a car even if you're not driving. You see the backs of things as well - ya think the front of an oil refinery is ugly? And stuff that's not so pretty, like f'rinstance all the discarded tires lining the shore of the nether regions of Frisco Bay. The good, the bad, and the ugly are all out there.

You can meet and chat with people. You can get something to eat. You can sleep and read. You don't have to pull off the road to go to the can. You can just look out the window. Your destination will be just the same when you get there.

Air travel is faster, of course, but it's turned into such a pain in the ass that most folks use it but don't like it any more. I'd rather take the train than fly, always have, time permitting. It just needs to be more dog- and car-friendly.

George Will is too elite in his thinking to realize the value of rail. He's an ass.

NBC/WSJ Poll Finds Americans Wary of GOP Agenda

From Slate, links at site:

The latest survey of American attitudes toward the budget contains what could be some alarming news for Republicans. The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that Americans are more worried about job creation and economic growth than the federal deficit. And while they "find some budget cuts acceptable, they are adamantly opposed to cuts in Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security and K-12 education." A GOP pollster who helped conduct the survey called the results "a huge flashing yellow sign to Republicans" and pointed out that the people "most concerned about spending cuts are core Republicans and Tea Party supporters, not independents and swing voters." Steve Benen seconds that: "the party's agenda is appealing to its far-right base, not the American mainstream," he says. "The public isn't buying what the GOP is selling." Kevin Drum agrees. "The tea party is still a pretty small part of America no matter how loudly they yell or how much attention the media pays to them," he says. "Out in real America, people want to tax the rich, cut stupid weapons programs, and stop subsidizing prosperous oil companies. They don't want to cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or education." That means Democrats "most likely hold all the cards in a budget showdown," if they can "manage to agree on a halfway coherent message."

Democrats? Coherent message? When we are dodging excreta from flying porcines.

It is easier to get the attention of a mule by hitting him upside the head with a 2x4 than it is to get Americans to wake up to the people who are trying to flush this country down the shitter. Our national attention span being what it is, this too may pass.


Of interest to beer aficionados:

Germans, famously, coin neologisms when a crisis hits or the culture reels in a new direction. Take die bad bank (toxic lender), kreditklemme (credit crunch), or twittern (sending a message via Twitter). Because Germany's brewing industry has fallen on hard times, especially since the mid-1990s, you'll now hear brauereisterben (literally, "brewery death") muttered across the land as well. That may sound a little ridiculous, but in a country practically synonymous with beer and brewing — buxom servers in dirndls and overflowing steins, the biergarten echoing with song — the possibility of a downturn is a major buzz kill.

I like buxom servers in overflowing dirndls!

Verrrrry interesting. You vill go. You vill enyoy.

Headline of the Day with video

The Idiot's Guide to Foreign Wars (Iraq Edition)

...that offered pidgin Arabic phrases and lists of things not to do in Arab societies, a sort of Cliff's Notes for befuddled infantrymen.

Speaking as a former befuddled infantryman (sort of), gee, thanks.

Thanks to MotherJonesVideo,

As basic and simplified as this info sounds, it's more than Bush knew about Arabs and Muslims before his bully ego sent us to an unnecessary criminal war. It's only taken 8 years and 100,000 or so deaths.

The way it is

I heard this on TRMS yesterday. It's so simple, even I could remember it:

There are 12 cookies in front of a CEO, a Tea Party guy, and a union man.

The CEO takes 11 of them and then points at the union man and tells the teabagger, "he wants yours".

There it is.

Some news for teabaggers ...

From Athenae:


Do you think it'll help?

That you were on their side, I mean. That you did their dirty work. That you ran around with signs and your little "Don't Tread on Me" flags and all the other stupid shit you carry, in support of an agenda that has not a whit to do with you. Do you think that will protect you when it all goes down?

Do you think your corporate masters will hate you less? Do you think you'll be rewarded for not rocking the boat? Do you think you'll get bonus points because you cheered their speeches and railed against their enemies? Do you think they'll remember you, what a good boy you were, and say hey, while I'm raining down eternal hellfire on these other damned souls, let's give that one an umbrella?

Do you think they'll even remember your name? You goddamn fool.


Like lemmings to the sea. They've been sold an "American Dream" that is supposed to be served on a silver platter once the US becomes ideologically pure. Instead they're gonna get a shit sandwich like the rest of us. Goebbels sold Germany that line of shit too.


NYT notices the "we're broke" narrative the Republicans are pushing is bullshit:


It’s all obfuscating nonsense, of course, a scare tactic employed for political ends. A country with a deficit is not necessarily any more “broke” than a family with a mortgage or a college loan. And states have to balance their budgets. Though it may disappoint many conservatives, there will be no federal or state bankruptcies.


No shit. More Shock Doctrine "disaster capitalism".


The federal deficit is too large for comfort, and most states are struggling to balance their books. Some of that is because of excessive spending, and much is because the recession has driven down tax revenues. But a substantial part was caused by deliberate decisions by state and federal lawmakers to drain government of resources by handing out huge tax cuts, mostly to the rich. As governments begin to stagger from the self-induced hemorrhaging, Republican politicians like Mr. Boehner and Mr. Walker cry poverty and use it as an excuse to break unions and kill programs they never liked in flush years. [my em]


I have a small glimmer of hope that part of the "Dead End Quarter"* might open their eyes now. Hopefully, the so-called independents have.

*The 25 - 30% of the population who refuse to think for themselves and take the Republican bullshit as gospel.

Not news ...

That Bobo is a smarmy, sleazy, POS and butt boy for the rich conservatives. Reading his latest propaganda column so pissed me off I wanted to punch the monitor. I was gonna rant and rave about it but this is far more articulate than I could ever be:

"We're going to be doing a lot of deficit cutting over the next several years," David Brooks announced, plurally, in their column in today's New York Times. Little-known fact: the byline "David Brooks" is produced by five guys named "David Brook." They all get together and agree on stuff!




What happens when there is no money to give to the people who have no money? That is the moral question. It's fine to say that the old people should have saved more, they should have worked an extra job, they should have done without cable TV, they should have invested more wisely. Saying that doesn't change the fact that there will be old people who do not have money. These old people will believe that they need food and shelter and medical care.

Will they get it? At the arch-plutocrats' end of things, the Koch brothers' end, the end occupied by the most devout worshippers of Ayn Rand, the answer is: no. That's the goal. It's long since time for the sloppy, implicit, badly supported social contract to go away. Rich people have been trimming their contribution to the general revenue for decades now. They are not interested in paying the premium that keeps old people and ailing people or just backward people out of the streets. If the day comes that they have to travel to and from their various compounds in armored helicopters, they can afford the helicopters. It's not their problem.


As Gordon says, "a lot more between the quotes".

Reminds me of a concept Isaac Asimov used as a prop in one of his books. People running out of resources reasoned out (read:people like Bobo) that once someone reaches 60, they are a waste of time and resources and should be done away with. Like the movie Logan's Run and an episode of Star Trek: TNG, they made the end into a ceremony, something the oldsters looked forward to instead of something to dread.

That's where they're going in this country. If the Rethugs/Corporatists thought the teabaggers and Fox 'News' would buy into it, they'd be pushing it now.

Thanks to Jill for the link.

Get 'em out!

The recall effort in Wisconsin is getting into full swing:

Last month, ThinkProgress reported that Wisconsin law allows any elected official who has served at least one year of their current term to be recalled from office. Today, a group of Wisconsin voters took the first step towards invoking this recall process. According to a Wisconsin Democratic Party e-mail that was obtained by ThinkProgress:


From what the article says, these criminals Rethug senators won their seats by very slim margins and, in the prevailing climate, are susceptible to recall:

... Senator Randy Hopper won his last election by just 184 votes. And Alberta Darling won her last race by only 1,007 ..

Hopefully, there are sphincters tightening in the State House.

Link via DU.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Winning hearts and minds ...

Not this way:

1,000 More Volunteers for the Taliban

Or at least that many Afghans who might have been disposed to help the government and the NATO soldiers, but will now look the other way when the Taliban is about.


It's long past time to go.

Whose line is it anyway?

Guardian UK

Charlie Sheen v Muammar Gaddafi:

The US actor and the Libyan leader have produced some choice lines recently. Can you distinguish between them?

There are 10. Sample:

#5. I am like the Queen of England

() Sheen
() Gaddafi

Hafta see 'em wave to know for sure.

Go try this. It's harder than ya think. Demented people talk the same everywhere. On dope, on the natch, mox nix. Heh.

Bienvenidos a Juarez, Tejas!

From Guanabee: Spicy Coverage For Latinos.

You know that stereotype of Texans being big, dumb idiots? Well, Texas Governor Rick Perry is doing his best to keep that image alive. During a press conference yesterday, while admonishing the current administration for its failure to secure our border with Mexico, he asked, "“How many more American citizens are going to have to die?” Continuing, he said, “There have been 34,000 Mexicans killed directly attributable to the drug wars. It is a very dangerous place. Juarez is reported to be the most dangerous city in America.”

Shhh...if no one tells him it's Mexico, maybe they'll actually do something to help the Mexican people.

Dream on. He won't do anything for Americans. Other than his rich friends, that is.

Also on that page is a very strange, and probably unsettling to a lotta gabachos, Vodka ad. I always thought Meskins liked Presidente brandy.

Heh. Maybe Portland is now the most dangerous border town in Mexico.

Hucka Sucka Mothaf**ka

Media Matters

Speaking on WOR's The Steve Malzberg Show, Huckabee -- a Fox News host and potential presidential candidate -- said that "one thing that I do know is his having grown up in Kenya, his view of the Brits, for example, very different than the average American ... his perspective as growing up in Kenya with a Kenyan father and grandfather, their view of the Mau Mau Revolution in Kenya is very different than ours because he probably grew up hearing that the British are a bunch of imperialists who persecuted his grandfather."

Well, the Brits were a bunch of imperialists, and they did arrest his grandfather.


The executive director of Huckabee's political action committee said the former governor misspoke.

"When the governor mentioned he wanted to know more about the president, he wasn't talking about the president's place of birth — the governor believes the president was born in Hawaii," Hogan Gidley said. "The governor would, however, like to know more about where President Obama's liberal policies come from and what else the president plans to do to this country — as do most Americans."

Gidley said Huckabee meant to reference Obama's childhood in Indonesia, where he lived from the ages of 5 to 10. Gidley didn't explain the connection to the Mau Mau uprising.

I wonder why? Heh.

I guess "misspoke" is the Repug word for "lied his ass off to pander to fools" when they get caught at it which is every time.

Keep it up, Huck-Man. Let's see if you can be elected President with 20% of the vote. With all the other wingnutjobs running, I bet you're not even right-wing-whacko enough to win the primary.

Headline of the Day

Fox Buses In Footage From Sacramento To Make Union Protesters Look Violent (VIDEO)

Notice the B-roll footage in the background at the end of the clip, complete with the calming backdrop of palm trees and....wait there are palm trees in Madison, Wisconsin?


From Think Progress:

Digby asked of the video, “What’s wrong with this picture?” adding, “If you guessed the snowless ground and palm trees in Wisconsin you win a big prize. Your sanity.”

I've been hoping to win that back...

I shovelled my deck



Click photos to embiggen


Just got back from the vet with the little red beast. She got the staples out of her incision and Dr. Grove gave me clearance to turn 'em loose outside. I'm heading out with them to make sure the stir-crazy little varmints are good and tired. Heh ...

Tone deaf ...

Not really. Self-serving, most definitely. Ted Rall via Avedon:


Hard times, doncha know, are for the little people. "We had to [my italics] impose a freeze on pay increases for federal workers in the next two years as part of my overall budget freeze," said Obama. "I think those kinds of adjustments are the right thing to do [in Wisconsin]."

"Had to." Interesting pair of words. They imply that there was no other choice. What a brazen lie.

Three more words: Tax. The. Rich. Rich people and corporations are making out like bandits. If they paid their fair share, there’d be no need to cut budgets.

"Adjustments." How bloodless. For normal people, Herr President, losing two percent of one’s pay is not a mere adjustment. It hurts.


Ain't nobody gonna look out for us except us. No hope, no change, business as usual.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

26 miles across the sea...

I spent the last hour (how did it get so late?) watching trippin' on videos of the Catalina Grand Prix motorcycle race, both old and new. Took me back to my youth, it did. Go see what I distilled 'em all down to at Fixer & Gordon.

We could have predicted this

Information Clearing House

February 27, 2011 "IPS" -- WASHINGTON - In a distinct echo of the tactics they pursued to encourage U.S. intervention in the Balkans and Iraq, a familiar clutch of neo-conservatives appealed Friday for the United States and NATO to "immediately" prepare military action to help bring down the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and end the violence that is believed to have killed well over a thousand people in the past week.

The appeal, which came in the form of a letter signed by 40 policy analysts, including more than a dozen former senior officials who served under President George W. Bush, was organized and released by the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), a two-year-old neo-conservative group that is widely seen as the successor to the more-famous – or infamous – Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

Among the letter's signers were former Bush Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz; Bush's top global democracy and Middle East adviser; Elliott Abrams; former Bush speechwriters Marc Thiessen and Peter Wehner; Vice President Dick Cheney's former deputy national security adviser, John Hannah, as well as FPI's four directors: Weekly Standard editor William Kristol; Brookings Institution fellow Robert Kagan; former Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority spokesman Dan Senor; and former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy and Ambassador to Turkey, Eric Edelman.

The usual suspects.

There's more.

Note to Barry: Listen to SecDef Gates. Don't listen to the warmongers.


Sometimes I think about things in terms of motorcycles. I have often maintained that there are a buncha old Russians riding around on and pumping water etc. with Beemers ("Kriegselefanten") and Zundapps left behind by Wehrmacht soldiers who thought they could get home faster without them.

In Libya, same-same, but add Moto Guzzis and Gileras to the list. The Eye-ties knew they could swim home faster without those.

Here's hoping future generations of Libyans are not so blessed with abandoned Harley-Davidsons*.

*It's a metaphor. I know our military uses Kawasakis.

Always start in the cheap seats...

Darrell Issa probes staff

Insert own joke here: __________________________________________________________

Daddy Frank is moving on


New York Times opinion columnist Frank Rich is leaving the newspaper after 31 years to join New York Magazine.

Rich will join New York as an essayist beginning in June, where he will write monthly on politics and culture and serve as an editor-at-large. Rich will edit a monthly section anchored by his essay as well as deliver weekly commentary on, according to an announcement. His final Times column will run on March 13.

Best o' luck, Pops. Just keep afflicting the comfortable.

Headline of the Day

Fetus To Testify in Favor of Heartbeat Bill

The crazy, it burns just like the stoopid...

Shouting at the wind ...

D-cap has a great post up* showing what we could do to make our government more representative of the people, as opposed to how it is now. Great suggestions and well thought out (like every post D-cap writes) but he knows how far it would go, had someone the Balls of Steel needed to attempt it in the first place:


It is really time Americans took a hard look at our system and organization of government (which we won't) and change the things that are driving us into the cesspool (which of course we won't). For over 200 years we have basically followed the principles and doctrines of the founding fathers -- Madison, Jefferson, Adams, and all the other 18th-century scholars. Stability in the process of law has been our strength. It might now also be one of our greatness weaknesses. Plus, it is the 21st century, and most Americans are barely treated as 3/5 of a person.


As we all know, in our current political environment, the people getting an equal say in how they're governed is the last thing our elected representatives want. Also, taking an objective look in the mirror has never been considered a virtue in America.

*I linked to his xpost at Michael's place because D-cap's page loads slowly on my machine.

On the sea ...

Aboard the good ship Lunatic.

As a cruiser, it's my worst nightmare accidentally getting on a ship (they generally book with Holland America Line, like we do when we go down south) with all those idiots. Thankfully no Caribbean for us this year so the odds are reduced.

We never learn ...

The crux* of the biscuit:


So, both rhetorically and tactically, moves are being made that would lead one to think that military action of some kind [in Libya] is coming. Whether that’s the right thing to do is something nobody seems to be considering.

We have no money. Our military is stretched thin. We're bogged down in Afghanistan.

Considering all that, I can't believe we actually think it might be wise to get involved in yet another Middle East (yes, I know it's North Africa, you know what I mean) conflict**.

Didn't anybody listen to SECDEF's speech the other day?

As he winds down a remarkable Pentagon career – overseeing two long and very costly wars, wrestling with a military-industrial complex resistant to his budget moves aimed at questionable weapons, and shaking up the senior officer corps – Defense Secretary Robert Gates has a message for his successor.

"Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should 'have his head examined,' as General [Douglas] MacArthur so delicately put it."


The vets who hang around here know how it goes. First we establish a "no-fly zone" (we saw how well that worked in Iraq between wars there). Next, we send in some "advisers" to "help them transition". And as soon as the first boot touches the ground, we'll be there to stay.

Barry and Hillary ought to have their heads examined forthwith. My advice: Leave it to the Europeans. It's in their backyard.

(And just saying, this has AIPAC's fingerprints all over it, for the usual reasons.)

*Link thanks to Sean Paul Kelley.

**And you know, if we asked them, I'd wager a great sum that the Libyan people don't want us there, in any capacity, either.

What is it ...

With God's mouthpieces? You know, if there was the god the Jesus freaks claim keeps an eye on us all, how come he hasn't smited any of these assholes?

Asshole #1, in my backyard:


Police say 30-year-old Juan Carlos Amaya raped a 12-year-old girl in their church's youth group.

A member of the Iglesia Evangelica church told reporters to leave today after the arrest of Amaya. Investigators say he was in a position of power, planning spiritual events and even counseling teens.


Asshole #2, in Louisiana:

The Rev. Grant Storms, the Christian fundamentalist known for his bullhorn protests of the Southern Decadence festival in the French Quarter, was arrested on a charge of masturbating at a Metairie park Friday afternoon.


A couple questions:

1)Were I god, I'd be one pissed off Mohican these idiots are using my name and values to molest little kids. How can God sit back and let this happen? I mean, I'm always hearing about "miracles" happening (aren't they attributing one to Pope John Paul), how god cures people and shit. How about a couple miracles now; a strategically placed lightning bolt perhaps?

B)And the reply is often "God works in strange ways and he has a plan for us we can't understand". Hey, I'm down with that but I don't know. Seems to me that if I were the loving, benevolent god they claim He is, I can safely assume there would be no place in my master plan that involves little children being raped.

You can all fuck off.

Quote of the Day



Damn do I wish the "Obama" the wingnuts think is president, were president.


A question ...

For these crazy, Jesus freak, anti-choice assholes:

First, it was South Dakota. Then Nebraska and Iowa. The similarly worded bills, which have quietly cropped up recently in state legislatures, share a common purpose: To expand justifiable homicide statutes to cover killings committed in the defense of an unborn child. Critics of the bills, including law enforcement officials, warn that these measures could invite violence against abortion providers and possibly provide legal cover to the perpetrators of such crimes.


The newest incarnation of craziness.

My question is this: How come, if you people care so much about the unborn, so much about protecting every fetus and allowing them to come to term, you don't have some kind of support and adoption network for the unwanted children?

I mean seriously; these people want to force women to have children, regardless of their financial situation or any other factor women consider (I'm not a woman so I certainly don't feel qualified to speak about what they go through when having to make this difficult decision) when deciding to have an abortion. Fine. You wanna do that, make sure the children are taken care of after they're born. If you force a woman to bear a child against her wishes, you'd better be there to pay the bills and raise the kid after they're born.

It's about time somebody stood up and framed it like that. These people are always going on about "personal responsibility"; let them take responsibility for their actions because Jesus sure as hell ain't gonna do it.

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Oscars are drivel, but...

Sorry about this. I just had to.


Some winners, most notably supporting actress winner Melissa Leo, talked so long it started to get uncomfortable. "I'm speechless, I really am," Leo gushed as she took the mic, and, puzzlingly, it was true. With the virtual lock she had on this award, should she not have prepared some remarks in advance? The unintentional F-bomb was sort of cute ("Kate [Winslet] made this look so f**kin' easy two years ago"), but Leo's dizzy, disorganized ramble finally came off as ungracious, not toward her various agents and directors and co-stars—I think the woman may have thanked the Kodak Theater parking valet at some point—but toward the audience. That's great that Leo really wanted an Oscar and got one, but we really wanted an Oscar show. Do our needs count for nothing?

That would be correct. In the face of greatness, your needs ain't shit. After gettin' nekkid in The Three Burials Of Melquiades Estrada, Ms. Leo can do no wrong.

Yet another act of Congressional cowardice

Not quite related to my post about the ATF scandal of aiding and abetting gunrunners, but a step in a better direction.

LATimes editorial

For years, U.S. officials have been promising to clamp down on gun-runners who supply drug cartels and human smugglers. Now, the Obama administration has the opportunity to make good on that pledge, by granting a request by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to track bulk sales of semiautomatic long guns. The new rule would require the 8,500 licensed gun shops in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas to report to the agency any sale of two or more rifles of greater than .22 caliber to the same person over five days.

Unsurprisingly, the National Rifle Assn. and its allies in Washington oppose this perfectly reasonable proposal. The administration, however, shouldn't be cowed by Congress, which, in a rare and unexpected show of bipartisanship, has vowed to foil the plan.

Earlier this month, the House voted 277 to 149 to block the ATF's request by barring the use of federal funds. Lawmakers contend that it threatens Americans' 2nd Amendment rights and creates an undue paperwork burden on gun sellers. But the rule would merely allow the ATF to track bulk gun sales. Americans would remain free to buy as many guns as they wish — more, frankly, than we'd like. Furthermore, gun sellers are already subject to similar reporting requirements involving multiple sales of handguns.

Lawmakers are less concerned about the Constitution than the cash that could be spent against them if they anger the NRA.

That's disgusting. And typical.

[...] As modest as the ATF's plan is, it's far better than what Congress is offering: the continued flow of instruments of death across a dangerous border.

And another call for leadership goes unanswered.

Walker’s assault on public employees is only one part of a larger political program

REPORT: Top 10 Disastrous Policies From The Wisconsin GOP You Haven’t Heard About

[...] But Walker’s assault on public employees is only one part of a larger political program that aims to give corporations free reign in the state while dismantling the healthcare programs, environmental regulations, and good government laws that protect Wisconsin’s middle and working class. These lesser known proposals in the 144-page bill reveal how radical Walker’s plan actually is:


[...] As Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) said Tuesday, Walker has stopped acting like the Republican governor of a Midwestern state and has instead “basically taken on the position of a dictator” with a “vision of America that’s similar to somewhere like Nigeria or Pakistan.”

Absolute rule and lotsa cheap labor. I think Nigeria and Pakistan have been looking to the Repugs for a role model. Let's send the Kochs and Murdoch to help them.

Note to Nigeria (most Pakis don't eat capitalist pig): they'll be delicious with ketchup or pepper sauce.

"You go to war with the army you have, but the facts you want. "

MoDo on Rumsfeld's book of lies:

Donald Rumsfeld is starting to make Robert McNamara look good.

At least McNamara felt sorry at the end for all those lives and limbs lost because of his colossal misjudgments and cretinous refusal to admit mistakes.

Cretins like the last administration's liars and war criminals look at admitting mistakes as weakness. We still have way too many like that.

Anonymous targets Koch bros National

Anonymous, the notorious collective of unnamed Internet activists, is declaring war on the controversial Koch brothers. In a press release this weekend Anonymous accuses the brothers and their financial empire of attempting "to usurp American Democracy," and call for a "boycott all Koch Industries' paper products." Anonymous accuses the Koch brothers of taking "actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin."

Note to Anonymous: Keep on truckin'! See if you can tap a few hundred of their bank accounts for a nice donation to organized labor and other worthy causes.


More here.

"Governor Walker's union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process," they explained. "The Koch's have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state's power supplies.

The group, which was responsible for taking MasterCard Worldwide offline for an entire day -- along with numerous other organizations that plotted against secrets outlet WikiLeaks -- said it would now be "actively seeking vulnerabilities" in Koch industries.

Good hunting, Anon!

Walker 86ed

WI Governor Scott Walker Shunned; Asked to Leave Restaurant

The other day, a blogger reports, Wisconsin fascist governor Scott Walker went to a restaurant and the people in the restaurant raised such a ruckus, yelling at him, that the restaurant's management asked him to leave.

I'da kicked his ass outta anywhere I worked without a ruckus. Beat feet, fool, I don't serve assholes.

The problem is, apparently, right wingers didn't like this action, so they threatened the restaurant.


This raises a wonderful point. Why should a restaurant owner be afraid to refuse service to any person? Would the same people have started calling that restaurant and making threats if the person they asked to leave was Black? Muslim? Democrat? No. No they would not.

No. No they would not. White corporate power flunkies are sacred to them, though.

The next time ...

Some genius in Texas says they're gonna secede, we should let them. Serious. We're in tough enough shape and you know we're gonna end up paying for this sooner or later:


It’s not a pretty picture; compassion aside, you have to wonder — and many business people in Texas do — how the state can prosper in the long run with a future work force blighted by childhood poverty, poor health and lack of education.

But things are about to get much worse.

A few months ago another Texas miracle went the way of that education miracle of the 1990s. For months, Gov. Rick Perry had boasted that his "tough conservative decisions" had kept the budget in surplus while allowing the state to weather the recession unscathed. But after Mr. Perry’s re-election, reality intruded — funny how that happens — and the state is now scrambling to close a huge budget gap. (By the way, given the current efforts to blame public-sector unions for state fiscal problems, it’s worth noting that the mess in Texas was achieved with an overwhelmingly nonunion work force.) [my em]


Yep, keep believing them "fiscally responsible" Republicans. Texas, the new Mississippi.

Dear Cable and Network News,

And I mean those who still try and present some sort of veil of impartiality.

Thank God that lady dropped the "F-bomb" at the Oscars last night [and Charlie Sheen ran off at the mouth again], eh? Now you have a genuine reason to ignore the protests in Wisconsin; don't you, you fucking tools? When they write the history of the American Empire, you will, forever, be known as the ones who enabled its fall. Self-serving scumbags.

All of you should catch fire and die.



A sawbuck ...

Is more than big corporations pay in taxes.


In an interview with In These Times, Carl Gibson, the founder of US Uncut, which is organizing some of today’s UK-inspired massive demonstrations against tax dodgers, explains that while ordinary Americans are being asked to sacrifice, major corporations continue to use the rigged tax code to avoid paying any federal taxes at all. As he says, if you have "one dollar" in your wallet, you’re paying more than the"combined income tax liability of GE, ExxonMobil, Citibank, and the Bank of America":


Personally, I'd rather give my tax money to union laborers than these assholes.

Rest easy, brother ...

He was the last:

Frank Woodruff Buckles, a onetime Missouri farm boy who was the last known living American veteran of World War I, has died. He was 110.

Buckles, who later spent more than three years in a Japanese POW camp as a civilian in the Philippines during World War II, died Sunday of natural causes at his home in Charles Town, W.Va., family spokesman David DeJonge said.


Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Report: Army Deployed Psy-Ops on Members of Congress
Made Sen. Lieberman believe he was a rooster.

Consumer Confidence Grows
Due to hallucinogens in Nescafe.

Harry Reid Wants Prostitution Banned in Nevada
It's bringing too many Republicans into the state.

Trust me, they're the only ones who can afford it.

Internet Fraud Down in 2010
As reported in Nigerian Times.


Last week, we spelled the last name of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddaffi incorrectly. It is properly spelled Qaddafi, or Gaddafi, or Ghadafi, or Gadhafi, or Khadafy, or Khaddafi, or Kadaffi, or Qadafy, or Kadafy, or Qadaffi, or Qadaffy. Or Khaddafi. We apologize for the confusion.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Republican Shakedown

Robert Reich

You can’t fight something with nothing. But as long as Democrats refuse to talk about the almost unprecedented buildup of income, wealth, and power at the top – and the refusal of the super-rich to pay their fair share of the nation’s bills – Republicans will convince people it’s all about government and unions.

The final truth is as income and wealth have risen to the top, so has political power. The reason all of this is proving so difficult to get across is the super-rich, such as the Koch brothers, have been using their billions to corrupt politics, hoodwink the public, and enlarge and entrench their outsized fortunes. They’re bankrolling Republicans who are mounting showdowns and threatening shutdowns, and who want the public to believe government spending is the problem.

They are behind the Republican shakedown.

These are the truths that Democrats must start telling, and soon. Otherwise the Republican shakedown may well succeed.

They're workin' their class war on us like it's a red-headed stepchild.

That's how the yodel was born

This goes out to Sarge. Go read the comments on this post. This is all I know about horses: the old cowboys carried a six-shooter as an emergency brake in case their horse's throttle stuck.

Thanks to banjostead, UK.

"We know pretty well know who you work for."

Raw Replay

An inspiring speech made by a member of the Wisconsin police union, explaining why they’ve chosen to resist the governor’s anti-union agenda. “Mr. Walker, if you’re listening: We know pretty well know who you work for. Now let me tell you who we work for,” he said, eliciting a round of cheers from the crowd.

This video was published to YouTube on Feb. 26, 2011.

I like cops better today than I have for fifty years.

Anonymous shuts down Westboro Baptist Church site -- during a live interview

Salon, with video:

Less than a week ago, a rumor spread that the vigilante hacker organization Anonymous had declared war on the Westboro Baptist Church. Though quickly dismissed as a hoax, the headline-grabbing possibility spread through the media faster than an offensive Kanye West tweet. Given the clandestine nature of Anonymous -- as the name implies, all of the member of the group are, in fact, anonymous -- the truth proved elusive. Regardless, the Westboro Baptist Church started a smear campaign against Anonymous and insisted that their message could not be silenced. In the words of WBC: "Bring it."

From the 'hoax' link:

Then things got weirder.

Heh. Remember, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. Nobody's weirder than the WBC pros.

Hoping to clear the air, radio talk show host David Pakman invited Shirley Phelps-Roper, spokesperson from the Westboro Baptist Church, and an (anonymous) member of Anonymous onto his show for a live web chat. Pakman moderated the conversation, and the banter started out almost cordial. However despite Anonymous' continued denial of a war or plans of an attack, Phelps-Roper persistently insulted the group and its representative. After Phelps-Roper tells the Anonymous representative he's going to Hell, Anonymous says, "I have a surprise for you."

At the time of publishing this post, all of the Westboro Baptist Church's various sites -- including -- were inaccessible.

Good work, Anonymous.

Why Wouldn’t the Tea Party Shut It Down?

Daddy Frank on the possible Repug shutdown of the government.

NO one remembers anything in America, especially in Washington, so the history of the Great Government Shutdown of 1995 is being rewritten with impunity by Republicans flirting with a Great Government Shutdown of 2011. The bottom line of the revisionist spin is this: that 2011 is no 1995. Should the unthinkable occur on some coming budget D-Day — or perhaps when the deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling arrives this spring — the G.O.P. is cocksure that it can pin the debacle on the Democrats.

The 2011 rebels are to the right of their 1995 antecedents in any case. That’s why this battle, ostensibly over the deficit, is so much larger than the sum of its line-item parts. The highest priority of America’s current political radicals is not to balance government budgets but to wage ideological warfare in Washington and state capitals alike. The relatively few dollars that would be saved by the proposed slashing of federal spending on Planned Parenthood and Head Start don’t dent the deficit; the cuts merely savage programs the right abhors. In Wisconsin, where state workers capitulated to Gov. Scott Walker’s demands for financial concessions, the radical Republicans’ only remaining task is to destroy labor’s right to collective bargaining.

That’s not to say there is no fiscal mission in the right’s agenda, both nationally and locally — only that the mission has nothing to do with deficit reduction. The real goal is to reward the G.O.P.’s wealthiest patrons by crippling what remains of organized labor, by wrecking the government agencies charged with regulating and policing corporations, and, as always, by rewarding the wealthiest with more tax breaks. The bankrupt moral equation codified in the Bush era — that tax cuts tilted to the highest bracket were a higher priority even than paying for two wars — is now a given. The once-bedrock American values of shared sacrifice and equal economic opportunity have been overrun.

Here again, the dollars that will be saved are minute in terms of the federal deficit, but the payoff to Koch interests from a weakened E.P.A. is priceless. The same dynamic is at play in the House’s reduced spending for the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Internal Revenue Service. and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (charged with regulation of the esoteric Wall Street derivatives that greased the financial crisis). The reduction in the deficit will be minimal, but the bottom lines for the Kochs and their peers, especially on Wall Street, will swell.

The crux of the biscuit.


Olbermann has a blog.

From his latest post:


Lastly, a brief note about the launching of this blog. I’m overwhelmed and grateful; I am going to have to get some help with the Comments backlog; I am going to be adding videos within a few weeks (including Thurber); and for those who have not gotten the message, I will be bringing the program back to television in late spring on Current TV, weeknights at 8 PM (with re-airs and on-line availability TBD, and yes, we’ll tell you plenty in advance). Your support, particularly since the adventures of last November, has been energizing, and will be returned. Thank you.

Figures ...

You knew something like this would come up:

When it comes to the Wisconsin union fights, right-wing pundits Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have a couple of things in common. For starters, have all voiced their opposition to the plight of public employee unions in the state.


As it turns out, all three of them belong to the American Federation Television and Radio Artists union (AFTRA), which is the AFL-CIO affiliate for television and broadcast workers.


Color me surprised ... [/sarcasm]

Link thanks to They Gave Us A Republic.