Saturday, May 28, 2011

13-stop SoCal brew tour

Brand X Craft Beer Chronicles

Enjoy. Best beer name ever - Pants Optional Pale. Been there, done that. Din't need no fancy yuppy brew neither. Brew 102 worked just fine. Heh.

If Only...

And perhaps a second fire extinguisher at the other end...or a fire hose...

Thanks to YubaNet.

Inside The Fear Factory

A story you should read.

How Roger Ailes Built the Fox News Fear Factory

The result of this concerted campaign of disinformation is a viewership that knows almost nothing about what’s going on in the world. According to recent polls, Fox News viewers are the most misinformed of all news consumers. They are 12 percentage points more likely to believe the stimulus package caused job losses, 17 points more likely to believe Muslims want to establish Shariah law in America, 30 points more likely to say that scientists dispute global warming, and 31 points more likely to doubt President Obama’s citizenship. In fact, a study by the University of Maryland reveals, ignorance of Fox viewers actually increases the longer they watch the network.

The only thing that remains to be seen is whether Ailes can have it both ways: reaching his goal of $1 billion in annual profits while simultaneously dethroning Obama with one of his candidate-­employees. Either way, he has put the Republican Party on his payroll and forced it to remake itself around his image. Ailes is the Chairman, and the conservative movement now reports to him. "Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us," said David Frum, the former Bush speechwriter. "Now we’re discovering that we work for Fox."

Headline of the Day

James O’Keefe not protected by First Amendment, has to stand trial in CA

It's a civil suit. I hope the plaintiff gets every dime the punk ever has for the rest of his worthless life.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Sorry for the Out Of Proportion Stretch and Sinc, Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris Gold Watch And Chain

Emmylou's 'stretched' all right! Heh. Ricky Skaggs on guitar and (me'n Mrs. G both think) Helen Carter on autoharp.

Thanks to clydeclark.

Friday, May 27, 2011

I Hereby Declare 'Weekend'

Have a good Memorial Day weekend. Remember that there's important stuff besides politics. Sometimes ya need ta recharge yer battery.

Thanks to 828cc, UK.

The Teabagger Shell Game

Good post on GOP voter suppression at BradBlog. Today's 'recommended read'.

"I don’t want everybody to vote," Paul Weyrich, co-founder of the billionaire-funded Heritage Foundation and the Moral Majority, said while addressing a right-wing Christian audience in 1980. "[O]ur leverage in the elections goes up as the voting populace goes down," he added after he denigrated those who seek "good government" through maximum, informed voter participation as people who suffer from the "goo goo syndrome."

31 years ago. The Repugs have been doing their best to make sure we have an uninformed and uninterested public ever since through their education policies. A surplus of low-wage disposable employees in the workforce as well. It's working.

21st Century voter suppression operates under cover. Or it had, until the new wave of legislation being passed by GOP legislatures across the country began hitting its stride. Until FL's then-governor Charlie Crist overturned it, for example, the state banned convicted felons from voting even years after they'd been released from prison. In Armed Madhouse, Palast asserts that prior to the 2000 Presidential election, FL's then Sec. of State Katherine Harris, appointed by Gov. Jeb Bush, the brother of candidate George W. Bush, purged 94,000 "felons" from the state's computerized voter rolls, though the only "crime" at least 91,000 were guilty of was "being Black, Democrat or both."

The so-called 'Tea Party' is a shell game --- the modern equivalent to "the three minutes of hate" in George Orwell's 1984. The manufactured "birther" controversy, the incessant dehumanizing, and often racist, propaganda about perceived "enemies" (Muslims, immigrants, terrorists, atheists, secularists, communists, liberals) and the myriad of wedge issues, as well as the deception of The Great American Job Scam, are all part of a divide-and-conquer strategy designed to mask th core goals of the Plutocrat Party, the bulk of which are immensely unpopular.

But deception has its limits, especially when the GOP unmasked its agenda in the wake of their 2010 electoral success. That agenda is a devotion to inequality which has produced the greatest wealth disparity since the stock market crash of 1929.

As noted via Wikipedia, in Mein Kampf (1925), Adolf Hitler used the phrase, "the Big Lie" to describe "a lie so 'colossal' that no one would believe that someone 'could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.'"

The fact-free Plutocrats use the "voter fraud" canard so often that it should perhaps qualify as a "Big Lie." That "Big Lie" not only gave rise to the infamous U.S. Attorney firing scandal but an effort to conceal and alter a federal report which exposed "fears of voter fraud" to be "overblown and exaggerated."

Godwin's Law started as humor but is proving to be remarkably accurate when referring to the GOP agenda.

Headline of the Day

Texas Judge Blocks Naming Street For Cesar Chavez Amid Fears Of The ‘Minority Becoming A Majority’

Don't worry, San Antone - you're already 61% Hispanic. One scared old gabacho in a black bathrobe ain't gonna change a demographic trend. Give it a coupla more years and there'll be enough of you to give the streets any name you want. Hell, you could give the city a Spanish name if you wanted to!

Condolences, Joisey...

The Political Carnival, links and video:

Judge confines James O’Keefe to New Jersey

James O’Keefe, you’re grounded! I wonder what the fraudulent little parolee did this time? ACORN‘s gone, but not forgotten; he’s had his sick idea of fun with NPR; he’s already stuck his greedy, grimy little hand out for donations; avoided the very same cameras he feels free to turn on others; squirmed out of more serious charges thanks to connections; and did his level best to punk a CNN correspondent. What’s left?

Via The Smoking Gun:

Since O’Keefe is on probation for tampering with the phones in Senator Mary Landrieu’s New Orleans district office, he has to get judicial approval to travel outside New Jersey, where he resides with his family. In a ruling yesterday, Magistrate Judge Daniel E. Knowles, III denied O’Keefe’s motion to make seven trips outside the Garden State between May 20 and July 5.

Fake Jimmy Olsen, you’ve been a ba-a-ad boy. No TV, no iPhone, no iPad, no dessert, and no trips for you!

Damned activist judges.


Note to Snooki and the other guidettes on Jersey Shore: Ladies (cough), you've been made rich and famous for no good reason and it's time to give some (literally!) back and. er, take one for your (mostly) adopted state. Go find this little dick (sorry, gals) and fuck him 'til he's dead. Should take about ten minutes and it won't even muss your hair or smear your tans. It's your civic duty to the citizens of The Garden State to use your only God-given talent in their behalf.

Then go find Secaucus Fats...

Magic Bus

I've been kinda worried about The Rude Pundit since he became a big-time talking head on the teevee that he might clean his act up. Not to worry...

[...] This is Sarah Palin's Magic Bus, motherfuckers, with her autograph next to the Liberty Bell. Yeah, lick the stiletto heels of her red, white, and blue pumps, bitches, and love it.

Imagine all the hot-ass groupie sex she'll be havin' in the back of the bus on her grand and glorious journey to "historical sites" all over the Northeast of the U.S.A. Man, you could fit at least three teabagger Hoverounds on that, and Sarah and Todd can get all freaky fucking the fat folds of their fans. Oh, yeah, rubbing clit on some manboobs, pokin' dick in that crease between dangling ass cheek and dimply thigh, while snorting Metamucil off the counter. It'll be like Motley Crue back in the day, except with more oxygen tanks and moist-crotched running pants. Groupies rock.

(Note: You know that chances are this crazy kooz is gonna be private jetting into each town and then meeting up with the magic bus.)

The world has stabilized on its axis at least for today.

Let's hope ...

The homophobes in the NY State Senate don't get their way again. The little troll Mayor Bloomberg is pushing Governor Cuomo for a vote:

Mayor Bloomberg presented gay marriage in moral terms Thursday in a speech intended to pressure State Senators into voting for a bill this term. Speaking passionately and using blunt language, the Mayor posed a question to all state lawmakers:

"Do you want to be remembered as a leader on civil rights? Or an obstructionist? On matters of freedom and equality, history has not remembered obstructionists kindly."

Mayor Bloomberg wants to see an up-or-down vote on legalizing gay marriage in New York by the end of June, whereas Gov. Cuomo says it's better to wait until a majority 'Yes' vote is ensured.


We're supposed to be gay-loving, baby-killing, Commie pinkos; let's start acting like it. Bloomberg annoys me but he's absolutely correct on this one.


Rachel had Kathy Hochul on the other night (after she won NY26) and the Mrs. and I were both very impressed with her. Our pal from up yonder, Montag, has the video. Watch.

Kathy Hochul was on Rachel's show and shows she had several more strings to her bow besides Medicare, including tax increases. And you get to see and hear a great candidate.


I've had all I can stands ...

And I can't stands no more.

Chalk up another Democratic win this week: Alabama State Rep. Daniel Boman, who entered the legislature as a Republican in November, is switching parties to become a Democrat after he says the GOP went too far in attacking teachers in the state.


Heh ...

So ...

We'll have our rights curtailed for another 4 years:

WASHINGTON - Congress on Thursday passed a four-year extension of post-Sept. 11 powers to search records and conduct roving wiretaps in pursuit of terrorists. Votes taken in rapid succession in the Senate and House came after lawmakers rejected attempts to temper the law enforcement powers to ensure that individual liberties are not abused.

Following the 250-153 evening vote in the House, the legislation to renew three terrorism-fighting authorities headed for the president's signature with only hours to go before the provisions expire at midnight.


Osama bin Laden laughs from the grave ...

So it's another 4 years of shit like this:

The personal data of millions of passengers who fly between the US and Europe, including credit card details, phone numbers and home addresses, may be stored by the US department of homeland security for 15 years, according to a draft agreement between Washington and Brussels leaked to the Guardian.


Being I'm in Europe twice a year on average, I wonder what kind of dossier they have on me.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Busy, busy ...

Gotta head out and get a couple propane tanks filled for the gas grill, but I put up a progress report on the garden.

Back later ...

Dem apologizes to Elizabeth Warren for GOP attacks: They’re afraid of you

Raw Replay with video:

In a House Oversight subcommittee meeting Tuesday, some Republican committee members used their time to attack Elizabeth Warren, who is advising President Barack Obama on the formation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) even accused Warren of lying to Congress the last time she had testified.

A Democrat on the committee, however, used his time to apologize for his across-the-aisle colleagues’ behavior. Rep. Joe Yarmuth (D-KY) congratulated Warren, while backhandedly insulting other committee members, implying that they were afraid of Warren’s power and effectiveness.

“The snarky comments about a Senate race, and the questioning of your veracity when there is documented evidence that you are being totally truthful indicates to me that this hearing is all about impugning you because people are afraid of you and your ability to communicate in very clear terms the threats to our consumers and the threats to our constituents and possibly very, very effective ways to combat them,” Yarmuth said. ” I congratulate you for instilling such fear in the committee, on the majority side, and in some aspects, or segments, of the business community because they understand how effective you are in getting the message out to the American people.”

Goddam right the Repugs are afraid of her! She's the really smart'n pretty girl-next-door with balls and a bat and she's not afraid to use them!

Joke Line:

The incredibly boorish grilling of Elizabeth Warren by Republican members of a House subcommittee on Tuesday raises two interesting questions: After a decade in which money lenders raped and pillaged homeowners, home-buyers and credit-card holders, why are Republicans so intent on gutting an agency that would protect the American middle class from such persistent sleazebags?

Joe, I will give you the benefit of the doubt on that question and ass-yoom you asked it with yer tongue firmly in yer cheek. You know damn well why - the Repugs work for the sleazebags.

And second: Why has the Obama Administration been so reluctant to appoint Warren director of the Consumer Protection Finance Bureau – and force a massive and very accessible public fight on an absolutely crucial economic issue: the corrupt, predatory nature of the financial community?

Much better question.

Beats me. This seems a political no-brainer. Warren is a terrific public performer, with a strong personal story. “She scares the banks to death,” a Senator told me. And she’s a savvy operator, too: She hired Holly Petraeus – wife of the General – to lead the fight against the skeevy payday lenders who surround military bases and take advantage of our young, and financially unsophisticated, military service members. Furthermore, this is a no-lose political battle for Democrats–who among us hasn’t been outraged, or ripped off by, the small print that accompanies every mortgage, credit card and home equity loan?

If you loan a barracks mate '$5 for $7' you can get tossed in the brig. Do the same thing as a civilian ten feet outside the main gate and get rich doing it and it's fine. Go Holly!

But the President has chosen not to make the fight…so far. [...] There is also the fact that Obama’s Wall Streety economic team doesn’t like Warren very much. This is a matter of real concern: Obama’s willingness to buy the Wall Street conventional wisdom has been the greatest weakness of his presidency so far–and I mean that politically as well as substantively.

Senator Al Franken and Rep. Barney Frank have both called on the President to make Warren a “recess appointment” – that is, appoint her through the back door, when Congress isn’t in session. I disagree. Obama should appoint Warren through the front door, and make this a litmus test of Republican ideology. I’d really enjoy hearing the members of Congress tell us–with the full media spotlight shining on them–why the public shouldn’t be defended against predatory lenders by a woman who has proven herself to be the most forceful and effective voice for consumer rights in the Obama Administration.

Update: The Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner, has come to Warren’s defense – and actually criticized Wall Street. Holy cow.

Holy cow indeed! Perhaps he saw the very large handwriting on the wall right behind where he will stand with a blindfold on if he doesn't get on the right side of People v Oligarchs pretty damn quick.

Note to Obama: Put Mrs. Warren in that position any way you can. Now. You showed some sack with bin Laden, use 'em again. Do not lose her to a Senate seat until she cleans up the goddam moneylenders.

She'll kick Scott Brown's ass in an election. If that's the plan to keep her from protecting consumers from Big Ripoff, it sucks.

Freudian Typo of the Day

From an article entitled "House Democrats introduce three medical marijuana reform bills" which you should read. The bills make sense. This? Not so much:

Fifteen states and the District of Colombia have passed laws permitting marijuana to be used as medicine.

I'm not going to explain that. You'll get it. Heh.

Best fuckin' clown car ever!

Brace yourself for 'Perry for President'

The Repugs are like a Citroën 2CV with a parallel universe inside! They just keep comin'...

Ya shouldn'ta called her a 'slut', Ed

You can get in too much trouble tellin' it like it is.

The Political Carnival

Ed, you shouldn’t have used the word “slut”. No matter who makes sexist insults, it’s wrong, even if it’s about someone with whom we disagree strongly. Schultz said the following:

President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Mo., on Sunday but you know what they’re talking about, like this right-wing slut, what’s her name? Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she’s a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama’s doing it, they’re working him over.

Ya shoulda been more gentlemanly, Ed. Shoulda called her a "dried-up old right-wing biddy". Gettin' caught for ageism's better than gettin' caught calling an old whore an old whore.

Lyin' Ryan's Bill Defeated

Senate rejects Ryan budget; vote puts GOP on the spot

Good. Bury that sucker and Ryan along with it.

Better yet, let the Repug bastards run on stealing Grannie's life savings and giving them to the insurance companies until she's broke and then she can die.

Headline of the Day

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin Makes History By Signing Into Law Single Payer Health Care

1 down, 49 to go...

WI Judge Strikes Down Collective Bargaining Law

Wisconsin State Journal

A judge has struck down Gov. Scott Walker's controversial new collective bargaining law.

Dane County Judge MaryAnn Sumi issued a permanent injunction against the law Thursday morning. That means the law is effectively dead until the Wisconsin Supreme Court acts on it.

In her decision, Sumi said there was "clear and convincing evidence" that Republicans who control the Legislature violated the state's open meetings laws in their rush to pass the legislation, meaning the law is void.

The case is "State of Wisconsin v (shorter) Wisconsin State Assembly" and various individuals thereof. The plaintiff is in the person of the District Attorney of Dane County.


A spokesman for Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, whose office defended the state, did not return a call. Ismael Ozanne, the Dane County district attorney who argued for striking down the law, also did not immediately return a message.

Get 'em, Ismael! Boy, there's a commie name if I ever heard one. Good name fer goin' after the Great White Whale of really evil right-wing legislation too. Heh.

Sumi said violating the open meetings law betrays the public's trust.

"The court must consider the potential damage to public trust and confidence in government if the Legislature is not held to the same rules of transparency that it has created for other governmental bodies," she wrote in a 33-page decision. "Our form of government depends on citizens' trust and confidence in the process by which our elected officials make laws, at all levels of government."

Yeah, ya can't just ram shit through because the Koch bros tell you to. Unless you think you can get away with it.

This case was argued at a fairly high level and justice prevailed on the despicable illegal means if not the even more despicable intent. It remains to be seen if the state Supremes will uphold Judge Sumi's decision on its legal merits or if they're under orders to make it come out the way the wingnut cabal wants it to.

It may not make any difference:

Walker and Republican leaders have said they would pass the law again as part of the state budget next month if necessary.

The struggle continues.

Tragedy ...

Fleet Week started yesterday, the USS New York leading the way into NY Harbor and up the Hudson River to the West Side. Unfortunately, we lost a young Marine off Iwo Jima last night:

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Fleet Week took a tragic turn early Thursday, as a Marine was struck by a car and killed while trying to cross a street on the West Side.

The 22-year-old Marine had just arrived in town on one of the boats arriving for the festivities Wednesday.

He was crossing 12th Avenue at 49th Street around 1 a.m. when he was hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


It's one thing getting killed in defense of one's country, quite another to buy it crossing the street. Poor kid.

Shit ...

Comments down this morning. I've fucking had it with Echo and I gotta find something else so I put it to you, readers, since I might lose all the previous comments from the last 7 years (almost). Would you mind if I went to Blogger comments with "word verification" (so I don't have to moderate every comment)?

Let me know in comments ... if Echo ever comes back today. Also, let me know if you have experience with another system (other than Blogger) that I should look into too (as long as it doesn't cost me $120/year).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Republican Holy Bible

This is good.

“In the beginning was the Constitution and the Constitution was divinely ordained by God because it was transcribed by Righteous Republicans who were America’s chosen “forefathers.” And the forefathers were rich devout Christian white men, in totality. None were atheists or agnostics, or Muslim (or Black), but all were born-again Christians.”


“For Bush so loved the world that he gaveth his only retarded son that whosever believeth in him shall not flourish but have a miserable life.”

"Confess thy sins, repent for the remission of evil, then go ye, therefore, and tell the whole world that thou art FORGIVEN that ye may be able to win votes from the feeble-minded myth-believers. Henceforth thou canst do anything forbidden because thou art a sinner saved by grace – the very elite of God's chosen disciples. Verily, verily, I say unto you, thou mayeth commit adultery, bribery, theft, war-crimes, and deceit with impunity – for thou art the chosen ones whose sins have been cleansed. Thou art predestined and preordained to be forgiven, so indulge thyself."

“If someone strikes you on the one cheek, turneth to him with thine other cheek – from thy buttocks (so let it your light shine before men that they may see your self-righteous born-again shiny whiteass and glorify your father which art in Texas), and then blow your alleged enemy's living brains out, for yours is the Kingdom of the Second Amendment."

“Blessed are the meek. Aw, just kidding. Fuck those socialist pussies.”

I could quote this one until Texas freezes over. Go see.

"...gaydom abounds in pro sports"

If it's Wednesday it must be Morford.

And I'm going to lay it all on the line and bet you a dollar -- all right, make it $10, hell, make it $100 and a bottle of Veuve Cliquot and a mani-pedi in the Castro -- that there is, right this minute, a gay NASCAR driver. Oh my God! Heathen! Blaspheme! Shut up!

The one with the superbly tailored and color co-ordinated driving suit with the cut glass vases in his Camry?

I asked Mrs. G about this since she knows more about NASCAR than I do. Her answer? "Oh, probably."

Go read the rest of this excellent column, particularly those of you who enjoy watching large sweaty men in shorts or knee pants chase an engorged pig bladder around the lawn and touch each other...

Court Overrules Lardass

CBS Philly

Court Overrules Gov. Christie, Orders More Spending For NJ’s Neediest Schools

Governor Christie has argued that reducing spending on education is necessary to balance the budget, and without doing so, other programs will suffer.

Yeah, "other programs" like tax breaks for the rich.

Headline of the Day

Arpaio deputy faces human smuggling charges


Eric Cantor Leads the GOP in Dancing Off the Cliff

Fine with me. El Rude-o, obviously a regular reader of the Brain, expands on Fixer's post. Links at site:

If things go the way they're starting to look, political history books in the future will say something like, "In 2008, the American people, sick of the bullshit they'd dealt with for the last 8 years, voted to decisively change the direction of the nation. In 2010, scared to death by Republican threats that President Barack Obama would personally murder their grandparents, voters cravenly ran back to what they perceived was the safety of the very people who had wrecked the country, giving the GOP a big ass victory. In 2012, remembering that 'Oh, shit, these are the fuckers who really do want to kill us,' they voted Democrats back into the majority in the House and reelected the President."
... electorate that is so horribly damaged by the endless post-9/11 rape of the nation by the Bush administration that it's desperately flailing about for help, less a turtle on its back than a fat man beating a candy machine that ate his last change.

Should the GOP go pouring off that high cliff onto the rocks of electoral failure, they'll have to thank chief lemming Eric Cantor for leading them there. For as skeevy a politician as House Speaker John Boehner is, as twerpish an asshole as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is, no one tops Virginia Republican and House Majority Leader Cantor for sheer creepiness and undiluted lunatic stupidity combined with a powerful position. He's a bespectacled ideologue who looks like every male high school science teacher who ends up boning a cheerleader on a lab table and losing his job.

As often as Cantor is predictably wrong on things like the auto company bailout and the stimulus, he has, to this point, been seen as the future of the GOP, a "young gun" who is gonna Gingrich this motherfuckin' party to the next decade. Inasmuch as one can use a single election to predict What Comes Next, after last night's big-ass loss in a rabidly Republican district in New York, Cantor has become a plague on his own caucus.

Which, of course, is why Democrat Kathy Hochul won in the same district that went for the madman Carl Paladino for governor of New York. Sure, Cantor said it wasn't about the Ryan budget and Medicare, but when the ultra-conservative Washington Times reports that "The loss could serve as a gut check for the GOP’s support of House Budget Committee Chairman Paul D. Ryan’s plan to slice trillions from federal spending in the coming years in part by transforming Medicare into a subsidy-driven program," it was about Medicare.

And, then, just to make sure that he's become a total jerk, Cantor told the Times that Joplin, Missouri, can suck his balls on emergency funding post-tornado bomb: "If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental." (Missouri Republican Roy Blunt of, you know, Joplin, responded by taking the "if" out of the equation.)

Cantor has gone all in on the Ryan budget and its destruction of Medicare, having forced the House members to all vote for it. This should be the clearest path to Democratic victory possible, especially considering how much irrational Medicare fears drove the 2010 election. Post-win last night, some Democrats are ready to use that to go on the attack, some are being predictably milquetoast about it, and some are, just as predictably, fucking it up.

"Milquetoast" and "predictably fucking it up" are my main worries. The Dems are too damn good at it.

If, however, the Repugs dance off the cliff, I will be dancing right along with them! I will be doing the Dance Of Joy like a drunken nekkid Irishman at Lughnasa. There will be video...

Actually, there already is...

Rust never sleeps ...

I'm just wondering why this is such a hot topic now. When I was in maintenance supervision on a SAC (B-52) base, corrosion control was always first and foremost on the, then, 35 year old aircraft. Seems the Squids (of all people, go figure) are really worried (Ya think?):

It scours the bottom of Navy ships, invades the crevices of Air Force jets and costs the Defense Department $23 billion a year. It’s not a clandestine agent or biological weapon. In fact, it’s in your home right now.

It’s rust.


Even new planes aren’t safe; leaky F-22’s are expected to cost the Air Force millions. And rust is a constant problem for the Navy, since it has a notoriously hard time avoiding salt water.


Nice of you to finally join the party, fellas.

I got an idea. Maybe, if we didn't spread ourselves so thin, with extended operations and deployments in wars we shouldn't be in anyway, we'd have time to get on a tighter refit schedule.

A hymn for the Cantor ...

Heart - Heartless


The word that comes into mind when you read about this plan is an old-fashioned one: HEARTLESS.

It's the word that comes to mind when you hear the latest from Republican Leader Eric Cantor, who is out there saying Congress will not pay for the heart-breaking and unprecedented tornado disaster relief in Missouri unless spending is "cut from somewhere else":



Our future is ...

Russia. Comrade Misfit with a great catch:


That's our future, folks. The middle-class Teabaggers have bought into the entire "get government off the backs of the corporations and the rich" that the greedy corrupt bastards like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Koch Brothers have been handing out.

Conservative race relations ...

Digby says it quite well:


Here's the thing. Racist types always like the "good ones", the ones who "know how to behave" and do all the right things. They always have. Unfortunately "most of them" aren't "good ones." (You know how "they" are.) Nothing racist about that at all.

Republicans; "Tokens R' Us".

Quote of the Day


... When the hometown newspaper puts your presidential announcement on the Obit page, most people would be upset, but it's actually the most alive Tea-Paw has ever been.

I gather ...

Americans want Republicans to keep their "government hands" out of Medicare:

Republicans are going to have plenty of questions about their plan to turn Medicare into a voucher program tomorrow morning after Democrats romped to an improbable victory in a special election focused almost entirely on the issue.


Looks like the Rethugs stepped on their dicks with this one. Heh ...

Karma ...

Unfortunately, this asshole is still living and breathing, unlike 120 (at last count) of his constituents.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quote of the Day

A comment about Repugs at TPM:

If it can't be solved by tax cuts, deregulation or killing or imprisoning brown people, it, by definition, is not a problem.

"Boom-Boom Rooms" in the O.C.

This is funny cuz it's in right-wing country in Southern California.


The tinted windows at Cafe Miss Cutie in Garden Grove are a giveaway that this isn't your ordinary coffeehouse.

At about 20 tables, men play cards and smoke, tossing cigarette butts onto the wood floor seconds before lighting up again. High-pitched pop music pulsates as waitresses dressed in sexy lingerie — and sometimes less — deliver the brew the customers crave: Vietnamese coffee, strong and sweet, in a small glass topped with whipped cream.

The cafe is one of about 20 in this Orange County city, which includes part of Little Saigon, one of the largest Vietnamese American enclaves in the U.S. It also is among those raided in March by more than 150 federal and local law enforcement officials, exposing an underbelly of what police say includes nudity, gambling and prostitution.

Even the Garden Grove police weren't prepared for what they found.

The next line is right outta Casablanca:

"We were shocked," Sgt. Tom Dare, with the department's special investigations unit, said of the proliferation of arcade-like gambling machines.

My sides, they hurt...

"Not everybody wants to buy coffee from a naked girl."

On the other hand...

How ...

Can the MSM ignore this:


Giefer appears to be one creepy individual. Maybe Pawlenty will go all Gingrich on the story and say that when he pardoned Giefer, he didn't actually mean to pardon Giefer? And if you quote him saying he pardoned Giefer, that would be a lit.


Seems T-Paw pardoned this lowlife for statutory rape of a 14 year old, whom he later married. But that's not where it ends. The child conceived from the original act was also victimized by this asshole.

Since T-Paw is the only sane-looking one in the 2012 Republican Clown Car so far, I'll betcha Fox and the rest of them will give him a pass.

Obama's speech decrypted ...

Sounds like the way I heard it. It's about time somebody took a boot to Bibi's ass. Bernard Avishai via John Ballard:


Encrypted: As two vibrant democracies, we recognize that the liberties and freedoms we cherish must be constantly nurtured. And as the nation that recognized the State of Israel moments after its independence, we have a profound commitment to its survival as a strong, secure homeland for the Jewish people.

Unencrypted: "I know very well that I'm going to lose some Jewish donors, and even some voters; but if I cannot get the 78% I got last time, I know how to fight for the 65% or more who want a two-state solution and will take Jon Stewart's send-up of Joe Lieberman over the real Lieberman any day of the week? Do you really want to fight me as a Foxy Republican, Bibi? Have you noticed what's going on on American campuses?"


Encrypted: First, the number of Palestinians living west of the Jordan River is growing rapidly...This will make it harder and harder -- without a peace deal -- to maintain Israel as both a Jewish state and a democratic state.

Unencrypted: "Oh, by the way, I know how to speak the language of the Israeli opposition, Kadima, Labor, etc., and play to it, whatever I really think of it. Two can play this game, Bibi. You have an election coming up, too. Do you want to run as the leader who screwed up relations with Washington, while Livni and others run as the saviors of our common language?"

Encrypted: Second, technology will make it harder for Israel to defend itself in the absence of a genuine peace."

Unencrypted: " Look, AIPAC, can you please tell your Bibi to stop pandering to his nutjobs and try forming a coalition that will, say, take us back to where Olmert and Abbas got stuck before the region explodes? Israel is fit to repel any invasion; no more wars like 1973. But can't you see Israel is prepared for the last big war, not the next one? It is facing 40,000 missiles that cost a few thousand dollars each with anti-missiles that cost over a million each. Its air force and smart bombs can level the apartment buildings from which the missiles are launched, but then what happens when CNN and Al Jazeera start running 24/7 videos of children's bodies pulled from the rubble? Which brings me to..."


Israel's hard right had better figure it out soon enough. With all the crying going on about how we have no money, a lot of people are gonna start thinking that $5bln a year, without any progress toward peace and the US getting the blame for everything Israel does, just ain't worth dumping down a dry hole anymore.

Personally, I feel that Israel can defend itself against any outside threat at this point and don't need us to stand over their shoulders. They've made their bed, it's time to let them lie in it, especially when their Prime Minister regularly gives the finger to the same people who are keeping their economy afloat.

Either sue for peace or go it alone at this point.

Name calling ...

Well, not really, but today it's official. I sent away all the forms to change Chooch's registration to reflect we are the new owners and Ziva's info to register her kennel name and ownership with the American Kennel Club. I had an agreement with the breeder (my pal Kathy who owns Katwala Australian Cattle Dogs) to have them both spayed before I got their registration paperwork.

We did a lot of thinking what we'd name Ziva and we finally decided. We played off her big sister's kennel name ("Katwala's Pardon Me Boys") and her personality.

"Katwala's Pardon Me Boys" - Chooch

So I'm happy to present "Katwala's Outta My Way", a.k.a. Ziva.

"So does this new name thing get me any more snacks, dad?"


Monday, May 23, 2011

Dominique Strauss-Kahn-Le Pew

Daryl Cagle

My only exposure to French culture as a child was Looney Tunes cartoons featuring the lecherous skunk, Pepé Le Pew. When I grew up, my views of France changed, and I thought of the French as romantic, a view that seems to contrast with Dominique Strauss-Kahn, whose alleged sexual assault on a hotel maid is remarkably similar to Pepé Le Pew's antics. Maybe Warner Brothers got it right.

I recently visited France where I learned that the French were also raised with Looney Tunes characters from an early age, and they are all familiar with Pepé Le Pew. In France, the cartoons are dubbed into French and Le Pew loses his French accent; it isn't widely known that he is supposed to be French. One French lady I spoke with told me:

"We never knew Pepé Le Pew was French -- I didn't learn that until I grew up -- and I was shocked. We thought he was just a jerk."


Liquid Alert Headline of the Day

Fox News President Roger Ailes thinks Sarah Palin ‘is an idiot’

Trouble in Paradise? One'a their 72 virgins acting up? Heh.

New US rules promise legal Cuba travel for many

This is good!

AP via Yahoo!News

"This is travel to Cuba for literally any American," said Tom Popper, director of Insight Cuba, which took thousands of Americans to Cuba before such programs were put into a deep freeze seven years ago.

But it won't all be a day at the beach or a night at the bar. U.S. visitors may find themselves tramping through sweltering farms or attending history lectures to justify the trips, which are meant, under U.S. policy, to bring regular Cubans and Americans together.

Me'n Fixer just need to be 'brought together' with a few 'regular Cubans' who have '59 El Caminos or '57/'58 Rancheros.

Headline of the Day

Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden

That bears repeating:

Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden

My emphasis. Hey, ya can't surveil friends of the Bushes, after all. Especially if they're up to the kind of no good that will solidify their power and make them tons of money.

Cain Ain't Able

Think Progress, many links and video:

Lecturing Americans To ‘Reread’ Constitution, Herman Cain Confuses It With Declaration of Independence

"You know, those ideals that we live by, we believe in, your parents believed in, they instilled in you. When you get to the part about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” don’t stop there, keep reading. Cause that’s when it says “when any form of government becomes destructive of those ideals, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.” We’ve got some altering and some abolishing to do!

Sadly, Cain’s Bachmannesque ignorance of the nation’s founding documents makes him well-suited to compete in a GOP presidential primary. Republicans invented an utterly meritless constitutional objection to the Affordable Care Act, they’ve called everything from Social Security to Medicare to child labor laws unconstitutional, and they’ve even pretended that the Constitution allows them to strip Americans of their citizenship. So Cain needs to look no further than his own party if he wants to find people who are more interested in rewriting the Constitution than in actually reading it.

Luckily, Cain is just another sideshow. Ignorance is certainly no bar to Repug candidacy, but the combination of the same name as the first biblical murderer and his Africa Black skin tone scares the shit outta the old white Repug base. He's one of a wave of blithering non-serious shit-stirrin' Repug non-contenders that I wish would STFU and get outta the way so the news cycle would be forced to concentrate on how ignorant and pandering and out of touch with reality are the few who have an actual chance at the nomination.

The Taliban After Bin Laden

Following up on Fixer's post:


The plan is to undo the Americans’ recent gains with the fiercest spring offensive ever—and that seems to be just fine with Pakistan’s ISI.

Even before Osama bin Laden’s death, Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir was working like a man possessed. For weeks the Afghan Taliban’s military chief, a former Guantánamo inmate, had raced from meeting to meeting in and around his base of operations, the Pakistani city of Quetta. His aim was nothing less than to field the guerrillas’ entire fighting strength at once in a massive spring offensive code-named Operation Badar, in the hope of reversing U.S. forces’ recent battlefield successes in Afghanistan. “He is determined to activate every single Taliban for the first time in 10 years,” a senior Taliban intelligence officer tells NEWSWEEK. “He’s making it clear that no one will be allowed to sit around in Pakistan. Everyone has to get involved or they’re out.”

He and his men are operating with impunity in the high-desert landscape of southwestern Pakistan’s Baluchistan province and its hardscrabble capital city, Quetta. The Pakistani military has declared the province off-limits to U.S. Predator strikes, and the country’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) seems to be giving the Taliban a free hand. “They are coming and going in groups without end,” says a senior Quetta politician, an ethnic Pashtun (like the overwhelming majority of the Taliban). “Whatever the Taliban is doing is supervised and monitored by the [Pakistani] intelligence agencies.” Old hands among the insurgents say it reminds them of 1980s Peshawar, where anti-Soviet mujahedin operated openly with the ISI’s blessing and backing.

Zakir paid one of his surprise visits recently at a dirt-floored house in the crowded Quetta suburb of Pashtunabad. The senior intelligence officer was meeting with a dozen other commanders and intelligence agents when a pack of motorcycles roared up and Zakir walked in and quickly got down to business, asking what they needed to make their forces more lethal. More money for weapons, ammunition, and roadside bombs, they told him—and more suicide bombers. A major ambush, the kind that involves IEDs, RPGs, automatic weapons, and suicide bombers, costs some 200,000 Pakistani rupees, they said: the equivalent of $2,300. Zakir’s secretary took notes, wielding a big, ledgerlike agenda.

Now the Taliban are a fucking motorcycle gang with their own accountant. Yeesh.

Thousands of Taliban slogans cover the walls in and around the dusty frontier town of Kuchlak, some 14 kilometers northwest of Quetta. “The Only Solution Is Jihad Against the Invaders,” says one. “Mullah Omar Is a Dagger Raised to Strike Each Occupier,” says another. A local government councilor says the area’s mosques and madrassas are packed with insurgents in need of temporary lodging as they head back to Afghanistan. Way stations have been set up all over the region in rented houses, he says, and swarms of Taliban pass through town on motorbikes every day. Most carry Pakistani national identity cards. “They’re enjoying the hospitality of the ‘black legs’ [derogatory slang for the ISI],” he says. He worries that the local culture is being Talibanized. At least 20 local madrassa students have disappeared, most likely to join the fight in Afghanistan, he says, and Taliban backers are even trying to stop the traditional music and dancing at weddings. “ ‘How can you sing and dance when we’re dying?’ they tell us.”


Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

This is just an intellectual lull in human history.

Kentucky Approves Tax Breaks For Noah’s Ark Theme Park
Denies aid for flood victims.

Book: Stalin, Soviets Behind 1947 Roswell UFO Incident
Hoped to turn us into nation of frightened, paranoid, conspiracy-touting lunatics, but it never happened.

In Official Report on Priest Sexual Abuse, Church Blames Woodstock
Specifically the brown acid.



Not to open the usual can o' worms but ... Thers (in toto):

The obvious 2012 GOP nominee is Benjamin Netanyahu. Not giving a rat's ass about how the US economy actually works as long as the big bucks get funneled to the right people is basically a plus for the Republicans, and allowing a hard right Israeli government veto power over US foreign policy, well, why the fuck not.

The wingnut position is that greater loyalty and deference is owed to the foreign head of a client state than to the democratically elected president of the United States of America.


Great thanks to Ol' Fez for the link.

So tell me again ...

How the Pakistanis are helping us fight "The War On Terror" when they can't even keep their own installations safe?


On Sunday evening at 2230 (1730 GMT), militants stormed three hangars housing aircraft at the Mehran naval aviation base, according to officials.

Their first targets were aircraft parked on the tarmac and equipment in nearby hangers, says the BBC's Syed Shoaib Hasan at the scene.

Eyewitnesses say the militants used rocket-propelled grenades to damage and destroy several warplanes. These included the Pakistan navy's premier anti-submarine and marine surveillance aircraft - the US-made P-3C Orion.

At least two of these multi-million dollar planes were set ablaze.


It was said that the attackers wore Pak military uniforms and the operation was "very coordinated, sophisticated". Makes me assume they had an "inside man".

There are also the problems (which you don't hear about on American news) with attacks on supply convoys, the same tactics used against the Soviets when they were the "occupier du jour".

A Nato oil tanker has exploded in northwest Pakistan, killing at least 15 people, say officials.


At least 14 other Nato tankers were damaged in a separate attack nearby, at the Torkham border crossing.

The region is a crucial transport route for supplies destined for Nato forces in Afghanistan but the convoys frequently come under attack from militants and criminals.


All this while harboring the man who was supposedly the reason we're over there in the first place. With this kind of "help" from the Pakistanis, it's no wonder we can't get anywhere. Jesus Christ, we defeated the Axis armies and navies 70 years ago, yet we can't root out and kill a buncha guys stuck in the 12th Century? It's not a mystery when our "friend" gives them sanctuary, information, and, probably, weapons (and, by the way, the Paks are making money off our convoys as well).

It's long past time for us to leave.

Hey, it worked for Bush ...

So why not The Neutered One:

I love Newt Gingrich's campaign strategy of demanding that the media only hold him accountable for how great he is *right now*. Ignore all those ethical issues in his past tenure as Speaker of the House, he's *now* the only one with leadership skills. Ignore all those infidelities in the past, he loves his wife *now*. Ignore what he said last week about Paul Ryan's budget, he thinks it's the best thing for America *now*. Likewise, *right now* Newt knows exactly how to get us out of the economic crisis we're in because he's debt-free and frugal, just ignore the fact that his own financial dealings have been less than cut and dried.


Just like nobody was allowed to ask George W. Bush about his military record, or about his record as a "CEO", or anything that would have lost anyone else their party's primary, let alone the presidential election, the Neut wants us to play by Chimp Rules. Fortunately for us, his hypocrisy is so blatant, even the propagandists at Fox 'News' can't ignore it.

"Confidence" ...

Remember when everybody was saying we had to kiss the banksters collective ass because without them the economy would descend into ruin, even though their shenanigans caused the meltdown to begin with?

Well, they're gaming the system again, making easy money while screwing the people from whom they make their money:

Whether or not you buy into the high values of social media, you probably noticed the stunning LinkedIn IPO last week. It opened at an expensive value and doubled. Now, many are asking questions about whether this was Wall Street's latest ripoff.


The government can regulate everything the average American does, from smoking, to the breed of dog you can have, to what your kids learn in school, to how fast you can drive, to when the bars close at night, but heaven forbid we regulate the financial industry. Far be it for them to have a set of rules requiring ethical conduct and severe penalties for ignoring them.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rapture Redux

This was put up well in advance of yesterday's Rapture by Old Fart Rants. He's got lotsa stuff like this. Speaking as the Resident Old Fart around here, the guy's right on the money.

Yup, Still Here

Good read in the non-aftermath of the fundieocalypse by William Rivers Pitt.

...ol' Harold had consulted his trusty Bible, done some wildly questionable math, and pulled the exact moment of the End Times out of his cash-filled hat.

Mr. Pitt is too kind. Or works for a more politically correct outfit than around here. I suspect that old fraud pulled it outta someplace darker and smellier than his hat.

Oh yeah, the money has by-God been rolling in ever since Mr. Camping sprayed his end-times predictions into a Family Radio microphone. But I'm quite sure that has nothing to do with anything. Those billboards were not an investment seeking future profits, and the incredible sum of money Mr. Camping has raked in as The Day loomed closer was just simple people trying to get in good with God before the elevator took them to the top floor.

Somewhere, P.T. Barnum is slapping his knee and giggling like a titmouse.

Forgive this leap to judgment, but I have a sneaking suspicion I know just exactly what type of person goes in for this breed of apocalyptic nonsense. Let me guess: you're a Christian of the evangelical stripe, white, and your ears are forever attuned to the dog-whistles of social conservativism. You voted for George W. Bush twice, and would have happily done it a third time if given the chance. It's almost certain your whole life is caving in around your ears, and you are utterly unable to cope. You can't make the mortgage payments, your job got outsourced to somewhere, and you seethe at the presence of non-English-speaking brown people around you, even when they mow your lawn and empty your trash and serve your food. You think Rush and Beck sit at the right hand of God, and you've been voting Republican ever since Ronald Reagan invited Jerry Falwell to the White House. You are a follower, an adorer of authority in all its permutations. You smell like fear.

Your life is caving in around your ears, to an incredibly large degree, because you have supported - with your time, your money, and your badly-spelled signs at Tea Party rallies - the very politicians, corporations and power-brokers who have savaged your future. You believe in the demigod of free-market capitalism (because Rush and Beck tell you so) even as that system steals from you, your children and their children to come. You see the writing on the wall and perceive it as runes carved there by devils and socialists and Muslim fellow-travelers, because you have been well-trained to do so. You would not know the truth of your life if it voided its bladder in your face, because you are inculcated with a world-view that is sustained by hatred, distrust, fear, and the clannish bonding of the cult-bound who think as you do, and so are "saved."

Then he starts in on 'em. Go.

Well, the fundies flubbed it as usual, but the Mayans were never wrong! I think. Hard to find one who's talking, but ON TO 2012!