Saturday, August 6, 2011

Goin' ridin'

Off today to ride the Geritol Trial put on by SactoPITS. Sounds like it's right up my alley. The ideal of course would be the "Prune Juice and Hydrocortisone Trial". Heh. See yas later.


Home safe and sound, tired, dirty, happy. No blood, tears, or trauma, plenty a' sweat. Got another 1st place (also last and only) in class trophy (photo). Only dropped the bike once and it doesn't count because I didn't fall all the way off and Mrs. G got video. Heh. Will put something up at Fixer & Gordon tomorrow. Hopefully. G'nite.

Update the Twoth:

Due to the amazing restorative powers of a Blue Coyote Combo pizza and three glasses of limeade, I came up with enough energy to put up a short video of my ride over at Fixer & Gordon. Longer post will follow.

Are we ...

Still winning?

A helicopter has crashed in Afghanistan's eastern Wardak province, killing 31 U.S. special operations troops and seven Afghan soldiers, Afghanistan's president said Saturday in a report by The Associated Press. It was the highest number of American casualties recorded in a single incident in the decade-long war, the report said.


The Talibans claim they shot it down with an RPG. Who knows what happened but what's fact is 38 more lives were squandered in a wasted exercise. Bin Laden's dead, let's go.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Emmylou Harris and Sheryl Crow ~ Pale Blue Eyes
Thanks to Todaylight, Switzerland.

Friday, August 5, 2011

B'ar Sign

Just to raise the tone around here a little after all the Teabagger talk, here's some fresh today bear sign from out in the woods behind my house:

Notice the food wrappers. I have the same problem sometimes the morning after All-U-Can-Eat Burrito Nite...

Debt and Empire

I'm not sure if this is satire or not, but I am sure it's a 'must read':


To: General Petraeus, Langley HQ
From: Operative 650, Kabul office
Re: Memo XE1955

[...] Before I make my modest proposal, permit me a couple observations.

It's easier to get an agreement between the Taliban and coalition forces than it has been to get Democrats and Republicans to see eye to eye. It seems to me, from here in Kabul, that the Tea Party is basically just like the Taliban, minus the beards. They are both determined to take over their countries, they are both fanatical and uncompromising, and they are both willing to destroy their respective governments in order to achieve their aims.

Given their intransigence, I'm wondering whether it might be useful to run an extraordinary rendition program for some of these Tea Party types. I know that the CIA is prohibited from working inside the United States, but perhaps we can use a Colombian or Israeli contractor to bring these folks here to Afghanistan. A few weeks here at Bagram prison under "austerity measures" would surely make some of these legislators more amenable to compromise. Since Congress is about as popular right now as al-Qaeda, I'm willing to wager that the public would wholeheartedly support such a program.

Bagram might be better than Gitmo!

As good as it is, that ain't the half of it, folks! Go see what this gent proposes to solve all our problems! Read the comments too.

Christie's Shariah "Crazies" Strike Back

Following up on Fixer's post, links at Media Matters:

Christie's comments have drawn plaudits from the editorial board of the New Jersey Star-Ledger and from the ACLU and Southern Poverty Law Center. But the "crazies" are unhappy, and they're not letting the matter rest.

Geller comments that Christie "has shown himself to be a dangerous blustering bloviator, a good little dhimmi" who has made a "monumental mistake." Andrew Breitbart's Big Peace website calls it "disappointing" to see Christie "dismissing substantive and damning facts, statements and associations in order to accuse his critics of racism and bigotry." And JihadWatch comments, "to think that some people think this tool would be a good president."

It will be interesting to see whether other Republican politicians follow Christie in denouncing the anti-Islam right-wing media, or if they knuckle under in the face of this sort of criticism.

My money's on "knuckle under". Honesty will get them nowhere with those ideological idiots.

It's not ...

Some post-apocalyptic science fiction; it's what's happening to real people in this country today and tomorrow, and for many tomorrows until the people we sent to Washington decide to govern:


Ruby does not know what to do about her son, Raymond, either. Ray was doing well, with a good job and a lovely wife and two kids, when his army reserve company was sent to Iraq. It was supposed to be a short mission. Take down Sadaam, in retaliation for his bombing of the World Trade Center, and then back home to the states for a hero’s welcome. Instead, Ray spent four years overseas protecting Iraqi oilfields for Chevron. His wife divorced him and is remarried. He messed up his right knee, and the VA keeps putting off the surgery that might fix his problem. When he sees his VA psychiatrist about his mood swings and nightmares, he is given huge handfuls of pills to take. All the pills do is make him fat and sleepy. He used to play football in high school. Now, he can barely get out of the chair to go to the bathroom. Sometimes, when he watches the television news and hears about how there never were any WMDs, it was all a lie, he gets so mad he is afraid that his heart might stop. And he thinks to himself that might not be such a bad thing. And then he rolls himself a joint, because he has discovered that marijuana helps a lot more than the pills he gets at the VA.

Ray used to get his weed from a neighbor, Michael who grew his own, because it helped with the pain from his MS---multiple sclerosis. Mike is now living at the local (private, for profit) prison. Like Sarah, he is a menace to society, and so a company with ties to the governor is paid a lot of money to keep him off the streets. The DEA agent who grilled Michael is the same one who allowed huge shipments of cocaine to enter this country, in exchange for testimony about other cocaine distributors. It was a sweet deal for everyone. The DEA and the prosecutors got convictions. The cocaine lord got rid of his business rivals. Michael’s only son, Justice, died at the age of 34 from a heart attack brought on by cocaine.


We, somehow, have to find our way out of this Bizarro World. We can't continue the way we're going and still call ourselves "America".

Christ ...

Don't these people ever stop?

When Fox News producers aren't coming up with simple-minded metaphors to "debunk" the scientific consensus on climate change, they're apparently turning their outrage machine onto a children's show for refusing to be "fair and balanced" like them.

In a bizarre string of on-air attacks, Fox News hosts seem to be feigning outrage over the Nickelodeon show "Spongebob Squarepants" for a segment about global warming. Hosts have in recent days been claiming the cartoon was shown to students by the U.S. Department of Education, even though it wasn't, accusing its creators of trying to push a liberal political "agenda" on the nation's children.


Really? Really? Do these Fox people even qualify as adults anymore?

Great thanks to the folks at TGUAR for the link.

I've had this question ...

For a long time. I ask my European friends and family members and all I get is the blank look, mouth agape. One little question:

"Why did you create the EU to begin with?"

I mean, it sounds like a good idea, a common currency, open borders, and one big trading bloc as opposed to 20 - 30 little ones. On paper, it looks great but everybody I talk to now thinks it's a bad idea.

They all bitch about the open borders. All saying that the people from the poorer countries of the EU come to ____________* and take ______________** jobs and use up resources and the social safety net meant for ____________** people.

They all bitch about the economy. My _______________** friends say that ____________* is far more productive than the ____________*** and the ____________** economies are always being looked to for money to keep ___________**** afloat.

They all bitch about "multicultualism". We are losing our _____________** identity because all these people from ________________**** are coming here, not speaking the language, changing our way of life, and looking for a handout. Either that or the ___________*** come to ______________* and steal everything they can't get for nothing from Brussels/Strasbourg.

They also have no use for the central government in Brussels/Strasbourg. I hear Brussels/Strasbourg thinks they can make the rules and decisions for _____________ * when they have no idea of how they hurt business in ____________* in order to help ___________****.

I ask this question again in light of Dr. Krugman's post yesterday:


The US 10-year bond rate is now down to 2.5%. So much for those bond vigilantes. What this rate is saying is that markets are pricing in terrible economic performance, quite possibly a double dip. And it also says that Washington’s deficit obsession has been utterly, totally wrong-headed.

Meanwhile, Italy’s spread against German bonds is soaring even further. What are markets pricing in here? Default as a real possibility; maybe even euro breakup. The latter certainly sounds a lot more plausible now than it did a few months ago. [my em]


So if, as it seems, a number of countries are going to abandon the Euro and move back to their old currency so they can manipulate themselves out of debt, what was the point in the first place? Didn't anyone take the differences between cultures into consideration before they all jumped on the bandwagon?

I never put much faith in the longevity of the European Union, though I thought I wouldn't see the end of it in my lifetime. Yes, they looked West after World War 2 and saw a pretty good system. What they didn't get is that the people who founded the United States were basically all in the same boat. They were mostly disaffected Englishmen wanting to break the hold of King George on the colonies. It never seemed to me you could do the same with diverse cultures (with ingrained biases), all millennia old. Maybe, in a century or two, we might be enlightened enough to move to worldwide governance, but old habits die hard. The EU might live on in some form or another, but if the economy keeps tanking, it's gonna be every man for himself over there sooner rather than later.

*Insert: Germany, France, England, Holland
**Insert: German, French, English, Dutch
***Insert: Spanish, Italians, Greeks, Polish
****Insert: Spain, Italy, Greece, Poland

Score two ...

For Secaucus Fats. He allowed the use of medical mary jane and now he's sticking up for Muslims. He's still an asshole, but he ain't a racist asshole. He ain't never gonna be President either.

Good advice ...

From our pal Montag:


And today is only Thursday. If you know anybody who works in the financial district, tell them to watch out for falling brokers.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Blanketass Noir

I'd never heard of the 50-year-old movie "The Exiles" (wiki) until I watched it on TV the other night, IFC or TCM, can't remember which. Dark and worth seeing. Also a damn good look at a pre-high-rise L.A. that I remember well that is long gone. Angels Flight, the 3rd St. tunnel, and City Hall as the tallest building.

Thanks to milefilms.

The Rise of 'Isolated Incidents' of Right-Wing Violence

Crooks and Liars

This mash-up is about right-wing violence and media figures who enable it. Set to a remix of three different versions of "The Outsider" by A Perfect Circle, this project has been greatly aided by David Neiwert's spectacular blogging on the subject here. I also used several clips downloaded from this site, so it was literally impossible to make this without everyone here. Thanks to all of my fellow C & L'ers, and I hope they enjoy Maynard Keenan's singing as much as I do.


“Violence in the streets, aimed at the wealthy. That’s what I worry about.”

Don't worry about us, pal. Worry about the right-wing nutters you love so much for sticking up for you.

Mark Fiore - Bipartisansh#*!

Starring "Little Fixer" and please pardon me for that visual. Heh.

Mark Fiore - Bipartisansh#*!

This one - no, that one - no, the other one...

Interesting tidbit from an article in the LATimes:

Conservatives love to use liberals as the boogeyman of big government, but the liberal vote has always been a dicey matter. According to most polls, about 20% of voters is a liberal, substantially less than the about 40% who identify themselves as conservative. Thus the battle for independents often determines elections, especially national ones.

Liberals are also notoriously diverse in ideology and are often seen as ineffective in governing — even by friends and allies. As H.L. Mencken noted last century: “The Liberals have many tails, and chase them all.”

We is outnumbered and running in circles accomplishing very little. No wonder we is losing. This may be beginning to change in some states but I'm not holding my breath waiting for it. Blue is not my best color.

So ...

It's our fault?


Gotta head up to the shop this morning to service my car. Christ, working on cars twice in one week. I'll probably end up doing a couple vehicle inspections for Harry too, just to keep my hand in and so New York State doesn't think I fell off the map and try to jerk my inspector's license. Back this afternoon.

I don't know about you ...

But I ain't putting anything that came from Rick Santorum near my lips. Tengrain:

Wanna spread a little Santorum on your toast? - That frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter Rick Santorum has promised to bribe Iowans by giving them jars of preserves. "We are bringing [40 jars of Santorum jam] to the Straw Poll and we are going to give everybody a sample," threatened Frothy. So who will win the Golden Ticket as it were and take home Baby Gabriel?

Um, no ...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

GOP Bullies

Thanks to YubaNet.

Dude, ya gotta get pissed off and start hitting 'em. You're already getting beat up, might as well not be a sissy too.

Headline of the Day

Biden Compares Tea Party to Terrorists; Al-Qaeda Demands Apology

"Both al-Qaeda and the Tea Party tried to destroy the U.S. economy," Mr. Biden elaborated. "But in fairness to al-Qaeda, the Tea Party came a lot closer."

California leads the way out of darkness - again

I don't get to brag about my lifelong state very much any more. I've watched it get suckier and suckier over my lifetime to the point where sometimes all I get to extol happily about is the scenery and wish we could move the Grand Canyon here to get it away from the assholes and make California perfect once and for all. It would fit in the Central Valley and we can still get our apricots and asparagus from Mexico and our cotton from Egypt. I will jump on any small thing that makes us look good like a duck on a junebug.


New voting districts give the GOP that boxed-in feeling

GOP complaints about redistricting bias are to be expected — but in fact, the increase in new Democratic-leaning districts reflects the drop in Republican voters in California.

The Citizens Redistricting Commission has drawn its lines, and the latest redistricting, like all redistrictings, has lessons to teach us about California.

First Lesson (for Republicans): It's not the districts, it's you.

More ironic still, the Citizens Commission initiative was put on the ballot and funded largely by Republicans. The California Republican Assembly supported the initiative. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's PAC was its No. 1 funder, and Meg Whitman chipped in $200,000. Its most prominent opponents were then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Barbara Boxer and the California Democratic Party.

Heh. Even my senior-division masturbatory fantasies can't be right all the time. It's OK, girls, I still think about you...

The Republicans' problem in California isn't the districts. It's that their message and candidates appeal to fewer and fewer Californians (my em).

Second Lesson: Coastal California lost some districts to inland California, but that won't make the state more conservative, as some pundits had predicted, because inland California is becoming steadily more Latino. Among the newly created districts where no congressional incumbent lives are two Inland Empire seats — one in the Riverside area, the other in Ontario-Fontana — that are clearly Democratic in orientation and Latino in population.

And folks wonder why I love Meskins...

Third Lesson: There will actually be some — not many — districts that either party could win. Not many, because Californians tend to cluster themselves by ideology, leaving few parts of the state in which equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans abide side by side. In the newly created districts that could go either way, turnout will be key.

In the high-turnout election of 2008, for instance, Barack Obama carried the precincts in a newly created Ventura County congressional district by a hefty 16% margin. In the low-turnout election of 2010, Republican Meg Whitman beat Jerry Brown in those precincts by a slim 1%. Whatever Democrat ends up running for that seat must hope that disenchantment with Obama won't bring turnout down to midterm-election levels.

MY lesson to all: if disenchanted Dems had sucked it up and turned out for the 2010 midterm election, we wouldn't be in the mess we're in now. NEVER miss an election. Never.

Indeed, while California Republicans appear almost certain to lose seats in Congress and the Legislature next year, they may prevail in some of the new swing districts if many of the Obama surge voters of 2008 — disproportionately young and minority — respond to the dysfunctional economy by staying home. California looks to be no country for Republicans, but the recession may help them win a close one here and there.

If people can remember where the recession came from, the goddam Repugs oughta lose 'em all.

Much more in the article.

The only problem with California leading the way, from lakes pipes to politics, is that we're usually about ten years ahead of the rest of the country. At my age, that's a lot.

A "Dear Barack" Letter

Dear Barack,

We've had some good times over the last few years. Hell, 2008 was one of the most hopeful times in my life. Remember all those rallies and adoring crowds? God, it was wild. I didn't think I could keep up with you; you were so intense, so passionate. But once we started living together, things changed.

If you care to know why, let me explain. You started to take me for granted. Almost immediately your eye started to wander. When we'd go out, I'd always think, "I'll be he's looking over there at that table to the right." You told me not to worry about it. You said that I was still your heart and soul.

I got into this relationship without any illusions about who you were. I never listened when others told me that you were perfect. I never listened when some told me you weren't worth my time. I got together with you because I believed in us. You and me. Somewhere along the way, you stopped caring. Somewhere along the line, you started believing in others more than you believed in me.

I loved you as a smart, principled man. I worked at this relationship. Even when we fought, I still sought out the good in you. Now, finally, after watching you have affair after affair, saying each time that it was just a one-time thing, I have to allow myself to feel bitter and angry and more than a little foolish. And I have to do that by myself.

So this is a separation, and I'm sure you'll be dating again quickly. But I need a break. I need to remember why I loved you. I need to miss you. I need to see if I miss you. Sure, sure, you'll say, I'm being a drama queen, that nothing has changed, that I don't live in the real world, that everything you've done has been for me, that I just don't understand what it's like to live with the pressure that you have. No, but I have to live with the results of what you do. And after you're done, in 2013 or 2017, you'll still be a rich moderate conservative and I'll still be a middle-class liberal trying his best to clean up all the messes.

I'm gonna pack up my stuff and head out now. I wish you well, truly, for everyone's sake. But I think if there's anything you can take away from this, it's simple:

It's not me. It's you.

The Rude Pundit

Don't worry, Barry, you've still got me. I'm old and slow to change and stubborn and sometimes not too smart and right now I'm so disappointed with you that I could just shit, but I still love you. I still have the hopelessness of faith in you and where else am I gonna go anyway? I'll keep hoping and waiting for you to come around and in the meantime you can sleep in the doghouse.


How about ...

Since we're "broke", these weasels in Congress take a couple less vacations?

Quote of the Day

TomB in response to a Barbara Boxer email:


Maybe Democrats are just genetically incapable of getting in someone's face when their face needs to be gotten into... or maybe they simply serve the same special interests in the same way the Republicans do... but in any event don't EVER let the Tea Party pee on my leg and then YOU send me an email trying to convince me it was just a warm rain again.

The "duh" factor ...

Long suspected, now verified. Like the song says, "the South's gonna do it again". What the lyric doesn't relate is the other truism, "if I had to do it all over again, I'd do it all over you":

The Tea Party movement takes its name from the Boston Tea Party of 1773, when American patriots dumped British tea into Boston Harbor to protest British imperial power. But while New England was the center of resistance to the British empire, there are few New Englanders to be found in today's Tea Party movement. It should be called the Fort Sumter movement, after the Southern attack on the federal garrison in Fort Sumter in South Carolina on April 12-13, 1861, that began the Civil War. Today's Tea Party movement is merely the latest of a series of attacks on American democracy by the white Southern minority, which for more than two centuries has not hesitated to paralyze, sabotage or, in the case of the Civil War, destroy American democracy in order to get their way.


Great thanks to Blue Texan for the link.

So I ask ...

Why couldn't Barry handle it like Bill Clinton did?

... Still, even though Clinton enjoyed political and economic advantages that Obama does not, his no-compromises strategy had some clear advantages. Unlike Obama, he refused to let the threat of default set the national agenda. Because he would not enter into negotiations over the debt ceiling, the issue barely roused the public consciousness ... [em in orig]

Because Obama thought he was smarter than he really is. Just because he went to Harvard don't make him a genius. After all, the Chimp went to Yale.

Of course, the main difference is, Obama wanted the showdown to rationalize his much-desired Grand Bargain on Social Security and Medicare! ...

Note for the future, Mr. Obama: You can't bargain with terrorists. They are willing to die where you're not.


And the great D-cap (I been waiting for this) echoes my sentiment:

... Rule 2 of negotiation - (as told by Golda Meir) - do not negotiate with terrorists. When you see the other side is a bunch of ignorant sociopaths bent on burning the village to save the village - do NOT be afraid to threaten. The 14th amendment should have been Obama's Entebbe.

Instead this capitulation will be his Munich.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Instead of ...

Demonizing people who can't speak English, why not teach them? And you wonder why I love New York:

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Sometime during the wash cycle, as this load is drying and he is almost done sorting, there's a change going on here, subtle but significant.

Part classroom, part laundry, in the back corner of magic touch, is where you'll find the newly created "Inwood Laundromat Language Institute".

Hector Canonge came up with the idea after seeing people in his community, of which many are new Spanish speaking immigrants, struggle with even basic things.


God bless this man.

Just a thought ...

After the better part of a 6-pack so take it for what it's worth. What do you think the result would be if all the progressives/liberals who are as pissed off as I am about this debt ceiling debacle wrote in "Bernie Sanders" on next year's presidential ballot?

Clusterfuckistani Taggers

A 'recommended read' in the LATimes

Kabul may be short of many things, but it has lots of concrete blast walls. And that is inspiring a group of nascent graffiti artists to give voice, however fearfully, to a biting critique of graft, economic inequality and the second-class status of women in their country.

Protest graffiti is a new and still-tentative mode of expression in a society with little tradition of social dissent. Like their Western counterparts, Afghan wall writers work furtively and sometimes at night to avoid arrest. But their scribblings don't lionize street gangs, entertainers or sports teams.

"Parliament shouldn't be filled with criminals," says one scrawl, in Dari, on the block-long wall of the Teachers Training University in Kabul, a prime canvas for protest graffiti.

Dy's favorite scrawls include "parliament = this barn," on the wall of a stable, suggesting that both buildings produce manure, and "warlord = jackass."

Historically, graffiti in Afghanistan was mostly advertising — for translation services, real estate agents and handymen. In the 1980s, Afghan mujahedin used graffiti to taunt their Soviet occupiers, scrawling messages on destroyed tanks and artillery. More recently, NATO forces and the Taliban have waged "tagging duels" on village walls, particularly in disputed southern provinces.

Oh swell. Now we're going after their hearts and minds with "Yo momma's so ugly...".

Combat Communications, a group of anonymous, Kabul-based foreign artists, and British graffiti artist Wayne "Chu" Edwards held a weeklong workshop for several aspiring Afghan artists in December.

After sessions on symbolism, making stencils and wielding a spray can, their final project involved realizing their ideas on an abandoned factory wall on the outskirts of Kabul.

It never dawned on me before that those people are so backwards they have to be taught how to hold a spray can! That speaks volumes, mostly "Holy shit! What are we trying to do there?"

On a recent evening, he tagged some houses in an upscale neighborhood inhabited by warlords and drug traffickers, writing: "This is drug money, corruption."

The kid's got more balls than I do, that's for sure!

I think we should finance this "street art" program. I betcha our military has lotsa taggers who would love to mentor these Afghani kids. At least we'd get something pretty to look at for the $Billions we've blown in that shithole.

And while we're at it, let's help out the Taliban taggers too. Air drop 'em our best spray paint along with instructions on how ta huff it. A special batch from our paint manufacturers, heavy on the toluene and mind-fucking chemicals. The fear factor and their aggressiveness would diminish as soon as the Taliban are known as the "Goofy Gold-Faced Goat Humpers". That they might forget to show up to plant the IEDs they forgot to make would be a bonus.

Sneak Peek

Of the Tesla Model S.

Huh? Headline of the Day

Newt Declares Obama ‘A Paul Krugman Presidency’

"If only!" Krugman replied by e-mail, when asked about Newt's claim by TPM.

If only, indeed.

Democrats Accept Major Cuts to Their Balls

[WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) August 2, 2011 – After weeks of wrenching negotiations that went right up to the wire, Democrats in the House and Senate today accepted major cuts to their balls.

The cuts, which are expected to pass both houses of Congress on Tuesday, will give Republicans' total custody of the Democrats' cojones through the next election cycle.

The final hitch in the negotiations centered on how long the Republicans would keep the Democrats' family jewels, with Democrats wanting them returned by 2012 and Republicans insisting on keeping them longer.

After much wrangling, a compromise was worked out in which the Republicans would keep the Democrats' balls "indefinitely."

After the deal was hammered out, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) was philosophical about an outcome that surprised no one.

"You win some and you lose some," he told reporters. "Except that, as Democrats, only the second part is true."

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) said that the historic deal set the stage for more compromises between the two political parties: "Tomorrow we begin negotiating for their lunch money."]

(High squeaky voice): No comment.

Murdoch Hacked Us Too

A 'must read' by Daddy Frank on Murdoch, the New York Post, and News Corp's shady dealings on this side of the pond. All the usual suspects and more. Links at site.

[...] You must know something about Rupert Murdoch, I said, feeling quite upbeat about our white knight from Down Under. Jane would have none of it. “He’s bloody why I left Australia!” she replied.

The wholesale buying of elected officials is such a staple at Fox News we don’t think twice about it anymore. [...]

If Murdoch is to be undone in America, as in England, it won’t be politicians who take the lead. It will take aggressive journalism, law enforcement, and civil actions to force jettisoned News Corp. executives to sing. [...]

Which is to say, it will take a lot of heavy lifting to overturn all the rocks under which Murdoch’s secrets are buried. As in Watergate, the process of discovery will ebb and flow for months and possibly years: A 26-month interval separated the arrest of the low-level burglars trying to bug the Democratic National Committee headquarters and Nixon’s resignation. The most important first step down this road will be for Americans to fully recognize that what happened at News of the World was no isolated virus but part of a larger culture that didn’t remain quarantined on the other side of the ocean. Once that realization sinks in, it can only hasten the day when the long national nightmare of the Murdochization of America, now well into its fourth decade, will be over.

Pops tamps Murdoch's shit into a nice neat felonious brick. Do not miss this.


From RawReplay:

Quote of the Day

Perfesser Krugman:


Third, the idea that a temporary disruption would permanently damage faith in US institutions now seems moot; if you haven’t already lost faith in US institutions, you’re not paying attention.


Heading up to Harry's to service the Mrs.' car. Later ...

The crux of the biscuit ...


This is the key point that most commentators, and virtually all politicians, seem to overlook. Never mind the deal's content--as horrible as it appears to be--the simple fact that Republicans have been successful in extorting such concessions from the Democrats, who lest we forget, still form a majority in government, constitutes a catastrophic failure of democratic governance. [my em]


Some call it extortion, I call it treason.

So tell me ...

Why we're still wasting our soldiers' lives, and a whole buncha our money, trying to bring this shithole into the 21st Century?


This month, a group of men spotted the couple riding together in a car, yanked them into the road and began to interrogate the boy and girl. Why were they together? What right had they? An angry crowd of 300 surged around them, calling them adulterers and demanding that they be stoned to death or hanged.

When security forces swooped in and rescued the couple, the mob’s anger exploded. They overwhelmed the local police, set fire to cars and stormed a police station six miles from the center of Herat, raising questions about the strength of law in a corner of western Afghanistan and in one of the first cities that has made the formal transition to Afghan-led security.

The riot, which lasted for hours, ended with one man dead, a police station charred and the two teenagers, Halima Mohammedi and her boyfriend, Rafi Mohammed, confined to juvenile prison. Officially, their fates lie in the hands of an unsteady legal system. But they face harsher judgments of family and community.


If they get out, their families will kill them anyway (if they're not killed while in confinement).

Like I've said many times before; there should never have been a single American boot on the ground in Afghanistan after September 11. We should have carpet bombed them for 6 months, kill a half million or a million of them, and then left a note advising them that if they harbored any more terrorists, we'd come back and kill the rest of them.

It's time for the American people to realize that war isn't about "nation-building", it's about vengeance. It's about destroying your enemy's ability to attack you anymore, not "winning hearts and minds". Let the UN mop up the mess after we're done making our point.

These people have no clue and if we stay 50 years, nothing's gonna change. Democracy comes from within and the Afghans don't have the will, nor do they even understand the concept. We certainly can't impose it on them with a puppet in Kabul and tons of cash. Loyalty there lasts as long as the money does and as soon as we leave, they're gonna go right back to what they've done for the last 1500 years. People have to want a democratic, civilized nation and the Afghans have proved, over and over again over the past decade, that they don't.

It's time to bring our people home now and let the Afghans kill each other, riot in the streets, and fuck their children and goats. We supposedly can't afford to take care of our senior citizens or our poor, yet we continue to dump money (by the billions) into that horrible place.

Fuck them.


And as far as Pakistan goes, it's time to bomb their nuclear arsenal into subatomic particles and cut them loose too. We can't afford it.

Good thing ...

The FBI is wasting time on a 40 year old cold case instead of, say, chasing after our modern day corporate criminals.

SEATTLE — The FBI’s “promising lead” in the D.B. Cooper hijacking case has led to a man who died about 10 years ago, an FBI spokesman said Monday.

Special Agent Fred Gutt said the bureau’s Seattle office has been investigating for more than a year a lead that has "more credibility and detail" than other tips regarding the unsolved hijacking of a Seattle-bound flight on Thanksgiving Eve 1971.

Gutt declined to identify the man, who died of natural causes.


Yet the people who flushed our banking and investment system down the tubes still walk free. Gotta love the priorities of the Obama administration.

Great thanks to They Gave Us A Republic for the link.

Good for us ...

The owner of the New York Islanders hockey team threatened to move the team out of New York if the people of Long Island didn't build him a new arena to the tune of $400 million. This in a place that already has some of the highest property taxes in the country. The referendum was yesterday and the message was given. "See yas!":

Voters in a suburban New York community already paying some of the highest property taxes in the country overwhelmingly rejected a referendum Monday to borrow $400 million for the construction of a new hockey arena and ballpark.

With 99 percent of the vote counted, the referendum failed 56 percent to 43 percent, according to unofficial returns from the Nassau County Board of Elections.

Supporters of the referendum called it a last-ditch effort to keep the New York Islanders playing in the Nassau Coliseum. The team's lease expires in 2015 and the hockey team's owner, Charles Wang, has hinted he may have to move off the team off Long Island unless a new facility is built to replace the 39-year-old building.


Don't let the door hit ya in the ass.

And a note: You know he ain't moving the Islanders out of the biggest sports market in the country. Let's see him get the same ticket prices and TV deals in Frozen Butt, Saskatchewan or some shit.

The one good thing ...

That came out of this debt ceiling mess. It was great to see Gabby on the House Floor:

WASHINGTON — The total number of votes on the historic debt-limit bill was 430. One vote was more memorable than any of the others.

Seven months after she was shot in the head, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords returned to the House on Monday to cast her vote. Thunderous applause and emotional hugs from her Republican and Democratic colleagues greeted her.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Another Take

Josh Marshall

From TPM Reader RW ...

Let me get this straight. The President kept revenues on the table, did not touch the sunset provisions in the Bush tax cuts, ensured that military cuts keep the GOP honest, protected Medicare by adding in only provider cuts in the trigger, made the reduction apparently enough to stave off a debt downgrade, got the debt ceiling raised, wounded Boehner by demonstrating to the world that he is controlled by the Tea Party caucus, took out the requirement that a BBA be passed and sent to the states and got the extension through 2012? What exactly is wrong with this deal?

The fact that there are cuts? If people don't like that, why in God's name didn't they turn out to vote and bring back our Congressional majority? Once these nut jobs were in there, it was inevitable that this crap was going to happen. Whether or not it is advisable to cut spending, what exactly was going to stop this from happening? My experience is that the primary factor in all negotiations are the facts on the ground. The complaints center on a ridiculous notion that if the President had only said "no" harder, that these guys would have caved in. This isn't negotiating over who gets the side of the bed near the A/C. This is a complex matter involving 3,000 members and staffers. Negotiations in these situations don't work like this. That's why I'm irked by the constant parade of people comparing the negotiations to movies and card games. These comparisons obscure more than they reveal.

The GOP came out of this looking unreasonable--I've been getting E-mail messages from friends saying they are back with the Democrats because the Tea Party is "destroying this country." Nate Silver tweeted last week that local conservative talk radio in Kansas was filled with callers attacking the Tea Party! The Wall Street Journal ran two editorials which called the GOP delusional and "childish." The vaunted GOP message discipline broke down--I read stories all over the "inside baseball" papers here in DC where GOP House members went on the record after the Friday vote wondering out loud if the party had been damaged! I don't know if you noticed, but John Boehner spent last week negotiating with himself. No new proposals came out from the Dem side, but he produced two proposals, one of which he had to pull after he didn't have votes. A congressional Dem staffer told me his dad, an urban Catholic who voted for Nixon over Kennedy and has always voted Republican suddenly thinks the GOP is out to lunch and supports the President.

Hey, we all hate the pain, but this is an ongoing process. They are going to try this again with a government shutdown. When that happens, I'm pretty sure that the country will be resoundingly against a repeat of these types of hijinks.

All that said, the "deal" hasn't been voted on yet.

All you need to know ...

About this debt ceiling deal:

Grover Norquist Backs The New Debt Deal

Fundies in charge of the nukes

In Pakistan? Sure, and closer to home as well. Fucking swell.


The Air Force, in response to an exclusive report published by Truthout earlier this week, has withdrawn materials used in a training session that relied upon passages from the New and Old Testament and a quote from an ex-Nazi SS officer to teach missile officers about the morals and ethics of launching nuclear weapons.

From the link in the quote:

A senior Air Force Space and Missile officer who reviewed the materials, said the teachings are "an outrage of the highest order."

"No way in hell should this have been presented as a mandatory briefing to ALL in the basic missiles class," the officer, who requested anonymity, said in an email. "It presumes ALL missile officers are religious and specifically in need of CHRISTIAN justification for their service.

A no-brainer 'no shit'. It is noteworthy that an officer who tells the truth has to be anonymous to protect himself from the fundie higher-ups.

Former Air Force Capt. Damon Bosetti, 27, who attended missile officer training in 2006 and was stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana, said he and his colleagues used to call the religious section of the ethics training the "Jesus loves nukes speech."

Weinstein said the combination of citing fundamentalist Christianity and a Nazi scientist as a way of explaining to missile officers why launching nuclear weapons is ethical is a new low for the Air Force.

"Leave it to the United States Air Force to find a way to dictate the 'ethical' value of nuclear war and it's inevitable role in the 'natural order' of humanity's existence, to it's missile launch officer trainees by merging unadulterated, fundamentalist Christian end times Armageddon doctrines with the tortured 'people who are guided by the bible endorsements of a former, leading Nazi SS official," Weinstein said.

From the top link:

"We are not going to commend the Air Force for doing something they should have done a quarter-century ago," Weinstein said. "It's an outrage and a deliberate attempt to torture and distort our constitution when the US Air Force mandatorily teaches its nuclear missile launch officers that fundamentalist Christian theology is inextricably intertwined with the 'correct' decision to launch nukes."

Son. Of. A. Bitch. One End Times-seeking christowhackjob with a wild hair up his ass could end it all with one finger.

Heads should roll over this. They won't.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Distillery to Make South Carolina’s First Legal Moonshine
Still operators call it a “job killer.”

Study: A Good Cry Doesn't Make You Feel Better
Or garner support from right wing of your party.

Merck to Cut 13,000 Jobs
Will retain only sales force and lobbyists.

Doughnut Bacon Burger Big Hit at New York State Fair
With New York State funeral directors.

Quote of the Day



I guess it is a "victory" so far as Obama is concerned as his wife and daughters were not given up in the deal.


So ...

According to what I hear on the news in the wee hours, it seems as if the powers-that-be have reached a deal on the debt ceiling. I got a suggestion for President Obama, once this bullshit deal is signed:

Direct the FBI to arrest the Republican leaders of the House and Senate on charges of treason for attempting to circumvent the constitutional budget and legislative processes.

This was treasonous and if the debt ceiling isn't raised it will do serious harm to the American people. They were perfectly willing to destroy our way of life and to me that deserves a bullet.

As for our spineless, nutless, self-serving President. Don't expect my vote next Election Day.


Via our pal Montag, Dr. Krugman:


It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away. And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.


Proud to be an American when our representatives are either losers or criminals.

And just a thought: I can't wait until this evening when Lawrence O'Donnell comes on and tells me what a genius the President is at playing 11-Dimensional Chess. I know a couple 3-Card Monte players who are just waiting for Obama to come down their street.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fox News Reports: Obama Starting to Wonder Why He Moved to U.S.

WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report) – According to the Fox News Channel, President Barack Obama is so weary of the debt ceiling stalemate in Congress that he is beginning to wonder why he moved to the United States in the first place.

Fox News anchor Shepard Smith broke the story today, reporting that "sources close to the President say he's increasingly nostalgic for the land of his birth."

"To someone like President Obama, this wrangling in Congress must seem very foreign," said Mr. Smith. "In Kenya, debt ceilings are raised automatically by the village elders, who then celebrate with a ceremonial feast of cabbage, mangoes and goat."

While Mr. Smith stopped short of saying that Mr. Obama planed to leave Washington and return to his native Kenya, "his birth certificate does allow him to return at any time he sees fit."

In other debt ceiling news, by unanimous vote the House of Representatives passed a bill raising Speaker of the House John Boehner's medication.

As for the debt ceiling negotiations, they are "right on schedule," according to the ancient Mayans.

No Banker Left Behind

Quote is from a different video version:

"No Banker Left Behind" is the opening track of Ry Cooder's 2011 album "Pull Up Some Dust and Sit Down," available as a free download when you pre-order the album at The album is out on August 30, 2011.

Thanks to biamaku, Spain.

Which one's Thelma and which one's Louise?

Unconfirmed Sources

Unconfirmed sources report that Republican leaders John Boehner and Eric Cantor are in stable condition this morning after a late night auto accident. The accident occurred when the vehicle, a classic convertible driven by Cantor, plunged into the Potomac after hitting the Debt Ceiling. The pair miraculously survived the crash, but they both received serious injuries to their credibility.

Hey, no credibility to begin with, no damage, but wreckin' a '60 T-Bird is inexcusable.

"They were really cooking," says night watchman Keith Barnes, who saw the whole thing. "They tried to pass the Debt Ceiling, but they didn't make it. The car hopped the sidewalk, hit a parking meter and went airborne. It was horrible to watch."

Actually, except for the grudgingly acceptable collateral damage to the T-Bird, I think it'd be FUN to watch.

Stop Outsourcing Security Act Introduced


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) today introduced legislation that would phase out private security contractors in war zones.

The legislation recognizes that the United States increasingly has relied on private contractors to wage our wars, wasting taxpayer money, damaging military morale and hurting our reputation around the world.

There are 155,000 contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan today, but only 145,000 uniformed service members.

[...] By some estimates, every position converted from a private contract to federal employment saves on average $44,000 per year.

Check my arithmetic, but that sounds like about $7B savings per year to get rid of mercs. Plus the bill gets rid of mercs, whom I detest.

Too bad this bill will be buried by merc lobbyists and won't go anywhere, but thanks anyway to Bernie and Jan.

Ah, Schadenfreude...

SC Tea Party Leaders Arrested For Selling Pirated Computer Software