Saturday, May 18, 2013

Maher: GOP has moved beyond obstruction to treason

Via Raw Story.

On Friday night’s edition of “Real Time with Bill Maher,” host Bill Maher and guests filmmaker Michael Moore, commentator S. E. Cupp and New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin discussed the obstructionist Republican Congress and its mission to take down the president by taking down the country. Moore opined that the Republican Party is a “squealing dinosaur” whose time has come.

I couldn't snag the video, so go watch.


Today's 'must read' at The Political Garbage Chute.

Okay, Tea Baggers, really. It’s time for you guys to fuck off out of American politics. You have gone over the backside of sanity, landed in a pile of stupidity and then topped it all off by playing in traffic. I could handle Benghazi. I could handle Fast and Furious. I could handle the IRS scandal. I could handle the AP tapping scandal. That being said…

When you start freaking the fuck out because the President had a Marine hold his umbrella at a press conference, you have proven yourself unfit for adult conversation.
They proved that long ago but this one is absolutely the most ridiculous reaction yet.

You are dumbing our country down. No one in their right mind has any business being upset about this, seriously. This is the kind of shit you should be embarrassed to grouse about, because it is so very, very inconsequential. In fact, it’s the kind of thing you only notice when your hatred for someone has made you blind with rage. It’s when you idiots harp about subjects like this that it becomes almost impossible not to assume some kind of racial element is at play. Otherwise, why would you care? Why would you waste your energy? Life here on this planet is short — and it could be even shorter now that we know carbon levels in our atmosphere are at extremely precarious levels to say the least — so why waste any of that time being angry about something that Marine probably felt honored to be asked to do?
That Marine was probably so glad he wasn't anywhere he could get blown to bits by disgruntled goat fuckers he would have gladly tickled Obama's ass with a feather.

I think I understand though why you decided to give a fuck about Umbrellagate. It’s because you know deep down that Benghazi was squashed and now may wind-up blowing up in the GOP’s face since they decided to doctor the White House emails. The IRS scandal will likely end up pushing the pendulum back towards sanity in campaign finance, and may even be used to justify a renewed push to overturn Citizens United. Already two of your pet scandals have been effectively put to rest — not that Grand Inquisitor Darrell Issa will get the memo, but somewhere inside your blackened hearts you know this to be the case. So it’s time for Rush, Hannity and Beck to tell you the next manufactured outrage you need to partake in.

As bad as our Bush Derangement Syndrome was, Obama Derangement Syndrome is a far more virulent strain, fed TO idiots BY idiots.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Published on May 16, 2013
Emmylou Harris, Merle Haggard & Willie Nelson Performing at the Grand Opening, from Dust to Dreams... Smith Center for the Performing Arts in Las Vegas.

Thanks to Flor Candela.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Tweedledick and Tweedlerum don't get to join the party

Jon Stewart calls out Rumsfeld and Cheney for daring to talk about Benghazi

Two videos. Here's one.

Appreciate the Little Things:

Eric Holder Pushes Louie Gohmert Into a Crazy Idiot Rage:

And it wasn't very hard to do! A moment of truth is all it took. Rep. Gomer (Idiot - Texass) couldn't handle that. The Rude Pundit. was gratifying to see him bitch slap arrogant numbnuts Rep. Darrell Issa at yesterday's House Judiciary Committee hearing. But one other confrontation from the bizarro hearing, which covered everything from pot legalization to Kermit Gosnell's crimes, will give you a little warmth on this cold fish of a week.

So it was that Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert, a shitkicker from one of the shitkickingest districts in Texas, started to question Holder. In case you are unaware of what a hilarious public figure he is, Gohmert looks like Jim Nabors' inbred cousin and sounds like Foghorn Leghorn trying to cough up a stray pubic hair. He also is one of the craziest sumbitches in the crazy-ass House Republican caucus, ready to believe anything Glenn Beck vomits into his brain.
I think technically Miss Becky vomits into the infinite void inside Gomer's Brain Housing Group but I'm not picky about details. Heh.

Holder started to speak to say that Gohmert was wrong when, his blood all het up by gettin' backsassed by a Negro, Gohmert jumped in, "You point out one thing that I pointed -- that I said that was not true." Gohmert had to have his cross-burning ass smacked down by committee chair Bob Goodlatte (which is just the most awesome name for a Republican), who told Gohmert to shut the fuck up and let Holder answer.

And then Holder pantsed Gohmert in front of everyone and pointed out what a tiny little dick and balls the Texan has: [...]

What followed can best be described as Gohmert going into an insulted idiot rage, screaming and slapping himself, crying that the Negro had gotten so uppity as to tell him he's wrong, while the other Republicans, including Issa, realized they had let him out of the cellar for too long and tried desperately to shut him up and get him back into the basement to sit in his rocker next to the radio that plays Rush Limbaugh's show. Holder's look of barely contained amusement is pretty fuckin' sweet. It climaxed with Gohmert saying, and this is as clear as can be in the video, "The attorney general will not cast aspersions on my asparagus." No, really. And so, his asparagus defended, he was done.

Then Holder kicked Gohmert in the stalk, stating for the record that Louie Gohmert is not nearly as important as Louie Gohmert thinks he is: [...]

The punchline? Gohmert has posted the exchange on the front of his House website. He's proud of what he did. And you can bet his constituents are, too.
Geebus, the guy's so fucking dumb he doesn't know when he's had his ass handed to him and he's proud of it! He knows who votes for him, though. So do we. Yeesh.

There's a link to Gomer's site if you must, but not here.

Of Benghazi & Blowjobs

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Headline of the Day That Says It All

Ex-IRS Director: Tea Party Groups Deserved Scrutiny, But IRS Bungled the Job

How the Benghazi “Conspiracy” Turned Into an Epic Republican Failure

Manny Schewitz. Heh.

Does anyone else see this strategy coming from President Obama and this administration? Surely by now they’ve figured out from their own experiences (and from the Clinton era) that the only thing House Republicans want to do with a Democrat in office is to launch investigation after investigation, hoping to find something impeachable. Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, Obama’s birth certificate, Benghazi and now the IRS, these are all things they’ve tried desperately to remove a president for, and miserably failed.

If President Obama is half as smart as I think he is, then I’m pretty sure he’s come to realize that through gerrymandering and right wing ideologues controlling primaries, he’s dealing with possibly the greatest collection of nincompoops in the history of American politics. They’re ruthless, but they’re also so eager to destroy him, they’ve become the Wile E. Coyote of Congressional investigations. He also knows that other than pushing for another tax cut for the rich or attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act yet again, they’re not going to do anything else before Boehner and the rest head off for happy hour or another vacation.
Yeah, keeping Orange Boner from Happy Hour is cruel and unusual punishment. Suffer, bitch.

So when you’re faced with a Congress that has nothing but utter hatred and contempt for you and a Senate that is hamstrung by procedural filibusters, what would you do if you were President? I don’t know about you, but what Obama seems to have been doing with every overblown controversy the GOP has dug up — that’s what I would do. Whether it was his birth certificate or Benghazi, or anything else, he’s let them go on and on, patiently letting the facts come out and watching Republicans lose all credibility. It’s like the poker equivalent of flopping a royal flush and playing your hand to perfection to take the maximum number of chips possible.

For example, knowing that Darrell Issa and the rest of the House GOP were working with flawed documents and then allowing them to go this far without correcting it in the beginning, that’s an epic troll on Obama’s part. He’s learned that everything he proposes, they will oppose, and vice versa. So long as the GOP is in charge, he’s going to get very little done other than watch them make fools of themselves in front of the American public. It’s really a no-lose situation. They aren’t going to work with him under any normal circumstances and the more he leads them on, the more they prove to voters how absolutely petty and partisan they are.

[...] Kudos to President Obama for seeing the forest for the trees and letting the GOP’s ridiculous conspiracies be their downfall.
To my description of Obama as my Stealth Ninja Jedi Prez, add Ju-jitsu Master. :-)

The Batty Battalion

Will Durst

You do realize that Washington DC is not the real world, don’t you? It’s a state of mind. An altered state of mind. Where you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Slammed when you stand and rammed when you run. Berated if you lie and lambasted for the truth. Where even the slightest of breeze can carry the pollen of disaster. And the pack on top knows the best way to avoid getting a face full of disaster pollen is to spread the dried residue of other exquisite catastrophes first. Ream or be reamed.

And as far as DC stories go, a lack of misfortunes is no good reason not to speak of them. So now the Washington punditry has banded together to float the notion that President Obama’s second term agenda has stalled. That he’s such a lame duck the presidential limousine should be sporting a blue placard hanging from the rear view mirror. Best thing to do is to burrow deep and lie low. Give up and crawl into the overhead compartment of Air Force One and eat marzipan in the dark.

It takes a special kind of degenerative myopia to craft these precocious accusations. First off, you need to be blind as an Oedipal bat to ignore the exhaustingly recalcitrant House Majority, including leader John Boehner, who would rather be seen washing skid mark undies in a Congressional hallway water fountain, than work with the President.

To fail to witness the GOP defy the will of 90% of America while appeasing their NRA overlords, your sunglasses must be cut from slabs of granite. Wearing your hoodie on backwards to not be aware that both sides of the aisle are concerned with one thing and one thing only: re- election. Suffer from tertiary retinal jam not to notice you’re jumping on a bandwagon so flimsy a lighting moth would crash through the floorboards.

And since we’ve agreed his Presidency is over, why stop there? Since the number one GOP strategy since January of 93 has been to deny any Democratic President even the tiniest of victories, this might be an unimpeachable time to preemptively besmirch Hillary Clinton’s upcoming first term as an unmitigated calamity and complete and utter failure. Unless you’re into self- fulfilling prophecies.

Your tremor du jour

If it's Wednesday it must be Morford on rhe scanda/outrage/bullshit du jour.

Such a dicey and delusional species are we. Such masters of self-deception, of bizarre equivocation, cherry picking our tragedies and our collective neurosis as we are told by the warped media, nasty politicos, hate-radio pundits and marketers of all kinds just which thugs and demons we should fear most, and which merely exist somewhere in blighted, faraway neighborhood you need not care about.

What’s your tremor du jour, citizen? Hooligans with guns? A twitchy NRA with even more guns? Chechen morons with unregistered cookware? The IRS?

Do you know who’s laughing hardest about the current IRS microscandal? Exxon. Apple. Microsoft. Monsanto. Genentech. All those giants of industry that escape billions in taxes by way of various loopholes, exemptions, armies of expensive tax attorneys. Carry on, rich people – go get richer. It’s OK, no one’s looking.

The worst part of this little IRS scandal? Nope, not that Obama is having another Worst Week Ever. It’s that the Tea Party is suddenly back in the national spotlight, all righteous and spittle-flecked, full of its usual inbred nonsense, when it was all but dead a week ago. Worse still: If the GOP has its way, we’ll be hearing the Tea Party’s nasally shriek through the 2016 elections. Thanks, IRS.
Yeah, thanks a great steaming pile.

...we can always find the gems among the grime, the rainbow amidst the ugly political thunderstorm.

Look, there’s another one right now, beaming bright over Minnesota, which just became the 12th state in the union to approve gay marriage. Can you believe it? Is it not a thing?

Minnesota is, of course, also home to the Tea Party’s twitchiest nutball, its most flagrantly insane hood ornament, one Rep. Michele Bachmann, a goofy homophobe of epic proportions who once dragged a squadron of conservative “prayer warriors” into senate chambers to ask God to help smite the evil gays.

And lo, it would appear God has finally responded to Michele Bachmann, and the nation’s right-wing homophobes in general. Can you see it? Why, it looks like a very large, very bright, very unmistakable… middle finger.
That's my default position when it comes to wingnuts. It's spring-loaded to the pissed-off position.

Much more. Go read.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Headline of the Day

RNC Hispanic Outreach Director Becomes A Democrat
Heh. The vato gets it. Also debunks the right-wing racist "Spics are stoopid" claim.

"Social Welfare" My Ass

Wall Street On Parade

It’s High Time the IRS Investigates the Funding of the Tea Party
Amen to that!

For years now, journalists have been doing the heavy lifting in investigations of Charles and David Koch using their billionaire status to fund faux grassroots groups to push their far right agenda on the country — an agenda that effectively boils down to deregulation of corporations to the detriment of the working class, the environment and wealth equality in America. It’s about time the IRS investigated.

In April 2010, Koch Industries issued a statement denying involvement in the creation of the Tea Party movement: “…no funding has been provided by Koch companies, the Koch foundations, Charles Koch or David Koch specifically to support the Tea Parties.” Technically, they might be correct; the Kochs funded Americans for Prosperity (AFP) which then created the Tea Party groups.

The money shot:

The debate right now should not be the ethics of the IRS investigating Tea Party groups – the debate should be why the U.S. Department of Justice has not brought any criminal prosecutions.
No shit. Go read this.

Monday, May 13, 2013

World War II’s Strangest Battle

I hadn't heard of this. Book review at The Daily Beast. Verrrrrrry interesting...

The most extraordinary things about this truly incredible tale of World War II are that it hasn’t been told before in English, and that it hasn’t already been made into a blockbuster Hollywood movie. Here are the basic facts: on 5 May 1945—five days after Hitler’s suicide—three Sherman tanks from the 23rd Tank Battalion of the U.S. 12th Armored Division under the command of Capt. John C. ‘Jack’ Lee Jr., liberated an Austrian castle called Schloss Itter in the Tyrol, a special prison that housed various French VIPs, including the ex-prime ministers Paul Reynaud and Eduard Daladier and former commanders-in-chief Generals Maxime Weygand and Paul Gamelin, amongst several others. Yet when the units of the veteran 17th Waffen-SS Panzer Grenadier Division arrived to recapture the castle and execute the prisoners, Lee’s beleaguered and outnumbered men were joined by anti-Nazi German soldiers of the Wehrmacht, as well as some of the extremely feisty wives and girlfriends of the (needless-to-say hitherto bickering) French VIPs, and together they fought off some of the best crack troops of the Third Reich. Steven Spielberg, how did you miss this story?
Much, much more! Go read!

Headline of the Day

Afghan marathon: US troops 'passing the baton to mercenaries' ahead of 2014 withdrawal

Bottom line:

In any case, experts agree, the US paid contractors will stay in Afghanistan for many years to come.
Well of course they will. Yeesh.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Grover Norquist issues fatwas.

Disney Ends Bid to Trademark “Dia de los Muertos”
Still trying for Bastille Day, Oktoberfest.
Why not the 4th of July and Marine Corps Birthday too? Corporate greed unchained. Yeesh.

Ground-Controlled Plane Flies Pilotless Nearly 500 Miles
Landmark flight cut short when passengers find out.
Now that's funny! Over time, the passengers will get used to it. I just hope the guy with the Xbox controller isn't controlling flights from a saloon!

Study: College Degree Doesn't Always Pay Off
But Ph.D.s in Art History have found good jobs on front lines of fast food industry.
Want Belgian fries with that?

Shorter: Money, Honey

Why the Government and Drug Cartels Don’t Want Legalization

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Ask an Afghan about the future of Afghanistan?!

Geez, what a novel concept! Excellent article by Greg Palast.

"Now that the sonovabitch is dead, why is the US still angry with us?"

"Us", in this conversation, are the Taliban. The SOB in question is Osama bin Laden.

The Taliban’s frustration was relayed to me by Yahya Maroofi, Counsellor to Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai – Karzai's Kissinger, if Kissinger had a soul.

The Silk Road nation of Kazakhstan is an excellent place to encounter the dervishes of the Great Game for control of the camel-and-pipeline routes of the Central Asian steppes. Here we can witness the diplomatic-military idiocies of new empires pathetically attempting to ignore the dried skeletons of the imperial forces that went before them.

Maroofi was spending the day in Kazakhstan’s capital on his way to little-noticed peace negotiations – little noticed because neither Uncle Sam nor Great-Uncle Britain were invited. Attendance is limited to those frontline states that will be left holding the grenade when the US and UK pull out the pin with the removal of their troops in 2014. The lineup includes Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan (birthplace of the Boston Bombers) and the big new swinging dick on the block, Turkey, as well as Iran, the nation most feared and despised by the Taliban. The unannounced guests, of course, are the Taliban themselves....

However, it is the hope of most Afghans, and the goal of the Karzai government, not to kill Taliban, but to bring them into the government.

Or, as Maroofi explains, to recognise publicly that “the Taliban are already in the government, in the Parliament, in control of governorships” – but not openly. The talks among the frontline nations are to bring the Taliban back to its roots as a political organisation, not an armed insurgency.

Chinese state companies are today lining up in Kabul with shovels and signing bonuses. Maroofi likes Chinese companies – they're more likely to provide jobs than baksheesh. Unlike Western companies.

Baksheesh. Bribes. Corruption. It was this topic that set Maroofi on a long rip. Yes, Afghans have been showered with billions in bribes, backhanders and corrupt deals, but who's paying those bribes? Who's doing the corrupting?

“Karzai told Lockheed [Lockheed Martin, the defence technology company], ‘You give hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts to my family and to my minister’s families because you expect to buy influence. You’re not getting influence, and you’re not getting your money back, either.'”

Right now, the Taliban are ready – if reluctantly – for the peace deal, in order to get a piece of the resource action. And they're astonished that, with that sonovabitch Osama dead, the US still holds a grudge.

Why? Face it: if Karzai can end the war, then the winner of the Great Game is… China. After all, the US has almost all the ore it needs under the States or within easy grabbing distance from Canada and Latin America. And unlike China, desperate for those gas pipelines from Kyrgyzstan and oil lines from the Caspian, the US has fracked natural gas and oil coming out its arse. Indeed, unleashing Afghanistan’s resource riches will only crash the price of commodity reserves held by US companies.

Afghanistan’s peace is China’s economic life-line and America’s commodity price recession.
The last ¶ is the money shot:

General Joe is not worried. “You can accuse me of being an optimist and I’ll plead guilty,” that Afghanistan is set for war without end. For US corporations, that means a profit centre without end, because even after US troops go, the military-industrial gravy train – boarded by contractors, special ops mercenaries, “development” agencies and their fixers – will continue to roll.
General Joe might not know a Tajik from a camel fart, but he knows who he works for. Much, much more. Worth a read.