Saturday, May 25, 2013

You Might Be A Conservative If…

Or "Irony Is Deader'n A Carp".

Addicting Info

1: You’re irate over the president taking so many vacation days on the taxpayer’s dime (61 thus far), but you thought George W. Bush earned every minute of his leisure time (196 days at the same point in his presidency).

2: You’re happy with your 40 hour work week, paid vacations and company-provided healthcare, but you’re strongly anti-union, because those commies haven’t done anything for you lately.

3: You strongly support the First Amendment and its guarantee of religious freedom to all, but you don’t think Muslims have a right to build an Islamic Community Center in Manhattan.

4: You believe Ronald Reagan was a devout Christian, even though he hated going to church, but any president who spends twenty years going to the same Trinity United Church in Chicago must be a Muslim.

5: You believe when a Republican governor creates a healthcare package with an individual mandate for everyone in his state, that’s a good idea. But when a Democratic president does it, suddenly it’s unconstitutional.

6: You’re so enthused about demonstrating your Second Amendment rights, you can think of no finer place to brandish your pistol in public than at a presidential rally.

7: You believe Bill Clinton was responsible for Osama bin Laden’s escape ten years ago, but thankfully George W. Bush caught up with him and killed him in Pakistan.

8: You believe in putting American jobs first, except when president Obama rescued 1.5 million GM and Chrysler autoworkers, because that was socialism.

9: It angers you that you can’t communicate with the Mexican busboy at your local Olive Garden, but when you took a vacation to San Francisco’s Chinatown, you thought it’s quaint that so many Chinese-Americans are holding fast to their traditional language. Because that’s America!

10: You deny that the lunatic who tried to murder Gaby Giffords was a conservative, even though he targeted a Jewish, pro-choice, pro gay rights, Democratic Congresswoman.

11: You thought it was perfectly normal that every president in history had an untethered right to raise the debt ceiling when warranted, but when Obama asked the GOP held congress to do it, you thought it only natural that it be tied to cutting Social Security and Medicare.

2: When the new 112th Congress was sworn in, you swooned as they promised to focus on “Jobs, jobs, jobs.” But when they pivoted, and went after NPR, Planned Parenthood and gay rights, you cheered.

13: You accuse president Obama of raising your taxes to the highest point ever, even though they’re lower today than at any time since 1950.

14: You believe the wealthiest Americans are “job creators,” and they are — but it doesn’t bother you that all the workers in those positions are in India, China and Malaysia, and they’re doing the jobs that our fathers once did.

15: You believe gays are anti-American, because their lifestyle is a threat to the children… unless they’re married to Tea Party-backed presidential candidates from Minnesota.

16: You strongly defend individual freedom, but that freedom doesn’t include a woman’s right to decide her own healthcare needs.

17: You believe corporations are people too, and are deserving of the same rights as the rest of us. Just not the same obligations to pay personal income tax free of corporate loopholes, or penalties for massive criminal behavior and tax evasion. In these matters, corporations are deserving of special rights.

18: And since corporations are now people too, you must believe in their right to a driver’s license, the right to marry, to adopt children, etc. These rights shall not be denied to Exxon, Halliburton and BP (but still immune from the right of the People to try, convict and sentence to death any corporation that conspires to commit a felony… because at that point, they’re suddenly not people again.)

19: You still believe Climate Change is a myth, and the recent record highs, lows, floods and droughts around the world coinciding with climate scientist’s predictions are all an amazing coincidence. Oh, and Al Gore is FAT!

20: You believe when George W. Bush took the national debt from $5 trillion to $11 trillion, it was necessary for him to do so to keep America safe. But when Barack Obama added to it by trying to rescue the country from a second Great Depression, he was deliberately trying to destroy America!

21: You believe America is a God fearing country, and that the Almighty protects those who believe just as you do. But it’s never crossed your mind that the majority of tornados, hurricanes and floods all occur in the Bible Belt.

22: You believe that no matter who’s in the White House, the office, if not the man himself is deserving of your respect. The only exceptions to this rule, are if his middle name sounds Muslim, and if he’s not at least as white as that black guy who works down in the mailroom at the office.

Saturday Emmylou Blogging

Published on May 19, 2013
Very beautiful show by Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell & band @ Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn. Enjoy ;-)

Ashes By Now
Thanks to ArnolddeWijs, Netherlands (?).

Friday, May 24, 2013

The good ol' U.S. of P.!

The map according to the Tinfoil Hat Brigade.

Click to embiggen
A tip o' the Brain to Anti-Republican Crusaders.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Nuttin', Honey...

Not much going on today that's poppin' my cork. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Revenge of the Reality-Based Community

Good and very long article by Bruce Bartlett, believe it or not!

My life on the Republican right—and how I saw it all go wrong.
Lights on in yer head, dipshit - better late than never.

Interestingly, a couple of days after the Suskind article appeared, I happened to be at a reception for some right-wing organization that many of my think tank friends were also attending. I assumed I would get a lot of grief for my comments in the Suskind article and was surprised when there was none at all.

Finally, I started asking people about it. Not one person had read it or cared in the slightest what the New York Times had to say about anything. They all viewed it as having as much credibility as Pravda and a similar political philosophy as well. Some were indignant that I would even suspect them of reading a left-wing rag such as the New York Times.

I was flabbergasted. Until that moment I had not realized how closed the right-wing mind had become. Even assuming that my friends’ view of the Times’ philosophy was correct, which it most certainly was not, why would they not want to know what their enemy was thinking? This was my first exposure to what has been called “epistemic closure” among conservatives—living in their own bubble where nonsensical ideas circulate with no contradiction.

My book, Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy, was published in February 2006. I had been summarily fired by the think tank I worked for back in October 2005. Although the book was then only in manuscript, my boss falsely claimed that it was already costing the organization contributions. He never detailed, nor has anyone, any factual or analytical error in the book.

Among the interesting reactions to my book is that I was banned from Fox News. My publicist was told that orders had come down from on high that it was to receive no publicity whatsoever, not even attacks. Whoever gave that order was smart; attacks from the right would have sold books. Being ignored was poison for sales.

I later learned that the order to ignore me extended throughout Rupert Murdoch’s empire. For example, I stopped being quoted in the Wall Street Journal.* Awhile back, a reporter who left the Journal confirmed to me that the paper had given her orders not to mention me. Other dissident conservatives, such as David Frum and Andrew Sullivan, have told me that they are banned from Fox as well. More epistemic closure.
Reagan's "legacy" needed to be "betrayed" for the good of the country, of course, but not the way Bush did it. Going against the Repug party line, however correctly, gets you an iceberg. And the icebergs are shrinking.

For the record, no one has been more correct in his analysis and prescriptions for the economy’s problems than Paul Krugman. The blind hatred for him on the right simply pushed me further away from my old allies and comrades.

The final line for me to cross in complete alienation from the right was my recognition that Obama is not a leftist. In fact, he’s barely a liberal—and only because the political spectrum has moved so far to the right that moderate Republicans from the past are now considered hardcore leftists by right-wing standards today. Viewed in historical context, I see Obama as actually being on the center-right.

At this point, I lost every last friend I had on the right. Some have been known to pass me in silence at the supermarket or even to cross the street when they see me coming. People who were as close to me as brothers and sisters have disowned me.

I think they believe they are just disciplining me, hoping I will admit error and ask for forgiveness. They clearly don’t know me very well. My attitude is that anyone who puts politics above friendship is not someone I care to have in my life.
They weren't your friends. More like Kool-aid drinking buddies.

So here we are, post-election 2012. All the stupidity and closed-mindedness that right-wingers have displayed over the last 10 years has come back to haunt them. It is now widely understood that the nation may be center-left after all, not center-right as conservatives thought. Overwhelming losses by Republicans to all the nation’s nonwhite voters have created a Democratic coalition that will govern the nation for the foreseeable future.

Tellingly, a key reason for Obama’s victory, according to exit polls, is none other than George W. Bush, whom 60 percent of voters primarily blame for the nation’s economic woes—an extraordinary fact when he has been out of office for four years. Even though they didn’t read my Impostor book, voters still absorbed its message.
Your book?! Din't need no steenkin' book! That Bush fucked the joint up big-time was obvious to the most casual observer if his head was even slightly connected to reality. Ego, yeesh.

At least a few conservatives now recognize that Republicans suffer for epistemic closure. They were genuinely shocked at Romney’s loss because they ignored every poll not produced by a right-wing pollster such as Rasmussen or approved by right-wing pundits such as the perpetually wrong Dick Morris. Living in the Fox News cocoon, most Republicans had no clue that they were losing or that their ideas were both stupid and politically unpopular.

I am disinclined to think that Republicans are yet ready for a serious questioning of their philosophy or strategy. They comfort themselves with the fact that they held the House (due to gerrymandering) and think that just improving their get-out-the-vote system and throwing a few bones to the Latino community will fix their problem. There appears to be no recognition that their defects are far, far deeper and will require serious introspection and rethinking of how Republicans can win going forward. The alternative is permanent loss of the White House and probably the Senate as well, which means they can only temporarily block Democratic initiatives and never advance their own.
"Permanent loss of the White House." Geez, he says that like it's a bad thing! Bwafuckinhahahaha!

Mr. Bartlett saw the light for all the wrong reasons, but at least he's seen it.

Choking on the Benghazi Smoke Screen

Will Durst

After flogging the issue nonstop since September 11, the Fox News Team's persistence finally pushed the story of the Libyan Embassy riot that resulted in the death of 4 Americans over the cliff into the public consciousness. Space available only because both Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty are on hiatus.

The hue and cry from the right is demanding many questions be answered. Was the protest planned or spontaneous? Did the group that initiated the attack have any affiliation with Arab terrorists? Who altered the talking points; the CIA or the State Department? Where were the drones? Queens? Wasps? Chigger mites? How many angels can dance on the head of a bent and broken Romney/ Ryan pin? What would Cheney do?

Having taken all this in, the American people responded with what can only be characterized as even more penetrating questions such as: "Who cares? What difference does it make? Aren't we stuffed to the gills with enough partisan gobbledy goop already? Does anyone really give an albino rat's ass? Isn't there a seafood buffet around here somewhere?"

Haven't we been told for the last twenty, thirty years that Libya is a godless pit of iniquity and now they want us to heap truckloads of blame onto our own guys because someone got killed over there? After they themselves voted down additional money for embassy security? Another example of that whole "dynamite the front steps then complain what a pain it is to climb into the house on a rope ladder" school of logic.

But the GOP remains convinced they have the administration on the run, and is calling for all sorts of investigative committees and dedicated inquiry boards and pretty soon it will be special prosecutors and court rooms full of hopping kangaroos and then pointy sticks and barbed wire and dungeon doors with keys specifically designed to be thrown away. Just in time for the midterms.

And if everything goes according to plan, Hillary Clinton and her nascent 2016 Presidential run will wither and rot behind the same Benghazi charges. But the Republicans must know how tricky this sort of maneuver can be. As with all smoke screens, you have to pay real close attention to which way the wind blows, or you could easily end up choking on the same stuff you're spreading.
When it comes to Repugs, where there's smoke, there's mirrors. I hope they choke on broken glass. On Hillary's Inauguration Day. Heh.

EMFs and whiskey and wild, wild women!

If it's Wednesday it must be Morford on the title subjects except for the booze and babes...

I am not making this up. Behold, yet another fascinating study, published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, where researchers tested nearly exactly what I describe above: A powerful new WiFi antenna, placed on subjects’ heads to see how well it worked and what, if any, ill effects might result.

Can you guess? How many subjects felt hot, dizzy, sickened, even so incapacitated by this strong and experimental WiFi they couldn’t even walk?

Answer: More than half. More than half.

The catch, of course, was there was no WiFi signal; the antenna was a fake. The participants were in no actual danger whatsoever, save for that generated by their own minds, their own expectations, their innate conditionings and fears.

This effect has a name: it’s called the nocebo effect, the “evil twin” of the placebo effect, defined as “the power of our conviction to cause real physical illness.” Sound familiar? Truly, it takes little common sense and merely a glimpse at the totality of the human experiment – along with many other easily available studies – to see the overarching pattern, to understand the nocebo effect to be exceedingly true not merely for technology, but also for food, love, religion, health, fate and much of human life overall.

Conviction creates reality. Energy flows where attention goes. And some people just can’t take it, not one little bit. So they move far, far away.
The "far, far away" link is very interesting and has nothing to do with Shrek's in-laws. Heh.

Let us expand a little. Let us widen the lens to suggest the nocebo effect is perhaps one of the most slippery and dangerous in all of humanity, our convictions about a thousand of life’s supposed daggers, which might also only be feathers, which also might just be nothing at all but nagging phantasms, hollow bogeymen, strange and yappy illusions containing zero actual truth.
I think he must be talking about Republican-land. No wonder they wear tinfoil hats!

There's more.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Light blogging today

Usual bullshit. Yawn. Just go read this:

Dear Conservatives: Fuck Your Delicate Sensibilities

And if they're lucky, we'll find an orifice in their delicate sensibilities that hasn't been fucked yet, but I doubt it.


It dawned on me while I was in "thinking position" this morning that their sensibilities are so delicate they probably get paper cuts from wiping corporate ass. On their tongues.

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Boyz From Misrata

I'm a huge Anthony Bourdain fan. His new show Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown is about the same format as his older shows on The Travel Channel - he goes, he eats, he talks to locals.

Last night's show on Libya is a must-see.

Libyan hip-hop, Italian restaurants, tribal allegiances and post-war uncertainty in Libya. Bourdain looks at the country through personal stories, food--and the music of anti-Qaddafi rapper expats who returned to fight.

The fountains across from the corniche are working, geysering water into the man-made lake outside the medina walls. Inside the old part of the city, kids are setting off fireworks, and the sharp reports echo through the narrow streets. It's the Prophet Mohammed's birthday tomorrow. Martyrs' Square is filled with families, skater boys, and hotshots on motorcycles. They're doing donuts and popping wheelies between exploding cherry bombs, Roman candles and bottle rockets. The mood is chaotic, exuberant.

If anything, the week I spent in Libya made me appreciate how difficult it must be to report hard news from places like this. The obstacles and the perils are enormous. And I came at it from a place of relative luxury. Unlike the many journalists who've reported for years from Iraq and Afghanistan, nobody is currently shooting in my direction. While Libya may be a "high risk environment," according to the security people, it is not a war zone. Simply put: Compared to the people who work in places like this for a living, my crew and I are pussies.

In Misrata, the site of a major battle in the revolution that overthrew Gadhafi, the young man and one woman who looked after us were, until recently, medical students, garage mechanics, truck drivers, shopkeepers. They'd been turned, in the space of a few months, into battle-hardened fighters and field medics, and they were incredible. They were proud, generous, funny as shit. They enjoy a barbecue by the beach just like you and me. They were welcoming and hospitable, just like the people I've met in Montana and Missouri, only younger and somehow sweeter. Those who fought against Gadhafi -- from whatever city, in whatever group -- seem to know and recognize each other on sight, even if they're total strangers.

If they speak English, they speak it with an American accent, as they've learned from television. They carry pistols and hand grenades and have AK-47s in their cars. When things go bad (as they did around the country a number of times while I was there), they look pained and embarrassed. They would say, heartbreakingly, "We have money. We have oil. We only want security. Peace. We want to be like everybody else. We want to be like Europe." As they're painfully aware, achieving that desire is not going to be smooth or easy. When I asked how long it would take, most shrugged and smiled and said, "Five years." Others, less optimistic, said, "Ten."

I wish them the very, very best.
So do I. I couldn't snag one for embed, but there are videos at the "Libya" link or links to the other episodes at the other link. Go.


Managed to snag this one by a heretofore unimagined back-door route! Hey, whatever works...

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Twitter Hate Speech Map Pinpoints Country's Racist, Homophobic Hotspots
And best places for ribs.

Obama Faces Numerous Scandals
All of which will taint his presidency to varying degrees but ultimately make him more popular than ever, just like Clinton.

Karl Rove is a social welfare organization.
About like herpes is.