Thursday, November 14, 2013

Obama to Nation: Keep Your Fuckin' Plans, You Stupid Cowards

Guess Whom

Instead of Barack Obama and the House GOP agreeing that the law is the law and making it function for Americans, we get the sight of Obama appearing before the press corps and saying, more or less, "Goddamn, I'm sick of you motherfuckers whining about your shitty ass health insurance getting canceled because your provider is just a bunch of sick, greedy dickheads who would murder you where you sit if it would squeeze one more cent of profit out of your useless bodies. You wanna cling to your high deductible, low benefit policy for another year because you're scared that the black man president might be right and all that Fox 'news' noise might be wrong? Fine. Fuck it. Kiss my ass and keep your shit plan. Don't come whining to me when it turns out that your insurer drops your sorry ass when you get too sick for it. You asked to be grandfathered in, so lick grandpa's balls and tell me how tasty they are now. Now, can we please talk about the fact that Republicans want to kick over 100,000 people who just got insurance off it?"
Ever so much more...

We knew that...

Daddy Frank

CBS’s Benghazi Report Was a Hoax, Not a Mistake

[...] n Logan’s case, she perpetrated an out-and-out fictional character: a pseudonymous security contractor who peddled a made-up “eyewitness” account of the murder of four Americans in Benghazi. The point seemed to be to further Benghazi as a conservative political cause (instead, Logan’s hoax boomeranged and extinguished it) and to melodramatically exploit the tragic slaughter of Ambassador Chris Stevens and his colleagues as titillating prime-time network entertainment. Logan’s phony source, who in fact was at a beachside villa and not on site to witness anything, cooked up violent new “details” for the Benghazi narrative that seemed to have been lifted from a Jean Claude Van Damme movie.

[...] (3) What was the relationship between Logan, her source, and the source’s publisher, which is also owned by CBS? Accounts of the 60 Minutes scandal keep referring to that publisher as Simon & Schuster, but that’s not strictly accurate. Logan’s source was not being published by the S&S that is bringing out Doris Kearns Goodwin’s new book on Teddy Roosevelt. His book was being published instead by an S&S subdivision, Threshold, whose authors include Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Mark Levin, Lynne Cheney, and Jerome Corsi, best known for promoting the Swift Boating of John Kerry and the birther conspiracies about Barack Obama. Why would Logan and CBS News be in bed with such a partisan publisher? Who was the editor who vetted the book containing the same hoax that Logan aired on 60 Minutes? (Threshold’s editor-in-chief is Mary Matalin.) (4) Logan said in her apology that it was “a mistake” to have included her source in her report. But as many have asked, what was the report without that source? Inquiring minds do want to know.
More. And farther along in the piece:

Excuse me for being a stickler on this point, but I see zero chance that Chris Christie could be nominated for president by the GOP unless the entire Republican convention is controlled by his unofficial campaign organization, MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The base of the GOP — the activist base that will actually vote in primaries and caucuses — loathes Christie and much of the squishy conservatism he stands for. He will fare no better with this base than Rudy Giuliani did, and Rudy at least had 9/11 at his back. In any case, your theoretical Clinton vs. Christie race would be all too predictable and tedious in style and substance, if not outcome. On the other hand Warren vs. Cruz, while also implausible, would be one hell of a ride. Or what about Rand Paul vs. Wendy Davis? Three years until Election Day, why not dream?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The High Cost of War for America’s Veterans

A 'recommended read' at Truthout.

We are a jingoistic nation, saluting the Armed Forces everywhere from Super Bowls to automobile dealerships. But this is an abstract commercial patriotism that makes us feel comfortable with ourselves while we down another beer during halftime. On the individual level, the military casualties almost have been forgotten except by their loved ones. Unfortunately, the reception for and treatment of these soldiers far too often fails them.

Men make war. (There's no getting around the fact that war is a guy thing.) Then they make a deal to stop shooting and withdraw. (The US once used to win wars, but now it just makes deals.) (my em)

We worry - if at all - about how vets are treated when they return because of our mistaken notion that Vietnam vets suffered mightily from not being greeted as heroes. What Vietnam veterans truly suffered from was not their reception, but the war. That fact we tend to forget. Consequently, we think we can resolve all the possible nasty consequences of war by waving flags at airports as troops return. The deeper problem is that none of these veterans of the wars of choice in Iraq and Afghanistan - not one of them - should ever have been sent to war. But without a draft that can potentially strike any family in the country, those who have no fear that a family member may be compelled to serve are free to ignore the whole political and public relations process by which leaders drag the country into war and carry it on. War can be left to a supposedly "all volunteer" standing army - those poor kids with no job options or a shot at college - which is precisely what the founding fathers warned against, believing that a standing army would be used by autocrats to destroy democracy. That volunteer army, of course, is shadowed by a larger privatized for-profit army of mercenary contractors. The standing army of the poor and patriotic is alienated from the general public and left at the mercy of the president. Our recent presidents and their cronies, who hold a nearly unblemished record of evading military service, have thrown kids into war with an enthusiasm undampened by any real knowledge of what war is, while the most influential segments of the general public, feeling both grateful and guilty that their kids are safe, make no effort to restrain those war-loving leaders.

MARK KARLIN: You ask in the book, "Could there be any connections between the size of those corporate profits and Washington's patriotic dedication to eternal wartime?" This profiteering involves the private contractors on the ground in our wars, consultants and those corporations that sell big ticket items to the Pentagon, doesn't it?

ANN JONES: Absolutely. But it goes well beyond that. In 2011, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont released a Defense Department study showing that at least 300 contractors providing goods and services to the DOD had committed fraud. They included major corporations such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and the big winner of the war in Iraq, Halliburton. But during ten years of warfare, the DOD had given to the top 37 fraudulent contractors alone some $1.1 trillion. The DOD got that money from Congress, and I'll let you guess the identity of the top contributors to the campaign funds of Congressmen. It's said that when President [Dwight] Eisenhower drafted his famous farewell speech to the nation, he wanted to warn citizens against a "military-industrial-congressional complex." Someone, perhaps a Congressman, persuaded him that the phrase would be catchier if he left out the word "Congressional," but Congressmen are surely in it now up to their ears. It's now next to impossible to get elected to government in this country if you oppose war because the money is on the other side. Even the Supreme Court, when it declared corporations to have the rights of people, helped mightily to facilitate that arrangement.
It's always about the Benjamins. Benjamins for the care of returning Veterans cuts into the Benjamins for the MIC.

War has been a racket for-fucking-ever, since one caveman figured out how to stay safe and make money by collecting rocks to sell to the others.

War Is A Racket

A speech delivered in 1933, by Major General Smedley Butler, USMC.

WAR is a racket. It always has been

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle? How many of them dug a trench? How many of them knew what it meant to go hungry in a rat-infested dug-out? How many of them spent sleepless, frightened nights, ducking shells and shrapnel and machine gun bullets? How many of them parried a bayonet thrust of an enemy? How many of them were wounded or killed in battle?
Go read the rest.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Headline and Lead-in of the Day

How Republicans Rig the Game

Through gerrymandering, voter suppression and legislative tricks, the GOP has managed to hold on to power while more and more Americans reject their candidates and their ideas

Monday, November 11, 2013

Headline of the Day

Good read.

How the Tea Party’s Apocalyptic Politics Are Destroying the Republican Party
Yo, 'baggers, speed it up, willya?

No thanks

Thank you for please not thanking me for my service on this Veterans Day. I don't need it and I don't want it. Instead, I think we should APOLOGIZE to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans, the living, wounded, and dead, for being so horribly used IN OUR NAME for NOTHING but an imperialistic neocon wet dream that has come to naught but a terrible butcher's bill.

George W. Bush really was trying to bring about the end of the world

Rachel Maddow

Friday night on her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow cast a critical eye toward former President George W. Bush’s decision to speak at the Messianic Bible Institute, the headquarters of the apocalyptic cult Jews for Jesus.

She compared what we know about Jews for Jesus with evidence of meetings held during the Bush presidency and said that one can only conclude that Bush was trying to bring about the Rapture and the apocalypse in order to hasten the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Apparently, Rapture-baiting, pro-apocalypse religious fanatics were holding sway over U.S. foreign policy before and during the War in Iraq, the War in Afghanistan and the rest of the Bush presidency. So it should come as no surprise that the former commander in chief is consorting with these groups in the wake of his presidency.

Maddow said that she can’t wait until the national archives takes control of the Bush Presidential Library, “and we’ll finally get an actual exhibit or a diorama about that part of the Bush foreign policy, where it wasn’t just an accident that we were almost bringing about the end of the world, it was the point!”

And from Booman:

Last year, Glenn Beck was the main attraction at the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute's annual fundraising banquet. This year, the guest of honor will be former President George W. Bush. That shows you about where President Bush stands on the speechmaking circuit.

There is something so right with the optics of this tiny group of nuts sitting around in Jerry Jones' gargantuan Cowboy cathedral, talking about converting Jews to Christianity while eating pork barbecue and waiting for Glenn Beck to speak.

It's something only Hunter S. Thompson could hope to adequately explain. Who but a person with a headful of amyl nitrite could possibly put into words the tentacled depth of deranged wrong-headed bug-nuttery involved in that scene?

It's right where Dubya belongs.

With his base.

The 27%.
The Dead End Quarter. I'm praying for The Rapture just so I can see the looks on the faces of all the phony christians who thought they were going to go and didn't. God, being a humanly concocted manifestation of the mystery of the universe, doesn't want the whackos either.

Oh, the irony...

Ironic Times

Bill Banning Discrimination Against Homosexuals Passes Senate
After an exception is made for those whose homophobia is inspired by religious faith.
Wouldn't surprise me.

Scalia Says “Of Course” He Believes in the Devil, Citing Bible as Evidence
Devil says “Of Course” he believes in Scalia, citing his vote on “Citizens United.”
Of course he believes in Scalia. He holds the paper on his soul.

Harley-Davidson Introduces Lighter, Smaller Models
For little old ladies who want to join motorcycle gangs.

Earth 7 Times More Vulnerable to Catastrophic Meteor Impacts Than Previously Thought
So you can relax about global warming.