Friday, December 30, 2011

Court okays Bush's telecom spying

So a federal appeals court has upheld immunity for the telecoms -- among them, AT&T and Verizon -- that helped the Bush administration spy on U.S. citizens without a warrant.

I guess it's still true what Nixon said: "When the President does it, that means it's not illegal."

Which, I guess, excuses Obama's administration too, right? After all, no one seems in any hurry to bring charges of murder for the civilians killed by our drone strikes in Pakistan; just like no one prosecuted Darth Cheney and Chimpy for the Iraqi civilians killed in that debacle.

I know I'll sleep better at night knowing that what Nixon (of all people) said is still true today.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's a party! It's a lark!

Come on along, kids! It's not too
late to whore for more publicity!

Hey, it's "still not too late for folks to jump in" to the presidential race, according to Mooselini Failin'.

It's staggering to see the flippancy with which she regards the office of the presidency of the United States -- as though it's a club or a field trip.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's final: I'm writing in Kucinich

Whether it's ordering drone attacks all over the Middle East and Pakistan and killing indiscriminately, or sending death squads to kill bin Laden, or keeping an attorney general who's possibly been caught perjuring himself in front of Congress -- Obama is doing nothing to earn my vote.

I realize that he's had to fight an uphill battle to do anything to help the economy or any of us 99%ers, thanks to a determined repug strategy to defeat pretty much every little thing Obama wants to do. They just want to make him look bad and keep the power in their own hands; I understand that.

But he's doing plenty all on his own to make me feel like maybe we SHOULD let a repug take over. This whole troop withdrawal thing is nothing but smoke and mirrors; he'll pull the fighting men and women out and send in the "advisors" and the "trainers" and every other contractor who wants to earn mad money for risking life and limb and blowing away a few random Iraqis. There's no way the Pentagon lets go of their little toys in the Middle East.

God knows the repugs are not going to do any better, as they have no ideas and no consideration for anyone but themselves. Still, it's hard to see how things could get much worse, as I commented on I Can't Believe It's Not a Democracy after reading GMB's comment about letting the repugs take this shit over for a while and see how they like it.

This idea intrigued me; think how little Mittens or (oh gees) Herman Cain (as if) could do to right this ship. It couldn't be any worse than the little that Obama's done, thanks to the repugs blocking his every move, could it?

So while I had been thinking that I would have to hold my nose and vote Obama, I'm starting to wonder if maybe I should just write in Kucinich (aka "waste" my vote) and be done with it.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The ecstacy and the agony

With apologies to Irving Stone. But not to Charleton Heston, because he's a dick.
Though it's not a recent film, I only just watched Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you do; it's a sharp and insightful piece, and it reminded me of the beginnings of the financial crisis and how perfectly executed was the complete sellout of the American people by our government, leading up to the bailout in the waning days of Chimpy's administration. In light of what's happening now with the Occupy movement, this film is more relevant than ever.

Still, there's one section--on the uprising of the people that led to Obama's victory--that stirred memories of one of the happiest nights of my life, as well as brought up a bitter reflux of betrayal. Moore chronicled the almost complete buyout of Congress and the administration by Goldman-Sachs execs (Paulsen, Geithner), senators who got loans from Countrywide (Dodd) before they crashed and burned, the fear-mongering that forced the passing of the TARP bailout -- but a lot of those people stayed in Obama's cabinet. Obama, whose top campaign contributor was Goldman Sachs, ended up being their bitch -- the very thing we elected him NOT to do. I watched the joy on people's faces as they watched Obama's rise, and I remembered the many many many times Obama has furthered the Bush-Cheney administration's many corrupt aims.

As I said, Moore didn't spend too much time on Obama; at the time Moore was making the movie (2007-2008, released in 2009), Obama was just starting to gain traction as a man for change, a man who was the people -- in short, a I was glad Moore didn't spend much time making Obama into the savior of the people, or he would've had to make a whole other movie just to eat his words.

Watch this movie sometime; it'll remind you of just how corrupt most of Washington is and how it got that way.

P.S.--the movie also brings up the subject of companies purchasing life insurance policies on their employees and how they profit when those employees die. Check to see if your employer is on this list. Gotta tell you that I breathed a sigh of relief that my current employer isn't on the list.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Must-see TV

Wilderness: “an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.” - The 1964 Wilderness Act
I just watched a program on our WPSU World station (a super-PBS station which rocks) called "Wilderness: The Great Debate." You can watch the entire video here. A point-counterpoint between everyone from Utah politicians to Robert Redford, the film documents the growing debate between environmentalists who want to preserve American wilderness as wilderness, and those whose main concerns appeared to be jobs, energy, and personal "rights." The emphasis was on the Colorado Plateau of the American West, mainly southern Utah's many wild areas.

Here's a nice summary from Utah's KUED, the creator of the film:
The core of the debate is reflected in the film’s open. “Is the West going to be reduced to just photos and films to show young people how it used to be, or are there going to be places where they can go and see the way it used to be, like wilderness and like national parks?” Redford asks. On the other hand, Mark Habbeshaw- Kane County Commissioner, says, “This is a war for rural people, for state and local sovereignty, to protect what little sovereignty we have left as a rural people; to protect our traditions, our culture[,] our ability to manage our lives with a diversified economy.”
It's an interesting film, and it gave me insight into the teabagger types with their "don't tread on me" flags, whining about how government is trying to take away their land and their rights by daring to attempt to preserve our beautiful natural places from their ATVs, their cattle, their oil rigs, and their development.

Of course you know I was yelling at the oil and coal industry types, the ranchers, the "rural people" who are "puttin' protein back into the economy and feedin' people, puttin' out bales o' hay, and takin' care o' God's creation" (also known as overgrazing, corporate-controlled ranching and farming, and CAFOs). But after it was all over, I decided to look at an image:The original image is from here. Even the areas discussed in the documentary are largely lit up or surrounded completely by cities. Development has overtaken almost every bit of land in this country. Perhaps the line in the film that hit me the most was the assertion from a Utah politician that politicians from New York and Illinois should "clean up their own states" before they try to tell people in Utah how they can handle their public lands issues.

My point is this: As this photograph illustrates, it's too late for people in New York and Illinois to deal with their own states, their own wilderness. It's gone. Gone. So, although it might cost some people their "sovereignty" or their family livelihoods or their economic prosperity, we have to choose the wilderness. We can either preserve our wilderness as it is, with no development and extremely limited access, or we can have an entire country that looks like this:This is the continent of Europe lit up at night. Teabaggers and pro-Amurka types are constantly railing against Europe over issues like public healthcare and other such "socialist" policies. Remember how repugs starting talking about "freedom fries" when the French pissed kick-ass Amurkans off by actually speaking against the first Iraq war?

Yes, Europe is filled with socialist pansies who basically know nothing. Yet, if we allow development wherever it is economically expedient, profitable, and desired by whoever decides such questions, we will end up looking like a version of Europe.

Of course, it would only be "a version," a pale version at that. Where Europe has the remains of civilization's beginnings -- Greek temples, Roman colliseums, and other architectural wonders -- our development in America doesn't look anything like that.

No, our development looks like this:

Europe's wilderness is pretty much gone, the victim of thousands of years of development. America's development began only a few hundred years ago, yet we hurry to plaster our sprawl and our footprint all over everything.

And the American West? The sweeping vistas of Utah, Montana, the Badlands? Forget it! Let's just fence it off and put cows on it, let ATV riders hotdog all over it, criss-cross it with networks of roads, put oil derricks and shale-oil fracking operations all over it, and focus on what the land can yield financially instead of what it gives to our souls and our imaginations.
"...what are you going to have left to develop if you don't preserve something, and also what are you going to preserve for the dignity and the stature of your country in terms of its heritage?” --Robert Redford

Monday, September 05, 2011

Today's random thoughts

These days, my random thoughts are all questions. I'm pretty much out of answers anymore.

1. I recently received an Obama 2012 bumpersticker and plea for more money in the mail. I stared at the sticker for some time; then I threw it away. I've been trying to decide what I'm going to do on Election Day 2012; I'm pretty much decided I'm writing in a vote for Kucinich.

Regarding my faded old "Hope" sticker from the 2008 election: My car and I were rear-ended on June 30, and the bumper was destroyed. The resulting repairs solved my problem of how I was going to get rid of the old sticker; it's gone.

Whom will you vote for in 2012?

2. The unemployment rate at the height of the Great Depression was 24.9% in 1933. Our unemployment rate today is 9.1%. What does this mean? I'm really not sure. Part of me wants to say, "why do the media insist on calling this time the worst since the Great Depression? I mean, unemployment's only 9%." I remember when I was in California, I took a photo of a headline stating that the state's unemployment had reached 12%.

Still, despite the bleak jobs outlook (NPR does a story on the jobless almost every day), my situation is pretty good. The people I know who want work have work.

What's the situation where you are?

3. I have been really weepy and down lately, and I can't get out of it. Part of it is the rainy weather and the knowledge that our climate is changing and there's no telling how many formerly snowy days will, in the future, be rainy days. A bigger part is the fact that we're coming on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. I read a story earlier today that said, "most people who were glued to the news for days in 2001 now think only rarely about that horrifying day." Is that really true? Is it weird that I think about it every time I see an American flag? Every time I see a photo of Chimpy Bush or Darth Cheney? Every time I hear mention of the economy? Just today, I was listening to a story about unemployed people trying to find work and how the economy just hasn't been producing enough jobs since the crash of 2008 -- and I found myself muttering, "the economy hasn't been producing enough jobs since 9/11." But is that even true?

Are you feeling optimistic or pessimistic as we approach the anniversary of 9/11?

Your comments are appreciated.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

True, False, or just ridiculous?

I was just reading an amazing post on DCap's blog about how some idiots from a right-wing "think" tank want to abolish the National Weather Service.

Why, you ask?

Because it would be oh-so-much better to PRIVATIZE it! Because OF COURSE everything the government does is wasteful, bloated, and completely leading America into hell!

As is his custom and his skill, DCap totally lays waste to their "arguments" (I use the term loosely), but as I was reading the post, I remembered something else I heard today on NPR about how Cantor and the other moron repugs in Congress are on a mission to reduce "job-destroying regulations" to help create jobs in America.

My train of thought then stopped at this station:

A few examples of typical republican thinking:
1. Privatization is the answer to cutting government waste, as business will do things better and cheaper.

2. Regulations on business mean loss of jobs. This goes for ANY kind of regulation, whether related to the environment, business practices, or whatever.

3. Abortion and any kind of family planning are wrong; any organizations that promote anything but abstinence should be de-funded.

4. The death penalty is the best way to deal with certain criminals.

5. Welfare, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment benefits -- all the government programs that are referred to as the "social safety net" are actually "entitlements," and entitlements are bad and should be cut and/or stopped.

These are just a few off the top of my head. Repugs have been parroting these things as Absolute Truth my entire adult life. From Ronald Reagan's Cadillac-driving welfare mothers to the proposed de-funding of Planned Parenthood, from claiming every life is precious so we shouldn't use birth control or abortion but criminals should die for their crimes, from the gutting of the social safety net to the rise of mercenaries like Blackwater and dirty-drinking-water-providers like Halliburton, the republicans have hit people over the head with this stuff for so long that many people actually believe it's true, proven fact.

But is it?

Let's look at these one at a time.

1. Does privatizing something actually cut costs or increase them? DCap's argument about the National Weather Service is proof positive that privatization would be MORE expensive than the current government-run program. If the NWS gets a billion bucks per year in funding, as the conservative think tank claims, that's ALL the weather information we see EVERYWHERE in the media coming to us for only $3.23 per every man, woman, and child in the US. Then, DCap argues, imagine how much it would cost if some corporate weather service were to charge us for this information; somehow, I don't think we'd be paying only three-and-a-quarter for our weather info, do you?
Let's look at the financial fiasco that was the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the trillions that were/are being spent to hire such corporations as Blackwater, Halliburton, and more to provide everything from food and water to security. A congressional committee found that between $30 and $60 BILLION were lost to fraud, waste, and abuse.

Does ANYONE, besides republicans and their teabagger cousins, really think that American corporations -- the same ones that basically pay little or no taxes yet are granted personhood in the eyes of the law just like you or me -- can do ANYTHING without wasting, pissing away, or just plain stealing taxpayer money? I pay taxes to keep my government running, to keep it doing the things I expect government to do. I DON'T pay taxes so my government can give my money to profit-over-people, corner-cutting, mercenary assholes.

When will someone in power challenge this ridiculous assertion, this utter myth that privatization is good? Or will republicans simply continue to be allowed to spew this fallacy and slash regulations to continue helping their corporate benefactors increase their profits at the expense of the environment, ethics, and Americans?

2. Do regulations really "strangle" businesses so that they can't hire more people? I heard a story on NPR this afternoon that pretty much made it plain that this is bullshit:
Yet in a survey last month of 250 economists by the National Association for Business Economics, 4 out of 5 agreed that the current regulatory environment for American businesses was, in fact, good. In a July survey done by the Wall Street Journal in July, two-thirds of economists said the lack of jobs is due mainly to a lack of sales.
And the Wall Street Journal is not exactly a liberal rag, so they can't argue that I got this info from "the liberal media!" of NPR. And if you think about it, regulations that must be complied with can mean more jobs -- as long as more businesses keep those jobs in AMERICA instead of hiring shit-cheap labor from China, Bangladesh, and other places to up their profit margins while screwing American workers. Environmental protection, as the NPR piece mentions, demands equipment to filter emissions, wastewater, etc. -- someone has to make that equipment. Why not let Americans make the stuff?

Republicans also whine about how any other energy sources besides oil and coal are job-killers. This is patently absurd; think of how many American businesses could make a profit by installing geothermal heating systems, by making and installing solar panels, or by developing other alternative energy sources? American ingenuity could actually help us get off foreign oil, instead of dumping more and more money into tar sands and pipelines and fucking the environment in the process.

3. Let's deal with the abortion/family planning question with one logical assertion in which I have always believed: you cannot legislate morality. Questions about whether a fetus is a person, whether wearing a condom is killing a potential life, or whether Planned Parenthood is the devil can never truly be resolved; they are matters of opinion based on a person's individual beliefs. I myself belief a fetus is not a person; it's not a person until it's born. Still, I don't know whether I could go through with an abortion; it's not ever going to be an issue (unless AB is hiding something I don't know about in our bed!), so I don't have to know. I only know that it's MY body, and I would decide. No one, including the government or my parents or anyone else, can or should decide that for me or anyone.

Murder, on the other hand, is a crime because it's one living person ending the life of another living person. That one is NOT a question of morality; it's a tearing of the social fabric, ripping a person from all his worldly connections and thus harming not only him but the society in which he lives.

Which leads us to...
4. The death penalty is the best way to deal with criminals. Because I believe that no one has the right to kill another living person, it makes equal sense that the government should not have the right to kill anyone. The death penalty is a direct contradiction of republicans' belief that every life is precious, their usual supportive statement for their anti-family planning and anti-abortion stance. Because if every life is precious, then even the lives of murderers and drug dealers and whoever else they want to kill are precious, no? They can't have it both ways. I may not like murderers or drug dealers, and I may think I'd want to kill one with my bare hands if one ever hurt anyone I care about, but it's not up to me to kill anyone. And again -- I don't pay taxes so my government can effing kill people. (And by the way, that goes for wars too.)

5. Entitlements are bad! Just think about this: if our government didn't spend money on wars, what would our deficit look like? Conservative estimates of the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars put the tab at over a trillion dollars; some estimates top three trillion dollars. Would we be arguing over a few billion in "entitlements" that keep children fed, the unemployed fed and housed, and our aging population fed and housed and cared for if our national debt weren't over $14.6 trillion dollars? And if these wars, which President Obama decided to stop hiding the costs of and thus gets blamed for the huge debt (instead of just hiding it like Bush/Cheney did), hadn't increased our debt a huge amount in a short period of time, would we even be letting these republicans spew their tripe about cutting the debt by hurting the poorest and neediest among us?

Further, think about this: what would happen if your parents or mine suddenly had their social security benefits and their Medicare benefits cut by half? Or even a third? Would they be able to pay their bills? Put food on their tables? They paid their whole lives into the system, and now repubs think these "entitlements" are just typical government waste. I suppose republicans never look at the fact that THEY are living ENTIRELY off the government -- except, of course, for those checks they get from the oil companies and other big business to do their bidding.

When will the media simply say, "ENOUGH!" and stop airing republican lies?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Today's daily FRIGHT

Yesterday's daily fright occurred when I opened my mailbox and saw that damned Michele Bachman cover. Holy shit.

Today's daily fright: Rick Perry is runnin' fer prezdint.

Texas is in the worst shape it's ever been in, even worse than the Bush years (but only because of Bush's presidency and the financial collapse it caused to our economy). Yet this bozo thinks he can be -- and should be -- president of these United States.

He's already got the Texas spin machines working for him. Check out this slobber-soaked quote from an SMU (that's in Dallas) professor: "'I think Perry will shoot to the top of the polls right away, and be neck and neck with Romney,' said Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Texas" (quoted in the Telegraph article). All his little minions are busy shaking the same money trees Bush used, I'm sure.

And those trees were loaded.

(P.S. -- I googled this Jillson fellow; read his over-the-top bio here. Despite the fact that the guy "is currently at work on a book titled Lone Star Tarnished on the shortcomings of Texas public policy," he makes a supremely stupid comment like this, knowing that perception is reality in the lame-stream media and this kind of blurbomatic crap just gets echoed around the Faux Nooz echo chamber of lies.)

We'll see whether Governor Goodhair (God I miss Molly Ivins) even gets out of the box. The sad part is that, if that article I just linked to is any indication, we're going to have to endure hairdo comparisons between Romney and Perry and the rest for the next year. That alone will raise his profile among the morons who thought his little prayer and fasting rally for rain in Texas was a good idea.

Ask the poor and the teachers and the prison inmates, etc., in Texas how great things are under Perry and see what they tell you.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

I wonder...

These thoughts occurred to me while listening to Fresh Air tonight, in which Terri Gross interviewed journalist Robert Draper about the influence of the recent influx of tea party-controlled reps in the House. I don't know much about Draper's personal leanings, but he certainly thinks these idiots hold a lot of power--which only feeds into the perception that they do. And because perception is more important than reality in Washington, I just got completely pissed off at Terri Gross for letting this guy talk about tea party morons and republicans for a whole fucking hour.

I wonder what it's like to be a tea partier in the House of Representatives, living in my office so I won't have an actual residence in D.C. After all, I sure wouldn't want to live in the real world, paying rent, buying groceries, cooking for myself and my family, and having deal with all that unimportant "real life" crap. I sure wouldn't want my constituents to think I sold out by having an apartment in the Sodom-and-Gomorrah that is Washington D.C.!

Think of it: sleeping on a cot or a couch in my office (all of which is paid for by our tax dollars), working out and showering and such in the taxpayer-funded gym at the (corporate-funded?) Capitol, and devoting every waking hour to politicking and voting and being whipped around by the Majority Whip!

One of the coolest parts of being in the House would, of course, be the fact that I wouldn't really have to do anything but these things. I wouldn't have to worry about healthcare (it's provided for free!), or retirement (yeah, that's provided too!), or shopping for groceries (I'd eat in the Capitol cafeteria!) or anything -- all I'd have to do is make sure I voted like Eric Cantor wants me to, worshiped Boner's nuclear-induced tan, and walked the razor-thin line between voting against any and all tax hikes for the rich and pretending I give a shit about what taxes are paid by middle-class Americans -- because "no more taxes!" means "no more taxes," man!

And hey--I can always pose for photo ops in my skivvies and claim I work 20 hours a day, pay for my own stationery, and try to opt out of my guaranteed-no-opting-out-of-it healthcare plan! See, America! I'll never sell out!

And when the whip-guy plays us a video about how bad-ass we're gonna be and how people are gonna get hurt! to get us all pumped up and prepped to vote NO on anything the President or those damned democrats propose, I'll truly believe I'm a bad ass. And if any of you non-patriots think I've completely lost touch with reality, then you obviously aren't a christian or a patriot.

So I'll watch a movie, snap my fellow tea partiers on the ass with my towel in the gym, REFUSE to raise taxes on the rich or even close the millions of loopholes that allow billionaires and corporations to pay practically nothing in taxes. Why take that money when we can just cut spending on the poor, the aged, and the young instead? Easy peasy! "We're gonna hurt some people!"

In the past I've wondered how and "liberal" became a dirty word. Now, the big dirty word is "entitlements." All the republicans and tea partiers talk about is "entitlements" and how we have to cut them, by golly, or else!

Of course, they're not talking about the REAL entitlements -- like the unlimited funding for anything that can be remotely considered "defense spending." Whether it's trying to make sharks into spies or teach soldiers to communicate telepathically, or pouring trillions into boondoggles like the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, these guaranteed trillions are somehow NOT ENTITLEMENTS! I guess those people deserve those trillions, right? No, the bad entitlements we absolutely have to cut is stuff like medicare, social security, and healthcare -- because the people getting this money are REALLY bleeding us dry! THAT'S the true problem!

Yup, being a tea partier -- representing a fraction of the population that's too stupid to realize they're voting against their own self interests (wait until THEY retire or need healthcare) -- would pretty much rock. I'd eat, sleep, and breathe politics, because that's what I was elected to do, right? It's all about winning these political battles, not living in the real world.

But OF COURSE I would stay strong in the knowledge that I'm representing the little guy while I'm making sure the rich pay no more taxes! Making sure I cut the government spending that actually HELPS most Americans! Completely ignoring the true sources of government waste (defense spending, wars, lifetime healthcare and benefits for all members of Congress)!

P.S. -- Wanna get a headache? Check this out.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Interesting or disgusting: you decide

1. This whole Anthony Weiner weiner-pic business is pretty funny and all -- I mean, who sends sexting pics of himself in his tighty whities??? Maybe he's trolling for Jennifer Aniston?-- but what I don't understand is why the dem leadership are all calling for him to resign for his silly little panty-pics, yet repug David Vitter can buy hookers and wear diapers and somehow he still keeps his job.

The dem leadership is talking about how important it is that a congressman's constituency still respects him -- but who the hell respects Diaper-boy Vitter? But who's still kept his job through it all?
Senator Huggies 'n' Hos
More of the "it's okay if you're a republican" double standard, I guess.

2. My candidate for the most misogynist commercial of all time: the Klondike "guy listens to his wife for five whole seconds!" ad. Have you seen this? It's been all over cable TV lately, especially for some reason during all the programs I watch (Red Sox baseball, USA's series like "In Plain Sight" etc.). I'm glad to see someone at Feministing noticed it too. It's been driving me effing crazy lately. And of course the wife just talks about boring shit like visiting friends or whatever, and OH MY GOD it's so hard for the guy to listen to his WIFE. The woman he married.

How fucking stupid is he if he married someone he couldn't stand to listen to for five seconds?

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Put on your Mittens!

Yay for me.

It's official: Mittens Romney is STILL running for president, dammit, and PLEASE -- won't someone care? Anybody????

As NPR's Robert Smith insightfully pointed out today, Mittens never stopped running for president after losing out on the republican slot to McCan't and the moron. Mittsy's been all over New England for the last two years, eschewing his suits and ties and pretending to be a real person who gives a shit about people. Smith's report was fairly hilarious and worth listening to -- especially when he talks about how hard Mittens is trying to look like a regular guy instead of a "hedge-fund Ken Doll." Nice one.

My initial reaction to hearing Mittsy's announcement (after I laughed) is that it's kind-of pathetic when your newly crowned frontrunner is basically one of the guys who lost early last time. Tell you what: Let's examine the records of such candidates, shall we? Guys (or women?) who didn't get the nomination in one campaign but who come back and get it in a later election and go on to win the presidency. Right off the top of my head, I know where to start.

It's 1976. Gerald Ford is the republican candidate almost by default, having taken over from resignee Nixon and defeated such lame-ass challengers as Ronald Reagan for the republican nomination. Ford, however, loses the election to an upstart, Jimmy Carter.

I remember this campaign as a kid (I was in 6th grade). A friend's parents were going on and on at the dinner table about how great this Ronald Reagan was. I'd never heard of him, despite my mom's steady diet for us of old movies; I don't think my parents ever liked Reagan as an actor. They liked him less as a politician.
So 1980 rolls around and we get to the high point of the story: Reagan comes back after losing out to Ford in '76 and this time he not only gets the repub nomination; he wins the election over incumbent Carter. I'm sure Mittens is looking back to this event and feeling inspired. From governor to losing candidate to president! Mittsy could be just like Saint Reagan!

Dare little Mittens hope for such a repeat of history? I looked through the other elections since then and found no one who was able to overcome losing the party's nomination and then coming back and winning the whole thing.

1984 had an interesting slate of losing dems, among them Al Gore, Howard Dean, and Joe Biden on the dem side and Bob Dole on the repub side. All tried again to become president on their own later and didn't make it. Gore came the closest, exactly 20 years after Reagan's win, but we all know what happened then.

In 2004, after losing the repub nomination to The Idiot King in 2000, McGrumps managed to get the nomination over Mike Fuckabee, our little Mittens, nobody Tim Pawlenty, and Fred "The Sloth" Thompson. Might it happen again? Might Johnny War be the next Raygun?Um, no. Once again, an upstart wins: Obama takes the presidency and McGramps is left to wonder how he could've lost after selling out his dignity, his morals, his mother, and pretty much anything else he could get a hold of.

So we're back to 2012's campaign, and all we're hearing about is the slew of repub candidates:
There's Casual Mittsy, T-Paw again (no, not T'Pau), that crazy-ass psycho Michelle Bachmann, maybe Failin' (should she grace us with her presence), PRick Santorum (guffaw), Nudie Gingrich, and maybe Fuckabee again.

What an impressible stable of candidates! Time will tell whether Mittens can pull off a Reagan and win this thing.

Right now, I'm thinking, "Um, no."

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Question for the day

How did Mike Rowe go from QVC generic guy to "Dirty Jobs" star to being a spokesperson for trucks, jeans, and paper towels to narrating every damned series on Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, and more? I mean, how do you do a gig where you talk about your girlfriend saying your "butt looks good" in these jeans on one channel, and then on another channel you're narrating a show with real scientists and telling us about supernovae and pulsars?

How is this possible? Who is this guy's agent? What the hell is so great about him? I mean, look at this schlub:Does he really know anything about black holes?

He's probably a freakin' gazillionaire.


Tuesday, April 05, 2011

If this is your "revolution," then I want no part of it.

I heard two pieces on NPR today that made me so livid that I had to fight hard not to vomit on my steering wheel.

First came a story about the California town of Costa Mesa, which has just informed its public employees that half of them would be laid off within the next six months. The workers have been devastated; one of them, "reportedly distraught about the layoffs, jumped to his death from the roof of City Hall." Does this sound familiar?

So what's the solution to their budget crisis? Privatize everything, of course! Fire everyone, naturally! And what's the republican/tea party response to these events?

Why, it's an opportunity! Orange County republican party head Scott Baugh is then heard telling a tea party gathering, "Ground zero is right here in Costa Mesa for this revolution!"

Let's look at that again. The situation in Costa Mesa, where fully half of public employees will LOSE THEIR JOBS -- where the government will be paying people less and no longer providing people the opportunity to look forward to a decent retirement -- This is what republicans/tea party morons are calling a "revolution?"

Balancing the budget on the backs of your workers? Cutting pensions and going back on your commitments to people who came to work every day and held up their end of the bargain? Privatizing everything (which ALWAYS cuts costs! Just see the military budget for proof!) and saying "it's not too hard to figure out" that you're going to save money, though no one can say just how much (if any!) will be saved?

If this is your "revolution," then I want no part of it.

- - -

Later came an interview with Rep. Joe Walsh (what else? R - Illinois), a member of the "House Tea Party Caucus" -- what the fuck is that? It's NOT an official party, but they have a caucus in the House? -- anyway, I heard this guy claim that democrats are doing all they can to shut down the government because they won't "compromise" on spending cuts. Walsh claimed that republicans have been the ones putting forth bills while dems have "been silent" and "the President should be ashamed."

The latest (ahem) brainchild they've put out there cuts $61 billion from social programs and education (among other things like Planned Parenthood) while funding the military for the rest of the year.

Surprisingly, NPR's Melissa Block challenged Mr. Compromise several times, repeating his soundbyte, "I came here ready to go to war -- the people didn't send me here to compromise," and basically asking when he's ever shown a willingness to compromise. He then claimed, "again, it's 'cooperate' not 'compromise.'" Oh I get it -- so your idea of "compromise" and "cooperate" is to have the dems come to the table, bend over, and let you ram your shit up their asses. Otherwise, THEY'RE the ones not "compromising." THEY'RE the ones being irresponsible and "mystifying" to him.

"I'd love to see a number though that they would put in front of us," he claims. "Can I accept less than 61B in cuts? I sure hope not...." I think this guy needs to look up "compromise" and "cooperate" in the dictionary.

Separate disgust stems from the fact that I can't remember the last time I heard a freshman democratic rep on NPR being allowed to deliver an uninterrupted tirade about anything.

Still more disgust springs from the idea that republicans claim to be serious about cutting the deficit, yet NOWHERE do they touch military spending -- despite the fact that the published figures (which doesn't include the tons of spending bills and other secret money that the Pentagon gets) show that it accounts for 25% of our budget. Here's a nice link to the true cost of our many ongoing wars.

But hey, let's cut education and pensions and Social Security; let's raze Medicare and Medicaid to the ground and leave the aged and our children to fend for themselves at the feet of the zillionaires at the insurance companies. Let's lay off workers and call it a "revolution!" and pretty much not even put a fucking dent in the REAL deficit, not even TRY to do anything to reduce our spending on wars in the Middle East.

No, let's just clog the news cycle with bullshit about "they want to shut down the government!" and "they won't compromise!" and every other horseshit bill that our government throws out there, and then we can just brush over the fact that a guy jumped off a building because he was upset about losing his job.

In Tunisia a fruit vendor, upset over the loss of his job, set himself on fire -- and triggered a revolution.

What will it take to get true revolution here?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What if _________ were gay?

It occurred to me recently that our history, our present, our future could be incredibly and unrecognizably different if certain prominent figures were gay. Dare I say it might be a better place? I don't want to offend you hets, but let's think about this for a moment.

Look at that suit. All he
needs is a little paisley scarf.
It's 1982 and President Reagan, out of concern for millions of gay men who are dying of mysterious affliction some doctors are calling Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Syndrome, has announced that he will increase funding to NIH and the CDC to try to learn more about the spectrum of illnesses and how to stop them. "I care about my fellow homosexuals," Reagan said in an exclusive interview with Barbara Walters. "I've known all my life that I was gay, and my partner Hank and I are dealing with a lot of loss right now -- our friends are dying, people's sons and fathers and brothers are dying. As president, I can help stop these needless deaths. Forget missile shields in space and other such boondogglery; I want to save lives."

Oh, if only. Let's keep dreaming, shall we? (Is "boondogglery" a word?)

Look at that impish grin. He's
probably thinking about Joshua
Fry Speed right now.
Oh wait. This one's kind-of a gimme. The guy didn't get all war-crazed and say "fuck the rebels! blow 'em to hell!" like, say, a moron hetero like Chimpy would've. Nope, he was sensible. Sensitive. Thoughtful. Gay, perhaps? He brought our nation through a bitter and bloody civil war; he helped bring an end to slavery. Let's face it -- probably gay! It's not like we haven't all heard the stories!

Let's keep thinking. Maybe a movie star...

WHAT IF TOM CRUISE WERE GAY?Oh wait. Yeah. Gay. Obvy! Okay. Let's think here. No more Hollywood. Let's go back east to the tough guys....

"Ooooh, watch where you point that thing, tough guy!"

Well, shit! This is really hard! Who else?

Editorial Note: I really DO wish Reagan had been gay, and not just gay but OPENLY gay. Of course, he'd never have been president -- unless we started our little game so far back in history that, by the time 1980 rolled around, homosexuality was completely accepted. So let's try that....


"Talk to me, Marky Mark."

Hmmm. I know the Greeks were always having man-sex, but what about the Romans? If my barely passable knowledge of the Roman Empire is correct, I don't recall any gay rumors among the Caesars or Marc Antonys of Rome. Still, there was that whole stabbing on the Ides of March thing. Jilted lovers? Gay drama? Bizarre love triangle? You decide.

Moving on through history...

Where IS that handsome Lancelot?
So after pulling the sword from the stone and becoming the boy king, Arthur Pendragon gets Merlin to set him up this hot guy named Lancelot. They hang out together, sword-fighting (ahem) and creating Camelot, decorating the castle just so. Guinevere is never able to turn Lance's head so none of that drama starts. Instead all people are allowed to love whomever they want, and they all drink from the grail at weddings both gay and straight.


Imagine her in some khakis,
a button-down shirt,
and some Hush Puppies.
Can you say "World Peace"?
Now THIS isn't hard. She'd still have remained single, still have kicked ass in battle, still have been the ruler of the free world -- and she would've gotten to wear sensible shoes and comfy clothes instead of that weirdo kabuki makeup and stuff. The Gay Virgin Queen! Bring on women's lib, Renaissance style! Pants for everyone! Some Italian invents Doc Martins and we all live happily ever after in a Shakespearean sonnet!

"Hey, Macarena--YEAH!"
All republicans would be officially gay, by order of the President. End of story.

"All I want is a REAL relationship with a hot and
loving man! Is that so much to ask, people?"

Then he wouldn't be such a fucking douche bag, now would he? He'd demand equal rights for all, collective bargaining rights for all unions, and a permanent social safety net -- all at the expense of bullshit military spending. Oh, we'd still have a military....But WHAT A MILITARY!

Editor's Note: I didn't link to any American soldier dancing videos because, well, how can I put this without insulting our brave men and women in combat? Let's just say that we really need some gays in the military, if only to teach these guys how to dance.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Today's top scary stories!

In no particular order:

--Infants shouldn't drink tap water in Japan due to radiation levels.

--You'd better hope you're not deemed a "terror suspect," what with the government's latest assault on personal rights.

--Miss Shell-Shocked Bachman announces she's interested in being president. Because Sarah Palin wasn't fucking scary enough.

What's scaring you today?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Our latest adventure in empire

Tough to know how to feel about this latest (ahem) entanglement we're getting ourselves into. I feel for the Libyan rebels who, fresh from watching the Egyptians take out Mubarak with little or no blood, set themselves the task of taking back their country from Muammar Gadhafi (spell it however; it doesn't matter). They had a few days of success, followed by a flexing of the military muscle Qaddafi (whatever) got from (who else?) us, the Russians, whoever.

The rebels started out saying they didn't need anyone's help; now they're begging for help.

So we've gotten a UN resolution (1974, bring back Jerry Ford!) to go in and clear the decks for a no-fly zone. Only a few weeks ago, Hillary and others were screeching about how there was no WAY we'd do that because it would involve bombing!; now it's bombs away, everyone! France bomb! Britain bomb! Everybody bomb!

But remember that our role is limited! Obama's assertions that he won't involve any ground troops remind me of Georgie Sr's "read my lips: no new taxes!" pledge, especially when I read what the military guys are saying:
Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, director of the U.S. military's Joint Staff, said of the U.S. role: "We are on the leading edge of a coalition military operation. This is just the first phase of what will likely be a multiphase operation."
"first phase"? "multiphase"? Well, shit.

And what of budget cuts and government shut-downs and deficit hawks? Hey, folks, this is MILITARY spending we're talking about here. That's off limits. Now you old people and sick people and poor people -- get ready to bend over and take it up the qaddafi because we've got to cut this deficit!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

When did up become down?

When exactly did the change happen -- the change during which democrats became republicans and republicans became assholes?

Let's look at a few noteworthy elements. During the Civil War and Reconstruction, republicans -- the party of Lincoln -- were fighting for the rights of freed black slaves to own property, vote, work for money, and other rights that only whites had previously. Republicans were pro-Union (USA, that is) and fought to keep everyone working as one nation. Democrats (Dixiecrats) were shouting "states' rights!" and Jim Crow-lawing the fuck out of freed slaves and black people right into the Civil Rights era, trying to keep alive the old ways of slavery, persecution, and lynching of blacks. Granted, republicans were always pro-business, but labor unions leveled the playing field and made sure that everyone made a fair wage for their work.

Today, it's the democrats who embrace the minorities, who fight for the little guy, who help the businesses but still support the unions. Republicans are now completely in the corporations' pockets, and corporatocracy favors the white man and all the money he can steal from pretty much everyone, black or white. Far-right republicans, or "tea party" supporters, are now the ones who shout "states' rights!" whenever a democratic president wants to do something they don't like. Gay marriage? States' rights to stop that perversion, no matter what Washington says! Legal abortion? States' rights to prosecute those baby-killing doctors and put 'em to death, no matter what the federal laws are! Labor unions? States' rights and "right to work" (i.e., right to be unemployed at the company's will) forever!

When did the switcheroo happen? Why did it happen? When did the republicans become the party of whiteys and the dems become the party of the rest of us? When did republicans say "fuck the Union!" and start hollering "states' rights!" everytime something didn't go their ideological way? I know that George "segregation foe-evah!" Wallace was a republican; my parents hated that guy! But when did that switch happen?

Did republicans, the party of anti-slavery, tap into the racism of the south in order to win the south's vote? Was that it? Or maybe they were always racist, and perhaps I'm unduly equating anti-slavery with anti-racism. Perhaps I'm generalizing that all northerners, and thus all northern republicans, were all pro-integration, pro-civil rights. Maybe it was just the poor ones, the ones NOT in power, who favored treating the black man fairly.

I'm no history scholar; I know only a little, albeit about a lot of things. But this has been rolling around in my brain for a while, as we watch the union battles in Wisconsin between the corporatocracy's republicans versus the common people's democrats. Why do republicans hate unions? Is it pure greed, pure pro-business at the expense of everything else? Hell, democrats are taking a lot of the same corporate money as republicans, but they're still largely supporting labor unions.

So what gives?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Taking bets...

potential story for Matty Boy's tabloid blog,
headlined "Gadaffi and Jacko join forces for Victory tour!"

How much longer before Gadaffi (how many different ways can you spell it?) either offs himself in a big martyr-style fashion or is just pushed out and runs away to some undisclosed location?

I give him another week, tops. Then he's going to either go nuts and kill himself (and probably his whole family -- the guy's nuts), or he's going to just sneak out of the country and turn up someplace else.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

An interesting opinion

I heard one of the guys on Stephanie Miller's show the other day saying that no one seems to have noticed the possible connection between President Obama's strategy on the Middle East (the whole "we are not your enemy" approach) and the emergence of rebellions and protests in Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia. He thought that maybe Chimpy's "bomb them into democracies" policy didn't exactly create a climate conducive to revolution, while maybe Obama's relative hands-off policy might.

Of course, this assumes that Obama HAS a hands-off policy. He has continued the war in Afghanistan and we're not exactly out of Iraq yet either. Still, I do wonder if maybe the protesters at least feel that Obama won't rush to bomb the fuck out of them to defend old dictators in the name of "stability" or whatever.

He also mentioned the excellent point that, were Obama to offer any kind of tangible more-than-just-kind-words assistance to the protesters, the loyalists would seize on that support as evidence that the entire protest is simply an American-backed destabilization effort.

I'm not exactly up on Obama's foreign policy, as I kinda feel like he doesn't really seem to have one (other than continue wars, don't piss anyone off, don't make any bold moves), so I ask those of you who know more than I do: what role do you think Obama's different approach to the Middle East has played in the current climate of rebellion there?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Random thoughts on protest and Egypt

I'm really liking that protest fever is spreading, from Tunisia to Egypt to Wisconsin! I have been asking myself often lately whether a mass protest in DC could ever topple our government, or even make a whit of difference. Of course, we've HAD mass protests in DC and they've never made a difference; think of all those gay rights marches and peace protests.

But really, could US leadership ever be destabilized by anything its citizens might do in terms of protest? I don't think so, mainly because of the set-up of this country. It's too big, too diffuse -- I could maybe imagine that a big protest in Rhode Island, say against their governor, might have some effect. And I'm only using RI as an example because it's tiny, but picture this: let's say that the governor of RI gets into some big sex scandal or something. He gets caught stealing money right out of the state treasury or whatever. So tons of people (well, at least as many people as they have in Rhode Island) march down to (what the hell is their capital?) Providence (?) and start protesting, yelling "throw da bum out!" or whatever. I can see this having an effect; the governor, knowing he's been caught, might resign. It's a small state, and the crime was clear, and things could fall apart.

But let's say people in the US got fed up--for some of the same reasons the people in Egypt got fed up, like no jobs, a government that wasn't listening, corruption, etc. And god knows the corruption and not-listening in our government are pretty extreme. Still -- could any protest be mustered that would cause our president (or even a congressman or anyone in power) to step down? Would enough Americans unite? Where would they protest, to have maximum effect? If there were, say, protests in every state capitol, would that do it?


I think our government is pretty much downright insulated from anything that we normal humans outside the Beltway do, whether it's protest or suffering or joblessness or every other ill we deal with every day. Our American Revolution already happened, and it will never happen again, no matter how rotten-to-the-core and completely corrupt and corporate our government gets.

On a related note, did you notice that the Patriot Act's clutches are still around our throats and will likely remain there? It barely got mentioned in the media today, even on Democracy NOW!'s show tonight. Yup, "roving wiretaps" and other violations of freedom will likely be extended by Mr. Constitution Scholar.

Back to Wisconsin: has there ever been a more bold-faced attempt at union-busting than Walker's little ploy? At least that's getting the press it deserves, and even President Obama said it sounded like union-busting to him.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

For the love of cheese!

Well, as a Cowboys fan, I'm not exactly a Green Bay Packer lover, but I'm sure glad they beat the Steelers! Especially glad that Roger Staubach didn't have to hand the Steelers the trophy, although he did have to stand next to Terry Bradshaw on the dais. Did you notice how fast he got outta there?

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

A question

So... listening to the latest incremental back-down from power by Hosni Mubarek (I'm sure even he sees the writing on the wall), a question comes to mind.

IF -- IF we actually stay out of the Egyptian uprising and they have a free and fair election, with their own candidates who took it upon themselves to run for office....

...will this be the first time we have NOT stepped in during a power-vacuum situation to put in our own little puppet dictator? (See, oh I don't know, maybe Hussein, Saddam; Karzai, Hamed; Noriega, Manuel; Pinochet, Augusto....)

Will President Obama be able to resist the temptation? Will he continue to just stand aside and use words, not military/black-ops interference to (ahem) "influence" the outcome of any Egyptian elections? Will the Egyptians get the revolution they want?