Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cuz God Made It So

I repeat - I'm a capitalist because God's a capitalist.

























But we have to do it better; we have to get back to an understanding that the system has to serve the people, not the other way around; and we have to adjust the model so it's comprised of interlocking closed loops, rather than a series of disconnected linear dead ends.  Unfortunately, we've been suckered (again) into believing that the only way to make it work is to continue removing the controls.  Well, guess what you get when the free market system is completely unfettered - you get exactly what Americans had to fight a revolutionary war to throw off in the 18th century.  Aristocracy and entitlement, despotism and cronyism, inequality and slavery - any crappy thing you care to name that one human can do to another human.

Lastly, we have to remember that capitalism is a lousy substitute for democracy.

Today's Pix





Tuesday, November 29, 2011

When Newt Was Bullish On The Individual Mandate

Where did this Gingrich go? Well, he had to hide because the rubes who're running the GOP now drank the KoolAid that he insisted they drink on a constant basis thru the 90's. And he knows he doesn't stand a chance if he doesn't completely abandon even the appearance of the kind of rationality he used to talk about. He doesn't even try to sound reasonable any more - the rubes won't let him. (hat tip - Little Green Footballs)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Keeping Score

Anybody with a living, functioning brain knows DumFux News is a sham.  When was the last time they won any of the several awards for any kind of journalism?

From Loose Live Stock in 2007: (*)
CBS News: 154
ABC News: 122
NBC News: 114
PBS: 42
CNN: 33
BBC News: 15
MSNBC: 3
CNBC: 3
Dumont: 1
Fox News Channel: 0
Fun Fact #1:  Dumont only survived for about 12 years, and has been off the air for 55 years - and they still have more awards than DumFux News.

Fun Fact #2: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is on Comedy Central for 30 minutes a night, 4 nights a week, about 40 weeks a year - Jon Stewart has won the Peabody more often than DumFux News.

Fun Fact #3: The only "awards" DumFux News has managed to win are the ones that have been made up by either former News Corp execs, or by the heavy hitters behind phony organizations like AEI and AFP.

(*) A quick turn thru Wiki and the awards sites indicates that the only thing that's changed is that everybody's won a couple of more times - except for Dumont and DumFux News.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Stay On Message

When Newt Gingrich imparts his wit and wisdom to us regarding OWS, and Rush Limbaugh points to 'rape, and property damage' in Zuccotti Park, remember one thing: it's not about any of that, so there's no need to defend against any of that. That's a typical ploy of someone who's trying to argue from a weak position.  They try to change the focus of the debate, and it works too damned often.

Ignore this bullshit - you can say straight out that it's not about any of that if you feel the need, but you must avoid helping them prop up their straw man.  If you take that particular bait, you'll end up sounding like you're trying to justify or rationalize criminal activities on the part of OWS protesters.

So pick a few of the points that are most important to you - points you think OWS represents to you - and stick to your guns.  BTW: these things don't have to have anything to do with any "Official OWS Statement".  Whatever you'd be protesting if you were organizing the thing is what you get to argue.  At it's heart, it's about free speech in a democracy, remember?


If you wanna try it, you can do a little sales-y thing called Isolating the Objection.  To wit: "So except for some bad actors, you agree with what OWS stands for - good - let's talk about the decline in wages over the last 35 years...; the dramatic rise in childhood poverty last year...; the fact that 52% of all Americans can expect to spend at least one year below the poverty level..."

You can also try a variation on The Turnaround:  "So we're agreed that illegal activity in any venue is immoral, and that it doesn't matter who the perpetrator is - so if it was a few very rich and powerful bankers committing crimes in Zuccotti Park, would you be arguing for or against holding them accountable?"

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Tradition Addition Edition

My mother-in-law visits us every Thanksgiving for several days, and being full-blood Ukrainian (as is my lovely bride), she always helps us create some pysanky and we make a big (fully justified) fuss over the homemade perehe she brings us for dinner.

This year, a colleague who is married to a 1st generation Ukrainian beauty brought his family unit for a little visit, and introduced us to Medivka - a traditional concoction of vodka, spices and honey.  All I can say is "mighty fine".  And it's right next to spectacular when added to the morning coffee.

Pysanky





















Perehe (aka pirogi)



Medivka:
1-1/4 cups water
Zest of 1 orange, tangerine and/or lemon
3 whole cloves
1 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 cup buckwheat honey
2-1/2 to 3 cups vodka (or grain alcohol)

Place the water, citrus zest, cloves, allspice, and nutmeg in a small saucepan. Cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Strain the water through a clean cotton cloth into another pan and add the honey.

Bring to a low simmer, skimming the foam from the top.

Warm the vodka (or alcohol) in a bottle, in a water bath. 

Add the honey mixture to the warmed vodka (or alcohol), shake well, cap, and let cool.

A Meme Is Born

via quickmeme.com

And I saved the best (mine, of course) for last.






Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Best Guitar Player You Never Heard Of

Tommy Emmanuel - sorry about the sound quality; still looking for something better.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Meme Wildfire







OWS Meme

Officer Pike has won himself a place in Mike's American Liberties Hall Of Shame.
(hat tips: Balloon Juice, facebook)

OWS Anthem Nominee

"Too many hungry people losing weight"

This Is A Justice System?

Via Crooks and Liars, Matt Taibbi at Rolling Stone:
Apparently in this country you become ineligible to eat if you have a record of criminal drug offenses. States have the option of opting out of that federal ban, but Mississippi is not one of those states. Since McLemore had four drug convictions in her past, she was ineligible to receive food stamps, so she lied about her past in order to feed her two children.
The total "cost" of her fraud was $4,367. She has paid the money back. But paying the money back was not enough for federal Judge Henry Wingate.
To hear some people tell it, you'd think OWS was nothing but spoiled kids gripin' about their allowance.  Taibbi's story serves to point out a few things that really are just flat wrong with the way we've been doing things here in the USA for a good long time.  And it isn't only about "the rich get richer and the poor get children".  There are real problems with the basic structure of our system.  So I don't know what all we need to do to fix it, but maybe we could start by addressing the concept of equal protection under the law.

Monday, November 21, 2011

And Jesus Wept

Another Good One

...From Mr Fallows at The Atlantic:
What is going on is a war of ideas, based in turn on moral standing. This engagement, which started in Minute 1 with police over-reaction and ended in Minute 8 with nervous police retreat, was a rout.





Not News

This cannot be considered any kind of news - not after almost 2 generations of constant and concerted efforts to chip away at every democratic tradition anybody cares to name.































I'm NOT saying CongressCritters haven't contributed greatly to their own crappy image by doing things that everybody thinks are stupid; and by not doing things that everybody thinks are smart.  What I'm saying is that on top of all that, you don't get to spend 35 years and a gajillion dollars trashing each other in very public ways and then wonder why everybody's looking at you like you've got scabs on your dick.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

What's Up With OWS

A good re-cap, and some decent analysis from Garance Franke-Ruta at The Atlantic:


And yet it is all too American. America has a very long history of protests that meet with excessive or violent response, most vividly recorded in the second half of the 20th century. It is a common fantasy among people born in the years since the great protests movements -- and even some not so great ones -- that they would have stood on the bold side of history had they been alive at the time and been called to make a choice. But the truth is that American protest movements in real time -- and especially in their early days -- often appear controversial, politically difficult, out-of-the-mainstream, and dangerous. And they are met with fear.
Even decades later, acts of protest can be the subject of heated debate and lead people to question (as well as celebrate) the moral standing of those who put their bodies on the line during moments of historic tumult -- as Sen. John Kerry, Vietnam veteran and former anti-Vietnam protester, learned during his presidential bid in 2004.
 (hat tip = JR)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

More Tim Wise

via GRITtv

On Things Authoritarian

One of the better bits from Theramin Trees. At about 11:00, there's a great parallel with how some city governments are trying to deal with OWS protests. Makes a lot of sense to me in that context.

Friday, November 18, 2011

d r i f t g l a s s Speaks

This is a link to a driftglass blog post:

d r i f t g l a s s: Professional Left Podcast -- Bonus Edition

One of the smartest guys you'll ever hear.

New Music

And the rush is on to claim the mantle: The Voice of Occupy

Too cynical? Maybe - the tune isn't available at Amazon, so there's that. It's just always a good idea to check for signs of commercialization. It's a good thing in a way, because when somebody starts making a few bucks off of OWS, we'll know it's gained some real support from a slice of the populace big enough to give it a real chance at being self-sustaining. And that should mean that the changes being sought by the movement are imminent (The Overton Window sez so anyway). It will also mean that OWS is being assimilated into the larger Body Politic, which means its power will begin to dissipate, which means the whole cycle starts over.

Occupy DC

(Hat tip to Crooks and Liars)
The Declaration of the Occupation of Washington, D.C.
Consented to in committee November 15th, 2011
We have been captives of corrupt economic and political systems for far too long. The concentration of wealth and the purchase of political power stifle the voices of the increasingly disenfranchised 99%. Corporate dominance subverts democracy, intentionally sows division, destroys the environment, obstructs the just and equitable pursuit of happiness, and violates the rights and dignity of all life.
Occupy D.C. is an open community of diverse individuals, founded on equality for the common good. We are peaceably assembled at McPherson Square, practicing direct democracy on the doorstep of K Street, the center of destructive corporate and governmental relationships. We insist that our political and economic systems serve the people’s interests. Now is the time to advance and complete the struggles of those who came before us.
We are assembled because...
It is absurd that The 1% has taken 40% of the nation’s wealth through exploiting labor, outsourcing jobs, and manipulating the tax code to their benefit through special capital tax rates and loopholes. The system is rigged in their favor, yet they cry foul when anyone even dares to question their relentless class warfare.
Candidates in our electoral system require huge sums of money to be competitive. These contributions from multi-national corporations and wealthy individuals destroy responsive representative governance. A system of backroom deals, kickbacks, bribes, and dirty politics overrides the will of the people. The rotation of decision-makers between the public and private sectors cultivates a network of public officials, lobbyists, and executives whose aligned interests do not serve the American people. 
The entrenched 2-party system overlooks public interests by pursuing narrow political goals. This climate encourages candidates to polarize voters for individual power and personal gain. Citizens’ meaningful input has been compromised by gerrymandering, voter disenfranchisement, and unresponsive politicians. Residents of Washington DC continue to lack autonomy and legislative representation.
Those with power have divided us from working in solidarity by perpetuating historical prejudices and discrimination based on color of skin, perceived race, immigrant or indigenous status, gender identity, sexual orientation, and disability, among other things.
Corporations broke the financial system by gambling with our savings, property, and economy. They needed the public to bail them out of their failures yet deny any responsibility and continue to fight oversight. They loot from those whose labor creates society’s prosperity, while the government allows them to privatize profits and socialize risk.
Corporate interests threaten life on Earth by extracting and burning fossil fuels and resisting the necessary transition to renewable energy. Their drilling, mining, clear-cutting, overfishing, and factory farming destroys the land, jeopardizes our food and water, and poisons the soil with near impunity. They privilege polluters over people by subsidizing fossil fuels, blocking investments in clean energy and efficient transportation, and hiding environmental destruction from public oversight.
Private corporations, with the government’s support, use common resources and infrastructure for short-term personal profit, while stifling efforts to invest in public goods.
The U.S. government engages in drawn-out, costly conflicts abroad. These operations are often pursued to control resources, needlessly overthrow foreign governments, and install friendly regimes. These wars destroy the lives of American soldiers and innocent civilians and are a blank check to divert money from domestic priorities.
Government authorities cultivate a culture of fear to invade our privacy, limit assembly, restrict speech, and deny due process. They have failed in their duty to protect our rights. Exacerbated by profiteering interests, the criminal justice system has unfairly targeted underprivileged communities and outspoken groups for prosecution rather than protection.
Corporatized culture warps our perception of reality. It cheapens and mocks the beauty of human thought and experience, while promoting excessive materialism as the path to happiness. The corporate news media furthers the interests of the very wealthy, distorts and disregards the truth, and confines our imagination of what is possible for ourselves and society.
Leaders are trading our access to basic needs in exchange for handouts to the ultra-wealthy. Our rights to healthcare, education, food, water, and housing are sacrificed to profit-driven market forces. They are attacking unemployment insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, creating an uncertain future for us all.*
A better world is possible. To all people,
We, the Washington D.C. General Assembly occupying K Street in McPherson Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble and reclaim the commons. Re-conceive ways to build a democratic, just, and sustainable world.
To all who value democracy, we encourage you to collaborate, and share available resources. We stand with you in solidarity.
*These grievances are not all inclusive.

Today's Pix









































And this one just for the hell of it.  
Somebody at AP either has a very high regard for the Grants Administrator at NC State, or a very low IQ not to spot this as a Snopesworthy hoax.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Electoral College Silliness

I don't really know where I stand on this. I do know that we have these little leftovers from when the thing got set up in the first place. I also know that Electors casting their votes is seen as very much a formality unless an election turns out to be way too close, and then it just gets weirder because there're so few who actually understand it.

There Are No Accidents

Why does it seem like we always hear a lot about non-fossil energy, but never get anywhere with it? Hmmm.

A mashup from DumFux News (from Media Matters via Little Green Footballs):

It Just Never Fails

Every time a good number of people get together to express disagreement with their governments, those governments always seem to go into Hyper-Authoritarian Mode. Nothing new in that. We've seen a bunch of reminders in the last several months. It just comes as a little jolt when it happens here in the US, even tho' our history is filled with the repeating pattern of Unrest leading to Demonstration leading to Violent Authoritarian Reaction.

Now let's add a little wrinkle by considering the fact that Zuccotti Park is a privately owned public space. Say that out loud a coupla times and let the 1984-ish-ness of it wash over you while you watch this clip:
(hat tip: Crooks and Liars)



The cops in NYC have to identify themselves as The Government - they wear numbered badges and name tags and everything. But Free Market Security Forces apparently aren't similarly restricted. With the cops, we can at least pretend there's a little accountability - not so when you call Rent-a-Goon to get a ready-made battalion of pud-knockers to do your dirty work.

And oh yeah - these guys have been very well trained; they have lots of experience (our tax dollars hard at work); and now that they're home and out of the military, we'll have to find something for them to do - so it makes perfect sense to use them to bring us a little law and order right here at home.

Put that together with all those unAmerican Terrorist Sympathizers who got their panties in a knot worrying about how red-blooded God-and-country patriots might abuse the powers of DHS and The USA PATRIOT Act.
From Wonkette:
Remember when people were freaking out over the Patriot Act and Homeland Security and all this other conveniently ready-to-go post-9/11 police state stuff, because it would obviously be just a matter of time before the whole apparatus was turned against non-Muslim Americans when they started getting complain-y about the social injustice and economic injustice and income inequality and endless recession and permanent unemployment? That day is now, and has been for some time. But it’s also now confirmed that it’s now, as some Justice Department official screwed up and admitted that the Department of Homeland Security coordinated the riot-cop raids on a dozen major #Occupy Wall Street demonstration camps nationwide yesterday and today. (Oh, and tonight, too: Seattle is being busted up by the riot cops right now, so be careful out there.)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

What's It All About?

The Short answer is: Nobody knows what it's all about.  And that's pretty encouraging to me.

When the Tea Party thing first popped up, it had a kind of organic feel to it, but almost immediately, when Michelle Bachmann jumped in front of it - and then when Dick Armey slithered in - suddenly it was all about GOP talking points or some other templated 'conservative' nonsense.  The rallies had all the authenticity of an Up With People performance from 1970, and the original themes that grew out of a reasonable rejection of Tax Payer bailouts for the crooks on Wall Street morphed into the old familiar bits about Tax-and-Spend, Deficit Hawkery and National Debt Anxiety.  It was one of the slickest bamboozles anybody'd ever seen (and btw: it made Dick Armey a fuckload of money).

So along comes OWS.  Basically the same thing as the Tea Party (albeit without all the blue hair).  And while there have always been crazies of the type who always gravitate towards any kind of power center, OWS has maintained a very different feel to it.  They don't have a real org chart.  They don't have designated spokespeople.  They have a generally stated list (of sorts) of the things they want to see addressed and/or remedied, but they're resisting efforts to be defined and then co-opted by the very entities they're determined to push against.  By staying more or less passive and unconfined by conventional politicking, they gain strength while they wait to discover what OWS is to become.

If you want a fair parallel, go back and watch The Social Network again, and pay close attention to the conflict between Zuckerberg and Saverin when facebook was still just a college campus thing.  As facebook was starting to take off, the 'normal' next step was to figure out how to monetize it - to make it make money.  But Zuckerberg resists, saying they don't know what it is yet - that they may have created something that fundamentally changes the way people interact; on a truly global scale.  Trying to shoehorn the thing into the standard Harvard Biz School model would be like Secretariat pullin' a plow.

So there's absolutely no need to make OWS fit neatly into whatever frame of reference we have on hand right now today.  In fact, I think what OWS needs is to resist all efforts to rein it in and to make it into something it's not.  I get a weird feeling that OWS is a very close approximation of what democracy is supposed to look like.  Maybe that's why we're having such a hard time recognizing it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Today's Shitty Little Fact

Of the 100 biggest economies in the world, 53 are corporations - which is up from 51 a year ago.

The Story Of Stuff

"Our enormously productive economy...demands that we make consumption our way of life, that we convert the buying and use of goods into rituals, that we seek our ego satisfaction, our ego satisfaction, in consumption. We need things consumed, burned up, replaced and discarded at an ever-accelerating rate." --Victor Lebow

Let's figure out how to move from a linear system to a circular one, but let's try to be careful about the disruption that must always accompany such great shifts.

Monday, November 14, 2011

We Are So Fucked

I'd like to think there was a time when this shit didn't go on.
The next national election is now less than a year away and congressmen and senators are expending much of their time and their energy raising the millions of dollars in campaign funds they'll need just to hold onto a job that pays $174,000 a year.
Few of them are doing it for the salary and all of them will say they are doing it to serve the public. But there are other benefits: Power, prestige, and the opportunity to become a Washington insider with access to information and connections that no one else has, in an environment of privilege where rules that govern the rest of the country, don't always apply to them.

Watch the video from 60 Minutes at CBSNews.com.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Obama Meets The GOP Women's Caucus



Always looking to connect a few dots - even when they seem pretty far apart.



At about 30:00, talking about The Unibomber and Eric Rudolph - "As a side note, I have no idea what it is with white folks and the woods - but whatever it is probably explains why black folks don't do a lot of camping."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Verterans' Day

"We wear our widow's weeds like nuns, and perpetuate war by exalting its sacrifice"

Turd Blossom Rides Again

Elizabeth Warren scares the holy bejeebers outa some folks. Kinda like bleach scares a fungus.

Penn State Update

From Michael Collins at The Agonist:
The relentless deviate, former PSU defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, is accused of sexually assaulting children for years. According to the grand jury, he gained easy access to children and early adolescents through a foundation he founded in 1977, the Second Mile Foundation. He continued the assaults at his home and in the PSU showers on at least one occasion. The foundation serves over 100,000 at-risk youth. Sandusky started the foundation as a group home for "troubled boys" in 1977. Since hiring Jack Raykovitz, PhD, a licensed psychologist, as president, the foundation has grown into a multimillion (sic) enterprise serving over 100,000 children throughout the state.






I'm not advocating violence - don't kick him in the nuts and don't throw anything at him - but if you see this Sandusky guy out in public, he needs to be made to feel as small and unwelcome as it is humanly possible to feel.









Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Art vs Life

One way to put it:
"Art is not a mirror to reflect the world, but a hammer with which to shape it." --Vladimir Mayakovsky

I don't know what that really has to do with anything right now, but I got to thinking (usually kinda dangerous for me) about parallels and coincidences and intersections, and I can't help but assume that there's no way I'm the only one in the world who wonders about the eerily converging similarities between the Duke brothers from the movie Trading Places and the Koch brothers.
Mortimer and Randolph Duke
Chuckles and Davy Koch

Olbermann On Joe Pa

It's one of the saddest things ever. Joe Paterno has been a hero for a lot of us for a very long time. And while I think this is something that happened as much in spite of his management rather than because of it, I also think this is a good example of what can happen when somebody stays in a position of great power for way too long.

Word is that Paterno will resign at the end of the season. I have to agree with Keith on this one (fire his ass today), but I'd go one more step and say that Paterno should be in front of a judge right now, trying to make a case for why he should not be in jail.

NYT Late To The Party - Again

Some pretty decent analysis from Numerian at The Agonist, on the main reason our 4th estate is in the middle of an Epic FAIL.
As an ex-subscriber to The New York Times, I too have been outraged by such stories, but not because I read them in the paper of record, which is not simply very late to the game of reporting on this phenomenon - it is too late. I’ve been outraged by these stories because I have been reading about this for years on internet blogs. Some of the most persistent reporters and analysts who write about this problem include Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com, Yves Smith at the Naked Capitalist blog, and Karl Denninger at the Market Ticker blog. All three of these writers have no doubt lost some readers over the years because they write about these stories over and over, and manage to maintain a sustained fury over the debasement of the rule of law that is evidenced by the way the big banks operate, and the inability or refusal of the government to do much about it.
These are the sort of people who have been criticized for years by The New York Times for sloppy reporting because they don’t have to live by the strict journalistic standards that are upheld every day by the mainstream media.
Whether or not this is true – and for the most part these writers have been careful about ensuring that the facts they present are verified – it is definitely the case that mainstream media reporters and analysts have not taken the angry, vituperative, and in some cases vulgar tone that bloggers take when talking about the collapse of the rule of law.
Therein lies a problem, and it is one that the mainstream media is only now beginning to comprehend. The undermining of the US Constitution and the laws as passed by Congress, and the refusal by government to investigate or prosecute these violations, which are now rife, represent some of the most serious challenges imaginable to a democracy based on a republican form of government. Anyone who takes their responsibilities as a citizen of the US seriously should be outraged by these circumstances.
Maybe we're starting to see some signs of revolt from inside the closed-loop crony-driven system which has tied Business, Government and Press together into a neat little bundle. We need that rebellion because we've allowed our little experiment in self government to slip into the oldest game in the world - ie: once everybody's guilty, nobody can be held responsible.  We have to figure out how to split it all up again, and put clearly discernible dividers back into place.  Balance has gone out of the system and must be reestablished.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Let Herman Be Herman

The allegations of sexual misconduct against Herman Cain will win him the nomination.

And here's the frame-up:  "It's just another instance of racist America's eagerness to condemn a black man for daring to approach a white woman.  The Democrats have a shameful history of this, you know.  All that Jim Crow stuff was because the Democrats were in charge of things in The South for way too long." (that's in quotes because it's what I expect to hear - not what anybody has actually said)

It doesn't matter what Limbaugh and all the others said about how Clinton's philandering exposed a character flaw that made him unfit to serve - this is the age of Confirmation Bias after all.  We can cherry pick the coverage and the analysis, and just choose what we wanna believe.

It just seems so fucking weirdly typical.  The leading lights for the Repubs and 'conservatives'  do, in fact, display a veiled racism on a pretty consistent basis.  Welfare Queens; Barack The Magic Negro; Food Stamp President; etc.  But now they've decided to play some kind of intra-race game.  They look at Obama, and they see a guy who's done almost exactly what they always say everybody should do.  He came from humble beginnings; he dreamed big; he worked hard; and he made it all the way to the White House.  He's devoted to his wife and kids; he loves his job; and he wants to serve his country.  What have the Repubs been telling us they want in a president that's any different from ANY of that?

Well - here it is: Plenty of people in general (and Repubs in particular) believe the crap about a big chunk of the 'black community' being anti-smart.  They're expecting a lot of black people to look at Obama and think, "he needs to back off a little - he's acting too white".  Cain fits their frame because he's their anti-intellectual black guy, which makes him the perfect anti-Obama.

Like Ann-The-Man Coulter said: "Our blacks are just so much better than their blacks".

Monday, November 7, 2011

Shocker In Ohio

From a local NPR affiliate:



Listening to this, I got the feeling that I was hearing the famous Left-Leaning Bias that 'conservatives' are always carping about.  But when I listen to the national shows on NPR (eg: All Things Considered), there's nothing even approaching this.  The Repubs have done such a thorough job of brow-beating CPB, nobody has the balls to say anything bold on the air. All we ever get is the notion that every side of every issue is perfectly valid, and oh yeah - "both sides do it".

Am I to understand that some random 3rd string nobody on public radio in Ohio is actually The Liberal Media?  And how long before the anti-media harpies swoop in to pluck out his eyes?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

John Mayer And Herbie Hancock

I think this is what Weather Report and Brian Auger always had in mind, but could never really make work on a regular basis.  This album is a little spotty too, but when it's good, it's really good.



Professional Left Podcast 100



Episode 100 from The Professional Left:

(hacked from Crooks and Liars - how proud my mom would be)


Featured links:
Newt Gingrich lauded by WaPo

Rachel Maddow rips on Paul Wolfowicz

The Pentagon's double-dip on weapons

The Perpetual War Portfolio

Saturday, November 5, 2011

OWS With Triumph

The Late Great Washington Post

The only reasons I go to The Wa Po any more (other than the Sunday crossword - which is usually awesome) is to mock George Will, or to find new ways to call Marc Thiessen an asshole.

James Fallows at The Atlantic has by far the best reason to tell Wa Po to pound sand.
Headline: "Where job measures go to die"
Subhead: "Another bill fails in Senate"
What actually happened: The bill got a majority in the Senate, 51-49.

But because Mitch McConnell's GOP minority has resolved to filibuster everything the Administration proposes, the measure never came to a vote on the merits. The Democrats, with "only" 53 votes (including 2 Indeps), cannot get 60 votes to break a filibuster, since the Republicans with 47 always-unified pro-filibuster votes, can stop anything they choose.

Friday, November 4, 2011

American Taliban

This jackass is a sitting judge in Texas who presides over a court that hears a lot of cases involving child abuse. His name is William Adams.




The Daily Mail has a good report.

Elizabeth Warren Heckled

Everybody gets to say what's on his mind, even if he insists on being a complete asshole about it (speaking from experience here).

Two things I really like about this:
1) Warren quiets the crowd when they start to go after him for calling her "a socialist whore".  She's a fighter and as sweet as she sounds, I'm betting she can cut you to ribbons when she feels the need, but she keeps it cool and there's nothing the guy can push back against.  Conflict resolved.
2) As is usually the case, the heckler was prob'ly a little nervous about being kinda shitty in public, so he needed to make the statement and then stride purposefully from the room - for dramatic effect.  But the door at the front is locked.  He tries the opener a couple of times, and then has to walk past the crowd to get out.  His body language is defiant and proud, but nobody's paying any attention to him, so again he has nothing to fight.  He's just some random dick callin' people names.

(hat tip: Crooks and Liars)

Random Shots

Today's pix:


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Allow Me To Reiterate

Matt Taibbi has written a lot of this before, and practically nothing is being done about it.  An awful lot of the people who should be in jail are the ones who keep telling us to keep pushing forward; keep working at it; it'll take a huge effort, but we'll get there if we just keep pluggin' along.  I hate the feeling, but some of these pricks had better start gettin' some serious prison time before the OWS hippies lose out to the angry mob.

When enough people find out they have nothing left to lose, it only takes one good leader - somebody who can whip the crowd into a rich creamy lather - and then they simply come to your penthouse and take what they want.

It's a kind of social extortion that's been going on forever.  Most people don't begrudge rich people being rich.  It's being said more often in the press now, but most Americans are OK with unequal results; even when it's obvious you never worked a day in your life to earn it and you just got lucky and won the birthright lottery.  Good on you.  Fuck a super model for me.  Who knows, maybe I'll get my chance some day and we can fuck one together.  But when the game is rigged, and everybody knows it's rigged, and a bunch of Silver Spoon Legacy Pukes are out in the open about trying to make sure it gets even more rigged, then we gotta a problem, son.  The unwashed masses will sit still for a lot as long as they believe they have a legitimate shot at makin' it big someday.  The economy is Confidence-based in more than just a paper money kind of way.  Once that confidence is betrayed, everybody loses everything.
The whole game was based on one new innovation: the derivative instruments like CDOs that allowed them to take junk-rated home loans and turn them into AAA-rated instruments. It was not Barney Frank who made it possible for Goldman, Sachs to sell the home loan of an occasionally-employed janitor in Oakland or Detroit as something just as safe as, and more profitable than, a United States Treasury Bill. This was something they cooked up entirely by themselves and developed solely with the aim of making more money.
Read more: Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Say What?

This is what it looks like when you step on your dick wearin' track shoes.



These guys need us to blame government; to blame Fannie and Freddie; they know they've screwed the pooch in a huge way, and if we don't go along with their bullshit explanations, confidence goes out of the system; and since confidence is what holds up this kind of "modern economy", the whole thing craters in on itself.

One other point: Remembering that it's never about what they say it's about, if Bloomberg is out saying shitty things about Washington, it could mean that there are some very "candid discussions" going on behind the curtains.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Some More Pix

I wish these could be real, but of course then we'd lose an important part of Show Biz and the economy would just get worse.


Some Pix

Just some random junk I found floating around the web recently.