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Showing posts from January, 2012

Hoping

Maybe the reason the GOP wingnuts are trying all this weird crap now is that they're feeling the heat from an electorate that's finally starting to wise up to their bullshit, and so they feel the need to push a bunch of stupid initiatives before voters throw 'em all out on their bony red butts.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch this morning:
Bill to require ultrasound before abortion advancesA bill that would require a woman seeking an abortion to have an ultrasound took another step toward passage in the Virginia Senate Monday — but not before outnumbered Democrats rose to express their opposition in clinical terms.
Sen. Janet D. Howell, D-Fairfax proposed an amendment — that any man seeking prescription medication for erectile dysfunction must first submit to a digital rectal exam and cardiac stress test. Virginia has grown more moderate politically over the last several years - Falwell's dead and Crazy Ol' Pat is fading fast, and the DC suburbs are gettin' bluer all…

Differences Can Be Legit

Evidence that 'conservatives' and 'liberals' see the world differently.

From BBC (hat tip = Democratic Underground).
Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln are studying liberals' and conservatives' reactions to happy or pleasant photographs and scary or sad ones in an effort to learn more about the cognitive underpinnings of political preference.Watch the video (no embedding available).

Out On A Limb

Obama gets blasted a lot from a lot of different directions.  I'm not gonna put up a list here because this is a blog, and I can say whatever bullshit I feel like saying, and I don't have to back it up or nuthin', so there.

Here's what I think is happening.  Right now, I'm kinda back to where it looks like Obama really is way out in front of us, and we're just starting to catch up with him.

The short version is this: When he "fucks up" - eg: no Public Option, Taxes vs Cuts, etc - he's not looking for everybody to shut up and go along with him (he's not Jr Bush for fuck's sake), he's looking for as many people as possible to stand up and holler and make him do what we want him to do.

So sign the petitions and call your Congress Critter, and send emails and...well, you know, PARTICPATE, you lazy fucks.  The guy can't do it all by himself.

Yikes

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I really do try to stay positive, but this kinda thing keeps popping up and I'm right back to  thinking it's just not gonna end well.

Both Sides Do It

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..but can you show me examples of this kinda shit coming from the Dems?

Both Sides Do It

...except when they don't.  The centrist meme is that Repubs and Dems are equally fucked up because they all engage in some kind of demagoguery or dirty tricks or whatever.  My own sense is that while there's a kernel of truth to it (at least in the Political Mode O'Day), when I look closer, one side is a quite a bit wackier, and a lot more authoritarian, and a boatload more likely to be totally batshit fucking crazy.

From Wonkette:
Arguably the worst person permitted to make laws on behalf of America, Tennessee State Senator Stacey Campfield, author of the “Don’t Say Gay”bill, recently took part in an interview on Sirius in which he not only defended his already nightmarish views on homosexuality and AIDS... -snip-
"Most people realize that AIDS came from the homosexual community — it was one guy screwing a monkey, if I recall correctly, and then having sex with men. It was an airline pilot, if I recall. My understanding is that it is virtually — not completely, but vi…

Confirmation Bias Update

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Another great example.  Newt scores points in a TV debate by getting huffy with John King for asking a question he doesn't like - big points because the rubes in the crowd are well-conditioned to cream their jeans whenever somebody publicly spanks a Press Poodle.  Later, on CNN, King follows up and tells us Gingrich's campaign staffers confirm the story.

But it doesn't fucking matter.  The rubes don't watch CNN, and nothing they see on DumFux News is ever going to contradict their preconceptions.  It seems the Fox commentators have been instructed to slam Newt, but you're not going to see anything on their air that gives the rubes any reason to question the cult's orthodoxy of Fox Good; All Others Bad.

(hat tip = Crooks and Liars)


Differentiatin'

I've been watching politics for a while now, and one of things that's been hard to miss in the last 25 years or so is that Repubs and Dems are a lot more sharply divided.  (Brilliant observation, Mikey - please tell us more)  Right.  No news there, but the way it's evolved into the current depiction of GOP=Man, and Dem=Woman is pretty interesting.

It was there back in the 90s when the narrative was "Dad's the hard-working Republican who puts food on the table and protects the family, while Mommy is the Democrat who spends all the money."  We've heard that repeated in one iteration or another for what's getting to be a long time.  Hell, Ahnode Schvartzenbooger said it straight out when he called the California Legislature a bunch of girlie men.  It could be that the Dems now have a chance at turning it back on the Repubs.

So here's what we should all push the Repubs to ask of their candidates:  I'd like to see Gingrich shoot a few baskets, and …

It's A Wonderment

In a democracy - Representative Democracy; Democratic Republic; Republican Democracy; whatever - shouldn't it actually be a good thing for the government to grow in size appropriate to the population?

In 1790, there were about 33,000 people for every Congress Critter in the House of Representatives.  Right now, every Critter "represents" more than 700,000 Americans.

If we're supposed to be self-governed; if the individual is supposed to have the power; then why do we insist on diluting that power by keeping the number of Reps the same while the population increases?  Every Critter "represents" 21 times the number of citizens now as they represented in 1790.  It may not be a straight 1-to-1 thing, but to me that means each Critter's power is something like 21 times greater than it used to be, and each citizen's power has gone down by 95%.

I don't like Big Government any better than I like Big Union, or Big Oil, or Big Anything - but if we simply …

Divide And Conflate

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In the Age of Bias Confirmation, the duplicity game can actually be easier to play.  Case in point: Jan Brewer meets Obama at the airport; there's a bit of conversation away from the press that nobody hears; and it produces this graphic:

Cue the raging speculation as the blogosphere goes batty.

Gov Brewer tells 'the mainstream media' (eg: CBS) one thing, and then tells a very different story when she pops up on DumFux News.

Brewer scores the points - and scoring points is really the only thing that matters anymore - because she capitalizes on the opportunity to ambush Obama in public, and because the rubes won't see or hear anything that might contradict what they're led to believe.

It's Over

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...and we lost.

(hat tip = truthdig)



Voters go to the polls to confirm an outcome that was decided for them well in advance of "Election Day".  Control the message and you control the decision.

Campaign Contributions by all Americans
.26% give more than $200
.05% give more than $5,000
.01% give more than $10,000

That Pussy, Obama

He's just a typical Librul wuss - always walkin' around all timid and uncomfortable when it comes to knockin' shit over with his dick.  Except when you look at his actual record of  fuckin' up the bad guys.

From AP/WaPo, via Balloon Juice:
(even DumFux News has this at the top of their page this morning)

Newt's Run

Molly Ball put up a good piece at The Atlantic yesterday, deconstructing Newt's 4-part plan to beat Obama (thus):

1) 3-hour debates
Seriously?  We watch an awful lot of our TV on DVRs - partly because we're busy and we're prob'ly doing something else when the show is aired, but mostly because we can't stand wasting our time watching commercials or listening to politicians while they blow smoke up our skirts.

2) Gingrich presents a greater contrast to Obama than Romney does.
People don't buy 'different'; they buy 'better'.

3) He goes after the "Swing Voters"
Guess what, Newt?  We're all swing voters.

4) Obama loses no matter what.
Not when he's winning the Tax issue, and not when he's winning the Jobs issue, and not when he's won the Foreign Policy and Terrorism issues all together.

Obama has much to atone for.  There're plenty of reasons not to vote for him.  But he's totally outflanked the GOP on every front.  …

Domestic Terrorism

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From Crooks and Liars today, a story about another incident of political violence.

See the video here (the embedding code isn't working for me today)

Did you catch the operative phrase in the video?  At about :55, the News Poodle says, "Burris admits he's liberal".  Well, there ya have it - he admits it!  And so then, of course, the rest of the piece is all about Animal Cruelty, and not a word about the crime as an obvious act of terrorism against a political opponent.

There are red flags popping up in lots of places.

Distracted

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We definitely need to be arguing about this instead of all the real shit that's goin' on.  For one thing - because, well, you know, it worked so well against Obama last time he ran for president (which is when this pic was taken).

But really, why does it seem like somebody somewhere wants us to concentrate on this shit?  It's almost as if they don't want us to talk about real issues.  Hmmm.



Quick Tho't

Don't be too hasty to condemn "the do-nothing Congress".  Remember that if they manage to do nothing for the next couple of years, the Bush Tax Cuts will expire which means the deficit starts to go away, which in turn means the debt starts to go away.

Can You Spot The Difference?

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With Apologies

..to Mel Brooks.

GOP Pollster: "Sir, the base voters are revolting!"

Willard: "You're tellin' me - they stink on ice"

(hat tip = Crooks and Liars)

The Power Of Myth

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Seems like this shows up on facebook every few months.  I've debunked it more than a coupla times, and it just never sinks in - the same guys keep putting it up in ever so slightly different iterations.


"Conservatives" are usually pretty big on trying to boil down the problems (of government, or culture, or people) to one overarching concept.  You know the drill:
"the problem with the economy is too much government regulation"
"the problem with the schools is the Teachers Union"
"the problem with unemployment is that taxes are too high"

So here's mine:  The problem (with everything) is the insistence on remaining ignorant.

And btw, why do "conservatives" always cheer when Romney inveighs against "wealth envy", and then piss and moan about some imaginary retired senator getting a fat pension?

Today's Pix etc

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Colbert

Chock full o' goodies, but my fave so far is "...east coast Hollywood elite..."

Censorship

Intellectual property is an important thing.  You have a reasonable expectation to own your work, and to profit from it.

That said, I tend to take a fairly expansive view of The Fair Use Doctrine.  I think the creator of the content usually derives benefits from the use of his creation which - again, usually - outstrip the costs of lost revenues and/or watch-dogging.

The reflex of jealously guarding your proprietorship generally has the effect of narrowing your audience, which is kinda not the fucking point, now is it?


PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.


Anyway, the larger point is that ceding control over the internet to anybody other than the users is just a bad idea.

The Naughty Bits

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I just had to do one more.

Mr Deity

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From the Mr Deity collection

Today's Civics Assignment

Moyers has rehabbed himself in pretty good shape in the last 45 years.  For me, he stands among the last of the straight news guys.


Moyers & Company 101: On Winner Take All Politics from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

Yeesh

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Makes me wonder about the level of self-loathing Juan Williams must've reached to put himself thru this.

One point of interest: Gingrich is complaining that Obama has done nothing about unemployment, and the one tangible thing he mentions is road building.  It's almost as if he's embracing standard Keynesian principles.
(ed note: the road in question is I-73, which was first proposed way back in 1983, and has been a political football in SC politics ever since)
But most interesting is the enthusiastic reaction of the mob as Gingrich puts a whuppin' on the black guy - in their minds Williams is just a stand-in for "that uppity buck in the White House".

Gingrich poses a real danger to the GOP (along with the rest of us) because he threatens to unleash the monsters of the Great American Id.

(hat tip = Wonkette)



Today's Pix

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Boy Culture

The pendulum swings.  We've spent a long time trying to get girls up to speed, and now I guess it turns out we need to try to treat everybody as if they were individuals.  Wow - what a concept.




Walk Off The Earth

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Is this the opposite of multi-tasking?



(I can't find a working link at Amazon)

Rachel, Rachel

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I check in on Rachel Maddow once in a while.  When she wags her finger and gets preachy, I can do without her, but when she sticks to stringing the facts together and connecting the dots, there's no better reporter.

Both Sides Doin' It

I don't even remember where I saw it today, but some preacher dude on a webcast was calling for  Newt Gringrich to produce his birth certificate, because "Gingrich's daddy ran off when Newt was just a boy and - you know - ain't no white folk gonna name they baby Newton LEROY..."

I'm really hoping it was satire or just the guy screwin' around or whatever - and not some kind of serious attempt at payback.

Everybody loses when we become what we're fighting against.

A Nation Of Sheep

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...begets a government of wolves.

I'm The Slime

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Nobody better'n Zappa. (hat tip = Democratic Underground)



I am gross and pervertedI'm obsessed 'n derangedI have existed for yearsBut very little had changedI am the tool of the GovernmentAnd industry tooFor I am destined to ruleAnd regulate you
I may be vile and perniciousBut you can't look awayI make you think I'm deliciousWith the stuff that I sayI am the best you can getHave you guessed me yet?I am the slime oozin' outFrom your TV set
You will obey me while I lead youAnd eat the garbage that I feed youUntil the day that we don't need you

Today's Pix

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Get It Together, Girls

When Mitt Romney Came To Town

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At what point do we start to see a movement to dump Biden and put Gingrich on the ticket with Obama?

Little Jimmy (updated)

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(update) - From a story at The Boston Herald site

James O'Keefe strikes again!  Except he doesn't.  Here's the video of O'Keefe's latest escapade, attempting to demonstrate the urgent need for Voter ID.



I'll certainly agree with the basic premise that we have to look after the integrity of our elections process - no argument there.  But this Voter ID thing is a solution in search of a problem.  And while we're at it, how come the "party of personal responsibility and small government" is being so adamant about getting Big Gubmint to step in on this one?  Can you say "Nanny State", bitches?

Anyway, Ryan Reilly at TPM has the breakdown.  (hat tip = Balloon Juice)
“Who in their right mind would risk a felony conviction for this? And who would be able to do this in large enough numbers to (1) affect the outcome of the election and (2) remain undetected?” Hasen wrote. That quote hits it smack on the head for me.  Again - Voter ID (eg) is not a…

Pick Them Cherries

A facebook friend posted this.


When this kinda junk shows up, my habit is to put up some smartass comment on their wall, but this guy's not the usual brand of bible-thumper; I detect very little condescension in his attitude.

So I'll confine my own dismissive and condescending comments to my little blog here.

Anyway, using the formula depicted near the end of the video, we see that Hard Work = 98%, Knowledge = 96%, and Attitude = 100%; but Love Of God = 101%. Yay.

But wait - it gets better. Bullshit = 103%. And if you really really wanna score, then Pious Baloney = 139%. No wonder Gingrich was taking those shots at Romney the other night.

Miracle At Mile High

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(posted by a facebook friend)

Iran

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Sounds plain to me. Iran is not on the verge of getting the bomb. That means all the crap coming from guys like McCain and Lieberman (et al) is meant to focus attention on Iran for other reasons. (ie: this "issue" is in keeping with my basic premise that it's never about what they tell us it's about) So what is it?

(hat tip = Democratic Underground)

We Are So Fucked

From Mother Jones:
For the German chemical giant Bayer, neonicotinoid pesticides—synthetic derivatives of nicotine that attack insects' nervous systems—are big business. In 2010, the company reeled in $789 million euros (more than $1 billion) in revenue from its flagship neonic products imidacloprid and clothianidin. The company's latest quarterly report shows that its "seed treatment" segment—the one that includes neonics—is booming. The nexus of Crop Engineering, Corporate-Funded Research, and Regulation Capture scares the fuck outa me.

And BTW: Ain't no such thing as National Security when it's not safe to breathe the air, drink the water, or eat the food.

Double Speak

In the 40 years I've been voting, every time anybody runs for President, he ends up talking about what he'll do - or what we need to do - "to restore America to greatness".

When you say something like that, doesn't it have to mean you think America is a pretty crappy place right now?  I know it's just a rhetorical gimmick, but it seems like whoever says that kind of thing will always also say that he's 'plain-spoken'; that he says what he means and means what he says, and blah blah blah.  And then he'll turn around and say that the US is - not was, and not will be - but is the greatest.

So when do we get a guy who doesactually give it to us straight?  We don't.  Well, we did let that guy in a coupla times.  Bobby Kennedy grabbed us by the collar in 1968 and made us look directly at our own shittiness in places like Appalachia and Viet Nam - we felt so bad about it, we had to shoot him in the head, and then vote for Nixon so we could get u…

Pots And Kettles

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If I Hafta Tebow 'Round The World

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(my sincerest apologies to Marvin Gaye for the title)

Cults of personality are occasionally interesting, sometimes powerful, often dangerous - and generally hard not to watch.

Especially when they're more than a little weirdly ironic.








Smoke And Mirrors

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I've been noticing lately that the officiating in the NFL has been something less than stellar.  This isn't a terribly new thing.  The players get bigger and faster, and the game speeds up, and it can take a while for the Stripes to catch up - pretty simple formula.  What really bugs me tho' is that I don't see any of the blown calls on any of the highlite shows, and I never hear any of the commentators talking about it either.  It starts to look a lot like a media blackout.

I'm not saying the games are rigged, but I will say that in the absence of scrutiny, the potential for dastardly behavior will flourish in sports, business, government, religion, whatever.

Connecting those dots with any of these other dots may a bit of a stretch, but it feels like there's a real corollary at work here.

(hat tip = HuffPo)

Chickens Come Home To Roost

Gee - it's just like 1970 again.  The cops are not your friends...

(hat tip = The Agonist)

From care2 make a difference:
Sometime between the time he was arrested on March 27, 2009 around 2:00 p.m., and March 31 at 1:23 p.m. when he was pronounced dead, Christie had been sprayed with ten blasts of pepper spray, also known as OC (Oleo-resin Capsicum), which is a derivative of cayenne pepper.   ...and the world is a ghetto.

Today's Slogan

Corporations are made of people, but that doesn't mean corporations are people.

Romney Is As Romney Does

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via Wonkette:



We've been told for a very long time that 'creative destruction is the natural order of things'; that if we go against the forces of the Free Market we'll only get bad results from our good intentions.

(I realize giving Romney et al the benefit of the doubt here is a huge strain on credulity, but I need to bypass the demonization for a moment.  Besides, I imagine it'll be a good long time before we see a shortage of opportunities to call him names.)

Anyway - the intent was not to stiff these guys and put them out of work.  The intent was to make the company more efficient - more competitive in a global market, to help it evolve, and thus at least to survive long enough to hire these guys back; or to thrive in a way that pumps enough dollars into the local economy so other companies could hire them.  That's how it's supposed to work.  That was the intent.

But I can't look at what actually happened to the people who made up that company and …

Today's Pix

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Is This Heaven? No, It's Iowa

Santorum lost by 9 votes - here's how it happened (via Crooks and Liars).

Both Sides

Seems to me:
Dems tend to use polls to figure out what We The People are thinking, and where we might wanna go if somebody actually stood up and decided to lead us somewhere.  Maybe that's partly why the Repubs hate calling them democrat-ic.  Anyway, Repubs seem to use their polling to help them decide how to attack public opinion in order to change it enough to suit their agenda.
However slight you believe them to be, there are differences.

d r i f t g l a s s has a good look at it from a wider perspective (quoting a piece from truthout.com):
But both parties are not rotten in quite the same way. The Democrats have their share of machine politicians, careerists, corporate bagmen, egomaniacs and kooks. Nothing, however, quite matches the modern GOP.

Yo, Repubs

(ed note: This was hangin' in the Drafts File.  Not much new here, but it's generally a good idea to recap once in a while) It's gotten so bad for you guys that the Repub candidates who might actually have a chance to beat Obama aren't going to bother running any real campaign in states like Iowa and South Carolina.  Why?  Because your party's "leaders" have allowed the loons to grab control.  
There's a pretty severe purity test at work here.  If you look at what it takes to get "the base" to vote for somebody in sufficient numbers to win the nomination, you might notice the list of issues requiring absolute fealty is getting pretty long - gays, God, guns, abortion, taxes, immigration, plus one or two others.  The point being that when you insist on strict adherence to this widening list of issues, the effect is that you're not just narrowing the field of candidates who could reasonably cleave to that platform, but you're severely …

Today's Music

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Actually, not today's music at all.  It's just a great tune, and it was Billboard's #1 on this date in 1969.

Local Controversy

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Years ago, a guy named Paul Reisler put together a little residency program (Kid Pan Alley)  where he recruits local music talent, then chooses a public elementary school for a week of song-writing sessions with the kids.  The classes write and perform the tunes at school, and a CD is issued as a means to raise a few bucks for the PTA.  As the program gathers enough tunes, Reisler et al will then produce a CD featuring professionals (eg: Terri Allard, Sissy Spacek, The Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Jesse Winchester, etc).

My kids have been thru this, and all seemed well and good until recently, when the 3rd graders at Woodbrook Elementary School here in Charlottesville came up with a song with references to greed and Occupy and 99%ers.  And of course, the wingnuts freaked out.

(hat tip = Wonkette)

Local News Video

The knee-jerkers' big question generally centers around whether or not 'the libruls' would still support the results if the songs were about Tea Party stuff or rel…

Tools Explained

(hat tip = Doug Z)


DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the corner where nothing could get to it.

WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench with the speed of light . Also removes fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about the time it takes you to say, 'Oh shit'

SKIL SAW: A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads (also good for creating blood-blisters).

BELT SANDER: An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board principle. ie: It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal…

Settle In

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Get the popcorn ready and sit yer butt down - this is gonna take a while.

Chris Hedges on C-SPAN

At the heart of any protest (at least here in the US) is the simple desire to get this country to live up to its own ideals.

My Kinda Republican

It's certainly a rarity in politics now, and maybe it always was a rare thing, but once in a while somebody steps up and shows us a little something about honor and leadership and soul.

Via Wikipedia, the story of Fred Tuttle:
In 1998 Tuttle was persuaded to run in the RepublicanUS Senateprimary. His opponent was Jack McMullen, a multi-millionaire who had lived in Massachusetts for most of his life. McMullen faced opposition from some Vermont Republicans who felt that he was a carpetbagger who apparently moved to Vermont for the sole purpose of establishing residency for a Senate run. The Vermont primary structure allows Democrats and Independents to vote in the Republican primary, and many people foresaw the possibility that Tuttle would beat McMullen by drawing votes across party lines. In addition, some may have hoped that a Tuttle campaign would help to publicize the film Man with a Plan. Fuck John Galt - Where is Fred Tuttle?

Scorecard

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Mother Jones has lots of pretty pictures of the ugly truth.

Here's one of my faves.  5000 Americans were asked about Wealth Distribution.

















And - surprise, surprise - there's a fairly simple reason your Congress Critter hangs out in the hot tub with Mr Monopoly, but sends you form letters.

Here We Go Again

Happy New Year.

Now get yer butts back to work - we got shit to do.