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Showing posts from October, 2013

Seems A Bit Odd

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Propaganda that's good - the stuff that works - always makes for "art" that's cheesy and obvious; and if the fevered results weren't always so deadly, it'd be pretty fuckin' funny.






And, oh yeah.  What's with all the bullshit (ie: propaganda) that comes from the wingnuts about how we can't leave god out of the picture - because that's what the Nazis did?  Bullshit's what I call it cuz bullshit's what it is.






Truth In Small Packages

Ya gotta know it's bad when a 12-year-old kicks your ass in public.



One of the big precautionary tenets in fighting any kind of battle is that you have to go to great lengths to avoid fucking up the kids.  Fuck over a kid when he's 10 or 12 and you've got an implacable enemy for the next 50 or 60 years.

Halloween Culture

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Today's Pix

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Today's Quote

When asked by a fundraiser attendee about civility in the Senate, Tom Coburn (R-OK) reportedly said: “There’s no comity with Harry Reid. I think he’s an absolute asshole.”
Yesterday, Reid's office came back with this (via Spokesman Adam Jentleson):

"Nothing says 'comity' like childish playground name-calling, especially from a senator who has not sponsored a single piece of successful bipartisan legislation during his entire Senate career."
ed: Coburn's been a senator for 8 years, and he's been on the federal payroll for 14 out of the last 18 years.

Please Please Please

Seriously, guys - tell me you're not gonna vote for this asshole.

EW Jackson - TheoPutz - Republican (of course) running for Lt Gov here in Virginia.

Yo, Texas

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Judges in the lower courts keep knocking down these attempts to deny women their rights, but I don't believe it has anything to do with anything short of getting an appeal up to SCOTUS in an attempt to blow up Roe v Wade.
Dallas Morning News
The Week

Mamming

Torches And Pitch Forks

...coming soon to a gated community near you.

Wall Street On Parade (10-23-13):
Yesterday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a very weak jobs number: just 148,000 new nonfarm jobs had been added by employers in September. To the rational mind, an appropriate reaction in the stock market would have been to sell off on the basis that the economy remains weak. Instead, the Standard and Poor’s 500 hit a new record, closing at an all time high of 1,754.67.The general thesis to explain this reaction is that today’s Wall Street is running a racket similar to Lance Armstrong. It’s on a heavy doping regimen in the form of the $85 billion a month that the Federal Reserve is funneling into the markets through the purchase from Wall Street of U.S. Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities. When the Fed buys those instruments, it forces $85 billion of cash each month into the hands of traders to deploy into higher risk assets – stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stock futures and what have …

What's A Skeptic?

From The Skeptic Society:



My favorite bit is the Radical Skepticism:
Radical skepticism or radical scepticism is the philosophical position that knowledge is most likely impossible.[1] Radical skeptics hold that doubt exists as to the veracity of every belief and that certainty is therefore never justified. To determine the extent to which it is possible to respond to radical skeptical challenges is the task of epistemology or "the theory of knowledge".[2]

Lou Reed Walkin'

I'm not much of a fan really - and maybe this is just too much of a chestnut, but it's also one of the great headphones memories from my misspent youth.

Take A Walk On The Wild Side - Lou Reed, 1972






Unfortunately

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...some of the best commentary comes from the jokes on a comedy show - and way too much of the policy comes from politicians who don't know that they actually are the jokes.




And if you have the time, listen to this bit from WWNC Talk Radio in western NC to hear this clown make it even worse by trying to rationalize it:






Here's the basics:  "I don't care if what I said was racist crap - as long as I don't recognize it as racist crap, it can't be racist crap - so I'm not the racist asshole, you Librulz is the the racist assholes for calling me a racist asshole."

Can't Say It Better

From Democratic Underground:
I really have to say I think it's great that Fox has taken time to profit off of "honoring" America's veterans during these World Series games, seeing as how Fox News worked so hard to feed so many thousands of soldiers into the meat grinders of Iraq and Afghanistan...again, for profit.

You really want to honor our veterans, Fox? Send Rupert Murdoch and the rest of his henchmen out to home plate, have them get on their knees, and let them beg for forgiveness from the shades of the men and women who can't do something so simple as watch a baseball game because they're dead in wars your network promoted as if they were a fucking game show.

Fuck you sideways, Fox. The only thing you honor is ratings, and I will literally thank God out loud the day Major League Baseball un-fucks itself and finds another network for these great games. The troops deserve far, far better than the saccharine bullshit "honor" Fox is peddling.

Hey Look - I'm A Pollster

Google Search Term: "Republicans Suck"
44,300 hits

Google Search Term: "Stupid Republicans" 52,000 hits

Google Search Term: "Democrats Suck"
25,200 hits

Google Search Term: "Stupid Democrats"
26,700 hits

No, I dunno what it means.  They don't pay me to know what it means, they just...wait - they don't pay me.  So of course, it can't mean anything at all.

Never mind.  Everybody go back to sleep.  I'll call ya if anything happens.

Told Ya

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From Addicting Info:
Being honest was her downfall
Alicia Beltran, 28, had done what she thought she needed to do in order to have a healthy first pregnancy. Her only mistake was telling her doctor’s office about her efforts to protect her fetus. Beltran had a bout with addiction to the painkiller Percocet in the previous year. She took steps to get herself off of it, including getting some of an anti-addiction drug, Suboxone, from a friend. With that, she weaned herself off of the Percocet. She finished the process a few days before going to a clinic for a prenatal checkup. In providing her medical history to a physician’s assistant (PA), she helpfully included this information. Drug-testing done on that day confirmed that she had no opiates in her system.
The PA wanted Beltran to go on Suboxone again, but she refused. She hadn’t been able to afford her own prescription in the first place and now felt confident that she was done with drugs. Two weeks after the checkup, a social worker …

Speaking Of Knocking

Can't You Hear Me Knockin' - Stones





Have Mercy

Waiting For The Bus/Jesus Just Left Chicago - ZZ Top





Drive Me Home, Baby

Radar Love - Golden Earring








Waitin'

I'm Just Waiting On A Friend -  Stones







Go Back Where Ya Been

I Hear You Knockin' - Dave Edmonds





What A Wicked Thing To Do

Wicked Game - Chris Isaak



The world was on fire and no one could save me but you.
It's strange what desire will make foolish people do.
I never dreamed that I'd meet somebody like you.
And I never dreamed that I'd lose somebody like you.

No, I don't want to fall in love 
(This world is only gonna break your heart)
No, I don't want to fall in love 
(This world is only gonna break your heart)
With you 
(This world is only gonna break your heart)

What a wicked game to play, to make me feel this way.
What a wicked thing to do, to let me dream of you.
What a wicked thing to say, you never felt this way.
What a wicked thing to do, to make me dream of you and,

I want to fall in love 
(This world is only gonna break your heart)
No, I want to fall in love 
(This world is only gonna break your heart)
With you.

The world was on fire and no one could save me but you.
It's strange what desire will make foolish people do.
I never dreamed that I'd love somebody like you.
And I never dreamed th…

You'll Be A Woman Soon

Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon - Urge Overkill





Today's Quote

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“To argue with a man who has renounced the use and authority of reason, and whose philosophy consists in holding humanity in contempt, is like administering medicine to the dead, or endeavoring to convert an atheist by scripture.” --Thomas Paine

The KrugMan Speaks

There are plenty of smart guys who talk in high-blown language because they're kinda desperate to make sure everybody thinks they're as smart as they need everybody to think they are.

But the really smart guys are the ones who can take the densest, most impenetrable content and turn it into words that fit nicely into just about anybody's brain - anybody who's willing to do his part in actually learning one or two things anyway.  You can't expect it to be spoon-fed to ya - because it does, after all, take some effort on the part of the listener.

(Always remember: for every problem that's gnarly and complicated and difficult, there's a solution that's simple and elegant and fucking wrong - are ya paying attention here, wingnuts?)

Paul Krugman:
The dollar is, first of all, a vehicle currency (mainly in the interbank market) thanks to thick markets: if a bank wants to convert bolivars into zlotys, it will generally trade the bolivars for dollars, then the d…

Today's Pix

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Coining A New Term

To co-opt Mr Clemens - There are lies, damned lies, and TeaParty Rhetoric.



So, lemme see.  We can add Job Killing to Death Panels; Abortion Surtax; Healthcare Rationing; Government Takeover; blahblah blahblah blahblah.

The GOP is just straight-up lying.  And they can lie all they want because they know there's a constituency out here just waiting to lap up whatever falls outa their asses.  Which is why I've decided to start referring to the Tea Party in a way that more accurately reflects their actual function: Toilet Paper Republicans.

Seriously tho', what does it take to get some of these people deprogrammed?

A Word From Professor Cole

Juan Cole (aka the smartest guy in any room when it comes to talking about the gigundous cluster fuck polite people call The Middle East):
Why the US needs Electric Cars: Saudi Arabia threatens Pivot away from US
Posted on 10/23/2013 by Juan Cole

The royal family of Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy with no constitution and no elected legislature, is in a snit about US foreign policy. King Abdullah doesn’t like even the mild American criticism of the Sunni Bahrain monarchy’s brutal crackdown on the majority Shiite community in that country. He is furious that President Obama went with the Russian plan to sequester Syria’s chemical weapons rather than bombing Damascus. He is petrified of a breakthrough in American and Iranian relations that might permit Iran to keep its nuclear enrichment program and allow Tehran to retain a nuclear breakout capacity, which would deter any outside overthrow of the Iranian regime. Those are the stated discontents leaked by Saudi uber-hawk Bandar Bin Sulta…

Today's Toons

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That's Pretty Fucked Up, Right There

And the binary thinking "on the right" means that if you're talking about Wealth Inequality, then what you're really after is to upset the natural order of things and to turn USAmerica Incorporated into a Bolshevik nightmare and make Jesus cry.  Cuz everybody knows Capitalism is god's way of separating the good smart people from the poor stupid people.

Uh - no, actually.  We're talking about not returning to the glory days of the 18th century, when the king could do no wrong; when the noble class owned everything and collected rent from anybody who worked for a living, and "justice" was all about the aristocracy keeping the commoners in line by meting out punishment that included branding, whipping and partial hanging.

In this country today, tell me how it's fair and equitable to fill the prisons to overflowing with people making minimum wage while the real crooks on Wall Street and the Rentiers in the executives suites can buy their way out of…

Today's Quotes

"Evolution is a theory. It is also a fact. And facts and theories are different things, not rungs in a hierarchy of increasing certainty. Facts are the world's data. Theories are structures of ideas that explain and interpret facts. Facts do not go away when scientists debate rival theories to explain them. Einstein's theory of gravitation replaced Newton's, but apples did not suspend themselves in mid-air, pending the outcome. And humans evolved from ape-like ancestors whether they did so by Darwin's proposed mechanism or by some other yet to be discovered."
-Stephen Jay Gould, Evolutionary Biologist"That evolution is a theory in the proper scientific sense means that there is both a fact of evolution to be explained and a well-supported mechanistic framework to account for it."
-Richard Lenski, Biologist"One thing all real scientists agree upon is the fact of evolution itself. It is a fact that we are cousins of gorillas, kangaroos, starfish, a…

Jesus, Jesus

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A new site for me - Happy Nice Time People (via Wonkette)


Jesus and his golden retriever, Sam, have cured your son of being in a wheelchair. That’s just dumb. Who has this painting? Someone with a baby in a wheelchair? Don’t you love your baby as he is? Do you want him to feel even worse because Jesus has not cured him of being in a wheelchair? Go fuck yourself.UPDATE: Commenter Actor212 rightly notesTrix, look again: the kid is DEAD. Those are the bright gates of heaven and the children are running into the light. This painting is for parents who wish their crippled kid was dead. Also dead: Sam, the golden retriever because dogs should be dead as well in ChristendomActor is right. It is a fucking snuff painting! AIYEEEE!!!!!

ACA Testamonials

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From a post at Democratic Underground:
Right now I pay $650.00 per month for myself and my son (he is 19) with a $5,000 deductible. The quotes I saw were from $180.00 to
$375.00 per month and in many cases the deductible was from $1,500
to $2,500 ...... I entered my phone # @ the web site and with in 3
minutes a broker who looks @ 62 different insurance companies called me
and said that she could get me a quote w/in 24 hours and it would include
free check ups, and for a little more money it could include vision and
dental too.

**********
No wonder the republicans are so scared of Obamacare. Some comments from that post:



From DailyKOS:
My sister was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, among other things. By the age of three, she had three open heart surgeries, an ovary removed, her appendix out, and her tonsils removed. The medicines that she will need to take for the rest of her life, in addition to the other heart surgeries that she will eventually need are very, very costly.Ou…

Faintgate

A young pregnant woman with Type 1 Diabetes went a little woozy during Obama's remarks on ACA, causing a minor disruption.



And of course the Bloglodytes have gone nuts.  Wow - can't imagine why - it's almost like they hate Obama's guts and go outa their way to find "reasons" to say shitty things about the guy.

Infowars:
Was Fainting Woman at Obamacare Speech Staged?

First of all, who in their right mind asked a pregnant woman to stand up in front of hundreds of photographers for a significant amount of time?
Secondly, take a closer look at the video. After turning to the woman, Obama actually turns back toward the microphone, raises his voice and says “I’ve got you.” He then turns back to her, turns back to the mic and again says “You’re ok.”
There are plenty more sites with some very entertaining comments.  Google it and enjoy hours of hoot.

The Real Power

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Did you see it? Did you look closely enough to notice the woman at the top has too many fingers on her left hand?  And the guy in the middle shot has some spooky random hand on his shoulder?  And the guy in the bottom picture has only one ear?
No - prob'ly you didn't notice any of that at all - just like I didn't.  Simple and silly little exercise, but it points up a great lesson.  We're generally good people, so we tend to trust, which makes us pliable.  We'll focus on what we're told to focus on.  And so we can be manipulated.  Concentrate on what's important, not just what somebody tells you is urgent.

The Un-Endorsement

Just like the Non-Denial Denial, and the Un-Apologetic Apology: this is at or near the summit of Bullshit Mountain (Richmond style, and with a hat tip to Jon Stewart).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch ran an Op-Ed today in which they decided to go with (literally) None Of The Above.

Virginia gets whipsawed a lot because of seemingly competing influences - our proximity to DC and the overarching presence of the federal government in Northern Va and The Tidewater, "balanced" against the rural areas of the South Side and the Shenandoah Valley; and then there's Richmond (where all the sharky lawyers, the politically ambitious, and the local Gubmint Grifters hang out together).

RTD has a bit of a rivalry going with The Virginian-Pilot and to a lesser extent with The Roanoke Times, but it really is the newspaper in this joint when it comes to state politics.  And here's the thing:  ever since the Dixiecrat migration to the GOP, they practically never ever fail to figure out so…

The Biased Media

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Hannity shits on his own head, and Eric Stern at Salon checks it out:
I happened to turn on the Hannity show on Fox News last Friday evening. “Average Americans are feeling the pain of Obamacare and the healthcare overhaul train wreck,” Hannity announced, “and six of them are here tonight to tell us their stories.”  Three married couples were neatly arranged in his studio, the wives seated and the men standing behind them, like game show contestants.As Hannity called on each of them, the guests recounted their “Obamacare” horror stories: canceled policies, premium hikes, restrictions on the freedom to see a doctor of their choice, financial burdens upon their small businesses and so on.“These are the stories that the media refuses to cover,” Hannity interjected.
But none of it smelled right to me. Nothing these folks were saying jibed with the basic facts of the Affordable Care Act as I understand them. I understand them fairly well; I have worked as a senior adviser to a governor and …

The Party Of No Fucking Way Am I Votin' Fer These Pricks

If past is prologue, then there will come a time when a buncha Repubs will start revising the history of these last coupla weeks. I figure it oughta start just about June or July next year once they've safely lied their way around or thru their primaries, and have to start the 2014 campaigns proper.

They will spin all manner of yarn about how they didn't really vote to fuck over hungry children and homeless veterans and anybody trying to eke by on a few bucks invested in T-Bills - and they're going to go to the ends of the Earth trying to tell us we didn't actually watch as they all took a giant shit in each other's hats.

These people voted to go on wasting 12 Billion Dollars of the US economy (per week).

And they voted to make the world's Big Market Players so antsy that a fuckload of investors are looking to put their money in just about anything, just about anywhere but here in USAmerica Incorporated.  So I hafta wonder: if the GOP is really "the party…

The Rollout

Yeah - so far Obamacare pretty much sux.  Which isn't really true at all, because we don't know if Obamacare sux because the means by which we're supposed to be able to access Obamacare ain't workin', so how the fuck are we supposed to make a call on this thing anyway?

But wait - in states where they took the Federal dollars to expand Medicaid and put up their own exchanges, the thing is working pretty well.  In California (eg) it's doing just fine thanks very much.  But in the states where they refused to do anything, they have to rely on the Federal Government's version of the exchange, and that one ain't doin' so good.  Gee - I wonder if there's a correlation there?  I wonder if the states having all the problems are the ones where a certain political party has control of the government.

New products that get launched before they've been adequately tested and tweaked are just always disasters.  Wanna talk Windows8?

But after a coupla wee…

The KrugMan Speaks

Paul Krugman does a great job explaining the negative effects of the little temper tantrum the Repubs have been throwing for the last 5 years.  And he adds "Expansionary Austerity" to the list of oxymorons - knocking off "Conservative Values" for the top spot.
We should also acknowledge the power of bad ideas. Back in 2011, triumphant Republicans eagerly adopted the concept, already popular in Europe, of “expansionary austerity” — the notion that cutting spending would actually boost the economy by increasing confidence. Experience since then has thoroughly refuted this concept: Across the advanced world, big spending cuts have been associated with deeper slumps. In fact, the International Monetary Fund eventually issued what amounted to a mea culpa, admitting that it greatly underestimated the harm that spending cuts inflict. As you may have noticed, however, today’s Republicans aren’t big on revising their views in the face of contrary evidence.

Hall Pass

This is what makes Elizabeth Warren irresistibly sexy to me:
I'm glad that the government shutdown has ended, and I'm relieved that we didn't default on our debt.But I want to be clear: I am NOT celebrating tonight.

Yes, we prevented an economic catastrophe that would have put a huge hole in our fragile economic recovery. But the reason we were in this mess in the first place is that a reckless faction in Congress took the government and the economy hostage for no good purpose and to no productive end.

According to the S&P index, the government shutdown had delivered a powerful blow to the U.S. economy. By their estimates, $24 billion has been flushed down the drain for a completely unnecessary political stunt.

$24 billion dollars. How many children could have been back in Head Start classes? How many seniors could have had a hot lunch through Meals on Wheels? How many scientists could have gotten their research funded? How many bridges could have been repaired and trains…

Today's Toon

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My "Representative"

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I suppose most people feel they're not really being heard by their Congress Critter.  Especially when you didn't vote for him, and the reason you didn't vote for him is that you're pretty sure he's got his head up his ass. (can't imagine why he won't talk to me)

Anyway, Robert Hurt (R-VA-05) is a freshman and all, so it's more than probable he voted exactly the way he was told to vote - or at least he begged for permission to vote the way he voted - or whatever.

Makes no difference really, but damn, son; you voted to continue the shutdown and to breach the debt ceiling, which would bring the whole thing down on our heads?

Let's Negotiate

Today's Quote

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

--John Kenneth Galbraith

Today's Pix

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Little Jemmy Tried To Warn Us

By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.
-- James Madison, Federalist 10, November 22, 1788. We seem to have an extraordinary surplus of bean-counters who think knowing everything there is to know about slicing and dicing the numbers is all anybody needs to know about anything; and who understand how to make sense of (and how to make money off of) a jillion smaller and smaller segments of demographics inside the larger demographics etc etc etc.  Unfortunately, while minting all these MBA-types, we haven't been teaching them much about the simple fact that those numbers are made up of real live human-type individual flesh-and-bone people.

So it doesn't really matter that a mom and a dad somewhere in god's America have to live in…

Today's Eternal Sadness

And BTW - it's the guns, stupid.

From WBIW in Indiana, via Addicting Info:
A Martinsville man with a history of arguments with his son was being held in jail on suspicion of fatally shooting the younger man, the sheriff said.David Carrender, 49, admitted killing 19-year-old Wyatt Carrender on Sunday evening inside the older man's rural Morgan County home, Sheriff Robert Downey says.The Carrenders had been out watching football games together when they started arguing over whether to return home, Downey said. Once home, the arguing continued."It appears the father retrieved a handgun and shot his son, it appears, six times," Downey says.

Why So Serious?

And now for something that's almost as wacky as the TeaBagger antics of late:



hat tip = Little Green Footballs

October

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I don't like the idea that we feel the need to make a particular month "Breast Awareness Month" (eg).  Shit, like I need to be reminded about boobies?

I just don't think we should let ourselves be herded into a comfortable mindset that all we ever have to do is wear a little ribbon of a certain color on our lapels - or put a magnetic ribbon on our cars - and just kinda roll our eyes at how cute it is for all those manly gridiron studmuffins to be rockin' the pink accessories.  For one month.

Seriously - does anybody who's done battle with cancer have to be reminded of it?  Do they think about it for just that 8.5% of the year?

Cancer's about the worst thing that can happen to anybody - and cancer doesn't only happen to cancer patients.  It happens to all of us.  Quick, name five people you know personally who 1) has never had cancer, and 2) doesn't know anybody who's had cancer.  I'll bet my bucks to your boogers you can't do it.

But l…