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Showing posts from February, 2013

What's Real?

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hat tip = The Rude Pundit
Back in that time, the "bad guys" were often foreign; be it your mad Sheik or your Toru Tanaka, you were always encouraged to boo at the non-white dude while men in cowboy boots stomped them.
Why bring this up? Because it's encouraging to find out that the current WWE champion is a Mexican character, Alberto del Rio, who is a widely loved "good guy." And the bad guys gunning for him are two redneck Tea Party members, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger, whose rhetoric is just like anything you'd hear at a teabagger rally.
Why bring this up? Because internet radio host Glenn Beck got allupsetat the portrayal of his beloved nutzoid Tea Party as racist jerk-offs who spout meaningless, jingoistic bullshit. He called the WWE's fans "stupid" and wondered, "I just don't see a bunch of progressives going and buying their tickets to the WWE." That's right. Glenn Beckturnedagainst a Republican-led company and its custome…

Rationally Irrational

"The Right" has been in freaked-out mode for what is getting to be a very long time now.  And I won't put up a big list of shit they're freaked out about, because it's a lot of trouble and anybody who's been paying any attention for the last 20 years should know at least a few of the items on that list anyway.

But I'll focus on one item - Iran - and use it as an illustration of what I think is going on.

The Neo-Cons are always on about the horribleness of Iran's efforts to get the bomb.  And they use it constantly trying to get some leverage on every issue having anything to do with the Middle East.  Pick anything you like - Lybia, Benghazi, Syria, Hamas, Iraq, Hezbollah, Chuck Hagel - eventually, they'll bring it back around to their belief that Iran is doing all of these terrible things in all of these dangerous places because the Ayatollahs want to fuck the Israelis.

From Balloon Juice:
The point isn’t that Hagel “favors” containment and deterre…

Today's Tweet

From Jay Rosen, NYU:


I don't use expressions like LOL, but if I did... RT @natpkguy Democrats: 1+1= 2 Republicans: 1+1= 3 Media: 1+1= 2.5.
— Jay Rosen(@jayrosen_nyu) February 26, 2013



My Kinda Justice

I think this may be what a real US Supreme Court oughta look like.
According to CNN, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and another Justice took the rather unusual step to speak out over racist remarks made by a federal prosecutor in a drug case. The case is Calhoun v. U.S. (12-6142).--and--
While questioning an African-American defendant in a drug case, Ponder asked: “You’ve got African-Americans, you’ve got Hispanics, you’ve got a bag full of money. Does that tell you – a light bulb doesn’t go off in your head and say, this is a drug deal?”The first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, Sotomayor wrote that the prosecutor had “tapped a deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our nation.”The question was “pernicious in its attempt to substitute racial stereotype for evidence,” she added. Sotomayor also accused the Obama administration of playing down the issue. I hope Sotomayor's pointed criticism is a sign that she'll contin…

Yeesh

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Ever notice how there's really no such thing as Conservative Comedy?  There's no Liberal Comedy either - because that's not how it works.  People laugh at different things for different reasons at different times.  The audience decides, not the performer.  And whatever you're trying to joke about, what you say has to have something kinda universal about it - something that most people can identify with - it has to have some kernel of truth to it.  So if Comedy seems to cut a little to the "left", doesn't that kinda hafta mean the majority of us are at least slightly to the left as well?

Try watching Dennis Miller these days.  Since he went "conservative" it's so obvious that he's aiming everything at a certain audience with a certain ideological mindset that it's like sitting through a marketing presentation at work.  (I really miss the old Dennis btw; there was a time he didn't seem so scared and desperate)

Anyway, enter Michell…

The Dowager Pundit

The brilliance of Charlie Pierce:
It's past time for her friends, her family, or the spirit of JP The Deuce to descend on Our Lady Of The Dolphins and stage an intervention. Apparently, she believes that the president has a cauldron bubbling in the East Room from which he has loosed upon the land magic Kenyan Muslim Alinskyist spells that have stolen the souls of the American people. Either that, or it once again was two-for-one Harvey Wallbangers during Happy Hour at the Dowager Pundit's Club. Further evidence of Charlie's brilliance is his link to No More Mister Nice Blog:
But that's not why I'm talking about Noonan. I'm talking about her because, in addition to believing that nonsense, she also believes that people aren't spending money in America at discount superstores because their animal spirits have been depleted by the evil Obama. I'm used to hearing right-wingers (and centrists) advance the (nonsensical) idea thatbusinesses aren't expanding …

The Krugman's Graphs

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A recession happens when Demand is low.  Krugman's been shouting in the wilderness for a long time that while the Deficit and the Debt are important - and will get to be moreso in time - we have to focus on continuing to boost Demand if we expect ever to get a chance to tackle any other problems.  
And BTW: the deficit is down significantly.  
And BTW also too: if you fix the Demand problem, then the Deficit problem kinda fixes itself; and once the Deficit problem is fixed, then the Debt problem practically evaporates before your very eyes.

The Krugman Speaks

From Krugman's blog at NYT:
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)I don’t know about the divines bit, but the little statesmen thing is completely accurate. Suppose George Osborne were to admit that austerity isn’t working. What, then, would be left of his claim to be qualified to do, well, anything? He has to stick it out until something turns up,no matter how many lives it destroys.Pretty much the same thing is going on among pundits now stuck in what Jonathan Chait memorably calls the “fever swamp of the center”. Suppose that some pundit who has spent his whole career calling for bipartisanship, a compromise between the extremes of left and right, were to admit the plain fact that Obama is very much a centrist, who is in particular proposing deficit reduction through exactly the kind of mix of tax hikes and spending cuts “centrist” pundits demand — and that the GOP, by con…

The Winners Write The History Books

hat tip = Little Green Footballs

Can't wait to see what the "conservatives" wanna do about the "dirty, Librul, 'Murica-hating leftists" because of this, from Smithsonian.com:
Bailyn has not painted a pretty picture. Little wonder he calls it The Barbarous Years and spares us no details of the terror, desperation, degradation and widespread torture—do you really know what being “flayed alive” means? (The skin is torn from the face and head and the prisoner is disemboweled while still alive.) And yet somehow amid the merciless massacres were elements that gave birth to the rudiments of civilization—or in Bailyn’s evocative phrase, the fragile “integument of civility”—that would evolve 100 years later into a virtual Renaissance culture, a bustling string of self-governing, self-sufficient, defiantly expansionist colonies alive with an increasingly sophisticated and literate political and intellectual culture that would coalesce into the rationale for the birth …

Parade Of Stoopid

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So this has been making the rounds lately:

Jennifer Olsen is a GOP Chair at the County level in Montana, so the first thing is that  we can't make any real assumptions that her IQ is any higher than her SUV's gas mileage.  And since we can't make that assumption, we really can't say with any confidence that she meant this as a subtle and ironic dig at her constituents' prejudices, thinking she'd gently chide them blah blah blah.

Actually, whether or not they believe it themselves, they put out this kinda shit because they know there's a constituency for it. (if there's any attempt at damage control, the explanation is likely to be a lot of fun)

The truly sad part is that I think this really is a fair indicator of the intellectual horsepower of the local GOP rank-and-file right now.

Absurdity Today

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From a while back.

Another One Bites The Dust

Y'know how the Wingnuts are always slamming Obama because he's so anti-Israel that he's at best borderline anti-semitic?  Yeah, well - maybe not.

From CNN:
When President Barack Obama visits Israel next month, he'll be awarded the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Israeli President Shimon Peres' office announced Monday.Obama, the first sitting U.S. president to receive the recognition, will be awarded the medal for making "a unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens," according to a release announcing the news. There's always the very high probability that the Israelis are trying to play Obama (like they try to do with every Prez) in an effort to make him look less even-handed in the eyes of the Palestinians, which of course serves to put up a united front, with the US and Israel standing together against the whatever.

On one other hand, Obama handed a Medal of Freedom to Peres not long a…

My Hero

Charlie Pierce is pretty amazing, talking about the GOP problem.
If you want to know where the abandoned wrath is going to focus in the next election, this is the issue -- and there's nothing Marco Rubio can do to stop it, in case you were wondering. It is now past cliche to note that the Republican party, and the conservative movement that gives it most of its money and all of its intellectual energy, is presently reaping what it sowed, that the chickens have returned clamorously to the roost, and that crows doth sit upon the capitol. However, for that dynamic to have a material focus on the 2014 midterms, it needs a focus. Now, you might think that would be guns, but the party and most of its elected members are on roughly the same page as the NRA as nearly as I can tell. However, the Republicans have looked at the demographics of the last election and they have made a concerted -- and very public -- effort to reform themselves on this issue because they would rather not become t…

Djesus Uncrossed

Today's Animation

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A golden oldie:

Another One Bites The Dust

hat tip = Democratic Underground

It suddenly occurs to me that all those goofy emails that fly around with all those Urban Myths about kidnapped kids and sharks attacking helicopters and rocket-powered Chevy Impalas are actually pretty useful when it comes to getting certain people prepared to accept and internalize certain political indoctrination.
The notion of tax flight “is almost entirely bogus — it’s a myth,” said Jon Shure, director of state fiscal studies at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonprofit research group in Washington. “The anecdotal coverage makes it seem like people are leaving in droves because of high taxes. They’re not. There are a lot of low-tax states, and you don’t see millionaires flocking there.”Despite the allure of low taxes, Mr. Depardieu hasn’t been seen in Russia since picking up his passport and seems to be hedging his bets by maintaining a residence in Belgium. Meanwhile, Russian billionaires are snapping up trophy properties in high-tax…

A Nagging Question

It pops into my mind a lot.  And it's being asked straight out by more and more bloggers and pundits, which may eventually get the Press Poodles to consider asking it as well - tho' we probably shouldn't be holding our breath on that one.

"The Right" has told us all kinds of lies in all kinds of ways about all kinds things.

Trickle down
The Evil Empire
Clinton sold cocaine and killed Vince Foster
Banking regulations are holding us back
Environmental regulations are holding us back FCC regulations are holding us back Tax cuts pay for themselves
WMD in Iraq; we'll be greeted as liberators; connection between Saddam and 9/11
Social Security is bankrupting the country
China owns most of our Federal Debt
Rich people are over-taxed
Climate Change is a hoax
Cutting SNAP and WIC and Head Start helps poor people
Death Panels

So here's the question:  When can we expect the people who've gotten practically everything wrong for 30 years to be held accountable for…

Since Sandy hook

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Update from Slate, via Addicting Info:
Today is February 17th, 65 days since Sandy Hook…and in that time there have been 1863 gun violence murders in this country – over 28 per day. The butcher’s bill – the tally of deaths – is aggregated by the folks at Slate and @GunDeaths and is accomplished by the magic of crowdsourcing – social media, twitter and email all backed by local content that provides the details. And here's a look at what's been happening here in Virginia:


(note: the filtering isn't all that easy, but once you figure it out, it's not bad at all)

Home Seems So Far Away

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How far I am from the land where I was born!
Immense nostalgia invades my thoughts;
And seeing myself so lonely and sad like a leaf in the wind,
I want to cry, I want to die from this feeling.
Oh Land of the Sun! I yearn to see you!
Now that I'm so far from you, I live without light and love;
And seeing myself so lonely and sad like a leaf in the wind,
I want to cry, I want to die from this feeling.




Tell Your Daughters

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I know a girl
She puts the color inside of my world
But she's just like a maze
Where all of the walls all continually change
And I've done all I can
To stand on her steps with my heart in my hands
Now I'm starting to see
Maybe it's got nothing to do with me

Fathers, be good to your daughters
Daughters will love like you do
Girls become lovers who turn into mothers
So mothers, be good to your daughters too

Oh, you see that skin?

Today's Carlin

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The Growing Litany Of Stoopid

(Paraphrasing a post at DU)
Hispanics are lazy AND stealing all the jobs. At the same time. Lazy, but also taking all the jobs because they work so much AND because they are lazy. Are you following me?

If we give all the money to the rich and don't tax them at all, eventually it will trickle down and the rich will give us back some of the money we gave them before. Totally.
Also, if we subsidize rich people and/or companies, they'll use the money wisely and they'll create jobs for all of us.  But if we subsidize poor people, they'll just piss it away and have a bunch of crack babies who grow up to be Democrats and vote themselves more government handouts.

Guns don't kill people, video games featuring guns kill people.

Tax-and-Spend is bad. Except taxes that we spend on defense contractors - then it's good because Jesus.  Anybody who disagrees is a lousy commie.

I Got Yer Supply Side Right Here

"Supply Side" actually means that you try to boost demand by lowering the cost of goods and services.  If the price of everything is lower, then people who aren't making much of a decent wage (Low-Enders) can buy what they need, and have a few bucks left over for Christmas and Birthdays etc.  And the people who do make a decent wage (Middlers) can spend at an even higher rate on the Discretionary side.  Pretty cool model, but eventually, you get to a point where you've milked every fractional penny of margin out of the Volume Buying Discount, and then you have to figure out how to keep making it possible for the people your Big Box store has put out of work to go on buying the shit they need.

Wal-Mart is another one of the monsters we've created by swallowing the hog-slop known as Reaganomics.  We're now trapped in almost exactly the kind of downward spiral the Progressives and The New Dealers tried to fix in the first 35 years of the 20th century by building…

What's Wrong With Those Guys?

A good long look at what's happening inside the GOP from NYT Magazine:
One afternoon last month, I flew with Anderson to Columbus, Ohio, to watch her conduct two focus groups. The first consisted of 10 single, middle-class women in their 20s; the second, of 10 20-something men who were either jobless or employed but seeking better work. All of them voted for Obama but did not identify themselves as committed Democrats and were sufficiently ambivalent about the president’s performance that Anderson deemed them within reach of the Republicans. Each group sat around a large conference table with the pollster, while I viewed the proceedings from behind a panel of one-way glass.The all-female focus group began with a sobering assessment of the Obama economy. All of the women spoke gloomily about the prospect of paying off student loans, about what they believed to be Social Security’s likely insolvency and about their children’s schooling. A few of them bitterly opined that the Democrat…

Today's Pix

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Today's Gun Nut

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(with apologies to Charlie Pierce for practically stealing his whole thing)

From a story out of Utah - picked up by the local ABC affiliate in Lynchburg VA:
Layton police arrested Niederhauser Jan. 31 after he fired two rounds at a suspected burglar and getaway driver leaving his home. No one was hurt, but police said the shots were unlawful because the burglar had dropped a crowbar he was carrying and was fleeing the property. The shots could have endangered somebody's life, police said. "You know my feelings about arming morons."


Did we get maybe a little complacent?  Maybe a little inured by the constant reports of the Daily Gun Violence?  And are we maybe starting to come out of it a little?

It'd be nice to think we've finally started to pull back from the logical extreme where anything goes as long as it doesn't inconvenience me directly.  Maybe we're starting to understand a little more about how something that happens 8 or 9 states away from me migh…

The Weepies

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Today's Absurdity

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In some ways, it just gets better.

Just The Way You Are

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And on the flip side:






Tweety Attacks

One of the things we've desperately needed the Press Poodles to do for us is to start calling the GOP on its contradictory bullshit - and pointing out that it's not always balanced; it's not always a both-sides-do-it proposition.  Chris Matthews seems to be approaching dangerously close to the limits of reasonable tolerance.

Can You Say, "Flop Sweats"?

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I knew you could.  How about, "not ready for prime time"?



A bad case of Performance Jitters almost always sneaks up on you at the worst possible time, and while it can happen to anybody, there's usually some kind of underlying reason for it (duh).  The big one of course, is that you're not feeling quite as well prepared as you'd like to be.  And there's always that little guy's voice in the back of your mind telling you to shut up and get outa there 'cuz you suck at this and nobody likes you. (I hate that little guy)

So anyway, Rubio does get a coupla points for trying to "do it live" instead of putting together a bunch of pre-recorded junk and just guessing at what the Prez was gonna say.  But I think the real problem is that he's not convinced of a good bunch of what he was saying, and when you haven't fully rationalized those internal conflicts, then your body language is going to betray you almost every time.

Emmylou

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Today's WTF

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GOP Backs Path to Citizenship Unless Obama Supports It

A new Washington Post poll finds that 70% of Americans said they would support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, including 60% of Republicans.

But when the same question was asked of a separate sample of respondents, this time with Obama's name attached to it, support dropped to 59% overall and just 39% among Republicans.

That Guy In The Funny Hat

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So there's lots of buzz about why The-Pope-Formerly-Known-As-Ratburger would just up and quit the sweetest gig in all of Christendom.

I'll give ya'll my take on it, right after you enjoy a picture of all the fucks I give about Popes and other power freaks who like to manipulate people by threatening them with the reprisals of their imaginary friends:

Before he became Pope Benedict 16, Cardinal Ratzinger was the Catholic Church's  Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (aka The Inquisition - and yes, that Inquisition).  He also took it onto himself to have all of those inconvenient reports of priestly child molesting referred to his office so they could be thoroughly investigated (ie: crushed, sprinkled in lime and then buried).  So lemme see - the guy who knows where all those bodies are buried and which closets contain which creepy skeletons; the guy who knows everything about every member of the church hierarchy; the guy who handled the scandals s…

The Krugman Speaks (really)

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

There seems to be a general mood in the US right now that guys like Krugman recognize as a special kind of taciturn, pinched-faced, gotta-make-sacrifices-and-just-buckle-down, Yankee-boot-strap, Calvinist bullshit.

And I sit here in my warm little basement in central Virginia, wondering when the semi-hopeful, grin-and-bear-it hollowness I see in so many people's eyes starts to turn them into the armies of desperation.

Today's Gun Nut

It never fails.  Some jag-off with a small penis and a big gun shoots up a school and before the bodies are even in the ground, some other jag-off with a similarly small penis - but with a great big mailing list - starts jumpin' up and down screamin' about how all this horrible shit happens because the kids aren't allowed to pray in school anymore, and... wait, what?

From The Daily Mail, 12-21-12:
Horror as gunman executes woman while she decorates church for children's party in new shooting rampage that left four dead.  From MLive-Flint Journal, 1-15-13:
Deadly church shooting at Flint funeral is widely ignored outside of Genesee County There have been 20 or more Church Shootings in the last dozen years in the US.

And yes, I know it's not really about praying away the bullets; it's supposed to be about teaching the right values to the kids so they don't grow up to be shooters - but that's just the same ol' Authoritarian/Theocratic shit in a different…

Music

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One more from Melody Gardot - put on your headphones.






Music

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Rumer - this is the studio version.

(the cover at Live From Daryl's House is decent too)





Today's Gun Nut

So, this Dorner guy, who's had years of training in the use of firearms, goes off his trolley and guns down some of his buddies.  Buddies of those buddies hit the streets looking for the guy - apparently with a little get-back in mind.

LA Times:
An attorney representing two women who were delivering newspapers when they were shot by police during a massive manhunt for an ex-LAPD officer called the incident "unacceptable," saying his clients looked nothing like the suspect.Emma Hernandez, 71, was delivering the Los Angeles Times with her daughter, Margie Carranza, 47, in the 19500 block of Redbeam Avenue in Torrance on Thursday morning when Los Angeles police detectives apparently mistook their pickup for that of Christopher Dorner, the 33-year-old fugitive suspected of killing three people and injuring two others.Hernandez, who attorney Glen T. Jonas said was shot twice in the back, was in stable condition late Thursday. Carranza received stitches on her finger."The p…

Fugelsang