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Showing posts from March, 2013

The "New" GOP

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Gotta love it.  There actually are some Repubs who're aware that the core of their party has degenerated into a fetid blob of Dixie-whistling left-over Confederate dead-enders;  people who have to be told straight out not to use terms like "wetback" (Rep Don Young, R-Alaska); and so apparently, they're being tutored in the finer arts of - uhm - whatcha call it?  Political Correctness?  Yeah, I think that's it.

Let us all take a brief moment to revel in the pure snicker-fucking of lots of wrong-side-of-every-damned-issue politicians.

Ok, good. Let's move on and let Dr Maddow guide us thru this latest GOP Cluster Fuck.



Mm-mm good.

And here's the full list from the piece at The Hill:

"When engaging in conversation or doing an interview on immigration reform:Do acknowledge that 'Our current immigration system is broken and we need to fix it'Don’t begin with 'We are against amnesty'Note: Most everyone is against amnesty and this is interpr…

Defending Amina

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Proof once again that ya gotta be careful with the whole Rights Thing - if some folks get the rights they're entitled to, before ya know it they're all gonna want 'em.

So anyway, in the last several months, we've seen the story about a kid in Afghanistan speaking up in favor of education for women and being nearly shot to pieces for her trouble; then we got the one a few weeks ago about the Islamo-Fundies coming down on a young woman who dared go against her father's choice of a suitable husband or some such nonsense; and now there's this about a young woman somewhere in Tunisia who really just wants the Theocrats to leave her the fuck alone already.


19 year old Tunisian Amina who posted a topless photo of herself bearing the slogan “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour” has been threatened with death.
Islamist cleric Adel Almi, president of Al-Jamia Al-Li-Wassatia Tawia Wal-Islah, has called for Amina’s flogging and stoning to death sa…

Today's Movie

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A morality tale, and a peek at the need for bread and circus as an empire begins to collapse.



If you watch this movie, you'll need something sunny and happy and cuddly afterwards - you've been warned.

The Esteemed Mr Pierce

From Charlie Pierce at Esquire:
The problem, of course, remains that the president is dealing with a Republican party in which Johnny Isakson is now a "moderate." That is his problem. Our problem is that the conversation over dinner is almost guaranteed to center completely on the proposition, "How much pain ahould we inflict on people who are not us?" The fact that the American economy has almost completely surrendered to corporate oligarchy is not likely to come up. Every time I think about what's happening - especially what's going on in this "new economy" - I can't help but remember the observational acuity of Yakov Smirnoff: "We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us."


Music

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And though you try to justify the meaning
Of the note you sent this evening
To my door you're not deceiving me

Well, I'd have thought that you'd have known much better
Sending 'round an unsigned letter
Facing me would be much better now

Is it just that you can't face the future with me
Can't you tell me to my face?
You just took the coward's way to say goodbye
How would you feel here in my place?

And now I know my love is lost on you
And nothing you can say or do
Will turn my head around the other way

I'd have thought you'd have the decency
To come and tell the truth to me
Instead of telling lies your eyes betray

Is it just that you can't face the future with me
Can't you tell me to my face?
You just took the coward's way to say goodbye
How would you feel here in my place?

Tell me to my face you're leaving now
Tell me to my face that you're leaving now

And though you try to justify the meaning
Of the note you sent this evening
T…

Connections

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Like the man said - follow the money.  Wall Street, Capitol Street, K Street, Main Street - they're all connected by rivers of money.  If you have enough money, you can buy your way into or out of just about anything.

From Addicting Info:Fact is, the food industry is only as safe as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lets it be. It was not that long ago that food companies were found to be doing such things as adding sawdust to bread. Food fraud is rampant, with companies willing to do anything to make a buck. And with the continuing effort to eliminate the powers of the FDA in the name of profits, it is clear that the “free market,” as coined by Milton Friedman, does not work, period.

I'll quibble just a bit with "free market...doesn't work, period".  If the free market is hollowing out the middle class and making it more and more difficult for more and more people to make the end of the month match up with the end of the money, then The Free Market is actu…

We Win One

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This caught my eye as I was meandering on the YouTube:



I don't recognize any of the various DumFux Doofae Residentium from the clip, so I don't know where to begin looking for followup (which is a convenient if lame excuse for not really caring to spend waste my time looking for more shit to squint at on DumFux News).

Anyway, I did manage to find a nice writeup at The Sensuous Curmudgeon, providing some details about how the teacher appealed to the 9th Circuit; won there, and then was further vindicated when SCOTUS declined to take the case in late 2011?):
When we wrote about Dr. Corbett’s appellate victory, we repeated something we said before, and we still think it’s true so we’ll repeat it again:

[T]he key to this case isn’t whether Chad can go through life with a silly smirk on his face; what matters here is whether there’s any money to be made in creationist litigation. If this case provides a good fee for Chad’s legal team, there will be an incentive for more of the same.

Today's Gun Nuttery

via Democratic Underground:
A teenager shot and killed his 12-year-old brother because he mistook him for an intruder in their Florida home, police said today.According to police the 16-year-old was home alone on Friday when his younger brother came home.
"He heard some noises and he called out for his brother and he didn't answer and then his brother startled him," Orlando Police Department Detective Mike Moreschi told ABCNews.com affiliate WFTV.
Scared that there was an intruder in the home, the older boy grabbed a gun and shot his brother, according to police. Once the teen realized what had happened, he immediately called 911. So another kid is dead and another entire family is forever fucked up because we can't seem to figure how to live our lives without a fuckin' gun.

The View From Out There

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Today's Smartest Thing

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Dear Repubs

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C'mon really?  Obama is Satan?  At this point, I think we all know that if that was true, then you guys would've made a deal with him already.  So, yeah.

John Lennon's Glasses

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God's To-Do List

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C'Mon, Michelle

Please just sit down and shut the fuck up, before you do any more real harm.

About That Autopsy

In the frenzy of the last coupla days over the Repubs trying to look in on itself, here's an interesting wrinkle caught by Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs:
Some leaders of the religious right are openly worried this week after a sprawling 98-page report released by the Republican National Committee on how the party can rebuild after its 2012 implosion made no mention of the GOP’s historic alliance with grassroots Christian “value voters.”
Specifically, the word “Christian” does not appear once in the party’s 50,000-word blueprint for renewed electoral success. Nor does the word “church.” Abortion and marriage, the two issues that most animate social conservatives, are nowhere to be found. There is nothing about the need to protect religious liberty, or promote Judeo-Christian values in society. And the few fleeting suggestions that the party coordinate with “faith-based communities” — mostly in the context of minority outreach — receive roughly as much space as the need to…

Know Your Mortgage Shit

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A Lotta Damn Gall

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At first glance, this has to be taken as the self-congratualting chest-thumping crap that guys like Rumsfeld learn to do thru long careers in public service fucking people over "in the name of the king and for the good of the state" (with apologies to Msr Dumas for inviting the inference that Cardinal Richelieu might run a poor second in the Manipulative Assholes Sweepstakes).

If I look at it from only a slightly different angle, I can see a guy who feels alone and loathed and reviled - which is exactly how he should feel if he had any soul or any honor or any sense of humanity at all.  But Rummy gave up on all the civilizing niceties a long time ago.

So fuck him.

Let him continue his little imposture and let the rest of the world point and laugh for  what I hope is a very long dotage indeed.

A System We Live in

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(hat tip = Democratic Underground)

"Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction."
- Dick Cheney, Vice President
Speech to VFW National Convention
8/26/2002

"There is already a mountain of evidence that Saddam Hussein is gathering weapons for the purpose of using them. And adding additional information is like adding a foot to Mount Everest."
- Ari Fleischer, Press Secretary
Response to Question From the Press
9/6/2002

"We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
- Condoleezza Rice, US National Security Adviser
CNN Late Edition
9/8/2002

"Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons."
- George W. Bush, President
Speech to the UN General Assembly
9/12/2002

"Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons, and is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons. We have sources that tell us that Saddam Hu…

Fugelsang's Wrapup

Counting The Costs

We've been hearing a lot lately about the costs of our Stupid Little War in Iraq:
$2.2 trillion - which is the low end of the estimates.
4,500 dead American Uniforms
32,000 wounded - 1,000 Amputees
3,400 dead American civilian contractors
190,000 dead Iraqis of all despcriptions (minimum BTW - could be way more)

That first number - the 2+ TRILLION dollars - that's just for starters.  That's what some folks think we'll end up spending over the next decade or two.  But y'know what?  We can anticipate spending a fuck-load more than that; and for a fuck-load longer time, because we still haven't stopped paying certain survivor benefits dating back to the CIVIL-FUCKING-WAR.

Per NY Daily News (so take it with a good dose of NaCl):
An Associated Press analysis of federal payment records found that the government is still making monthly payments to relatives of Civil War veterans — 148 years after the conflict ended. This bit could definitely be an example of Rupert'…

God Love The Onion

I'm really hoping Candy Crowley et al at CNN were just trying to give us some small added  perspective about how perpetrators fuck up more than just their victims' lives - and to warn other young dudes about impulse control - but in our current style of political debate, where only Binary Reasoning is allowed, this is what it ends up sounding like:


College Basketball Star Heroically Overcomes Tragic Rape He Committed

Today's Vocab Term

Rent Seeking (per Wikipedia)
A simple definition of rent seeking is spending resources in order to gain by increasing one's share of existing wealth, instead of trying to create wealth. The net effect of rent-seeking is to reduce total social wealth, because resources are spent and no new wealth is created. In a theoretical context, it is important to distinguish rent-seeking from profit-seeking. Profit-seeking in this sense is the creation of wealth, while rent-seeking is the use of social institutions such as the power of government to redistribute wealth among different groups without creating new wealth.[1] In a practical context, income obtained through rent-seeking may of course contribute to profits in the standard, accounting sense of the word. Since Rent Seekers add nothing to the actual effort required to create wealth, it's not a matter of doing the work, and deriving the great satisfaction of having done something worthwhile - it's all about having the power to …

Today's Definition

Religion: A daughter of Hope and Fear, explaining to the Ignorant the nature of the Unknowable. --Ambrose Bierce

About Those Women

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Popular Myth holds that sometime back in the 6th century, 43 Catholic Bishops and 20 Bishops' Reps got together (in France - for a long weekend at the spa I guess?) in order to debate and then to decide on one of the truly pressing questions of their era - "Is woman human?"

The vote was 32 For and 31 Against.  Whew - that was close.  Hard to imagine what kind of (even more) unnecessarily lousy things might've happened if just 1 of those Shit-For-Brains-In-A-Satin-Hat had voted the other way.

This story is denied by the Church, but y'know what?  I don't care.  Is it any less believable than the crap they spin out every fuckin' day?

Today's Important Thought: Religion can't sell me their bullshit cure if I don't accept having their bullshit disease.

New Music

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Making a joyful noise.

There's a lot goin' on here, and it's almost unbelievable how hard it is to make this happen live.  Coupla glitches here and there, but fuck.

Lucius:




Music

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A coupla tunes from 2 slightly opposite perspectives:










Today's Smartest Thing

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(My 2¢ - politicians take positions; abandon positions; and/or change positions when they recognize either political opportunity or political threat)

From a Balloon Juice post:
But there’s at least one difference between Portman and Obama on this specific issue: Portman did it because changing his position will lead to a clear and direct personal gain–his actual gay son might get an real benefit from the state based on his father’s position. As far as we know, Obama’s change in position gives him no such benefit. For you freshman logic fans, that’s the fallacy of equivocation. Glenn’s trying to say that one of Obama’s stated reasons (his empathy for friends and staff who are gay) is the same thing as Portman’s (a real parental interest in the outcome of the debate).


The Donald Speaks

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The scene from the Maryland suburbs yesterday wasn't exactly all a-buzz.  CPAC is known for its rosters of All-Star Nutball speakers, and so far this year, they've not disappointed.

Best moment so far - this "crowd" shot of the room when it was Lil Donny Trump's turn to deliver the words of awesomeness.

hat tip = Addicting Info

Today's Pix

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Dead Americans YTD

An update from Slate's crowd-sourced interactive Gun Death Database:

2089 Dead Americans so far this year - including 145 Kids

Something always to remember:  The NRA does not represent Gun Owners - The NRA represents Gun Makers.

Today's Nonsense

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So the DumFux News affiliate in Hartford CT ran a story about Women's Day at the Capitol, and the 'b-roll' (the video they run so you have a visual to go with the copy being read) - yeah you prob'ly already guessed - it was nuthin' but tits.

Don't get me wrong here: I like boobies; bazongas; headlights; cans; melons; honkers; breasts; mammaries etc ad infinitum.  I like female, and I like all that 'female' implies which happens to include the tasty sensual and sexy bits.

I am also not stupid, and so I know about a little thing we grownups like to call "appropriate to time and place".  We also call it "respect for the wholeness of a human being", and sometimes we call it "trying not to think with your dick once in a while".

But I digress.  Take a look:



First, this kinda crap doesn't happen by accident. Some producer sat in a meeting and made a decision about what b-roll to put on the air; and even if that producer dele…

The People's Music

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Another one from (by, actually) Billy Joel - as performed by a guy outa left field who knows what he's doin' and sings the crap out of it.




And here's the album cut:





Today's Numbers

Black people make up 22% of the poor, and they get 14% of government benefits.
White people make up 42% of the poor, and they get 69% of government benefits.
I 'spect you've heard all that before, but I think it's one of those things that bears repeating. 
And y'know, when "conservatives" can get us to swallow their bullshit just by saying it over and over and over again, how is it that things which are actually true and verifiable are so easily dismissed and forgotten?
hat tip = Crooks & Liars

Music

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Put on the headphones and crank it up.






Today In Faithiness

If Jesus was a live today, he'd probably have a lawyer and an agent and a publicist who'd all be working hard to keep hucksters like Sarah Palin from moochin' off his fame and his public image.

My hero, Charlie Pierce:
Will o'god, it's the week of St. Patrick's Day, is there no respite, no brief truce, no fragile ceasefire, in the War On Christmas?Apparently not.

Today's Gun Nut

From Addicting Info:
One of the few absolutes from the pro-gun advocate side of the gun violence conversation is that they demand that we believe that gun owners are responsible people. That it is just “them”, the nebulous of bad people, or crazy people who kill with guns. They further say “Law-abiding gun owners will not accept blame for the acts of violent or deranged criminals.”…Wayne LaPierre at the January 30st Senate hearing on gun violence.But reality and history prove them wrong. Over 230,000 guns [reported] of “law-abiding gun owners” end up in criminal hands each year because gun owners don’t properly store their weapons. And hundreds of kids die and thousands are wounded each year with unattended firearms. These are not responsible “law-abiding gun owners” and they are a big part of the gun violence problem and the pro-gun community acts in their words and deeds as enablers to them.

Beltway Bubble-Think

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Wonkette has a good takedown on Paul Ryan and the Very Serious People - and the Press Poodles who just can't give up on the extremely minuscule probability that somebody in the GOP might come up with some proposal that doesn't closely resemble something you stepped in as you were walking through the park.
It is budget season again in Washington, D.C., which means it is time for the villagers in our nation’s capital to pretend that a plan written by Congressman Paul Ryan, who was last seen on election night icing down his tuchus after being spanked hard by Barry Bamz and Old Handsome Joe Biden, is not the legislative equivalent of a rotting whale carcass washed up on a beach. And, as suggested, here's our new National Anthem:







The Seven Godly Sins

Wrath: God condemns those who don't believe in him to eternal damnation and torture.
Envy: God punishes those who believe in other gods.
Sloth: God allows tragedies and disasters to occur which he could easily prevent.
Gluttony: God has plenty while millions go hungry.
Pride: God demands his followers' complete devotion.
Greed: God's followers must pay tithes and make offerings in exchange for his blessings.
Lust: God insists on being party to every marriage.

Sounds like a great gig - where do I get an application?

Today's Silly

The Rising Fuss

Part of what's coming back around is racism, which is really just another manifestation of the kind of class-bashing that's gone on in this country from the beginning.  (the whole concept of Racial Difference was invented in the Antebellum South as a handy mechanism for keeping poor white trash separate from the blackfolk, which helped keep everybody focused on something other than how they were all slaves to the interests of the landowners in one way or another)

And we're seeing it blossom all over again with this continuing beat-down of working stiffs who put in longer hours (and soon maybe, longer than the usual 50 years on the job), who are being made to feel they're just not worthy of anything but the meagering crumbs left over when the Executive Committee's done with their latest circle jerk - oops, I mean spreadsheet reviews that indicate there's another 3/10ths of a penny per share in dividends to squeeze out of the labor force.

Melissa Harris-Perry:

Vi…

Today's Smartest Thing

They're talking about the sausage-making in DC, and at around the 4:45 mark, Alexis Goldstein (OWS) makes an observational analogy that just knocked me my off my chair.

Paraphrasing - lobbyists get in to see the Congress Critters so regularly and so often - effectively pushing constituents and consumers and "regular people" off to the side - that it starts to look like a Denial of Service Attack.

Watch, and gape - and then try to explain to me how you think your Reps in congress are there to serve you.


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About That Dead Elephant

It's generally not a good idea to predict the actual demise of a whole political party.  I wanna say I recall a time not that long ago when lotsa people were saying the Dems wouldn't survive, and gosh, just look at 'em now.

However, there's plenty to be gained politically by making the Cool Kid appeal - ie: "nobody votes for those guys anymore because they're terminally lame and def un-cool", or "they're so 2006", or "I'll bet they're all Nickelback fans", or whatever.

An awful lot of us just run with the pack.  We pay little or no attention until some encounter when we might say something previously considered hip or evenhanded or otherwise stylish and end up getting the feeling we've made some kind of social error by not being in step with a change in political fashion.  That's why yard signs and bumper stickers work - they give people permission to vote a certain way without having to invest much time or effort …