Thursday, October 31, 2013

Seems A Bit Odd

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.




Sound familiar?



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


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Today's Pix








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.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Yo, Texas


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.


Monday, October 28, 2013

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 you, artificially forcing the market higher.
--and--
The 401(k) is the mechanism that created the subliminal mindset that what’s good for Wall Street is good for Main Street. The hard reality is that the top 5 percent of the wealthiest Americans own 60 percent of stocks.
More and more people being left with less and less, will eventually understand they have nothing to lose by storming the barricades and taking whatever they want.

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

...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."

Sunday, October 27, 2013

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

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 came knocking on her door. She insisted that Beltran take Suboxone or else a court order would force her to. An angry Beltran again refused. Two days later, her house was surrounded by officers from the sheriff’s department. She was arrested and taken in shackles to a court hearing.
I've posted some stuff in the past about how this is what we might be talking about if the TheoCon Lifers get their way.  But I was just kinda speculating about it, and projecting it out to the logical extreme - or I tho't I was anyway.  Now it turns out I was right!?!  What the fuck, Jesus?

Now, c'mon, think about this a little and take this one instance a few steps farther.  What if Ms Beltran had resisted arrest?  What if she had barricaded herself in her house and there was a standoff with the cops?  Eventually, aren't we talking about justifying the use of deadly force against the mother when the whole point of the exercise in the first place was to protect the fetus?

And what was all that bullshit about not wanting da gubmint in your doctor's exam room?

How about "small, limited government"?

Seriously - what the fuck?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

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 that I'd lose somebody like you,

No, 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 

(This world is only gonna break your heart)
No, I... 

(This world is only gonna break your heart)
(This world is only gonna break your heart)

Nobody loves no one.




You'll Be A Woman Soon

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





Friday, October 25, 2013

Today's Quote







“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

Thursday, October 24, 2013

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 dollars for zlotys, rather than try to find someone wanting to make the reverse trade. It is the currency many though by no means all international transactions are invoiced in. And to some extent people hold dollars or dollar-denominated assets because the dollar is more liquid than other currencies.
Meanwhile, governments trying to prop their currencies up or hold them down often do so with trades against the dollar, even if they’re trying to affect some other exchange rate, again because of those thick markets. Some countries peg to the dollar, although not too many these days. And governments hold dollar-denominated reserves.
I won't pretend I understand the whole thing, but if I take the gist, then I have to look at the wild-eyed panic of "conservatives" running around screeching about the Debt and the Deficit and Fiat Currency and Hyper-Inflation etc, and I just have to wonder what purpose it serves for them to kick up such a fuss.  It's never really about what they say it's about, so what's it about?

Today's Pix









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?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

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 Sultan.
Behind the scenes, another Saudi concern is that the US likes democracy too much. Washington ultimately backed the Arab upheavals that led to the fall of presidents for life in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Saudi Arabia hated this outbreak of popular politics and parliamentary competition. It connived with Egypt’s generals to roll back gains in Egypt in favor of more authoritarian rule. It has just cut off Yemen because the post-Saleh situation there isn’t developing its way. Only in Syria do the Saudis want regime change, and there it is because they want to weaken Iran and depose a Shiite ruling clique in favor of a fundamentalist Sunni one.

Today's Toons



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 any jam at all because they have the money and the connections.

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, and bacteria. Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun."
-Richard Dawkins, Biologist
"Today, nearly all biologists acknowledge that evolution is a fact. The term theory is no longer appropriate except when referring to the various models that attempt to explain how life evolves... it is important to understand that the current questions about how life evolves in no way implies any disagreement over the fact of evolution."
-Neil Campbell, Biologist
"The basic theory of evolution has been confirmed so completely that most modern biologists consider evolution simply a fact. How else except by the word evolution can we designate the sequence of faunas and floras in precisely dated geological strata? And evolutionary change is also simply a fact owing to the changes in the content of gene pools from generation to generation."
-Ernst Mayr, Biologist

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Jesus, Jesus

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 notes
Trix, 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 Christendom
Actor is right. It is a fucking snuff painting! AIYEEEE!!!!!

ACA Testamonials

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.Our health care providers told my parents that they would be dropping her at age 18, and after some shopping around we learned that no other insurer would pick her up. This meant that there was a high likelihood of death during her early adult years. But, thanks to Obamacare, she can now be covered for life with these preexisting conditions and without any benefit cap.Now age 12, she is a very active young lady. She is involved with many community volunteer activities and is very inspirational to me. I am very thankful that we no longer have those serious worries of constant debt and looming death. I love her so much!I wish that I could get some of my extended family members to recognize the seriousness of this issue.
And a slightly different angle - again from DailyKOS:
I woke up one morning feeling like my testicles were being crushed in a vice. I had been unemployed for a year, and my fiancee of two weeks was making about 19k/yr, so I tried to tough it out for several hours. I tried ibuprofen, soaking in hot water, soaking in cold water, anything I could think of to dull the pain. Eventually I gave up and called my dad and he drove me to the hospital.I spent another six hours in a semi-lucid state getting x-rays and CT scans, and lying on a gurney in the hallway.They came back with the diagnosis of a kidney stone. They determined that the stone was positioned right by the opening of the urethra and was just small enough that it should pass on its own. The doc decided that a natural passing would be less disruptive than a stent, so they put me in a room for the night.I spent the next four days loaded on morphine and some of its sister drugs before the stone finally passed, my fever subsided, and I was cleared to go. Every time the morphine wore off, I would be writhing in agony, counting the minutes until I could get another dose. When I did get another dose, it still hurt like hell, but I didn't care any more.A week later, I decided I had to face facts and deal with the bill. I called the hospital and was told that I owed $400 because the urologist who checked up on me every day was not completely covered by my plan. The remainder of the bill, $26,000, was covered because I was on the Mass Commonwealth Care emergency care plan. If not for that program, both my and my wife's life would be completely fucked over.So former Governor Romney, I would like to thank for making that plan available, but I also want to ask why the fuck you don't think anyone else in the country should have access to it?
There are problems with the thing, and those problems aren't just about the tech glitches.  There're way too many people stuck on one of the several bubbles of the system.  They make a few bucks above whatever threshold, and so they don't get the price break they need, or they don't qualify for the subsidy, or whatever - they just don't get the help they oughta be getting.  All of which can be fixed once the whole thing is up and running.

It's interesting to note that in the states where they've accepted the Fed Bucks for Medicaid expansion and the grants for establishing the exchanges, the thing is working pretty well - plus it seems the insurers are selling a boatload of new policies.  I have to assume somebody's looking hard at the numbers, and here's to hoping the "Risk Mix" is good enough to make it profitable at some sustainable level.

Meanwhile:

They're runnin' scared.  They've made such a big deal over how ACA will kill all the jobs and ruin the economy and make Jesus cry - if it works, they are madly deeply truly fucked.

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


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.

Monday, October 21, 2013

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 some twisted convoluted way to come up with a rationalization for endorsing The Republican candidate for Governor.  So y'know it's bad when RTD thinks you're just too cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, and that's what we've got in Ken (Kenny the Kooch) Cuccinelli.
The words that follow should not come as a surprise. During recent months, numerous editorials in The Times-Dispatch have lamented the gubernatorial campaign.
The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry’s derision. The third-party alternative has run a more exemplary race yet does not qualify as a suitable option. We cannot in good conscience endorse a candidate for governor.
This does not gladden us. Circumstance has brought us to this pass. This marks, we believe, the first time in modern Virginia that The Times-Dispatch has not endorsed a gubernatorial nominee.
So are we looking at nothing more than a backhanded endorsement for McAuliffe? Or are we seeing a sly and slippery way to keep people away from the polls by feeding their apathy - which of course helps the Repubs without coming out and saying so?  Or is it just straight-up cowardly?

I think "having to choose between the lesser of two evils"  is a political cliche in desperate need of being crushed into the dust.

I think if you walk away you're leaving the decision to somebody who's more than happy to make your decisions for you, and who is likely to choose the one you think is the greater of the two evils.

I think if you want better choices, you get off your dead brown ass and you work to find better choices.

And I think "deciding not to decide" is fine for a pot-fueled discussion at 3AM on a random Thursday when you're a sophomore in college, but not once you've grown some hair and you begin to understand any-godamned-thing about democratic self-government.

I think you make a fuckin' decision.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Biased Media

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 helped him deal with the new federal rules.
I don't know why debunking this shit doesn't seem to work on some people, but I guess you just hafta stay after it(?)

And then (just for the hell of it and because I don't now where else to put this one), we can just stroll over to Washington Examiner to catch another great view of the Bullshit Parade:



These two pieces ran on the same page, on the same day.  The need to "blame the media" is an addiction for some of these buttheads.  They ran the first one - apparently without checking one goddamned thing - and when somehow they find out it was wrong, they don't retract and they don't explain; they just flip straight over into blame-the-media mode.

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 of business", and if they really want the US to be run like a company, then why the fuck are they working so hard to make America unattractive to our investors?

Senate
Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Mike Crapo (R-Idaho)
Ted Cruz (R-Texas)
Mike Enzi (R-Wy.)
Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa)
Dean Heller (R-Nev.)
Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)
Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Rand Paul (R-Ky.)
James Risch (R-Idaho)
Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)
Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)
Tim Scott (R-S.C.)
Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)
Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
Pat Toomey (R-Pa.)
David Vitter (R-La.)

House

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 weeks (of oops; and uh-oh; and fuck - again!?!) isn't it time for somebody to suggest that the wingnuts are jamming and/or hacking the site just to make it all look worse than it actually is?

I'm not saying it's not fucked up - it looks pretty fucked up from where I'm sittin'.  I'm just saying that if both sides are the same and both sides pull the same shit and both sides are always exactly equally to blame, then where's the leftie version of "those bad ol' conservatives sabotaged our thing"? - followed of course by the counter charge of "those libtards crashed their own system so they could blame the conservatives who are chaste and pure and blameless and would never pull anything underhanded like that. blahblahblah.

Meanwhile, nothing gets fixed and we're right back in the same ol' bucket o' shit.

Friday, October 18, 2013

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 upgraded?

The Republicans keep saying, "Leave the sequester in place and cut all those budgets." They keep trying to cut funding for the things that would help us build a future. But they are ready to flush away $24 billion on a political stunt.

So I'm relieved, but I'm also pretty angry.

We have serious problems that need to be fixed, and we have hard choices to make about taxes and spending. I hope we never see our country flush money away like this again. Not ever.

It's time for the hostage taking to end. It's time for every one of us to say, "No more."
She just put that out in an email and my hopeless crush just intensified.

And guess what, kids - unless we get up on our hind legs and put some real pressure on our Congress Critters, we're gonna be right back here to watch this stoopid little dog-n-pony show all over again in January.

Democracy's a do-it-yourself proposition.  Ya want it to work - ya gotta work at it.

Today's Toon


My "Representative"

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

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Today's Pix










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 fear that their insurance will "run out" before their 11-year-old can finish up the chemo treatments for leukemia.

It doesn't matter that a grandpa will have to put up with the debilitating pain of an arthritic knee for another 5 years before he qualifies for Medicare because there's just no way he can afford the insurance even if he could get it.

It doesn't matter that a 24-year-old who graduated 18 months ago with an Engineering degree has to wait tables and deliver pizza and sleep on the couch at his step-dad's trailer - praying his asthma doesn't kill him in the middle of the night because there's always a little month left over at the end of his inhaler.

The list of incredibly shitty examples of unnecessary anxiety and suffering stretches out  beyond the horizon - but none of that matters because some politicians think their opposition to ObamaCare is "a winning argument".

They believe a sliver here and a sliver there - slivers that might add up to about 23% of the whole population - means they can then run around pretending that 23% is really "what the American people want".  Because they "polled" their own districts, and wow, it turns out 65% of those rubes think what that other 23% think, and that must surely mean they have the one Congress Critter in the whole joint who really knows what he's talkin' about.
"We've been talking amongst this group for the last four weeks about fairness, about whether or not it's fair to give extensions to people who have political connections and make our families live under a different law," he continued. "That is a winning argument for us. But no one asked that question. ... Somebody asked whether it would be different next time, in January or February, whenever we take this up again. The natural inclination is to say 'No, it will be exactly the same.'"
These people have no soul and no honor.

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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October

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 let's get back to our national allergy to feeling real feelings and facing real facts.  Instead of concentrating on the sanitized make-believe romantically noble bullshit being peddled by profit takers and rent seekers running phony joints like Susan G Komen and the NFL, maybe we could be thinking about this, from The Scar Project:




And maybe we could put some real pressure on policy makers to get off their asses and get something done about something that really matters for a fucking change.