Saturday, November 30, 2013

Some Tunes

Grapefruit Juicy Fruit --Jimmy Buffett




When The Feelin' Comes Around --Jennifer Warnes

Friday, November 29, 2013

Thanksgiving Poem

Kopis'taya (A Gathering of Spirits)
by Pueblo and Sioux writer Paula Gunn Allen

Because we live in the browning season
the heavy air blocking our breath,
and in this time when living
is only survival, we doubt the voices
that come shadowed on the air,
that weave within our brains
certain thoughts, a motion that is soft,
imperceptible, a twilight rain,
soft feather's fall, a small body dropping
into its nest, rustling, murmuring, settling
in for the night.

Because we live in the hardedged season
where plastic brittle and gleaming shine,
and in this space that is cornered and angled,
we do not notice wet, moist, the significant
drops falling in perfect spheres that are certain measures
of our minds;
almost invisible, those tears,
soft as dew, fragile, that cling to leaves,
petals, roots, gentle and sure,
every morning.

We are the women of the daylight, of clocks
and steel foundries, of drugstores
and streetlights, of superhighways
that slice our days in two. Wrapped around
in plastic and steel we ride our lives;
behind dark glasses we hide our eyes;
our thoughts, shaded, seem obscure.
Smoke fills our minds, whiskey husks our songs,
polyester cuts our bodies from our breath,
our feet from the welcoming stones of earth.
Our dreams are pale memories of themselves
and nagging doubt is the false measure
of our days.

Even so, the spirit voices are singing,
their thoughts are dancing in the dirty air.
Their feet touch the cement, the asphalt
delighting, still they weave dreams upon our
shadowed skulls, if we could listen.
If we could hear.

Let's go then. Let's find them.
Let's listen for the water, the careful
gleaming drops that glisten on the leaves,
the flowers. Let's ride
the midnight, the early dawn.
Feel the wind striding though our hair.
Let's dance the dance of feathers,
the dance of birds.


hat tip = The Rude Pundit

Today's Toon


Happy Black Friday, Everybody

Because only in USAmerica Incorporated is it considered a time-honored and almost sacred tradition to trample each other trying to get into Wal-Mart less than 24 hours after we gave thanks for what we had the day before.



You go, America - all the world looks to you for your inspiring leadership.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

OK - Maybe Just One

1. "How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion."

2. "Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape."

3. "Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a 'disposable' culture which is now spreading. It is no longer simply about exploitation and oppression, but something new."

4. "Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system."
5. "Today in many places we hear a call for greater security. But until exclusion and inequality in society and between peoples is reversed, it will be impossible to eliminate violence."
--Pope Frank
I don't put any credence in it just because the guy happens to be the pope; I put some credence in it because the guy happens to be right.

(I said I was takin' a little break - not crawling off to die)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Break Time

Call it burn-out or fatigue or I-Just-Can't-Take-This-Shit-Right-Now, or whatever.

I'm off for a bit.

In the meantime, gitcher headphones on and enjoy some Paul Simon (from One Trick Pony).

Late In The Evening




How The Heart Approaches What It Yearns




Nobody




Oh, Marion




One Trick Pony








Friday, November 22, 2013

Make Me Wanna Holler

Inner City Blues --Gil Scott Heron





Today's Pix










Today's Toon


I don't much care for removing some of the safeguards that're supposed to help a democracy function - and I'm pretty sure the filibuster was intended to ensure that the minority's right not to get pushed around was properly looked after.  Of course, that was when (we think) there was still some honor in politics, and when the point of the exercise was to do a little thing we used to call "governance according to the outcome of recent elections".   But when it becomes clear that the minority is gaming the system, and abusing the power, then something has to change.

We do need to remember that these changes cover Executive Appointments, and Federal Bench Appointments - but not SCOTUS or Legislation.  So Little Mitchie can go right along fucking up his own part of Da Gubmint all he wants - he just won't be allowed to continue metastasizing his fuck-up-ed-ness to the other branches; which is kinda how it's supposed to be, innit?  It's set up to compartmentalize the power in order to isolate the damage any one guy or one faction can do to the whole thing.  Oooh - Checks-n-Balances; what a concept; maybe we should write that one down somewhere.

And isn't it interesting that "conservatives" spend so much time and effort complaining about how they think brown people (eg) are always exploiting their status as a minority to gain special rights and privileges, but they can't see the same behavior in themselves when they're the minority in question?

Then again, maybe they do see it in themselves, and they just project it onto the nearest target of opportunity, hoping we won't notice something a lot more important.  Ya think?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seriously, They Just Lie

Via Rude Pundit (cain't hep muhsef - the guy's on fire):


And notice the kicker (from the GOP.gov website) - they "repealed" ObamaCare on 01-19-2011, and then, a day later, they passed a resolution instructing their committees to come up with a replacement.

They've got nothing.  They know their little scheme is going nowhere in the senate, and they know Obama wouldn't sign it into law, and they know they can't override a veto.  So they pretend - they literally just make shit up.

But to hear them tell it, Obama's the one who's lying about everything?

One last thing - their website also has this:


On the rare occasion when the Press Poodles aren't busy wearing their asses for hats, we've heard a tiny bit that the Deficit's been coming down in almost remarkable fashion (which means the Debt will be reduced as well).  And I've wondered why the Repubs aren't playing it up a little more, trying to claim it's because of their steely-eyed grit and determination to hold Obama's spend-thrift instincts in check blahblahblah.  They've tagged Sequestration as Obama's idea (in an obvious attempt to cause pain and then blame The Prez) but gosh - it seems to be backfiring on them.

Sequestration's still a pretty stupid thing, but they can't afford to own it and they can't afford to let it make Obama look good.  So by trying to have it both ways (as usual), they get dick (as it should be).

The Fuckery Of It All

From The Rude Pundit:

11/19/2013
GOP Gov. Scott Walker: Obamacare Sucks Except When It Doesn't:
Okay, kids, let's all follow the bouncing ball of fuckery, this time starring Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, a Republican and a man who looks like he just huffed spray paint fumes while rubbing a dead possum against his face:
So Walker has been hatin' on the Affordable Care Act for a while now. No way, no how was he gonna allow his state to set up an evil state exchange of evil heath insurance because fuck Obama and the care that bears his name. And no way, no how was he gonna expand Medicaid in his state because a man can't have helping the poor on his conscience if he's set his narrow, child molester eyes on a presidential run. 
Indeed, Walker hates Obamacare so very much that he has been on TV touting his book that not a fucking person will read by choice and saying he hates him some Obamacare. He told the conservative shithouse Newsmax, "[I]f I had a direct line into the president, and he was listening, I'd tell him that you need to back off on Obamacare. It's not just a failure in terms of the rollout, it's not just a failure in terms of getting people signed up, it has had an abysmal impact on our nation's economy."
Man, that dude is a drippy pustule of anti-Obamacare rhetoric. You can bet that he'll have not a goddamn thing to do with the president's health care folly. Except one thing.
See, Walker announced in February that the income level to get Wisconsin's Medicaid program, stupidly named "Badgercare," a previously "generous" 200% of the poverty rate, would be rolled back to 100%. What that would do is allow 83,000 childless adults to get health care by kicking 77,000 people, including families, off the badger teat.
Remember, kids, this is a bouncing ball of fuckery, so it's gotta go somewhere next.
So those 77,000 people are getting the dreaded cancellation notice - not from a company that's becoming Obamacare-compliant with its policies, but from Badgercare. Hopefully, the letters have some cartoon badger giving a thumbs-down to ease the hit.
Now, this is where it gets fun. What Walker expects is that the now-uninsured will get their health care coverage from...wait for it...the federal exchanges. Or, you know, Obamacare. According to NPR, "Walker says everyone losing coverage will be able to buy subsidized plans under the Affordable Care Act, and many will find monthly premiums under $20." Walker said that the federal subsidies bring down the cost a great deal. And then he added, "But Obamacare still sucks dog balls and I hate it. Really, really."
Do you get it? A Republican governor has proudly refused to legitimize the Affordable Care Act because it's just terrible, but he feels free to cancel insurance for tens of thousands under the pretense that the Affordable Care Act will get them the coverage they need because it's so good and affordable and saves the state money it can use to get others on Medicaid. 
To go further, every person who has had their policy canceled because of the ACA is expected to get insurance through exchanges, federal or state. For that, President Obama is getting raked over the coals of a gross media narrative. Scott Walker does the exact same thing (no, really, it's the exact same thing, except that it involves poor people), and you hear not a whisper of anger from conservatives.
And that's your right-wing fuckery for the day.
Another political angle of this maneuver is that Walker needs those 77,000 people pissed off at the Federal Government by blaming Obamacare for "canceling" their coverage - counting on those thousands of people having lots of trouble getting help through a glitchy website - all in order to deflect criticism of his administration for fuckin' 'em over in the first place.

No soul and no honor.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Gettysburg Silliness

On the grand occasion of the 150th anniversary, Obama reads a version of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address (one of 5 known versions, btw), and because that version doesn't include the phrase 'under god', the Bloglodytes have their frenzy du jour, and everybody gets to boost their site visits by doing battle over something that means nothing - again.

Try to remember - the "original" apparently doesn't exist, so we can chase our tails in tighter and tighter circles til we disappear up our own assholes, and we still won't know for sure what the guy actually said.

For me my own self, any time somebody leaves god the fuck out of it - well, that just feels like a breath of clean fresh air to me.

The Gettysburg Address (pointing out a few discrepancies with the Ken Burns version below)

Wonkette Rulez

Today at Wonkette:
You guys, Cher said a cuss about Sarah Palin, and not just any cuss but the worstest most terrible cuss in the whole wide world unless you live in England where they call their moms that, and also the postman, and also, like, a cup of tea. They are all like, would you pass me that cunty cuppa, and yes I would like some cream. My point is, they do not seem to think it is the worstest most terrible cuss in the whole wide world, but here in the good old US Amercia, we surely do! And that is why Ben Shapiro, the escaped patient from Ghost Andrew Breitbart’s Internet Hospital for the Criminally Sniveling, some chick, whatever, is so, soooo, sooooooo mad at Cher for calling Sarah Palin a “cunt,” except she did not actually say “cunt,” she said “dumb c-word,” because we are all children apparently.

Cher’s current hit, “Woman’s World,” is her eighth song to hit number one on Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Song list. A repeated lyric in the song is “This is a woman’s world.”

Instead of celebrating her hit the liberal feminist decided to tweet out a vitriolic and disgusting slang word toward Sarah Palin, the “C” word. The use of the “C” word is the lowest low anyone could use to describe a woman. Apparently in Cher’s “Woman’s World,” it is appropriate to call a fellow female this disgusting and inappropriate term.
You guys, let’s talk about cunts. And also pricks. And assholes. Let’s talk about all kinds of things!
Do men fall on their fainting couches every time someone calls them a dick? Is a vagina a worse thing to have than a penis? THEN THEY ARE THE SAME INSULT. GET THE FUCK OVER IT. Women! Did someone call you a cunt? Stop weeping, and thinking it is the worst thing in the universe. You have one. Love it. Nurture it. Put some fucking glitter on that shit and get all Jennifer Love Hewitt up in there. (Also, STOP WAXING IT. Why would you repay a body part that’s given you so much pleasure, with so much pain?) Men! Does a woman calling another woman a cunt make you want to pretend to be very, very angry at antifeminist acts of non-sisterhood? Shut your fucking dickholes, and let the women fight their own fucking battles, Sir Knightly Knight-Errant of the Hoboken Knights-Errant.
Also, in German, the worst name you can call a woman is “schlampe,” which means a slobby woman, or a bad housekeeper. You want to insult someone, try that. Fuckin’ OUCH.
We need a name for when people become temporary feminists every time Sarah Palin gets a mean word said at her. Doktor Zoom suggests “palio-feminists.” Internet, make it happen. 

Jesus Was Beast, Man

So, in the face of the criticism that they're not following the teachings of their savior, do these TheoCons change their approach?  No, of course not - they just change Jesus.  They change history all the time - why not simply redefine the "son of god" to fit their political narrative?



Oh yeah - please tell us General Boykin, if a real man (like Jesus) has bulging biceps and a thin waist and veins popping out on his forearms - and not the "effeminate" wuss you claim the church has turned him into - I guess I'm wondering why you're not trying just a little harder to follow that example?  Looks to me like you could benefit from lugging a few rocks around your own bad self.

You can't be like that Girlie Jesus, so you turn him into Hunk Jesus; and then you can't be like that Jesus either.  Fail at every turn.  Here's what ya do: head down to the bank, take out all your money, and then go buy yourself a fuckin' clue.

hat tip = Addicting Info

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Unwitting

Remember "Total Information Awareness"?

It's been kinda interesting to hear how outraged people said they were when they found out NSA was scooping up emails and phone calls, and then to see how it's all but become a non-issue lately.  I'm not saying they should've done everything it appears they've done - there's a bunch of it that's flat out illegal, and I stand by my "fuck you, NSA" campaign all the way.  But really, how hard do we make those guys work, considering all the little pieces of info we leave lying around almost every minute of every day?



Privacy only works if you close the door and draw the curtains once in a while.

Best Be Doin' Somethin' About it

Paraphrasing JC Cregg: "Does it bother you at all that they have to stop every few minutes because somebody requires medical attention?"
KUSA - Denver Broncos safety Rahim Moore had surgery Monday morning for lateral compartment syndrome in his lower leg, interim coach Jack Del Rio said.

Moore is out "this week for sure, possibly longer," Del Rio said. He was experiencing pain during Sunday night's win against Kansas City.

Compartment syndrome occurs when pressure within the muscles builds. This pressure can decrease blood flow, which prevents nourishment and oxygen from reaching nerve and muscle cells, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
"It's a new one for me. I'm learning about it. It's kind of one of these freakish things that kind of occurred," Del Rio said. "It can be a very serious injury and can lead to loss of limb or loss of life."
Concussions and Brain Disease and Crippling Joint Damage and Steroids and Thuggery and and and - I wonder if we're seeing the beginning of the end for football.

But then I get the feeling that it's all part of Bread and Circus - it keeps us occupied with trivial spectacle while our "leaders" busy themselves making our decisions for us.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Today's Pix










The KrugMan Speaks

Paul Krugman - NYT
Barry Ritholtz reminds us that we’ve just passed the third anniversary of the debasement-and-inflation letter — the one in which a who’s who of right-wing econopundits warned that quantitative easing would have dire consequences. As Ritholtz notes, they were utterly wrong. Also, rereading the letter now, you have to wonder what kind of economic model they had in mind. They asserted that:

"The planned asset purchases risk currency debasement and inflation, and we do not think they will achieve the Fed’s objective of promoting employment."
So they’d be inflationary without being expansionary? How was that supposed to work? There were a few actual economists in the group; do they subscribe to the doctrine of immaculate inflation?
When you get it wrong, you're supposed to say something along the lines of, "Oops - sorry - my bad", and then you're supposed to shut the fuck up for a while so people who haven't got it wrong can be heard.  That's the way I learned it; I'm pretty sure that's the way most of us learned it; so why do we continue to listen to these Wrongsters, and keep giving them any kind of platform to say wrong things?

Oh yeah - because it's not about getting it right, it's only about getting it "balanced".

Silly me - never mind.

BTW: Immaculate Inflation?  Fuckin' genius is all that is.

Today's Gun Freak

From our dear neighbor to the south:
WILKESBORO, N.C. — A man accidentally discharged his gun inside a Wilkesboro GNC store during a discussion about the second amendment, striking a printer, according to police.
According to a Wilkesboro Police Dept. incident report, officers responded to the GNC store on Winkler Street around 8 p.m. Tuesday.
A witness told police he was speaking to a customer and they were discussing second amendment rights and guns around 6:50 p.m. The customer then pulled out his handgun and accidentally fired a shot, striking a printer, the witness said.
The customer then reportedly told the worker “he could not go down for this.”
The customer was described as a white male, younger than 28-years-old, brown hair, brown eyes, 5’8″ and around 170 pounds. He left the store in an early 2000s model dark colored Honda Civic.
No injuries were reported.
Just remember - office machines can be dangerous and vicious.  Damned thug printer prob'ly had it comin'; it must've threatened the poor guy and he had no reasonable alternative but to stand his ground and shoot the thing before it inked him or paper jammed him or violently taunted him again with another indecipherable error code message.


One From The Rude Pundit

Hard to say it better'n this:

11/14/2013 Obama to Nation: Keep Your Fuckin' Plans, You Stupid Cowards:
In a sane era, not an ideal one, but a sane one, the President would have gone to congressional leaders and said, "Hey, what are some things we can do to make the Affordable Care Act work better?" Now, in the fantasy sane era - and, again, we're not saying it's some fuckin' "Kumbaya" era of holding hands, but just a time when people in the government actually want the government to, you know, function like a government - members of both parties would offer things that they would like to see in the law. Democrats might have said something about outreach. Republicans might have said something like "Why don't we let people keep their heath care plans?" Things would have been negotiated and the law would have been strengthened or, at least, smoothed up a bit.
Alas, we do not live in such an era. Instead, we must deal with the constant buzzing of our water boatman politicians. The water boatman is an insect that, relative to its size, gives off a mighty sound. It makes this annoying chirp/buzz by constantly rubbing its dick on its belly. There's your picture for the day: Ted Cruz grabbing his tumescent cock and scraping it back and forth across his hairy stomach as it emits a call for perverse teabaggers to mate with his narrow, self-serving ideology.
Instead of Barack Obama and the House GOP agreeing that the law is the law and making it function for Americans, we get the sight of Obama appearing before the press corps and saying, more or less, "Goddamn, I'm sick of you motherfuckers whining about your shitty ass health insurance getting canceled because your provider is just a bunch of sick, greedy dickheads who would murder you where you sit if it would squeeze one more cent of profit out of your useless bodies. You wanna cling to your high deductible, low benefit policy for another year because you're scared that the black man president might be right and all that Fox 'news' noise might be wrong? Fine. Fuck it. Kiss my ass and keep your shit plan. Don't come whining to me when it turns out that your insurer drops your sorry ass when you get too sick for it. You asked to be grandfathered in, so lick grandpa's balls and tell me how tasty they are now. Now, can we please talk about the fact that Republicans want to kick over 100,000 people who just got insurance off it?"
Imagine for a moment, just one clear moment, what would have happened if, after the law passed, Republicans hadn't been such total pricks about the ACA, if just a quarter of the votes to repeal Obamacare had been on things that make the law stronger (or even more Republican). No, they couldn't. That would legitimize the law and Barack Obama as president. They have to keep hitting at the ACA as if it's the last windmill in Spain. Just think, though, what would have happened if all states had set up their own exchanges, if they had accepted the Medicaid expansion, if, if, if. It wouldn't have been perfect, but at least it would have worked as it was created to work instead of the horrific Frankenstein monster of a thing it was forced to become. The only way not having a public option for insurance works is if the states acted responsibly. They did not, in a way calculated to undermine the President and a Congress from just a few years ago. Democrats got suckered, again, into thinking that Republicans would behave honorably.
If President Obama seems frustrated, it's because he should be. Used to be people gave a damn when a law was passed. They shifted their perspective and acted in concert with the law. If they disagreed with it, they elected new people who overturned it (if the courts wouldn't). The tactics used by the right on Obamacare would have made Abbie Hoffman at his most radical say, "Goddamn, that'll lead to anarchy." On January 1, there's probably gonna be hospital sit-ins or some such shit. And it's hilarious that the GOP is acting as if, pre-ACA, it was all free gold and pussy for people with health insurance, not that it was (and is) a cruel, callous, capitalist system that saw people routinely kicked off their policies for taking one too many pills or being a little late with a payment.
So can we move forward now? Is it possible to get to that place where we simply try to, for fuck's sake, get people some health care and not act like it's a privilege for the few?

Sunday, November 17, 2013

When The Law Is An Ass

From The New Statesman:
The second kind of civil disobedience, which is the one that I wish to consider, is its employment with a view to causing a change in the law or in public policy. In this aspect, it is a means of propaganda, and there are those who consider that it is an undesirable kind. Many, however, of whom I am one, think it to be now necessary.
Many people hold that law-breaking can never be justified in a democracy, though they concede that under any other form of government it may be a duty. The victorious governments, after the Second World War, reprobated, and even punished, Germans for not breaking the law when the law commanded atrocious actions. I do not see any logic which will prove either that a democratic government cannot command atrocious actions or that, if it does, it is wrong to disobey its commands.
It's a bit dense and wordy and even a little passive, but the guy makes a point worth remembering.

Perception Drives Outcome



Above all - never admit you were wrong.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ain't It Kinda Funny

The Richmond Times-Dispatch ran a "story" today telling us we've spent almost 600,000 Virginia Taxpayer Dollars on lawyers' fees in the littlest big-ass scandal we've seen in a while involving Governor Bob McDonnell - ol' Vaginal Bob his-own-bad-self.
Virginia taxpayers are on the hook for more than $570,000 in legal bills in connection to a criminal case involving a former Executive Mansion chef and related gifts investigation of Gov. Bob McDonnell.
The story dutifully reports the doin's and goin's-on at the AG's office - mentioning the Virginia Attorney General's Office a good half-dozen times in a 300 word story without once actually using the name of Ken Cuccinelli, so I'm just saying it strikes me as being a little peculiar since The Kooch happens to be the current AG for The Commonwealth of Virginia; and he happens to have crapped out in his campaign to be Governor, partly because of his connection to Vaginal Bob; and he happens to be actively fund-raising for a Republican candidate who's locked in a recount battle to settle last week's election, and seems to be a totally ethics-averse coin-operated politician who makes a habit out of wearing his ass for a hat.

Well, OK - and plus also too, I'm saying: Librul bias in the mainstream media my dyin' ass.  How could one "newspaper" make it any more obvious that it's in the pocket of one particular political party?

Is it really just too much to ask that you guys do your fuckin' jobs?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Today's Question

Why is it called stealing when your WiFi is trespassing in my fucking house?

Today's Toon

Told Ya

About a month ago, when ObamaCare was launched, and it was becoming clear the software was malfunctioning, I posted this:
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?
And now this:
Roberta Stempfley highlighted one successful attack that is designed to deny access to the website called a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack is designed to make a network unavailable to intended users, generally through a concerted effort to disrupt service such as repeatedly accessing the servers, saturating them with more traffic than the website is designed to handle.
I'm a prescient little fuck, ain't I?

No. I'm not.
(Altho' you could make a pretty good case that I'm the typically self-absorbed self-referencing blogger puke, and all I'm trying to do here is get a little attention, but nobody doesn't know that about bloggers; and if you know me at all, then you sure as fuck know that about me when I'm wearing my blogger suit)

Anyway, it just always follows - "the blame game" is an important step in this process.  And I'm not making the same old point about "everybody does it".  Look, guys - there are forces at work in the universe (strong force, weak force, electromagnetism and gravity) that govern our physical existence. Well, there are forces at work in politics too, and Cover Your Ass is the big one; big enough in most cases to be the only one that matters to Congress Critters, especially when it comes to the absolute necessity of raising enough money to get your sorry ass re-elected in spite of your obvious and numerous shortcomings.

So here we are again, at a Fail Point, and it seems like we're less concerned about unfucking the fuckup than we are about nailing the fuckup to somebody's forehead.

Of course, the story about the fuckup is what gets the eyeballs for The Bloglodytes and The Press Poodles.  And beyond the story about the fuckup is the story about the fight over the fuckup.  And the fight is what Corporate Media sells us.  Never mind what they're fighting about (that's just a buncha boring policy wonk shit), the fight itself is what delivers the viewers to the advertisers.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Virginia Voting

Here's what The Virginia Board of Elections posted on their website as of yesterday(?)


With all 2,558 precincts reported, Herring has the lead by .00741% (164 votes).

If your girlfriend could shave it this close, you'd be in jail right now.

Official Certification doesn't get here until Nov 25th, but this is a crucial step.  The "margin of victory" is small enough to trigger an automatic recount if the loser wants it, but generally, whoever's in the lead at this point has the edge.

I just worry because The Kooch hasn't said officially much of anything about a recount, but he is actively helping Obenshain raise money for the coming fight.  If they follow the pattern, the Repubs will be looking for ways (whatever they can pretend the law allows for) to nullify the Provisionals and as many Absentees as possible - especially in Fairfax and Richmond precincts.  And Cuccinelli has a great deal of influence and insider advantage as the sitting AG.

This has great potential to be some even-uglier-than-usual politics, but as bloody and gruesome as it gets, it's important not to turn away.  We need to see this.

That Warren Woman

Not long ago, Scott Brown was busy losing his Senate seat and decided his best course of action was to say stupidly offensive things about Elizabeth Warren as he tried to turn Adolescent Mocking into a viable campaign strategy.

Any time one side decides to concentrate on their opponent's status or comportment or  "tone" - you know their policy argument's a total loser.

From Pam Martens at Wall Street On Parade:
Senator Warren said to the audience: “Who would have thought five years ago, after we witnessed firsthand the dangers of an overly concentrated financial system, that the Too Big to Fail problem would only have gotten worse? There are many who say, ‘Sure, Too Big to Fail isn’t over yet, but Congress should wait to act further because the agencies still have to issue a bunch of Dodd-Frank’s required rules.’ True, there are rules left to be written, but that’s because the agencies have missed more than 60 percent of Dodd-Frank’s rulemaking deadlines. I don’t understand the logic. Since when does Congress set deadlines, watch regulators miss most of them, and then take that failure as a reason not to act? I thought that if the regulators failed, it was time for Congress to step in. That’s what oversight means. And that’s certainly a principle that would have served our country well prior to the crisis.”
Warren makes way too much sense - she must be destroyed.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Virginia Voting (one more)

2 questions:

1) Is Kenny the Kooch ever gonna make the phone call to Terry McAuliffe?  Or is it something he can't do if he expects the sweet Wingnut Welfare gig that high-profile Repub losers get?

2) How long before somebody breaks up the circle jerk the Press Poodles are enjoying so much regarding Chris Christie?

Just wonderin'.

Virginia Voting 2013

First off, Mark Herring released the standard "I-Think-I-Won-This-Thing" statement that's de rigueur for this stuff - somebody has to claim the prize, and that puts pressure on the other guy to concede; and the other guy will demand a recount; and we'll all still be here doing the same thing for another month.  But it's important to have the numbers edge on the first pass because recounts generally don't change the outcome (Florida 2000 not withstanding, of course).

The main thing I wanna point up here is this:  After a week of scouring thru the precinct reports and digging up one or two machines that hadn't been included in the first count, and then sorting out the provisional votes, and and and - after adding up more than 2 million votes, Herring's ahead by a whopping 163. So if you're somebody who blows off the chance to vote because you're walkin' around thinking your vote doesn't matter (and I say this with love and charity in my heart) - go blow yourself; you're an idiot.

Secondly, here's a map looking at vote distribution by county and incorporated city areas, which is the map Repubs love to see because it seems to show "the real Virginia" should've gotten its way, and that "them damned yankee-lovin' city-livin' DemocRats are stealin' our heritage and denyin' us our god-given rights" (to live at the mercy of corporate whim, but never mind all that).  Anyway, here's that map:



And here's a Cartographic look at what the numbers and the distribution really mean:


Again with love and charity in my heart: Demographics, dumbass.  Get some.

hat tip = Blue Virginia

Schools Matter

So what happens if we don't slap a nation-wide school system with all the crap we've been dumping on our public schools?

Schools Matter takes a look at it - and finds that the DoD schools were exempted from NCLB etc etc etc, and gosh:
So what do we see as a result at the DoDEA schools (see earlier post here) after all these years of living without corporate charter schools, teacher evaluation based on test scores, value-added assessment, corporate missionaries for TFA, AYP, Reading First, scripted parrot lessons, DIBELs, segregation based on test scores, corporate tutoring, venture philanthropy, required testing to graduate or be promoted to the next grade, total compliance classroom, test and punish, test prep, withdrawal of funds from those who need it most, rewarding schools that don't need it, nervous breakdowns, vomiting students, nosebleeds, suicides by principals, school children dying from toothaches as billions are spent on testing, and on and on....How have the DoDEA schools survived without all this?
This first group includes the schools that have been scoring better than the National Average:

Then we have the bunch in the middle where there's no appreciable difference between these schools and the Nation Average:








And lastly, here's the group lagging farthest behind the National Average:















Did ya happen to notice where the DoD schools happened to rank in all o' dat?

Almost forgot - isn't a school operated by the Department of Defense very much the epitome of a "Government School"?  And since those Gubmint Skools are doing just fine without all that massive boondoggle, can we drop the bullshit now?

Today's Pix









Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Battle Of The Brands

One of Lee Camp's Moment of Clarity videos on YouTube




Today's Best Blog Headline


From Wonkette:

THAT NORTH DAKOTA NAZI-TOWN GUY IS A LITTLE BIT BLACK, SO IT IS TRUE THAT BLACK PEOPLE ARE THE REAL RACISTS


It's not quite the greatest post ever, but I don't care - the headline makes it worth looking.

Today's Quote

(via Charlie Pierce)
War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.
In war, a physical force is to be created; and it is the executive will, which is to direct it.
In war, the public treasures are to be unlocked; and it is the executive hand which is to dispense them.
In war, the honours and emoluments of office are to be multiplied; and it is the executive patronage under which they are to be enjoyed.
It is in war, finally, that laurels are to be gathered, and it is the executive brow they are to encircle.  --James Madison, 1793.

Monday, November 11, 2013

You Know Somebody's Thinking It

It's just bound to be the next big thing in marketing.

A New One For Me

Schools Matter:
This space explores issues in public education policy, and it advocates for a commitment to and a re-examination of the democratic purposes of schools. If there is some urgency in the message, it is due to the current reform efforts that are based on a radical re-invention of education, now spearheaded by a psychometric blitzkrieg of "metastasizing testing" aimed at dismantling a public education system that took almost 200 years to build. JH August, 2005
I'll tell y'all up front that I don't know how to "fix the schools".  But we've been trying this melange of Charter Schools and Magnet Schools and For-Profit-Public-Private and Casino-Style-High-Stakes-Testing etc etc for something like the last 20 years or so, and I think it's time to admit that practically every attempt to shoehorn the operations of a Public School System into the Standard Business Model has failed.

I guess I should clarify what I think has failed - these attempts are not making for better students or for better teachers, and they're not making for a better work force, and they're sure as shit not making any given community better.  It is, however working beautifully when it comes to making some well-connected "entrepreneurs" quite comfortably wealthy.  Don't you have to wonder why Neil Bush suddenly discovered his long-dorment passion for Student Testing and Assessment right about the same time his brother was busily sliming No Child Left Behind thru congress?

See, it kinda works like this here:  When you make the endeavor about The Public Good, then you build in an incentive to do good things for The Public.  When you make the endeavor about Profit, then you build in the incentive for Rentiers to take profit.

(I can't believe anybody has to say it out loud like that, but fuck me, there it is)

Anyway, schools need a lot of help in a lot of ways, but a lot of the ways we've been "helping" them is straight up shameful.  Let's try something else.

hat tip = Democratic Underground

Please, Not Hillary

I'll have a really hard time supporting Hillary Clinton if when she runs in 2016.  I just have this thing against 'legacies'.  I don't think you should get special consideration for admission to any school just because you're the child of an alum.  You shouldn't have the professional skids greased for you in any way just because your parents were 'important' - or because your husband preceded you in office (even tho' having a famous/popular husband may be the only way you get the respect you've earned by your own worthy accomplishments).

There's no earthly reason Paris Hilton should command anything close to national attention for anything she does.  There's equally no reason to believe Meghan McCain would be some kind of leading light in the GOP Youth Brigade if it wasn't for her daddy's name and her mommy's money.  Luke Russert should be running the cash register at the Dollar Store while he works part time as an assistant to the deputy senior intern at some local AM station in Pokacuzzin West Virginia, where he gets to read the farm report whenever the regular guy is too hungover.

Here's my thing:  no more Kennedys and no more Rockefellers and no more Pauls and no more Bushes and no more Clintons.  No lagacies.

"Unfortunately", Hillary's credentials are nothing short of amazing.  Plus, I can't see anybody on the Repub side who could get thru the primaries and still have anything in his platform worth voting for.  So I may have to make an exception.

But then along comes Elizabeth Warren:
We’re three years from the next presidential election, and Hillary Clinton is, once again, the inevitable Democratic nominee. Congressional Republicans have spent months investigating her like she already resides in the White House. The New York Times has its own dedicated Clinton correspondent, whose job it is to chronicle everything from Hillary’s summer accommodations (“CLINTONS FIND A NEW PLACE TO VACATION IN THE HAMPTONS”) to her distinct style of buckraking (“IN CLINTON FUNDRAISING, EXPECT A FULL EMBRACE”). There is a feature-length Hillary biopic in the works, and a well-funded super PAC—“Ready for Hillary”—bent on easing her way into the race. And then there is Clinton herself, who sounds increasingly candidential. Since leaving the State Department, Clinton has already delivered meaty, headline-grabbing orations on voting rights and Syria.

Yet for all the astrophysical force of these developments, anyone who lived through 2008 knows that inevitable candidates have a way of becoming distinctly evitable. With the Clintons’ penchant for melodrama and their checkered cast of hangers-on—one shudders to consider the embarrassments that will attend the Terry McAuliffe administration in Virginia—Clinton-era nostalgia is always a news cycle away from curdling into Clinton fatigue. Sometimes, all it takes is a single issue and a fresh face to bring the bad memories flooding back.
I hope Warren stays right where she is tho'.  I want her to be a thorn in their sides for a very long time.

And I think it sucks that the political firmament has become so dull that practically any bright spot at all looks like a fucking supernova to us.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

This Point Of Pale Light

Some Things Don't Get Better

Just a tasty tidbit - a little reminder that we still have to figure out what to do about the political and economic disasters heading our way, now that we've pissed away practically every chance we had at being able to do anything about the actual causes of the coming disasters.

And in case you've been wondering about "the cooling period" or the "warming pause" over the last several years?   Well, it appears the ocean's been doing its job; soaking up the kajillions of calories or BTUs or whatever you like to call all that "missing" heat, only to deliver it right back to us in the form of a typhoon that pushes a 20-foot tidal surge with winds gusting 170 mph.

Isn't it the least bit puzzling that we have a "once-in-a-lifetime storm" every few years now?

Nature bats last, dumbass.
TACLOBAN, Philippines (AP) -- As many as 10,000 people are believed dead in one Philippine city alone after one of the worst storms ever recorded unleashed ferocious winds and giant waves that washed away homes and schools. Corpses hung from tree branches and were scattered along sidewalks and among flattened buildings, while looters raided grocery stores and gas stations in search of food, fuel and water.
Officials projected the death toll could climb even higher when emergency crews reach areas cut off by flooding and landslides. Even in the disaster-prone Philippines, which regularly contends with earthquakes, volcanoes and tropical cyclones, Typhoon Haiyan appears to be the deadliest natural disaster on record.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Today's PSA

Sauce For the Gander

Don't know much about Ms Miller, but it sounds like she'd have been a good one to talk to about a lot things.


And just to be clear - I don't think I can be a "feminist" any more than a woman can be a "masculinist", but all of us could at least try to see things from a perspective other than our own once in a while.

hat tip = Tennessee Guerilla Women

Uhm...'Scuse Me

...but you said my premiums would be going thru the roof(?)


This is just a quick and dirty look, and I should tell you right now that I haven't checked this out at all. (Democratic Underground posted the link)

So there's a whole big pile of caveats and yeah-buts left to sort thru, but still - WTF, Bubba?

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Today's Quote

"This is the question 'the right' has to answer:  Do you want smaller government with less handouts, or do you want a minimum wage?  Because you can't have both.  If Colonel Sanders isn't going to pay the lady behind the counter enough to live on, then Uncle Sam has to, and I for one am getting a little tired of helping highly profitable companies pay their workers."  --Bill Maher

Piercing The Veil

In all the huffing and puffing about the significance of a few off-year elections, there's one or two little items that got lost in the shuffle.

Here's Charlie Pierce, on trying to see beyond the trees, and into the forest - or something.
This was a raid, plain and simple. These pensions are not retirement plans. They are deferred compensation. They are money that workers are owed because they and their unions were willing to compromise on salaries in exchange for moe money after the workers retired. This is the kind of thing that has been going on all over the country for quite some time under the guise of "unfunded liabilities," which, in most cases, are "unfunded" because the people who were supposed to fund these plans reneged over decades to do so. (It is also a scam beloved of new brotastic centrist Governor Chris Christie, among others.) It is generally sold by the grifters promoting it as a rank appeal to worker jealousy. (That garbageman has a pension and you don't? No fair! And everybody forgets to ask why private-sector workers don't have pensions any more.) As such, it has worked extremely well. It certainly should have sold itself in Cincinnati. Instead, mirabile dictu, the voters saw through the charade and shredded it at the polls.
--and--
This was an assault on money owed to city workers, money that got itself squandered by, among other people, the vulpine bastards on Wall Street. The vote in Cincinnati was a carefully selected test case for ripping off workers for the benefit of large financial services institutions. That it failed was one reason to cheer last night. The next time someone tells you the Tea Party is a vehicle of protest for ordinary Joes and Janes, feel free to laugh in that person's face.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

We Aim To Please

Pick a Bias Confirmation; any Bias Confirmation.



In case you were wondering just how squishy and soft the late great WaPo has gotten.

The Day After

So yesterday here in Ol' Viginny, we got us a few Democrats elected Governor, Lt Governor; and possibly Attorney General (the Dem is leading by a coupla hundred votes in that one).

It's seen as a semi-bigtime repudiation of the Radical Right, but the change is confined to the top spots - important and pretty satisfying in itself, but not exactly the "transformational phenomenon" a lot of people were looking for; not when the House of Delegates appears not to have changed one little bit.

A quick look at the Delegate races, and we still have 65 Repubs and 33 Dems with 2 races still too close to call as of about 5:00 this morning - and both of those were shaded in favor of the GOP candidate.

So we'll see if McCauliffe has the chops to get anything done, and/or the balls to jam thru some agenda items using just the Governor's letterhead.

Bringing it way down to a tight focus, we did manage to piss off the local Repubs somethin' awful by handing the incumbent a pretty sound thumpin' (12 or 13 points).  Brad Sheffield is our brand new representative for the Rio District, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors - way to go, Brad.



But maybe we should be talking more about why there were 45 seats in the House of Delegates that went uncontested this time around. 29 Repubs and 16 Dems had no opponents at all.  It seems almost half of our "representatives" can reasonably be considered Delegates-For-Life(?)  In a state that advertises itself as the nursery of American democracy and the birthplace of presidents; in a country that's constantly thumping its chest and crowing about bringing out the greatness in everybody by going toe-to-toe with the best possible competition; blahblahfuckin'blah - that's kinda fucked up right there, guys.

But hey - we're all happy cuz...you know - Hillary, right?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Local Precinct Pic

This is a picture of the Republican tent outside my precinct  (Earlysville Volunteer Fire Company).  I hadn't notice until one of "our" Dem voters pointed it out, but there's no electioneering signs for either Ken (Kenny The Kooch) Cuccinelli or for Mark (The Dark Legacy) Obenshain.


I have to wonder if there's any kind of statement being made here when 2 out of your 3 top guys aren't represented(?)  And how is it that you leave out Cuccinelli and Obenshain, but you're OK with a freak like Jackson?

Politics is weird, man.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Today's Entrepreneurial Inspiration

Cuz we need to wake up and recognize that with a little hard work and American know-how (and a coupla billion tax dollars), an elementary school can be just as safe as any other combat zone.



They piss on our heads; they tell us it's raining; and then they sell us umbrellas.

No soul and no honor.

hat tip = Addicting Info

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Shattering Quietly

I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry (cover) --Jimmie Spheeris






Boiled Down Floyd

Wish You Were Here --David Gilmour



(can't find a link an Amazon)

Fallball, Anyone?

SDSU playing the game the way it oughta be played:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Cloudy Tonight

Brighter Days --Loggins & Messina



I've seen brighter
I've known brighter days
Lying alone in the shade
(Of a manzanita)

It's been sweeter
Bitter sweeter days
I know it's not for always
But all I can say is
I've seen better days

Is summer gone
Has it been that long
I guess that's what seasons will bring
I'm caught again
in the Autumn wind
But I remember spring

For I've seen brighter days
Seen lighter places to stay
along my way
Oh, I've seen brighter days

I've seen warmer
soft and warmer nights
Lying with love by my side
(in the Sycamores)
There've been finer, yeah
I've seen mighty finer nights
Knowing what's wrong or what's right
It just don't matter
when you're in warmer nights

But here I am
Like a sea blown wind
under my thunder and rain
I'll ride the waves
'Til the sunny day
comes to me again

Oh, I've seen brighter days
Seen lighter places to stay
along my way
Oh, I've seen brighter days

Wild Horses

Wild Horses --Stones



Childhood living is easy to do
The things you wanted I bought them for you
Graceless lady you know who I am
You know I can't let you slide through my hands
Wild horses, couldn't drag me away
Wild wild horses couldn't drag me away

I watched you suffer a dull aching pain
Now you decided to show me the same
No sweeping exits or off stage lines
Could make me feel bitter or treat you unkind
Wild horses, couldn't drag me away
Wild wild horses couldn't drag me away

I know I've dreamed you a sin and a lie
I have my freedom but I don't have much time
Faith has been broken tears must be cried
Let's do some living after we die
Wild horses, couldn't drag me away
Wild wild horses we'll ride them someday
Wild horses, couldn't drag me away
Wild wild horses we'll ride them someday

Friday Tune

I'm A Man - (cover) Chicago:





Cuttlefish Are Awesome