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Showing posts from January, 2015

It All Comes Down To Money

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Money's what matters.

From Zach Carter at HuffPo:
Next week, the House will consider a bill to amend the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, which then-Speaker Gingrich (R-Ga.) shepherded through Congress. The 20-year-old law imposed a host of cost-benefit standards on federal regulators, including a requirement that they consider the costs that new rules might impose on state and local governments. But in order to garner Democratic votes and protect against a presidential veto, Gingrich made a significant concession: The regulators' calculations could not be challenged in court.--and so-- 
"Cost-benefit analysis has been and will continue to be a blueprint for big banks to water down, dilute and block Wall Street reforms," warned Amit Narang, regulatory policy advocate for Public Citizen. "The bill ensures that if financial agencies adopt reforms based on cost-benefit analyses that do not reflect Wall Street preferences, big banks will be waiting in the wings wi…

Find The Time

2 1/2 hours of the good stuff for a cold and crappy Saturday

Solo Accoustic Live --Jackson Browne




Today's Professional Left Podcast

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Another good one, guys.




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The Professional Left Podcast PO Box 9133 Springfield, IL 62791
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The Professional Left

God Love The Onion

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My Recent Discovery

I've been reading Charlie Pierce for years, and he often makes reference to "Obvious Political Anagram, Reince Priebus".  I've always wondered, but I never looked very far trying to find out about it.

I swear to Zalmoxis that I didn't know this until today, when I Googled it and found a Facebook page explaining it all*:


Reince Priebus = Rube's Epic Rein
No wonder they keep re-electing the guy.
*Ed Note:  I can't guarantee this is what Mr Pierce has in mind, but - you know - holy crap.

Told Ya

A coupla days ago, I posted a bit about the Great Gathering of Grifters aka: Kaptain Kornball Klub, aka: The Iowa Freedom Freakout Summit.  And in that post I opinionized about how certain of the "candidates" were there for reasons other than Public Service.  Well - imagine my surprise when I find out that there are people out here in the Blogoshpere who do more than just opinionize - they actually look into this shit.
Last week, Mother Jones reported that Mike Huckabee used his PAC to funnel more than $400,000 to his family. This week, Politico’s Ken Vogel gives us a story about scammy conservative PACs that make thousands of dollars from home with just one weird trick. These “scam PACs” play fast and loose with federal election rules by claiming-but-not-quite-claiming to represent Tea Party favorites like Ben Carson, Allen West, or Donald Trump’s hair plugs. The catch is that almost none of the money these scam PACs raise goes to those candidates. It’s the political equival…

The Explanation

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It seems so obvious.  Maybe that's why I need a reminder once in a while.



hat tip = Democratic Underground

A Mighty Metaphor

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Jon Stewart having fun mocking the Press Poodles is nothing new - and also something that never gets old.  


The Daily Show
Get More: Daily Show Full Episodes,The Daily Show on Facebook,Daily Show Video Archive

But what really comes to mind is the Clauswitz bit - paraphrased for my purposes: A good plan for your news show can survive anything except contact with actual events.

But the suits are in charge now, so "actual events" - aka: Reality, aka: The-Fucking-Truth - none of that matters if it's in conflict with The Plan.




Management made enormous commitments and invested at great expense to come up with The Plan, and Management is never wrong.  We must stick to The Plan - The Plan is everything because fuck you, we'll drop you like a bad habit, that's why.

Of course, Stewart says it a lot better.

Unintended Truth

Some of those dirty fuckin' hippies have been trying to tell us for a pretty long time about how the "political center" has moved way to the right over the last 30 years, and practically everybody I know either shrugs it off or tells me I'm a fool for believing the left-leaning media which we all know has a wicked librul bias.

But then, along comes Steve King making a bit of a slip as he introduces Moose-alini at the annual meeting of the Kaptain Kornball Klub in Iowa.  

This turns into the Mother of All Word Salads as it appears Palin tries it without the teleprompter, but listen close in the first few seconds:



Yeah, I know - I couldn't stay with it either.  After the first few minutes, it's like you can hear your brain cells screaming as they start to die.

BTW - everybody and his fuckin' uncle is running on the Repub side so far, and I think it might be because the rubes' pockets aren't quite as deep as they used to be - having nuthin' at all to…

Today's Pix

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Comin' Back On Ya, Barry

OK, to be real clear - I hate the thought of the Secret Service guys brainstorming on how to handle this new type of potential threat, and coming up with the idea of carrying Obama around in a bullet-proof sedan chair or some-fuckin'-thing, but at the same time, why am I having such a hard time not thinking, "Payback's a bitch, ain't it?"

--and--

As Meat-Space becomes too dangerous for everybody but the cops and the military, when might we expect the emergence of the first All Cyber-Space President?

Today's Quote

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"If you're very very stupid, how can you possibly realize that you're very very stupid?  You'd have to be relatively intelligent to realize how stupid you are.  This explains almost the entirety of Fox News." --John Cleese


Monday Tunes

Fever (cover) --A Fine Frenzy





Albatross --Fleetwood Mac





Duck Before You Drown --Dinah Washingtion




La Vie En Rose (cover) --Sophie Milman




Exactly Like You --Diana Krall





Dance Me To The End Of Love --Madeleine Peyroux





Europa --Santana






Dearest Anti-Vaxxers

Sunday Funnies

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Outa The Mouths Of Babes

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So, "conservatives", DumFux News gets called out and then spanked by a dozen teenagers because it's just way obvious that Rupert World is a fantasy (aka: bald-faced lie), but you still hang in there believing practically everything that falls out of Bill O's ass - what does that say about you?  

We all find it difficult admitting we've been wrong, and/or that we've been bambozzled, but seriously, you can't just go on denying reality when a high school journalism class knows more about Press Corps Ethics than your #1 Cable News Channel.

The real danger in having your head that far up your ass is that even if you open your eyes, all you're gonna see is your own shit.





Today's Chart

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I have to think long and hard about how the hell I'm gonna get a coupla 17-year-olds thru the next 4 years of college.

I don't like thinking about that right now, but what I really don't wanna have to fuck with is the belief on the part of so many rubes that "them durn thugs are getting all the scholarship money, and all the good placements in all the good schools just because they're black and it ain't fair that they're takin' the spot of a deserving white child blah blah blah."

(btw - the rubes really do use the word "thug" in polite company so they don't have to use the word "nigger".  Yes. Really.)
Anyway, here's another of my handy dandy charts to illustrate just how stupid some of these clowns can get.

That tiny blue line at about 12 o'clock on the doughnut is the one-quarter of one percent of the total scholarship money available which is actually "earmarked" for use by kids with brown skin.  Which mean…

The Honesty Episode

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Keep it 100.







Get Your Bucket List In Order

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The hard-workin' kids at The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists did this presentation midday yesterday.  

But somehow, it just wasn't deemed quite as important as the story about Boehner once again gettin' butt-fucked behind the coat rack in DC.  

It didn't have the appeal of The NFL Scandal du Jour (I helped on this one - my bad).  

Somehow, we needed to know about the awesome manliness of Chaz Bono more than we needed to know that the people who actually understand this shit are kinda fucking worried that we're about to screw the pooch like we're all amped up on Ex and Crystal at a Lady-N-The-Tramp costume party.  

What the fuck, you guys!?!




See the whole nightmare here.

Billy Belichick

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...rhymes (in a Slant Rhyme kinda way) with Lyin' Sack O' Shit.






hat tip = FB friend KH

Maybe That's It

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We spend an awful lot of time and energy trying to figure out what's wrong up in this joint.  And for once, maybe looking to a nice simple bumper-sticker exlanation is all we need to do.
"You know that being American is more than a matter of where your parents came from.  It is a belief that all men are created equal and that everyone deserves an even break." --Harry Truman"...everyone deserves an even break."  That's it.  So now all we have to do is figure out - do we have too many suckers, or do we have too many PT Barnums?



hat tip = FB friend VWE

Today's Pix

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Playing The Turn-Around

It's all in the talent of the speaker to use the language of Reasonability and Anti-Theocracy in order to manipulate the crowd into 1) agreeing that what we have now is a Theocracy, and 2) since you agree that's what we have, then how can you disagree with replacing it with a better one?  Of course, he's banking on the rubes not being able to recognize the false premise, ie: that Atheism is just another religion.  

The whiplash from this kind of rhetorical gymnastics is enough to put normal people in traction.  But the rubes ain't normal people - they eat this shit up like it's 2-fer Tuesday down at Luby's.  It actually makes sense to 'em.

But in case you missed it, the kicker's up front; when he says it's not about how ol' Pappy Huck wants to be president - no - he hears the call of that god feller sayin' HE wants Ol' Pap to be president cuz we need somebody who's right with the lord; somebody righteous to straighten us all out and he…

Star-Spangled Exceptions

Jon Stewart on DumFux News apology (no-go zones), and the one exception we have to make to The First Amendment in order to protect America from things like The First Amendment:

VICE is Nice

What we don't know will kill us.



DumFux News vs France

John and Mike from Fox News - Eric et Quentin du 16/01

Everybody knows:

--you never get involved in a land war in Asia
--you never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line

But only slightly less well-known is that you're just never gonna out-bitch-slap the French.

Just Shut Up And Listen

17 minutes that started continued some pretty momentous change.  The prospect of change (and the agents of that change) proved so scary and dangerous that the authoritarian assholes among us moved quickly to try to kill it.



The problems King was trying to tell us about haven't gone away.

Here's one of the more imprtant points from a longer talk by Tim Wise - I've put this one up a coupla times before, and I'll keep going back to it until I can recite it verbatim:



It's about what's fair vs what's unfair.  It's about getting USAmerica Inc to live up to its promises, and to stand by its word.  It's about demanding "the power" to behave like regular human beings.

We should never expect anything more, and we must never accept anything less.

And also too - if this doesn't apply to you, then why're you gettin' all bent outa shape about it?

Today's Worst

Seems like every other day or so, something pops up about something I've really loved for a long time that makes me have to consider blowin' it off for a while or telling it to take a flying fuck at a rollin' doughnut.
The world just kinda sucks right now.


Some Charts

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So Obamacare isn't quite the disaster we were told it would be.  In fact, it's begininning to work very much like it's supposed to work, which isn't as good as it could be, but a shitload better than what we had before.

More people have coverage, which means the risk is spread thinner, which means the average cost goes down some, which means more people can get coverage, which means etc etc etc - gee it's almost as if there's some kind of Basic Principle Of Economics at work or something.

Anyway, The Commonwealth Fund did their survey, and guess what:





For the first time there are fewer working people without coverage.
For the first time, there are fewer working people struggling to pay their doctor bills.
For the first time, there are fewer working people putting off a visit to the doctor due to cost.

For the first fucking time - seems vaguely significant to me.

And yet it still seems like we've got a particular bunch of rat-bastard politicians trying to pull a ve…

Happy National Religious Freedom Day, Everybody

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From a proclamation by The Prez in 2014:
In 1786, the Virginia General Assembly affirmed an ideal that has long been central to the American journey. The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, penned by Thomas Jefferson, declared religious liberty a natural right and any attempt to subvert it "a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion, who being Lord both of body and mind, yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either." The Statute inspired religious liberty protections in the First Amendment, which has stood for almost two and a quarter centuries.
Today, America embraces people of all faiths and of no faith. We are Christians and Jews, Muslims and Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, atheists and agnostics. Our religious diversity enriches our cultural fabric and reminds us that what binds us as one is not the tenets of our faiths, the colors of our skin, or the origins of our names. What makes us American is our adherence to shared ideals -- freedom, equal…

Welcome To Pottersville

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It's Russia TV, but the truth is what the truth is.




Know Your Rights: Medical, Dental and Mental Health Care (2012 resource): Prison officials are obligated under the Eighth Amendment to provide prisoners with adequate medical care. This principle applies regardless of whether the medical care is provided by governmental employees or by private medical staff under contract with the government.

Know Your Rights: Publications Sent by Mail (2012 Resource): Restrictions on prisoners’ access to publications cannot be arbitrary; they must be “reasonably related to legitimate penological interests.” That said, in practice, courts often will accept the judgment of prison authorities in deciding whether censoring a publication is reasonable.

Know Your Rights: Legal Rights of Disabled Prisoners (2012 Resource): Statutes exist under both the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to protect the rights of prisoners with disabilities.

LA County Jails: The ACLU has…

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Per military.com:At least 184 Humvees, 58 tanks and nearly 700 other vehicles have been destroyed or damaged in the more than 1,600 airstrike missions that have hit more than 3,200 ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria since bombing began last Aug. 8, the U.S. Central Command said Wednesday.In addition, a total of 26 MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles and armored personnel carriers, 79 artillery and mortar positions, and 673 infantry fighting positions were destroyed, CentCom officials said.An unknown number of Humvees, M1A1 Abrams tanks and MRAPs were captured by ISIS when Iraqi national security forces fled and abandoned their equipment as ISIS swept into Iraq last June.The formula for success in American Capitalism is pretty simple - at least it is in certain sectors of our economy, and once you've managed to put in place the basics of the incestuous Revolving Door setup that's been cultivated since before WW2:

Military Brass at the Pentagon recruited and groomed for e…

What They Don't Tell Ya

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"They" want us to believe (need us to believe, actually) that this:...was an integral part of this: ...and this:
But it wasn't.
It was staged.  Hard for me to imagine anything sadder...

...except for how the "conservatives" are busy slagging Obama for not going there himself, and/or for not sending some high-profile representative, but c'mon, guys - if he was there, you'd be slagging him for doing another phony photo-op.  Get some new material - you're making this too easy.
hat tip = Little Green Footballs

Trying

Trying not to laugh while trying not to cry while trying not to puke, while trying to figure out how to make sense of these 1st World Problems of Privilege.

Ohio State wins the big game (beat the snot outa the Ducks), and it came as no surprise to anyone when the Traditional Celebratory Riot soon followed.


And so also too, I just can't resist:  When will the moderates of White Middle Class America step up and not only take full responsibility for the actions of their people - but take it upon themselves to eradicate the violent behavior of the Young-Adult-ish Extremists among them?

Today's Irony

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NYPD Edition:


What's Next

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A gazillion people turned out in Paris for a rally to show support for Charlie Hebdo, and now the magazine is set to pop their latest edition with this cover art:



Way to go, guys.

From The Guardian:
Zineb El Rhazoui, a surviving columnist at Charlie Hebdo magazine who worked on the new issue, said the cover was a call to forgive the terrorists who murdered her colleagues last week, saying she did not feel hate towards Chérif and Saïd Kouachi despite their deadly attack on the magazine, and urged Muslims to accept humour. “We don’t feel any hate to them. We know that the struggle is not with them as people, but the struggle is with an ideology,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. The two gunmen who launched the attack on the magazine’s offices last Wednesday killed five of France’s top cartoonists, saying that they wanted to avenge the prophet for Charlie Hebdo’s satire of him.The grieving journalists who survived the murderous assault promised it would be business as usual at the we…

Today's Molly

"There is no inverse relationship between freedom and security. Less of one does not lead to more of the other. People with no rights are not safe from terrorist attack.” --Molly Ivins
Quotes from Ms Ivins are almost invariably borderline spectacular - I may have to make this a regular feature.

Hands To Yourself, Rev

This one's been making the rounds lately.



I think maybe we start with whether or not the tough-guy routine is nothing more than standard macho fantasy bullshit.  Probably it is, but in light of recent events, maybe we shouldn't be making that assumption.  

But anyway, if we take it at face value, we need to be asking why your all-powerful god needs you to go around beatin' up on smart-ass teenagers.  That's number one, but second: has the statute of limitations run out on this obvious perpetration of Assault and Battery?  And couldn't we get after this asshole for the commission of a hate crime?

Thirdly - how come these knuckleheads don't realize they're demonstrating to most of us that they're no different from radical religionists all over the world (and all throughout history) who're more than a little willing to attack and to brutalize and to murder anybody daring to mock certain fairy tales?

hat tip = Raw Story

The Greatest Lessons

...are the ones you don't remember learning.



hat tip = Addicting Info

Crumb

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