... is an existential threat to the Talibangelicals.
Hey, Harry Reid, how slow are you? Go fucking nuclear already.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Why would anyone pay any attention to anything Sarah Palin says? The husky that lives next door makes more intelligent noises.
Yet our vacuous media still thinks she has something to offer.
Saturday, November 9, 2013
By conserfative, I mean one of those less-than-wealthy wingnut loyalists who stand up for the poor put-upon aristocrats of wealth in moronic support of policies that further enrich the fatcats and beggar the conserfatives. These moronic loyalists think of themselves as independent and clear-thinking, when in fact they yearn for a strongman and are the easiest sheeple to pull the wool over.
Just to clear that up, if it needed it...
You never know what sanctions you'll suffer for your opinions or for your language.
Also, too, I can still say fuck. These insane teabagger days, the ability to say fuck without being punished for it in real life is pretty helpful to my continued insouciance in the face of conserfative infestations and the general inability of our politics and our press to deal with evidence.
Friday, November 1, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Rachel Maddow shows exactly why the Teapublicans were never, ever, ever going to back down from shutting down the government.
There's no reason whatsoever to think they'll change their minds (such as they have).
There's also no reason for confidence that they will shrink back from default when we soon bump up against the debt ceiling.
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Friday, September 20, 2013
Timothy Egan nails the head-snapping misrepresentation of poor whites by their Teapublican overlords:
Among the 254 counties where food stamp use doubled during the economic collapse, Mitt Romney won 213 of them, Bloomberg News reported. Half of Owsley County, Ky., is receiving federal food aid. Half.
You can’t get any more Team Red than Owsley County; it is 98 percent white, 81 percent Republican, per the 2012 presidential election. And that hardscrabble region has the distinction of being the poorest in the nation, with the lowest household income of any county in the United States, the Census Bureau found in 2010.
Instead of voting for their pocketbooks, poor whites have succumbed to a frankly tribal and bigoted appeal that finds fear and threats in blacks, immigrants, and anyone who's different. It's not an accident that the heart of this appeal to the basest of American traditions springs from the South, where it seeks to recapitulate Jim Crow. Never mind what the majority wants, suppress enough votes to keep the aristocracy in power.Since nearly half of Owsley’s residents also live below the poverty line, it would seem logical that the congressman who represents the area, Hal Rogers, a Republican, would be interested in, say, boosting income for poor working folks. But Rogers joined every single Republican in the House earlier this year in voting down a plan to raise the minimum wage over the next two years to $10.10 an hour.
The GOP can do this because they've changed the postwar social norm. After WWII, we all knew from the battlefield that we were one nation, all in this great cause of freedom and prosperity together. This made very threatening times for the lords of the manor. They might prosper even more under Democrats than under Republicans (look it up), but they needed greater income inequality to feel better about themselves.
So they took their financial resources and put them to work changing the social norm. Now, we have an entire right-wing media apparatus built for the purpose of convincing their racist teabagger serfs of a thousand things opposite the truth.
But the main new social norm for the conserfatives is the ardent faith that the government and organized labor are the source of their problems, when in fact they are the only counterbalance that exists to the plutocracy that has gluttonously gobbled up all the economic gains of the past thirty-five years and still cannot be sated short of neo-feudalism.
What’s at work here is the poison of ideology. Underlying the food assistance fight is the idea that the poor are lazy, and deserve their fate — the Ayn Rand philosophy. You don’t see this same reasoning applied to those Red State agricultural-industrialists living high off farm subsidies, and that’s why Republicans have separated the two major recipient groups of federal food aid. Subsidized cotton growers cannot possibly be equated with someone trying to stretch macaroni into three meals.The saddest part: Those people in Owsley County who are made hungry by Republican fealty to the wealthy will continue to blame the government and the United Mine Workers. In a way, the fucking morons deserve to live in a company town. They've failed to live up to their self-image as self-reliant, independent yeoman Scotch-Irish sonsabitches. But the rest of us don't deserve that company town. And their children don't either.
Monday, September 16, 2013
Monday, September 2, 2013
Does anyone really believe that the mild zephyr of packaged controversy between Darth Cheney's daughters Mary and Liz is about equal marriage? Really, it's all about ginning up a fake controversy about which one is the lesbian and which is the arch-conservative Wyoming Senate candidate. Free media!
I can just hear Liz saying, "Carpetbagger, dammit! I mean, teabagger! Ah, crap..."
Friday, August 30, 2013
Yeah, it's been a slow year around here. Y'know, work, personal life, blah, blah, blah...
I've missed several opportunities to go on record before some controversy was resolved. I haven't given timely opinions on hot topics. The NSA knows what I'm thinking; isn't that enough?
My lazy blogging is probably not going to change soon.
But I can do this.
- It's blatantly unconstitutional that our government is spying on us at great expense (and we're paying for it). It's bad when Obama does it, just as it was when Duhbya did it.
- Intervening in Syria is a terrible, no good, stupid idea. You can tell because most of the neocons are for it. It's a dick-measuring contest, and those don't lead to good outcomes.
- Besides, we couldn't have been any clearer about how to manipulate us if we'd said, "Psst. We'll blow up shit if you convince us the other Islamist dickheads with inconsequential differences from you that you're fighting actually used chemical weapons." (Oops, that's not very clear.)
- Tell me again why the wingnuts hate Obama. Republican universal healthcare (from before that was an oxymoron, granted). Republican Middle East policy, right down to the UN inspectors and the weak, secret evidence oversold by a Secretary of State. Republican economic "recovery," where Wall St. is bullish and the ordinary middle class is losing ground.
- Oh, but Obama is black.
- Larry Summers would be an awful pick for Fed Chair, maybe the worst pick possible. That guy may be brilliant in some bloviating sense of the word, but I don't think he has a nanogram of sound judgement, and he's fucked up almost everything he's touched.
- And I think David Marsters must be a commenter on this blog. Or else wingnut teabaggers are universally angry, ignorant bigots. (OK, that's more likely.)
- But it's really fiiine that a white supremacist can't manage to take over a town when it only has at most two dozen residents and a house there costs $8600 - Detroit, North Dakota.
- Too bad civil rights has been relegated to the nostalgia circuit.
- Joseph Stiglitz rocks.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
I.e., not real democracy, but the much more rewarding kleptomaniac plutocracy.
Who loses? For the past three decades, it's always the 99% who lose.
Update (8/29): It's a pain in the ass that Blogger has become increasingly mercurial about saving posts that include videos.
Or, in this case, by their fruitcake ideas.
I'm not even sure all these wingnut Republicans really truly believe global warming is natural. Oh, sure, Michele Bachmann is vacuous enough to believe it, and so do many of the others, especially the idiots who've gone to fundie schools and have not even a passing acquaintance with science, at least not as anything other than a source of evil-ution and a punching bag for bullshit fundamentalist denial.
But surely some of these deniers are intelligent enough to understand the data. Those are worse than the sincere deniers. They are simply hypocrites who know what they have to say to be viable Teapublicans.
The fact that success in one of the two main American political parties requires a declaration of one's own stupidity - because so many of its base voters have chosen denial as their core epistemic principle - is truly frightening and a far greater existential threat than terrorism could ever be.
Saturday, August 17, 2013
There is simply no answer the teabaggers, denialists, oil tycoons, and wingnuts will ever accept.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
The race to the bottom is over. The 1% won. American capitalism - the kind without a human face - looks more and more like the bastard spawn of neo-feudalism and indenture to the company store.
Workampers - some of them, anyhow - are the Okies of the Great Recession. Psst, only white people have RVs. Good demographic!
At least the workampers can go mobile. The locals are completely stuck between penury and abuse as temporary, disposable employees:
Industry consultants describe the temp-staffing business as "very, very busy." "On fire." Maximizing profits means making sure no employee has a slow day, means having only as many employees as are necessary to get the job done, the number of which can be determined and ordered from a huge pool of on-demand labor literally by the day. Often, temp workers have to call in before shifts to see if they'll get work. Sometimes,they're paid piece rate, according to the number of units they fill or unload or move. Always, they can be let go in an instant, and replaced just as quickly.In another mind-numbing warehouse:
And the logistics companies call their abusive work rules their culture.A few days later, I had breakfast with someone who coincidentally works with the CEOs of logistics companies. Telling him about the conditions and the sterility and the mind-numbing sadness of the warehouse made him almost too bummed to eat his oatmeal. "Somebody did studies and spreadsheets and crunched those numbers," he said, "and figured out that the cheapest way to get that job done is to treat people like that." Which is important, he explained, because "the profit margins on those contracts are razor thin." Of course. A lot of the Internet retailers' merchandise is nearly worthless—ice princess star-shaped ice cube trays, cheap sunglasses, anthropomorphic stuffed bacon toys—and is sold for nearly nothing, often with free or reduced-price shipping.Susie told me it's pretty dispiriting to act as though her workers are as disposable as the products they're shipping. But that's just the way it is, she said. The logistics clients aren't interested in spending money on a better or more sustainable work culture. Nor do they need to. There are 100 people employed in the warehouse I visited, and Susie could fire every one of them today without costing her bosses a dime of lost profits. She has applications from hundreds of people ready to take the job.
All I can say is that Americans are heavily armed, and woe be to those who are inflicting this "culture" on us when we finally figure out that it's not the liberals who are to blame for every ill the wealthy are inflicting on us.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
"Fiddled while Rome burned" would be too referential.
Messaging Matters gives this précis of Teapublican accomplishment:
“They Did Nothing.” It’s that simple. The Republicans on the economy? “They did nothing.” On jobs? “They did nothing.” Rebuilding America’s crumbling roads and bridges to help businesses move their products? “They did nothing.” Immigration? “They did nothing.” Climate change? “They did nothing.” Bringing American jobs back home instead of shipping them overseas? “They did nothing.” Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, terrorists and the mentally ill? “They did nothing.”* The list goes on and on. And to be clear, the Democrats must articulate their positive agenda. In fact, President Obama has taken to the road to do just that. Saying the Republicans did nothing only makes sense if Democrats clearly explain what solutions they stand for and on which the Republicans should work, with some compromise and cooperation by both sides.Sorry, I slipped. MM tells me to say "extreme Republicans."
Monday, July 22, 2013
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
After getting results from my town in the Massachusetts special election to replace former Sen. John Kerry, I tuned in WBUR for a little NPR vamping until the full results were in. Renee Loth, late of the Boston Globe, managed to offer a couple of factoids in the space of five minutes that were bullshit:
- Turnout was poor in the 2010 Senate special between Scott Brown (R-dang, I should have taken on Markey) and Martha Coakley (D-what's a fen weigh?). For a special election in January, turnout was immense - 54%.
- Elizabeth Warren (D-could you be President please) ran in a "rematch" against Scott Brown. Sheesh, she and Coakley are both petite, middle-aged blondes, but that's like saying Markey's race against Gomez, another specialty-coat-wearing handsome guy was a rematch against Brown, which would be stupid.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Here in the U.S., we're getting jammed.
The Republicans are interested only in their own power. Yet another faux scandal, this time the IRS's so-called targeting of teabaggers, has crumbled:
Terms including "Israel," ''Progressive" and "Occupy" were used by agency workers to help pick groups for closer examination, according to an internal IRS document obtained by The Associated Press.It was obvious from the beginning that the IRS personnel in Cincinnati were using search terms - the way anyone facing a large backlog of work would - to screen for high-priority work. If you don't do this, you're not getting the right work done. You're treating every task as equal in priority and equally likely to pay off. In short, you're an idiot piece-worker.
Republicans should have known this before going after scalps. Instead, they contrived exposure of only the part of the story that fit their apocalyptic victimology. I have no evidence whether they knew and deceived us or whether they simply didn't ask. Those are the two options, and either is unforgivable for the House Oversight Committee and its chair, Darrell Issa (R-police record).
It's long past time we acknowledged that their opposition to Barack Obama goes well beyond honorable, time-honored loyal opposition. They are not loyal to Americans, only to their extremist supporters.
Monday, June 24, 2013
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Facebook keeps dossiers on us all:
The personal information leaked by the bug is information that had not been given to Facebook by the users - it is data Facebook has been compiling on its users behind closed doors, without their consent.Governments have never been able, long term, to distinguish dissidents and subversives from revolutionaries and enemies. Corporations just want to sell us more useless plastic shit.
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Conservatives are frothing at the mouth (again! You'd think they'd run out of froth) about President Obama's completely innocuous comments about schools and communities separated along sectarian lines in Northern Ireland.
The reason our homegrown American paranoid wingnuts are angry about this - other than anger being what they do - is that they've spent the past forty years building separate institutions parallel to public and secular institutions.
Their building started as a way to keep their delicate little white babies from having to learn with colored chillun. You never know what might happen when children sit next to each other in class. They might become friends! Or those dark boys might deflower innocent Southern girls. Mongrelization, miscegenation, race-mixing, and bastardization of America!
After resegregating K-12, of course, the racist wingers needed "higher" education that would permit their smallworldview to go unchallenged all the way through college and even grad school. But you can't say cadres for Christ - that sounds too much like the Bolsheviks. Hence Bob Jones University (BJU, unintended double entendre foreshadowing teabagger) and Liberty University. Too bad Oklahoma's ORU wasn't named for a televangelist named Oral Richards.
Then of course, the conservatives built their own media, intended from the beginning to get their story our, never mind what's true. Fox pretends to be news to pump out propaganda. Rush and his ilk of haters purvey unguested confrontation and won't countenance any response on their bullshit programs.
Well, not quite never mind what's true. Some viewers need a little convincing. So billionaire wingnuts built tax exempt foundations to provide a thin veil of propaganda for the alleged truth of their views. Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Accuracy in Media, and all the various denier "think" tanks on climate change, tobacco, and the so-called free market, etc.
Conservatives hate what Obama said in Northern Ireland because they've graduated from advocating separate but unequal for black folk into advocating separate institutions for themselves - and, oh by the way, the destruction of public institutions for the rest of us.
Drastically at odds with the Christian Bible, yet the Republican Party claims to be based on both. Debased, more like it.
A self-described Christian who holds at the same time the morality of Jesus and the contradictory "virtuous" selfishness of Ayn Rand must believe, among other absurdities, that every charism from god to human must stop there and not be shared with any other human.
The Christian conservatives I know don't actually believe Rand's philosophy. They are often altruistic within their own circles, and their churches are often valuable social welfare providers. Why is it that they adopt her anti-altruism extremism in regard to every economic issue?
Thursday, June 20, 2013
James Taranto is feeling a bit put upon by all the great women who can tell after 30 seconds of listening to him that they will never sleep with him. The mere thought skeeves them out. They're thinking, "If I can just get away from this perv, I'll never have to breathe the same air again."
It's totally understandable that Taranto would mistake a war on pervy creeps for a war on all men. Totally.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
The conservative movement is founded on twin implausible literary pillars.
One is Ayn Rand's fictional philosophy, epitomized by the execrable and ridiculous Atlas Shrugged. Calling it literary immediately demands an episode from Leonard Pinth-Garnell.
The other is an ossified literal reading of a notoriously dated translation into English of the bible. At least it has true literary merit, but anyone who labels it the inerrant word of god is either whoppingly ironic or resolutely opposed to learning. The King James translation was done a millennium and a half after the New Testament was written, written often by authors who lied about who they were and whose works have been canonized more theologically and politically than historically.
It's no surprise then that conservative Republicans in the House today spin tales they can't substantiate to outraged true believers.
Congressional investigators have not produced evidence to link the harassment of conservative groups to the White House or to higher-ups in the Obama administration. But the lack of evidence that any political appointee was involved hasn’t stopped the lawmakers from assuming that it simply must be true. And so, they are going to hold hearings until they confirm their conclusions.Americans love soap operas. Who cares that these daytime dramas are at best semi-plausible half-truths!
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Chris Hedges is always provocative.
Of liberalism, too often bought off by conservative corporations:
Corporations write our legislation. They control our systems of information. They manage the political theater of electoral politics and impose our educational curriculum. They have turned the judiciary into one of their wholly owned subsidiaries. They have decimated labor unions and other independent mass organizations, as well as having bought off the Democratic Party, which once defended the rights of workers. With the evisceration of piecemeal and incremental reform — the primary role of liberal, democratic institutions — we are left defenseless against corporate power.Of the current ugly capitalism itself, less restrained every day by anything moral:
A handful of corporate oligarchs around the globe have everything — wealth, power and privilege — and the rest of us struggle as part of a vast underclass, increasingly impoverished and ruthlessly repressed. There is one set of laws and regulations for us; there is another set of laws and regulations for a power elite that functions as a global mafia.Between the lines, Hedges visibly calls for revolution. He doesn't call for violence the way so many Teabaggers do, but he has put my liberal program behind him for direct action and presumably peaceable rebellion.
Sunday, June 2, 2013
Monday, May 27, 2013
Sunday, May 19, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Fox lies all the time, although you do have to ask whether "Fox and Friends" - the show that dominates the news stupidity in a media landscape that's filled with media stupidity - knows for sure that their bullshit is bullshit.
Here's another lie from Roger Ailes's right-wing propaganda machine:
Fox deceptively edited Obama's answer to only include the portion of his response in which he discusses long debunked myths related to the talking points, removing the beginning of Obama's answer to the question about the Benghazi attacks and the related talking points.
Obama began his response by saying that "Americans died in Benghazi." He followed by asserting that he wanted to ensure that a similar situation doesn't happen again and that the assailants would be "held accountable."If you watch Fox and believe it, I don't understand how you actually have enough sense to make a living and not get fleeced out of it by retail scam artists. There are a couple of possibilities:
- You live in a group home with a guard at the door.
- You like being lied to because otherwise you'd have to cope with a complex world whose complexion is not to your liking.
- You're so fearful you can't think straight.
By the way, did you know that the word gullible isn't even in the dictionary? Probably another Obama conspiracy...
Monday, May 13, 2013
Why does it matter that Gabriel Gomez (R-private equity) took a $280,000 tax deduction on the facade of his home? Don't we all try to squeeze every last dime off our tax bills? Isn't that the good ole American way?
No, and here's why.
The Town of Cohasset values Gomez's property at a little more than $2,000,000. (Go here and search for parcel 27-094. It's actually not his any more, as he sold it for $1 to his wife in 2008.) This value matches up with Zillow's current estimate, which makes Zillow's 2005 estimate of value credible. Zillow has tended to inflate the market anyway, which would work to Gomez's advantage.
Taking Zillow's 2005 number of $2.3 million, Gomez's tax deduction was over 12% of the total value of his property, pretty extreme. It gets worse when you realize he's valuing the appearance of the facade only, not the twelve bedrooms or the five bathrooms or the land.
Then, it turns out, as the Boston Globe reports, that Gomez's alteration of the facade was already restricted by a town bylaw and thus not his to donate.
One specialist in conservation easement law, Scott Knott, a tax partner in The Ferraro Law Firm in Washington, D.C., said that if easements mandated by local laws are already in place, homeowners have nothing to claim as a tax deduction.If you want to go all Fifth Amendment on me, you're too late to make the town's bylaw a taking. Gomez bought the house in 2004, well after the establishment of the Cohasset historical district in 1996. So Gomez bought the property with restrictions already on it, and those restrictions necessarily would have figured in the price he paid for it. (Of course, living in a historic district generally raises property values instead of lowering them.)
“The key is the valuation of the easement and if there is already a restriction on the property, the value is not diminished by the easement,’’ said Knott. “The value of any easement that has the same restriction already in place is zero.’’
OK, Gomez's spokesman said, but now he can't sue for relief if the Cohasset Historical Commission won't let him make a change. Except, he can still seek relief in court.
Like Ann Romney's tax deductible horse hobby, this is an outrage of sharp abuse of the tax code. No legitimate public purpose is served by it, just the enriching of the already wealthy out of the public treasury.
This is who Gabriel Gomez became by descending into private equity. Don't the plutocrats already have enough people in Congress - especially in the Senate - whose avowed purpose is to help the wealthy grab even more of the nation's income?
We in Massachusetts took a brave step forward in electing Elizabeth Warren. Gabriel Gomez would work to destroy every single thing that Warren is accomplishing in Washington.
We simply must reject Gomez's candidacy and elect Ed Markey.
Friday, May 10, 2013
On a serious note, the corruption of science by conclusions favorable to the powerful continues.
Update: If you want details, see Business Insider.
First, Reinhart and Rogoff selectively exclude years of high debt and average growth. Second, they use a debatable method to weight the countries. Third, there also appears to be a coding error that excludes high-debt and average-growth countries. All three bias in favor of their result, and without them you don't get their controversial result.
In a perfect Ayn Rand world, Sohel Rana ought to go Galt if he's regulated by the little people of government. Far better to keep hands off job creators and let their workers decide whether a factory is a safe enough place to alienate their labor!
Authorities in Bangladesh now say the building was illegally constructed, with permits obtained through political influence. The owner, Sohel Rana, now in jail, was illegally adding upper floors to structure at the time the building collapsed, officials said.If 1,000 people die because greedy bastards like Rana have bought off the government, for economic libertarians, that's just the occasional cost of freedom, collateral damage in a capitalist paradise.
When an industrialist exploiter corrupts government, that's a failure of government, no doubt. But it's a feature of the extreme form of capitalism that Randian libertarians advocate, in which everything is for sale and the "free" market corrects excesses.
Sometimes, the market mechanism takes lives of the proles. But who cares about them? Certainly not Rana Sohel.
The thing we comfortable, lazy Americans may not have noticed is that we live in a nation whose government has been thoroughly corrupted by the moneyed elites. Little by little and sometimes in big hunks, wealth has bought up every institution it could.
The plutocrats think their incipient fascism is by definition right and moral. Even if a few (thousand) have to die.
The Heritage Foundation doesn't exist to research credible conservative alternatives. It exists to provide pseudo-intellectual claptrap to paste a fig leaf over the nasty bits of wingnut prejudice. Heritage proposed Obamacare in the 1990s, only to go full metal jacket on it when a Democrat proposed it.
Same on immigration:
[T]he study, which comes out under the leadership of conservative former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC), is a sharp departure from a “Backgrounder” the Foundation published in 2006. Then, Heritage noted that “worker migration is a net plus economically.”The wingnut bullshit artists are in charge, and they need to keep the rubes inflamed so that they don't notice it's the plutocracy who are screwing them.
Update: My man Paul Krugman agrees with me. Usually it's the other way around.
The truth is that Heritage has never been in the business of doing economic analysis; it’s just a propaganda agency posing as a think tank.
If you think Benghazi is a scandal, rather than a fiasco, you're a person who's completely unable to hold your people to the standard you hold President Obama to.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Today is a great day in the annals (two Ns, so shut up!) of Republican lying adulterers. Mark Sanford (R-only a sin to be a Democrat) will never again be seriously challenged by a Democratic candidate.
According to those exit polls, Mr. Sanford held a three-to-one lead among voters who described themselves as liars, cheaters, or sleazebags.Once again, the majority of a conservative electorate has proven more committed to ideology than to the personal virtue they bullshit about whenever Ted Kennedy is the topic of conversation.
No big loss, really. Colbert Busch was never going to hold that seat past 2014. Now the Republicans are stuck with Sanford.
Maybe he, Vitter, and their role model, Newt Gingrich, should rent a limo with the up-suspension package and triple date. Oh, the stories they could tell to entertain their dates!
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
It's probably too much to hope for to dream that Rush Limbaugh, founder of the no-bigger-asshole school of conservative bullying, will change his bigoted behavior. But it would be lovely if he got paid ever less to give cover to wingnut assholes as they pollute our national discourse with hatred and ignorance.
[O]n the one hand, we have multiple radio companies reporting losses directly attributable to Limbaugh's show as well as Limbaugh himself complaining about media buyers. On the other hand, we have an unnamed source close to Limbaugh's show denying reality about Limbaugh's advertiser woes and attacking one of the host's biggest affiliates.
Monday, May 6, 2013
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Really? If the shoe were on the other foot, that's what Republicans would claim.
Even al-Qaida gloats about what's possible under U.S. gun laws. In June 2011, a senior al-Qaida operative, Adam Gadahn, released rallying people to take advantage of opportunities those laws provide.
"America is absolutely awash with easily obtainable firearms," Gadahn says, explaining that "you can go down to a gun show at the local convention center" and buy a gun without a background check.
Then a faint smile crosses Gadahn's face. "So what are you waiting for?" he asks.
Under current laws, if a background check reveals that your name is on the national terrorism watch list, you're still free to walk out of a gun dealership with a firearm in your hands — as long as you don't have a criminal or mental health record.
The honest truth is that nearly all Republican legislators are willing to allow felons and people who are dangerously mentally ill to own guns. Why should potential terrorists be any different?
The Republican Party's leaders think the only point at which we can stop violence is once it has already started - every school, every theater, every political rally an O.K. Corral.
Even rank and file Republican voters know that this is utter madness. You'd think they might do something about it.
Monday, April 29, 2013
I can well imagine schlerotic wingnuts railing against the President's sense of humor.
Walking in to “All I Do Is Win,” President Obama joked “Rush Limbaugh warned you about this. Second term, baby. We’re changing things around here a little bit.”Or maybe they'll wax wroth about teleprompters and other bullshit.
Anyhow, I'm laughing.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
For Paul Krugman, the role of Cassandra has to weigh like a curse he didn't earn.
look at the predictions the two sides in this debate have made. People like me predicted right from the start that large budget deficits would have little effect on interest rates, that large-scale “money printing” by the Fed (not a good description of actual Fed policy, but never mind) wouldn’t be inflationary, that austerity policies would lead to terrible economic downturns. The other side jeered, insisting that interest rates would skyrocket and that austerity would actually lead to economic expansion. Ask bond traders, or the suffering populations of Spain, Portugal and so on, how it actually turned out.Of course, Cassandra didn't earn hers, either.
The people who oppose stimulus aren't all ignoramuses. Sure, they've bought the fealty of the Republican Party, and it's filled with ignoramuses who are so unprincipled they'll say anything to keep the Koch up their nose. But the billionaires aren't foolish men.
It's clear that a stimulated economy is a bigger economy. The plutocrats don't care. They have plenty, and they want more, but there's something they want more than larger fortunes.
They want a docile, servile, and inexpensive workforce (that's us) whom they can dispose of on whim. They want to run everything.
Extreme inequality of income and wealth is not an accidental outcome of their policy preferences. It's their underlying goal. With the rest of us in penury or afraid of it, their lives become much simpler. That's what they want.
Saturday, April 27, 2013
We simply cannot have a healthy economy when nearly all the rewards flow to the few.
Then, too, there's the immorality of a society that privileges greed above all else.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
No, not working corruption of blood, as fascist ninny Ann Coulter would.
Fox - whatever its bullshit lip service to the contrary - is tainted with its hatred of the liberal work that is the U.S. Constitution.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
... and I do mean losers:
[W]e learned last week that three disgruntled Republican lawmakers – including two from Greater Nashua – actually thought it was a good idea to file a formal petition of removal and criminal complaints against 189 of their fellow representatives.Republicans used to whine - pathetically and without justification - that Democrats were "criminalizing policy differences." They made this fantastic claim in defense of Tom DeLay (R-screw campaign finance laws), only appropriate in the sense that DeLay himself made the phrase popular.
Specifically, Londonderry Rep. Al Baldasaro, Goffstown Rep. John Hikel and Merrimack Rep. Lenette Peterson filed an “emergency petition for redress,” calling for removing the 189 from office for “breaching their oath” and for their criminal prosecution for “violating federal law.”
Voting for legislation that would reset the standard for self-defense to what had existed with little fanfare for more than three decades. They claim any change would violate their right to bear arms to protect themselves and their property.
Now, these New Hampshire gun-toting wingnuts want criminal complaints because, in the exercise of their representation of their constituents, their political opponents voted in a way that made them cry.
Crocodile tears from fantastically ridiculous infantile crazies...
They prove yet again that many Republicans oppose the idea of democracy every time it goes against them.
Friday, April 19, 2013
There's a "sweeping" new report that '“it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture” and that the nation’s highest officials bore ultimate responsibility for it.'
Ho hum. The only aspect of this that's really newsworthy is that a Republican signed onto it.
The Bushists chose to torture.
They wrote memos to exculpate their choice to torture, covering their asses with a thin tissue of lies that redefined the word torture. Torturously redefined the word. (Tortuously, too.)
They have escaped all legal responsibility for their actions. (Like bankers!)
Note that the New York Times is still too chickenshit to call torture torture outside of direct quotes. Instead, they continue to adopt the weaselly newspeak of the Bushists: "coercive interrogation methods used by the administration of President George W. Bush."
Until we restore truth-telling to a position of actual respect, not mere lip service, our cultural decline will continue.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Or, should I say, non-performance?
- CNN really truly sucks at journalism. cnn.com, though, is still a useful source of breaking news.
- Fox I avoid on general principles, but they can manage breaking stories in between the toxic bigotry of their opinion personalities. I watched a little Shepard Smith on Monday while the story was still news and not yet another opportunity to push invidious delusions into the puke funnel of the VRWC.
- MSNBC's Rachel Maddow is vital for background. Her competitors who lean backward into infotainment breathlessly reported on pressure cooker bombs, as if everyone knew what that meant. She actually reported it.
- Both the Boston Globe and the New York Times web sites failed. To judge by the Globe's subsequent removal of access controls, they may lack enough oomph in their user authentication servers.
- NECN was o.k. for a while, but then reported that Boston was being evacuated on the strength of one cop with a bullhorn. Panic, people, panic! But keep watching!
- Any media outlet that gives Alex Jones a platform cannot be trusted.
- Infotainment is the norm:
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Rush is defensive about greenhouse gases in general, since he puts out so much bullshit. But of course that's methane-producing, more than carbon dioxide, so maybe we can excuse his buffoonish ignorance.
No, no we can't.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
We used to mock wingnuts for Clinton Derangement Syndrome. Because they noticed that tag stung, they accused us of Bush Derangement Syndrome, even though CDS (Hillary murdered Vince Foster!) was mainstream in the GOP and BDS (Darth Cheney did controlled demolition of WTC4!) was only in the wacko fringe left.
The truth is that many wingnuts are simply deranged. They can't tell obvious bullshit from something that's in range of plausible. There are plenty of them, too, which is why our politics is so screwed up that a centrist like Barack Obama (bank rescue, Heritage Foundation health insurance reform, chained CPI, no accountability for financial crimes, gradualist war policy, weak on environment) has crazy teabaggers screaming "socialist commie fascist" at him.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Americans favor working background checks, but the NRA opposes them, so we're not likely to take any concrete step to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and unstable people.
That means we have to imagine this happening to other families:
In addition to the tragic loss of her playmates, friends, and teachers, my first grader suffers from PTSD. She was in the first room by the entrance to the school. Her teacher was able to gather the children into the tiny bathroom inside the classroom. There she stood, with 14 of her classmates and her teacher, all of them crying. You see, she heard what was happening on the other side of the wall. She heard everything. Shooting. Screaming. Pleading. She was sure she was going to die that day and did not want to die for Christmas. Imagine what this must have been like. With PTSD comes fear – all kinds of fear. Each time she hears a loud or unfamiliar noise, she experiences the fear she had in that bathroom. She is not alone. All of her classmates have PTSD. She struggles nightly with nightmares, difficulty falling asleep, and being afraid to go anywhere in her own home. At school she becomes withdrawn, crying daily, covering her ears when it gets too loud and waiting for this to happen again. She is 6.It's obvious from events since the Newtown massacre that Wayne LaPierre and his merry band of sociopathic fucks are so opposed to any measures against guns that they are willing to accept mass murder of children as collateral damage in the name of something they believe to be more important.
Imagine being this age and living like this. My children face their fears every day by getting on the bus and going to school. Would you be able to do the same? How would you feel if these were your children?
Imagine a world in which that obscenity were not possible.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Monday, March 25, 2013
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Sunday, March 17, 2013
The decision of Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) to support same-sex marriage after learning that his son was gay has inspired hundreds of other Republican lawmakers to stop speaking to their children immediately, G.O.P. leaders confirmed today.(For the humor-impaired, yes, this is satire. You never heard of Borowitz, huh?)
I want to ask something more serious. Why is it that Republicans are so incapable of sympathizing with people who are different or in need, right up to the point at which someone in their family has a need?
It seems to me that they have a fundamentally tribal and defective moral sense that can't recognize others as deserving their human sympathy.
Update (3/25): But girls should still submit to barefootedtude and pregnancy...
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Elizabeth Warren doesn't shy from the important questions. Her persistent cross-examinations of regulators cast in high relief the tolerance in official Washington for the unfair legal regime in which there is one set of rules for us little people and another far laxer set of rules for the movers and shakers who count themselves as the free market's gift to us all.
No wonder the banks wanted to keep her off the Senate Banking Committee. She is not willing to accept bland deflections of her questions.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
It really shouldn't surprise anyone with two brain cells to rub together that the House teabaggers have zero sincere interest in a deal to forestall the sequester. John Boehner (R-no) is on record as having gotten 98% of what he wanted in the original deal, and even allowing for a bit of hyperbole in that number, he knows he's not going to get a better deal, especially now that President Obama has found his spine.
Instead, what Boehner wants to do is shift the blame for the cuts onto Obama and the Democrats. He and his party of mercenary bastards really do believe that perception is reality. Thus the only thing that matters to him in the sequestration fight is to win the battle of perception.
Never mind whether these cuts hurt people. Republicans don't care about anyone who's vulnerable.
Never mind whether these cuts hurt the economy. Republicans have shown for years that the size of the economic pie doesn't matter to them. They in fact support economic inequality as a desirable goal, not merely a side effect of their desire to drown the government in the bathtub. When the economy hurts the middle class (and the forgotten poor), it also hurts the wealthy, but the wealthy recover their losses and attain even greater plutocratic power over the rest of us. And that's what Republicans support.
Never mind whether these cuts hurt the military, even. Since the voters no longer trust Republicans more than Democrats on the military, blame-shifting this is the GOP's way of trying to get that trust back. Obviously, an undeserving way.
Fortunately, Boehner seems to be failing to convince Americans that his lies are true. This must come as a surprise to him, since he and the Republicans have been so often successful at that in the past.
Update (3/1): Yep:
Amid clamoring from his more conservative members, Mr. Boehner eventually reaffirmed his own conservative principles, abandoning even the pretense of reaching a bipartisan solution on the spending cuts. He argued that the president had gotten his desired tax increases in the earlier showdown. And he promised no more one-on-one negotiating sessions meetings with Mr. Obama.
Friday, February 22, 2013
We used to call bumpkin idiots gomers. They used to be decent enough people. Now they have a new name, gohmerts, and three decades of hate radio has made many of them unrepentant assholes.
Louie Gohmert makes you look good even if you were the kid in high school algebra who said, "Whattaya mean, x is a number!" Come to think of it, al-gebra sounds like creeping sharia!
Where will the Gohmerts go when even Texas is no longer xenophobic enough for them?
Monday, February 18, 2013
Saturday, February 16, 2013
The New York Times hasn't learned from Whitewater to close its mouth to the puke funnel, lest shady right-wing operatives funded by wealthy wingnuts, force feed them anonymous bullshit from web sites with no integrity:
The inquiry began with an incendiary tip — unproven and vehemently disputed by Mr. Menendez — that Dr. Melgen had helped procure prostitutes, some of them underage, for Mr. Menendez, after flying the senator repeatedly on his private plane to the Dominican Republic, where Dr. Melgen has a home at a seaside resort. This information was put forward by an odd array of self-interested characters, including the right-leaning Web site The Daily Caller and someone — his identity remains a mystery — who claimed to be an American citizen who frequented the Dominican Republic.Remember the Arkansas Project, Richard Mellon Scaife, and Drudge?
The VRWC, for its part, has learned. Spice up your libels and slanders with sex, and the media will line up on their knees for a taste. (Remember Media Whores Online? "The site that set out to bring the media to their knees, but found they were already there.")
The combination of allegations, of misuse of public office and of sexual misconduct, helped propel the story into the headlines and onto television, and set tongues to wagging at cocktail parties across Washington.Do we really give a shit what tongues wag at Washington cocktail parties? Reporter Eric Lipton cares. It's not good enough that he reports the sourcing. The content doesn't meet any standards of responsible journalism.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-idle threats) hasn't learned that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-fuck Reid) can never be trusted to honor the spirit of a deal. I mean, seriously, after all these years. Reid and President Obama should refrain from giving each other negotiation tips.
McConnell, for his part, has learned that his continued douchebaggery has no adverse consequences for him or his pasty band of obstructionists:
In the spirit of the bipartisan, but toothless rules reforms the Senate passed last week, Senate Minority Mitch McConnell and over 40 of his members are vowing to block confirmation of a permanent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director unless Democrats agree to pass legislation dramatically weakening the agency.Yet here's something that will never ever happen:
McConnell’s renewed filibuster threat seem to have caught him by surprise somehow. But if at some point later this year it becomes clear Republicans will continue to block Cordray past the end of his recess appointment, Reid could in theory revisit the filibuster reform fight.Stop negotiating. Use the power you have. Impose your will.
Na ga happen.
Blackburn was born in 1952, so she likely took that retail job at some point between 1968 and 1970. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, the $2.15 an hour Blackburn made then is worth somewhere between $12.72 and $14.18 an hour in today’s dollars, depending on which year she started.Self-refuting Tea Party wingnuts like Blackburn want to return to a fantasy land that exists only in their feverish, foolish imaginations.
At that time, the minimum wage was $1.60, equivalent to $10.56 in today’s terms. Today’s minimum wage is equivalent to just $1.10 an hour in 1968 dollars, meaning the teenage Blackburn managed to enter the workforce making almost double the wage she now says is keeping teenagers out of the workforce.
They don't know enough about the world to understand inflation, and they don't care to learn.
* Yes, her Congressional web site calls her a Congressman.
Maybe this is to reassure her Tea Party constituents that she's not one a them libbers. It can't be that she's reserving this one area from Southern Baptist submission to her husband.** Maybe she's just running a sloppy operation. There are two very different district maps on her site, one of which shows a district office way outside her district.
Ding, ding, ding. First theory correct:
As Blackburn worked her way around the room, the constituent motioned for her to come back: “Little lady, if you win this thing, what we gonna call you — congresslady? Congressgirl?”Can I just say this? Barf!
“Sir, congressman will be just fine,” replied Blackburn.
** Nope, she's Presbyterian.
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Monday, February 11, 2013
America is not in trouble because we've fallen away from god. We're in trouble because bullshit, rather than honest inquiry, is the social norm:
[A]t this point the conventions of punditry call for saying something to demonstrate my evenhandedness, something along the lines of “Democrats do it too.” But while Democrats, being human, often read evidence selectively and choose to believe things that make them comfortable, there really isn’t anything equivalent to Republicans’ active hostility to collecting evidence in the first place.
The truth is that America’s partisan divide runs much deeper than even pessimists are usually willing to admit; the parties aren’t just divided on values and policy views, they’re divided over epistemology. One side believes, at least in principle, in letting its policy views be shaped by facts; the other believes in suppressing the facts if they contradict its fixed beliefs.
The factual background from Keith Ellison (D-MN):
Well, Tom, the problem with saying this is the president’s idea is that you voted for the Budget Control Act. I voted against it. We wouldn’t have ever been talking about the Budget Control Act but for your party refused to negotiate on the debt ceiling something that has been routinely increased as the country needed it. You used that occasion in 2011 August to basically say we are going to default on the country’s obligations or you’re going to give us dramatic spending cuts. That’s how we got to the Budget Control Act.
Friday, February 8, 2013
The Republican Party favors this above all else: Increasing income inequality.
This is John Kasich's proposal for Ohio - and he's supposed to be one of the reasonable Republicans!
The GOP is about making nearly everyone poorer while they make the rich richer.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Background at ThinkProgress.
Update (4/7): Blogger keeps eating video embeds. Maybe that's because they use Flash and crash every couple of tries. Steve Jobs was definitely right about the suckiness of Flash.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Former governor William F. Weld and former lieutenant governor Kerry Healey also said they would not run, leaving few strong options for Bay State Republicans hoping for a victory in the June 25 special election.Scott Brown (R-stop Obamacare) was a long-shot State Senator of little distinction when he ran - a campaign 40 times as large as any he had ever run. He was blessed by facing the worst campaign ever from Martha Coakley.
Coronations are dangerous in a democracy. In more ways than one.
The shooting death of Charles Albert Poland Jr. and the kidnapping of a young boy named Ethan were completely preventable. There is no way Jimmy Lee Dykes should have been permitted to possess firearms:
Mr. Dykes, who has lived in a travel trailer here for about two years, has a troubled past, including arrests on charges connected to drugs, drunken driving and, in Florida in 1995, unlawful display of a firearm. On Wednesday he was due in court in this county, accused of shooting at a neighbor in a dispute over driving on his property.Everyone who knew Dykes knew he was bad news.
Neighbors of Mr. Dykes generally kept their distance, which he made easy. He frequently made violent threats to anyone who wandered onto his property, once even beating a neighbors’ dog to death with a lead pipe. He would sometimes sit watching and holding a rifle when young children played in a nearby yard. Late into the night he would dig in the backyard of his travel trailer or patrol his property with a flashlight and a long gun.Now Poland is heroically dead, Dykes has been justifiably killed by the FBI, and Ethan has been rescued.
But Alabama won't rethink its gun laws, and the NRA won't rethink its crazy, extremist position against closing the gun show and private sale loopholes in the miserable tatter of current background check law.
Saturday, February 2, 2013
Scott-free Brown (R-#bqatevwr) is out of this year's Senate special election, leaving the Republican Party crestfallen and abandoned at the altar.
Can you really blame Brown?
Democrats are primed and ready. A whole shit-ton of us will have to age off and die before we ever take such an important election for granted again. Don't get me wrong, we'd almost all prefer not to have to go door to door in winter. But we would do it.
Brown's favored chair of the GOP State Committee barely squeaked into office after significant arm-twisting from him. Seriously, would you go down with this ship of wingnut fools?
Brown can make gobs of money speaking to conservatives. Wingnut welfare is a gravy train he could get fat and happy on, much moreso than another sojourn in the Senate. He never wanted to accomplish anything beyond stopping Obamacare (fail!) and watering down financial regulation (lost to Elizabeth Warren, prime advocate of good regulation - epic fail). Why would he want to be in the same room with the divas of the U.S. Senate?
Brown has fundraised and glad-handed and stumped waaay more than any human ought to enjoy. I know I'd be burnt out from it if I faced it.
Hell, getting a private sector job and massaging the clients' egos for some law firm and making half a mill could be just the ticket.
Brown may find he misses his old life not at all.
The Massachusetts Republican Party, however, is likely to miss a conservative who voted for most everything Mitch McConnell needed him to vote for. They're going to have a raft of crazy right-wing wingnuts, which is arrant stupidity in a state already dominated by Democrats.
Friday, February 1, 2013
The House Republicans are hopelessly extreme, but we Democrats can work with Senate Republicans. Right?
How is it that even those guys (and one woman who fits right in) qualify for the U.S. Senate when they have yet to master the fundamental moral ability to hold themselves to the same standard they wish to hold others to?
When the Senate passed the long-delayed $50.5 billion Hurricane Sandy relief package Monday, 36 Republicans voted against the bill. But of the 32 no-votes from Senators who are not brand-new members, at least 31 came from Republicans who had previously supported emergency aid efforts following disasters in their own states.It's really no wonder the Republicans can baldly fight for the winner-take-all society. If the rule that guides them is whatever they can get, they won't bother to recognize need in others, not even the exact same need they have!
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Rough paraphrase: You don't get to call bullshit on me.
But Hannity can manufacture all the bullshit he wants.
(From the ThinkProgress post Hannity Explodes After Being Confronted By ThinkProgress About Previous Offer To Be Waterboarded For Charity. By the way, we on the left don't help our cause - other than page views - by using explodes when devolves into douchebaggery would be much more accurate.)
Monday, January 28, 2013
Wealthy Republicans flatter themselves that they are the makers, when in fact they are taking historically unprecedented proportions of the national income:
As income inequality skyrockets, a new report from the Economic Policy Institute finds that the economic downturn and gradual recovery has exacerbated the trend. The wages of the richest Americans are making a dramatic comeback, while the rest of the country has seen its income drop by 1.2 percent since 2007.