Sunday, February 27, 2011

Scott Walker Walks into a Restaurant...


...in Madison last Friday and asks the hostess, "Do you serve assholes?" And the hostess says, "No, now get the fuck out."

This isn't a joke but an allegedly true story. Naomi at Mind Stain insists it's true while right wing turd blogs such as Politisite and Badger Blogger insist the restaurant lied about the incident to drum up pro-union business.

Yep. You've probably heard by now that Koch Industries Governor Scott Walker got tossed from a restaurant last Friday night in Madison for "being a nuisance." The eatery is called The Merchant (I know Crooks and Liars took down the name of the restaurant because of all the right wing threats they started getting from goons but, c'mon people, it's the internet. Shit gets cached and nothing disappears forever once you hit that "publish" button.") and they were well within their legal right to not serve a patron. And it wasn't just management but the other patrons who were booing and hissing at him.

Both Laffy at the Political Carnival and Digby, following her lead, are suspicious this ever happened. I have every reason to believe it had.

The phone call that the Badger Blogger made to the Merchant is held up as proof that they manufactured the whole thing when in fact they were being noncommittal either way and when the call was accidentally put on speaker, the exchange is virtually unintelligible. But my right wing colleague heard them going on the internet and assumed they wanted to take down their blog post. But they were probably just reading someone else's blog post for the first time.

Plus, the idea that Patrick Sweeney, the restaurant's owner, would willingly lie about kicking out the Governor and opening himself and his establishment up to criticism, bad PR and (typically, in the case of Walker's right wing lunatic supporters) threats just to drum up pro-union business smacks of irresponsibility that I wouldn't readily ascribe to a small business owner in a highly polarized state.

Did Scott Walker get kicked out of a Madison restaurant last Friday night? Between the lies, innuendos and echoed misinformation on both sides, we may never know. Do I believe it happened?

Hell yes, partly because Naomi at Mind Stain brings up some interesting points that leads me to believe that, with all due respect to John Amato, Laffy, Digby and Co., this may have actually happened. Scott Walker is, for many, many reasons, the most despised Governor since Sarah Palin and if any of our nation's 50 governors would get kicked out of an eatery this month, it would be Scott Walker.

You know, the union-busting piece of shit who, like Mubarak, lost the support of the constabulary. That would be the constabulary that isn't actually affected by the anti-collective bargaining bill. That would be a constabulary led by a man who's now openly questioning Walker about his "troubling" statements in that phone call when he all but proved his true allegiance: the Koch Brothers. The same constabulary that, instead of kicking out the protesters at 4:00 like the right wing legislature ordered them to, has actually joined them and slept beside them in the state house.

Like the Rude Pundit simply said, it's never a good idea to fuck with unions. I'd amend that to say that the first union you shouldn't fuck with is the fraternal order of the police. Politics is one thing and I'm sure not every single protesting public union member isn't some dirty, hippie, Commie libr'al and that there are likely quite a few right wingers in that crowd (I wish someone would do a survey), perhaps some who even voted for Walker, who gave no hint during his campaign that he would go after unions' half century-old collective bargaining rights.

But when you fiddle fuck around with a person's ability to empower themself, when you say, "Fuck you to your proposed concessions and willingness to collectively and reasonably bargain with my administration", then you're going to make a lot of political enemies out of your own people, let alone the Democrats. In a way, it's like the radicalizing of the Iraqi military after we'd smashed and disbanded them and turned their country into a rubble-strewn wasteland.

Because that's what the Republican Party on both the federal and the state levels want to do to the middle class of any and every political stripe. And, while the MSM stubbornly ignore the public union uprising for the 3rd Sunday in a row (save for Scott Walker's appearance today on Press the Meat), this is not going to go away.

And like the shaggy dog story epilogue goes, if that asymmetrical, cross-eyed, corporate tool of a cunt Scott Walker never got kicked out of a restaurant, he ought to be and likely will.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Republican Scumbaggery In Action


Try to see if you can spot the exact moment this slimy union-busting bill was passed in the Wisconsin legislature at 1:05 AM. If you blink, you'll literally miss it because the Republican blitzkrieg came and went faster than a 12 year-old boy's first orgasm.

This is the only way these douchebags can get shit done and actually move their fat, pasty asses: Through trickery, chicanery, threats, parliamentary shell games and tyranny of the majority, especially in the interests of shafting the working people.

Remember the first 100 hours of the 110th Congress when Pelosi led the way to the House passing a massive raft of progressive legislation by locking out the Republicans? Remember how they squealed like a couple of hundred butt-fucked Ned Beattys about how they were locked out of the legislative process? That was Pelosi's object lesson in how effective one party rule can be when the other party brings nothing but stall tactics and "No!" to the table. If only the Democrats had continued doing that throughout the entire 110th and 111th Congresses.

Now the only thing standing between the Republicans and assfucking most Wisconsin public unions with a microplane nutmeg grater sans lube are the Wisconsin Senate Democrats who did the same exact thing their counterparts in the lower assembly had: They're holing up in Chicago and calling for lawyers, guns and money.

If you're from Wisconsin and reading this, don't forget: the cross-eyed cunt spearheading this party-line union busting bullshit is a Marquette University dropout who was asked to get the fuck out for cheating and was found guilty of dirty tricks when running for college class president (he lost). (Bonus trivia fact: Scott Walker had a 2.3 GPA, even with cheating.) Your public unions are being dismantled by a man who looks as if he ought to wear a football helmet 16 hours a day and wear boxing gloves to keep from fist fucking during that time.



He also takes phone calls in his office from guys he thinks are David Koch, looks forward to spending time at a California retreat with that billionaire scumbag and his brother and seriously thought about planting rabble rousers among the protesters (in other words, professional union busters straight out of the 20's and 30's.) What's next? African mercenaries?

We already went through this on a national level for 8 years with his spiritual Godfather, fellow college fuck-up George W. Bush. And you see well that turned out.

He's also a fucking hypocrite when it comes to state pensions.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Republicans: Putting the "Mad" in Madison


Somehow, against all odds and despite Republican assclownery at its most full-blown, the mainstream media have been able to keep a straight face even when the NY Times publishes a story telling us how WI Gov. Scott Walker was tricked by a Buffalo Beast blogger into thinking he was talking to his boss David Koch over the phone. Among the admissions this inexplicably incumbent dunce made to an ad-libbing Ian Murphy: Tricking renegade Democrats into coming back to Madison so the Republicans can claim to have a quorum and Walker likening himself to Ronald Reagan and PATCO in 1981. So, forget about his "mandate" and mantra of fiscal responsibility: It's all about his legacy or repeating history by latching onto Reagan's tattered coattails.

Yeah, you heard that right. The Murphy/Walker interview that's made an even bigger stir than Sarah Palin getting punked in 2008 by someone claiming to be French President Nicholas Sarkozy helped exposed the meanness, venality, underheanded treachery and Reagan worship that, perhaps more than anything else, has kept this country from truly moving forward in over three decades.

The prank call also revealed that Republicans from coast to coast and everywhere in between can't get shit done except through illegitimate means such as stealth legislation, trickery and chicanery, fake mandates and, in the case of now-former Indiana Deputy Attorney General Jeff Cox, violence and threats of death a la Libya, Tunisia and Egypt (Sidebar: Don't forget, this is coming from the same JCCentCom who, while ridiculing anyone drawing parallels between Cairo and Madison, espoused treating the peaceful strikers like the Mubarak and Qaddafi regimes treated their protesters.). Right wing violence to opposition is something that of late used to be the specialty of the Tea Baggers. Now Republican terrorism is virtually mainstream.

Am I taking this man's words out of context, seeing something into a mere Twitter tweet that really isn't there? Uh, no. He meant every word. He really wants to kill public union members.


Wisconsin is getting the lion's share of the pro-labor/anti-labor coverage not because the demonstrations surrounding the State House are the biggest or that's it's become the epicenter of the American labor struggle but because its Governor, Scott Walker, has been fully exposed as an intractable tool of far right oligarchs like the Koch Brothers who have turned union busting into a lucrative industry.

Walker not only received $43,000 in campaign donations from the Koch Brothers but has also signaled he will not negotiate with public unions that have already shown a willingness to accept compromises, which was Big Labor's first mistake when dealing with Republican politicians and corporate tycoons. But they were willing to compromise and that isn't good enough.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, at first as stubborn an asshole as Walker and Chris Christie combined, had since backpedaled and decided not to support an anti-collective bargaining provision in the state budget when he saw what he was up against. Ohio decided to give back collective bargaining rights to their public workers (but only after throwing in a poison pill amendment that stripped from them the right to strike, which is the ultimate power of a union).

If the stakes weren't so high in this ongoing labor struggle, the spectacle would be comical. Democratic state lawmakers from two states have fled to Chicago like Prohibition-era bootleggers or bank robbers and frustrated Republican governors accusing them of drawing pay while shutting down the government and all the while screaming for the repeal of union rights and budget woes while just as stubbornly refusing to rescind tax cuts for the rich. But there's nothing funny in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana or anywhere else where there's labor unrest.

Republicans are always eager to bring back the good old lawless days when tycoons, magnates and other oligarchs determined how many hours a week their workers should work, what they should earn and how safe their workplaces were.

Leaving such decisions to those self-dealing entities naturally resulted in unions. Now, with maniacs like Jeff Cox advocating death, he's pushed the United States that much closer to the 20's and 30's, when people fought, and died, in the streets of America during the labor riots. Yes, Jeff Cox is now out of a job and good riddance. But just by posting those messages on Twitter as an appointed official, the damage has been done.

He got it out there and, however much we may ignore it, it is now on the table.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I Was Told There'd be Pizza


I was wondering why Jill Hussein at Brilliant at Breakfast began chattering about New Jersey pizzerias when there are so many other Much More Serious Things to blog about. Then I got an email from my friend D at the New Jersey State Treasurer's office and she mentioned in passing that the people of Cairo were sending pizzas to the protesters in Madison, Wisconsin.

The link Jill provided takes you to an article by the SF Chronicle that provides a link (as does Jill) to Ian's Pizza on State, which is right around the corner from the epicenter of the public union protests that have drawn up to 68,000 people, making Madison a city within a city.

To make a long story short, someone called up Ian's a little while back and asked if they could donate their leftover, after-hours pizzas and they said Sure. Then they began getting phone calls from people who'd heard about their kindness and before they knew it, they'd shut down their regular business to provide pizzas to the Madison protesters.

By their own admission, they've gotten calls from as far away as Canada and even Denmark. Now, it seems, the brave and passionate people in Cairo, Egypt (as I'd said over a week ago) recognize that our people are protesting their local and state governments for essentially the same reason they were. In worker solidarity, they've also bought pizzas for the protesters in Wisconsin. At last count, they'd served about 430 to the State Capital but I'm sure that's gone way up. But even 430 pizzas divided eight ways won't come close to feeding the tens of thousands who've massed to protest the bill that would strip most public unions of collective bargaining power.

Times are very tough for Mrs. JP and me but I called up Ian's a few minutes ago and bought $20 worth of pizzas (the minimum they'll deliver for) for the hungry folks massed outside the Wisconsin State House. You don't have to be employed to feel solidarity for workers the world over. So if someone in northern Africa or Scandinavia can call halfway around the world to send a pizza or two, so can we in the US.

So if you have a few bucks to spare, call Ian's by clicking on their Facebook link or order online and send a pizza to a protester. I'm sure they'll appreciate it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Domino Effect (Updated)


It didn't happen in Southeast Asia but it sure as hell took effect in Northern Africa and certainly across the Middle East. So why shouldn't the same Domino Effect apply to Wisconsin and the rest of the United States?

Protests are popping up at State Houses and City Halls all over the country. What follows is a list of all the protests being planned from today until Thursday, courtesy of Chris Bowers at Daily Kos (Note: Not all these events are SEIU protests).

This is what happens when you keep trying to take away from people who have nothing left to lose.

Events on Monday February 21, 2011 (All times local)

Indiana
Rally
Time: 9 A.M.
Location: Indiana State Capitol
Address: 302 W Washington St - Indianapolis, IN

Montana
Rally
Time: 2 P.M.
Location: Montana State Capitol
Address: 1301 East 6th Avenue - Helena, Montana

Nevada
Rally
Time: 12 P.M.
Location: Nevada State Capitol
Address: 101 North Carson Street - Carson City, NV 89701

North Carolina
Rally
Time: 12 P.M. Location:
Address: 1 East Edenton Street - Raleigh, NC 27601

Oregon
Rally
Time: 12 P.M.
Location: State Capitol
Address: 900 Court St. NE - Salem, OR 97301

Texas
Candlelight March and Vigil
Time: 6:45 P.M.
Location: Meet at TX AFL-CIO
Address: 1106 Lavaca St. - Austin, TX. 78701

Washington
Rally
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: State Capitol Rotunda
Address: 416 Sid Snyder Avenue SW - Olympia, WA 98504

Wisconsin
Rally
Time: All Day
Location: State Capitol
Address: 2 East Main Street - Madison, WI. 53702

Events on Tuesday February 22, 2011 (All times local)

California
Vigil
Time: 5:30 P.M.
Location: State Capitol West Steps
Address: 1315 10th Street - Sacramento, CA 95814

California
Vigil
Time: 5:30 PM
Location: Poncitlan Square
Address: 38315 9th Street East - Palmdale, CA. 93550

Colorado
Rally
Time: 12:00 P.M.
Location: Colorado State Capitol
Address: 200 East Colfax Avenue (West Steps) - Denver, CO. 80203

Iowa
Rally
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Iowa State Capitol
Address: 1007 East Grand Avenue - Des Moines, IA

Maryland
Rally
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Lawyers' Mall, Maryland State House
Address: 100 State Circle - Annapolis, MD. 21401

Massachusetts
Rally
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: State House
Address: 1 Ashburton Pl - Boston, MA 02108

Massachusetts
Rally
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: City Hall Steps
Address: 36 Court Street - Springfield, MA 01103

Minnesota
Rally
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Minnesota State Capitol
Address: 75 Constitution Ave - St. Paul, MN 55101

Ohio
Rally
Time: 1:00 PM
Location: Capitol Building
Address: 1395 Dublin Rd - Columbus, OH 43215

New Mexico
Rally
Time: 12:15 PM
Location: East Side of the State House
Address: 490 Old Santa Fe Trl # 219 - Santa Fe, NM 87501

Rhode Island
Rally
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: Rhode Island State House
Address: 90 Smith St - Providence, RI 02903

Vermont
Rally
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Vermont State Capitol Building
Address: 115 State Street - Montpelier, VT. 05602

Wisconsin
Rally
Time: All Day
Location: State Capitol
Address: 2 East Main Street - Madison, WI. 53702

Events on Wednesday February 23, 2011 (All times local)

Arkansas
Rally
Time: 11:30 AM
Location: State Capitol Building
Address: 425 W Capitol Ave, Little Rock, AR 72201

Connecticut
Rally
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: State Capitol Building, West Steps
Address: 210 Capitol Avenue - Hartford, CT. 06106

Georgia
Rally
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: State Capitol Building
Address: 206 Washington St - Atlanta, GA, 30334

Pennsylvania
Rally
Time: 12:00 PM
Location: Lackawana Court House
Address: 200 Adams Avenue - Scranton, PA 18503

Events on Thursday February 24, 2011 (All times local)

Ohio
Protest against Governor Kasich
Time: 4:00 PM
Location: Canton Civic Center
Address: 1101 Market Ave N. - Canton, Oh 44702

Events on Friday, February 25, 2011 (All times local)

New Jersey

Time: 12:00 noon
Location: The State House
Address: 125 West State Street, Trenton, NJ

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why American Zen Won't Succeed


(Photoshopped cover art done by my Sis Alicia at Last Left B4 Hooterville.)

Maybe it's the homosexual/bisexual angle. Maybe because in my query letters and various synopses I described my protagonist Mike Flannigan as being "a liberal, investigative political journalist." Maybe it's because I wrote in my cover letters to peckerheaded literary agents, "I thought it was high time that someone write a novel from a liberal perspective." Really, since Sinclair Lewis, can anyone name a great American liberal novel? And, no, I don't count Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. While some claim he was an arch liberal outside the salon, none of his novels were as overtly political as American Zen.

You could say that, "Maybe it wasn't good enuff, har har" but you'd be springing from a position of complete ignorance since it's obvious you never read it. I think I have a fairly good idea of who bought or got it for free from me and you're not one of them.

But I'm a big believer in full disclosure. I figured, if anyone asks for sample chapters or, in the case of Grand Central Publishing, the entire manuscript, they'd find out soon enough where Mikey is at. Might as well get that out of the way from the start, I thought.

And I still say I thought right. What I underestimated was how much of a right wing sewer the publishing business is. Oh, if you were to ask Rupert Murdoch lackey Adam Bellow (nepotistic son of Nobel Prize laureate Saul), he'd say starting up a right wing book imprint by the pretentiously provincial name of Broadside Books was a necessary act of fairness and balance because, as Bellow bellowed,
“I am a conservative in a liberal industry. And I’ve always considered it to be my function as an editor to bring news from the outside world — which is to say, reality — to the New York political cocoon.”

Yeah, you heard that right. #1, like Hollywood, the book business in his addled mind was totally liberal before he came marching into Avenue of the Americas like some right wing Hannibal on his shining white elephant. And, #2, It's not the likes of George Bush or Sarah Palin or Christine O'Donnell or other Republican recipients of Ave. of the America's welfare agency that lives in a cocoon. It's elite New York liberals.

Saul, Saul, Saul. Where the fuck did you go wrong? Did you let him get traumatized by playing a Mort Saul album at a party within Adam's earshot?

Yeah, once in a while the liberal book comes out. Every once in a great while, we'll get a Naomi Klein or Michael Moore book (and Michael Moore can tell you all about corporate censorship at the hands of his own publishers). But I can't think of a liberal antidote to Tim LaHaye's execrable Left Behind series or the Christian propaganda troweled out by Noel Hynd and his publishers at Zondervan, can you? For every Molly Ivins or Hunter S. Thompson (who died six years ago today) we lose, it seems 10 Republican sewer rats take their place.

Since the MSM has historically been notoriously bereft of actual liberals, how many books have been published by our side that can serve as a levee against the endless tsunami of bullshit trowled out annually by hacks like Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, Jerome Corsi, Dinesh D'Souza, Jason Mattera, Pam Gellar and, coming to an RNC fundraiser near you, human hairballs Christine O'Donnell and Dick Cheney?

That reminds me. I haven't even mentioned the tidal wave of bullshit coming from the Potomac, namely the memoirs of George W. Bush, Scott McClellan, Karl Rove, Sarah Palin, and a whole slew of other right wingers including one of my senators, Scott Brown, a guy who's been in Washington for barely over a year and suspiciously timed the publication date with an admission of being molested 41 years ago.

Funny, I don't seem to recall Chris Coons, the guy who crushed O'Donnell by 17 points, being offered a book deal. Al Franken's been in the Senate for a couple of years. How come no one asked him to write a sequel to Lying Liars and the Liars Who Tell Them?

Jesus fucking Christ on a foam rubber crutch, Joe the fucking Plumber?!

So how the hell can this maniac named Adam Bellow piss and moan about the publishing business being taken over by elite, bubbled-in liberals when Republicans and even penny ante bloggers like Gellar and rope line groupies like Joe Wurzelbacher get rich off contracts for books they're largely not even writing?

Is the publishing business so naive as to be incapable of distinguishing an actual bestseller that people are buying one at a time and spreading through word of mouth from one that's merely bought up in bulk by Republican organizations and handed out or sold at Republican functions?

Or does it even matter?

Much of what I hear from literary agents in their boilerplate rejection letters flung to me by flunkies is how tough it is to sell a book by a firsttime author like me. What they don't include is the fact that other firsttime "authors" such as Palin and O'Donnell, two women who could create a wind tunnel just by standing side by side, have no problem breaking into print regardless of having no rudimentary literacy skills let alone literary skills. ("Mandation"? "Refudiate"? How far would I go with literary agents who insist on perfection if I used those pseudo-words in a cover letter or synopsis?)

Oh, but there's something I'm forgetting, isn't there? Sarah Palin and Christine O'Donnell have something I don't have: A national reputation for lying, losing and quitting. I'm not a national laughingstock who nonetheless possesses the ability to bring out white, embittered, gun-toting, Tea Bagger racists. All I bring to the table is actual writing talent. What the fuck's that worth in the world of publishing?

So I have to laugh bitterly every time I get a form rejection letter in the mail or my inbox then read tripe like Adam Bellow puling about the publishing business being co-opted by elite New York liberals.

And when conservative organizations buy up these books wholesale, it gives publishers the impression there's an actual market for this shit. It creates a market, consensus where there really isn't much.

Simon & Schuster has a conservative imprint. Harper Collins has two (Broadside and Regan Books, sans Judith Regan). There's Penguin Putnam's Sentinel. There's Regnery Publishing. There's Threshold. And I haven't even mentioned right wing Christian publishers such as Zondervan. And they're multiplying like brain-dead rabbits.

How many liberal imprints can you think of? I know the business. I buy Jeff Herman's Guide every year. I see none. It's as if the publishing business is afraid of declaring even a small, start-up subsidiary and imprint might even be remotely liberal. And it's laughable that a guy like Adam Bellow, who's using the tried-and-true argument used by Roger Ailes and Kenneth Tomlinson that "fairness and balance are needed against the vast left wing conspiracy", would claim that an industry that's beholden to corporate interests like Rupert Murdoch's would be making a successful stand against conservatism.

And that's why I think books like American Zen won't sell. It features teh gays. It features a liberal protagonist who calls a spade a spade and pokes fun at the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin (although agents typically never get that far. Even so-called liberal/progressive literary agents have dismissed it with a form rejection letter because they know or assume they can't sell something that isn't nakedly conservative and partisan.).

I once asked an agent after I got a form rejection letter, "Hey, here's an idea. How about if I just change my name to Glenn Beck or retitle American Zen something like Going Rogue? Think it'll sell then???"

It was met with silence.

10 Years Ago Today


...I was doing something very special for someone's 40th birthday. She knows who she is. I just won't mention her name not out of any fear of reprisal (Oh please) but because her very name has the effect of sandpaper rubbed on an area that just had a chemical peel done. If you've been following this blog for the last couple of years, it'll be obvious who she is.

Today's her 50th birthday and here in central Massachusetts the sun is out as it always seems to be on February 20th (she'd always claimed that was because she was "a good girl." Knowing her drug-addled, alcohol-soaked, promiscuous past, I laughed every year I heard that. It was almost a running gag).

Back a decade ago today, I was tasked with the responsibility of getting her to her parents' house, which is where she didn't want to be. That much was understandable; I didn't look forward to my 40th birthday, either, two years before that. Most of us don't. But I still had a job to do and I had to think of a plausible way to get her where she didn't want to be because the last thing she wanted was the surprise birthday party that Mom had planned.

I had a website back then on Tripod.com. So, making use of my shaky html skills, I created a realistic-looking page announcing a fictional poetry reading by noted poet Timothy Steele. The reading, it said, was going to take place at the local library in her hometown, down the street from her parents' house. When she got home the day before, I showed her the page I'd just created that even featured fake hyperlinks, a picture of Steele and even inserted a fake URL in the text bar.

"Wouldn't it be a cool way to celebrate your birthday?" I asked. "But we may have to drop the kids off at your parents' house first. They won't sit still for a poetry reading."

Of course, all three kids were in on it. In between excited giggles, they managed to keep the surprise intact.

She agreed and when we stepped through the front door, well, you know how it goes. People she hadn't seen in years all yelled, "SURPRISE!!!" in unison. Mission accomplished. Everyone was amazed at my ingenuity. Family, friends, college chums were all counting on me and I came through. For the next several hours, it was "This is Your Life". And she actually had a pretty good time. Her trepidation was all over nothing.

Eight years later, my own 50th birthday had gone completely uncommemorated (save for a lackluster birthday dinner that had to be shared by two of her co-workers) and without knowing it, I was about three weeks away from being told, "I don't love you, anymore" and about five weeks away from being told, "Get the fuck out or I'll call the police."

OK, that's ancient history. I moved on... sort of. I got a fairly decent place and it's obvious I made a better choice in life partners than a lot of people I can think of, present company included (I'm not the only stepdad, it seems, who's laughed at behind his back by his stepkids and their friends).

Now today she's going to be feted as the grande old dame of the family, a budding matriarch and in a few years relatives will be going to her house on the holidays just as we had to with her parents. Hey, good on her. She earned it by surviving a half century in this brutal world and making something of herself at a time when her ex husband wouldn't support her when she was going for her nursing license. It's what I wanted all along when I didn't feel like driving to the Boston suburbs on every holiday. But when you're part of a family, it's what you do. It's what's expected of you.

I just hope that, in her selective misandry, she doesn't forget what I did for her, for her kids in years past. It's about more than hanging crepe paper, buying cakes, lighting candles or shopping for presents at the mall. As I told her one Christmas, when I buy a present for someone, I try to get something that'll reflect the better parts of their nature. That was minutes after I'd bought her mother, the world's #1 dog fan, a large handbag with dogs needlepointed all over it. She loved it and used it for many years.

That was my philosophy. Go above and beyond the call of duty and pay attention to that person's character traits. I could've just bought cheese gift boxes and Old Spice for whoever but I didn't. And I could've just said, "Let's go to your parents' house, anyway". That would've upped the jig and, besides, she was driving.

She may pretend that's all over and even that she doesn't remember. But she does. You cannot possibly occupy someone's life for over 15 years without making some lasting and permanent impact. Memories, like the blood on Lady Macbeth's hands, are stubborn and endure.

And even though I had my own demons and shortcomings to wrestle with, I always did my best to make my family happy. I didn't expect thanks, just recognition and in the end even that was denied me.

And even though we shed a trace or two of the past with every step we uncertainly take into the future, some of it still remains with us.

Just remember that, dear, when you're surrounded by your family as they do something for you they denied me two years ago. And happy birthday. Some of us still stubbornly remember whether we want to or not.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Pottersville's Tutorial of Cat Ownership


Ha ha. As if we really own these perpetually bemused, semi-benevolent parasites instead of the other way around.

Anyway, to those of you who still identify yourselves as "dog people" and may've just inherited a feline and may have no insight as how to properly care for your cat, here are some handy-dandy tips that ought to improve your relationship with your furry friend, some basic, commonsense wisdom that I've picked up since having been kidnapped by my own cat Popeye a year and a half ago.

Feeding

Cats are notoriously finicky. Some cats prefer certain brands, other cats other brands. Some prefer dry food, others moist, canned food. Finding the right brand to keep your cat happy and healthy is all-important. My own cat Popeye is surprisingly open to suggestion. These days, he's restricted himself to yak burger specially flown in from the Himalayas and gently grilled by Japanese ventriloquists over rocks brought back from Mars. I consider myself luckier than most.

As with dogs and cellophane, every time you open a can, it's intended for your cat regardless of the fact that s/he already has 7 or 8 bowls of various cat food on the floor. It doesn't matter if it's tuna fish or chili. Show him/her the can to discourage it from pestering you further.

Grooming

Unlike most dogs, cats are low maintenance pets in this important area. Since they constantly groom themselves, maintenance is a snap once you forget about the constant vacuuming in the summer, scooping up hairball vomit, and the flea and tick baths that may or not require one or more post-ablution tourniquets.

Playing With Your Cat

During the 10 or 15 minutes a day they're actually awake, cats can endlessly amuse themselves but that's not to say they do not deeply appreciate it when their bipedaled pets share some fun time with them. Buy a wide variety of cat toys from your local pet store or super market so your cat can then ignore them and bat them under the bed as they prefer to play with your feet, valuable and fragile mantle knick-knacks, Christmas ornaments or your scrotum.

Sleeping Arrangements

Cats are notorious hedonists and are not above using your sitting or supine form as organic, semi-ergonomic furniture. It's useless trying to keep off your bed a cat that insists on its personal comfort so don't be surprised if you have an awesome dream about cunnilingus only to wake up with your cat's rectum on your face.

Do's and Don'ts

1) Cats detest us for various reasons and show it by introducing us to their genitalia and rectums at least 10 times a day. But they have their moments and are just as capable as dogs of displaying love and affection. Therefore, it would behoove you to accept in the spirit in which it was given for all the thousands of bucks you spent on uneaten cat food when your cat leaves on your stoop a chipmunk with its head chewed off. Remember, it's the thought that counts.

2) Don't bother naming your cat, for obvious reasons. When was the last time you ever saw a cat respond to its name? Just name it "Cat", "Hey, You" or "Hey, Asshole, Not On the Rug!"

3) When a dog puts its ears back: Good. When a cat puts its ears back, be in another county.

4) Do not ever try to pick up your cat when it's involved in serious business such as ignoring its scratching post and mice. Cats need love and affection but on their terms and on their own time. Hopefully, it won't be during an important business call or during sexual intercourse. But it will be, so be prepared.

5) Do not ever try the Alpha Dog routine on them. You can say to your feline in a low, deep voice, "I am the Alpha Dog" and, if you're lucky, it'll earn you a sleepy blink, a twitch of its tail and an 11th reintroduction to its rectum.

6) Disabuse yourself of the notion that you are in charge. You are the hired help and your cat lets you go food shopping, pay bills and do housecleaning (see #4 above).

Basic Hygiene

Keeping your cat's litter box clean is of paramount importance and your cat will let you know if your job performance is not up to par. S/he will let you know its litter box needs freshening or changing by doing any of the following:

  • Shitting in your best pair of Italian loafers.

  • Pissing in your best pair of Italian loafers.

  • Voiding themselves on your pillow while you're sleeping (this has actually happened to me).

  • They will never urinate on the floor. This is what carpets and expensive Oriental rugs are for.

  • Bathing cats is discouraged if you're a hemophiliac or do not have an adequate stockpile of bandages and tourniquets but sometimes during flea and tick season, it's unavoidable. To bathe your kitty safely, go to a Ren Fair, buy a suit of armor and then bathe your cat. If you're lucky, it may not scratch you more than once or twice.

    If you follow these simple steps, you, too, will enjoy a better relationship with your cat until it finds another human it feels it can more easily manipulate and boss around.

    Monday, February 14, 2011

    Happy Valentine's Day


    ...courtesy of the B52's.

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011

    Friends Don't Let Friends Drink and Blog


    Luckily, I don;t have many friends.

    OK, so I'm hammered. Sue me and sick the frigid bitches of the Temperance Society on me. I haven't been this drunk since I was in the Navy and trying to forget what I did as Seal for flag and cuntry (Yes, deliberate misspelling. The rest are non-deliberate, if that;s a word.)

    Fuck it. It's not as if I ever did this shit before. So why did JP, the voice of reason for almost a dozen transiently-amused people, suddenly polish off Mrs. JP's stash of Meyers dark rum for the eggnog and start in on the leftover Spätlese white wine from Easter dinner?

    Because yours truly had a BAD fucking day, that's why. You'd be reaching, grasping, eve, for the nearest bottle of shit that was stronger than seltzer water if you got hit with a $601.58 brake job. Yep. It never fucking ends.

    I got a $280-300 estimate from the mechanic and got hit with a $601.58 fucking bill because he found the other brake line on the starboard side was rotted like the one on the port side o the car, then the apportioning valve that feeds brake fluid to the brake lines got fucked and 8 hours of labor later, I got a call saying I had to fork over $601 to get my fucking car back. About $100 more than I had in the bank.

    Ain't that the shit? Well, alcohol won't solve your problems but it makes you feel a while fuck of a lot better about having em. I'm not a nasty drunk and Mrs. JP is enormously amused by this atypical side of me so what the fuck?

    I've already spent more on this fucking car in the first 7 months of ownership than I paid for it, almost $1300, to be exact, not including oil changes, excise taxes.

    Then I made the mistake of going to William River's Pitts latest article about Ronnie Reagan and the Do Nothing Tea Party 112th Congress and what should've been exorcised back on February 6th through my alter ego, the indefatigable Mikey Flannigan, recently unceremoniously tossed out on his ass by Ben fucking Greenberg of Grand Central Publishing, found itself welling, bubbling and boiling back up again from my subconscious like a wound thatll never heal.

    What the FUCK is is with this neoconservative fetish for anything Reagan, that Grover fucking Norquist, who already got Reagan's name Velcroed to the airport in Washington, won't rest until he gets his mans name on the $50 or $20 or $10 dollar bill or the dime or his sagging puss on Mt. fucking Rushmnore?

    Doesn't he know that under Reagan the federal employee rolls expanded from 2.8 million to 3.2 million despite putting 300,000 CETA employees out of work? That Reagan actually raised taxes, that he instituted immigration reform that included immigration amnesty (that would wind up being unenforced), that he cut and ran when the boys from Hezbollah pulled a Marilyn Monroe/Robert Palmer made the heat too hot to handle (At least the Great Communicator allowed himself to be photographed with the flag-draped coffins, unlike the cowards of the past and present administrations)?

    Gee, I guess so. Selective memory is an indispensable requisite to have when one chooses to be a Republican and to make a pretense of making heroes who didn't shrink government so that it could be "dragged into the bathroom" and "drowned in a bathtub." As with Nixon in 2004, it could almost be said that if reagan was running for president in '08 or even in '12, he'd be branded a shameless liberal.

    Reagan is a hero, the Tea Party is a collective hero yet how fast these idols with feet of dried Pla-Doh are misrepresented and dropped to the fucking wayside once all the checks have been cashed and toted up. Reagan's centennial, that he almost lived ;long enough to see, was a fucking bonanza that Lorn Green never dreamed of.

    The Tea Party Express, even though they never gave them their name to use for marketing purposes, saw their "good" name being used to pump up funds for the Republican Party that never saw a cash cow it didn't wanna milk.

    How do you like your Tea Party Congress now, you fucking racists?

    You trotted out your little Hannibal Lecter psychopaths-in-waiting on a mantra of political platform of responsibility and restraint in government and what did they do?

    They symbolically tried a redefinition of rape and fucked up.

    They symbolically tried to repeal health care and fucked up.

    Their first act was to read the Constitution as if we needed to be reminded of its lessons.

    Now they can't even renew the USA PATRIOT Act, which ain't necessarily a bad thing, since it's the very definition of the government overreach about which you've been screaming like a bull that didn't quite make the jump over a razor wire fence.

    You stupid fucks. Welcome to ObamaLand. We know how you feel. We, too, elected a guy who promised to change how things were done on the Beltway and only ramped up virtually everything the Bush Maladministration stood for.

    So, how much was your car repair bill this week?

    How much will your rent be? Who in Congress found you a job? John the Orange Man?

    How much will your car repair bill impact on whether or not you get to live with a fucking roof over your heads. How much safer will that loved one be in Afghanistan or Iraq or where ever Obama and your 112th Tea Party Congress hasn't pulled us out?

    Can you say you're better off now than you were four years ago?

    Bwah ha ha ha!

    As the man says, misery loves company so welcome to the ants and the front fucking lawn, because that's where we're all lying after Lucy snatched the fucking football from us once again, folks. What the fuck took you?

    Monday, February 7, 2011

    It Never Fucking Ends


    After paying out $275 to replace an alternator, Mr. JP and I almost got into an accident at the mall when I had to stand on my brakes to avoid T-boning some idiot who suddenly pulled out halfway into my lane. The sudden trauma to the brakes resulted in an immediate blown brake line seal. I'm amazed that we were able to get home on 5-6 miles of snowy roads and to do so in one piece.

    Update: The brake lines are rotted. The mechanic just dropped us off at home after telling us we're looking at another $280-$300 in repairs, although he refuses to be pinned down by his own estimate. It could very well be more than $300, which we barely have. So anything you could do would be greatly appreciated because this new job is going to set us way back again. As with before, anyone who can help us will get a free copy of either The Toy Cop or American Zen.

    (Update 2: The mechanic says the bill is now $601+ and that I should be happy it's not more. That's $100 more than I have in the bank. Please help in any way you can.)

    Sunday, February 6, 2011

    100 Years of Folksy Fascism


    (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)

    Ronald Reagan must be the nicest president who ever destroyed a union, tried to cut school lunch milk rations from six to four ounces, and compelled families in need of public help to first dispose of household goods in excess of $1,000...1f there is an authoritarian regime in the American future, Ronald Reagan is tailored to the image of a friendly fascist. - Robert Lekachman

    About the only true good thing that could be said about Ronald Reagan was that he'd retired from the most stressful job in the world with a full head of hair and he didn't do the damage he could've on account of all the naps he took.

    Today is Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday and his fascistic followers are celebrating the day with all the pomp, circumstance and money-grubbing alacrity as unabashed fascists celebrate April 20th. You go to any bookstore, there will be the obligatory retrospective hagiographies commemorating the 100th anniversary of his birth courtesy of our nation's most premier wingnuts and publishing houses. As with everything else, it's a great opportunity to make money and young college Republicans can now learn through his official biographers how Saint Ronnie of the Jelly Bean nearly completely destroyed middle class families like theirs.

    To put it simply, as far as full term presidents go, Ronald Reagan is absolutely the worst, most destructive and dishonest president (George W. Bush would get that top honor if he was actually elected) this republic has ever produced. Under Reagan, the deficit tripled, national defense spending increased, he got a massive wave of tax breaks designed primarily to benefit his wealthy campaign contributors, public education took a rogering, he tried unsuccessfully to take food and milk out of our childrens' mouths at the same time he was giving tax breaks to corporations, more soldiers than ever died for his foreign policy adventurism, he was a coward and cut and ran when terrorists killed 241 of our Marines in Beirut, he cut back room deals with the contras under the fictional guise of combating the Commies, funneled money to them through arms sales to Iran and before he was even elected, sent envoys to talk to Iranian officials and illegally meddling with the hostage crisis under Carter (the all-but-discredited October Surprise which is making a comeback).

    In late 1983, he sent another special envoy, Donald Rumsfeld (about to be anointed by CPAC with the Defender of the Constitution Award), to sell Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein weapons of mass destruction and satellite photos of the Iranian army's encampments, thereby resulting in the murders of thousands of Iranians (and Kurdish and Shi'ite Iraqis). But earlier, he made it up to the Iranians by immediately lifting an arms sales ban and brokered a sale of weapons by ex-Mossad gun runners. He flexed his muscles on the beach while in reality doing nothing more than watching the surf crumble the sand castle of Communism then took credit for kicking it down. He overthrew another left wing government under Maurice Bishop by invading Grenada. His "supply side economics" was the forerunner of the unbridled and unchecked greed and capitalism that served as the successful template of the nightmare that ensued under Bush II.

    That's just a partial laundry list of what a galactic-class scumbag Ronald Reagan was, a man who demonized the victims of his economic policies and dredged up stereotypes of the welfare queen, used dog whistle politics for racists by announcing his candidacy in a city in which three civil rights workers were murdered just 16 years earlier and smashed one union after another. He stole Jimmy Carter's playbook during that same campaign. His axe man, future jailbird David Stockman, immediately targeted the poor and sickly, immediately eliminating government-subsidized job training such as CETA (resulting in 300,000 suddenly unemployed federal workers) that still hasn't made a comeback. (I guess Reagan took the government underwriting training designed to make people more employable to be the "meddling" that he'd warned us about.)

    He not only coddled and protected Noriega, but he even put him on the CIA's payroll and turned a blind eye when Nicaraguan drugs were making their way onto America's streets while having the nerve to appoint an ineffectual "Drug Czar" and his equally clueless wife was saying, "Just Say No!". He coddled and protected Pinochet in Chile until Pinochet's hideous exceeses were too much even for Reagan to tolerate (.pdf file). But the ends justified the means because they were our staunch allies in the war on terrorism the dying Communists. He mentioned the word AIDS only once, in 1985, and otherwise pretended the pandemic didn't exist.

    And through it all, the Teflon President sailed, smiled and waved through all these scandals like some befuddled old duffer unaware of his family's murderous, chaotic greed and ambition swirling around him. In point of fact, the man's evil was so systemic and so far-flung that we still haven't cataloged what a truly evil man he really was.

    Kind of like the guy we have in the Oval Office now. As with Reagan before him, Obama puts a fresh face on fascism, the man who pats you on the back and tells you everything will be alright while his TSA, FBI, CIA, Homeland Security and God only knows how many other government goons are frisking the rest of your body. Both men have other things in common, including the highest unemployment rates since the Great Depression (Reagan still outshines Obama, as the unemployment rate in 1983 peaked at a whopping 10.2%.) But Obama, friendly fascist though he is, had also had a lot of mud unfairly flung at him and much of it sticks.

    He's a Socialist, a Muslim, a fraud who was born in Kenya. He pals around with terrorists. He's bound and determined to hand over 1/6th of our economy into the grasping hands of Big Gubmint. He didn't put his hand over his heart. He's not wearing his flag lapel pin. He disrespected the Office of the Presidency by not wearing his jacket. He muffed a Bible verse. He wants to impose Sharia law on the United States.


    And he's a smoker.

    All bullshit.

    Yet nothing, certainly not the truth, stuck to Reagan thanks to those slick, tailored suits and an endless supply of Brylcreem. He represented to many ignorant people, well-meaning folks and fascists-in-waiting a return to the good old days when he actually had a career in acting, a return to a glorious America somewhere between 40 acres and a mule and Jimmy Carter's sweaters, as if we could actually get that dusty, dog-eared 1955 calendar out of the attic and begin reusing it.

    How soon we forgot that those good old days, let's say the 50's, were ones in which, under Eisenhower, the wealthiest paid 90% in taxes, that Reagan was a liberal Democrat who headed up a large union called the Screen Actor's Guild. How fast we chose to forget that by 1962 Reagan had turned from a so-called Democrat to a staunch, union-busting Republican, that he would follow in the footsteps of not Dwight D. Eisenhower but Joe McCarthy. In fact, Reagan's example had not only gone uncriticized, it even spawned a still-famous movement involving petty turncoats who were dubbed "Reagan Democrats." (They've since awakened from their slumber and have switched back.)

    12 years of policies ranging from the ruinous to the neglectful ensued and once St. Ronnie was out of office, we all suddenly blinked and rubbed our eyes and wondered where the devastation came from. By 1992, three years after Reagan stumbled back to his California ranch and beginning 12 more years of mistaking his tapioca for hair tonic, 48% of Americans had an unfavorable opinion of Reagan. Less than a quarter of those polled said we were better off, a bitter counterpoint to Reagan's campaign mantra of, "Can you say you're better off now than you were four years ago?"

    But 1992 was almost a generation ago and now The Gipper is making a comeback like another dictator is in his own country.

    Yet, in case all this hasn't made an impression on you, let's take a look at the real "Dutch" Reagan, who wasn't really Dutch anymore than he was The Gipper, in this video that was secretly taped at the Oval Office.


    Yeah, that about gets it right.

    So, here's my idea. In lieu of a minute of silence, let's have a minute of piss while we're standing over or sitting on the toilet and think of Ronald Reagan's grave.

    Friday, February 4, 2011

    The Toy Cop is on Sale

    The Toy Cop
    Your ex-spouse just took a US senator and a dozen other people hostage in the most impregnable place in town: The armory. You're a rookie patrol officer and your ex demands to speak to you and you only. His demands: Stop the federal execution of the most notorious child killer since Albert Fish. Have him brought to the armory. In other words: Unreasonable. The FBI can't help you, no one can but a disgraced FBI negotiator struggling with his own demons.

    What do you do, especially when the Bureau finds out that your ex is either working in collusion with or accidentally invited in with him the world's most dangerous terrorist, a man who stole 10 canisters of lethal VX nerve gas and plans to use them on thousands of innocents? What do you do when a major television network is manipulating the hostage situation? What do you do when disparate elements seeking their own agenda risk touching off the worst mass murder since September 11th?

    What would you do then, rookie?

    The Toy Cop is now up for sale on Scribd at the low introductory price of $4.99. When it's available on Kindle, I'll be posting a link to that page, as well.

    (Update: The Toy Cop is now available on Kindle.)

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    The Bastards of Goebbels


    It would be all too easy to confine the failures of the mainstream media to Fox "News", the place where journalism went to die but to any aware news consumer, that would be in itself misleading and unfair. Fox just presents itself as a big, easy target because of their refusal to report the news in a nonpartisan fashion. They're just more unabashedly blatant about it than other networks.

    But we've been seeing over the last several decades the mainstream media playing the part of war cheerleaders, the material witness that never seems to be where it's supposed to be to tell the full story. And the failures of the MSM to report the news fully and accurately extends far beyond television. It's also crept into the once-trusted venues of newspaper, magazines and radio.

    When we began letting corporations, especially defense contractors and media giants, own networks, the slow but steady destruction of the news was all but inevitable. Eric Boehlert in Lapdogs and Norm Solomon in War Made Easy are two especially damning indictments on the neverending failure of the media to report the news the way it ought to be reported. If the media did their job, we wouldn't need people like Boehlert or Solomon or Media Matters or Newshounds or... Well, you get the idea.

    Every year, someone has to publish a list of the top 10 or 25 news stories that were never or hardly reported on. In fact, it's a book series. TV networks and stations would claim there's only so much news that can be fit into any one news cycle. Yet they utterly fail to explain why the Balloon Boy and Anna Nicole Smith's and Michael Jackson's deaths or Britney Spears shaving her head qualifies as real news and why we shouldn't shove such trash to Entertainment Tonight to make more room for real news.

    The incomparable and indefatigable Michael Collins in Egypt and the False Dilemma reminds us of the MSM's latest failure. He begins,
    The people of Egypt have had enough of a failed dictatorship masquerading as a democracy. As events unfold, we're seeing a cautionary message entering the corporate media coverage of this event. Having never exposed the dire conditions that prompted the massive protests and demands for change, we're now told that this could negatively impact oil supplies, the stock market, and anti-terror efforts. No foundation for the claims was provided but they're repeated regularly on CNN, the NBC's, Fox, and the print media.

    Thus, a false dilemma is created for the public: support the right of people to determine their own fate or protect your safety and the current standard of living, as it were.

    Indeed, precious little context is given for the protests in Egypt and Tunisia and next to nothing about those in Jordan and Yemen. The spectacle is everything and if you have enough spectacle, especially when it's tinged with human blood, who needs context?

    The overwhelming impression given to the cautious and cynical news consumer is that telling the unvarnished truth about a tyrannical regime with whom the United States and its corporations have longstanding ties is akin to biased, slanted, gonzo journalism. Obviously, that's not true. Despite what faux conservative Stephen Colbert asserts, the truth does not have a liberal bias. As we all know, it's supposed to have no more bias than a mirror.

    Plus, over the last several decades, we've seen an uncomfortable reverse mitosis of what used to pass for real, hard news and the infotainment that appeals more and more to the reptilian part of the human brain (most vividly delineated by the Balloon Boy who wasn't in his shiny balloon). It appeals to the curiously peculiar racist American mindset that only cares about missing children, teens, murder victims and runaway brides as long as they're white and good looking.

    For every Pat Tillman there are 100 or more LaVena Johnsons. Tillman, a smart, handsome and very white NFL safety, was branded a war hero, one whom the DoD claimed was killed in combat. LaVena Johnson, a young black girl stationed in Balad Iraq, was dismissively ruled a suicide in spite of a mountain of evidence all but proving that she was robbed, beaten, killed and immolated to destroy the evidence.

    The mainstream media fawned all over George W. Bush when he pissed and moaned that the worst moment of his so-called presidency was when Kanye West told the truth about him in one of his milder public outbursts: "George Bush doesn't like black people." Meanwhile, the press had long since given up on Susan Lindauer, the first major American casualty of the USA PATRIOT Act, someone who was falsely and illegally imprisoned, persecuted and financially ruined for simply doing her job.

    While the press gleefully reported that war criminals Paul Wolfowitz and Paul Bremer were being awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by their crime boss, the aforementioned George W. Bush, they yawned and strenuously ignored the likes of Bunny Greenhouse (who is black), Sibel Edmonds and other whistle blowers for simply doing their job.

    While the press gathered around their self-made glitter surrounding Julian Assange, the glamorous international provocateur, they all but had forgotten about Bradley Manning's inhumane treatment. The only reason we know these names is because of the better political blogs, another necessary antidote to a failing mainstream media that puts corporate interests above that of the nation's need to know.

    Back in World War Two, we had a word for this kind of misleading, criminal censorship and cherry-picking. It's "propaganda", the kind of thing that Hitler's right hand man Goebbels was responsible for (his official title was even "Minister of Propaganda"). At least the Nazis were up front about what they did and what they were.


    You ask Roger Ailes why his network is so biased in favor of the Republican Party, why, he'll quiver his jowls in righteous indignation, call you a liberal rabblerouser and a Nazi and claim that Fox "News" is "fair and balanced."

    But the pseudo-intellectual DNA can be traced back to the Nazi Minister of Propaganda and well beyond him. The only difference is Goebbels was more honest, upfront and ballsy about it than his little bastards in latter day American newsrooms.

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    The Insane Clown Posse is in Town


    In case you haven’t been paying attention or are trying (understandably) to block it from your memory, the annual CPAC conference is going to be at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington from February 10-12th. Among the confirmed speakers:

    Rep. Michele Bachmann, Inspiration for the Who’s “suicidal psychopath.”
    Gov. Haley Barbour, bloated racist
    Hon. John Bolton, group sex-loving psychopath
    Andrew Breitbart, lying, racist psychopath
    Ann Coulter, anorexic, Islamophobic closet trangender psychopath
    Hon. Newt Gingrich, Islamophobic, chronically unemployed psychopath
    David Horowitz, Liberals on the campus-fearing psychopath
    Sen. Mike Lee, unregulated child labor loving psychopath
    Sen. Mitch McConnell, human sawhorse, do nothing racist
    Rep. Ron Paul “Please Love Me, Conservatives!”
    Sen. Rand Paul Civil rights hating, mountaintop removal loving psychopath
    Hon. Tim Pawlenty, Defund ACORN even though they don’t get funds from Minnesota
    Gov. Rick Perry, Molly Ivins’ “Governor Goodhair”, secessionist loving psychopath
    Hon. Mitt Romney, “Don’t hate me because I mandated health care in Massachusetts.”
    Hon. Donald Rumsfeld "We know where they [WMD] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
    Hon. Rick Santorum, Admitted snuggling dead fetuses years before George W. Bush.
    Phyllis Schlafly, Ancient conservative artifact, personal friend of Clare Booth Luce, farts dust
    Rep. Allen West, Gun shooting, disgraced Lt. Col of a psychopath


    Sounds like the DSM IV come to life, doesn’t it? Let’s take a look at some of the scheduled events:

    Schedule of Events
    THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10th
    Introduction: David A. Keene, American Conservative Union CONFIRMED
    10:00 Secrets to Landing a Conservative Job – Wilson AB


    Oh, so only conservatives need jobs, now? And what, exactly, is “a conservative job”? Selling toxic mortgage-backed securities? Holding public office that enables those who sell toxic mortgage-backed securities to get bailed out? Fucking up the ecosystem with utter impunity?

    11:00 How Political Correctness is Harming America’s Military – Marshall Ballroom
    Elaine Donnelly, Center for Military Readiness CONFIRMED Ilario Pantano, former Marine and author of Warlord: No Better Friend, CONFIRMED No Worse Enemy


    Oh here we go again. More pissing and moaning about the repeal of DADT. I wonder if GOProud will attend that panel?

    11:00 Iranium – Citizens United’s CPAC Theater – Delaware Ballroom
    Presented by Clarion Fund (1 hour) Explores the dangers posed to the United States and the international community by a nuclear Iran; Followed by Q & A on Iranium.


    Iranium! Isn't that clever? Yep, nothing sells like fear, however unfounded and unsupported by intelligence assessments.

    1:00 Reagan at 100: Role Model for the Next Generation – Marriott Ballroom
    Paul Kengor, author of God and Reagan CONFIRMED
    Mark Joseph, producer of Reagan CONFIRMED
    Brodi Conover, Reagan Centennial Youth Committee CONFIRMED
    Craig Shirley, author of Rendezvous with Destiny CONFIRMED


    A role model for the next generation of hypocrites, or how a former liberal Democrat who was the president of a large union became a rock-ribbed, union-busting Republican when it became politically expedient, someone who railed against “socialized medicine” then became a beneficiary of it from 1981 until his death.

    Yeah, they sure know how to pick their role models, don’t they? I’m amazed there isn’t a scientific panel discussing ways to reanimate Reagan’s rotting corpse so they can trot him out in 2012.

    Moderator: Kate Obenshain, Young America’s Foundation CONFIRMED
    1:00 Rep. Steve King (IA) – Marshall Ballroom CONFIRMED
    Introduction: Kayne Robinson, National Rifle Association CONFIRMED
    1:00 Blogger Lunch with Citizens United Productions – Delaware Ballroom
    President David N. Bossie & short video presentation: David v. Goliath: The One Year
    Anniversary of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission


    What they seem to forget during their celebration of the SCOTUS selling our elections to the highest corporate bidder is that when the GOP falls out of favor with corporations, they’ll inevitably start flooding the Democrats with their billions.

    1:00 Hon. Newt Gingrich – American Solutions Booth
    Book Signing – To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine; Valley Forge:
    George Washington and the Crucible of Victory, among other titles.


    The book title says it all. The Wall Street-coddling, corporate-friendly Obama is a secular Socialist. Right. I suppose next you’ll be telling me he’s Muslim and was actually born in Kenya and… oh, wait…

    1:15 Policy Recommendations for Real Immigration Reform – Marshall Ballroom
    Secretary of State Kris Kobach (KS) CONFIRMED
    Jayne Cannava, Pro-English CONFIRMED
    Dino Teppara, Indian American Conservative Council CONFIRMED


    Conservative Indians?! Is there actually any such thing? What are they going to arrive in, a Miata?

    Moderator: Mark Krikorian, Center for Immigration Studies CONFIRMED
    2:00 Hon. Rick Santorum – Marriott Ballroom CONFIRMEDIntroduction: Foster Friess, Jackson, WY CONFIRMED 2:00 America At Risk: The War With No Name – Citizens United’s CPAC Theater – Delaware Ballroom Live introduction by co‐hosts Newt and Callista Gingrich (1.5 hours)


    “Getcher fear right here, get it while it’s hot!”

    2:30 Traditional Marriage and Society – Marriott Ballroom
    Tom Minnery, CitizenLink CONFIRMED
    Bishop Harry Jackson, Hope Christian Church CONFIRMED
    Michel Faulkner, author of Restoring the American Dream INVITED
    Moderator: Carrie Lukas, author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to CONFIRMED


    “Getcher fear of the teh gays right here, get it while it’s hot!”

    3:00 Your Guy Won. So What? Holding Conservatives’ Feet to the Fire – Wilson AB
    Sponsored by the Leadership Institute


    Note no one from the mainstream media will be at that one.

    4:00 Two-Minute Activists – Marshall Ballroom
    Ryan Hecker, Houston Tea Party Society CONFIRMED
    Ana Puig, Kitchen Table Patriots CONFIRMED
    Deneen Borelli, Project 21 CONFIRMED
    Catherine Engelbrecht, King Street Patriots CONFIRMED
    Gena Bell, OH CONFIRMED
    Burnell Bailey, ME CONFIRMED
    Darcy VanOrden, UT CONFIRMED
    Katie Kieffer, Blogger CONFIRMED


    More like the Two Minutes Hate.

    Moderator: Amy Frederick, 60 Plus Association CONFIRMED
    4:00 Presentation of Defender of the Constitution Award – Marriott Ballroom
    Presenter: Brad O’Leary and David A. Keene
    Recipient: Hon. Donald Rumsfeld CONFIRMED


    This Bizarro World. In Bizarro World, Donald Rumsfeld get Defender of Constitution Award. In Bizarro World, Obama also get Nobel Peace Prize and Paul Bremer get Preznitdential Medal of Freedom Award.

    6:30 C4L Reception w/ Ron Paul & Rand Paul – Wilson AB
    Sponsored by Campaign for Liberty (1.5 hours)
    Appetizers and Open Bar
    Open to Campaign for Liberty Sponsors Only
    7:00 Perfect Valor – Citizens United’s CPAC Theater – Delaware Ballroom
    A patriotic salute to Iraq war heroes, narrated by Sen. Fred Thompson (1.5 hours)


    If you fought in Afghanistan, meh. Fuck you. But if you fought in Iraq without adequate armor, got wounded and flown to a slum named Walter Reed then was blamed for your nightmarish living conditions, we salute you! That is, if we can keep Fred awake long enough.

    9:00 Rediscovering God In America I & II – Citizens United’s CPAC Theater – Delaware Ballroom
    Citizens United Productions’ Double Feature


    I already rediscovered God. I found him loitering at the AF Academy at Colorado Springs.

    9:30 The Left’s Campaign to Reshape the Judiciary – Marshall Ballroom
    Dan Pero, American Justice Partnership CONFIRMED
    Timothy Lee, Center for Individual Freedom CONFIRMED
    Ken Klukowski, American Civil Rights Union CONFIRMED
    Moderator: Kelly Shackelford, Liberty Institute CONFIR
    MED

    Oh, yes. Liberal judicial activists. Not to be confused with neoconservative judicial activists who elect presidents through conflict of interest, get involved in the 2nd Amendment and sell our electoral system to the corporations with the most cash.

    There’s 11 more pages of this shit but I’m sure you get the message by now. This is going to be just another fear fest starring the usual suspects, crooks, liars, psychopaths, bigots and hypocrites. If you live in the DC/Virginia area, be somewhere else that weekend in case crazy got communicable.

    All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Boolean Bozoism

  • #19
  • #18
  • #17
  • #16
  • #15
  • #14
  • #13
  • #11
  • #10
  • Kindle in the Wind, my dedicated site for my novels.
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Christwire.org: Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Matt Taibbi's blog.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • Think Progress.
  • Hullabaloo, Digby's place.
  • The General.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Bildung Blog, some of the funniest and sharpest captions in the b'sphere.
  • The Carpetbagger Report.
  • Newshounds.
  • Sadly, No!
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Oliver Willis, "Like Kryptonite to Stupid."
  • Brad Blog.
  • Fark.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Utah Savage.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • The artist formerly known as Politits. The politics are still liberal.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • The Randi Rhodes Show.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Politickybitch (Nunya).
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • Michael's Moore's official website.
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Blue Gal's Blog.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Salon.com.
  • Raw Story.
  • Watching America.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Newsy.com, comparative, nonpartisan analysis of the media.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Urban Dictionary.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom. What Mikey Weinstein has found will make your head explode.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • The Pensito Review.
  • Find Articles.com, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • The Talented Cafe, a resource for writers and artists.
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia, an invaluable research tool.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • anysoldier.com
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
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