Saturday, June 29, 2013

Good Times at Pottersville, 6-29-13



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network


     Iconic southern cuisine chef Paula Deen has become the 21st century's Typhoid Mary for certain admissions that she'd used the "n" word and having once planned a slavery-themed wedding. This had prompted Miss Deen to plead her case to Matt Lauer yesterday in which she accused others of telling lies about her by citing her own words in a court deposition for a discrimination lawsuit and being out to destroy her. Deen ended the interview by defiantly saying, "I is what I is and I'm not changing." Since the admission, Deen has been dropped by Novo Nordisk, Target, Home Depot, the Food Network, Wal-Mart and Smithfield. (The news isn't all bad, as Fox News hastens to remind us: Deen's new cookbook, The New Testament Cookbook, just shot up from #18 to #1 on Amazon, even though it's not due to come out until October.) Aspiring writer Anne Rice also came to Deen's rescue, asking if we "had a lynch mob mentality." Deen's admissions that "of course" she used the "n" word and the slavery-themed wedding were bad enough but weren't the only ones in her deposition, What are some other self-confessed examples of Paula Deen's racism?


  • 1) Martin Luther King piñata for oldest son's fifth birthday party.
  • 2) Election nights 2008 and 2012, shot up life-sized butter sculpture of Barack Obama in back yard.
  • 3) Field testing Creole rub on the heads of random African Americans.
  • 4) During her "Bag Lady" days in Savannah, pioneered Happy Meals by including with every bagged lunch slivers of Lester Maddox axe handles.
  • 5) During one 2005 episode of her show, once invited poet Maya Angelou but solely to wash dishes afterwards.
  • 6) Once told Emeril Lagasse on Essence of Emeril, "I love it when you say Bam! Makes me think of Medgar Evers, Dr. King and Malcolm X."
  • 7) Since 1974, every Thanksgiving turkey with little Klan hoods on drumsticks.
  • 8) Paula taught sons that, every Halloween, black people carved watermelons instead of pumpkins.
  • 9) Once asked by food magazine what wine would go best with soul food and replied, "Ripple."
  • 10) Admitted to calling Dr. Martin Luther King a "shit-skinned, tap-dancing, watermelon-munchin' jigaboo pickaninny Tar Baby" but only once or twice since his assassination.
  • Wednesday, June 26, 2013

    This Week in Assclownery

         It's been a helluva week on the political front and it's only Hump Day. Let's see what's going on in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave.
         First off, Gabriel Gomez, aka Lurch, got his uptight ass handed back to him by losing to Rep. Ed Markey in the Massachusetts special Senate election. Apparently, not as many white Independent male voters went for him as expected. Maybe it was the fact he called Ed Markey "pond scum" over something he didn't do (compare him to bin Laden) or maybe it was the fact his termagant of a wife decided to pile on Markey like a half-crazed harpy with her clit caught in a razor wire fence. In his concession speech last night, Gomez Addams said that, before the election, he was hardly known outside of Cohasset. "Look at where we are, now."
         Yeah, a loser giving a concession speech before fading back into obscurity, that's where.
         The same day Markey voters were going to the polls to ensure he'd win by 10 points, the SCOTUS ruled that Jim Crow laws were cool with them again by pulling out the lynchpin of the VRA, Section 4. That's the pesky little section that requires 16 Jim Crow states to check with the Justice Department before trying to purge brown people who reliably vote Democratic.
         In the majority opinion, Fat Tony Scalia essentially said, "Jim Crow? Who is this Jim Crow of which you speak, stranger?" Apparently, Fat Tony was able to say with a straight face that southern states with an undeniable history of racism have gotten past all that and that purges and the like were an "eradicated" practice.
         You know, like in Florida last year when Rick Scott's own Secretary of State tried to break Katherine Harris's record by purging 180,000 brown people from Florida's voter rolls before Section 4 of the VRA stopped him from doing that. Or how about when Arizona tried to pass a fascist law that would've required Latino voters to show proof of citizenship at the polls? You know, the same law the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional just last week.
         And don't even get me fucking started on how states such as South Dakota and New Mexico have been doing everything in their power to keep Native Americans from voting, a right they've allegedly had since 1924 and the Justice Department essentially allowing South Dakota and other states to flout Federal law even as right wingers are still screaming about a swiftly defunded ACORN that doesn't even exist, anymore.
         Yeah, Tony. Stuff like that and reducing the number of polling places and ballot boxes and voting machines in heavily-minority districts and ending early voting and producing long lines of people of color waiting sometimes as long as 8-10 hours to vote. Yeah, let's give those poor redneck southern states a break, since they've moved wa-a-a-ay beyond racial discrimination, as Barack Obama's presidency has so ably proven.
         In light of yesterday's racist ruling, all that was needed was Clarence Thomas, the self-loathing Federalist Society stooge who'd actually called Section 4 of the VRA akin to Jim Crow laws, muttering, "While we're at it, let's do away with Loving vs Virginia, because I don't think I deserve to be married to a white woman."
         The news isn't all bad from ALEC's judicial arm: Just hours ago the SCOTUS also ruled that DOMA was unconstitutional although, as usual, Scalia and Roberts were of the unpopular opinion. Fat Tony, the one who told us eight years ago that we should engage in more sex orgies, plainly showed in his minority dissent that he was speaking from pure, homophobic ideology and not any observance of the law.
         And I think it's only fair that I bring up a rather inconvenient fact to any so-called liberal, LGBT Obamabots in attendance that your hero and his DOJ just a few years ago upheld the constitutionality of Clinton's Defense of Marriage Act when Eric "The US Government is Too Small to Succeed Against Too Big to Fail Banks" Holder, in the DOJ's brief, likened gay marriage to incest and bestiality, a brief that, the very next day, your hero Barry supported.
         I know that's inconvenient but that's what I'm here for, to bring up the shit you'd rather not remember about your clay-footed heroes.
         They may not rule on CA's Prop H8 until tomorrow but in ruling in favor of DOMA's unconstitutionality, they also left the door ajar for gay marriage to come back to California
         TX state senator Wendy Davis's filibuster failed today when the Lt. Governor and the Senate GOP chairman decided that Davis violated state senate rules by not staying on topic, since she was talking about abortion to block passage of Texas' sweeping abortion bill that would rule out almost all reasons for having an abortion. It's essentially Texas invoking the "Shut up and sit down, woman!" rule.
         So, Davis' heroic filibuster failed but you know what else failed? The abortion bill, since they couldn't vote on it.

    Monday, June 24, 2013

    Dred Scott Was Also a Criminal

         In what is indisputably the stupidest post anyone has likely written today, some person by the name of RMuse on Politicususa.com, a site I ordinarily respect and read because of writers like Sarah Jones, wrote and posted an "article", for want of a better word, in which the title sums up the content: "The Simple Fact Is That By Legal Definition Edward Snowden Is a Criminal."
         Unfortunately, penning a title summarizing the article's content is the exact point where this RMuse apparently abandoned any further pretense to journalistic integrity or even of basic cognitive thought.
         There is so much that's wrong with this article, which would be right at home in the pages of The Weekly Standard or, if they actually knew how to write, Redstate.org or Freeperville, that one hardly knows where to begin but I'll give it the old college try.
         Let's start with this "writer's" simple-minded and disturbingly complacent belief that the issues raised and exposed by Edward Snowden can really be summarized on a bumper sticker or thoroughly explicated within the confines of a 500 word blog post. Yes, on the face of it, from a purely legalistic standpoint, Snowden violated the law, specifically 18 U.S.C. 793(d) Unauthorized Communication of National Defense Information, and 18 U.S.C. 798(a)(3) Willful Communication of Classified Intelligence Information to an Unauthorized Person, all of which is enforceable under the Espionage Act.
         But just because a law is on the books doesn't mean it belongs there. Whistleblowers under Obama have been persecuted and prosecuted like never before (more have been prosecuted in Obama's first four and a half years than all other administrations combined). Sometimes bad laws intended to curtail our civil liberties and even our very Constitutional protections are put on the books (Think USA PATRIOT Act and the National Defense Authorization Act) or laws that may have started out with the noblest intentions have been perverted to include not terrorists but ordinary, law-abiding folk.
         What this bozo seems to be saying is, "If it's on the books, comrades, we all need to obey or pay the price because Big Brother knows what's best for us."
         Slavery also was legal and slaves who ran away from their brutal subjugation were also, in simple legal terms, criminals. Denying women and black people the right to vote was legal. Employing children in dangerous mills was also legal.
         But to our friend RMuse, if someone coming into possession of some very disturbing information theoretically affecting all 300,000,000+ of us then discloses that information, it's not important because we've known about the program for "12 years" (Actually, just seven and a half because the NY Times' Lichtblau and Risen didn't tell us about the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program and the circumvention of the FISA courts until December, 2005.).
         And as long as we're talking about releasing classified intelligence to unauthorized people, how about this government's ongoing fetish with giving such classified information to "green badgers", or contract employees of security firms contracted by the governments who can pretty much take their work home with them and do whatever they want with it once their company's contract with Uncle Sam ends? Almost six years ago, RJ Hillhouse, the intelligence blogger behind the blog The Spy Who Billed Me, revealed in the WaPo, to little fanfare, that over 50% of the people working in our National Clandestine Service were green badgers, or security contractors whose loyalty to the government and the laws of the land only extended to how long they'd get paid. In the last six years since Hillhouse's eye-opening article, we haven't gotten the slightest indication whatsoever this federal outsourcing orgy had mitigated under Obama. So, as long as we're talking about divulging classified information to unauthorized people, let's first inspect the government's bizarre take on who is or is not authorized.
         And this so-called article by RMuse seems to be predicated on nothing more than a tragically misguided sense of loyalty to poor, maligned Obama, who only wants what's best for all of us (which, ironically, Bush also stated time and again). Here's what's said about these Emoprogs that seem to be, in RMuse's addled mind, shaping the narrative:
    The issue is not whether Snowden acted out of conscience, but that there is another opportunity to brand President Obama as a vindictive political adversary when a person with a security clearance violates their charge to not hand off sensitive intelligence information to unauthorized persons. That Snowden is seeking political asylum as if it is a personal vendetta is an affront to the rule of law and another Emoprog attempt to assign blame to the President for something clearly under purview of the N.S.A. and Department of Justice... The idea that Snowden is to be lauded as a hero for exposing a twelve year old government program is itself an aberration of common sense rivaling the absurd notion that this President is pursuing a personal vendetta because the Justice Department is pursuing a criminal complaint for three U.S. Code violations... It really drives one to wonder where the Emos were twelve years ago when we liberals were screaming the Bush administration was intent on monitoring the American people’s every move; unfortunately, many were “trusting President Bush to handle national security” and realizing they were duped are now taking out their frustration on President Obama.
         Oh my fucking God, and it's not even my birthday.
         First off, I have to wonder where these limousine liberals are now that Obama has not even merely continued the spying program started under Bush but actually ramped it up as surely as he did Afghanistan (that's led to us actually negotiating with the Taliban while war-profiteering contractors still outnumber actual troops on the ground). The overarching assumption is, "If Bush did it, it's bad and where were you influential and allpowerful Emoprogs way back when?" but if Obama does the same thing and more, it's, "He's merely looking out for your interests, comrades, and who needs the 4th Amendment, anyway?"
         This shockingly, stupendously and astoundingly idiotic article essentially gives Obama carte blanche to do whatever he wants while lobbing a long-delayed grenade in the direction of Dallas. When Bush went after whistleblowers such as Susan Lindauer (also charged with the Espionage Act of 1917 until having the charges dropped, mysteriously, on January 16, 2009, or right before the Bush junta slithered out the back door of the White House kitchen), although not nearly as often as Obama, it was a personal vendetta. When Obama's DOJ goes after someone, citing the Espionage Act (which has been used several times in the past to go after the wrong people), it's not a personal vendetta at all, despite all outward evidence to the contrary, and it's just a well-meaning President looking out for the safety and interests of his own people.
         What this moron is saying is this: Daniel Ellsburg should've gone to jail and we should've remained in the dark regarding what the Rand Corporation and our Defense Dept. was doing in Vietnam and that we shouldn't've known the last two administrations lied to us. He never should've released the Pentagon Papers and, while we're at it, we should've impeached Sen. Mike Gravel for entering the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record.
         Bradley Manning should also have the book thrown at him by whatever black-robed kangaroo sits on the military tribunal trying him on charges of leaking classified info (which has not even been established, yet) because we also had no right to know the Bush junta was lying to us and murdering journalists in Iraq in 2007. While we're at it, why not just go all out and ask Obama to send out Predator drones to take out everyone who ever worked at Wikileaks, starting with Julian Assange in Ecuador?
         Perhaps, if the blogging Gods are with us today, this steaming pile of partisan crap will die the ignominious death it so richly deserves. But just in case people take this seriously, let's also consider that vastly different people such as Dick Cheney and Chuck Schumer are both calling Snowden a traitor for telling us something we most certainly had a right to know. And when you add Al Franken going to bat for the Obama administration and the NSA and calling this extralegal program just and necessary and that, "Oh, no, we're not spying on you, comrades", you just know something's rotten in the state of Middle America.
         Finally, let's consider these chilling words toward the beginning of RMuse's opus where he says (emphasis his), "It is interesting that a clear “breach of the law” according to one media outlet is so easily conflated with “basic theories of civil disobedience” to “enable debate and reform."
         So, as long as we still have a guy in the Oval Office wearing a blue jersey with a "D" on it, we haven't the need nor the right to civil disobedience, which is exactly what Obama's NDAA was created to inhibit if not destroy.. Even if you unmask a government program too big to even call a conspiracy showing this surveillance state is vaster than anyone ever realized, you're not merely civilly disobedient, you're a criminal because this stupendously corrupt and self-dealing, self-interested government says you are.
         In the meantime, let's just all continue using our laptops and cell phones knowing the government is harvesting much more than mere metadata because compliance in the Glorious Age of Obama is mandated, comrades.

    Thursday, June 20, 2013

    Democratic Underground

         If only.
         I'd love nothing more than to see that piece of shit website run by a pervert named Skinner go six feet under. Then again, I'd also love to see Jon Swift and Steve Gilliard to come back to life, Pam Spaulding to come out of retirement and Baghdad Burning to make a comeback. But life's full of disappointments and tradeoffs and perhaps the Blogging Gods will reward me for my Job-like tribulations with a massive server crash that'll put the kibosh on DU.
         Longtime reader KPete was, well, kind enough to link to my last post regarding the obvious murder of Michael Hastings. I thank Pete since I know he meant well. But the comments he's attracted remind me why I haven't missed Democratic Underground for one minute since Skinner banned me eight years ago and why I will not miss political blogging for a minute beginning the nanosecond I finally decide to pull the plug for good.
         Because the trolls, backbiters, stalkers, limousine liberals and just plain, shit-stupid, head in the sand morons who refuse to listen to facts and instead decide to shoot the messenger in the back if they don't like the message have always been, at best, a distraction and, at worst, an increasingly incipient revelation that I've completely wasted the last eight and a half years of my life and am wasting my time even more needlessly and egregiously to titillate perhaps a handful of people while the other 95% of my so-called readership surfs in looking for tit torture methods and Nigerian porn.
         Here's a list of the shitty comments that had been lobbed at KPete and, consequently, me from people who by an Act of Congress should not be allowed near a keyboard or any electronic device with a data plan ever again from now until the end of time and beyond that:
    sigh. this is piece of unadulterated shit.
         Wow. Even if I wasn't stunned by your unassailably brilliant rebuttal, I still have to point out that you'd make a little more sense if you were to remember the indefinite article next time.
    Whoever wrote that decided that it's murder and already has determined that no evidence will be genuine to convince him or her otherwise.
         And whoever wrote this has already decided this isn't murder and has already determined that no evidence will be genuine to convince him or her otherwise.
    This site has high quality conspiracy theories. If there is even such a thing.
         Apparently, it had somehow been lost on this highly perspicacious reader that I'd spent seven eloquent paragraphs explaining why I do not traffic in conspiracy theories, even prefacing my brilliant deconstruction using a highly relevant and highly contextual story regarding Justice Frankfurter and his inability to believe in the Holocaust. Swine, belly up to the trough for your pearls. Soo-ee!
    Well, I'll have to quibble with this part: "...and a car hitting a solid object at any speed is going to result in a sickening crunching sound, not a boom like a bomb." I have actually experienced just that. A car going at a high rate of speed plowed right into a wall. It literally shook my house and it sounded exactly as if a bomb had gone off. The freakiest thing? The impact happened a quarter mile away. A couple of kids had stolen a car, taken it for a ride, then plowed it into a retaining wall -- air bags were deployed and the little shits were able to run away from the crash.
         Nothing traveling at any rate of speed and hitting any immovable object short of a meteor striking the planet earth is going to sound like a boom, make your house shake and your windows rattle, especially from a quarter of a mile away. And while this poor soul insists on using wholly apocryphal and nongermane hypotheticals to reach his contrary conclusions, the fact remains that Hastings' car struck a wooden utility pole, not a wall, and people felt the concussive envelope that is inevitably produced when a bomb goes off and heard the sound of an explosion not a quarter of a mile away but within 50-60 yards of the impact site. So, now who's changing facts to fit a prefab theory? I used the facts as plainly detailed in my lead video, which is why I'd classified my thoughts as a theory rather than a hypothesis. A theory depends upon facts, whereas a hypothesis does not.
    Well, that's one way for a blogger to boost traffic. I'm always curious about why people give any credence to random blogs on issues like this. The blogger actually knows nothing concrete about this, but insists that it is a murder. Now, it's possible that it was a murder, but there is no way to know that at this point. There is especially no way this blogger knows that. I love the Internet, but I'm a little less fond of spreading random speculation bloggery around. It accomplishes nothing, is not news, and is merely the opinion of some person we don't know.
         For my part, I'd like to know where this Johnny-Come-Lately has been for the last eight and a half years while I've made a name for myself in political blogging. I'm also curious as to why he thinks that facts become believable only through personal recognition of the person positing them. And while we're talking about "news": The news of Hastings' death hours after it happened did not, strangely, contain any mention of the circumstances surrounding his death. We were told it was a car accident in Los Angeles (rather than Hollywood) and there was no mention of an explosion, reports of a blast or a massive ball of fire.
         Sometimes speculative blogs are the only places where people have the balls to ask these questions and to present evidence that is invariably contrary to the narrative troweled to us daily by the spineless corporate mainstream media. Blogs have always filled in the gaps constantly left by so-called journalists who crave access at all costs for the privilege of hearing bullshit up close and personal, exactly the kind of journalist Michael Hastings was not.
    Hmm.. You hear "young guy drives 100 mph and crashes into a tree" and think conspiracy, not bender Interesting.
         No, I hear "young, responsible guy with a wife and promising career who has everything to live for and drives 100 mph and crashes into a light pole (not a tree) and think "conspiracy" and not bender.
         But I've already invested today more than enough of my time and not inconsiderable intellect and talents on brainless miscreants who insist on wasting hours of their day on sewers such as Democratic Underground and squirting faux vitriol from the shadows at people they don't even know because one person said something with which they disagree while blithely ignoring the facts as painstakingly presented by both me and the videographer. Only my desire to spread these facts makes this post worthwhile to open-minded folks, not the morons who'd allegedly read the original.
         So, KPete, if you want to post a link to this on DU, be my guest. Don't expect either of us will get any warmer a reception from the same class of knuckledraggers and mouthbreathers. I have a novel to write and a life to live.

    Wednesday, June 19, 2013

    What Was Michael Hastings Working On?


         Supreme Court Associate Justice Felix Frankfurter, a Jew, was once presented with evidence of the Holocaust by a friend. Justice Frankfurter said he couldn't believe it had happened. His friend responded incredulously, "Are you telling me you don't believe the Holocaust happened?" Frankfurter famously replied, "That's not what I said. I said I can't believe it happened." Meaning he couldn't bring himself to believe it.    
         That's why I don't go in for conspiracy theories.
         For almost eight and a half years, I've been biting my tongue and refusing to blame Bush and Cheney for pulling off 9/11 with their PNAC pals who less than four years earlier in a letter to President Bill Clinton brazenly said we needed another Pearl Harbor-type of calamity to get this country back on the right track. The narrative regarding 9/11 fails to fit the facts in roughly a thousand and one different ways. The forensic evidence doesn't add up when held side-by-side with the narrative told to us by the government and the so-called 9/11 Commission.
         However, the absence of facts and square pegs and round holes only produces conspiracy theories and I do not traffic in those. The absence of provable facts is not proof in and of itself. I have a hard enough time keeping the last of my readership from going to Reddit or Instagram or whatever happens to be hotter than blogs right now. I don't want to kill off what little credibility I have left by peddling conspiracy theories as fact.
         Because there are just some scenarios that are too horrible to even contemplate, more horrifying scenarios than anything cooked up by an Alex Jones fever dream after eating 11 Gorditas and 8 Chalupas. Our own government pulling off 9/11 is about the most unbearable thing I can imagine outside of something happening to any of my loved ones.
         This is why I do not believe Hunter S. Thompson killed himself but stop short of saying someone offed him because he was supposedly working on an expose of 9/11. This is why I do not believe the DC Madam, Deborah Jeane Palfrey, hung herself yet I dig in my heels well before saying out loud that some piano wire artist offed her just before she was about to name names.
         Nor do I believe Michael Connell, Sen. Paul Wellstone and other people dangerous to the current corrupt establishment died in normal, unavoidable plane crashes but you will not hear me say they were murdered by a person or persons unknown. That is because I do not have proof and I would need about a millennium to wrap my mind around the fact that my government could be that murderous and cold-blooded.
         But then I see things like the death of Rolling Stone and Buzzfeed journalist Michael Hastings, a throwback to the days of real journalists who wouldn't accept bullshit in exchange for access to hear more bullshit and the facts speak for themselves. Hastings was murdered and anyone who knows the first thing about automotive mechanics, accident reconstruction and basic physics can tell his death in a massive ball of flames on a residential street in Hollywood yesterday simply doesn't subscribe to conventional common sense.
         And when I hear about a journalist of Hastings' stature dying so young, the first question that pops into my head is not, "What had he worked on?" but "What was he working on?"
         Whatever it was, his confidential sources aren't going to start singing unless they want to be nervous pedestrians for the rest of their lives.
         Hastings was murdered by people who knew how to make it happen and certainly had the money, the technology and the motivation to pull it off. Don't look to the LAPD, the LA Coroner's Office and the LA Fire Department to give you any straight answers. They'll tell you after the car's been combed over and the autopsy results take weeks to come in that it was a tragic and needless accident that was caused when Hastings ran into a utility pole after traveling 100 mph down a suburban Hollywood side street.
         Do not look for them to tell you why the transmission suddenly dropped out of the car about 50 yards from the impact site and that several people, including one woman, said they heard a sound like a bomb going off, one powerful enough to rattle their house and shake their windows. I've seen plenty of car accidents and heard others. No car striking a light pole is going to create a concussive envelope powerful enough to do that and a car hitting a solid object at any speed is going to result in a sickening crunching sound, not a boom like a bomb.
         And it still wouldn't answer why Hastings, a responsible journalist, was traveling 100 mph in a residential neighborhood and why he thought it was a good idea to wrap the front end of his late model Mercedes around a light pole.
         So here's a much more plausible theory, one formed around the facts anyone can see in the video above:
         A bomb is planted in the rear of the car, something most of us wouldn't bother checking for before getting in the car even if we wrote something that got Stanley McCrystal shitcanned by President Obama. The transmission gets blown out, it lands in the street and rolls onto the sward of grass, leaking red training fluid into the gutter. The bomb detonates the nearby gas tank also in the rear of the car. The car's already in flames if not fully involved, stunning or killing Hastings in front and a postmortem twitch makes his right foot depress the gas pedal, making the car accelerate and swerve out of control from the right side of the street to the left until he hits a solid object, which in this case was first, a fire hydrant then, secondly, a utility pole.
         But don't listen to me. Look at where the training lies, observe the red fluid in the gutter, note its distance from the crash site, its orientation to it, listen to the witnesses explain they heard a sound like a bomb go off. Then judge for yourself whether or not my scenario strays from the facts or that I've wrenched the facts in this raw footage to fit my theory.
         In some late model cars, the engine is engineered to drop before a front end impact so as not to go through the dash and crush the driver. Transmissions aren't.
         So when you start hearing in the news about how Hastings liked to drive fast and as the official narrative begins to filter its way to your favorite news sites, just remember this video and this post then tell me accidents like this happen every day of the week.
       Then again, James Gandolfini, aka Tony Soprano, died the day after Hastings did. Coincidence?????

    Sunday, June 16, 2013

    Good Times at Pottersville #11


    Saturday, June 15, 2013

    Open Thread

         God damn you people for voting for that piece of shit.

    Thursday, June 13, 2013

    Mad Libs

         I've long held that listening to the self-censoring corporate mainstream media and Obama's smiling fascist government is like trying to follow a novel with all the consonants and half the punctuation missing. Or, perhaps more accurately, it's like trying to grope one's way toward the denouement of an espionage thriller using a Mad Libs book. Insert any noun, verb, adverb or adjective of your choice and your story is as good and as accurate as the next guy's.
         And libs are indeed going slowly mad over this NSA wiretapping scandal that should come as no surprise to anyone that cheered on Bush and the USA PATRIOT Act, such as Edward Snowden's Boswell, the self-serving, hypocritical, Cato-loving tool Glenn Greenwald, hereafter referred to as "the other John Aravosis." They're torn between throwing under their short buses the President they've been inexplicably cheering on since 2008 and actually siding with Rand Paul and the Teabaggers who are raising some serious questions as to the surveillance state we've been living under since the tip of that first plane's nose touched the World Trade Center's north tower. There's a slowly growing but a growing consensus nonetheless that perhaps Snowden's motives are not pure, that perhaps he was lying about the NSA and local cops visiting his girlfriend at their house in Hawaii from which they'd apparently vacated last May 1st when the owner wanted to sell. Now we're hearing revelations that he's been in touch with Chinese authorities and informing them of tens of thousands of ongoing hacks we've been aiming at that regime, as if it's a huge surprise to them we're doing unto them what they've been doing unto us for decades.
         So, yes, let us cease to seriously listen to the utterly worthless corporate mainstream media and our equally utterly worthless corporate government that lies to us hundreds if not thousands of times daily but let us also distrust tools such as Glenn Greenwald, who'd become almost as infamous and notorious this past week as Snowden himself. Greenwald, though he may have pretensions as a serious journalist that's further egged on by paying gigs at Salon.com and the Guardian.co.uk, has forgotten the cardinal sin of journalism: Don't become the story. When you do that, we have to endure little territorial squabbles (over a guy who has no loyalty to either) made further ridiculous and minimized on a social networking site called "Twitter" between Greenwald and the WaPo's Barton Gellman, who was allegedly first contacted by Snowden then backed out when Gellman refused to commit to a 72 hour turnaround time on the exposé (Greenwald tweets back like an irritated parakeet that no, he'd been secretly working with Snowden since last February.).
         As massive unearthed conspiracies generally do, it's become as much if not more about the leaker, his character and that of Greenwald, with the media frenzy turned like a rabid dog snapping at shadows and its own tail while completely forgetting about the central story, the one to which we all ought to be paying attention: That the government is spying on us and the Obama administration and Obama himself lying to our faces by saying we're not the targets, after all, and that this NSA warrantless wiretapping program is aimed only at non-Americans, comrades.
         That's the real story. Not him.
         Yet, if you were to do a Google search on Snowden's full name, you would find much more often than not the story is about him, this year's Bradley Manning, even though the kangaroo court presiding over Bradley Manning's trial has just convened. We just can't seem to make up our minds about Edward Snowden. The New Yorker says he's a hero. The New Yorker says he's not a hero (although anyone who seriously entertains for a nanosecond what Jeffery Toobin writes ought to be flogged with a cat-o-nine tails laced with Tabasco sauce). The erstwhile liberal rag Slate even openly asks if Snowden is a traitor while others under that same masthead straddle the fence and ask if he's a hero or a villain. In fact, the usually stuffy and conservative magazine Forbes has gone all Tiger Beat and actually tells us what Edward Snowden was like as a teeenager.
         Eyes on the prize, peeps, or what passes for a brass ring these days.
         This massive surveillance state, which again should come as no surprise to anyone who can remember back to October 26th 2001 when the USA PATRIOT Act was "ratified" after Republicans slipped into the bill in the dead of night and pulling a switcheroo after making the US Printing Office pull an allnighter language that dramatically altered the already fascist content. And no one, especially Greenwald, who openly championed the USA PATRIOT Act in books, the media, the Congressional Record or even on their blog has the right to any degree of outrage that this is happening today.
         The New York Times dropped the bombshell back on December 16, 2005 that warrantless wiretapping and the circumvention of Jimmy Carter's FISA courts had been going on since 9/11 if not before. The Bush administration then sheepishly admitted that, yeah, we were spying on just a few of you through the telephone companies that's gouging you every month in your home and cell phone bills. Then we found out it was more like tens if not hundreds of thousands. George W. Bush was even kind enough to tell us, once the shit hit the fan, exactly how the spying program worked and that he'd reauthorized through Executive Orders the same thing 45 more times.
         That Obama, a man who has quietly and infamously defended the war criminals of the Bush administration sprinted off the campaign trail to cast a vote giving telcoms retroactive immunity for spying on us, thereby putting the kibosh on almost four dozen lawsuits, should actually expand this fascist police state left to him by Bush should come as no surprise to liberals. The man, after all, openly lied to us and informed us while defending the program that this wide net shown to us by Snowden was not aimed at American citizens when that same man ordered the deaths of at least five Americans through his drone strike assassination program.
         I keep saying it until I'm blue in the face and I do not care how many times I'm ignored. But Bob Barr, former Georgia congressman, warned us that if you give government power, it will use it. The current zeitgeist is, If Obama doesn't dismantle this program now, then he will leave this invasive police state to a real tyrant. What people like Lee Camp and the Rude Pundit cannot bring themselves to admit is that Obama is that tyrant of the future.
         And if you're tempted to laugh about that, then go ahead. But while you're struggling to catch your breath and wipe your eyes, let me ask you: How long do you think you'll be able to protest the Obama administration or anything regarding the government if you were to do so before a federal building, or near someone who happens to have Secret Service protection (did you even know that Obama quietly signed the 2013 version into law less than a month ago without even being concerned about indefinitely detaining US citizens or is that still somehow less noxious than Bush's USA PATRIOT Act)? I'd give you less than 60 seconds. Maybe 30.
         You mad libs may condescendingly laugh at charges that your hero is a tyrant with one jackboot out of the closet but the first thing a tyrant thinks while getting up in the morning (aside from pissing not into a toilet but on the heads of the poor and working class) is how to suppress dissent. And this is what the Obama administration has done since Day One. Hence the National Defense Authorization Act. Hence the uninterrupted renewals of Bush's USA PATRIOT Act.
         Hence the other unavoidable fact that, by April last year, the Obama administration had gone after more whistleblowers than the previous 43 administrations combined.
         And what addlepated Teabaggers and liberals don't have the wits to ask as they worry about which side of the gridiron their shifting positions on Snowden, the NSA and Obama will land them is, "Why do we have so many whistleblowers to persecute and prosecute in the hallowed name of national security?"
         Our completely worthless AG Eric Holder pretty much confirmed in so many words what we're already all suspecting: That justice is reserved not for the Wall Street criminals Holder only pretends to investigate, criminals that snuggle up to and worm their way into the Obama administration like so many succubi.
         And the Obama administration has also told us in so many words that justice is not for the war criminals who shot and killed innocent Iraqi civilians in 2007.
         The Obama junta's public record shows that our laws and so-called justice is reserved for people like Bradley Manning who told us of the war crimes being committed in our good names and with our hard-earned tax dollars. It's arrogantly told us in so many words and deeds that "justice" is reserved for Occupy activists (whom Obama can't distinguish from the screaming, racist psychopaths of the Tea Bagger movement) who protested the actions of the same exact people infesting Obama's thoroughly rotten administration like silverfish in a derelict Louisiana bayou fishing shack.
         People, brothers and sisters, fellow Americans on both sides of the Great Ideological Divide, we have met the enemy and it is us. So saith the man who wants to take away your Social Security and Medicare to appease the same cryptofascists who got us into this mess. Obama doesn't want to take away your guns and he has absolutely no interest in you getting affordable health care. He said one thing and did everything the complete opposite the nanosecond he took his greasy paw off Lincoln's Bible on January 20, 2009.
         So, no. Edward Snowden is neither a hero nor a villain any more than Glenn Greenwald's an actual journalist. Snowden was, like Daniel Ellsberg, a man who found himself in the middle of a massive web of lies and crimes that detrimentally affected innocent lives and furthermore found that he was as much a part of the problem as the panicking psychopaths who are now pursuing him over hill and dale. Finding yourself in an intolerable, untenable situation and reacting in a way that'll permit you to sleep at night is not heroism, whatever you sacrifice. It's called survival.
         Let us never cease asking ourselves: "Why do we have so many whistleblowers and what are they trying to tell us that we should know but do not?"

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    Good Times at Pottersville, 6-12-13


    Monday, June 10, 2013

    Good Times at Pottersville, 6-10-13


    Sunday, June 9, 2013

    RIP Argeo Paul Cellucci

         I knew Paul Cellucci. He was the acting Governor at the time back in the late 90's when I pumped gas at a service station which was owned by a guy who got his start working for Cellucci's father Junior, the longtime Hudson Chamber of Commerce president, who'd founded Washington Street Motors. If you spoke to Cellucci, you immediately were faced with this stultifying sense of dullness of personality, with an indistinct voice that, like Gerald Ford, would and could not be easily emulated by political impressionists. And yet, despite being uncharismatic even as far as Republicans go, Cellucci enjoyed the almost unique distinction of never losing an election in a long career in public service. Even in a heavily blue state such as Massachusetts (although 51% of our voters are registered independents), Cellucci managed to win whether he was running for the state house of representatives, the state senate, the lieutenant Governorship and eventually the top office.
         Argeo Paul Cellucci passed away yesterday of ALS at the age of 65. He'd revealed he was dying of Lou Gehrig's Disease back in January of 2011.
         My recollections of Gov. Cellucci are, as with most voters, of a necessarily worm's eye view. I knew the man on a personal basis, filled up his Jeep Cherokee about once every three weeks and talked shop. Massachusetts, you see, is one of only two states in the union that doesn't have a Governor's mansion so Cellucci used to commute back from Beacon Hill every day to his home literally down the street from my job. His wife Jan would hand him back their watched videos from Blockbuster and sometimes the Governor would pull in for a fill-up while he was running his errands. I used to love addressing him in a Cockney accent because I never before had the chance to say, "'Ey, Guvnor!" to an actual Governor.
         In fact, the first time I ever waited on him, Cellucci was so unprepossessing I didn't even know who he was until I saw his wife Jan's name on the credit card he'd handed me. So, we'd chew the fat, discuss the Family Medical Leave Act he'd just signed into law ("So, now, if you want to watch your kid's soccer game, you can.") that gave Massachusetts workers 40 hours a year off for personal reasons. While I was in the beginning stages of my novel The Toy Cop, I'd asked for Cellucci's help on points regarding the death penalty and what state constitutional law would say about that if we had capital punishment. Not one to forget a favor, I'd mentioned the Governor in my acknowledgements page when I finally published my massive thriller on Create Space.
         But while he may have been lacking in the personality department, Cellucci was a moderate Republican who was wisely chosen by Bill Weld when he was running for Governor in 1990. Cellucci may have been a fiscal conservative (he lowered the state income tax from almost 6% to 5%) but he was also a social moderate to liberal, depending on your criteria. Earlier this year, Cellucci's name appeared on an amicus curiae brief coming out in support of same sex marriage (even though we've had it since May 17, 2004 after the Goodridge vs the Dept of Public Health ruling).
         The biggest scandal to hit his office when he was Governor was over the massive cost overruns regarding the Big Dig, which had more to do with corrupt Boston mobsters getting cement contracts than anything having to do with Cellucci, who at least had the sense to remove the project manager, the stupendously corrupt and incompetent Jim Kerasiotes who had disappeared thousands of records and sandblasted hard drives to cover up what we can assume were countless crimes pertaining to the Big Dig.
         The one thing you could say about Cellucci's administration, which made advances in serious gun control, educational betterment and a whole host of other progressive issues, was that it was incorruptible. Long after Republicans on Capitol Hill had sold their souls to the Devil in his various incarnations through captains of industry, lobbyists, etc, Cellucci's only ethical failing was a weakness for the ponies that had ruined his personal finances (Ironically, after leaving Ottawa as our ambassador to Canada, Cellucci took a job with Magna, a sports entertainment corporation. "Magna chairman Frank Stronach said Cellucci's role would be to help reform the U.S. regulations around horse racing."), handily explaining why he had to use wife Jan's credit card to fill up.
         Cellucci obviously did not enter public service to get wealthy. In fact, he was likely the most broke-ass Governor we ever had. And even when he was fighting for life during the 1999 election that saw him nearly lose to MA Attorney General Scott Harshbarger (seen above with Cellucci during their campaigns), even during the highly contentious "Brawl in Faneiul Hall" debate, he always maintained that Old World insistence on civility and a willingness to reach across the aisle in order to do some good by the people (a lesson obviously lost on our current POTUS). Seven years ago, Cellucci even admitted that we were hasty and wrong in invading Iraq and for using his office as Ambassador to Canada to pressure them into joining Bush's ridiculous Coalition of the Willing.
         Argeo Paul Cellucci entered public service with the intention of doing that good. He didn't, like his successor Deval Patrick, use his law degree to get a $20,000,000 golden parachute from Coca Cola after defending that corporation from civil rights lawsuits. He wasn't a rude, raving Tea Bagger like Chris Christie or Paul LaPage. Cellucci was a class act, a man who, compared to the current psychopaths of his party, would almost be considered a liberal today by conspicuous relief. I didn't always agree with the Governor's policies but that's the price one pays when entering public service. It could be argued that Cellucci actually left Massachusetts a better, stronger Commonwealth than he'd found it.
         If we must have Republicans in our midst, then Argeo Paul Cellucci typified the kind we need more of, one that's willing to work in a bipartisan manner and not devote his office to reducing one man to one term (Are we listening, Mitch?) and he did not use his political connections merely to get rich. Paul Cellucci will be missed as much as the moderate Republican he represented throughout his entire career.
         In my own small way, I'd honored Gov. Cellucci yet again by basing part of my fictional Senator James Forrest's character on Cellucci's. He, too, had a brawl in Faneiul Hall and loved movies. And to inspire somebody while they're writing a book, regardless of how good or bad it'll ultimately be, is surely one of the highest praises one can bestow on another.

    Good Times at Pottersville #10


    Saturday, June 8, 2013

    The Murder Machine

         And, no, it isn't the GOP's new nickname for ObamaCare but the title for my sequel to Tatterdemalion. I don't feel like blogging about politics these days because with the way I feel about Obama and PRISM these days, if I write about either I'll no doubt get a visit from a lot of Secret Service agents. So this is all I'm going to put up. Deal. There will be canned funnies going up tomorrow morning.

    Wednesday, June 5, 2013

    Hey, Kids, it's Poochie the Republican Insult Dog!

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

         Lord only knows what makes the nation's Alex Keatons the way they are. Is it nature or nurture or some tragically unbalanced admixture of both? Were they, as Rodney Dangerfield averred, made to breast feed through a straw? Were their mothers scared while pregnant and watching Rush Limbaugh on television? We may never know the answer but there is something deeply disturbing about people so young yet so cynical as to proudly and publicly become Young Republicans. Frankly, it makes me laugh as much as the phrase "Black Republicans."
         Fans of the Simpsons may remember Poochie, the dog created by the creators of the "Itchy and Scratchy" cartoons as a way of better connecting with their youthful core audience when they feared they were losing touch with that demographic. The rebranding was a disaster after just one episode when it was discovered that the skateboarding Poochie was actually killing the concept that made Itchy and Scratchy a success in the first place. Despite viewer outrage and calls for his immediate removal, Homer (who was hired by the studio to do Poochie's voice) and the actress who did Itchy and Scratchy's voices eventually grew to like the cartoon dog with the attitude.
         Undeterred, the studio executives got rid of Poochie the very next episode with a slapdash episode that said in bloody, red letters that Poochie went back to his home planet and was killed on the journey back.
         So why am I writing about a cartoon dog that barely occupied a cartoon universe on the Fox network?
         Because (while I'll try to avoid making an underdog pun that's guaranteed to send me straight to Hell on an express elevator) what the College Republicans and the GOP establishment is doing runs along similar lines, as evidenced by this document that was released this week by the College Republican National Committee. It features, in a risible attempt to convey some hipness, a cover of an iPhone with earbuds attached to it and on the screen, natch, is a diminished red, white and blue elephant.
         In forming this 95 page report, the College Republicans asked moderates and grown-up Republicans (Yes, there are some adult Republicans, believe it or not) for their input and the amount of moderate input must have set them all on their pointy little heads. Among the recommendations:


  • That gays ought to be able to marry within their own gender.
  • That everyone has the right to quality, affordable health care.
  • That we should stop wasting so much time, lives and treasure fighting the wars of other countries (while stopping short of outright mentioning Israel, as they should've) and
  • 54% of the respondents said the rich ought to be taxed more heavily.
  •   
         Rather than seeing this handwriting on the wall for what it is, the College Republicans ignored this substantial deviation from current Republican policy that's solely predicated on denying the nigger in the Oval Office whatever he wants even if it was their idea to begin with and trying to spin the Republican Party's massive unpopularity especially among the young as a mere rebranding issue.
         As if a shit sandwich will taste better on expensive Artesian bread instead of plain old white or rye.
         As if little kids will come running to the ice cream truck driven by the Stephen King clown It if it plays Scott Joplin's "The Entertainer."
         As if switching brands of anal lube will relieve one of that dull, burning sensation one feels whenever Obama lets the Republicans have whatever they want by first compromising with himself.
         You get the idea. The College Republicans, as usual, these fine, young Alex Keatons of the nation are stupid and naive enough to think that the GOP's unpopularity among young voters is simply a perception problem, a rebranding issue, not that the GOP's policies that are popular only among pasty, bloated, old white men are at fault.
         It's our fault that we're just perceiving these heroic statesmen the wrong way and that we'll gladly eat the same shit sandwich as long as it has a little cheese and bits of fiber baked into it.

    Meet the New Party Boss, Same as the Old Party Boss
          This is highly insulting to young voters, obviously, as well as to anyone of intelligence. What the College Republicans are essentially saying in their misguided report, that seems to blow off the recommendations given to them by their experts (ones that would be misconstrued as archly liberal in Beltway circles that may still look to "The Note" for their legislative cues) is it’s really about the presentation, not the content.
    And their stubborn emphasis on rebranding instead of paradigm shifts in their policy views shows how bottomlessly superficial the younger acolytes of the conservative movement remain.
         In effect, the College Republicans seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker the establishment GOP's insistence on and plans for rebranding in time for the 2016 election. Seeing that Obama got re-elected by a majority (albeit a vastly diminished majority) of voters 18-30, the Republicans realized that aiming for the white, middle-aged to elderly vote (essentially, Rush's and Fox "News'" withering demographic) isn't going to cut it, anymore. And, despite being hamstrung by the occasional Republican who still makes an anti-Hispanic or homophobic or misogynistic remark, this is an entrenched strategy that, while as obviously doomed as a launching Hindenburg already in flames, will go on.
         The results, rest assured, will be as pathetic as Michael Steele's laughable attempts three and a half years ago to make the Republican Party hip to younger voters when he was still the RNC Chairman.
         Remember, kiddies, it wasn't George Allen's policies that got him voted out (although I'm sure they didn't help): It was his "Macaca" comments at a rally made to an Indian American in attendance. It wasn't Allen West's or Joe Walsh's branding that got their asses booted out of Congress last November: It was the fact that they were both spittle-flecked, boorish morons who were too consumed with hatred of the President and not enough with supplanting Mr. Obama's policies and objectives with substantial ones of their own. And it's not Michele Bachmann's misperception on the part of Minnesota's 6th District that will chase her out of Congress, it was the ongoing investigations into misconduct during her so-called presidential campaign.
         Instead of passing the buck onto their peers, they should have pushed back in this report against entrenched Republican policies that plainly are no longer relevant (as if they ever were) in a modern, even evolving world. In fact, evolution is the top enemy of basic conservative thought, especially in its infinitely noxious reactionary latter-day incarnation.
         And writing a passing-the-buck report while using on its cover little pictures of smartphones (which aren't iconic of youth as much as they are of everyday technology accessible to and used by virtually everyone of all age groups) is not going to bring the Republican Party back to its apex during the Eisenhower years (vast improvements and expansion of the infrastructure, a 91% tax rate, a strong national defense without reckless and expensive military adventurism).
         It's not branding that's sinking the GOP's chances in 2016 over three years in advance of the next general elections. It's their selfish policies that's hostile to women, immigrants, gays and, yes, even the young. The perception problem isn't owned by young voters of conscience who see the Republican Party with bright, clear eyes. That perception problem's on the young Republicans of this country who cannot come to grips with the fact that the GOP is completely out of touch with the needs of a 21st century America demanding justice, compassion and respect among all its factions.
         And to prove it, they're even ignoring the advice of their elders who are suggesting hardly radical but commonsensical solutions out of the ditch into which the GOP had driven them.

    Monday, June 3, 2013

    When Times are Tough, the Tough Get Evicted.

         Earlier today, I'd just gotten out of the shower and was about to buckle down and try to be a productive member of society for a change when I saw this Twitter DM in my inbox from a friend of mine:
              I know you haven't any funds, but if you could spread the word I'd appreciate it. Operation Saving Grace. Thanks.
         On checking out the link, I saw it was to a GoFundMe page set up by my friend in ChiTown. I won't give you her real name, although you can find out by following the link and looking at her profile. Suffice it to say she's a dear friend of mine who's experienced a devastating loss in her family of late and more drama than all three networks' daytime lineup for a week.
         But I will say she and her husband failed to make their mortgage payments for the first time and, if you know mortgage-holding banks like I do, this is the moment they were waiting for. They want you to fall down so you can't get get back up. Late fees, penalties, surcharges, ruthlessly early foreclosure... That's where the real money is at.
         Anyway, enough preaching. My friend and her hubby are in a really bad way. When your own back is against the wall, it's tempting to become a selfish Randian and say, "Fuck everyone but me and my own." Your focus, to put it charitably, necessarily gets parochial. But I can't do that, even though Mrs. JP and I are hardly set for life. But I chipped in a little (you'll see my name and note if you're kind enough to click on the link) and if we feel badly enough to chip in, you know the other guy is doing badly.
         It ought to be said that, in palmier times last year, this self-same friend of ours helped us out significantly when we were on the ropes and battling the wolves at the door. Those wolves are far enough down the street so we can't even see them, anymore, so I want to take this opportunity to ask anyone reading this to click on the link, donate if you can or at least spread the word on any social network you're on. She's set up a threshold of $8000 and she's only gotten, at this point, a little over 2.5% of that. So please do whatever you can to help my dear friend. Thanks in advance.

    Sunday, June 2, 2013

    Good Times at Pottersville #9


    Saturday, June 1, 2013

    Good Times at Pottersville, 6-1-13


    KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

    All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
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