Saturday, November 30, 2013

Recycling Day

@WalmartNewsroom If your #BlackFridays & #BlackThursdays get any more violent, your circulars will have to come with an obituary column.

@WalmartNewsroom Stockers & greeters make as much as doctors? Gee, I didn't know that many doctors were on SNAP &welfare. #liveandlearn 

@OutFOXedNEWS @ohiomail God knows where this white, male rage is coming from, since they keep electing a Congress that's 75% white & male.

So, it's OK to play & upload clips of ultra-violent games on XBox 1 but you can't say "crap"? Really? #FuckMicrosoft

So, the party that shut down the gov't is screaming about Obama shutting down the Vatican embassy when he didn't?

@joshromney Wow, what a man, to find the inner strength to smile in the midst of someone else's devastation he'll never need to deal with!
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@sickjew Remind me again why these fascist twats are more worried about peaceful protesters than the maniacs INSIDE #Walmart? #BlackFriday

SAM'S SEX CLUB #SleazierStores

Why can’t I shake the suspicion that Rush Limbaugh’s sex life involves whips, midgets and hothouse grapes? #FlushRush #StopRush

Why watch THE PURGE when we can just watch #Blackfriday on the news? #FuckWalmart #BlackThursday #walmartstrikers

: "Why wouldn't our associates be excited to work knowing their lives will be in danger when those doors burst open?" #Blackfriday

Rush, as usual, has it ass backwards. It's not women who have rape fantasies, it's him. #RapeyRush #flushrush #RWNJs

High Noon: Emotionally stunted sheriff would rather kill other men on his wedding day than fuck his bride.

Mitt Romney: "Let's thank our retail executives for selflessly forgoing working on Thanksgiving & giving the honor to their lowly proxies."

Think HUNGER GAMES without your bifocals and inhaler. #PennyArcadeJobPostings

#CelebritiesIWantToSeeNaked Ann Coulter, so we can lay the speculation to rest once and for all.

Gearing up to watch #TheWalkingDead or, as the @RNC calls it, Get Out the Vote.

Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars and corporate executives are from that machine world in the Matrix.

The ultimate definition of a bailout. #corporatescum #p2 #p21 #LibCrib

Friday, November 29, 2013

Dawn of the Desperate

     Being a socially-, economically- and politically-conscious liberal gives one a certain amount of moral superiority and schadenfreude. At no time is this latitude more readily and freely granted than on Black Friday (now permanently known as Black Thursday).
     And maybe this was what the great George Romero had in mind 35 years ago when he directed the original Dawn of the Dead in 1978. It wasn't lost on film critics nor was it a mere thoughtless and random choice when Romero centered his movie around a mall. The sight of mindless zombies staggering around a mall with no purpose in mind other than finding some braaaiiiinnnssss was as much social satire as it was horror.
     Romero's idea, obviously, was to show that even when humans come back from the dead as zombies, their instincts and whatever stubborn memories remaining even after death and decomposition will inevitably bring them back to where they spent much of their actual lives.
     Indeed, what's the major difference between something like this...

     ...and something like this...


     ...or this...
     .....or this?

 
      Many more smiles for both shoppers and retailers.

     It's an irony that so many of us will willingly forgo spending time with loved ones on Thanksgiving waiting on lines for a week or more so we can get a few dollars off on a Christmas present for the very same people we'd abandoned a month earlier. This is the power of hype and the results are evident. Five years ago, to little fanfare, a Walmart worker was killed and a pregnant woman nearly trampled to death as they opened the doors on a Black Friday. Well, actually, they didn't have the chance to open the doors as 2000 shoppers literally burst in and tore the glass doors off their hinges. The store hired only two security guards and the only one who showed up watched in horror as the manager was safely hiding in a hotel. It incurred a $7000 fine that Walmart, to this very day, still hasn't paid. It's a wonder Walmart didn't issue a press release citing the death-by-asphyxiation of one of their own low-paid temp workers as a sign of consumer confidence rebounding.
     Because, to give you an idea of just how truly evil Walmart's executives are, they'd rather spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of five years or more on shysters to fight a $7000 OSHA fine, a sum of money Alice Walton probably has in the ashtray of her car. Because if they pay the fine for not adequately protecting one of their workers (he was actually a low-paid temp), why, word might spread that Walmart has to safeguard the lives of their workers and we can't have that, now can we?

     And just as Romero's 1978 movie makes a mockery of humans, specifically Americans and their post-mortem consumer instincts, so do we make a mockery of the Black Friday/Thursday protesters who are braving the elements and risking losing their jobs for doing what they think is right. 
     Sure, getting a bargain is a good thing, especially when money's tight.
     But not at the expense of our human dignity, human lives and in the name of "honoring" one holiday while forgoing another.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Misgivings

     Unfortunately, Squanto wasn't psychic. If he was, think of all the misery he could've saved his people.
     But he wasn't. The Indians around Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts took pity on the settlers from the Mayflower and essentially kept them alive. Over the next four centuries, we repaid them with venereal disease and small pox, massive land grabs, raids, fascist resident schools and shunting them to reservations.
     Because that's the way of the White Man and his Manifest Destiny.
     And we're still seeing the same spirit today in mostly white corporate executives who have nothing left to steal from Native Americans and have moved on to the rest of us. Now they're after our pensions, our health care, our very dignity and will to live and fight. A cabal of 150 corporate executives, one of them Obama's jobs czar Jeff Immelt, called "Fix the Debt" is now busting a nut trying to raise the retirement age to at least 70, get rid of overtime pay, grab what few pension funds there are, freeze the minimum wage and God knows what else. Many of these corporate scumbags already have retirement funds of $140,000,000 or more.
     Now, K-Mart, Walmart and, for the first time ever, Macy's is open today for business as well as hundreds if not thousands of retailers. K-Mart opened at 6 this morning and will be at it for 41 straight hours and who cares if their employees want to spend Thanksgiving with their families? According to the propaganda campaigns of these corporations, it'll be a "high energy day" for "associates" who just can't wait to forgo spending a major holiday with loved ones to wait on manic, murderous customers who would stick a shiv between their mother's ribs to get that extra 20% off on a plasma TV.
     You think a single retail executive in this country is working on Thanksgiving?
     And now, like the original colonists of 1620, many of us are fighting for bare survival. Only it seems there's no Squanto to save us from certain ruin. Our government quietly let the ARRA or Recovery Act lapse, leaving millions with less food assistance and no subsidization for their COBRA health coverage and millions will lose their unemployment benefits unless Congress acts because they simply don't give a shit about you. If you can't stuff millions in soft PAC money into their war chests, unless you can wine and dine them at the Four Seasons or the Pump Room or some other swanky restaurant, if you don't hold $10,000-a-plate fundraisers or foot the bill for golf junkets at St. Andrews, they want nothing to do with you. It is a government of the 1%, by the 1% and for the 1%.
     Like the executive scum who've sent the word down to the regional, district and store levels that if you don't work on Thanksgiving, you're fired.
     So, Squanto and his people are dead and gone and most of their descendants can't even help themselves let alone us, not that they'd want to. We have just each other, fellow human beings who are compassionate enough to look beyond our ken and to sympathize with the plight of others less fortunate than we. A certain Walmart store in Canton, Ohio proved that recently.
     And if you're lucky as I am to be spending a quiet, peaceful Thanksgiving with a loved one or loved ones, please give a silent prayer or gesture of thanks to the people who are braving termination, ridicule and the cold protesting the ongoing theft by the 1% of our most basic ways and means of survival. Because they don't care about you any more than do their temp workers in the federal government.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Caption Contest

     Sometimes, captions just write themselves. Doesn't stop me from trying, though. But this caption should warm the cockles of any liberal heart sick to death of seeing bilge pumped out annually by right wing nut bags who still get put on our nation's bookshelves. Plus, there's something stomach-churning about an increasingly dirty-minded, sex-obsessed pedophile like Rush Limbaugh writing a children's book. Maybe he should've entitled it, "How I Spent My Summer on Hispaniola" and Palin could've named her holiday book, "A Child's Christmas and Wails."
     So, shame me. Show me what you got and if I like it, I'll use my Paint program to put your caption in a future post.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Rage, Rage Against the Undying Right

     This is pretty much what I'm like when engaging right wing nut jobs on Twitter and elsewhere, minus the magnificent ponytail and ample cleavage. The hammer, I got, though, just in case pixels don't cut it.
     Anyway, we'd been here before in the summer of '08, when I was in the home stretch during the first draft of American Zen. Even though I'm just setting up the framework for a massive Assclowns of the Year retrospective that'll be out right after New Year's Day (I have about 30 spots that are still vacant, so I'm always looking for candidates), posting will be sporadic. To the hockey team's worth of faithful readers I've still got, I'm doing the last five or six chapters of Tatterdemalion and, hopefully, I'll get that first draft done by the end of the month, early December at the outset. So, here are some leftover brain droppings I've left on Twitter over the last week or so.

@UniteBlueTX @kharyp @MomsDemand Why is it that the people with the most guns are the most scared and the most paranoid?

@5amWriterMan You must be so proud to live in Toronto, home of the Marion Berry of Canada.

With the way the House GOP conducts itself with this spousal abuse-style of legislation, suits and ties should replaced with wife beaters.

Drug causes flesh-eating bacteria, drug maker plans to rebrand Krokodil as a weight loss supplement.

OneOfMyFavoriteMoviesIs THE NAME OF THE ROSE, because it gives me insight into the modern evangelical mind. RWNJs CINOS p2 p21 tlot

Hurricane Haiyan was kinder to woman and children than George Zimmerman.

Well, at least this time there won't be a language barrier when the US invades and occupies Australia.

I'm not surprised that Katherine Harris' husband committed suicide. What surprises me was his procrastination. p2

NSA engaged in illegal mass-spying on Norway's phone system /Well, thank God they got Anders Brievek in time, huh?

Every Sunday night, I suspect tcot and teabaggers hire themselves out as extras for The Walking Dead.

Wow. Bitch Along With Mitch thinks the GOP will have "a great election in 2014." Spoken by someone losing his own re-election bid. RWNJs

I'm starting to think @WalmartNewsroom's Twitter feed is being run by Josef Goebbels or Winston Smith at MiniTru. FuckWalmart p2 p21

Maybe Brownback should've called the privatization of Medicaid Kan'tCare. RWNJs p2 p21 tlot tcot LibCrib

@mch7576 If I was in charge of categorizing the Bible for CostCo, I'd label it as True Crime. atheists FucktheBible

@todayin1963 Doctors have pronounced President John F. Kennedy dead at Parkland Hospital/Republicans blame glitch on ObamaCare website. p2

@realDonaldTrump Did you know when you say the word "fired", you mouth looks exactly like a 55 year-old Dutch whore's vagina?

@citizenannoyed Every time I see signs imploring me to get a flu shot, the 1st thing I think is, "Someone wants to improve their stock portfolio."

@David_Tennant Dr. Who debuted exactly 24 hours after Kennedy died? Man, what a bad lead-in.

Douchebag John Stossel lambastes the poor for taking $ under false pretenses as he takes $ under false pretenses. p2

I guess the only way the MSM would pay attention to cokehead Trey Radel is if he'd snorted it off Anthony Weiner's penis. #p2 #FucktheMSM

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers

     This past week, Walmart was the recipient of some unwelcome publicity in advance of Black Friday Thursday when an associate at the Canton, Ohio store sent a picture to OUR Walmart. It was of a series of bins asking associates to donate food items so their neediest workers can have a good Thanksgiving dinner. This sparked national outrage and even brought ABC News and actor Ashton Kutcher and his 15,000,000+ Twitter followers into the fray, sparking a flame war that lasted days. But the employee food drive to keep Walmart associates from going hungry on a Thanksgiving they're likely to have to work, anyway, is just the first sign that all is not well at the world's largest private employer. What are they?

  • 10) Covina, CA store set up empty gallon-sized pretzel jar for associates to chip in to Mexican Official Bribery Fund.
  • 9) In Mesa, AZ, an extra .50¢ an hour combat hazard pay offered for human countermeasure volunteers to stand at entrances at the 6 PM Thanksgiving opening so management doesn't get stampeded.
  • 8) .25¢ an hour deducted from Irving, Texas associates' wages to pay for Ted Nugent's appearance at next year's annual shareholder's meeting.
  • 7) Marlborough, MA Employee Motivational Program consisting of nothing more than sign at entrance that reads, "Work Will Set You Free!"
  • 6) Anchorage, AK store Employee of the Month gets best parking space for snow blower after being made to clear entire parking lot.
  • 5) Issuing pamphlets at Ames, Iowa store entitled, "So, You'd Rather Have a Child and Lose Your Job?"
  • 4) Hempstead, NY associates tricked on to bus ostensibly to take them to store Xmas Party actually sent to work in NYC's sex trade for a year.
  • 3) Striking employees threatened with transfer to its own Bangladeshi sweat shops.
  • 2) Bismark, ND blood drive mobile stationed outside asking for donations so Board members' grandchildren can use real blood on Halloween.
  • 1) Canton, OH Walmart employees paid so little, bins are getting donations from the Republic of Biafra and Ethiopia.
  • Friday, November 22, 2013

    The 50 Year Itch

         As the old saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
         A half century ago today, John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Along with September 11th 2001, it was one of those rare world-changing events in which the inevitable question was asked: "Where were you and what were you doing at that moment?" It's the kind of question to which everyone could respond.
         On November 22nd 1963, my family and I were stationed in West Germany. I was four, going on five, and have no memory of that day or its aftermath. Yet my parents would tell me years later that the natives would stop us with tears in their eyes, JFK's "Ich bin ein Berliner" speech from that June still fresh in their minds, and express their condolences. My father told me the Air Force base at which he was stationed was, understandably, put on high alert. We weren't that far from communist East Germany and the location of Checkpoint Charlie and paranoia was rampant that the Commies would try to exploit this tragedy.
         It's difficult for even me to imagine what a vastly different world 1963 was from 2013. Yet, in a way, little had changed since Abraham Lincoln's own murder on April 14, 1865. Without belaboring the well-worn similarities between the two assassinations, it's enough to start out by saying that, long before their unofficial sainthood, both presidents were deeply unpopular in the south and their administrations had been embattled from the start.
         Yet, as unpopular as both presidents were in certain circles, when they were slain, the nation went into a deep, profound shock. Lincoln was the first president ever assassinated and Kennedy the first in 62 years. In 1865, even the newly-readmitted south that had vilified Lincoln was stunned and his assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was the most hunted and hated man in America. This reportedly had stunned Booth while he was on the run. He thought the remnants of the Confederacy would hail him as a hero. He was wrong.
         In the movie Unforgiven, the late Richard Harris as "English Bob" is talking about the assassination of President James Garfield. He says,
    English Bob: Well, there's a dignity in royalty. A majesty that precludes the likelihood of assassination. If you were to point a pistol at a king or a queen your hands would shake as though palsied.
    Barber: Oh, I wouldn't point no pistol at nobody, sir.
    English Bob: Well, that's a wise policy, a wise policy. But if you did. I can assure you, if you did, that the sight of royalty would cause you to dismiss all thoughts of bloodshed and you would stand... how shall I put it? In awe. Now, a president... well I mean... [chuckles] why not shoot a president?
         Booth himself is unforgiven to this day and, if you persist in believing Oswald shot Kennedy, then he is, too. Because there are certain things that just aren't done. However much one may detest a president and his policies, depriving us of our leader for even a second endangers national security. It hurts the country and is an unforgivable affront to the dignity of the office of the presidency of the United States of America.
         Yet, despite the impressive slate of progressive civil rights legislation in Kennedy's and Johnson's administrations, we seem to have taken a 360 to where we were prior to Kennedy's election. Not too long ago, Rand Paul wanted to abolish parts if not all the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and several redneck Republicans had been trying to overturn the Voting Rights Act of 1965 before the Supreme Court essentially gutted it earlier this year by invalidating Section 5 as no longer germane.
         And we're seeing a level of hatred aimed at our President from the right wing, every single bit of it misinformed and obviously based on nothing but racism, that makes the most embattled Clinton years look like a never-ending honeymoon by comparison. And I think, considering the level of hatred aimed at President Obama since he'd first thrown his hat in the center ring in 2007, that if someone were to do the unthinkable, he'd still be vilified. But it wouldn't be universal as it had been after Lincoln and Kennedy.
         Because there really are certain factions, most of them in the south and the Midwest where Obama is most unpopular, that would love nothing more than to return "their" country back to the antebellum days when slavery was still legal and no one but white, male WASPs had any civil rights.
         What were once sacred cows (Social Security, Medicare, the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts) are now not only under serious fire but one signature piece of legislation has already been essentially neutered thanks to a deeply partisan and clueless Supreme Court, the most radical in American history. And Obama himself, acting in concert with Republicans, had already weakened Social Security by lowering the tax rate by 2% and is willing to cut benefits to appease the very same people who are calling him a Socialist.
         50 years ago today, the nation was in deep mourning and if anyone had the nerve to celebrate Kennedy's death, it's been justifiably lost to posterity.
         And if some Tea Partyer were to commit the unthinkable, I honestly do not see the nation being united in its grief as it had been as recently as 9/11. Aurora and Sandy Hook had proven that much.

    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    Senator Strangelove Finally Does It

         I can only hope that Majority Leader Reid considered that one day, when the Democrats are the minority party in the upper chamber, they, too, will need the filibuster for judicial appointees in case a Republican President wants to appoint Orly Taitz or Robert Bork's rotting corpse to a federal bench.
         But a couple of hours ago, after a false start last July 16th, Harry Reid used the long-threatened but never-used nuclear option and blew up the filibuster for presidential judicial nominees (save for the Supreme Court). The measure passed along razor-sharp party lines, 52-48. Typically, this has resulted in the usual childish whining from the same right wing nut bags who've blocked nearly seven dozen nominees during Barack Obama's presidency. One of them resulted in the ultimate blowback: Instead of simply letting Elizabeth Warren become head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, they blocked her and now she's my senior senator, giving Wall Street and "regulators" dry heaves at the thought of testifying before her.
         But the numbers above are clear: Nearly half of all filibustered presidential nominees have come during the 58 months of the Obama administration alone. That comes out to nearly one and a half for every month Mr. Obama has been president. You'd have to be a mathematical Ray Charles to not see the obvious, racist trend and the sheer, unbridled immaturity on the part of the GOP.
         What the Republican Party has yet to understand is that the filibuster is like a gun: It can be a useful instrument in the hands of the right person. But if used too much and too recklessly, you can and will have much of your ammo taken away from you.

    Wednesday, November 20, 2013

    Even the Workhouses Temp Out

         
         (Ed: Some comments are too good or revealing to bury in the comment section where a handful of people at most will see it. Some deserve a wider arena. This was a comment I just posted in response to a post at D r i f t g l a s s's site.)

         As an unflinching liberal, it's incumbent on me to tell others and myself, "You need to read this article." But since it could've been written by me, someone also in his 50's and unemployed for upwards of five years, it's heartbreaking and incredibly discouraging to read this, especially as I don't have DG's professional pedigree or an MIT education.
         Two weeks ago tomorrow, I sat at my last interview at a place to which I've applied three or four times since 2009. It's a couple of miles from my house, I have extensive experience in manufacturing. They said it would take them a week to make up their minds. Only five guys responded to their ad and one other consented to an interview. So I got rejected once again only this time I was competing with a very, very short list. And I did everything right, all the way down to the resume they've already seen three times and the nice shirt and tie.
         What Drifty could've also said is that companies have two great options: They can either outsource the labor overseas or to right to work states or, if they need homegrown help, they can always hire temps. The temp agency mill is one of the slimiest rackets this side of bestiality porn and payday lenders. More often than not, they lead you on with promises of regular employment, temp to perm, blah blah blah. But there's a catch: Right around the time of 9/11, their clients insisted on getting involved in the vetting process without actually taking the risk of doing any of the hiring.
         Now, they have the leisure to look at resumes sent to them by temp agencies and saying, "No" to virtually all of them. Prior to 9/11, there were no interviews. You applied to a temp agency and with a bit of luck you'd get sent straight to the job site. No more. Now their clients get first refusal rights on interviews.
         The place to which I'd applied 13 days ago is one of the very few factories in MA that doesn't temp out.
         And DG's right: Being unemployed longterm makes you unfit for work. That big, 50+ month-long gap at the end of your resume is in itself a reason for them not to hire you, by their reasoning. And it's real easy, if you're a gainfully-employed hiring manager with an actual career, to look a such gaps as evidence of laziness, unhirability or moral turpitude. And, as Ms. Barrington-Ward points out, if those barriers don't trip you up, a credit check will after years of unemployment has sledgehammered your credit rating.
         I never had the slightest confidence that Obama would lead us out of this unemployment mess and I can say with some bitter satisfaction I was right. Mrs. JP and I don't know what will happen to us after the holidays, especially in light of the fact blog readership, hence donations, are drastically down and since we just lost our biggest benefactor.
         Meanwhile, unemployment is a reason to not hire. Some asshole state rep in Hawaii is smashing the property of the homeless with a sledgehammer and many major cities have actually made feeding the homeless a criminal offense.
         What we're seeing is a carefully, if loosely, coordinated attempt at economic genocide if not outright genocide. We have criminalized indigence, we have criminalized charity and altruism itself yet put the jiggling pusses of robber barons like Lloyd Blankfein on the cover of Forbes as a "captain of industry." These are now our values.
         Btw, drifty, unless your commenter above has a sick sense of humor, I think one of your readers is about to commit suicide.

    We Have Met the Tea Party and It Is Us.

    (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
    "People call me a socialist sometimes, but you’ve got to meet real socialists, and you’ll have a sense of what a socialist is. I’m talking about lowering the corporate tax rates. My healthcare reform is based on the private marketplace. Stock market is looking pretty good last time I checked... My simple point is this. If we can get beyond the tactical advantages that parties perceive in painting folks as extreme and trying to keep an eye always on the next election, and for a while at least just focus on governing then there is probably seventy percent overlap on a whole range of issues." - Barack Obama, November 19, 2013
     
         Yesterday, at the annual Wall Street Journal CEO Council meeting, Barack Obama showed just what a master of deception he's been since he was a Senator by coming clean with the well-heeled. In his 46 minute-long speech, he essentially, as Jason Easley points out, "shreds Republicans" for calling him a Socialist. But, while I've admired my colleague Mr. Easley for years, as with virtually all liberals on "the professional left", he completely misses the point. And he begins doing this by failing to note that Obama has done far, far more for the 1% than he has for the bottom 99%.
         Basically, what Obama had said was, "Hey, guys, I'm one of you! Look at all I've done for you and this is how you pay me back?" No doubt, the upholstered cellulite in attendance walked away at the end of the President's 46 minute-long speech still clinging to their beliefs that Mr. Obama is still redder than Karl Marx's asshole.
         But Easley falls into the same trap as even more misinformed people who are cheering this man on as if he was the greatest thing to come out of Hawaii since Don Ho. Spend just five minutes on Twitter or Facebook and you'll be inundated with all sorts of clever little memes such as this one:

         Yes, very clever, OccupyDemocrats.com. Give yourselves a cookie or a high energy bar if you can still buy one with your EBT card.
         Because Obama could've stretched his 46 minute-long speech into an hour and a half detailing what else he's done for Wall Street, like packing the Treasury and Commerce Departments with many of the Goldman Sachs and other bankster and lobbyist scumbags that made the 2008 bailout "necessary" according to Wall Street and its lobbyists, jittery economists and panicked Democrats whose re-election chances depended heavily on keeping the money spigots flowing. Section 6 of the TARP bailout stipulates that a future Treasury Secretary is authorized to buy up to another $700,000,000,000 in corporate debt should the need arise again.
         And, knowing those charmingly incorrigible Wall Street types that Obama addressed yesterday afternoon, the need will arise again.
         The president then could've stretched his speech further by detailing all the things he has not done for Main Street. While the TARP bailout's Section 6 essentially immunizes Wall Street banks and other white shoe firms from comeuppance for their misdeeds, this past November 1st, both the executive and legislative branches allowed the 2009 ARRA (or Recovery Act) expire with nary a word from either branch. This triggered $5,000,000,000 in cuts to the food stamp, or SNAP, program. 
         While this was screamed about by a few liberals, what was completely lost on the professional left was the other losses that were automatically triggered when ARRA died a quiet, ignominious death. ARRA also subsidized up to two thirds of COBRA payments that newly-unemployed people would have had to ordinarily pay with no income. And anyone who's ever been forced into a COBRA plan on losing their job knows just how outrageous the rates are. They might as well be handed a real cobra by HR directors during their exit interviews that would at least get the farce over with. This is an irony that's consistently and invariably missed, that this so-called oversight is coming from a man being lauded to the heavens for a vastly imperfect health care bill that, as he reminds us, is based on the free market and not human need and economy.
         Obama could've continued by reminding the well-heeled and gentry that always seems to land on the necks of the poor and middle class that his so-called jobs czar, Jeffrey Immelt, is also the CEO of GE, a company that has outsourced so many American jobs overseas and to "right to work" states it would make Mitt Romney's Bain capital dollar-green with envy. Or that, Jamie Dimon, the Chairman of the criminal syndicate JP Morgan that launders drug money and steals homes, an organized crime entity guilty of such outrageous crimes that even a wet-legged milksop like Eric Holder had to go after them and fine them $13 billion, regularly sits in on Cabinet meetings with President Marx. Or that these same corporations have benefited not from Obama's lowered corporate tax rate but have paid no taxes at all since anyone can remember.
         Yes, he's done wonders for Wall Street, sure. And, yes, it's the height of absurdity to try to claim that the black Gordon Gecko is a Socialist and incredibly ignorant that the Tea Party holds up signs that say, "Get your gubmint hands off our Medicare!" Absolutely, Mr, Easley, no doubt about it. And, sure it's sheer chutzpah for the GOP that wanted to impeach him for a Dow Jones Average that was under 8000 on inauguration day still wants to impeach him even though the Dow has literally doubled under his administration.
         Too many people are harping on these facts while ignoring that unemployment is still way too high for a nation whose financial nerve center is still so prosperous. Too many people are cheering on the president and the unprecedented fortunes of the rich and not enough are listening to my senior senator Elizabeth Warren when she reminds us that the "Too Big to Fail" banks on Wall Street are now 30% bigger than they were before TARP or how a greater percentage of the nation's wealth is concentrated in the hands of these banks. Not too many liberals want to be reminded by Warren that if the minimum wage kept pace with production over the last three decades, it would be $22 per hour. Bernie Sanders' jeremiads against the 1% are little more than political entertainment for most people and Alan Grayson's snide comments in the well of the House a financial wonk's standup routine.
         Instead, the president is busting a nut to make sure that not only do these banks not get prosecuted for inspiring the global financial meltdown of five years ago, they continue going unpunished. And Obama is timidly proposing raising the minimum wage to a mere $9 an hour (which made even Forbes, Forbes, for fuck's sake, the happy, shiny twin of the Wall Street Journal, ask aloud, "Why is President Obama So Stingy?"), which is still below the poverty line even at 40 hours a week, which no one gets a chance to work, anymore.
         Liberals are also blithely unaware or stubbornly insensible to the fact that unemployment still remains deceptively high (when one factors in the long-term unemployed who have stopped looking for work and the underemployed, that stubborn 7.3% unemployment figure (.pdf file) jumps to 17% or more). It also ought to be noted by liberals who pride themselves on their financial wonkiness that, according to the BLS, "(t)he civilian labor force was down by 720,000 in October."
         That's largely thanks to the captains of industry that Obama addressed yesterday who are keeping a keen eye on third world countries whose inhabitants would love to have those US jobs and would, and do, toil at them for pennies on the dollar. Yet, all Obama has done is cluck his tongue from time to time during this outsourcing orgy that make the national work force hemorrhage jobs by the millions each year while still collecting massive tax breaks while shipping our job overseas by the millions (something else Obama clucks his tongue about but not as often).
         And I'm only talking about the economy. I haven't mentioned drone strikes or the NSA basically spying on the entire planet earth without its permission and costing us our credibility. I also haven't mentioned the Transpacific "Partnership" that Obama's been working on almost from Day One which would essentially hand over our human rights to the grasping hands of corporations and would be more ruinous than a dozen NAFTAs or CAFTAs.
         Bottom line: We have become the Tea Party. We have been duped into cheering on the continued and record-setting fortunes of Wall Street just as we cheered on two years ago the long-dead Occupy movement that had ineffectively protested corporate greed that's being enabled more effectively by Obama than Bush ever had. The difference is the ignoramuses of the Tea Party can claim they were blinded by Koch Brothers money and propaganda. We cannot.
         So, when will it be time for liberals to wake up and begin wondering why over 11,000,000 of their fellow Americans are still unemployed, why we're still losing over 700,000 private sector jobs a month for months running, why people on SNAP have to make do with five billion dollars less, why people on COBRA are now forced to drop their obscenely expensive health coverage before Obamacare kicks in on New Year's Day, why he still thinks raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $9 after all these years is a wonderful compromise despite it not coming close to keeping pace with the consumer price index since the minimum wage was last raised in 2007, why he froze pay for federal workers for two years solid, why he was the one who actually proposed cuts to Social Security and Medicare for absolutely no reason and why student loans doubled to nearly 7%. It's not as if any of these facts are ill-informed opinions. Obama came right out and said it yesterday: "I'm on your side and your side will win before theirs, any day."
         These are questions few on the professional left ask and that fewer can honestly and unflinchingly answer.

    Monday, November 18, 2013

    Welcome to Wally World

         ...where no sacrifice by the 99% is too great.
         And, yeah, the thing about the Canton, Ohio store is for real, according to ABC News. They've actually been doing this for several years running and their spokesperson says the associates are "offended" at news reports of the proletariat having to help each other while the company that rakes in $33 billion a year in profits idly stands by.
         I'd be offended, too, if I had to admit my employer, the world's largest retailer, pays it workers so little that their other low-paid workers have to chip in to make sure my coworkers got a decent fucking dinner on a holiday they're likely going to have to work, anyway.
         Fuck Walmart. Fuck them until they bleed and sob for mercy like a prison shower bitch. Avoid them like the plague on Black Thursday and Friday.
         And fuck their spokesperson and Walmart's other corporate cunts for trying to turn this into a heart-warming human interest story on the holidays.

    Thursday, November 14, 2013

    Thought Salad

         I have maybe six chapters and the epilogue to write for my massive epic, Tatterdemalion, so I'm going to be sprinting to the finish from here on out. That's not to say I don't take the time to go on Twitter every so often to bemuse my nearly 1100 followers. So here are some leftover thoughts from the last week. Let it not be said I don't recycle.

    To the person who's, without exception, blown their nose in every restaurant I've ever eaten in since the 60's, why haven't you died, yet?

    I'm curious: Since resigning as the Governor, has Sarah Palin ever gone back to Alaska without the intention of murdering something?

    I'm not surprised Christians squabble with eachother over the meaning of Christianity. The Bible's view ranges from Altruistic to sadistic.

    When exactly was it the GOP went from being the party of small gov't to the party of no gov't? My guess is January 20, 2009.

    Being a liberal and setting up a politically-themed TL on Twitter requires a certain amount of unhealthy masochism or inverted sadism.

    What'll I be grateful for on Thanksgiving? That every day for the rest of my life, I will wake up & know I will never be Brad Thor.

    I think we can safely propose the fallout from Fukishima is so bad, Geiger counters ought to be mandatory at Fisherman's Wharf in SF.

    On this date in 1742, Augustus Washington told his son George, "In America, anyone can become president." George: "What's a president?"

    Paying HMOs is like playing a one-armed bandit. You put $ in & with luck you'll get a small payout. You're paying them for being healthy.

    @RickStrandlof You just KNOW Nicki Minaj will be seen on the MiB HQ Jumbotron in Men in Black IV, right?

    When it was that Michele Bachmann's, Louis Gohmert's & Ted Cruz's brains took out restraining orders on them?

    Dominoes, n. pl.- A pointless waste of time and amateur engineering in which the purpose & appeal is not the creation but the destruction.

    I feel sorry for Richard Cohen's right hand.

    In 2011, it was Black Friday. Last year, it was Black Thurday. This year, it's Black Thursday morning. Next year, it'll be Black Big Bang.

    What I can't fathom was why liberals were up in arms over the '05 expose of the Bush wiretaps but not over Obama's NSA scandal.

    Yes, Twitter, please give me more recommendations to follow people who tweet exclusively in Chinese or Arabic.

    After last night's Bar Rescue, I now fully understand why the South will never rise again.

    And yet, despite the toothy backstroke on Phil Griffin's cock, Chuck Todd still has a job with NBC. Go figure.

    I've concluded at least a quarter of the US wants to go back to the 19th century because they keep voting in Republicans.

    We used to have places for people like Raphael Cruz: Bridgwater, Bedlam, Belleview...

    The Republican Health Care Plan: Get on friendly terms with morticians.

    Republicans carping about the slow ACA website are like arsonists who complain about the smoke their fires created.

    God does a face palm on realizing He created silicon so we could take pictures of ourselves in the shitter. Fade to black.

    To Sir, With Hate. #ChrisChristieBooks

    Tuesday, November 12, 2013

    As Opposed to Female Semen?

         This bloated moron doesn't even know what a tautology is.
         OK, here are some examples of single mothers who are "semen receptacles":
         Widows of soldiers, marines and sailors who died fighting for their country in needless wars started by the same politicians Limbaugh champions.
         Widows of police officers and firefighters who died in the line of duty.
         Widows whose husbands were suddenly killed or died from illness.
         Women who were impregnated then given a Fare Thee Well by shiftless scumbags who didn't want the responsibility.
         Women who were "legitimately" raped then went full term.
         Women like Mark Sanford's wife whose husbands divorced them because they took off with younger women.
         Women leaving abusive husbands/boyfriends.
         Of course, it would be the height of delusion to assume for a minute Rush would have any sympathy for these mothers who were made single through no choice of their own. And it's not surprising to hear Rush's repugnance of women, since we now all know he prefers little girls in the Dominican.
         Clear Channel will shitcan him at the end of the year along with his lesbian buddy Hannity. And when he falls, the fire ants will get him. Let us pay no more attention to this bloated, pill-popping, child molesting, right wing misogynist.

    Monday, November 11, 2013

    CBS: Cronkite's Bastard Sons

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

         What we ought to be talking about is not what a bad two weeks President Obama and the ACA just endured but what a bad fortnight CBS had had.
         Within a week, CBS issued two reports that, in a sane universe, should've completely erased any middling credibility they'd earned by finally getting rid of eye candy Katie Couric and installing Scott Pelley in the Evening News chair. Let's start with the recently-revived Benghazi "scandal" on 60 Minutes.
         David Rhodes, a former Fox "News" operative, was made President of CBS News nearly three years ago despite being at the helm at Fox during some of their most notorious hoaxes. And it goes without saying that, as head honcho of CBS News, he'd personally signed off on this thinly-disguised hit job. As Newscorpse points out:
    What this tells us is that Rhodes was a top executive at Fox News during the hotly contested 2000 presidential election where Fox mistakenly called the state of Florida (and thus the nation) for George W. Bush. He was there when Fox News was cheerleading for the U.S. to invade Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, and did not pose any threat to America. He was there when Fox was defending Bush’s disastrous response to Hurricane Katrina. He was there during the economic meltdown of 2008 to make sure that it was blamed on poor people buying homes and the Democrats in Congress. He was there when Fox was hyping electoral attacks against candidate Obama that included maligning ACORN, advancing associations with Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Bill Ayers, and of course, the everlasting nonsense of birtherism.
    In short, Rhodes was one of the principal architects of the Fox News slant toward far-right extremism and brazen conservative partisanship.
         In other words, Rhodes had been there from the beginning and was therefore front and center for much of the Obama administration and Fox "News'" countless lies about the President and virtually everyone who's ever worked in his administration. So it doesn't strike me as surprising that, with a former Fox operative pulling the levers behind the curtain, Rhodes' former employers would cheer 60 Minutes' report hoax then remain silent when CBS would, after defending the segment, then admit they'd been Curveballed.
         At first, CBS, in their arrogant defense of one of the worst and sloppiest pieces of journalism in this or any decade, allowed a tiny mea culpa by admitting that, "Well, yes, maybe we could've disclosed that our main witness has a pending book deal with Threshold, a right wing Simon and Schuster imprint that we just happen to own and could, coincidentally benefit by pimping Morgan Jones' upcoming book."
         (Sidebar: About the only sign we've gotten so far of any comeuppance for all concerned parties is the news that the CBS-owned Threshold Editions pulled the book from their catalog.)
         In CBS's ersatz apology last night, Lara Logan couldn't help but get in one more lie about Dylan Davies when she claimed (emphasis mine),
    After our report aired, questions arose about whether his account was true when an incident report surfaced. It told a different story about what he did the night of the attack. Davies denied having anything to do with that incident report and insisted that the story he told us was not only accurate it was the same story that he told the FBI when they interviewed him.
         That's simply not true, as Lee Stranahan points out. As we all now know, Dylan "Morgan Jones" Davies struck while the iron was hot, punked a right wing sewer and CBS News and nearly pulled it off until revealed as a fraud by, as usual, citizen journalists.
         CBS has also done more than its fair share of trashing Obamacare by allowing Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats to spout their own conspiracy theories and lies about the ACA without any challenges or fact-checking whatsoever. The network rolled out Jan Crawford and Dianne Barrette as proof that Obamacare is the worst bit of legislation to come out ever. The problem with that segment is, while it wasn't entirely made up of falsehoods, it certainly played fast and loose with the truth. In fact, days after the segment aired, Jonathan Cohn showed her a few alternate plans CBS never bothered to find for her in their plainly partisan report and Barrette later told Cohn Obamacare "was a blessing in disguise."
         More officially, last month Fox's Greta Van Susteren, of all people, showed up CBS and embarrassed Jan Crawford by revealing a misconception about her Obamacare horror story. And when one of Fox's most viciously partisan hacks has to correct CBS on their facts, you know it's a sad day for American journalism.
         So, what we've seen over the last couple of weeks, CBS used either fraudulent or clueless witnesses to advance an undeclared political agenda, refused to disclose their own president of news was a former Fox partisan who'd been with Roger Ailes from the start and owns a right wing publishing imprint who was about to publish a "tell-all" book by the very guy they'd interviewed.
         It would be extremely interesting to hear what Walter Cronkite, "America's Most Trusted Man", would've said about the dishonest, partisan and misleading right wing shenanigans of his former employer. And while CBS ought to have scorn and jeers heaped on its arrogant head from now until Doomsday, one has to wonder why Fox "News", which cheered the Benghazi report from the rafters, is held to a much lower standard and suffered not one tenth of the fallout to which they should've been subjected after the countless lies they've told over the last 17 years about the Clinton and Obama administrations and the water-carrying they did for eight years during Bush.
         One also must wonder why CBS is also seemingly immune. They feel the tremors from the blowup and have adjusted accordingly but thus far have not suffered the damage they had after the infamous 2004 National Guard report that saw the firing of four producers, the ouster of their anchor Dan Rather and the immediate cancellation of 60 Minutes II.
         Despite getting that story right, in which right wing citizen journalists were carping about fonts in Bush's National Guard records, a huge part of CBS' earth was salted in a way we cannot reasonably expect to see in light of their shamelessly bad reportage on Benghazi and the new health care law.

    Before...

         ...and after...
         By now, I'm sure you all have heard about the horrific devastation that had struck the Philippines when Hurricane Haiyan, or Typhoon Yolanda as it was known to the natives, made landfall. Haiyan packed winds of 200 mph and gusts up to 235 mph, with Tacloban City, shown above, in the epicenter. On top of high winds and tsunami-like waves reaching 20 feet high, those in Tacloban City couldn't have possibly have prepared themselves for what's been called the most powerful storm on record. I've read heartbreaking accounts of 30 members of one family gone missing and people robbing the dead of food and actually stepping on corpses to that end. Looting is rampant and, typically, the Philippine government, instead of concentrating solely on relief, rescue and recovery efforts, is considering declaring Martial Law to stop looting. It's been estimated 10,000 have died in Tacloban City alone and the death toll is expected to rise by as much as another 5,000.
         I'm not going to editorialize and blame global warming for this (although it's obvious burning fossil fuels is to blame) or to rehash Hurricane Katrina from eight years ago by citing parallels (although I've found all too many). In the wake of a tragedy such as this, human nature is the same all over and those poor people on the island of Cebu are forced to do things they never dreamed of doing as had the people of the 9th ward in New Orleans. And, sadly, government response is also the same the world over.
         I've seen pictures of Filipino children walking along dirt roads, paying no heed to the bodies that are stacked up like cord wood because, after just three days in, the sight of rotting corpses is already so common. Old people lie dead and decaying on concrete steps while the living pass by them in the constant search for food and potable water. The Filipino authorities have said that, even though Tacloban City had a population of just 220,000, up to 4.3 million Filipinos out of the island nation of 96 million have been directly or indirectly affected. The British government has pledged 6 million pounds and our own government has deployed 90 Marines and sailors to the Philippines, a woefully pitiful number, in my opinion.
         To help simplify things, Paypal has set up a special link on its site where you can donate to any number of charities involved in the relief effort to help the people of the Philippines (if it doesn't appear, keep refreshing the page). I'd sent the American Red Cross a small donation and I would please ask you to consider doing the same. Because, as Katrina and Irene and so many other super storms have proven of late, next year it could be our turn. What happened on Cebu over the weekend wasn't just a Filipino national tragedy, it's a global human tragedy. So please help them if you can.

    Friday, November 8, 2013

    Define Expulsion

         First off, I'm not going to cite specifics such as names of individuals or schools because of the possibility of future Civil Rights litigation.
         Secondly, having said that, let me start by saying that my youngest son got expelled from his high school yesterday. If you know anything at all about my two younger sons, you'll know they're both biracial. And they both look it.
         It started when my son called me late this morning in a state of high excitement, announcing he'd been expelled. After an anxious serious of phone calls, I finally got his side of the story and, according to him, here's what happened:
         A short time ago, my son walked past a teacher while he was wearing a ball cap. Apparently, this is a violation of a capriciously and unevenly enforced dress code. She tried to get his attention twice and, because he was listening to music on his iPod, he didn't hear her. She followed him and finally got his attention. My son apologized for not taking his hat off but did not apologize for not hearing her. At no time, when he walked back and spoke to her did she back up or show the slightest sign of fear for her safety. This is very important to remember.
         Then just yesterday, my son was accused by a school administrator of being inebriated. The alcohol the official had smelled on my son was alcohol-based hand sanitizer and my son said he'd used it no less than three times that day. Undeterred, the administrator made him breathe into his face and the older man insisted my son had alcohol on his breath. He then told my son that "one way or the other, (he was) going to take a breathalyzer test." Eventually, law enforcement got involved and the city police then transported my boy to the police station where he'd aced not one but two breathalyzer tests.
         Prior to this non-incident, he'd been suspended for three days for "inappropriate behavior" and dropping grades. While it's true my son's grades have dropped, it was because of working up to 56 hours a week at his night job and not having the time or energy to do his homework and studying.
         After the non-incident involving the non-existent alcohol, his suspension was bumped up to outright expulsion. Starting Tuesday, he's going back to a smaller, satellite school still under the auspices of the main school in question, but this is partly devoted to kids with special needs. My son had gone to this school with smaller class sizes until he was deemed ready for the larger school.
         Knowing that his legal guardian, his late mother's sister, couldn't leave work or take phone calls until after 5, it fell to me to go directly to the school and talk to the administrator. I began getting pushback immediately. First, the principal was at a meeting, then they couldn't divulge to me what had happened without consent from my son. Then, once they got it, they told me I'd have to come back at 1:30 so I could meet with the principal himself.
         According to my son, one of the reasons for his expulsion was because the teacher who'd chased him over his ballcap said after the incident she felt as if she was in fear of her life. My son took none of her classes and she didn't know him at all.
         So I sat down with the head principal and he began a lengthy monologue dedicated to the insistence that my son was completely at fault for "inappropriate behavior" (which in this case, means showing negative emotion after being singled out and accused of destructive behaviors for which it'd been proved he was not guilty). And, according to the principal, he wasn't expelled at all but "transferred."
         Again, I need to reiterate that his "transfer" was the unnatural progression of what had started out as a three day suspension after being falsely accused of drinking at school. I saw a bottle of the hand sanitizer they use: It's 63% alcohol. I do not fault the administrator for smelling it. I fault him for insisting my son had it on his breath when he did not and chose to get law enforcement involved.
         The principal justified getting the constabulary involved by taking him out of school, stuffing him in the back of a cruiser and then being coerced into taking a breathalyzer test in violation of his 4th amendment rights because of his "confrontational attitude." I asked the principal, "Wouldn't you, too, be visibly upset at being accused of doing something you know you didn't do?"
         Perhaps I'm springing from a position of complete ignorance but I'm pretty sure than many of the almost completely white faculty and student body use the same hand sanitizer and are not accused of drinking liquor, which is an entirely different smell.
         Of course, the principal insisted that racial profiling was not at all a factor, despite the fact the teacher who retroactively was in fear for her life was a short, white woman and my son an obviously biracial, tall teenage male. I tried to impress upon the principal that, despite whatever semantics he uses or however much he may try to lay the blame for this expulsion, excuse me, "transfer" on my son, the optics look bad. "Perception is 90% of what we go on," I told him.
         The principal, himself a biracial man, intimated that he himself had been subject to racial profiling. I responded to that by informing him that he was a pillar of the community, an all-powerful authority figure and the principal of a large, suburban high school. He has options and latitudes in how he chooses to deal with racial profiling or prejudice. My son, being a largely powerless black teen, who looks much more black than his principal, doesn't have those options at his disposal. Sometimes, lashing out and showing anger is the only way we have to fight against that. The school, I said, has to make allowances for human emotion and we cannot expect children 13-19 years-old to act like mature, pragmatic, middle-aged adults.
         Perhaps I should've mentioned this to him but it seems to me the murder of Danvers math teacher Colleen Ritzer at the hands of Philip Chism may have indirectly played a part in this. Chism is a hulking, six foot-tall biracial boy who allegedly murdered this teacher in a bathroom and was somehow able to carry her bloody body through the school and dump her in the woods undetected. This happened right before Game One of the World Series, so it's still fresh in the minds of many, especially those in the relatively small educational community of Massachusetts.
         And I don't think it's too far from the realm of possibility that not only was racial profiling a motive in my son's expulsion but so was the reactionary outcome with this murder barely in litigation. We all know racial profiling exists everywhere. It happens in the street, in the schools, in the workplace, in stores (such as Barney's), everywhere. But we're informed, and in many cases, misinformed to spring into action when faced with false equivalences. A biracial male student murders a much smaller white female teacher, therefore every small female white teacher gets to pull the race card and claim she's in fear of her life when standing toe to toe with another biracial male student, especially one who feels as if he's being singled out for special attention over something as minor as a dress code infraction over a ballcap.
         The one thing on which all parties agree is that this expulsion or transfer or whatever word you choose to use, happened after a short series of incidents, culminating in an expulsion over a trumped-up charge of drinking on school grounds. I told the principal that however he cut it, his administrator was wrong and my son was telling the truth. I told him his grades were slipping of late (he used to be a straight A student last year at the main school) not because he needed smaller class size but because his employer (Dunkin' Donuts) was making him work up to 56 hours a week. I asked the principal if he could prove the larger class sizes at the main school were contributory to my son's slipping grades and he contemptuously dismissed this very valid question as if it didn't even deserve consideration. And yet, smaller class size and student body was the school's very rationale for expelling him.
         Or, at least, that was the one they'd finally settled on. I broached the possibility that perhaps his teacher was suffering from "Angry Black Man Syndrome", a virtually atavistic dysfunction from which many white people suffer and use as a basis for their own unacknowledged racism. It's rather obvious to me after having spoken at some length to both sides that they were casting about for an excuse to get my son out of that school and, after trying a few on, they finally found one: the bogus "incident" involving the phantom alcohol and him showing anger at being accused of being drunk.
         My son didn't fail his school. His school failed him. They pushed him, got what they wanted and did the Pontius Pilate thing and foisted him off on another school. My son is so infuriated and so mortally offended by this incident he honestly does not want to go back to the main school.
         Yet, and I admit I'm saying this as a flame-breathing liberal who's militantly opposed to any racial prejudice, especially when my flesh and blood is concerned, it's obvious to me that my son was a victim of racial profiling. With less than seven months to go in his high school career, his school washed its hands of him and dumped him on someone else's doorstep. It's quite likely they were using as their moral compass a murder that happened in Danvers less than a month ago that shocked an entire community.
         I think my boy was made to pay for someone else's alleged crime and I think it's time to get the NAACP involved as my son suggested. Input?

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    Assclowns of the Week #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition

         As the caption in the lead picture attests, we'd rather murder poor people overseas than feed our own. As the World Champion Boston Red Sox were taking a boat ride through the Charles, we were treated to the sight of carefully guarded and isolated multibillionaires and multimillionaires slapping each other on the backs for getting even richer the very day after Congress and the White House quietly let the 2009 Recovery Act lapse, resulting in $5,000,000,000 in SNAP spending cuts. The juxtaposition and timing couldn't've been more awful. Because of that "oversight" that conveniently paid for the Pentagon's $5,000,000,000 spending spree the night before the government shutdown, 22,000,000 children (or roughly half the people on food stamps) will have less or less nutritious food to eat and 3,800,000 people were kicked off SNAP. Meanwhile, during times of record profits, oil subsidies and defense contracts continue getting handed out like Halloween candy.
         There's something wrong with a nation that has such maximum security prison shower-fucked priorities.
         So your porcine progressive isn't going for belly laughs this week as he is laser-guided head and body shots and if the laughs come, anyway, it'll be strictly incidental. Because this edition of ACOTW will be the most vicious, vindictive and nastiest one in years, if not ever. After all, after this week, can you blame me?
         Making the Wall of Shame this week: Rand Paul (10) for saying he wants to shoot his critics; Chris Christie (5) for screaming at a teacher and RNC Chairman Rinsed Penis (8) for a moment of high projection. So let's hop aboard the GOP Omnibus of Regression as we use them for satirical speed bumps and much, much more!

    10) Sen. Rand Paul
        
         Yeah, I'd fork over $100 for a PPV of Rachel Maddow dueling Rand Paul.
         In an interesting bit of projection, Rand Paul (R-Yosemite Sam) called the people who'd accused him of plagiarism as "haters and hacks." Then he mused that he wished dueling was still legal. No, really, he actually said that. Specifically, this is what he was quoted as saying: “If dueling were legal in Kentucky, if they keep it up, it’d be a duel challenge.” No, Randy, a hack is someone who lifts shit from another source, bases his entire speech on it then gives no attribution. Which is the very definition of plagiarism. And, really, is defending your nonexistent honor without a leg to stand on really worth taking the life of the person who rightly calls you on the minor offense of plagiarism?
         Afterwards, Senator Aqua Buddha said of his critics, "I shall fight on the beaches, I shall fight on the landing grounds, I shall fight in the fields and in the streets, I shall fight in the hills; I shall never surrender." He then finished with, "To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee. And that is a direct quote." Sounds like someone's been spending a bit too much time with Zell Miller, who was himself the ultimate Blue Dog hack.
         An interesting postscript: The charges of his plagiarism have caused Paul to order his people to scrub his website. Apparently, someone should take Paul aside and remind him of those pesky little things known as screengrabs.

    9) Ken Hamm
        
         Creationist windbag Ken Hamm, a man who has done more than his fair share in Copperfielding the truth and established science in the modern age, had some interesting things to say recently about politics. According to Kenny, we should vote not for candidates who propose policies that are good for you but "godly candidates" who, more often than not, aren't. Which, if memory serves me correctly, didn't work out too well for 15th century Florence, Italy. Despite basing all his theories of prehistory on a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, not enough people in Virginia listened to Ken or the other Ken and Coochie Coochie lost to Terry McAuliffe in Virginia's gubernatorial race.

    8) Chairman Rinsed Penis

         Rienh... Riengold... Rinsed Penis... The little shaved French bulldog mascot of the GOP recently stirred up hatred of the Democrats by condemning President Obama's "culture of hatred" on, of course, Fox "News." He went on to say, "It’s the culture that the president’s cultivated here. A culture of dishonesty, a culture of hatred." Which, after endless capitulations to the rabid, genocidal right wing on the part of the President and constant calls for diplomacy between Israel and Arab states and consistently taking the high road in the red, spittle-flecked face of wave upon wave of racial bigotry is so insanely ridiculous it's not even worthy of refutation. But, wait, there's more. The Little French Bulldog then coughed up this hairball of wisdom:
    I think he should take ownership over this divisive culture that he has created. Look, it’s the Democratic Party that has the shameful history. It’s not the Republican Party, and I think it’s about time that we also as Republicans start recapturing the real history of the Republican Party and not let these guys rewrite the history of equality, freedom and opportunity, which is what the party is about.
         Ja vol, Reinhold, let's recapture the real history of the Republican Party, shall we? Let's start with Prescott Bush's proposed fascist takeover of the US government in 1933 and him being Adolph Hitler's biggest American financier and him actually profiting off Jewish slave labor, how his Harriman Brothers violated the Trading With the Enemies Act or Karl Rove's grandfather being one of the builders of the Nazi death camps. Sure you wanna go there, Chairman Penis? While you're trying to think of a rebuttal, let's examine the president's "culture of hatred":

         Yeah, what a misanthropic brute, huh?
         Chairman Penis, please retire, go back to Wisconsin and get a job working in a cheese factory, will you? Or die. It really doesn't matter to me, anymore.
         Actually, that's not true. I'd rather someone stuff you in a gas chamber and euthanize you. Maybe Rove or Bush can help with that.

    7) The Mainstream Media

         Showing for the billionth time this year that the mainstream media is fit solely for wrapping fish and providing a night light during fornication, there was its ongoing obsession with the slowness of the ObamaCare website while paying no attention whatsoever to the even slower Congress' inability to even hold a vote on the expiration of the 2009 Recovery Act. I guess nearly 50,000,000 Americans being needlessly denied food is a First World Problem and was infinitely less important than Clinton's blow job, the balloon boy, Kim Kardashian's sex life and nonexistent Iraqi WMDs. So what was more important? Mitt Romney's dessicated brain droppings on the Sunday Flea Circus. It's a testament to the MSM's utter worthlessness that they continue giving unlimited amounts of house room to George Romero Republican zombies peddling easily discredited conspiracy theories.
         And it goes without saying the right wing is hardly in a position to laugh about healthcare.gov's rollout, considering their own online misadventures of late.

    6) The Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office, Deming, NM PD & Gila Regional Medical Center
         Talk about making a federal case over shit.
         Last January, David Eckert was leaving a Wal-Mart and committed the unpardonable sin of not fully stopping at the stop sign. Deming, New Mexico police pulled him over then observed he appeared to be clenching his buttocks. Convinced he was hiding drugs up his ass, they then took him to a Deming Hospital where a doctor refused to probe Eckert because it would've been "unethical." Undeterred, they then took him to the Gila Regional Medical Center. They were only too glad to do what would turn out to be eight medical procedures including two x-rays, two finger probes, three enemas and a full colonoscopy, an ordeal that lasted for over 14 hours. And this was all done without the patient's consent.
         No drugs were found, by the way. The invasion of this man's person was compounded by the fact that the search warrant they got a judge to sign (Yes, a judge actually signed off on this) was only good for the county in which Eckert was stopped, not the county in which he was eventually violated.
         Oh, and the Gila Regional Medical Center demands that Eckert pay them for being anally raped for 14 hours, without his consent, or they'll take him to court. But that's OK, because I'm sure this is just a hysterical reaction to finding out Eckert hired Civil Rights attorney Shannon Kennedy to launch a federal lawsuit.
         My suggestion? We arrest, charge, convict and sentence every single lunatic willingly involved in this unbelievable anal rape over non-existent drugs that was wildly disproportionate to the crime that actually was committed (not stopping fully at a stop sign), send them into the general population and then and only then will they understand what poor David Eckert went through.

    5) NJ Gov. Chris Christie
         Obviously, the "R" on his shirt didn't stand for "Rutgers" or "Republican" but "Raving Psychopath."
         At a campaign stop last weekend, Chris Christie, the Ralph Kramden of politicians, thought he'd burnish his gubernatorial and presidential credentials by sticking his finger in a teacher's face and screaming at her. All she asked was why Christie insisted on calling New Jersey schools "failure factories." "Because they are!" he bellowed at middle school teacher Melissa Tomlinson as he stuck a pudgy finger in her face before adding, "I am tired of you people. What do you want?" Uh, the billion dollars he essentially stole from the NJ school budget his first year in office? Getting charter schools out of public education and evaluating teachers by test scores? An emergency lobotomy and to eat a fucking salad once in a while? (Tip o' the tinfoil hat to New Jersey teacher/blogger Jazzman for the full account from Ms. Tomlinson.)
         Oh, and in an interesting bit of projection, Christie said the campaign by his rival Barbara Buono was one "fueled by anger."

         Really, now? Oh yeah, this is precisely the man I want having possession of our nuclear launch codes.
         Last night, Christie got elected by a landslide, a word I suspect will never again be associated with Christie unless he goes sight-seeing on the Palisades. I can't wait to see the look on his supporters' faces when he pulls a Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton and leaves office after two years.

    4) Comrade Raphael Cruz
         If you ever wondered what Dezi Arnaz would be like today if he was still alive and with a degenerative brain tumor, Ted Cruz' father Raphael provides us with a glimpse. At a recent men's prayer breakfast, Raphie had this to say:
    You know, communism or socialism, whatever you want to call it, what is happening in this country is not different than what happened in Cuba. It is about government control of your lives. You got to realize how Marxist, how socialism works… When you hear all these things about homosexual marriage, this has nothing to do with homosexual rights. Did you know that? The whole objective is the destruction of the traditional family, it has nothing to do with homosexuals, they could care less about homosexuals, they want to destroy the family.
         Showing typical stupendous right wing ignorance, Cruz seems to have forgotten that for much of its history, Communism had been hostile to the LGBT community and the quasi Communist Russian Federation has in the past couple of years cracked down on all facets of homosexuality as a criminal offense.
         I guess someone should take Dizzy Dezi aside and remind him that he was a Castro supporter 55 years ago. Oh, and he also broke the law by bribing a US Immigration official to let him into the US. So much for "government control of your lives."

          What you see above is part of a speech that has since mysteriously been purged from the internet in which Cruz pere thinks he's helping Cruz fils by telling easily-proven lies about President Obama, such as his "refusal" to mention the words "by their Creator" while reciting the Declaration of Independence. As an accurate indicator of Ted Cruz's character or lack thereof, he's not embarrassed at all by his father and is instead willingly sending his old man out as a surrogate to spew this insane bullshit. Poor old Raphael is looking for relevance for the first time in his life when, instead, he ought to be looking for the nurse with the paper cup.
     
    3) The Obama Administration
         Once upon a time (Oh, say, 42 years ago) John Kerry testified about the Vietnam War before the Senate. The Nixon administration went after him because he was a liberal peacenik who'd concluded that war, specifically the one in SE Asia, flat-out sucked. Then this past week, Kerry was essentially calling a drone strike that killed at least four in Pakistan righteous because we'd taken out Hakimullah Mehsud, the so-called leader of the Pakistani Taliban on the first, and the usual unnamed "others". The problem with that strike was Mehsud was there for peace talks with Karzai's Afghani government.
         That's right, people. We bombed peace talks in central Asia, an act the Pakistani government, a sovereign state, rightly condemned, saying it would destabilize peace talks in the region. But fear not, faithful reader, the Obama administration is "sensitive to Pakistan’s concerns", meaning we're fully prepared to yes them to death as we blow off their fury and criticism concerns.

    2) John Boehner & House Republicans
         A couple of days ago, John Boehner's press secretary Michael Steel issued an interesting communique from the Oompa Loompa's office: “The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs.” Boehner was talking about his refusal to bring ENDA up for vote in the House. As with the government funding bill earlier this fall, the ENDA bill was fast-tracked and passed in the Senate with 61 votes and bipartisan support. Yet, despite seven Republican senators voting for cloture, Boehner, once again, is standing in the way of progress like Mitch McConnell on steroids or George Wallace before a school door.
         Typical of Republican scumbags, Boehner thinks LGBT people taking their employers to court for being discriminated against because of their sexual orientation is "frivolous litigation" (read: Tort reform) and that gays, lesbians and bisexuals should just shut up and take it when they lose their jobs for reasons other than workplace performance. In light of Illinois lawmakers last night legalizing gay marriage, making 15 states and the District of Columbia to have marriage equality (ten states have ratified it since 2005, meaning 33% of the population now enjoys marriage equality), remind me again why dinosaurs like Bawling Boehner are still allowed to be policy makers in the federal government?
         In virtually every US state, it is perfectly legal to fire someone for their sexual orientation. So ratifying ENDA and letting the President sign it into law would actually save and not cost us jobs.

    1) Uncle Sam
         Unlike the shutdown last month, we can't blame just the Republicans for this latest shutdown: That of the expiration of the extended SNAP budget that automatically triggered $5,000,000,000 in cuts. This was because Congress and the White House quietly let Obama's own 2009 Recovery Act expire with nary a word from either the Executive or Legislative branches. This means 22,000,000 children, or almost half of food stamp recipients, will have to make do with less or less nutritious food. Meanwhile, the President still draws his $400,000 salary (plus an additional $169,000 in annual expenses) while Congresscritters draw their $174,000 ones.
         Strictly by coincidence, I'm sure, I mentioned a few weeks ago that the very day before the government shutdown, the DoD went on a spending spree buying up weapons, radar bases and handing out defense contracts worth, wait for it, $5,000,000,000. This time around, the Republicans didn't even have to take the Recovery Act hostage because they already knew the Democrats didn't give enough of a shit about it to even mention let alone renew it.

         Dishonorable mention: Former Chief of Staff Andy Card suffered through an interesting bit of projection and irony deficiency when he appeared on Morning Joe yesterday to say Obama was misleading the American public about Obamacare. OK, so maybe the ACA hasn't quite lived up to the President's oft-repeated promise that people can keep their old health care plans. But has Card completely forgotten about Bush misleading us about WMD in Iraq, a war that cost us about 4500 American lives (not including contractors) and $3 trillion? How about Saddam trying to get yellowcake uranium? Saddam's complicity with 9/11, with al Qaeda?

         As far as I know, despite its many flaws, ObamaCare is more likely to have already saved 4500 lives, not taken them.

    KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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