Sunday, July 31, 2016

Why You Should Vote

(By American Zen's @mikeflannigan59, on loan from Ari)
Q: Talk about the role of the opposition party, the Democrats.
Vidal: It isn’t an opposition party. I have been saying for the last thousand years that the United States has only one party—the property party. It’s the party of big corporations, the party of money. It has two right wings; one is Democrat and the other is Republican. Gore Vidal, Aug  2006
W.E.B. DuBois, the leading African American activist and reformer of his generation, was born at a crucial crossroads in history: Technically a contemporary of abolitionist Frederick Douglass (DuBois was 27 when Douglass died in 1895), DuBois lived long enough to witness the horrifying nuclear age and beyond, nearly seeing the end of the Kennedy administration at his own death at 95 in 1963.
     He passed away just five days before the famous March on Washington of August 28th and his name, of course, was invoked by some of the speakers. A year later, many of the reforms for which DuBois had tirelessly advocated for decades finally saw fruition with the passage of the Civil Rights Act a year later.
     But perhaps "tirelessly" is a misleading word.
     By 1956, when Eisenhower was up for re-election, DuBois was by then a tired, used up man of 87 or 88 and he wrote a pessimistic article for The Nation  simply entitled, "I Won't Vote." In equally plain language, he argued his case by saying that Democracy no longer existed, which was the thrust of another piece he'd written for the oldest liberal publication in the country. Reprinted on its online edition 14 years ago, the power of the article rests not in its prescience because what DuBois observed in his own country are dysfunctions of Democracy that are still prevalent today. And, in some cases, they're even worse.
     In fact, with the switching of some names, adjusting the dollar figures and updating the language for a 21st century readership, this piece could've been written by any Sanders backer today. I'll even go one bit further-It's so nearly perfectly descriptive of America 60 years after its composition, The Nation would be remiss if it didn't reissue it again during this election cycle.
     He begins the article by writing,
Since I was twenty-one in 1889, I have in theory followed the voting plan strongly advocated by Sidney Lens in The Nation of August 4, i.e., voting for a third party even when its chances were hopeless, if the main parties were unsatisfactory; or, in absence of a third choice, voting for the lesser of two evils.
     Now, it ought to be shocking to anyone reading this today that DuBois continues,
Of my adult life, I have spent twenty-three years living and teaching in the South, where my voting choice was not asked. I was disfranchised by law or administration.
     Of course, DuBois had the legal right to vote. So said the 15th Amendment, ratified on February 3, 1870 just before DuBois turned two. But he reports disenfranchisement and it took nearly a century of Jim Crow laws comprised of poll taxes, tests and so forth before the 15th Amendment finally got some teeth in the form of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. As I said, this should be shocking that the pre-eminent African American scholar of his day couldn't even vote without serious challenges and obstacles thrown his way by white men.
     But, sadly, it isn't.

The Two-Headed Monster
      The frustration over lack of a choice at a party level is certainly not a new one. Six decades ago in this very article, DuBois wrote,
I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no “two evils” exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say. There is no third party. On the Presidential ballot in a few states (seventeen in 1952), a “Socialist” Party will appear. Few will hear its appeal because it will have almost no opportunity to take part in the campaign and explain its platform. If a voter organizes or advocates a real third-party movement, he may be accused of seeking to overthrow this government by “force and violence.” Anything he advocates by way of significant reform will be called “Communist”...
     This is where the shadow of Sanders looms large indeed. How many times have we heard during this very election cycle sneers over Sanders' platform composed entirely of "dreams", as if dreams were suddenly too hard to attain? How many times have we heard in this byline and in that of independent journalist Michael Collins of how there is only one party and that it ought to be called "the Money Party"?
     And when had Jill Stein ever been invited to a debate? The two party system we've set up is so entrenched we've been conditioned to believe that no candidate of a third party should even be invited to a corporately-sponsored debate and that a third choice would be tantamount to foolishness at best, heresy at worst. But we do not live in a two party system and I would urge you to remember that with the insistence of grim death.
     In DuBois' youth, there were several political parties represented in Congress. And in the 19th century, we still had the Whigs, the nativist Know Nothings and many others. Granted, many of them were mere tails to kites, as DuBois had derisively described so-called liberal parties in his day, but the party variegation in Congress consisted of far more than the very occasional Independent such as Sanders.
     And even for members of one monolithic party of another, certain fund-raising goals have to met before being given a chair at the grown up table. Those who underperform are literally barred from the front door. That is how crooked the election process is: It's literally pay-to-play.
     But what if an insurgent candidate such as Bernie Sanders exceeds all fundraising goals and earns enough votes, states and delegates to keep sitting at the grownup table? Well, that's where party insiders like the disgraced Debbie Wasserman Schultz come in, As we all now know (and we have Wikileaks to thank for proving it), Schultz valiently sacrified her political career in part by scheduling fewer debates and at times when she was assured fewer people would be watching. She knew Hillary didn't need a debate megaphone- Her last name and Debbie's crazed, brazen cheerleading alone would conspicuously keep Clinton in the public eye like a splinter and if that didn't somehow work, there was always the endlessly compliant and supine stenographers of the MSM.

Disenfranchisement is an Art
     As a friend of this blogmaster used to sign off her emails, disenfranchisement is an art and the Democratic convention in the sarcastically-selected city of Philadelphia, the birth of democracy, was the perfect delineation of that. And, as in DuBois' day, the government and its usual dependable stooges of party insiders, appointed and elected officials and the media lapdogs faithfully played their part to ensure that proud Tammany-era tradition of voter suppression would continue.
     Time and again, we'd seen voter rolls purged to unprecedented levels that would make Republicans Green Party green with envy (126,000 in Brooklyn alone, about 40,000 greater than Katherine Harris and Choicepoint had struck from the rolls for the entire state of Florida in 2000). We'd witnessed on video state party rules changed heedless of voice votes, polling places getting shut down in droves, producing longer lines at the polls. We'd heard of hackable voting machines being used and always, coincidentally enough, the results always benefiting Clinton. We'd heard of Republican exit polls perfectly aligning across the board with actual balloting while in many, many states on the Democratic side, exit polls were suddenly off by double digits.
     Eyewitness accounts, cell phone and periscope videos live-streamed (until they were censored, shades of Tehran and Pyongyang) proved democratically-elected state delegates in Philly had their seats given away to paid actors, others having their credentials threatened for holding up Sanders signs, whips and security literally strong-arming people from their seats, white noise machines set up to suppress protests, collusion with the TV media to use tight shots and to not show the protesters, the empty seats and to seat the Clinton delegates closer to the stage to manufacture the image of party unity and consensus.
     Then they had the nerve to demand of Sanders delegates and voters, "Stick with us. We're stronger together!" And that's just the beginning. God only knows what the American voter doesn't know (Julian Assange has promised us more disclosures will come).
     And, the Democrats being the crime family it is, it will never allow two sperm cells to enter the big egg of the White House. Orthodoxy, no matter how vastly inferior to the "Other" message, will be enforced no matter how corrupt or unsuitable the candidate. As DuBois complained six decades ago,
This Administration is dominated and directed by wealth and for the accumulation of wealth. It runs smoothly like a well-organized industry and should do so because industry runs it for the benefit of industry. Corporate wealth profits as never before in history. We turn over the national resources to private profit and have few funds left for education, health or housing...
We let men take wealth which is not theirs; if the seizure is “legal” we call it high profits and the profiteers help decide what is legal. If the theft is “illegal” the thief can fight it out in court, with excellent chances to win if he receives the accolade of the right newspapers. Gambling in home, church and on the stock market is increasing and all prices are rising. It costs three times his salary to elect a Senator and many millions to elect a President. This money comes from the very corporations which today are the government. This in a real democracy would be enough to turn the party responsible out of power. Yet this we cannot do.
"The People Should Not be Afraid of its Government. The Government Should be Afraid of its People."
     Of course, DuBois was absolutely correct. But nowadays things have gotten much worse. Remember, DuBois was writing this 54 years before Citizen's United that opened the spigots for corporate payola and graft to flood the electoral process without restriction. He'd probably have a coronary if he were told it would cost a cool billion to mount even a marginally viable presidential candidacy and that any Senate candidate spending only three times a lawmakers' $174,000 salary to get elected would be considered a responsible fiscal conservative.
     So, understandably, an 88 year-old man, hammered flat by corruption, racism and the disenfranchisement in which it inevitably results would be too disspirited to vote. Repeated disappointment going back nearly seven decades will do that. But is not voting really the answer? DuBois never actually exhorted people to adopt his new stance of non-involvement. However, his dream was that 25,000,000 withheld votes would finally awaken the progressive political establishment and they would finally begin to court the black vote that it still is loath to do today. 
     It was certainly fair of DuBois to ask his contemporaries in 1956 why they were voting Republican or Democrat. But he was very irresponsible in 1) aligning himself with the repressive and genocidal Communist leaders in China and the USSR and 2) espousing non-involvement with the political process. That's akin to being discouraged by crime in your neighborhood and not locking your door in protest and waiting for the police to notice your house has been burgled.
     Amendments such as the 13th and 15th were won by votes of our elected officials, not the absence of them. And those officials earned their public office by the same process. No revolution was ever won by people sitting on their asses.
     Consider why corporations and our governments lie to us. They would not do that if they didn't think we were worth the time and effort to spin and disseminate these lies. They lie because they fear us and rightfully so. They may have superior weaponry and money but we have sheer force of numbers. Without our spending power, our votes, our obedient, unquestioning compliance, they have nothing and would be in no better position than Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
     So remember that next time the Democratic National Committee is caught lying to you, the next time you see a Wikileaks or Guccifer disclosure proving yet again the subterranean depths of its duplicity, depravity and utter lack of transparency. They need you more than you need them. And they fear public opinion, and reaction, far more than we should fear them and their incipiently fascist legislation and agenda.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

"We're going to turn this country around together"


(Actual response to an actual beg I just got from Donald Trump.)

     Boy, did you ask the wrong guy for help. How the fuck did I get on your noxious begging list? Did you buy it from some liberal organization like Moveon or a charity such as the MSPCA or from an old magazine subscription such as The Nation? I would expect that kind of casual hypocrisy from the Orange Man.
     And even if I were a Republican, I would still find it repugnant to give any amount of money to a multibillionaire who'd earlier in his village roadshow of a campaign pledged to fund it entirely from his vast fortune gotten through dodging hundreds of millions in taxes and stiffing his workers left and right.
     And I certainly wouldn't expect him to honor his pledge of matching my donations dollar for dollar considering Trump never actually raised that $6,000,000 for those veterans and had to be shamed into giving another veteran's organization the million bucks he claimed to give them but hadn't until the media sniffed it out. And where are the tax returns? He wanted the birth certificate fours years ago, he got it. Where are the 1040 long forms?
     While I certainly am no Hillary backer, I think helping even one iota a belligerent, noxious inflatable waving man such as Donald Trump get into the White House would be tantamount to helping to nudge us ever closer to that wonderfully prescient movie, IDIOCRACY. Yes, I can perfectly see Ted Nugent acting as Master at Arms, AR15 in hand, as Trump's about to deliver his State of the Union Address via Twitter.
     Yeah, I'm sure Trump would turn this country around, alright. He'd give us whiplash just before doing a U turn and driving us over the cliff, plunging the entire planet into warfare and poverty while he builds Trump Casinos on the National Mall and the KKK opens up recruiting centers.where the Vietnam Memorial and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier used to be.
     Go fuck yourselves, you shameless douchebags. Consider yourselves blocked.

The Stupidest Tweet of All Time

     ...to which yours truly responds.

     However, that didn't satisfy me, since this election cycle, more than ever, makes me want to go over the top. So when I read Joy Reid's incredibly stupid and insipid tweet about Hill & Tim being the nice white Midwestern couple from next door who come by to borrow a cup of sugar, this is what I actually thought of:

     That's a clip of Surveillance, the David Lynch-produced movie in which a pair of spree killers enter a small southwestern sheriff's department to investigate a mass shooting in which they were actually involved. They pose as nice, normal, respectable FBI agents until finally, the shit hits the fan. Spoiler: Assuming you've already seen this old movie, the bad guys win in the end.
     This is essentially what it would be like except Hillary and not Tim would be the ringleader.
     And the blonde between them in the chair? That's essentially what they did to Bernie and his supporters- Pretended to seduce us then when they were done, they put us down for the long dirt nap.
     I always knew that Joy Reid was in the tank for Hillary but man, when I read that, I couldn't not respond to it. That tweet actually made me physically nauseous.

Piss Poor Priorities


Friday, July 29, 2016

The Potemkin Candidacy

     When filming Cinderella Man, the movie about James J. Braddock starring Russell Crowe, the filmmakers were faced with a problem- they'd already torn through most of their budget and there was still the final fight scene between Braddock and Max Baer to film. And that required a crowd.
     Unable to hire extras, they came up with an ingenious solution- They had inflatable mannequins made, installed them in the seats then filmed stock footage of them. They then vectorized the dummy images, multiplied and spliced them into the finished product then did quick cutaways so no one would know they were actually looking at rubber mannequins full of hot air. It's all in the special features section of the DVD. Go check it out, if you don't believe me.
     This is essentially what the DNC did last night at the frenzied climax of their Clinton orgy. The only difference was they used paid actors, perhaps even getting their shills from the same casting company Trump used ("I can prolly getcha a discount, since ya went to my latest weddin' an' all, I dunno...") the day he announced his candidacy June 16th of last year.
     So, sure, the DNC didn't use artificial humans full of hot air but they might as well have. And if I know my alleged readership as well as I think I do, even if you had seen the post below this one, I'm willing to bet you didn't click on the video's play button. So I'll give you the abstracts:
     By early last night, many of the state delegations were prepared to take their seats and found a rude surprise awaiting them- Countless thousands, literally thousands, of their seats had plastered on the backs "Reserved" signs. Essentially, the democratically-elected delegates, especially the ones who were Sanders delegates (Yes, they were identified and targeted by the DNC) were pushed out in favor of shills, paid actors who, in defiance of DNC rules, didn't have lanyards, let alone the credentials they needed to be on the floor. All that was missing was the Sanders delegates being shoved into a soccer stadium then machine gunned to death as we saw in Chile with Pinochet in '73.
     If you did what I'd asked you and played the video below, you also would've noted that for the first time during the convention, these suspicious-looking Kroger's white board things were bracketed just above what used to be the California delegation's seats. These were actually white noise machines specifically designed to suppress any protests from the Sanders' delegates. Elsewhere in the PA Convention Center, Sanders delegates were bullied and harassed by Hillarybots who were telling them to go back to where they came from. In case there were any noncompliant comrades, security and floor whips (whose presence had significantly increased by Day Four) were there to ensure the new rules, which had to be planned months in advance, were being enforced and obeyed.
     The intent behind this is clear: Between the Sanders delegates leaving the convention early and literally walking away from the Democratic Party and those who'd been literally muscled out of the seats that they'd been elected and had paid good money to fill, the DNC had a big problem akin to those filmmakers who made Cinderella Man- Empty seats. What you can't count on from the MSM and even some trusted bloggers to tell you is that by the time Slick Willie took the stage to vicariously live through his wife's historic theft of the nomination, he was addressing a mostly empty house. It was the final day of Woodstock for ugly people, with their version of Jimi Hendrix playing to a fraction of the crowd of the three previous days.
     That means that when the Democratic mafia heavy hitters came up to speak on the third and fourth days, they were essentially preaching to a choir and paid actors who were instructed to scream (somehow, over the white noise machines) and hold up signs placed in their hands by DNC goons to hide as many Bernie supporters and their signage as possible.
     And while I refused to listen to even a single syllable of the speeches of either Clinton, Biden, Obama, etc (especially as two of the speakers were Republican, for fuck's sake), I know how to read and I know how to appraise what I read. The Rude Pundit in his hideyhole in Ireland be Goddamned, I'm going to need a better reason to vote for a Wall Street whore like Hillary Clinton than, "Donald Trump is horrible."
     And that's essentially all Obama, Biden, etc could say and I'm sure that's all Hillary said when she mentioned Trump's name 22 times- "I'm not Trump. I'm not as horrible as him."
     And I don't listen to these speeches anymore because they inevitably do two things- bash the other guy and tout a record by trotting out falsehoods, massaged numbers and statistics and half truths. Long forgotten were those words that have been yipping at Hillary's expensive heels like an irritating chihuahua- "She'll say anything to get elected." That sound familiar? That's because Obama said that of her on the campaign trail eight years ago.
     And what the MSM also didn't show you was this wonderful bit of amateur signage hanging just above Joe Biden's hair plugs:

     This is why technical directors love tight shots, people, so you don't see shit like this and empty seats from disgusted Democratic delegates.
     And, should anyone take a picture and try to put it on the internet, the fascist cunts that run Facebook and Twitter will suspend and censor the account of anyone who has the temerity to put it up, such as the image above.
     This was the year the Democratic Party could no longer resist the call of the wild and finally gave a giant, red, white and blue, 100 story-high foam rubber middle finger to the American electorate who wouldn't toe the line and fall in line with their diktats. At no time did we hear during this tightly-controlled convention even a mention of, let alone an apology for, the Wikileaks and Guccifer 2.0 disclosures, the twin 800 ton elephants in the convention center. It was, collectively speaking, akin to seeing Carrie White, drenched in pig's blood, still fully expecting to be elected prom queen even as she's burning the gymnasium down and killing people.
     The entire Potemkin candidacy of Hillary Clinton has been bottomless in its superficiality, with its dirty tricks so commonplace duped Hillarybots have been led to believe they were all conspiracy theories cooked up by foaming-at-the-mouth Bernie bros. And, yes, even after they were proven to be all true and then some. In no time in my 57 years on this planet had a Democratic candidate and nominee for president begun the last leg of the election under so many clouds of scandal and so much loathing from such a significant percentage of the party's electorate all the way up to its delegates (also strenuously ignored and unacknowledged, making a third 800 ton elephant). When the consensus isn't there, suppress as much dissent as possible and manufacture it. Josef Stalin must be beaming with pride as he lies next to Lenin in Red Square.
     And the new right wing that supports her, both those who are avowed Clinton Republicans and those who arrogantly and bitterly refuse and reject the label, are so blind to this woman's endless misdeeds that they've been brainwashed into believing they're all lies advanced by sexists or just an example of "getting things done." Corruption, in Camp Clinton, has actually been synonymized with pragmatism.
     Trump is an idiot who, if elected, and it's looking likelier he will, if the latest polls are to be believed, will be like a chimp with a machine gun. Clinton will be infinitely more dangerous because she's devious, cunning and crafty and no Middle Easterner will be safe from this warhawk psychopath who will gladly inherit Obama's drone strike and assassination program and do with it whatever will satisfy the dictators that have done so well by the fake Clinton Foundation and Initiative. Based on the damage this woman can do as President, one almost hopes Trump does win so we can see a reprise on Election Night of the downcast faces of Romney and his supporters of four years ago.
     So, sorry guys but I won't do it. Once again, I'll vote Jill Stein in her pathetically Quixotic quest for the presidency. I am tired of opting for the smaller monster under the bed to keep the bigger monster in the closet. And I'm tired of an increasingly fascist and nasty and corrupt Democratic Party putting me, and us, in the same fucking position every four years.

Paid Asses in Seats is Not Consensus

     I'll just put this up without comment. It was sent to me last night from faithful reader CC (Original page is here). I strongly urge you to watch the entire video from the last night of the "Democratic" convention.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The Call

(By American Zen's @mikeflannigan59, on loan from Ari)
 35,000 feet above, appropriately, the Jersey pine barrens---
"Mike? Where are you?"
     "I'm on my way home, Ari. I just left Philly. I should be at Logan in a few hours."
     "Wha--? The convention's only half over!"
     "No, Ari, it is over. O-V-A, ov-ah."
     "Uh uh. Not according to my calendar."
     "Ari, look. There's nothing left to write about. Yesterday, 2838 of the stupidest people on the planet just nominated for President a person dogged by more scandals than the Nixon and Harding White Houses combined."
     "Oh, don't tell me you're all butt-hurt about Clinton's nomination. C'mon, Mike, you're a journalist, for fuck's sake. You're supposed to be objective."
     "Ari, that's not the kind of journalism you hired me over 20 years ago to write and you know that. But last night..."
     "Last night what?"
     "Last night just took the wind out of our sails. The Democratic Party's finally grown up, boss- They learned from Republicans how to steal a presidential election."
     "Mike, deal with it. The delegates made their choice. That's called democracy."
     "No, Ari, that's called a coronation. The headline of today's New York Times should read, 'Wealthy Dowager Finally Comes into Inheritance, Peasants Rejoice.'"
     "Mike, what happened last night is the way we've been doing politics since 1824."
     "Yeah, especially during the heyday of Tammany Hall. You want to know what I saw on the floor just last night?"
     "That'd be nice since you didn't think enough of me to send some copy."
     "OK, lemme start by what I didn't see on the convention floor- The delegate roll call vote. Since when the fuck is that ever held during a breakfast, behind closed doors? And I heard several people say the machine Democrats were deliberately giving the Sanders delegates the wrong time and place.
     "Here's something else I didn't see from the floor- Nina Turner. You know why? Because those selfsame machine Democrats barred her from introducing Bernie Sanders. It was like Stalinist Russia, Ari, and all the dissidents needed were a blindfold and a last cigarette."
     "Don't you think you're resorting to hyperbole?"
     "Listen, boss- I personally saw a Sanders delegate asked to put down her sign. Some DNC goon told her that signs weren't allowed on the convention floor. There were more signs there than at a WWE event. Then he threatened to take away her delegate credentials. I hadn't seen her again. She's probably at a Siberian gulag pick-axing scree right now."
     "What else did you see since you don't write any more and like phoning it in?"
     "I can't get any corroboration for this since the press wasn't allowed in to the delegate roll call count. Christ, whoever heard of such a thing? Dick Cheney's energy task force meeting was more transparent."
     "Mike, what did you hear?"
     "I heard from some of the delegates afterward that Sanders actually won the roll call count. Again, I can't confirm it so I can't even write about it."
     "You better not unless you can triple source it."
     "Ari, with all the other shit going on, with Wasserman Schultz getting booted off the stage and replaced by another DNC crony, the Wikileaks data dump, the allegations of stolen election results, Cleveland was a smoothly-running, well-oiled machine by comparison. Last night was the moment the Democratic National Committee served divorce papers to the progressive wing."
     "Well, Mike, corruption during a convention is still news. Would you consider flying back to Philly after you land at Logan?"
     "Not a chance, boss. Sorry. Look, I know you're the guy who signs my checks but there's only so much you can ask of a man."
      "If you think you're bad off, think of poor Bernie Sanders and what they made him do."
     "Yeah, it was kind of like watching Comrade Rutherford confessing to crimes he didn't commit and pledging fealty to Big Brother just before they shot him behind the ear."
     "Alright, Mike, exaggeration won't get us anywhere. We still have copy to put out on the online edition. Do you at least have anything in the can besides a handful of stupid tweets?"
     "No, I put those on Pottersville. Crawford's too disgusted to write anything, either. I'll have something, don't worry."
     "OK, you realize you're speaking in future tense, right? As if you don't have something in the can."
     "I'll have something for you by the time I land in Boston, don't worry. Yes, miss, I'll take another Bushmill's."
     "You're drinking whiskey? You don't drink whiskey."
     "After last night, I do now."
     "Mike?"
     "Yeah?"
     "Is it really getting that tough for you, doing these conventions?"
     "Not nearly as tough as watching the events unfold, watching the Democrats, especially, eating their own and treating those who don't agree with the elite as political dissidents. What happened last night almost made me nostalgic for Chicago in '68."
     "I was there with Hoffman and the Yippies. That was when I ripped up my draft card and pissed on the flaming pieces."
     "I heard your prostate issues won't allow you to do that, anymore."
     "You're a real prick, Flannigan, you know that?"
     "Boy, I can just imagine Hillary's inauguration now: 'Do you solemnly swear to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic?' 'Uh, on the advice of counsel, Mr. Chief Justice, I'll have to take the 5th...' She'll be the first President to deliver her inaugural address with a lawyer standing next to her."
     "Goodbye, Mike. Have a safe trip."
     "I'll say one thing- I looked up at Bernie Sanders' face the moment Hillary clinched the nomination."
     "And...?"
     "He looked like, I don't know... he looked like a man recognizing his own martyrdom for the first time and accepting it with grace."

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

And so it begins...

     The fucking monsters won again tonight in a corporate and lobbyist-backed convention that just nominated a multimillionaire who pledges for the next few months to get big money out of politics.

Promises to Keep

     About the only promise Hillary Clinton has made in her whole life that's got a chance of coming true is her unspoken mantra of, "I'm not Trump." And even that's veracious only in the most general and abstract of ways. Beyond that, I'd run my hand under the tap and check for myself if Clinton announced that water was wet.
     One of the many, many unspoken narratives during this convention, indeed this entire shambles of an election cycle, is that Hillary Clinton owes a lot of people. And by "people", I don't mean those artificial collective entities known as Wall Street banks and corporations. We all know how much she owes them for their unstinting and freakishly generous support made possible by, ironically, the SCOTUS's Citizen's United ruling. We all know Hillary Clinton's in more pockets than 1964 nickels. The only thing dividing those at the DNC convention is whether or not you care.
     No, I'm talking about the Sanders delegates who were promised quite a few things by Clinton in her never-ending quest for cheap, easy, momentary and wholly disingenuous populism in exchange for their short-term support. Those who've believed the bullshit and have been cowed by Tammany Hall 2.0 and the air of inevitability are what I call "Fair Weather Berners."
     These concessions and promises were only grudgingly made when Clinton realized she wasn't getting as much right wing support as she'd counted on (Billionaires like Bloomberg and the Kochs notwithstanding), Clinton was savvy enough to know that, going into the convention, she did not have the number of delegates to win the nomination and, as Barack Obama said of her eight years ago, "she will say anything to get elected."
     But there's the much greater number of us embittered clingers and hangers on who are rightly enraged that the primary, caucus and nomination process has been bowdlerized to the point of parody. That would be those of us who were sneered at by crooks like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and called "conspiracy theorists" for daring to suggest the MSM were managed and told what to say and not say and that the DNC was all in for Clinton, that the primaries and caucuses were rigged and that election fraud was rampant. That Bernie was hamstrung at every opportunity and in virtually every way.
     We're watching her, too, just as surely as Teabaggers watch the psychopaths they help put into office. And teabaggers are a merciless sort. In one of his first votes as a new senator, Scott Brown sided with the Democrats on an issue and the tricorner hat-wearing psychos who put him in the Senate were immediately calling for impeachment and for him to be primaried.
     Scott Brown was a senator for less than a two and a half years. Enter Elizabeth Warren.
     While we shouldn't be as reactionary as the most mentally and emotionally unstable elements of our society, we could take a lesson from the unforgiving Teabaggers and be just as stringent in our expectations from our leaders. And this segues into what I mean when I speak of unspoken narratives.
     What the diehard Bernie faction essentially is is something between a mere moment and an actual movement: Right now in our evolution, we're a loosely-connected watchdog group, dogging Clinton's every step and parsing her every word. We are that part of the 99% (or perhaps the 43% to whom Romney had derisively referred at a GOP fundraiser in 2012) who are tired of being preached to, sneered at, vilified and insulted by having our votes and the entire electoral process stolen from us by machine Democrats who are more crooked than an ebola cell.
     Those of us who are smart and aware enough to know what's going on know that, exactly like the Republicans, the scumbags that run the party (and the DNC email leak proves Wasserman Schultz is just the tip of the iceberg that will surely crack up and sink this ship of state) hold in utter contempt anyone who gets in their way or openly criticizes them.
     To show their complete lack of transparency, refer to my tweet from last night showing a Facebook post bringing us the news the delegate roll call vote would be done behind closed doors at a breakfast today instead of on the floor. They will, however, magnanimously announce the results on the floor later tonight. If Trump's speeches are inspired by Hitler then the DNC's warped idea of democracy must be inspired by Stalin.
     And I have to give the Devil his due: The teabaggers are certainly politically engaged and we are finally learning that lesson on our side of the tracks. Clinton will in all likelihood crowned The Queen Apparent at the convention tonight but it will not be the end of the revolution that Bernie's been calling for. And we will be dogging her every step if, God forbid, she actually gets elected President.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Live-tweeting the Death of Democracy












     (At this point, Twitter censored me yet again, forcing me to switch to my one remaining account.)

All Things Considered, I'd Rather Not Be in Philadelphia

(By American Zen's @mikeflannigan59, on loan from Ari)
 Pennsylvania Convention Center, PA---
I admit it, I'm getting too old for this shit. No, it's not so much the air travel and living out of a suitcase every four years. It's the sensation that with every quadrennial national party convention I go to, I get this uneasy sense that that things are worse than they were four years ago.
     The 2016 Democratic Convention unofficially kicked off yesterday with a sound vaguely akin to a starter not quite engaging and the teeth grinding. The double whammy of the Guccifer 2.0 (that implicated Nancy Pelosi, who's already been booed today) and the Wikipedia #DNCleaks, as it's known on Twitter, were too much for even snarling, delusional crooks like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Sopranos leadership of the DNC to ignore. Schultz was swiftly demoted to strictly gavel duty, her spot as Chairperson of the convention hastily given to her heir apparent, nonentity Marcia Fudge of Ohio. An hour or two later, as I'd predicted, Schultz announced she was resigning as chair of the DNC after the convention.
     Seemingly seconds after that, the Clinton junta announced they'd hired Schultz to be the "honorary" chair of Clinton's campaign, marking Debbie Wasserman Schultz's coming out party (as if her political orientation was ever held in serious doubt). And the entire party is so corrupt and so in the tank for Hillary, the person they temporarily replaced her as DNC Chair, Obama and Clinton head cheerleader, Donna Brazile, was also implicated in the Wikileaks data dump, resulting in her working for free for CNN (reports originally stated she was booted from the network during the convention, as they should have).
     If the Democratic National Committee was smart, they'd keep Schultz in the attic of the PA Convention Center, if it has one, and relegate her to Phantom of the Opera status. To show how clueless she is, this morning she had the nerve to show her face at the Florida delegation breakfast and was roundly booed. And it wasn't even the first time today- She also got booed when she gaveled the convention open. It probably hasn't been lost on the delegates that Wasserman Schultz still has official duties at the DNC convention, is still the DNC Chairperson yet is now officially working for the Clinton campaign.
     This is one of the reasons why I walked into the convention center this afternoon with a sense of dread and that things have gotten worse since four years ago during this glorious back half of the Age of Obama: Conflict of interest and recognizing the appearance of impropriety are now merely quaint notions of a bygone age.

She Had One Job...
     In a rare foray into meme-making (which got a "like" from Rosario Dawson on Twitter. Aw shucks), I hit the nail on the head while getting to the heart of the matter. Schultz's astoundingly rapid fall from grace (sinecure or no) was almost pre-ordained as if it was something out of a Greek tragedy, with well-informed and well-aware Bernie supporters providing the Greek chorus.
     A party leader's primary remit, whether Democratic or Republican, is to unify that party regardless of how unpopular or controversial a presumptive presidential nominee. Schultz did the exact opposite with divisive and perhaps even illegal tactics that were hardly more publicly civil than they were in the leaked emails in which she called Sanders campaign chair Jeff Weaver "scummy" and "an ass."
     One cannot escape the realization that with every initiative Wasserman Schultz had taken whether it be changing rules, installing members for the three important committees determining the tone and direction of the party's convention or scheduling debates, 100% of the results always benefited Hillary Clinton, whom DWS had served as campaign co-chair in 2008. 
     The conspiracy theory of the Sanders campaign illegally accessing a voter data base was just that, a discredited conspiracy theory. Even at the state level (especially the now-notorious Democratic imbroglio in Nevada), rules were abruptly changed while voice votes were ignored, lies spread about violence in the Sanders delegation, delegates getting ignored and stripped of credentials and other crimes too multitudinous to enumerate.
     Then there was a plainly illegal if not prosecutable scheme to coordinate a joint fund-raising venture that just happened to exclude the Sanders campaign. Wasserman Schultz scheduling a handful of debates near holidays or weekends to ensure lower visibility for Sanders. In short, she'd hamstrung the Sanders campaign and his delegates in every conceivable way and she wasn't even smart enough to be subtle about it. 
     Then, the inevitable happened: In the age of Anonymous, three Guccifers and other hackers, the emails came out. So what did the DNC do about this on the eve of the convention? Apologize to Camp Sanders, put oil on the waters?

The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming!
     You got it. This accusation could've come screaming out of the sweat-soaked pages of Alex Jones' Prison Planet. It's the fault of the Russians and Donald Trump and Vlad Putin and everyone who's ever said the words vodka or caviar for the DNC leak. On Twitter, Trump publicly ridiculed this conspiracy theory and I hate it when he says something with which I have to agree.
     Yet what the Democratic National Committee, aka Tammany Hall 2.0, fails to address is the still obvious fact that, whether or not Putin was influencing the election to make Trump his puppet, the emails are still genuine and the scandals still very real. Wasserman Schultz was justifiably toppled like Saddam's statue, not once but twice, and is being booed everywhere she goes.
     Still, the Russian conspiracy theory lives on like we're back in 1955 and Joe McCarthy still holding sway. And still Hillary backers are using Trump as this cycle's bogeyman, hoarsely screaming for party unity (In other words, "All ye who enter this convention center, abandon hope and Bernie Sanders and vote for Hillary"). Which, with Hillary's tanking poll numbers against Trump, is like locking every passenger in steerage just as the ship begins to sink. And look how well that worked for the folks onboard the Titanic.
     Hillary backers insist the Republican convention and nomination of Donald J. Trump was a cult of personality but that's only half the story. Trump wound up at the top of the pile because of conservative voters, racist or no, finally growing disillusioned, disenfranchised and disaffected by the Republican Party. As with Schultz, it was such a sudden turn of events for Ted Cruz, former Tea Party darling, being thrust into the grown up table and being forced into the now dysfunctional mainstream Republican Party.
     Democrats should see an object lesson in that but they won't because their brainless, bellowing support of Hillary Clinton, possibly the most spectacularly corrupt politician since Huey Long, makes them insensible to irony. Or a Greek chorus.
     Tonight, the super delegates will at last vote for the candidate of their choice. And while their choice is preordained, it'll still be interesting to see how many super delegates who'd already pledged their votes for Hillary will change to Sanders in light of the party leadership's shake up and proof of its own corrosive corruption.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Out of the Wilderness, a Voice of Clarity

     Granted, this Reddit user may have been a bit misguided at the end, although I share his bitter sentiment that Bernie failed his true test (A quiet change of rules stipulated that the Democratic runner-up had to officially endorse the presumptive nominee or lose all his or her super delegate states). But his appraisal of the "neoDems" is spot on.
     They're like Michael Scott on that ill-fated date on The Office. He's told to look for a brunette wearing a black top and jeans and thinks he sees her in a hot blonde in a dress. Even when faced with a mountain of irrefutable data that's been vetted by network news and proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Debbie Wasserman Schultz was in the tank for Hillary going back to before Clinton threw her hat in the ring, all they can do is shake their heads as if the uncomfortable, incriminating words will fall out.
     And even if the Russian were the ones behind the Guccifer 2.0 leaks, that still wouldn't make them any the less truthful. The DNC colluded with media who in turn effusively gushed about Hillary while grudgingly paying lip service to the Sanders campaign and treating him as an also-ran even when he was picking up primary and caucus states left and right.
     And instead of addressing the issues proving rampant corruption and collusion between the supposedly impartial DNC, the Clinton campaign, Super PACS, Superdelegates and the media, what do we hear on social media?
     "But, but... Sanders admitted to illegally hacking into the DNC servers to get that voter list!"
     Which is simply not true. The Sanders campaign sued to get those voter lists when Schultz's DNC withheld them and when the Sanders campaign was finally cleared of wrong-doing, only then they turned the spigots and released the names.
     "But... but, Sanders was never a Democrat until now! What about that, huh?"
     Well, Clinton was never a Democrat, either, isn't now nor ever will be. She started out as a Goldwater Girl and will remain one until the Grim Reaper finally claims her.
     You got nuthin', you right wing jackals. You can stare at that burning house and see all the ice cream cones until it turns into a mountain of fucking Ben & Jerry's. That burning house is the shambles you and your super heroes of bipartisanship made of the democracy we once had. It's Constitution Hall in Philly where Democracy will come full circle and gasp its last in the city that birthed it 240 years ago this month.
     You see a champion for Civil Rights whose record goes back to the Kennedy years and see a racist. Meanwhile, you look at a portly racist who'd once aligned herself with a Republican who wanted to repeal the Civil Rights Act and two decades later helped imprison young black men for petty crimes and see in her the Civil Rights champion Bernie Sanders is.
     You listen to the rhetoric and the easy populism of Hillary shadow boxing in a one-sided match with Wall Street and think you hear another great champion who's going to clean up that same Wall Street that had paid her and Slick Willie countless millions over the years and will continue to through that Potemkin charity known as the Clinton Foundation. Meanwhile, Bernie's an unrealistic dreamer.
     You look at her record that proves repressive Middle Eastern regimes who'd given up to $10,000,000 to that same Clinton Foundation and just coincidentally, every fucking time, got an arms deal approved by Secretary of State Clinton and see someone who will do something about ISIS. Like maybe invade Iraq all over again.
     "If you don't vote for Hillary, Trump will win!"
     Yeah, isn't it funny how Tammany Hall 2.0, aka what used to be the Democrat Party, keeps putting us in this mess every four years? They keep fielding Democrats who still can't get out much more than 40% of the electorate even in general election years and every four years default to the fear-mongering and resorting to the politics of fear that morons like you keep falling for every forty eight fucking months.
     "If you don't vote for Gore, Bush will win!"
     "If you don't vote for Kerry, Bush will win again!"
     "If you don't vote for Obama, McCain will win!"
     "If you don't vote for Obama again, Romney will win!"
     "If you don't vote for Hillary..."
     Don't bother, we know the rest of the threadbare, dog-eared spiel by now.
     Listen, Hillarybots, being, unlike you a real liberal, I don't believe in poll taxes or litmus tests. But you people are so fucking stupid, buffalo show more intelligence and cognitive thinking during a stampede. And when I listen to the drivel that comes out of your keyboards on social media, you make me reconsider that litmus test. Surely, there must be some way to make you prove your fitness to vote.
     And I'd be ashamed to call myself a Democrat if I thought for even a minute that you were Democrats, as well. But you are the new right wing, the new undeclared neoliberals who actually think hiking taxes on the rich is bad, actual reform is "dreamy" and unrealistic. You are exactly what I used to see a decade ago when right wingers would look at a dry drunk hillbilly named George W. Bush who couldn't even be counted on to eat a pretzel without adult supervision and saw a great and brilliant statesman.
     You are stupid cunts and I owe you no time, house room or respect. You had your chance to get behind the candidate who actually did stand more than a chance against Trump and went with the crook with the falling numbers and the buddies who will soon be thrown out of office and in prison. And, true to form, when and if Trump wins the Presidency, you'll blame Sanders and his voters and we'll hear Ralph Nader's name over and over again until the fucking Rapture.
     Because, like typical right wingers, you will never blame yourselves for hitching your wagon to Hillary, a power-mad psychopath who literally laughs when talking about the invasions of Iraq or Libya without thinking for a second of the thousands who were killed to those ends.
     You deserve Trump because when you crown Hillary your nominee this Thursday, you will be handing the White House to a guy who really does make George W. Bush look brilliant and statesmanlike by comparison. You, the voters, you the delegates, you the super delegates, it will all be on you when we vote Bernie or Jill on a third ticket.
     Because regardless of who gets in the Oval Office, they won't be just the next President of the United States.
     They'll be the last.

(Update)
     ♪ ♫  ♪ ♫ The Party's over... ♪ ♫  ♪ ♫
     Maybe if she's lucky, they'll let her sweep up the confetti and broken balloons after Bernie gets the nomination.

Debbie Does Dallas But Not Philly

         Wow, that was abrupt! I wonder what brought on that sudden fall from grace? By being "quarantined", as one senior Democrat termed it, Wasserman Schultz is now officially the Typhoid Mary of the new Republican Democratic Party.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The DNC Has Political Gonorrhea

     One of the signs you have gonorrhea is a leaky discharge from the penis. And when a major political party as controlled by the Democratic National Committee has to weather this many leaks, then it means they have the political version of an STD.
     Today, Wikileaks released over 19,000 emails and 8,000+ attachments, some of them proving pretty conclusively (and Jake Tapper confirmed the emails are real. Like, who the fuck would forge over 19,000 emails?) that the DNC as a whole was in the tank for Hillary long before the first caucus vote was cast in Iowa. They also prove they set out from the gitgo to smear Bernie Sanders' name despite her opposition research team not finding a shred of evidence pointing to a scandal involving Bernie.
    
     I'd also like to watch Hillary's fat face if she ever got cornered by the MSM into answering why Donald Trump made so much money off Hillary's campaign. But she'll never have to, especially with the convention in Philly so close, because the crooked corporate MSM's also been in the tank for her from the beginning.
     Protesters, many of them Bernie supporters, will be barred from entering the convention floor and could be fined just for practicing their First Amendment rights in the city in which democracy was born.
     So it's only fitting that democracy will come full circle in the same city in which it was birthed and have its death knell tolled. The RNC convention was the usual carnival of crazy it's always been and always will be. But those of us naive enough to actually have reasonable expectations and higher standards for the Democrats expect better of the crooks and liars currently flying the banner of the party that will immediately change it out to a white flag and flown for the Republicans.
     People in the DNC have to pay for this and we're not going to be satisfied with pawns being coerced into falling on their swords. I won't be happy with anything less than Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Hillary Clinton going down for this culture of collusion and corruption that currently infects the DNC.

(Update)  In a masterstroke of a dick move, the 187 rules committee members (coincidentally, 187 is a commonly-used police code for murder) not only barred the press but also kicked out Sanders delegates, meaning the iron eagle had landed and the Nazi Party has at last come to Philly.

Another One Star Hit Piece, Another Broken Vow


Writing never came easy to Joseph David Chadwick...
     Months ago, I vowed I'd never again mention Joe Chadwick, aspiring schlockmeister and man of letters. On the last night of the RNC convention, I broke that vow and now I have to break it at least one more time.
     It seems even after I got him a mail order bride, and he, against all reason in the known universe, got himself a so-called literary agent, a so-called six figure contract and a staff position writing for his publisher in Tel Aviv, despite getting a gig with Fandom.com scribbling for other fanboys like him, it seems Joseph David Chadwick, in the words of Brokeback Mountain's Ennis Del Mar, just can't quit me.
     I briefly mentioned a couple of days ago that a bubble had burst in what passes for Chadwick's brain and his stalking of yours truly entered a new cycle. He and his psycho wife Fiona have still been auditing this blog for the latest, trying unsuccessfully to get comments read and posted. But apparently, that wasn't enough so to satisfy their sick, shared obsession with me, they began looking elsewhere.
     So Chadwick, seeing tweets from the new Mike Flannigan accounts I've been posting here, began reaching out to me on one of them through his long since blocked Twitter account and then he harvested a screengrab from a video I'd posted for a Kickstarter campaign nearly five years ago, then set up a separate email address so he could create a separate Twitter account using my likeness.
     Today, I found one more instance proving correct my prediction from last winter when I said Chadwick would write a fake one star hit piece on my newest novel, GODS OF OUR FATHERS. As stated in that post, I know what he's going to do before even he does because his "mind" is so small, petty and predictable, my mind actually contains his.
     So this is the brain turd I found waiting in the review section of my last novel: Do us all a favor and vote this down whether or not it's a verified purchase. His terse, politically-motivated, stalkerish "reviews", in keeping with his intellectual laziness, are one line, not bespeaking of a mind that's even remotely capable of sticking through a 117,000 word book. He's twice put up the same argle bargle "review" of American Zen, which seemed to drive him over the deep end, not that it takes much, and both times Amazon, rightly, removed them as well as from where he'd cross-posted it on Goodreads. Let's maintain that trend.
     And if on the offchance you're one of the people who bought GODS OF OUR FATHERS, please leave a review after voting down Chadwick's idiotic, spiteful, jealous hit piece of an impeccably researched and well-written novel that's plainly beyond his limited abilities to appreciate much less read cover to cover.
     In the meantime, pretty soon I'll begin writing that thriller about twin serial killers/pedophiles who just happened to be named Chadwick and let's see in a year's time what he has to say about that novel.
     Finally, I leave you with this image of the man who's still stalking me from 7000 miles away even at a time in his life when the world, insanely enough, keeps finding new ways to throw itself at his cloven hooves with yet another Joe the Plumber opportunity.
     Every time I see this chilling mugshot of Chadwick and look into those eyes, I can't help but think of that line in The Doors' "Riders on the Storm"
     "His brain is squirming like a toad."
     Indeed, Mr. Morrison, indeed.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Orgasm of Hate Live-Tweeting

(By American Zen's @mikeflannigan59, on loan from Ari)
Quicken Loan Center, Cleveland---
One more night, I keep telling myself, just one more fucking night. Ari better have a reserved parking spot waiting for me the size of fucking Rhode Island. And mental health counseling fully subsidized on my health care plan. And a bottle of Bushmill's. No, a case...




(At this point, I had to co-opt one of my book and writing accounts when Twitter stalked me and shut down all three of my political accounts within hours. Gee, I don't suppose Chadwick stalking me today on Twitter and this censorship is in any way related, could it? Nah.)
(Twitter's just shut down this account, too, making four in all today. This shit's gone too far.)
     To give you an idea of how complete and obsessive this fascist censorship has been tonight, this is what you'd see if you logged on to the analytics pages of all four Twitter accounts that they've censored at someone's behest:




     Note the complete absence of timelines, a sure sign (that and suddenly getting single and low double digit impressions) you're being censored. Apparently someone and their wife in Tel Aviv have got way too much spare time on their hands and just can't shake their obsession with me. And what do all four of these accounts have in common? This blog and I've just showed a certain someone which ones I'm using.
     And they and Twitter are being such cowardly, craven cunts about it, they haven't even got the balls to tell me they're the authors of my ongoing, neverending censorship because right wingers are the ultimate cowards.
     Meanwhile, earlier today when I lodged a complaint about Jailbird Joe Chadwick, Twitter sent me an immediate canned response: In order to process my complaint, they demanded I show them a government-issued photo ID to prove who I am. This is the email to prove what I'm saying:
      The complaint lodged was about an account that began following two of my accounts, @crawfordisms59, a typical puerile Chadwick dick move that an asthmatic high school sophomore would've dreamed up to get back at the high school jock who shoved him into his locker. This parody account used my picture as an avatar which was then stretched into a banner image. In order to get this, Chadwick or his wife would've needed to go to Kickstarter, which hosted my first drive several years ago. That would've meant going deep into their archives, finding my long defunct account, harvesting a screengrab from the video I'd posted, setting up a new email address then setting up this idiotic account in an attempt to be amusing. Which ought to show you the sheer depth and depravity of the obsession these toxic right wing douchebags harbor for me.
     If this is the best Chadwick can do for humor, you can imagine what a barrel of laughs his new stupid ass Poor Man's Mike Nelson book is.
     But seriously? A photo ID? Now, what would that prove? Isn't it enough that I'm already logged into the account from which I lodged the complaint? Why would they demand to have something that contains my home address, my driver's license ID number, date of birth, all that shit?
     Meanwhile, I'm getting censored across the board with complete impunity and somehow I'm doubting the asshole(s) lodging these baseless complaints are being asked for their gov't-issued photo IDs.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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