Sunday, July 31, 2011

"We're going to Need a Bigger Government."

President Obama at the chum line, feeding the Republican Party.

And what is he feeding them? More scraps from the hale and healthy body that used to be Social Security (Soon under new management as the "Lose it All But Possibly Win Big! sweepstakes on Wall Street). What used to be Medicare and Medicaid (Soon also under new management as the "Macrosized, Masshealth Connector Clusterfuck aka RomneyCare").

And still they want more because somehow this chum, however ill-gotten and flayed from our social safety net given to us by better and more compassionate governments, this chum just ain't cutting it. No, the jaws of the GOP and the 50 or 60 dead-enders of the dying Tea Party who still inexplicably find themselves on TV day after day as if they were the Swiftboaters for Truthiness or Balloon Boy dads and other frauds, they want more than chum.

They want those sweet, sweeeeeeet, blubbery otters and seals and walruses, they want those dolphins and sea lions and manatees, whatever they can stuff into those gaping maws because, well, they have lobbyists and tycoons to feed.

So Obama keeps chucking chum in the chum line, thinking those precious nuggets will somehow attract and placate those 25 foot eating machines and thinking he's some Great Communicator or Compromiser or whatever he chooses to call himself when he's standing in front of his full-length mirror in his skivvies at night.

And the Great Feeder of Insatiable Republican Sharks will not listen to the likes of Quint, who tells him horror stories of other Republican sharks of the Nixon era, not even when he ominously begins his stories with, "Argh, the Congress was angry that night, me heartie. There I was, feeding them chum, when suddenly I found myself surrounded by fins a meter high, argh..."

No, Obama will not listen to old salts with vaster experience than him, he will not listen to those who tell him the bloody chunks he offers the Republican sharks will merely arouse their bloodlust and prime their appetites for something more substantial. As with sharks and blood, Republicans can smell the smallest surplus from two miles away. How could they not sniff out and be driven into a frenzy by a $2.6 trillion Social Security surplus which even their world-eating benefactors on Wall Street cannot laugh off as a morsel?

And Republicans will do what Republicans do, which is bang the boat when they don't get what they want, even if the engine room gets filled with bilge water and the whole ship of state stalls, drifts and eventually sinks. If they can shut the government down that quickly simply by saying no, then we need a bigger government, one that cannot be sunk so easily.

But if that happens, if the ship sinks, all that remains to be seen is if Captain Obama goes down with the ship or adroitly escapes, leaving the rest of us to cling to water-logged life preservers that the Republicans will also want to eat.

The Three Ring Circus

The Tea Party Caucus, left to right: (Back row) Allen West, Paul Ryan, Dan Webster, Joe Barton, Jeff Duncan. (front row, l-r) Joe Walsh, Louie Gohmert, Michele Bachmann.

President Obama nailed it when he said yesterday that the debt "negotiations" on Capitol Hill was a "three ring circus." What he could've done was clarify which entities made up the three rings: The House and Senate and the White House.

That's not to say the House and Senate Republicans aren't responsible for most of this ginned-up chaos that seemingly overnight has turned into a very real one. The intentions of the radical wing of the GOP are painfully transparent: Cripple Social Security using whatever fraudulent means necessary, and beginning the dismantling and/or privatization of Medicare and Medicaid through equally fraudulent means.

Republicans know as well as Democrats that if we do indeed default on our national debt by not raising the ceiling by Tuesday, the first of two things will happen: The Treasury will empty itself out paying our creditors and those on Social Security, unemployment and those serving our military will immediately stop getting checks.

The manufactured emergency has already resulted in a partial shutdown of the FAA, which has not only placed 70,000 union workers on temporary hiatus and is making millions for the airlines and airports, but $200,000,000 a week in airport taxes are going uncollected. Hm. Union workers out of work, private industry making millions and nearly a billion dollars in uncollected taxes a month. Funny how Republican initiatives do that, huh?

Yet, I think one would be hard-pressed to find even one Republican on Capitol Hill who's thought this far ahead: How will the GOP continue rah-rahing, sis boom-bahing the three war fronts and the troops who are fighting them after being solely responsible for cutting their paychecks?

I remember when Democrats were threatening to stall military appropriations bills during the Bush era and the Republicans were hoarsely screaming like so many elephants with their balls in a vise about. "The troops, the troops, my God, what about the troops?!"

Fast-forward to 2011: The troops may not get their next checks and be able to continue paying their bills starting next week. Yet, where are the Republican calls to continue funding the troops? Crickets.

Sure, it's painfully obvious the Republican Party and the Teahadists who have taken over a large part of the GOP caucus are hell-bent on destroying this country and destroying the biggest progressive legacies of the past 70-75 years, starting with Social Security and Medicare. But Obama must accept ownership for one of the rings of this three-ring circus.

Obama could've simply defused this situation months ago by invoking the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling. Former President Clinton said he would've used it. Obama, also a so-called Constitutional law scholar, claims his lawyers are telling him it wouldn't be legal. Obama keeps treating the 14th amendment as if it's a nuclear option but the fact is it would be more like a neutron bomb that would vaporize this sad, sorry clown show on the Hill while leaving the infrastructure intact. And if the Tea Bag Caucus in the House wants to impeach Obama for using what we all know is his constitutional prerogative, they'll have to explain why they're attempting to impeach a President for simply raising the debt ceiling in lieu of a Constitutional Amendment to balance the budget. They'll have to explain to the rest of us who precisely prevented that Constitutional amendment from passing. And the Tea Bag Caucus will lose whatever little credibility they now have.

Yet from the start, it was obvious that Obama was going to do what Obama always does: Capitulate to the fascist, pro-corporate GOP and immediately put Social Security on the table despite it being responsible for not one cent of the national debt (perhaps someone should remind Obama the $2.6 trillion surplus was obtained through something called "payroll taxes"). He's also put Medicare and Medicaid on the buffet table, despite both programs having rock-bottom operating costs of 3%. With a stroke of the pen, Obama could wipe out the prohibition to the government being able to negotiate drug prices with Big Pharma, thereby helping to reduce that burden by hundreds of billions.

But Obama does what Obama has always done: Sell the least fortunate up the river as he did when he froze pay for federal workers for two years at the same exact moment he authorized the continuance of the Bush tax cuts for the same length of time because the minority GOP was holding unemployment benefits hostage in both houses of Congress. At the same time he did that, he also capitulated to the GOP by allowing Social Security taxes to be cut by 2%. This has had an immediate effect: In the first six months, Social Security has lost $100,000,000,000 from its coffers. Six months ago, there was a $2.7 trillion surplus. Now we're hearing it's $2.6 trillion and counting.

To anyone who's ever balanced a checkbook and kept a checking account register, in order to remain solvent and to stay ahead of the game, you need to be bringing in at least as much as you spend, if not take in more. If you spend more than you generate, you're going to be in trouble with someone at some point. How the GOP can convince so many people that the debt can be reduced to nothing over ten years while lowering taxes simultaneously and to be allowed to advance these lies on national TV several times a day without being seriously challenged is a searing and damning indictment on the stupidity, gullibility and apathy of our once-great nation.

Boehner's watered down political theater of a bill passed in the House a few nights ago but it revealed some very interesting things. First off, 23% of the Tea Party Caucus, including Tea Bagger queen Michele Bachmann, voted against the bill, joining all 188 Democrats who also opposed it. And when the perennially-fractious Democratic Party in either chamber stands perfectly united against any Republican proposal, you know they're on the side of the angels. The vote tally also revealed that 22 Republicans in toto opposed the Boehner bill that everyone knew was doomed to failure (sources close to Congress revealed that even many Republicans who'd voted for it did so while holding their noses).

What I'm saying here, people, isn't brilliantly insightful but these thumbtack observations do get to the heart of the matter:

The Republican Party is fractured and split between those who want to destroy this country and those who want to sell the biggest chunks to China. There are many Republicans who are wide-eyed with terror that this game of chicken played by their party leaders will result in economic catastrophe.

But the leadership is plainly insane and terrified they won't get re-elected next year and one doesn't have to squint very hard to see the hands above the curtain of the puppet show pulling the strings: They belong to the Koch Brothers who'd, with Dick Armey, almost single-handedly created the Tea Party. They belong to Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon and Rex Tillerson and every hedge fund manager on Wall Street.

And then there's our President, who's plainly terrified of teh crazy of the GOP who are willing to shoot their own hostages so they don't incur the wrath of their puppeteers on Wall Street. And, in spite of knowing that Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid has not contributed to the national debt as has lowered taxes and endless wars, Obama will still put all of us who need those programs on the chopping block, including the 2.5 million active duty servicemembers and retired veterans drawing pensions.

He knows fully good and well our creditors will still get paid off and banks, credit card lenders and other predatory entities stand to make billions off jacked-up APRs and foreclosed homes when these innocent victims will no longer be able to pay their bills because of Republican brinksmanship.

Sure, it's all too obvious that the Republican Party is plainly insane and has turned a ginned-up emergency into a very real one. If this debt ceiling debacle doesn't conclusive prove this Tea Bagging 112th Congress isn't the worst one in American history, then nothing will.

But a large measure of the responsibility also has to be laid at the doorstep of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, currently occupied by an administration that seems bound and determined to exceed its predecessor as the worst presidency of all time.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Criminal to Return to Scene of Crime of the Century gloat over most massive failure in American history. Maybe this time, Bush and Obama will actually stay long enough to hear the reading of all the 9/11 victims' names.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night

On July 27th, after dramatic last minute arm-twisting on his part, Speaker of the House John Boehner decided there would be no vote on a stopgap deficit reduction bill that would pave the way to raising the debt ceiling by $2.7 trillion before August 2nd. What were the biggest reasons why Speaker Boehner decided not to hold a vote?

  • 10) Boehner couldn't twist enough dicks because fellow Republicans were too busy photographing them with their cell phones.

  • 9) The Drudge Report and Andrew Breitbart said if they sided with Boehner on a compromise, Congressman Barney Frank would fuck their fathers.

  • 8) All 37 remaining Tea Party members camped outside Boehner's office window while repeatedly shouting, "Put your government hands on my Medicare!"

  • 7) Security guards for Koch Industries repeatedly blocked Boehner at Republican office doors, stating he wasn't on their approved list.

  • 6) Tea Party caucus refused to budge on a balanced budget amendment that would require President Obama to change his name to "Toby."

  • 5) Freshman Republicans refused to commit either way until their fax machines spit out something from Rush Limbaugh.

  • 4) Grover Norquist threatened to drown any Republican who sided with Boehner in a bathtub.

  • 3) Joe Walsh's entire office repossessed by Illinois Department of Revenue for back child support.

  • 2) Paul Ryan angry at Boehner for allowing him to be marginalized and forgotten during deficit debate.

  • 1) Because Senators Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer inexplicably said it in Swahili, moderate Republicans translated for Boehner into English, "It will not pass in the Senate and the President will veto it."
  • Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Life's Been Good For Joe Walsh

    My Maserati does one-eighty-five
    I lost my license, now I don't drive
    I have a limo, ride in the back
    I lock the doors in case I'm attacked
    - Joe Walsh, "Life's Been Good"

    Tea Bagger congressman Joe Walsh (R-IL), in a party filled with shiftless hypocrites, bids fair to become the new poster child for Republican shiftlessness and hypocrisy. In spite of being the self-appointed gadfly of the Obama administration and screaming about debts and paying bills, Walsh is himself being sued for over $117,400 in back child support.

    When he first took office this year, he said, “I do not want to burden the American taxpayer with any of my health care costs and retirement. Period," by way of explaining why he was shopping for private insurance rather than getting the free health care given to lawmakers. Apparently, however, he doesn't mind burdening his ex-wife Laura with over 100 grand in back child support.

    Naturally, in true scumbag Republican fashion, this lawsuit suing him for six figures in back child support is, in his addled mind, politically-motivated. Just recently, he said on CNN's Newsroom, "It’s interesting that it just broke right now as I’m out there trying my best to fight this president and fight the Democrats and solve this debt crisis."

    Wah wah.

    This dirtbag, during a time when he was stiffing his ex and three kids on child support by crying indigence, loaned his campaign $35,000 and paid himself almost half of it back. Then, after claiming that he has child support problems "like any other guy", when his ex wife's divorce lawyer threatened to have his driver's license taken away (you know, "like any other guy"), Walsh puled, "Have you no decency?"

    Hypocritical scumbaggery within the ranks of the Republican Party is nothing new either here or anywhere else in the blogosphere. But what I'd like to address here is the unevenness of the enforcement of child support laws. Granted, we're talking about two different states (Illinois and Massachusetts) but child support became one of those politically-correct hot button issues across the nation.

    What I'd like to know is:

    1) Why hasn't Walsh's $174,000 salary been garnished as was mine in 2004, despite the fact that I voluntarily paid child support prior to the court order?

    2) Why was Walsh's child support arrearage allowed to balloon to over $117,400 over nine years while my bank account got emptied of my rent money and levied last month just nine weeks after my only income was terminated?

    3) Why hasn't Walsh's driver's license been revoked after all these years and why hasn't he been arrested on felony counts of nonpayment of child support and contempt of a court order?

    Gee, the Illinois family courts wouldn't be cutting him some slack because he's a member of Congress and/or a Republican, would they?

    Until these Republican cunts face the same timetables and the same comeuppance as the rank and file, they'll never have any incentive to do the right thing for legal and/or moral reasons. There's a serious disconnect and disproportion between how the law is enforced on the proles and how it's "enforced" on the rich and powerful.

    Yeah, Illinois authorities may be going after this shiftless cocksucker Joe Walsh now but it's too little, too late as far as I'm concerned. And if he thinks being hauled into court to pay over $117,000 in back child support nine years after it had begun accruing is politically motivated, it would hugely amuse me to see what his reaction would be if he was undergoing what I am, someone who has to fight tooth and nail just to keep a roof over my head, and was targeted by the Massachusetts DOR after just nine weeks without income. You think Joe worries every month whether he'll have a roof over his pointy little head? Somehow, I doubt it.

    You go, Laura. Sue that piece of shit for every wooden nickel he's got.

    Libya's War For the Abaya

    By Susan Lindauer, former U.S. Asset covering Libya and Iraq at the United Nations during the Lockerbie negotiations

    For European bankers, it's a war for Libya's Gold. For oil corporations, it's a war for Cheap Crude (now threatening to destroy Libya's oil infrastructure, just like Iraq). But for Libya's women, it's a fierce, knock down battle over the Abaya— an Islamic style of dress that critics say deprives women of self-expression and identity.

    Hillary Clinton and President Sarkozy might be loath to admit it, but the desire to turn back the clock on women rights in Libya constitutes one of the chief goals for NATO Rebels on the Transitional Council.

    For NATO Rebels—who are overwhelmingly pro-Islamist, regardless of NATO propaganda (see — it's a matter of restoring social obedience to Islamic doctrine. However the abaya is more than a symbol of virtue and womanly modesty. It would usher in a full conservative doctrine, impacting women's rights in marriage and divorce, the rights to delay childbirth to pursue education and employment—all the factors that determine a woman's status of independence.

    That makes this one War Libya's women cannot afford to lose. For those of us who support Islamic modernity, there are good arguments that Gadhaffi would be grossly irresponsible to hand over power to a vacuum dominated by NATO Rebels. Given the savagery of their abuses against the Libyan people—and the Rebels’ agenda to reinstate Shariah and retract women's rights, Gadhaffi has an obligation to stand strong and block them for the protection of the people.

    Indeed, it's somewhat baffling that France or Italy would want to hand power to Rebels, outside of an election scenario. Elections would be a safeguard that would empower Libyan women to launch a leadership alternative that rejects the Abaya. That's exactly what the Rebels fear, and it accounts for their deep, abiding rejection of the election process. Democracy poses a real threat to NATO's vision of the "New Libya."

    The abaya carries so much weight in the battle for Islamic modernity that Gadhaffi pretty much banned Islamic dress from the first days of his government. Getting rid of the abaya was part of Gadhaffi's larger reform package supporting women's rights—one of the best and most advanced in the entire Arab world. The transformation of women's status has been so great that the Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran imposed a fatwa against Gadhaffi years ago, declaring his government blasphemous to Islamic traditions.

    To gain insider perspective on Gadhaffi's reforms for women, members of a fact-finding delegation in Libya spoke with Najat ElMadani, chairwoman of the Libyan Society for Culture and Sciences, an NGO started in 1994. They also interviewed Sheikh Khaled Tentoush, one the most prominent Imams in Libya. Imam Tentoush has survived two NATO assassination attempts, one that was particularly revealing.

    Tentoush said that he and 12 other progressive Imams were traveling to Benghazi to discuss a peaceful end to the conflict. They stopped for tea at a guest house in Brega--- and NATO dropped a bomb right on top of them, killing 11 of the 13 Imams, who had embraced Islamic reforms that empower women's rights and modernity.

    There were no military installations or Gadhaffi soldiers anywhere nearby that would have justified NATO bombing. This was a deliberate assassination of Islamic leaders who give religious legitimacy to Gadhaffi's modernist policies, and therefore pose a great threat to the conservative ambitions of Islamic Rebels. NATO killed them off.

    What's got radical Islamists so upset in Libya? Here's a primer on women's rights under Gadhaffi:

    No Male Chaperones in Libya

    • In Libya, women are allowed to move about the city, go shopping or visit friends without a male escort. Unbelievable as it sounds, throughout most of the Arab world, such freedoms are strictly forbidden. In much of Pakistan, for example, a 5 year old male child would be considered a suitable chaperone for an adult woman in the marketplace. Otherwise she'd better stay home. In Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, women are frequently locked in their apartments while their husbands, brothers or fathers go off to work. Yes, there are exceptions. Some families individually reject these practices. However, before readers protest this characterization, you must be honest and acknowledge that the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Saudis/Kuwaitis aren't the only groups that constrain women's freedoms in the Arab world. This is common social behavior throughout large swaths of Arab society.
    • In Libya, women are never locked in their homes, while their husbands, fathers and brothers go to work. Gadhaffi forbids restricting women's mobility.
    • In Libya, women have full legal rights to drive cars—unlike their sisters in Saudi Arabia. In a lot of Arab countries, a woman's husband holds her passport. So she cannot travel outside of the country without his approval.

    Marriage Rights

    • Tragically, in Kabul, Afghanistan, a young woman can be locked in Prison for rejecting her father's choice of husband. Until she changes her mind, her prospective mother in law visits the prison every day, demanding to know why her son is not "good enough" for this girl. Why does she disobey those who know what's best for her? That poor woman stays locked up in Kabul prison until she changes her mind. And it happens right under the noses of American and NATO soldiers. A NATO Occupation won't protect Libyan women, either.
    • All over the Arab world—from Yemen to Jordan to Saudi Arabia to Iran— fathers and brothers decide what age a young woman will be given away in marriage, usually as soon as she hits puberty— She has no choice in the most important decision of her life. Frequently a young girl gets married off to one of her father's adult friends or a cousin. Throughout the Arab world, it's socially acceptable for a shopkeeper to ask a young Muslim girl if she has started to menstruate. A good Islamic girl is expected to answer truthfully.
    • Not in Libya. To his greatest credit, bucking all Islamic traditions—from the first days of government, Gadhaffi said No Way to forced marriages. Libyan woman have the right to choose their own husbands. They are encouraged to seek love marriages. Under strict Libyan law, without exception no person can force a Libyan woman to marry any man for any reason.
    • Forced marriages have been such a problem throughout the Arab world, that in Libya, an Imam always calls on the woman if there is an impending marriage. The Imam meets with her privately, and asks if any person is forcing her to marry, or if there's any reason she's marrying this person other than her desire to be with this man. Both Najat and Imam Tentoush were very adamant on these points.
    • In Libya, the Imams are expected to protect the woman from abuse by relatives.

    Right to End a Marriage

    • Divorce is brutally difficult for a woman throughout the Arab world. A husband can beat or rape his wife, or commit adultery or lock her in a room like a prison. No matter what a woman suffers, as a wife she has no legal rights to leave that marriage, even for her own protection. When her father negotiates that marriage contract, she's stuck for life. A man can divorce a woman in front of two witnesses by repeating three times: "I divorce you. I divorce you. I divorce you." He can text that message on a cell phone, and it's over. The woman has no reciprocal freedom. She's stuck in that marriage until her husband lets her go.
    • Not so in Libya. A Libyan woman can leave a marriage anytime she chooses. A woman simply files for divorce and goes on with her life. It is very similar to U.S. laws, in that a man has no power to stop her. It's completely within her control to initiate a divorce.
    • In Libya, if a woman enters a marriage with her own assets and the marriage ends, her husband cannot touch her assets. The same is true of the man's assets. Joint assets usually go to the woman. These "abnormal" marriage rights stir deep anger among conservative Libyan men. Rebels particularly hate Gadhaffi's government for granting marriage rights to women. But consider how delaying marriage impacts women's opportunities in society.

    Delayed marriage means delayed childbirth, which empowers young women to continue education and gain employment. Not surprisingly then, Libyan women enjoy some of the best opportunities in the Arab world. That might also cause simmering resentments among conservative Libyan men.

    Education of Libyan Women

    • In Libya more women take advantage of higher education than men, according to Najat. There are professional women in every walk of life. Many Libyan women are scientists, university professors, lawyers, doctors, government employees, journalists and business women. Najat attributes that freedom and the range of choices to Gadhaffi, and his government's insistence that women must be free to choose their lives and be fully supported in those choices. Najat and Tentoush said that some Imams in Libya would like it to be otherwise—especially those Imams favoring the Rebels— but Gadhaffi has always over ruled them. For example there are many women soldiers, and they are very strong and fully capable of contributing to the military defense of the country.
    • Women receive education scholarships equal to the men's. All Libyans can go abroad and study if they so desire— paid for by Gadhaffi's government. Single women usually take a brother or male relative with them, and Najat said all expenses are covered for both the woman and her companion.
    • In Libya, women are not required to seek a husband's permission to hold a job, and any type of job is available to her. In contrast, many employment opportunities are proscribed in many other Arab countries, because work puts women in daily proximity to men who are not their husbands. That eliminates many types of job opportunities.

    Bashing Women's Rights

    These are some of the reasons why Rebels consider Gadhaffi an "infidel." They frequently express a desire to reinstate the Shariah. It's an open secret in Arab circles. In ignoring this point, NATO resembles the three monkeys. See no truth. Hear no truth. Speak no truth. But the Arab community understands this dynamic. Rebels are going to pat Hillary Clinton and Sarkozy on the head right up until they capture power. Then they're going to do exactly what they started out to do. Reinstate Islamic law—under the protection of the United States and NATO governments. Conservative social codes will be enforced just like Afghanistan.

    Libyans understand this point, even if Americans and Europeans are lost in denial.
    It should surprise no one, therefore, that some of Gadhaffi's greatest support comes from Libyan women. Nor should it surprise Libya watchers that Gadhaffi's not exactly "clinging to power" as the corporate media likes to suggest. Quite the contrary, Gadhaffi's support has skyrocketed to 80 or 85 percent during this crisis. President Obama, Sarkozy and Bersculoni would be thrilled to enjoy such intense popular support.

    NATO bombing has backfired and alienated the Libyan people from the Rebel cause, destroying community infrastructure that Libyans are truly proud of. Rebels are chasing pro-Gaddhaffi families out of Benghazi, a sort of political cleansing. But they have no street credibility that would give them power in negotiations with other Libyans, because losers don't get to dictate the terms. NATO can propagandize until Sarkozy falls over in a fit, but the people have resoundingly rejected these Rebels.

    NATO is pushing a political resolution, because Europe wants off the merry-go-round. In truth, the music is getting uglier every day. NATO never should have jumped on this bandwagon in the first place. There's no sense to it. They're fighting Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and embracing Al Qaeda and conservative Islam in Benghazi.

    Those of us who support Islamic modernity should be relieved that Libya's people are smarter and savvier than NATO bureaucrats. And we should all say a prayer that Gadhaffi holds on.

    (This article may be republished in full or part with attribution to the author.)

    As a U.S. Asset, Susan Lindauer covered Libya and Iraq at the United Nations from 1995 to 2003, and started negotiations for the Lockerbie Trial. Lindauer is the author of “Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq.”

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Fox News At Its Finest, Part XIV

    How about this blast from the past? Fox "News" quoting Dick "deficits don't matter" Cheney about his rosy economic forecast less than two years before it blew up.

    This is how Fox decided to celebrate Martin Luther King Day last January: By slamming a black man using a dead white guy. Kudos, Fox.

    Sure they did, Pat. And one of their names was Christopher Columbus.

    "But let's ignore the fact that as Hurricane Katrina was destroying New Orleans, Bush did the same thing in San Diego."

    And the Republican party is doing its damnedest to ensure the White House can't make that guarantee.

    Homeland Security using DNA scans for immigration cases, TSA using DNA scanners at airports... what's the difference?

    I guess when Roger Ailes set out to change the world, he literally meant it.

    Tuesday, July 26, 2011

    Stan Lee Taught Me Everything I Need to Know in Life

    OK, perhaps Stan Lee didn't coin the phrase and put in Spider Man's Uncle Ben's mouth the phrase, "With great power comes great responsibility." That was originally coined in 1892 by Thomas Gilroy when he was the Mayor-elect of New York. Ironically, he said it in an interview with the NY Times.

    Which is why it's borderline ironic that the Times, in a "hit piece", according to hate merchant Pam Geller, tied the Atlas Shrugged blogger to the massacre in Norway. Actually, the Times did no such thing but merely relayed what had been divulged by Norwegian police. Apparently, the alleged shooter, Anders Breivik, had cited right wing lunatics like Geller and Robert Spenser as his inspiration to carry out the Nazi-style execution that took the lives of at least 92 people.

    Because the likes of Geller, Spenser and the Gates of Vienna are simply incapable of understanding that with great power, such as freedom of speech, comes great responsibility and the reckless exercise of those powers can lead to consequences such as what we've recently seen in Norway.

    Media Matters has done its homework and has cataloged some of Geller's greatest hits from the past, paying particular attention to Geller's irrationally hateful rhetoric toward Islam. In fact, with the peculiarly demented genius for intellectual contortionism, Geller recently whined, "If anyone incited him to violence, it was Islamic supremacists.” In other words, "We can still blame the Muslims for this massacre." Despite the fact that the American Islamic Congress had already condemned the massacre, as has the Islamic Council of Norway.

    (Pardon me while I turn away and address Geller directly on camera three.)

    No, Bikini Girl, it's you and your odious, hateful ilk that incited him to violence. With great power, such as the kind conferred on you by a douchebag literary agent and publisher, not to mention Fox "News" that, in some sick, incestuous relationship, mainstreams you like Richard Pryor free-basing crack, comes great responsibility. But responsibility to racist assholes like you isn't sexy and there's no percentage in it.

    And please don't compare yourself to John Lennon or Jodi Foster. John Lennon never advocated violence any more than Jodi Foster advocated shooting the president. John Lennon was a Grammy Award-winning composer and world-class humanist and Ms. Foster an Academy Award-winning actress.

    You are a hateful, screaming cunt, plain and simple. If chlamydia or yeast infections could speak, it would sound exactly like you. The very fact that you're generously referenced on Fox "News" and even used as a source, the very fact that you have a literary agent while writers of actual talent and lucidity do not and the very fact that you have a book deal is an indictment of the sickness of this nation.

    The very fact that people listen to the likes of you, and enriching you in the process, is symptomatic of the mental and cultural degradation of this once-great nation. And the fact that you would even dare mention yourself in the same sentence as John Lennon's name in the interests of self-victimization, one of the greatest pacifists who ever lived, is a dishonor to his memory and I hope Yoko Ono bitch-slaps you until you shit falafel out of every orifice.

    When you constantly inveigh against an entire religion and base a lucrative career upon the manufacture of such hate, you need to accept at least some measure of responsibility and culpability for inspiring those who are willing to cross the line and massacre dozens.

    In short, you succeeded where Glenn Beck failed. Glenn Beck was found to have been a direct inspiration for Byron Williams, the wouldbe mass murderer who was on his way to the Tides Foundation to kill liberals before being pulled over by CHiP officers.

    Glenn Beck, as has Robert Spenser and you, took the cowardly way out. "Oh, I had nothing to do with this, despite being specifically named by the wouldbe shooter by Williams as an inspiration for his planned massacre just as unambiguously as Breivik named you in his 1500 page manifesto.

    The media insist on giving hate merchants such as you, Beck and company a free pass by saying, "Oh, while it would be unfair to blame [insert right wing nut job's name here] for the gunman's agenda..." but I will not.

    Because spittle-spewing right wing cunts such as you need to understand and accept that with great power comes responsibility, however inexplicable and undeserved that power. History will one day decide that you were on the wrong side of it by waging your personal jihad on a large and multifaceted religion that may not have even had anything to do with 9/11.

    9/11 and the nearly 3000 people who died provided the likes of you and Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity and Hal Turner and Bill O'Reilly and other right wing abortions and racist douchebags with Cincinnati-sized megaphones that reach all the way to Oakland and Oslo. You and your editors and literary agents need to be spreadeagled on a large wooden wheel and used at every state fair as a target whereby you are bombarded with the millions of unsold copies of your books, hard cover editions.

    And may the God you pretend to champion for shits, giggles and filthy lucre have mercy on your withered soul.

    Monday, July 25, 2011

    I Know What You Did This Summer

    Somehow, like Jerry Lewis and a large number of other stupendously corrupt Republican scumbags, Hal Rogers (R-KY) has flown under the radar of the political blogosphere. Rogers, you may or may not remember, recently had the Daniel Boone Highway renamed after him and has vacuumed up more bribes from private industry than perhaps anyone in the House. As the chairman of the always powerful House Appropriations Committee, he's in a pretty persuasive position to ram through any industry-friendly bills as lucrative Thank Yous for all the bribes he's accepted from them over the years. (You'll note that in the last election cycle, the mining industry was Rogers' top industry contributor, a jump of nine places since 2008.)

    But Rogers and the GOP are attempting to outdo themselves with HR 2584, which could easily be named the "Let's Gang-Bang Mother Nature Until She Screams Uncle" bill. And if this bill, sponsored by Mike Simpson of Idaho, ever gets passed in the House and Senate and signed into law, Mr. Rogers' neighborhood would turn into a typically Republican environmental hell stretching from coast to coast.

    The White House issued its own breakdown (.pdf file) of HR 2584 and it makes for some pretty scary shit. Luckily, the Senate is still run by the Democrats and President Obama has already vowed to veto this bill even if it passes in both chambers if even just one industry-friendly provision remains in the bill.

    Hal Rogers' Congressional district (KY-05), out of all 435, is #1 in mountaintop removal and stream damage caused by the coal industry, the very same industry that's the most generous among Rogers' corporate campaign contributors. And if you want to know what will happen to this country if this bill gets passed and signed into law, just look at the physical and emotional wellness of his district (.pdf file, page 5). Out of all 435 congressional districts, Rogers' is:

  • 435th in life expectancy

  • 435th in physical health

  • 435th in overall well-being

  • 435th in emotional health

  • Overall, Kentucky is ranked next-to-last out of all 50 states overall and ranked dead last in healthy behavior. Frankly, it's amazing that the hicks in Kentucky's 5th congressional district have elected this walking cancer to 16 consecutive terms.

    Some of the most frightening provisions in this bill, according to the White House:

  • The eradication of user inspection fees that would fund inspection of gas and oil facilities. These inspection fees are nominal and easily affordable for energy corporations but HR2584 would pass the cost onto the American taxpayer. So much for the Republican mantra of no new taxes.

  • Cutting grants for the North American Wetlands Conservation State and Tribal Wildlife grants, as well as the termination of Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. This would make it much harder for state and private agencies to protect game and non-game species and their habitats.

  • Cutting funding for FWS operations, which would make it easier for private industry to remain noncompliant with FWS rules and regulations, would slow down infrastructure building and repair and other projects that would benefit state and municipal governments.

  • "The bill does not provide funding to begin the acquisition of the next Landsat satellite, ending a 40-year stream of data that is used by Federal, State, local and Tribal governments and the private sector to make informed land and resource management decisions and to assess the impacts of those decisions over time." In short, let's end a 40 year-long tradition of not keeping Native Americans in the dark about the quality of their land.

  • Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). "The funding in the bill for LWCF programs would deny willing sellers the opportunity to sell land holdings, and severely impair the ability of Federal, State, and local officials, as well as private landowners, to preserve and manage areas important to wildlife, recreationalists, and sportsmen and women." Denying landowners the right to sell their own land???

  • Fire Suppression programs. The funding for this bill would be lower than the previous ten year average.

  • The EPA's budget would be further reduced to even lower levels than it was under the Bush junta. This would directly affect the Great Lakes and the Chesapeake Bay, among other areas.

  • HR 2584 would cut funding for individual states to conduct air and water quality reports that would, again, impact on human and animal life.

  • "The reductions in funding for GHG programs and regulations severely limit actions the Administration could take under current law to permit, control, and monitor greenhouse gases and would block EPA's efforts to reduce GHG emissions from vehicles and large stationary sources." Essentially, a huge giveaway to any polluting corporation, which covers virtually the entire energy industry plus the auto industry.

  • Probably the 2nd scariest provision in this bill: "Responsible Energy Development and Oil Spill Response. The level of resources in the bill would eliminate efforts to increase the frequency of environmental compliance inspections at oil facilities. In addition, the bill does not include emergency transfer authority necessary to improve the Government's ability to prevent and respond to oil spills." Have we already forgotten the Deepwater Horizon and the Gulf Coast? I guess so.

  • What gets my vote for the scariest element of HR 2584: Allowing mining companies to legally claim over 1,000,000 acres around Grand Canyon National Park for uranium mining, which could easily pollute with radioactive contaminants the Colorado River, which runs into the Hoover Dam, which supplies drinking water to over 25,000,000 Americans or about 8% of the population.

  • Add to that delightful mix the slower cleanup of places like Puget Sound, trapped greenhouse gases resulting in worse heat waves for Texas, mountaintop removal, etc. Overall, this bill would adversely affect at least four national parks and countless vacation areas and possibly even your own back yard.

    If you care at all about the environment, especially those in our national parks that even now being encroached upon by private industry and their puppets in Congress, then write to your elected officials because, despite the administration's public opposition to this, I don't trust Obama to do the right thing and not sign this bill into law even if it passes the House and Senate.

    Good News, Bad News

    Bad news first:

    I got a call yesterday from the Massachusetts Dept. of Revenue and they told me my appeal to get back the $753 the DOR stole from my bank account last month had been turned down. According to state law or DOR policy, "hardship" only applies when you can furnish a court-ordered eviction notice. Bottom line, the only way I'd be able to get back that money (my rent money for June) is only after Mrs. JP and I are out on the street. Try getting a new place with just $753 in your pocket. And try getting a job after putting "'98 Ford Taurus" for an address on a job application.

    Even though she was only a case worker, I nonetheless excoriated the DOR and their scorched earth policies that seem bound and determined to completely obliterate a parent's ability to earn money and pay their child support. Not only that, they honestly don't seem to give a shit that they're threatening to take down everyone around me. Because if I fail to pay my rent, my unemployed landlord won't be able to pay his mortgage.

    If that happens, well, you know what happens next. The bank forecloses and everyone, meaning five households, lose their housing. Then when they put up foreclosure notices on the door and plywood sheeting over the windows, that's just going to crater the property values of every homeowner up and down my street.

    All so they could go after one person for a few hundred dollars.

    I told the DOR caseworker all this and more. I figured if I'm not going to get my money back, I might as well get my money's worth and let them have it with both barrels. These lawless, rapacious asswipes stole about $20,000 from me over an eight and a half year period of time after the mother of my sons died of cancer in 1995 yet never bothered to enter a new court order so legal garnishments could continue. That didn't happen until 2004.

    I've filed a criminal complaint against the DOR through AG Martha Coakley's office. I am not letting this go and I will keep hounding these out of control cocksuckers to investigate why they systematically stole $20,000 from me for nearly nine years under a null and void court order.

    Having said that, here's the good news:

    Right before the DOR called me late yesterday morning, I went back to my old job and spoke to the guy running the place.

    Just the day before, I'd run into a guy who works for himself in the building and he'd informed me of a major change in management several months ago. Without getting into specifics, the place is now under new, more efficient management and bills are getting paid and things are running as smoothly as the local economy will allow. Once I told the new manager who I was, he seemed to be very receptive to hire me. It's just about the only plant in the Bay State that doesn't go through Goddamned temp agencies.

    Bottom line, it looks as if I'll be getting my old job back and the only question is when I'll start. It may be this Monday, it may not be until August 1st. Either way, we'll need help one more time making the rent since the DOR won't give me back the $753 they rifled from my checking account last June. Even if I start on Monday the 25th, I won't even get my first check until long after rent day, let alone have time to earn what I need to cover the rent. And I'd need at least 48 hours lead time to make a Paypal transfer to my bank account.

    We also got hit with a $520 car repair bill last month (muffler & fuel pump) so that put us behind a giant 8 ball. Anything you can do in the way of helping us would be so appreciated. The new manager wouldn't hire me back with the intention of laying me off so this should be a permanent, fulltime gig and I shouldn't need to ask for help ever again.

    Update: I just called my old job and the manager told me his bosses can't think about taking on anyone until after Labor Day, meaning we'll need a lot more help than I thought we would. I also had to just take Mrs. JP off my auto insurance when they tried to gouge me to the tune of $215 more a year for a compulsory policy on account of a "major accident" she had two and a half years ago.

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Dear Chairman Rinsed Penis, Pt 3

    As a proud blindly reactionary, anti-liberal, borderline racist Republican like my enviably bloated father Harold, I do the right things, hold the right positions, think what I'm told to by the right people and there's no one righter than RNC Chairman Rinsed Penis Prince Prius Michael Steele's replacement.

    That means I subscribe to the Chairman's balcony pronouncements via electronic mail (which I do not think will last. Don't count out the carrier pigeon just yet). What follows is Our Glorious Leader's latest communique to the proles from on high:
    Dear ,

    They are at it again! The liberal media and the Obama spin machine are furiously laying the groundwork to blame Republicans if the government were to default on August 2nd.

    The truth is Obama caved to Nancy Pelosi and his Party's ultra-left wing on Friday and they sabotaged the negotiations with GOP leaders by demanding EVEN HIGHER TAXES at the last minute of negotiations.

    The Republican Party's stance is clear: We need spending cuts not new taxes.

    Obama promised America a better economy when he was elected in 2008. But there is no doubt that his and the Congressional Democrats insatiable hunger for ever higher taxes, greater government growth, reckless spending and massive trillion dollar deficits have only made things worse. More job killing taxes are the last thing our economy needs.

    It's no surprise that the liberal Democrats would now rather play politics than tackle the government's addiction to spending - and the liberal media will be there to support them every step of the way.

    Even worse, Obama and his leftist allies will be running scare and attack ads against our most vulnerable members and we need to support them now!

    Please help us fight the Obama Democrats' message machine and their liberal media allies. This is a serious debate affecting real families. We must make sure our friends and neighbors know the truth - Republicans are offering serious solutions while the Democrats default on our government obligations.

    Support our Republicans who boldly stand against the Obama/Pelosi plan to raise taxes today! Make a special campaign contribution to the RNC right now of $25, $50, $100 or more. Every dollar you send now will be used to fight the Obama spin machine as we work to make him a one-term president and work to turn our nation around.


    Reince Priebus
    Republican National Committee

    P.S. , Republicans are fighting tooth-and-nail to pass commonsense, conservative solutions to cut government spending, slash our debt and get our fiscal house in order -- while the Obama Democrats demagogue and distort our agenda. The only way we can truly enact our reform agenda is to elect a Republican president AND Congress and make Barack Obama a one-term president. Please make a generous campaign contribution today to help the RNC fight the Obama media machine and lay the foundation for electing a new President and Republican majorities at all levels in 2012. Thank you.

    Dear Mr. Chairman:

    Fucking A! (And pardon my French and pardon me again for speaking French, the language of diplomacy i.e. cowardice). How long does the Kenyan think he can continue bamboozling the American public by patiently sitting down with the Republican leadership time and time and time again, willing to teach dutch uncle lessons in fiscal responsibility to our nation's most deservedly vulnerable? Luckily, after 2 1/2 years the Republican Party is wise to the wily Kenyan and have bravely walked away from his dastardly tricks not once, not twice but thrice!

    Lord knows I'm no Milton Friedman or Ben Stein but I don't have to be a graduate of the Chicago School of Economics that had successfully overthrown countless Marxist regimes to know that the answer to our problems is not to add money to offset the deficit but slash, hack, chop and burn off the excess. The excess is, of course, entitlement programs sucked off of by people who expect a living after 5 decades of hard work and affordable health care as enjoyed by Congressman Ryan and Speaker Boehner.

    Who do these entitlists think they are in asking for billionaires to pay a higher tax rate without they themselves being prepared to sacrifice??? Isn't it enough that this poor man is paying over half what his executive secretary pays in income taxes? My God, the 35% corporate tax rate is already so prohibitively high that many leading American corporations have to bite the bullet and flee our shores in search of cheaper labor to escape the radical left wing tax-and-spend agenda of the Kenyan and his cronies.

    That would include arch liberal Nancy Pelosi, who cleverly tried to lull the GOP into a false sense of security by taking impeachment of the Bush War Heroes off the table as well as a public option for that government takeover aka ObamaCare to suck off health care lobbyists before calling for a public option yet again.

    So how dare Obama and his Socialist henchmen ask for an additional $40 billion in tax revenue per year over the next decade when corporations this year alone are barely getting by with a paltry $1.66 trillion in profits in the 3rd Q of 2010? Sweet Milton, these same captains of industry can certainly be excused for hoarding their last $1.6 trillion in cash reserves and not using that money for hiring. And by the time Obama gets done with his fascist takeover of private industry, that $1.6 trillion won't be enough to buy a copy of liberal Ben Affleck's Gigli on VHS.

    The Democrat Party had certainly grabbed the microphone like a starving twink grabbing cock at a gay orgy at the Castro and their message machine is spinning like Milton Friedman in his toddler-sized grave at all this talk from Bernie Sanders and Dennis Kucinich about raising taxes on the wealthy. If these men are allowed to remain unchecked, pretty soon other liberal Democrats will begin chiming in. For now, however, the GOP has managed to suppress such a hypothetical, widespread liberal agenda from getting to the people but who knows how long that'll last?

    Any fool can see that everyone from those on welfare to the middle class does not want higher taxes on the wealthy. Poll after poll after poll after poll (especially in swing states) bears this out. Only those on unemployment may call for this job-killing tax agenda of the liberals because if tax cuts were to continue, then corporations may decide to stop going through the foreign labor pool or predatory temp agencies and, (gasp!) offer them a job!

    So huzzah, Chairman Penis, for calling the Obama administration out for what it is: a bunch of petulant, spoiled babies who cut and run without cutting anything significant from the budget nor running the nation as the corporation as our Founding Fathers had intended.

    Saturday, July 23, 2011

    Name! That! Loon!

    Welcome to another edition of Name! That! Loon! This week’s installment:

    What follows below are comments by right winger Anders Behring Breivik, the alleged shooter/bomber in Norway who’s accused of murdering 100 or more Norwegians earlier this month, and similar anti-Islamic/anti-multicultural rants by the likes of Michele Bachmann, Anne Coulter, Newt Gingrich and other noted American right wingers.

    On Multiculturalism

    Tell me one country where Muslims have lived peacefully with non-Muslims without the Jihad... How many thousands of new Europeans must die, how many one hundred thousand European women should be raped, millions robbed and tractor discarded before you understand that multiculturalism + Islam does not work? - Anders Behring Breivik

    And what we're seeing is just the fruits of leftism. It's suburbanites, the kids, that are watching cable TV, Did you know that? In a lot of these high rises where a lot of the suburban youth are doing writing or doing they have cable TV in their apartments. They're listening to al Jazeera, and they're being encouraged and prompted to go ahead and start these riots all over France.

    There is a movement afoot that's occurring and part of that is whole philosophical idea of multi-cultural diversity, which on the face sounds wonderful. Let's appreciate and value everyone's cultures. But guess what? Not all cultures are equal. Not all values are equal. And one thing that we're seeing is that in the midst of this violence that's being encouraged by al Jazeera and by the jihadists that's occurring, is that we are seeing that those who are coming into France -- which had a beautiful culture -- the French culture is actually diminished. It's going away. And just with the population of France they are losing Western Europeans and it's being taken over by a Muslim ethic. Not that Muslims are bad. But they are not assimilating. – Michelle Bachmann, October 2008

    On the Evils of Islam

    Sedition is prohibited by law in the United States. To the extent that imams and mosques are being used to advocate shariah in America, they are promoting seditious activity and should be warned that they will not be immune from prosecution. - Reps. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), Trent Franks (R-AZ), and Michele Bachmann (R-MN), “Sharia, the Threat to America.”

    “If a martian landed, he would say, the one advantage you guys have is, they all look alike. They’re all foreign-born. They’re all male. They’re all between a certain age group. They’re all Muslim.” – Ann Coulter, Nov. 2010

    In many ways intensified the polarization between Muslim and non-Muslim youth among the younger generations. There are ten times as many Muslim gangs as non-Muslim. Abuse and harassment is perceived as clear racism and frustration is high because the media ignores this racism in total. - Anders Behring Breivik

    First, the statement was would I be comfortable with a Muslim in my administration, not that I wouldn’t appoint one. That’s the exact transcript. And I would not be comfortable because you have peaceful Muslims and then you have militant Muslims, those that are trying to kill us. And so, when I said I wouldn’t be comfortable, I was thinking about the ones that are trying to kill us, number one. – Herman Cain, GOP presidential debate, June 13, 2011

    We have unfortunately, we have a, uh, too many mosques in this country, too many people that are sympathetic to radical Islam. We should be looking at them more carefully. I think there’s been a lack of full cooperation from too many people in the Muslim community. There’s a real threat here in this country. – Rep. Pete King, 2007

    On Muslims and Nazis

    The Pakistani who emigrated to the U.S., became a citizen, built a car bomb which luckily failed to go off in Times Square, was asked by the federal judge, how could he have done that when he signed and when he swore an oath to the United States. And he looked at the judge and said, 'You're my enemy. I lied.' We did this — we did this in dealing with the Nazis and we did this in dealing with the communists. And it was controversial both times, and both times we discovered after a while, you know, there are some genuinely bad people who would like to infiltrate our country. And we have got to have the guts to stand up and say no. – Newt Gingrich, GOP presidential debate, June 13, 2011

    And then we have the relationship between conservative Muslims and so-called "moderate Muslims". There is moderate Nazis, too, that does not support fumigation of rooms and Jews. But they're still Nazis and will only sit and watch as the conservatives Nazis strike (if it ever happens). If we accept the moderate Nazis as long as they distance themselves from the fumigation of rooms and Jews?.... For me it is very hypocritical to treat Muslims, Nazis and Marxists differ. They are all supporters of hate-ideologies. Not all Muslims, Nazis and Marxists are conservative, most are moderate. But does it matter? A moderate Nazi might, after having experienced fraud, choose to be conservative. A moderate Muslim can, after being refused to enter a club, be conservative, etc. - Anders Behring Breivik

    Had World War II gone on longer, had Hitler only been a better planner, etc. etc. etc., one could certainly make a legitimate claim that Nazi Germany could have forged an even more deeply rooted alliance with Islam, which would have changed the entire paradigm of the North African Campaign, that of the entire Middle East, and we probably would have seen a lot more Muslim SS divisions. Only fate, the Allies, and Hitler's extreme stupidity and narcissism saved humanity from this peril. – Pam Gellar, Atlas Shrugged, February 16, 2010

    "There is no equivalency of threat between al Qaeda and Neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, and other isolated madmen. Indeed, by the Justice Department’s own record, not one terror-related case in the last two years involved neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, or anti-war groups." – Peter King, Congressional hearing, March 10th, 2011

    Bullshit Walks... Again

    Mere hours after the NY Times announced that House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama were to sit down with renewed purpose to hash out differences in the budget, Boehner channeled Eric Cantor and acted like the Chief Executive by walking out on the meeting.

    What followed was pure political kabuki on both sides: Without first notifying the White House (he ignored calls from the President's office), Boehner held a press conference and managed to keep his voice steady and eyes dry long enough to lay the blame for the impasse on the Democrats. It was obvious the Speaker of the House was extremely emotionally invested: The prospect of raising taxes (or rather, repealing the Bush tax cuts, which is what it would amount to) is without a doubt the most emotionally wrenching in the Republican mind.

    Not long after this, Obama held his own hasty presser and blamed the Republicans only for stalling the process that would lead to the raising of the debt ceiling by the August 2nd deadline. What was most notable about the press conference was Obama's eagerness to somehow lay the blame for the impasse not on Republicans but Democrats who vehemently oppose his concessions capitulations to cut over $650,000,000,000 in entitlement spending such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Obama actually likened such progressive opponents to Tea Baggers.

    The ironic thing is, in recent talks with the House leadership, Obama essentially locked out the Democrats just like the Republicans used to do in the Dark Ages when they controlled both houses of Congress.

    Anyone with one eye and the most rudimentary comprehension skills can see that both sides are at fault for this white knuckle game of chicken. It is now 10 days, 240 hours, before we default on our national debt and risk slipping below the AAA rating we've enjoyed for decades. It would mean millions of seniors, welfare and unemployment recipients, not to mention millions of US troops and veterans drawing pensions, will not get their checks. It would be tantamount to the government shutdown that extreme right wing Congressional Republicans were willing to risk.

    The only difference between the White House and John Boehner's faction is that Boehner is successfully sucking up to his Koch brothers base whereas it seems as if Obama is more willing to lash out at and further alienate his own base by likening us to the domestic right wing terrorists of the Tea Party. When all is said and done and if and when a budgetary compromise is reached and the debt ceiling is raised in time, it'll be Boehner who'll benefit from the illusion of being strong while Obama will be reviled by both sides: The right wing will accuse him of not being conciliatory enough and the left wing (and quite a few middle-of-the-roaders) will revile him for his willingness to sell tens of millions of seniors, students, service members and indigent Americans up the river. You'd think knowing which side to join would be a no-brainer for a guy who's run for office as Democrat his entire life.

    Add to the frustrating mix Obama's refusal to invoke the 14th amendment to raise the debt ceiling through his office without Congressional approval, which would require no spending cuts to much-needed entitlement programs. Just as Bush's lawyers informed him that torture was legal under certain circumstances, Obama's telling us his own lawyers don't think raising the debt ceiling, as President Clinton recently said he'd do, is legal (former President Clinton, it ought to be mentioned here, is, like the current president, an ex-constitutional law professor).

    Now, as is expected, both sides are hitting each other over the heads with St. Ronnie's bones and trying to claim that Reagan would've excoriated one side or the other if he was in office today. Yet, as Rachel Maddow recently pointed out, President Reagan wrote in his diary in 1983 that Republicans were to blame for the impasse in the talks to raise the debt ceiling. So much for Reagan's 11th Commandment. And in his resurrected radio address from 1987 makes clear, President Reagan's interest in raising the debt ceiling yet again was pretty much a non-partisan plea to Congress to do the right thing.

    Or, to cite a more recent but no less relevant presidential example, President Bill Clinton raised taxes on the wealthy, beefed up the earned income credit in the tax code and rolled up a record $230,000,000,000 surplus. In the late 90's, we enjoyed a job glut. We as a whole nation were unquestionably more prosperous than we ever were under the previous 12 years of Republican buttfuckery under Reagan/Bush I.

    Obama's obviously a tool of the Bilderberg Group and Wall Street and is a piece of shit, #1 for proposing about two thirds of a trillion dollars worth of spending cuts to entitlement programs and #2 for somehow blaming the Democrats for having somewhat of a problem with that.

    It's kind of obvious to everyone but Obama what Obama has to do: Hold a press conference and throw down the gauntlet once and for all and say,

    "OK, you fascist asswipes. I've been letting you rear-end me and the American people for 2 1/2 years now and, while it was at times beautiful and liberating, the time has come to end this charade of bipartisanship. I will veto any budget that does not include a 90% tax on the wealthiest 2%. That's what we did under Eisenhower. Trying to work with you racist assholes is like sticking my big black dick in a meat grinder over and over and expecting a more pleasing result.

    "I will veto any spending bill that includes a cut by so much as one penny to any entitlement programs, any cut to Pell grants, any repeal to the health care bill. I've tried to make you cocksuckers happy but it's obvious to you sociopathic inbreeders that bipartisanship consists solely of giving you what you want, which is to destroy this once-great country.

    "So, let's not raise the debt ceiling and when our bond rating turns into dog shit and many millions of Republican voters don't get their paychecks, we'll see whose party suffers the most in 2012. I cannot work with you and will never work with you cunts ever again and may God have mercy on your withered souls."

    Of course, we'll never hear anything close to that but while the President has shown a disturbing willingness to rear-end the most vulnerable Americans and to vilify his own party and base, Obama's also shown a far greater willingness to compromise, however scummy and ill-judged those compromises are, than the Republican Party.

    And if worse comes to worst, that may be what the American people will remember most vividly.

    Wednesday, July 20, 2011

    Capitalism 2.0

    cap·i·tal·ism [ˈkæpɪtlˌɪzəm] [kap-i-tl-iz-uhm] noun- an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

    Corporation, n- An ingenious device for obtaining individual profit without individual responsibility. - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary

    Investment: The dreams of many in the hands of one. - Eugene Debs

    There are two definitions of capitalism that vary differently depending on the economic and/or social strata of whom you ask: There's the definition given to us in every dictionary that focuses on the corporation's role and on macroeconomics. But a working person who bought into the cruel fairy tales fed to them as children will maintain that capitalism means, for them, any person's ability to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and make as much money as they can. It's attainable, we've been told since kindergarten, through the Algerian principle of luck and pluck and sticktoitiveness.

    What eludes most of us is that our definition serves double duty as it's also the biggest punch line on Wall Street, a collective entity that literally looks down on the American worker and taxpayer as their infallible Plan B when the shit inevitably hits the fan. Sometimes they'll even spit to see how good their aim is.

    But since Bush left office, things in this country have actually gotten worse under Obama. Suddenly, companies are no longer hiring even qualified applicants. Banks, despite being bailed out and are now in a time of record profits, are no longer making loans. These same banks are seizing homes they do not even own or are processing foreclosures by using dodgy robo-signer tricks.

    Corporations, in fact, are so openly hostile and contemptuous of their own customers and unwilling saviors that merely showing up at their headquarters and demanding to speak to senior management will get you arrested and likely beaten without mercy by the local police department that unfailingly do their bidding.

    I went on a job interview about a year ago in which the HR Director openly admitted that at a time of record profits and expansion, the company (Partners Pharmacy) was actually planning to cut the pay of their drivers so that differentials would be a thing of the past. I asked her, "Let me get this straight: At a time of record profits, you're actually planning on cutting the pay of the drivers and you're behind this?" She enthusiastically nodded with a smile.

    This is the brave new world into which we're bringing children. Any of us who tell our kids as our parents did us that they can still make it on hard work and diligence ought to be flogged.

    It used to be when a company did well, it would share the profits. A man could work at the same factory for 25-30 years, buy a home, a new car every few years, put a kid or two through college and his wife had the option of going to work.

    Since the 70's, it became more and more mandatory that wives go to work. Still, we didn't complain. We didn't complain when we found ourselves having to live on credit cards and beyond our means as long as the credit line was extended and we could still refinance our homes. Living beyond our means and on credit, we were now told, was a wonderful way to live and only bolstered that almighty credit rating when the fact is our parents and grandparents didn't need things like credit ratings because their generations were told to live within their means.

    Now, the definition of capitalism has undergone a wrenching shift to the right as only Joe Overton could engineer it. Nowadays, it seems whether a company is successful or not, the inevitable result will be massive layoffs of American workers (Borders, Inc. will close soon, throwing 11,000 people out of work while company executives in Ann Arbor will get lavish golden parachutes and Cisco will soon lay off 11,500, 5000 of them going to Taiwan. Cisco reports glowingly that it's a good time to be a company stockholder.). In every case, with fascist discipline, when asked how they could do this to the American worker and economy, one corporate flak after another will parrot, "We need to stay competitive" even at a time when a company is raking in billions in profits.

    Our government, obviously bought and sold by corporations, special interest groups, lobbyists and other sociopathic nation killers, are not trying to bludgeon us to death. But they might as well be because the American people are being exsanguinated and killed by the death of 1000 cuts.

    If you look at the graph above, you'll note the private sector that still screams about Obama being hostile to industry has grown by just under 5% while the government added a mere 18,000 jobs last month. Look at that graph and note that private sector growth began skyrocketing at exactly the same time the "jobless recovery" is said to have begun: Around June 2009.

    Let's get one thing straight: There was no recovery, there is no recovery now and there never will be a recovery as long as we still have those jackals on Capitol Hill calling the shots. Unemployment is still over 9%, the real unemployment rate is actually closer to 17%. But, hey, today Wall Street's Dow Jones skyrocketed today by 202 points, the biggest jump of the year, on news the industry-hating, Socialist Obama administration may fuck over the American people with "concessions" to the economic terrorists of the Republican fucking Party.

    We are in a depression, plain and simple, and now we're told with a straight face that we ought to make seniors, students and other economically vulnerable people pay down a debt they did not create. We're being told with a straight face that Social Security is the cause of our evils when the plain fact is, as Senator Sanders reminded us today, that Social Security has not created a nickle of this deficit.

    We're told with a straight face that unions have to make life-altering concessions or see workers laid off (and I'm not talking about Wisconsin but Democratic-run New York). We're told Medicare and Medicaid has to be curtailed. Yet these Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats who didn't much seem concerned by deficits or debts when Bush was waging one credit card war after another and giving one tax break after another to those least deserving of it are now very, very gravely concerned for our nation's economy.

    And unless they get those spending cuts, Republicans refuse to allow the debt ceiling to be raised even though not doing so, while fucking up our bond rating and putting us into default for the first time ever, would still be beneficial for countless jackals on Wall Street, would destroy Main Street for good.

    America is a target-rich environment for Republicans and their Irwin Allen capitalism and the bottom 299,900,000 are the targets. And my question is elegantly simple:

    I can understand our lawmakers and Barack Obama not having the balls to oppose the barons, magnates and tycoons who support their incumbency. But why isn't the media and the American people not doing enough to push back against the transparent and easily-provable lies that are being fed to us?

  • "Shared sacrifice" that doesn't ever seem to include those most capable of sacrificing.

  • Entitlement programs are the root of all evil, not, as Chaucer said through the Pardoner, "avarice."

  • Tax cuts will result in lots and lots of jobs such as the ones streaming in a vocational tsunami to Mexico and China.

  • Regulation of private industry is evil while regulation of Elton John's and George Takei's bedrooms is moral and just.

  • Trickle down economics has always worked and always will.

  • When are we as a nation going to wake the fuck up and see the transparency of the most ridiculous and risible lies ever told and repeated to a single nation?

    This is no longer capitalism. A more responsible capitalism lasted for approximately as long as did Communism in Russia. For a little over 70 years with the emergence of the unions that gave rise to the vital and indispensable middle class, capitalists were forced to do business with the American worker. Through public and trade unions we were given reasonable work weeks, paid vacations, pensions, profit sharing, health care, collective bargaining, the list is literally endless.

    Now in the eyes of tens of millions, these are necessary concessions and school teachers, police officers, firefighters, artists, the young and old, the sick and indigent and factory workers are now being targeted in the interests of fiscal responsibility and "remaining competitive."

    Capitalism's definition no longer resembles the dry classical one given to us by lexicons but the one given to us exactly a century ago by Ambrose Bierce.

    Tuesday, July 19, 2011

    Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.

    Today, C-SPAN3 covered the British Parliament's Committee hearing into News Corp's business practices. Rupert Murdoch's media empire has been rocked by a phone hacking scandal that involves British police, three Prime Ministers, 9/11 victims, celebrities and murder victims. Both Mr. Murdoch and his son James staunchly denied any knowledge or involvement in cell phone hacking. But there were actual revelations that came out during today's hearings. What were the top ten?

  • 10) Rupert Murdoch doesn't like pie.

  • 9) Octomom defense invoked: "This is a large company with lots of employees! How, O how can I possibly keep track of all those rascally rapscallions?"

  • 8) Dead News of the World whistleblower Sean Hoare was once almost killed by a garbage truck while trapped in dumpster behind Buckingham Palace.

  • 7) James Murdoch told MP Collins that his wife wanted him to bring home a liter of milk and toilet paper on his way home.

  • 6) Hacking into phones ensures a certain amount of transparency in journalism but not in government enquiries.

  • 5) Both Murdochs were completely ignorant of the fact that their media outlets hacked into cell phones over and over and (repeat 4,800 times)...

  • 4) The best man to clean up this mess is the guy who owns a network filled with racists, liars, lunatics and Republican partisans.

  • 3) Pieman who'd gotten the jump on Murdoch was the only person in the UK who hasn't had his cell phone hacked.

  • 2) It was an act of clairvoyance that News of the World knew which New York hotel actor Jude Law was staying in, what room he was in and how much he'd spent on room service.

  • 1) That even if the Murdochs' claims of ignorance are to be taken at face value, perhaps their utter inability to ensure their empire is run in an efficient and ethical manner provides the world with a referendum on why there are antitrust laws and why one man should not wield that much power.
  • Sunday, July 17, 2011

    Dear Kevin Ryan

    Dear Kevin Ryan:

    I had read with right proper heterosexual indignation your immortal screed, Public School Indoctrination, in your ultra right wing Crisis Magazine. Surely, the primary venue for this deathless prose was an apt one, sir, for homosexuality, bisexuality and people born to the wrong gender are epidemics that have plagued mankind since God the Celestial Butcher removed a rib from Adam and somehow made Eve. And we have SB48 or the FAIR Act, to thank for these sexual deviants being handed another excuse to come screaming out of the closet in all their swishy, spandexed glory.

    The FAIR Act, was, in your words, "overwhelmingly passed" by the state legislature. This is the dark side of democracy, when the will of the few, the proud and the shrill, meaning we sexual patriots, is subverted by the majority. Somehow and some way we must subvert the will of the people. Perhaps we should make a call to our compatriots in the Church of LDS (The Mormons), since they were such a good luck talisman in overturning state-sanctioned gay marriage in that same state.

    If I lived in California (which, like you, I don't but if I did), I certainly wouldn't want my child learning about homosexual history. In fact, if I had my way, I wouldn't want my children learning that such people even exist. When we accidentally found ourselves at a gay pride parade in Boston recently, my children asked me who the colorfully dressed, half naked men were. I replied that Cirque de Soleil was in town and that they just didn't feel like doing any acrobatics today.

    And I concur with you, sir. I certainly do not want my children learning about what passes for gay history. Would his lot in life be improved by learning that Harvey Milk or Barney Frank exists? Hardly, sir. And, as we all know, homosexuality strikes only liberals and Democrats. And we wouldn't want them being corrupted by the Democrat Party, now would we?

    We need, instead, to teach our kids that it actually gets worse if they open themselves up to shame and ridicule by coming out of the closet, so to speak. The most effective way to isolate those confused children is to make them think they are all alone and that no homosexuals at any time in history have distinguished themselves or did anything for the public good.

    And if the public school system in California nearly 3000 miles away from where we live insists on obeying the law and exposing those far away children to homosexual history and public ridicule by encouraging them in their lifestyle choice, then the answer, obviously, is to throw away the baby with the bath water and to simply replace the public school system and the bloated union oligarchs who teach in it with a privatized voucher system.

    Despite the fact we both live in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, who knows how long it'll take for this cancer in California to metastasize its way 3,000 miles eastward. We Bay Staters already have a proud tradition of banning and segregating things for their own sake but if this radical homosexual agenda to educate children about gay history is allowed to run unchecked, who knows, we may one day actually have to suffer through abominations such as gay marriage then it will spread all over New England, to New York State, perhaps even our nation's Capitol and in unlikely places such as Iowa.

    In lieu of abolishing the entire public school system in the largest state in the union, perhaps we ought to take a cue from the Texas Bored of Education, who, in its infinite Republican wisdom, decided to strike out any reference to Thomas Jefferson and other possible homosexual characters from our nation's history (He did wear his hair long and was known to wear fur-collared coats.).

    Were this law not rammed through with the industry of a Viagra-engorged Barney Frank at an all-gay orgy, our children would not be exposed to historical abominations such as:

  • The 300, the story of a handful of Spartans at a place called Thermometer who'd somehow managed to repel 100,000 Persians using only their spears and erect penises when they weren't sodomizing each other.

  • The Stonewall Inn riot which started the whole rainbow-colored ball rolling and resulted in the emergence of...

  • The inbred lunatics of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas, who need to picket every funeral in North America to highlight America's constant comeuppance for tolerating homosexuality. If it wasn't for the gay agenda, these people would be assuming their rightful role: Organizing bake sales, making signage for the RNC and fending off incest charges from the Kansas Attorney General.

    In summation, Mr. Ryan, the best way to prevent more Matthew Shepards is to keep these confused and highly impressionable children in the closet and to make them think they are all alone until their silly "homosexual phases" go away. In the meantime, there's always Marcus Bachmann, himself a deeply conflicted man who had somehow risen from his conflicted status to become the arm candy of a leading United States Congresswoman.

    Your humble and obedient servant,


  • KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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