Friday, November 28, 2014

Two Dead, Two to Go in Ohio

     This is the security video capturing the last few seconds of 12 year-old Tamir Rice's life. Note how fast the Cleveland cops shoot him dead. We're talking two seconds or less. This video plainly belies their official story that they told the kid three times to drop the gun. They even had the nerve to circle in red the kid's hand as it supposedly reached for the gun. Maybe his final thought was to hand it to them. He never even had the chance to put his hands up.
     Since we've established the child was 12 and that he had just a toy gun, we don't need any further context. The video shows us everything we need to know. The cop shot the child dead 2 seconds or less after they arrived then the craven cunt hid behind the cruiser. This shows the fascist, paranoid mindset of white cops in heavily black communities, the Us vs Them mentality. It also shows how badly these men and women are trained, that they don't take into account the difference between a man and a child or a toy gun and a real gun.
     And all because some old white woman thought she saw a gang banger. With no context other than her saying she thought the gun might be a toy, that was good enough for two white cops who went there with premeditated murder on their minds.
     Let's keep one other thing in mind: In Ohio, Open Carry is legal and white men openly parade their ordnance with complete impunity. But this is the second case this year of a black male getting gunned down in Ohio for carrying a toy gun (The second being John Crawford III, who looked eerily like my older son and is the same age) because some paranoid white asshole suffering from Angry Black Man syndrome called the cops.
     It's open season on black people, always has been and always will be until some radical changes are made (and, no, shooting cops and ramping up their already radical militarizartion is NOT the answer). We saw it during the antebellum era, we saw it during the Civil Rights era, we saw it in Algiers Point in the wake of Katrina and we're seeing it now. And the Ferguson nondecision sets a very, very dangerous precedent for African Americans. Because, as sure as redneck states began passing voter suppression bills in the wake of the SCOTUS' gutting of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, this horrendous exoneration of Darren Wilson will tell white cops once and for all, "Yes, it's perfectly permissible to gun down black people in cold blood. Don't worry, we'll find some rationale for it even if we have to manufacture it."
     Want to kill a black person you don't like? Just call the cops have them do your dirty work for you. You'll even make your hit man rich and famous in the process.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

     From left to right, clockwise: Pork gravy, broccoli, cranberry sauce, butternut squash, homemade mashed potatoes, Charlene's Cheesy Potatoes, pork loin with cherry preserve topping, Bell's stuffing and a fine but inexpensive bottle of Riesling. Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours. Please have a safe, happy holiday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tweets From the Edge: Ferguson edition


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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, #27

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Tweets From the Edge

     Tatterdemalion's third line edit is racing to a finish but it looks as if your porcine powerhouse will have to do a fourth after Thanksgiving to meet his goal of getting it to under 200,000 words. So, as always, time's at a premium. In the meantime, please accept this dubious substitute for wit and wisdom over the last week from my Twitter feed.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 11/19/14

Monday, November 17, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 11/17/14

Friday, November 14, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 11/14/14

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The First Image Brought Back From Comet 67p

     Looks as if the ESA's Rosetta wasn't the first one there, after all.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 11/10/14

(The followup can be found at this Brilliant at Breakfast exclusive.)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville #26

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Open Thread

     Mrs. JP and I are running off now to attend a book sale so this may be it for today. Be good, play nice and opine on whatever you wish.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 11/5/14

Remember, Remember the 4th of November

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Midterm Election Live Blogging: Sink Along With Mitch edition

     OK, despite CNN's and Fox doing their level-headed best to make us forget liberalism ever existed and that, yes, Democrats are actually for elected office this time around, I think we'll see some surprises this year.
     Granted, ditching the Senate Minority Leader as we did House Majority Whip Eric Cantor during his Republican primary last June won't cure all our ills. But without the Human Saw Horse fucking things up in the Senate, at least the upper chamber will move a little faster. And, no, the Republicans will NOT retake the Senate tonight. Stop. Listening. To. The. Fucking. Polls.
     The first precincts are reporting from Florida (Election results are updated in real time here) and so far Alan Grayson has a comfortable lead in the 9th and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz looks as if she'll easily win re-election in the 23rd.
     Remember to keep tuning in regularly as I'll be making literally dozens of updates as the results of congressional, Senate and gubernatorial races come in from various sources.
 (Update) In what has to be the fastest projected win in American political history, Kentucky declared Mitch McConnell the winner over Alison Grimes. They essentially raised Mitch's hand literally the nanosecond the polls closed at 6 Central time, with just 11% of the polls reporting. But a 57-40 lead can evaporate in no time.
(Update) McConnell's 17 point has rapidly shrunk to 12.6%, with just over a third of the precincts reporting.
(Update) McConnell's lead over Grimes is now at 12.4% with 34% reporting. Just remember, if there's any evidence of Republican dirty tricks, he'll be fucking with the wrong woman: Alison Grimes is, after all, the KY Secretary of State.
     Meanwhile in New Hampshire, Jean Shaheen has a comfortable 12.2 lead over Scott Brown. Brown's about to enjoy the unfortunately distinction of getting his carpet-bagging ass kicked by two different women in two different Senate races in two different states.
     It's looking good so far for Kay Hagan in NC, who's winning by 7.6%.
(Update) Former RNC Chair Ed Gillespie, one of the worst hacks in American political history, has opened up a 6.5% lead over Democratic incumbent Mark Warner. WTF is with Virginia?
     In Georgia, proud outsourcer-in-chief and all-around scumbag David Purdue is beating Michelle Nunn by about 25%. WTF is with Georgia?
(Update) Meanwhile, in Thomas Frank's favorite state is developing what I think is among the most interesting early developments, Independent Greg Orman is beating incumbent Pat Roberts by about 2.5%.
     Michigan's open Senate seat should go to Democrat Gary Peters, who was projected by the Puff Ho's model to beat Republican challenger Terri Land by 98%. Peters' lead is now about 11% with 3.1% reporting.
     In my home state of Massachusetts, incumbent Ed Markey should win re-election by about 20 points.
     In Maine, Susan Collins should crush Bellows by about a zillion points. No surprise there, ay-yah.
(Update) In a vivid delineation of the old adage, "It ain't over until the Fat Lady and the voters sing, check out these fascinating results in Mississippi: Now, granted, less than 400 votes have been counted but they called the race for GOP incumbent Tad Cochran, even though he's losing by 5%.  Here's a screengrab proving how stupid it is to call a race for someone when hardly any precincts have reported:

(Update) I've got a wild hair across my ass for Renee Ellmers, the psycho who defended drawing a paycheck during the government shutdown 13 months ago. Thus far, with about 35% of polls reporting in NC, she's beating Clay Aiken by about 4.4%. Come on, Clay!
     Meanwhile in NC's senate race, incumbent Kay Hagan's still in great shape, also leading her opponent by 4.4% with about a quarter of the polls reporting.
(Update) Clean Congressional sweep in my home state of Massachusetts, as usual. We played our part once again, people. It's up t you to vote likewise.
     Congrats to Governor-elect Tom Wolf, who beat GOP incumbent Tom Corbett. Oddly, they, too, called the race before any of the votes were counted.
(Update) Mark Udall is in the dogfight of his life. With less than 14% reporting in CO, Udall's losing by 5.5%. Politico has the Democrats losing 3 Senate seats to the GOP but those are races that are far from over.
     In another stupid projection, incumbent Chris Coons is losing in Delaware by about 9%. Coons was projected the winner.
     More bad news: Democratic incumbent Mark Pryor just lost in Arkansas.
(Update) In Illinois, Dick Durbin's losing by 1.2%. 
     Udall's now losing by about 9%. This can't be fucking happening.
     Thus far, Coons, Udall, and Pryor are losing big. That's half the seats the scumbags in the GOP need for a Senate majority. What the fucking hell is wrong with this country?
(Update) More horrible news: On the gubernatorial front, Rick Scott, despite the straw polls, is beating Charlie Crist by almost 2% with 91.5 reporting. This cannot be happening. 
     Nathan "Guns Everywhere" Deal should win re-election by 20 points, proving that Georgia is, once again, one of the stupidest, most misinformed states in the union.
     In one of the few pieces of good news in the Governor's races, Sam Brownback's losing by 4% with 10% reporting. So Kansas isn't totally crazy.
     Proving my home state of Massachusetts isn't totally sane, Charlie Baker is beating perennial loser Martha Coakley by about 2%.
     Andy Cuomo's crushing the competition in New York like he stuck them in a car compactor in the dead of night. Which Cuomo's probably done from time to time.
     Ohio insists on keeping their scumbag right wing governor John Kasich, who's winning by, like, 110%.
     South Carolina's also insisting on keeping Niki "Stars and Bars" Haley, who's winning by 23%. Please secede again, people. Please.
     In one of the unkindest cuts of all, with 5.5% reporting, Greg Abbott's beating Wendy Davis by about 20% in Texas.
     Believe it or not, The Koch Brothers Scott Walker's beating Mary Burke by 17% in Wisconsin.
(Update) OK, we need some good news, so here it is: Chris Coons regained a big lead with over the precincts reporting in Delaware.
     Shumlin should retain the Governor's seat in Vermont.
(Update) Proud Mary's not rolling in Louisiana. She's losing by 4.4%.
     The good news is Al Franken's winning in Minnesota by 17.2%.
     The bad news? Scott Brown just pulled ahead of Jean Shaheen by half a point in NH. Politico, which must be run by Bill Kristol tonight, called it for Shaheen hours ago.
(Update) Jean Shaheen's pulled ahead of Centerfold Scott by .4%. It'll be neck and neck until the last fucking vote's counted.
     Two years ago, Democratic women pulled our fat out of the fire. This year, the female incumbents are losing big (Landreiu and Hagan, with Shaheen fighting for her life.)
(Update) Some temporary good news: Hair Helmet Joni Ernst is losing by 6.6% in Iowa with 17.7% reporting in.
     Jean Shaheen's still clinging to a .6% lead over Scott Brown.
     Corey Booker should keep his seat in New Jersey by at least 12%.
     It was looking a little grim for Mark Warner in VA but so far he's holding off ed Gillespie by .4%.
(Update) OK, it's late and I've gotten just one hit in the last half hour. If you don't give a fuck about my doing this, then I don't either.
     Since it looks as if we're going to lose the Senate, after all, I guess I can sum up tonight thusly:
     Rick Scott, Greg Abbott, Scott Walker, Mitch McConnell won. Who'd we bag? Tom fucking Corbett.
     As of tonight, Barack Obama is officially a lame duck president and with Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader... Well, if you thought the 113th Congress was the Do Nothing Congress, wait'll you get a load of how little will get done with McConnell and his neck wattles running the Upper Chamber during the 114th
     Seriously, in the balance, America really screwed the pooch on this one. Between Republican vote caging, gerrymandering, lackluster Democratic candidates and low voter turnout, it's amazing the Democrats fared as well as they have so far. What did we expect would happen?
     But I fully expect to wake up tomorrow to find that we did indeed lose the Senate because enough low information shitheels thought the party that shut down the government 13 months ago would be a better bet than the Democrats. Jesus fucking Christ, we are simply the stupidest fucking nation on earth. We should be ashamed of ourselves.
     This is JP signing off. May God have mercy on our withered souls.

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Locked, Cocked and Ready to Rock the Boat by Rocking the Vote

     Yee-hah! Nothing gets the blood of a political junkie like yours truly stirring like Election Day, midterm or no. Mrs. JP and I just got back from voting at our precinct here in central Massachusetts and, after a kickass lunch afterwards at a local diner, am back home where I'm already beginning to collect preliminary exit poll results.
     I don't recall if I said it here or just on Twitter but I'll be live-blogging the election tonight until long after the polls close here on the east coast. Obviously, I can't cover all the elections, especially since all 435 House seats are up for grabs but I'll be closely following the important ones and those of special interest to me (Rick Scott, Nathan Deal, Bill Corbett, Paul LaPage and Scott Walker getting pink slips are very much on my wish list, as well as Mitch McConnell's race against KY Secretary of State Alison Grimes and, perhaps the most closely-watched contest, Wendy Davis against TX AG Greg Abbott.).
     So stay tuned to this bat channel as my next post in a few hours will be very frequently updated as the precincts weigh in.

Monday, November 3, 2014

When Joni Met Chachi Charlie

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)    
     Or Sleepless 700 Miles From Dallas.
     To quote my fellow Bay State scribe Charlie Pierce, "Well, this didn't end well."
     Specifically, this is what happens when the proverbial Irresistible Force of facts meets the Immovable Object of paranoid teabagger Ignorance and Stupidity.
     In Ankeny, a little burg in the middle of Iowa, Joni Ernst decided to diversify her appeal to 30-something Klan members still holding out hope the Black Guy Who Shall Not Be Named will make one move toward their guns by trying to appeal to old, white people at a bagel shop. She made the mistake of trying to convince the old folks nodding off in their cream cheese and prune juice that Obama wasn't doing enough about Ebola. As if, you know, he's the one holding up the naming of a Surgeon General over the last 13 months.
     What she didn't realize was that Esquire's Charlie Pierce was in attendance. In fact, she never even recognized him, for which Ernst von Bloviate can't be blamed since she's been acting as if anyone with a press pass has, I don't know, Ebola or something.
     So Mr. Pierce, contrary to the hagiographers and stenographers that make up the bulk of today's mainstream media 24/7 Infotainment Extravaganza of Aphoristic Soundbites and Cialis/Viagra/Levitra Commercials, decided to present Ms. Ernst with a fact.
     He confronted her with the painfully inescapable, incontrovertible, ineluctable, unassailable fact that only one person in the United States has a confirmed case of Ebola.
     Now, let's backtrack for a minute to clarify that. That is an ascertained, easily verifiable fact, especially for a Senate candidate who currently employs people whose job it is to vet media stories so their candidate is well-informed on the issues. Oh, wait, silly me. That's who Democrats hire. Teabagger rodeo clown fear mongers like Joni Ernst hire partisan stooges who are less like media professionals and more like James O'Keefe knockoffs minus the Superfly Halloween costume.
     At any rate, this was an easily verifiable fact: There's only one person in our great, urine-soaked nation who has Ebola. So what was Ms. Ernst's response?
     "Well, you're the press. That's your opinion."
     Squealing tires. Scratched record. Woman screaming.
     "But that's not an opinion," Mr. Pierce intrepidly ventured. "That's a fact. Only one person in America has Ebola."
     "But he's not a leeeaaader," she retorted, referring to Obama.
     Now, there are several things about this exchange we must take away, even though it's like, I dunno, about as appealing as a fresh pile of Ebola-infected vomit.
     First, John Adams and his "stubborn facts" be damned, to Teabagger fear meisters and peddlars such as Joni Ernst, if you're a member of the media, you're automatically a liar, that anyone who pushes facts instead of the GOP agenda unspooled from the fax machine of Karl Rove or the NRA, then you're merely an opinion journalist, someone to be avoided at all costs.
     At which Joni Ernst has proven, Lo, these past several weeks, to be very adroit.  And the Iowa press has responded to this snubbing with as much dedication and zeal as they would the weekly crop dusting schedule.
     So, if there was a God of Politics governing democratic elections in our red, white and blue (and yellow. We cannot forget the piss yellow running down our Levis that Ernst and Fox News ensures runs down our legs) nation, Joni Ernst's candidacy would've imploded faster and neater than three World Center Towers, in its footprint and at freefall speed. And Chuckie Pierce would be given the credit for the downfall of another delusional sociopath. Ernst's iron-coiffed head would be mounted on his den wall.
     But there is no such God. Because for decades now, it seems any psychopath with a passable wardrobe and who is remotely telegenic in a red state or district actually stands a good chance of getting elected to one of the most powerful offices in the land.
     And her campaign hardly felt a shudder as she quickly turned from my colleague to peddle more lies to someone whose Medicare and Social Security she could endanger while making them feel they really matter.
     Facts don't matter anymore, especially if you're running under a Republican Party banner. And whether you're cynically trying to get others to pile on the Ebola bandwagon or are a true believer with the yellow stripe down your pants leg to prove it, facts don't matter to you, the press or the voters any more than global warming and climate change means a shit to oil cartel meat puppets like James Inhofe.
     Yes, this exchange should've been the end of Joni Ernst's campaign just as George Allen's last Senate campaign imploded about four and a half nanoseconds after his infamous "Macaca" comment.
     But it didn't. And outgoing Senator Tom Harkin's recent comments comparing Ernst to Taylor Swift (which is like comparing Ann Coulter to Jennifer Lopez or anyone else who actually has a pair of functional X chromosomes) didn't help the cause because Ernst is just smart enough politically to seize on gender bias even if it doesn't exist.
     Because in politics especially, perception is reality. Who cares if this especially applies to a nation of people who still think the world began 6000 years ago when it was created  by a Sky Wizard who said, "Thou Shalt Not Kill!" then made human survival dependent on just that? This is America, Land of the Sorta Free Within Limits and With Prior Police Approval and Home of the Blustering Through Yellow-Tinged Sears Sans-a-Belt Slacks.
     This one exchange that took but seconds to transpire should've been the end of what should've been the most laughable and possibly hostile campaign in the entire 2014 midterm election cycle.
     Just by coincidence, two years ago almost to the day, when she was in the final days of her 2012 bid for the US Senate, Elizabeth Warren appeared in a local bagel shop in Hudson, Massachusetts. I got to speak with her after her (one must admit, boilerplate speech that must've been delivered a dozen times that day) and got the sense that she was a warm, genuine human being. Charlie Pierce walked away from the other bagel shop in Ankeny feeling much the same way, marveling at the woman's ability to work a room.
     But Charlie Pierce missed the big picture and his trademark snark was even considerably dimmed in that article. The Big Picture is that it's one thing to work a room. It's another thing entirely to work up a room with palpable lies about Ebola and to cynically run on such a platform and telling old, white Republican voters the black guy's no good for you and his apathy is going to kill you because that's not what reeeeaaaalll leeeaaadeeeerssss do.
     Joni Ernst, I've met a real-life Senator in my life, at a bagel shop not unlike the one in which you tried to stoke fear where there shouldn't be any. I met Elizabeth Warren. I spoke with Elizabeth Warren. I listened to Elizabeth Warren. And you, Ms. Ernst, are no Elizabeth Warren.

KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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