Saturday, October 31, 2015

Good Times at Pottersville #21: Halloween Robocall edition

     Happy Halloween from Pottersville.

Good Times at Pottersville, 10/31/15

Friday, October 30, 2015

Good Times at Pottersville, 10/30/15

Saturday, October 24, 2015


     It's late May 1854 in Boston Massachusetts and one of America's greatest cities is about to erupt in chaos. An escaped Virginia slave named Anthony Burns is apprehended and his show trial and extradition inflames both "barnburner" abolitionists and slavery proponents alike. Into this madness steps Cornelius "Vesey" Van Zant, mulatto former slave and charter member of the city's constabulary that has just been formed by the Boston City Council. And in the earliest hours of its existence, Van Zant and the Boston PD face their first test as the nation inexorably moves closer to the Civil War that will rend the nation as Boston is now. And complicating matters for Van Zant is a series of murders in which the bodies get closer to the North End spite house he shares with his mother.
     Based on a real-life series of events, GODS OF OUR FATHERS asks the question of whether we can survive the deities of our ancestors and whether it's necessary to make new ones.
     This is a novel on which I've been hard at work since just mid August and I'm already entering the home stretch in the first draft (almost 90,000 words). What you see above is the cover I had a graphic designer in Mobile, Alabama bang out from scratch in literally six hours flat (and if anyone wishes to help us defray the $98 cost of this excellent cover, we certainly wouldn't object). This ought to be up for sale just before Christmas this year. So, to give you a taste of what to expect, this is the 845 word prologue. I think you'll find Van Zant's prose as seductive as I do.

The Gulf Coast, Gulfport, Mississippi
August 6, 1834

King Neptune licked the Mississippi coastline like a predator, tasting his prey before swallowing them whole. I never did much like the water whether it be ocean, river or lake or any quantity larger than a copper tub, although my Mama and our Mistress, Mrs. Van Zant, took especial pains to ensure I could swim. But I never cottoned, pardon the pun, to the recreation myself and there the matter shall lie for now, a vicious sleeping dog better left not petted until such time as necessary.
            I was perfectly happy making sandcastles roughly a furlong from shore while my Mama did her job shading or fanning Mistress Van Zant. It was a rare day at the beach for us, for all of us, truth be told. The sun blazed with the glory of young Apollo, the Zephyr from the west fair and cool. As far as plantation owners went, Mrs. Van Zant, I suppose, was better than most and always devised excuses to get us out of the cotton fields and engaged in more comfortable pursuits.
            Mr. Van Zant was about as fair and decent as you could expect a Mississippi plantation owner to be in those days. But considering his wife’s increasingly delicate medical condition, he was of no mind to be telling her what she could not do. His character flaws aside, it could not be said Mr. Van Zant did not love and indulge his wife.
            Aside from my Mama, two tall and strong bucks stood at either side of the Mistress like sentries, impassively staring at the shoreline. I do not know if their dread of the water matched mine but it was doubtful they’d been taught how to swim and therefore did not feel deprived to not be allowed in.
            But they were not sentries. They’d been the ones who’d carried Mistress Van Zant in her reclining chair to the beach from the wagon. The poor woman could no longer walk, she was so frightfully weak. But her mind and heart were as good as ever so to the beach we went.
            It was an odd experience, seeing for one of the few times the origin of the salt we’d smell in the air every day on the plantation. It was like finally seeing the face of a long distance correspondent who wrote sweet and coy letters about sweet and coy lands, although the beach was a mere five miles from the cotton fields.
            “How old is he, Mizzie? Seven, eight?”
            “Cornelius is but five years of age, Mistress,” she said. “I have said as much.” I continued building my sandcastle and pretended as if I didn’t know they were now speaking of me, a tack that has served me in good stead in my manhood.
            “Of course, Mizzie. Forgive me,” she replied in a cultured voice as firm but fragile as glass. “He is such a tall, strapping lad for his age. I can tell by the hands and feet he will be well above a fathom in length when he attains his manhood.”
            “You may be right ‘bout that, Ma’am,” my mother said, her constant fanning motion halting for just a fraction of a second as she gave me a look of adoration.
            Their relationship was a queer if genteel one. A more poetic soul could even say “loving”, although that would’ve been audacious to even speculate aloud. But the genesis and reason for the cordiality between my Mama and Mistress Van Zant was an open secret in the plantation, like the scent of hothouse roses just out of sight in a greenhouse.
            And the adults all knew why she was so indulgent of me but never spoke why. While there were other children younger than me toiling in the cotton fields, Mistress Van Zant always made sure I’d help Maizie in the kitchen either shucking corn or snapping sweet green beans for dinner and, on rarer occasions, setting the large table for three. This made me an object of scorn and envy among the other children both bigger and smaller than me. They could not see how one of their own who was perfectly capable of picking 50 pounds of cotton a day should be used as a house nigger.
            But they too knew why. They all did, which made me more of a pariah than ever. It doesn’t require a soul-searching look into my eyes to tell you why.
            “Mizzie, I do believe I have had enough sun for today. Gentlemen, if you please?”
            The pair of strong young bucks effortlessly lifted Mistress Van Zant, who looked embarrassed to be carried on a makeshift litter as if she was the Empress of China. With considerable more difficulty, they valiantly fought the shifting sand beneath their feet and gently loaded her on the back of the wagon.
            The cancer would take her before the summer was out. And with the death of this white woman, mine and my mother’s lives changed in ways we could not have anticipated.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Good Times at Pottersville, 10/23/15

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Benghazi Then, Benghazi Now, Benghazi Forever!

     The very fact the Benghazi Select Committee hearings are still permitted to drag on as they are today shows how truly fucked we are as a supposedly free, democratic republic. If the media coverage of how patently dishonest and politically motivated this right wing witch hunt has proven, especially after its chairman Trey Gowdy admitted to altering documents to make his case, hasn't established grounds for immediate disbanding, then nothing will.
     They may think they're doing the nation a service but in bringing Hillary Clinton to the hearing again is just turning into an extended stumping stop for her campaign. Seriously. The party that screams about how we politicize mass shootings has publicly admitted this rancid dog and pony show was really all about taking down the woman currently testifying. Because the Republican Party is so scared shitless of her.
     It's really indistinguishable from the misogynist-driven witch trials in Salem in 1692, except this time, they already found their "witch."

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wrong Way Billy Strikes Again

     Wow! That'd be totally awesome if it wasn't totally a crock of typical Bill Kristol horseshit.

     Maybe that Lieberman-esque "Joementum" Kristol is feeling is actually the world getting the dry heaves at hearing another wrong prediction from this moron. Then again, we could use him to beat Trump by tricking him into predicting he'll win.
     See? Idiots can be useful, after all.

Paul Ryan's Top Ten Conditions on Running for the Speakership

     House Ways and Means Committee Chairman and former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan has apparently changed his mind about running for Speaker of the House. After saying he was not interested in the post, his fractious Republican Party seems unable to advance a viable candidate since Kevin McCarthy withdrew his name from consideration. Mr. Ryan named as his conditions not sacrificing time from his family and a unified GOP behind him. But Rep. Ryan also had other conditions. What were they?

  • 10) Allowed to wash clean pots and pans in Congressional cafeteria should the need for an Everyman PR stunt arise.
  • 9) House Master at Arms must promise not to lift more weights than him in the Congressional gym.
  • 8) Housekeeping staff must redouble its efforts to vacuum up the last of the peanut shells and pork rind crumbs still stubbornly remaining since Newt Gingrich left in '98.
  • 7) Mitt Romney shall henceforth be referred to only as "He Who Shall Remain Nameless."
  • 6) Speaker's gavel shall be refashioned after Thor's hammer in those cool Marvel Avengers movies.
  • 5) No more graffiti in the Congressional washroom calling Ryan "Eddie Munster."
  • 4) Yeah, and refs to Goober, too. Not cool at all.
  • 3) Ryan's next budget proposal must be named, "The One That Will Save Us All Because This is What Ayn Rand Would've Wanted."
  • 2) Capitol Police must have a permanent task force with orders to shoot Pope Francis on sight.
  • 1) Ayn Rand's skeleton shall lie in state in perpetuity at the House well until she arises to take us to the Promised Land.
  • Tuesday, October 20, 2015

    Good Times at Pottersville, 10/20/15

    Monday, October 19, 2015

    The Bushes & Clintons Need to Stop Acting as if the Presidency is a Hand-Me-Down

    (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
          I had only one sibling, a right wing brother named Patrick (but that's a tale for another day in American Zen's sequel). And the only thing that spared me the pain of having to wear his hand-me-downs was his utter selfishness. Oh, dear, I was forever denied the honor and privilege of wearing painfully starched and pleated khaki pants and Izod polo shirts with the stunted reptiles on them. But I did see other kids wearing their siblings' leftovers and sometimes they didn't respect them as they would've if they'd been given to them brand new.
         I reckon the presidency's the same way. I'd imagine that if one knew their spouse or father or brother sat behind the Resolute Desk, they'd tend to see it as a family heirloom given to them by fiat. And perhaps an heir wouldn't feel the awe and sheer weight of history your average visitor would feel on briefly entering the Oval Office let alone working in it every day for at least four years.
         And the Clintons, especially the Bushes, need to stop treating this venerable and unimaginably powerful office as if it was owed to them by dint of an accident of birth or the secular institution of marriage.
         Even if all three Bush/Clinton administrations (five terms, 20 years or exactly 7300 days in all, minus Leap Year days) were models of governance, it would hardly make a compelling and convincing argument that common genetics or a marriage license would be a guarantee of further model governance. If any one family puts that myth to rest, it would be the Bushes.
         And it cannot be said any of those five terms were liberal by even the most generous stretch of the imagination or the most torturous port side wrench of Joe Overton's window. George HW Bush, the only one termer in the lot, was voted out of office when his and Reagan's crimes upon the US economy were so glaringly obvious even a mostly brain-dead electorate could see it. Like Ford before him, he was supplanted by a little known southern Governor, only this time one whose name was suddenly on everyone's lips after a timely visit to the Bilderberg Group's 1992 secret meeting. And, in my mind, the biggest distinction of the Clinton administration is in the Big Dog being the last president of the 20th century and the first one of the 21st.
         And it was a complacent American public that allowed the only good thing arising from the semen-flecked Clinton years (a $230 b surplus) to be squandered like, well, an inheritance by the over-the-hill frat boy that took over after him. We couldn't rouse ourselves to do much more than throw eggs and produce at the presidential limousine on Inauguration Day 2001, thereby making Junior abandon presidential tradition of strutting down Pennsylvania Avenue with that peculiar DT walk of his.
         Instead, it was just a lot easier for most of us to think of Bush Jr as the legitimate president, although his ascendancy to the office was hardly traditional or even preceded and supported by the weight of law. Auguring in his favor was the fact that most Americans still remembered the days when another Bush was (legitimately) President and that gave it the thin patina of legitimacy.
         And then, despite him committing one of the most catastrophic intelligence failures in history, we gave this boob a better than 90% approval rating after 9/11, thereby proving time and again that no matter how stupid, incompetent or ill-suited their leader, a nation will still rally around him in a time of great crisis for the simple reason there's no one else to rally around.
         Now, former First Lady, former Senator and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is running for President. Again. And she is, for now, the front runner and standard-bearer for not just the Democrats but that of both parties since GOP voters can't even decide on a clear-front runner of their own any more than the House GOP can decide on a House Speaker.

    If You Think I Look Bad, You Should See the Other Guy!
         Perhaps only two things and two things only make Hillary Clinton look appealing to so-called progressive voters: The ridiculous travesty of the email and Benghazi investigations that have officially been called, by at least two GOP Congressmen, preemptive hit jobs on a Clinton candidacy and the name fatigue and stench of corruption associated with the Bush brand.
         It seems only Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has any hope of catching Mrs. Clinton between now and the nomination in Philadelphia next ‎July 25–July 28. Hillary, as with her husband before her, is an old hand at masquerading populism as liberalism only without strings attached. It's easy to take pot shots at Republicans as she and Slick Willie have for decades. But shadow boxing and cheap pot shots anyone can think up don't have to be backed up or delivered on at day's end. And it'll take more than verbal brickbats at big targets to get our nation back to where it should be.
         The very concept of populism is lost on Republicans who have only hood ornament and wedge issues such as immigration, gay rights, tax avoidance and religious freedom to spew to niche audiences that Fox tries to puff up as being more substantial than they actually are. Unless 80% of all Democratic voters stay home on Election Day next year, it looks as if, based on the current crop of assclowns on the GOP side, the Republican Party has no chance of getting back in the White House.
         But we don't need populism or Gotcha moments but actual, solid policy aimed at overthrowing the status quo that makes Washington DC the kind of place where, before walking out of a building in the Beltway, it's advisable to wipe your feet first. And the Clintons helped make DC the cesspool it is today.
         Between an abortion of a health care plan that simply would've been co-opted by the nation's largest HMOs (as ObamaCare would prove to be), Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the Defense of Marriage Act, the repeal of Glass Steagall, NAFTA and a barge-sized raft of other right wing legislation and executive orders (such as Clinton's exemption of Special Forces regarding posse comitatus) disguised as pragmatic, Dutch Uncle post-liberalism (some would say neoliberalism), the massive surplus we never got the chance to enjoy once Bush sleazed into the Oval Office was the only saving grace of what was one of the most ruinous presidencies in US history.
         Which we post-liberals conveniently forgot when a real fuckup co-opted the Presidency and cost us a World Trade Center, a good chunk of the Pentagon and a major American city. And trillions in Treasure through bailouts, wars and borrowing on a giant magic credit card that still has yet to be paid off.
         Fortunately, some of us still keep our perspective and refuse to surrender the true view no matter how many times Overton's Window shifts to the right.
         And Hillary's last campaign 7-8 years ago proved she was in more pockets than lint. Despite having his campaign infested with lobbyists, even John McCain's machine couldn't compare to the sheer number of denizens of K Street that had flocked to Hillary's campaign for some good potentially lucrative reasons. And, recognizing that Mrs. Clinton is on their side on a lot of issues, the GOP refuses to take the real pot shots they could be taking and instead have only emails, foreign cash and Benghazi to pule about. And, as we've seen these past few months, they're all wet logs as much as Whitewater was.
         But we need more than a used and comfortable brand name to wrest this country back from corporations, evangelicals and other sundry and assorted right wing nut jobs that had been handed keys to the Capitol courtesy of another rancid brand name.
         And the old show business adage of, "Give the people what they want and they'll come out for it" works exactly the same way in politics. When Hillary seizes on headlines such as the UCC campus shooting and regurgitates a populist position because she knows limousine liberals will lap it up, the rest of us can see the cynical triangulation.
         When Bernie Sanders says the right thing, those of us blessed with memories better than a goldfish know he's speaking from the heart and has been for the last four plus decades.

    Sunday, October 18, 2015

    Perhaps the Greatest Moment of TV in 2015

         Larry David was born to play Sen. Bernie Sanders and he did it to perfection last night on SNL. I'm glad they raked Jim Webb over the coals through Alec Baldwin and ridiculed the three other ersatz candidates. But obviously, Larry David played Bernie flawlessly from the moment he began with, "We're doomed!"
         Hell, if Bernie wasn't such a good candidate for President, I'd be tempted to vote for Larry David on a write in ballot. But if you haven't seen this sketch, drop everything you're doing and just watch it. It's absolutely one of the best moments in SNL's 41 year-long history.

    Good Times at Pottersville, 10/18/15

    Saturday, October 17, 2015

    Your Meme O' the Day

         Republican delusion and denial, even taking into consideration family loyalty, never, ever ceases to amaze me.

    Good Times at Pottersville, 10/17/15


    Friday, October 16, 2015

    Fox News at its Finest, Pt 20

    "The right has had a lousy couple of weeks. Kevin McCarthy blew their Benghazi investigation scam to pieces. A Republican whistleblower confirmed that the Benghazi investigation is illegally partisan. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders stood together, and both looked strong at the Democratic debate. Now, Fox News gets walloped between the eyes." - Jason Easley, PoliticusUSA

          Gee, how about CIA-trained terrorism experts who are real?

         ...that goes back to the Reagan administration...

         Meanwhile, just to prove that Fox still isn't creepily stalking and is obsessed with the Clintons...

         And then there was the Clinton Cash fiasco starring this right wing hack...
         Actually, not at all. But thank you, Fox, and Kevin McCarthy for reminding us of the real reason for the Benghazi Select Committee.

         Or as we say in the progressive blogosphere, We decide, you retort.

         Because I'm sure that picture of Obama with the cigarette Photoshopped into his mouth was the only picture they could get on short notice of the President of the United States...

         Come on, guys, did you really expect any better from an anger management class dropout who dragged his wife down the stairs by her neck?

         #4: Karl Rove deleted over 22,000,000 emails and we didn't raise a whisper about it.

         OK, we really don't know what the fuck we're talking about or what the facts are but please just keep pretending as if we do...

         But, but...!

         And finally, just for old time's sake...

    KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

    All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #106: The Turkey Has Landed edition
  • #105: Blame it on Paris or Putin edition
  • #104: Make Racism Great Again Also Labor Day edition
  • #103: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Toilet edition
  • #102: Orange is the New Fat edition
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
  • #100: Centennial of Silliness edition
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
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  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
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  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
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  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
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  • Find, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
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  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
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  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
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