Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Leap Day

Friday, February 26, 2016

Good Times at Pottersville, 2/26/16

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Good Times at Pottersville, 2/25/16

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

What I Think of Every Time I See a Trump Rally

     Predictably, it's hit a nerve with right wing nut jobs on Twitter, notably those who have the words "patriot" or "Nordic" in their handles. Well, if it quacks like a goose and walks like a goose...

Ted Cruz: A Liar in Winter

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
     TrusTED - Ted Cruz campaign slogan, "trust" in the past tense.
     It could plausibly be said even by those who aren't Bernie or Hillary or Trump mavens that virtually the only particle of honesty that has ever come out of the Cruz campaign was when he tried to kiss his five year-old daughter (the one he frankly admitted early last month to spanking for lying) and she recoiled in disgust. Ever the political calculator, Tailgunner Ted immediately handed off the troublesome offspring after glancing to see if the camera had caught the painfully awkward moment like a pedophile caught tonguing a first cousin at a Mississippi family reunion. (It had.)
     It has been a weird, surreal winter for the junior and first term senator from Texas. It is one that has seen him vault from obscurity into a virtual tie for Chief Trump ankle biter with fellow first term senator Marco Rubio (R-Cyberdyne). But it's a reality in politics that with increased visibility comes increased scrutiny (as if there's any difference).
     And with his improbable elevation in the polls since the Iowa Caucus that he'd won by default when Trump left the state before the caucus and refused to take part in the GOP debate the night before, Cruz is under even more scrutiny than when he held his fake Dr. Seuss filibuster that essentially shut down the government. And his credibility has taken a beating not so much at the hands of Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. All they have to do is stand by with arms akimbo and virtual halos over their heads and let Trump do his trademark bullying bellowing.
     And it's hard if not outright impossible to find fault with what the Hair Apparent is saying about someone who is now his biggest GOP rival. Ted Cruz is running a blatantly dishonest campaign. Of course, this is virtually synonymous with Republican campaigns in particular and all of them in general as campaigns are just ruthlessly crafted and projected propaganda. What's staggering is that Cruz has been caught in so many blatant lies in such a relatively short period of time.
     It's difficult to catalog all the lies that Cruz has been caught in. But with the cravenness of your typical self-serving politician, it's notable that Cruz has never once accepted responsibility for a single one of those lies. It's always the dog's fart. This came to a head a few days ago when Cruz essentially fired his Communications Director Rick Tyler for a campaign spot that purported to show Marco Rubio dissing the Bible by saying it didn't contain any answers (In fact, the Florida senator had said to a Cruz campaign staffer that the Bible "had all the answers."). Of course, it didn't help when Cruz, as in many official campaign spots, used the tried-and-true rubber stamp, "I'm Ted Cruz and I approve this message."
     Of course there's not one answer in the Bible to explain why Ted Cruz is even still in this race or how he can articulate a message that will resonate with the conservative electorate, especially now that at least 10 Republicans have dropped out or suspended their presidential campaigns (the latest being Jeb!, who will perhaps toddle off to fix something else, like the World Trade Center or NOLA's levees).
     This naturally teases another question, one the corporate mainstream media gets the dry heaves at the thought of asking Cruz: Even if he was dedicated to running a clean, positive campaign while his underlings nonetheless are hamstringing him on literally a weekly basis, if he can't control a few key staffers during a campaign that at least doesn't threaten to touch off WW III or plunge world markets into the Dark Ages, how can a President Cruz be trusted to keep a watchful eye over his subordinates in the West Wing? After all, the Bush administration was rife with power-mad psychopaths and clueless incompetents pursuing their own agendas scurrying behind the Idiot Son's back while he choked on pretzels, starting with Dick "Bunker" Cheney. And look how well that worked out (See trade center, World and Orleans, New, Katrina).

I Approved That Message Before I Disapproved It
     Still, Cruz can't completely blame his staffers for every lie. No one told him to lie about getting his health care cut off because of ObamaCare. And how can Cruz say with a straight face that he couldn't tell the difference between Ben Carson briefly going home and suspending his own campaign (that he pathetically tried to pin on CNN)?
     Essentially Ted Cruz can be described as someone who's even creepier than the sinister-looking Richard Nixon without any of the political adroitness. One of Ben Carson's colleagues, a respected neurologist, recently published a paper on how it's difficult to look at Cruz's "creepy, unsettling face." His own college chums are terrified at the thought of him becoming president. He is reviled, at best ignored, by the GOP establishment to the point of him still, Trump rightly said, not securing one endorsement from his fellow Republican senators. 
     If you want to know how much in the cold Ted Cruz is, even his BFF Mike Lee of Utah has essentially endorsed Marco Rubio while simultaneously campaigning with Cruz. To add insult to injury, Rubio's been picking up endorsements like a sailor picks up STDs on liberty (such as from Viagra pitchman Bob Dole in a desperate attempt to help Rubio with his electile dysfunction problem). And lastly, as with the establishment GOP, Cruz is leaving anti-establishment teabaggers who've long since sworn fealty to Trump utterly cold.
    So why is Ted Cruz steadily rising in the polls (with an albeit tainted Iowa Caucus win)? Or has he plateaued and is doomed to finish as a semi-respectable also-ran by the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this July? It seems the latter may be the case in light of Cruz's dismal third place finish in last night's Nevada Caucus.
     Perhaps in the long run, Cruz's little bump in the polls was the political equivalent of the Yankees taking the first three games from the Red Sox in the 2004 ALCS: After the first three caucuses/primaries, it's all downhill. If the overwhelming voice of the 75,000 Republican caucus-goers who came out last night to vote is any indication, perhaps Cruz will be relegated to the ash heap of this election cycle as surely as Ben Carson will be.
    And the stench of dishonesty is sinking Cruz in a profession where corruption and dishonesty is considered a time-honored part of the game. The blatant pandering and flipflopping sank Mitt Romney four years ago (and he won Nevada's caucus big in 2012, although just 34,000 showed up to vote that year) and the Cruz campaign has been so glaringly disingenuous even conservative voters are beginning to notice and are turned off by it.
     Perhaps Cruz is the one who should get spanked for lying and it seems Donald Trump was the one who did it last night. As a parting gesture, perhaps Senator Seuss should change his campaign slogan from TrusTED to BusTED.

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Good Times at Pottersville, 2/21/16

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

4/4 and 44

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)
"Mere factual innocence is no reason not to carry out a death sentence properly reached." - Antonin Scalia, on executing innocent people.
     There are two ways to report on last Saturday's death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia: One can take stock at his legacy in jurisprudence or the battle that began brewing between Senate Republicans and the White House before rigor mortis even took effect. The man, it could be said, created one Constitutional crisis after another while in life and then, as a parting volley to this vale of tears, left one more in death.
     In his three decades on the High Court, Scalia had represented the majority and minority in many of the most horrible decisions in the history of this country. Relentlessly pro-corporate, Scalia's worst decisions seem bunched up after December 2000 when he took part in the infamous Florida recount ruling that essentially handed the presidency to a boob who couldn't keep dirty water out of New Orleans or put clean water back into it.
     Not content with changing American and Middle East history for the worse, Scalia had shown horrible judgment both in and out of the court. After ruling with the majority on Citizen's United in 2010, Scalia and his old running buddy Clarence Thomas shamelessly took off for a Koch Brothers-funded retreat and taking full advantage of the fact that, for some maddening reason, Supreme Court justices are not held to a high standard as regards the appearance of impropriety (And what was Scalia doing, alone, in a West Texas resort hotel, on a hunting trip? And has anyone seen Dick Cheney lately?).
     And I could spend five times my usual amount of space merely cataloging Scalia's seemingly endless evils from the Florida Recount to Citizen's United, to unsuccessfully ruling to gut the ACA as he had successfully helped to do with the Voting Rights Act to voting to execute innocent inmates and children under 15. But I'll leave that to better legal minds than mine to recount his toxic legacy infinitum ad nauseum.
     And it's typical of the incessantly rude Antonin Scalia to give us a final flip-off as he packs asbestos underwear for Hell by leaving in his wake a Constitutional crisis created by his fellow Republicans.

'Ey, I Gotcher Constitution Right Here!
     Republicans apparently think that Barack Obama's term in office runs from January 20, 2009 to February 13, 2016. Yes, the Party of Personal Responsibility that's been hounding Obama for taking too many vacation days is now saying the president should just sit this one out and not do his job. And to this end, the GOP now retroactively loves the so-called Thurmond Rule that they'd, rightfully, denied less than eight years ago when a Republican was squatting in the Oval Office.
     Unfortunately, there's a pesky little bylaw called Article Two of the United States Constitution, the document so revered by Scalia, a Constitutional Originalist. This gives the President of the United States the power to nominate Supreme Court Justices as well as lower federal judges and, if necessary, make recess appointments when Congress isn't in session.
     But Article Two has been conveniently forgotten by the so-called senior lawmakers in the Senate. Before Scalia had finished shitting and pissing his pants, Mitch McConnell, a man who has based a very long and successful career in the Senate by being a pile of immovable shit on the road to any progress, said we should wait for the next president to appoint Scalia's replacement. Just before that night's Republican debate, Ted Cruz took to his Twitter account and said the same thing.
     Because as with the plainly insane Antonin Scalia, who resorted to nonsense words and writing dissents that were thinly disguised right wing blog posts when he didn't get his way, the Republican Party in the Upper Chamber blithely think if they can ignore the law and simply obstruct every nomination the president has yet to make, they'll get their way. Of course, in an election year, this has historically proven to be disastrous for the GOP, a major political party that actually thinks, as Chuck Grassley said, that Supreme Court nominations are never made in an election year.
     In fact, this is what the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said moments after Scalia's death was announced:
“The fact of the matter is that it’s been standard practice over the last nearly 80 years that Supreme Court nominees are not nominated and confirmed during a presidential election year."
     Yes, he actually said that, despite the fact that, to cite just one example, Ronald Reagan nominated Justice Anthony Kennedy November 1987, who was confirmed just after New Year's 1988.
     An election year.
     And these are the people who lambaste liberals for politicizing everything.

Denouncing #44 in 4/4 Time
     As anyone who can do basic math knows, a Supreme Court evenly divided along party lines (which ought never happen as judges are supposed to rule on matters of law, not politics) promises a lot of gridlock and this is what the Founding Fathers wanted to hedge against by creating an odd-numbered court of nine justices.
     But according to the GOP, an important post such as a Supreme Court seat can just wait nearly a year on the off chance we elect a right wing president. And the GOP's manufactured hysterics and complete ignorance of the rule of law is a most transparent attempt at keeping the Supreme Court from falling in the hands of them thar ebil lib'rals. This despite Obama making two nominations for the High Court who are, at best, middle-of-the-road centrists with more than a modicum of common sense and sanity.
     In Scalia's wake, the Supreme Court will be hearing a wide variety of cases of the highest import and logic dictates that many of those cases will be voted on according to party lines that, again, should never be a factor. As USA Today succinctly put it,
This was to be the term conservatives roared back after one in which the court's liberal bloc won most of the important cases, such as same-sex marriage and Obamacare. On tap to be decided in the next four months are cases affecting abortion rights, affirmative action, voting rights, the power of labor unions and President Obama's health care and immigration policies -- and conservatives stood at least a chance of winning them all.
     And Republicans are quite happy with risking countless 4-4 votes on many of today's most important legal and social issues simply in the interests of ideological (and racial) primacy. In other words, Republicans will once again paralyze the government or a part of it to keep the black guy from getting his way.
     And in preemptively vowing to block any nominees that the president has yet to make, the Republican Party has reduced itself to a pack of rabid 5th Columnists who are hallucinating and swatting away phantom judges.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

RIP Tony Scalia (1936-2016)

     More later. It'll take a while for Mikey Flannigan to catalog all this man's evils.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Good Times at Pottersville, 2/12/16

Happy Lincoln's Birthday

     What, too soon?

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Good Times at Pottersville, 2/10/16

Your Literary Quote o' the Day

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Good Times at Pottersville: NH Primary edition

Monday, February 8, 2016

Because Banning Butt Sex is More Important Than Tainted Water

     There's a curiously fascistic strain in the Michigan GOP. An unimaginative wag would perhaps say it's due to something in the water but whatever the cause, the Michigan Republican Party is becoming indistinguishable from Hitler's Nazi party.
     Take this news item that just came screaming out of Lansing, Michigan/1930's Berlin, Germany: "Bill criminalizing anal and oral sex passes Michigan Senate." Like a typical Republican scumbag stealth legislator, the fat fuck above, one State Senator Rick Jones, inserted a rider in an animal cruelty bill that banned oral and anal sex between humans as well as animals. Because, you know, those consenting adults who love alternative sex are no different or better than them there bestialists.
     Michigan, it might be added, is one of the very few states left who actually have outdated laws on the books regarding anal and oral sex bans. The Supreme Court said such laws were unconstitutional and many states then got rid of theirs. But not Michigan.
     So what this asshole is saying is, "Oh, all right, you fags can get married but you can't have sex."
     To show what a craven piece of shit Jones is, he's playing the baby-with-the-bathwater card, saying, "If we could put a bill in that said anything that’s unconstitutional be removed from the legal books of Michigan, that’s probably something I could vote for, but am I going to mess up this dog bill that everybody wants? No." Despite the fact that it was him who'd inserted that poison pill into the bill just out of pure homophobic spite.
     Well gee willikers, Senator Jones, I've never heard of anyone who ever died of Legionnaire's Disease from gobbling lead-tainted semen. Now, Flint water, on the other hand... I mean, shouldn't you be spending the taxpayers' dime worrying about mostly black children dying from poisoned water?
     The language in this "dog bill" specific to human sexual intercourse is as follows: "A person who commits the abominable and detestable crime against nature either with mankind or with any animal is guilty of a felony." Specifically, a penalty of up to 15 years.
     Granted, I haven't read the bill in its entirety (the .pdf version can be found here) but thus far I have not seen whether it seeks to prosecute both givers and receivers, if they are both equally egregious and lastly, how the hell would one enforce it? Obviously, one can't and it's just as obvious that this is a sop thrown to whatever evangelical nut jobs in the state contribute to Jones' and his fellow Michigan Republicans.
     What investigative body would be in charge of such an investigation? The Michigan Ministry of Weird Sex That We Obsess About? What would or would not be admissible as evidence? Would the prosecuted parties have used against them porno videos and who would watch them and how often until the facts were confirmed? Does this law ban men and women from engaging in this activity or is it gay-specific?
     And why are Republicans more obsessed with gay sex than most gay men?
     So fear not, people of Michigan. The state GOP literally has your backs to prevent any gay faggot bestialists from coming up behind you and subjecting you to animal butt sex
     There are probably a million things in Michigan that need to be fixed, starting with the Flint water crisis that killed ten innocents so Snyder could save a few bucks on tap water. They could be drafting articles of impeachment against Snyder and paving the way for him to get charged with ten counts of first degree murder (because, as he knew about the health risks in advance yet did nothing then hid the results and flouted EPA regulations, it was premeditated).
     But no. Let's stop the fags from having any kind of fun whatsoever after they get all gay married even if we have to appoint spies beneath all their bedroom windows and shoot porn videos without their knowledge or consent because that's the only way we can collect the evidence and enforce this worthy "dog law."

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Good Times at Pottersville: Iowa Caucus edition

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KindleindaWind, my writing blog.

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