Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sham Prosecution in Ferguson

Via Hullabaloo, the following quote, which pretty much says it all:

"It is the grand jury’s function not ‘to enquire … upon what foundation [the charge may be] denied,’ or otherwise to try the suspect’s defenses, but only to examine ‘upon what foundation [the charge] is made’ by the prosecutor. Respublica v. Shaffer, 1 Dall. 236 (O. T. Phila. 1788); see also F. Wharton, Criminal Pleading and Practice § 360, pp. 248-249 (8th ed. 1880). As a consequence, neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented." 

-Antonin Scalia, United States v, Williams, 504 U.S. 36 (1992)

(Bolding by me, following the bolding at Hullabaloo)

The Darren Wilson grand jury was an illegal sham designed to exculpate a white man who murdered a black teenager.  This prosecutor was involved in raising money for Darren Wilson's defense, and if he had a shred of morality would have recused himself from the case.  Instead, he knowingly rigged the proceedings to produce this result.

In the decision of the court in this exact same case, Justice Scalia wrote that the double jeopardy clause of the fifth amendment does not apply to grand jury proceedings, and another grand jury is free to indict Darren Wilson in the future.  That is what should be done to correct this horrible abuse of the justice procedure, but I guess there is not much hope of that.

And while they are at it, the prosecutor in this case needs to be removed from his position and thrown in jail. There is absolutely no excuse for this sort of misuse of his privileged position.

Correction:  Gene informs me in the comments that my allegations about the prosecutor raising money for Darren Wilson are false.  Here is a Snopes article about the subject.  The article shows a screen shot of a website selling T-shirts to raise money for Darren Wilson.  On the website is prominently displayed the logo of an organization called "Backstoppers," of which this prosecutor happens to be the President.  After all the public attention, this organization claims to have nothing to do with the T-shirt sales, and the people who were involved are unknown.  Snopes categorizes the story as a "mixture of true and false," but I guess there is no smoking gun there.  Think what you want.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Story Least Likely to Prove True

"Nuclear Attack From Aliens Eradicated Life On Mars, Physicist Claims"

Sovereigns Strike Again

Many of you may have missed the story of Curtis Wade Holley, a Tallahassee man who, a few days ago, set fire to his own house, with the intention of killing police and firemen who responded.  Luckily, the police found out what was going on and warned the fire department to keep away, but not until Holley killed one sheriff's deputy and wounded another one.
Well, early articles about this incident referred to Holley's "anti-government views."  Of course, as I immediately suspected, Holley turned out to be a Sovereign Citizen.

The death toll from these violent right wing jackasses has now reached over 100, yet the press persists in treating them like a quaint but harmless group of jargon-spouting loons.  They represent a much greater threat to our national stability than ISIS or Al Qaida ever could, and it is time to put a stop to their often lethal antics.

It remains only for me to point out that, like all Conservatives, their primary motive is to find an excuse not to pay their taxes.  This common goal with more "mainstream" right wingers means that there are tens of millions of people out there who are only one setback away from starting to fall for their absurd claims.

If you are not familiar with this movement, here is an article about them from the SPLC, and here is another interesting article detailing some of their recent violent outbreaks.

My Only Comment on Ferguson

Well, the press sure is full of people wanting to share their opinions about what happened with the non-indictment of Darren Wilson.  Of course, none of the ones that I have seen have managed to state the truth: that in many parts of this country, the law is deliberately corroded so white people can shoot black people for fun, without any consequences.  That's America today, folks- deal with it.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Obama Has Totally Screwed Up The Fight Against Islamic Terrorism

And ISIS in particular.  That's the story that we hear day after day, isn't it?  Well, here's a slightly different take:

"Signs of Kobani ISIS fighters in Syria growing desperate have been amply buttressed by the recent outpourings of a Chechen militant in the social media. From this northern Syrian city, he issued an emotional plea for support and prayer for him and his supporters. 

This conforms the news that ISIS is facing reverses as the advancing forces of Kurdish fighters have started seizing vital buildings used by ISIS, besides capturing a large number of weapons and ammunition. 

This conforms the news that ISIS is facing reverses as the advancing forces of Kurdish fighters have started seizing vital buildings used by ISIS, besides capturing a large number of weapons and ammunition...The distress of ISIS in Kobani is now more apparent in the tone of social-media postings made by the group in recent days. In the past, the posts were euphoric about victory and had been gloating about how they were saving the Kurdish people from the clutches of communism and atheism. But a very recent social media post on Nov 18 by an ISIS militant known as Adam al-Almani painted a different picture. It is more of the tone of a besieged militant who is facing heavy fire and air strikes."

Hey, you know what? It turns out that keeping a cool head and waiting until you can do something meaningful is a hell of a lot more effective than the belligerent, infantile hostility which is the Republicans' solution for every foreign policy problem.  The Republicans' approach gave us the biggest military blunder in U.S. history just a few years ago; Obama gave us what looks to be developing into a huge success at about one half of one percent of the cost.

ISIS really did turn out to be the junior varsity, however much the Republicans hooted in derision when Obama said that.  Republican comparisons of ISIS to the Nazis were ludicrous- between 1935 and 1945, approximately 18 million soldiers served in the Wehrmacht, and they were backed up by the world's most advanced military technology and a massive industrial base capable of manufacturing tens of thousands of tanks, planes and other heavy military equipment.  ISIS had 30,000 or so troops, and all of their weapons were stolen. But that has not yet stopped the Republicans and the mainstream press from screaming to the American people that we are all about to be murdered in our beds because Obama didn't create a huge demagogic spectacle when he had the chance.  And of course, Obama will not get one sliver of credit for stopping this evil group without the jingoistic hoopla that surrounds any Republican use of the military.  But then, this sort of thing is why our country is so screwed up today.

Wingnut Wrapup

Well, I've been pretty unmotivated to plunge into the right wing maelstrom lately, but I guess it's time to get back on the job, so here goes:

What's interesting in Wingnut Wrapup today is not what is here, but what is not- coverage of the Republican House committee that just released a report refuting all of the Republican lies about Benghazi that have been forced down our throats the last two years.  Mostly, the right wingers are just ignoring it the way they do with global warming or anything else that doesn't have the potential of making money for their masters.  Of course, there are some exceptions, like this one:

Streiff, Red State:  "Lindsay Graham: House Benghazi report is “crap”

We'll just leave it there, and move on, what do you say?.

John Hawkins, Town Hall:  "How To Stop Being Poor...Once in college, on a trip out of town, I slept in an elevator all night because I couldnt afford to pay to share a room with friends and I was too proud to crash without paying."

Too proud to share with people you know, but not too proud to steal your lodging from someone you didn't know.  What a great Conservative.

David Limbaugh, Town Hall:  "Obama lied on his major selling points about the Affordable Care Act. Unlike many Democrats in falsely accusing President George W. Bush of lying about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, I don't use the term "lie" lightly."

How can you even begin to unravel the dishonesty of a statement like this?  Obama's "lies" gave health care to over ten million people, and severely slashed the rise in costs of medical care.  Bush's lies (no quotation marks necessary there) started a criminal war of aggression, killed several hundred thousand people, cost us three trillion dollars, contributed to wrecking our economy and left a God-awful mess in the Middle East.

Clicking on David's name, one discovers a three hundred word biography.  It really could be reduced to one sentence containing a fact it never mentioned:  "David Limbaugh is Rush Limbaugh's brother; if it weren't for that he would currently be employed sorting through garbage at the local recycling center."

Kevin Glass, Town Hall:  "Republicans Have No Obligation To Fix Obamacare"

Except, of course, the obligation that they have to the American people, but since when has that concerned them?

Matthew Boyle, Breitbart:  "Father Calls Out Obama: Bring Back My Son Murdered by an Illegal Alien with an Executive Order"

The illegal alien had an executive order to murder this guy's son?  Man, that is an impeachable offense.

Warner Todd Huston, Breitbart:  "EMPLOYEE MORALE AT CNN COLLAPSES"

Really?  I'd have thought their morale would collapse every day they wake up and realize that they still work for the same company as Wolf Blitzer.

Jackie Gingrich Cushman:  "In the week following the shellacking of his party in the midterm elections, one might think that President Barack Obama would be conciliatory and humble. Instead, he has continued to be audacious..."

Really?  Based on Jackie's party's response to getting beat badly last time out, I would have thought that Obama's reaction would be sedition and subversion of the government.

Harry R. Jackson, Jr, Town Hall:  "Is Castro’s Cuba Still a Threat?"

A threat to what? The domestic cigar business?  When was it ever a threat, you lying jackass?

Erick Erickson, Red State:  "Dinner With the President...I had dinner with President Bush the other night"

A little confused about what year it is, huh, Erick?

Rich Tucker, PJ Media:  "What Are the Secrets to How Asia Works?  Journalist Joe Studwell's book points to three things governments can do to accelerate prosperity."

Accelerate prosperity, really.  Here's the secret to how Asia works:

All we have to do to emulate their "success" is make workers live like this.  Just keep giving in to the Koch brothers, fellas, and we're on the way.

Selwyn Duke, Renew America:  "It's official: the Democrats are the party of the Devil"

You don't even want to be bothered with the reasoning behind this one.  Trust me.  The story that Selwyn bases his post on doesn't even mention Democrats.

Michelle Malkin, Renew America:  "Big truthy is watching you "

Big truthy?  I only wish.

Todd Starnes, Town Hall:  "Why are 120 Christian College Kids About to Get Deported?  Myron Guiler wept...“It’s heartbreaking,” he said. “I can’t stand to see these 120 children go. It’s my heart. I’ve poured my life into it.”

Guiler is the president of Marietta Bible College, a small unaccredited school that provides Bible training mostly for impoverished international students.  On Sunday – Pastor Guiler delivered the bad news to his congregation – the federal government had denied their recertification for a program that allows foreign students to attend American schools."

Illegal immigrants?  Off with their heads!!!  Unless, of course, an "unaccredited" (i.e. bogus) college can make money off of someone pretending to educate them.  Then, bring 'em on in!  Of course the school, which is unaccredited, as I mentioned, offers a classic whine on its website about how it just couldn't allow itself to be accredited because that would be putting the State above God.  Right, guys- you are just so principled.

Rachel Marsden, Town Hall:  "Will Obama Finish as a Statesman or a Politician?"

Which brings to mind the obvious question, "Will Ted Cruz finish as a politician or a convict?"

Town Hall:  "Mitt Romney: Obama "Has Got To Learn That He Lost This Last Election"

Righ, Mitt.  Just as soon as you and your friends learn that you lost the one before that- big time.

Matt Mackiowiak, Town Hall:  "What the Midterms in Texas Taught Us"

Despite the usual Republican crowing from Matt, what the midterms in Texas really taught us is that voters in Texas are really stupid.

John Hayward, Red State:  "The government needs to start respecting us"

Why?  What would make them crazy enough to do that?

Shawn Mitchell, Town Hall:  "Make Obama Own the Shutdown."

I.e. screw up the government and then blame Obama.  Boy, that's an original idea.  How did you ever think of that one, Shawn?

David Horowitz, Red State:  "How Many Lies Have Democrats Told To Sabotage The War on Terror?"

None.  I don't think David, one of the worst Muslim haters in the whole right wing stable, deserves any more of an answer than that.

Pierre Comtoise, PJ Media:  "The 10 Most Fascinating Fantasy Worlds of All Time"

And Pierre didn't even include the through-the-looking-glass earth that Republicans live in.  Oh wait a minute...my apologies, Pierre.  That would be the least fascinating fantasy world of all time.

Rodrigo Sermeno, PJ Media:  "Only ‘Rudimentary Monitoring’ of Many High-Threat U.S. Volcanoes...Can take “a good 20 years” under the current budget for USGS to update instruments at one volcano."

Failed again, Obama! Of course, this fact has nothing to do with Republicans in Congress slashing funds for volcano monitoring, no, no, that has nothing to do with it.  It's all Obama's fault.

Bryan Preston, PJ Media:  "When a Republican Was President, Hillary Clinton Wanted to Limit Presidential Power. Now She Doesn’t."

The Republican President in question was a miserable, ignorant incompetent that shouldn't have been allowed to ride a bike without training wheels.  Bryan forgot about that, I guess.

Kevin Fobbs, Renew America:  "IMPEACH - Obama's executive order allows illegal aliens to destroy America's soul"

Listen, buster, if torture and invading the wrong country didn't destroy our soul, I don't think a few more gardeners and busboys will either.

Newsmax:  "Author Phyllis Chesler: Obama 'seems to be siding with the jihadists' 

By bombing the crap out of them.  That's siding with them.  Of course, that's how Bush sided with the Iraqi people, so maybe Republicans really believe this.

Joseph Farah, World Net Daily:  "Many are scratching their heads trying to figure out why Barack Obama appears to be doing everything in his power to spread the Ebola virus."

And doing such a bad job of it too, since there isn't a case of Ebola in the whole country.

So, that pretty much sums it up.  Back real soon.

What Are These Two Geezers So Happy About?

Okay, okay, I've got nothing.  So sue me.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Benghaz....

Benghazi.  Well, the latest Republican House Inquisition on Benghazi has managed to find absolutely nothing wrong with the actions of the White House or the intelligence community, no matter how hard they tried.

I just took a look at a lot of the sites I normally cover in Wingnut Wrapup.  Will it surprise you to learn that not a single one of them, collectively responsible for hundreds if not thousands of posts over the last two years hyping this nonexistent scandal, has mentioned this latest result a single time?

And what do you want to bet that, as the 2016 election approaches, and the right wingers figure that people have forgotten about this, all of the lies will return in full force, but the truth will be nowhere to be seen?

And if you do happen to be a betting person, what will you wager that the mainstream press will not bother to point out that the Benghazi scandal was all a gigantic lie from the beginning?  Hint, if you are wondering which way to bet:  When has the mainstream press ever pointed out that everything the Republicans advocate ends in disaster, so they have nothing but gigantic lies to run on?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

But It's Snowing in Buffalo

Global temperatures for this year so far:
Of course, this comes from scientists, so feel free to write it off as some sort of self-serving lie.

Let's Just Tear The Whole Damned Thing Down

If we can't have every single sick thing we want right now, just like the two year olds that we are inside.

Republican Senator Tom Coburn:

"The country's going to go nuts, because they're going to see it as a move outside the authority of the president, and it's going to be a very serious situation," Coburn said on Capital Download. "You're going to see — hopefully not — but you could see instances of anarchy. ... You could see violence." 

"Instead of having the rule of law handling in our country today, now we're starting to have the rule of rulers, and that's the total antithesis of what this country was founded on," Coburn says. "Here's how people think: Well, if the law doesn't apply to the president ... then why should it apply to me?"

Of course, we on the sane side of the political divide know that the whole notion of Obama being some would-be dictator who has a continuous record of abusing the Constitution is just one part of the mammoth lie about everything that Republicans have fabricated the last six years, and we know that Reagan and Bush engaged in similar executive actions regarding immigration without one single Republican complaint. And it may have occurred to us that threatening mass violence if they don't get what they want is slightly inimical to "the rule of law" they claim to be so concerned about.

But let Obama do anything, and the supposed leaders of the Republican party threaten to destroy our society in an orgy of violence not seen since the last time they did it in the Civil War; and replace it with a system of government that can do whatever they want without being questioned.  And people wonder why you can go all over the internet and find "Patriots" screaming for the violent overthrow of the government- as long as it contains any elected Democrats- and absurdly claiming that their insurrection is a defense of the Constitution.

This is the refuge of the Fascist right- destroy anything they don't like- and it is boiling up in this country, egged on by supposedly serious Republican leaders, like Senator Coburn, who has the gall to say this:

"If I were in his office, I'd say, if you want to have a successful second term, dig down, swallow your pride, get what you can get, compromise on everything you can for the best interests of the country," he says. "Bring us back together."

Swallow your pride, by giving in on every issue of substance, regardless of the fact that Republican "solutions" to our problems invariably make them worse.  Bring us together by destroying the government and turning the country over to the rich sociopaths that run the Republican party.  Because an oligarchic dictatorship is clearly what is in "the best interests of the country."  And because otherwise, we are going to kill you.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Left Sinks to the Level of the Right

It distresses me to bring this sort of thing to your attention, but I would like you to take a look at this post at Crooks and Liars, which concerns the four people murdered by Palestinian extremists in a Jerusalem Synagogue.  What I want to ask you to read are some of the comments, which are an endless stream of the most disgusting attacks on Israel and Jews, written without a single acknowledgment that innocent Israelis were the victims here.  As my readers know, I spend considerable time looking at right wing websites, and I must say that the tone of these comments is absolutely on a par with the sort of thing that one sees at Aryan supremacist blogs like Vanguard News Service or the American Spectator.

I saw hardly a single person take exception to this outburst of violent hatred, while many essentially applauded acts like this.

Are we really caught in a world where the evil on both sides is equal?  If this is any indication, we are, and everything we try to do is hopeless.  Crooks and Liars, which is one of the most important left wing blogs, is committing a deeply unacceptable act if they do not take this opportunity to stand up against the racist hatred of their readers.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Intellectual Discussion with Wingnuts- a Case Study

Recently, Green Eagle had occasion to reply to a Christian Identity video purported to prove that the real Jews were all Aryans, posted on You Tube.  As an aside I must add that it would appear that the great majority of Christian Identity adherents do not have particularly spectacular reading skills, because the bulk of their presence online consists of videos.  Anyway, back to the subject.

As Green Eagle is known far and wide for his ability to have meaningful, constructive intellectual discussions with this sort of person, I thought it would be instructive to the less accomplished among us to see an example of his skill.  So, here it is:


Green Eagle:  "I just want to tell you how much I enjoyed this.  It is one of the greatest collections of ludicrous misinterpretations of history and easily disprovable assertions I have ever heard.  Really, you guys should be writing for Saturday Night Live or Monty Python.  And to top it off, the Jefferson Airplane song that is about taking LSD, twisted to claim it means something that would make Grace Slick pee in her pants laughing.

Thank the lord there aren't very many people in the world stupid enough to believe any of this nonsense."

1611kjvbibleone:  "CRY AND SCREAM LIKE THE SERPENT YOU ARE..........ALL OF THIS VIDEO 100%  THE TRUE ISRAELITES ARE WHITE/RUDDYADAM=RUDDY- TO BLUSH, TO TURN RED, TO SHOW BLOOD IN THE FACE [ SKIN ] AND NOAH WAS PURE BLOODED FROM ADAM,,, THE DEAD SEA SCROLL'S SAY'S NOAH WAS WHITE AND ROSY RED,,,,,WOW     KING DAVID WAS RUDDY AND SOLOMON WAS WHITE AND THE NAZARITES ARE WHITE AND RUDDY,,  WOW     AND JESUS CHRIST IS WHITE  AND THE ISRAELITES ARE WHITE    WOW,,,  WOW ,,,, WOW,,,  ADAM =WHITE MAN.......CUSH/KUSH  AND HAM WERE WHITE MEN      THAT'S RIGHT...... GREEN EAGLE  YOU  HATE  JESUS CHRIST=WHO IS WHITE    ?"

Green Eagle:  "+1611kjvbibleone You lie.  I didn't cry and scream- I laughed at you."

1611kjvbibleone:  "REMEMBER WHEN YOU WERE JUMPING UP AND DOWN LIKE A BABOON SCREAMING [ YES WE CAN ]=THANK YOU SATAN..    SO YOU WORSHIP SATAN."

Green Eagle:  "Actually, I don't remember that at all.  Can you give me a couple of hints to help remind me?"

1611kjvbibleone: "FOR YOUR savior OBAMA   WHEN  VOTING TIME,    HOMIE"    

Green Eagle:  "Nope...doesn't ring a bell."

1611kjvbibleone:  YOU LIKE TO HEAR BELL'S ?    AND IS THERE A BELL IN YOUR HEAD ?  

Green Eagle:
"1.  The plural of bell is bells, not bell's.
2. Turn your God damn caps lock key off already.
3.  Can't answer the question, can you?" 

1611kjvbibleone:  "I TOLD YOU WHEN.. VOTING TIME FOR OBAMA [ YES WE CAN ]=THANK YOU SATAN,,,,,, YOU CROTCH MILKING HOMO    REPENT OF YOUR CROTCH MILKING  AND YOUR HOMO ORGY'S  ..       SO YOU KNOW YOU HAVE DEMONS IN YOUR HEAD..      YOUR MAD,,,,,,,, DOES THE BIG LETTERS  HURT YOU..   YOUR SCARED   YOU WIMP  YOUR VAGINAL DISCHARGE AND YOUR MENTAL MASTERBAITION OF LIE'S  AND ALSO  YOUR  SCHIZOPHRENIC      YOU DENY THE TRUTH     REMEMBER  SCREAMING [ YES WE CAN ]=THANK YOU SATAN     LIGHTNING FROM HEAVEN      REMEMBER.....   ARE YOU MY FRIEND NOW.......  "


Green Eagle:  "Man, I'm enjoying conversing with you, 1611.  So, let's get down to things.
First of all, either I'm a crotch licking homo, or I have vaginal discharge.  I can't be both.  I guess that means you flunked sixth grade biology (and never ever had sex with either a man or a woman,) but we could have figured that out by ourselves.

Yes we can= thank you Satan?  In what language, exactly?  Not in English, but we could have figured that out too, since you obviously flunked sixth grade English too:

"YOUR MAD (Illiterate),,,,,,,, DOES THE BIG LETTERS  HURT YOU..(Also illiterate)   YOUR SCARED (Illiterate)   YOU WIMP  YOUR VAGINAL DISCHARGE AND YOUR MENTAL MASTERBAITION  (Misspelled) OF LIE'S (Illiterate)  AND ALSO  YOUR  SCHIZOPHRENIC (Illiterate)"...six examples of incompetence with the English language in 23 words.  That may be a record.

And by the way, turn your fucking caps lock key off already.  It's just one more sign of your ignorance, and I think you are already over the limit where it goes from being a misdemeanor to a felony.

Finally, I'm guessing you are two posts away from having a heart attack.  Go for it!

1611kjvbibleone:  "YOUR A HERMAPHRODITE..  SEE YOU ARE BOTH ...  . AS FAR AS SPELLING=  YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS,  HAHAHAHAHA  HAHHAH  UNLESS IT IS YOUR HAND,    AND WHAT  THE INTERNET COPS ARE GOING TO LOCK ME UP FOR TELLING THE TRUTH....?      I BET YOU CRY WHEN YOU MASTERBAIT....YOU HERMAPHRODITE"

Green Eagle:  "+1611kjvbibleone, one more post, and pfft! There goes your heart.  Better be careful there.  It's all in your hands.  If I were you, I'd restrict your online presence to looking at pictures of kitties.  Really, I'm just trying to give you some good advice." 

1611kjvbibleone:  "YOUR CRYING   WHY ARE YOU CRYING    YOUR A CRY BABY,   YOUR A WIMP,     BUT YOU DO DENY THE TRUTH,   REMEMBER    SCREAMING [YES WE CAN ]=THANK YOU SATAN       THAT'S WHAT IT MEANS     LOOK IT UP.......HAHAHAA   HAHAHA   HAHAHAHAHHAA   HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH   HERMAPHRODITE    HAHAAHHAHA  HAHAHAH HAHAHAH"

Green Eagle:  "I am sorry to have to note the demise from heart explosion of 1611kjvbibleone, approximately two hours ago.  Any more posts in his name are obviously the product of malicious trolls determined to desecrate his name; therefore, out of respect for his memory, I will not dignify their vicious behavior with any further reply."

Well, there you go.  I hope you have learned a lesson in constructively relating to right wingers.  With a couple of decades practice, I am sure you too can approach the judicious, thoughtful analysis so well known from Green Eagle.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Electoral Reality. By The Numbers

Here is something that I bet you have never heard from anyone else, even though it takes no more than fourth grade math and a few minutes with Google to figure one thing out: that Republicans' claim of a mandate from last week's election is nonsense.

In 2014, only 36.3% of eligible voters actually voted.  Of that 36.3%, Republicans got 52%; that is to say, they actually got 18.9% of eligible voters to vote for them.

In 2012, 57.5% of eligible voters actually voted.  Obama got 51.1% of those who voted, or 29.3% of eligible voters.

In fact, Romney got 47.2% of actual voters, or 27% of eligible voters.

Thus, even with the absolutely abominable performance of Democratic candidates this year, the percentage of eligible voters that Republicans got decreased by thirty percent.

And let us not forget that this was an almost perfect year for Republicans: their malignant stew of voter suppression, gerrymandering and massive dark money, and the fruits of their six year campaign to vilify the Democrats as their first priority, gave them an advantage that will never again (we hope) be as great; and their base is dying off.

This is the Republicans' massive electoral "mandate."  Like everything they say, it is a colossal lie, and any Democrat who falls for their crowing (I'm talking you here, Barack) is a fool and worse than a fool, he is a collaborator with the Republican campaign to destroy American democracy.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

So That's How They Do It

While hunting for something else, I found this:

Now I get it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The CIA, the Nazis and the Bankrupting of American Intelligence

Surely one of the most shocking misbehaviors of American intelligence services after World War II dates right to the beginnings of the CIA: the secret protection of literally thousands of Nazi war criminals by US intelligence organizations in the name of a resurgent explosion of irrational hatred of Communism.  In Operation Paperclip alone, 1500 German "scientists" and other war criminals were brought to the United States:

"One purpose of Operation Paperclip was to deny German scientific expertise and knowledge to the Soviet Union...To circumvent President Truman's anti-Nazi order and the Allied Potsdam and Yalta agreements, the JIOA worked independently to create false employment and political biographies for the scientists. The JIOA also expunged from the public record the scientists' Nazi Party memberships and r├ęgime affiliations. Once "bleached" of their Nazism, the scientists were granted security clearances by the U.S. government to work in the United States."

This is hardly the only action of this type.  It is instructive to consider the Gehlen affair:

"Reinhard Gehlen (3 April 1902 – 8 June 1979) was an officer in the German Wehrmacht during World War II, reaching the rank of Major General...Starting in 1942 he served as chief of Fremde Heere Ost (FHO), the German Army's military intelligence unit on the Eastern Front. During the emerging phases of the Cold War, he was recruited by the United States military to set up a spy ring directed against the Soviet Union (known as the Gehlen Organization) which employed numerous former SS, SD and Wehrmacht officers...Gehlen had always been under the sponsorship of US Army G-2 (intelligence), but he eventually succeeded in realizing his ambition of establishing an association with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), established in 1947. The CIA kept close tabs on the Gehlen group. For many years during the Cold War, Org agents were the only eyes and ears of the CIA on the ground in the Soviet Bloc nations. 

Every German POW returning from Soviet captivity to West Germany, between 1947 and 1955, was interviewed by Org agents. The Gehlen Org employed hundreds of ex-Nazi members..."
 Reinhard Gehlen, when he was still working for his former employers

Let me make it clear what happened here.  As World War II wound down, American military contractors were deathly afraid that decreased arms purchases would cut into their profits, so they and their political allies began to ratchet up a tsunami of paranoia about the supposed threat of Communism.  It was clear by the late 1950's that much of this was propaganda without any justification (thus Eisenhower's warning about the "military industrial complex" at the end of his term) and much of that propaganda was generated by the CIA.

The resultant widespread collaboration of the CIA with high ranking Nazi officials who participated in the greatest war crimes in the history of the world was a moral crime beyond equal in the history of this country.  The perpetrators of this crime, Allen Dulles, Wild Bill Donovan, et. al. could only justify this malignant behavior to themselves by creating a myth that the Soviet Union represented a far greater threat to us than the narrowly averted world conquest by the Nazis, and the consequent deaths of fifty million.  Thus, the primary task of the CIA from its very inception was not to seek out intelligence, but to fabricate it to suit a horrible predetermined narrative.  From that beginning the CIA has not been a fact finding organization, but a lie factory.

Wild Bill Donovan

And sad to say, this action, at the very birth of the CIA, set the character of American intelligence services from that time forward.  To be blunt, they were built not to provide information on which the government can rely, but rather to create fictions which allow right wing schemes that benefit the rich to be pursued.  This is the reason that American intelligence services have been wrong about virtually everything since World War II- Vietnam, Iraq and Iran, Central America- they do not exist to find the truth, but to spread lies.  This is the inevitable poison fruit of collaborating with the likes of Reinhard Gehlen and Wehrner von Braun, and it is the reason that I have believed since the Vietnam war that this country will never set itself on the right course until the CIA is eliminated, and replaced with something dedicated to finding the truth instead of perpetually leading the country into foreign adventures that are doomed to fail because they are built on a malignant fantasy.


Note:  I have linked to Wikipedia articles about the chief people I have mentioned here, for the convenience of those who would like to learn a little more about them.  In my opinion, these articles are far too kind to these guys, so take what they say with a grain of salt.  And don't even get me started on Allen Dulles.   These were very evil people and the passing of sixty years has not changed that.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

None Dare Call It Corruption

Krugman.   Talking about the Supreme Court's decision to interfere in the legal process regarding a vicious suit to try one more time to damage Obamacare. Who else has the guts to risk their position in the mainstream press by telling the truth?

"...let’s be clear about what’s happening here. Judges who support this cruel absurdity aren’t stupid; they know what they’re doing. What they are, instead, is corrupt, willing to pervert the law to serve political masters. And what we’ll find out in the months ahead is how deep the corruption goes."

I have been saying since Bush v. Gore that we are in a frightening era never before seen in this country: an era in which a majority of the Supreme Court is corrupt.  Not overly ideological, not ignorant of the law, corrupt.  A half century and more of Republican Supreme Court packing, dating back to the Nixon-era fight that put the despicable racist Rehnquist on the Court, has resulted in a clear majority of Justices that are committed, not to some sort of imaginary Conservative world view, but simply to taking the opportunity, when it presents itself, to damage our democratic way of government in order to give more and more control of the country to the richest among us.

For a while I have thought of writing an article about the legal opinions of Antonin Scalia, which over time have become less and less a matter of serious analysis of the law and more and more a sort of taunting of the rest of the country with the fact that he can do whatever he wants, regardless of whether it is either legal or just.  And yet, despite the fact that even a non-lawyer can find huge irrationalities, and even deliberate misstatements of precedent in many of his decisions, he is still the judicial equivalent of Paul Ryan, with the press holding up his absurd, vicious reasoning as a model of Conservative thought.  Well, now is not the time for that* but let us just look at the results:

The overturning of the 2000 Presidential election on an absurd pretense, giving control of the country to an incompetent, corrupt President who destroyed our economy, destroyed our military and left our country an international pariah, while succeeding at only one thing: transferring massive amounts of money from the American people to a minuscule cabal of rich capitalists.

The crafting of a decision, in the Citizens' United case, which defied all logic, and was based on the absolutely insane premise that rich campaign donors would not take advantage of the decision to tilt the political playing field even farther in their own direction.

The decision to essentially do away with all regulation of politics that were based on race, again on a laughable claim that white racists throughout the country would not seize on this as an opportunity to resume a centuries-long campaign of discrimination against minority groups.

And the result of all of this?  An out of control, subversive party, which built its base on stoking hatred and greed, which was well on its way to deserved oblivion, has been brought back from the dead, to resume its zombie stalking of the good Americans who still remain.

But of course, we can wait for hell to freeze over before anyone but Krugman has the honesty to say this in the mainstream press.  Because ownership of the press was just one more gift given to the rich by Republican rule, so anyone else who tries to tell the truth is silenced.  Thank heaven for the internet, so that at least a record will continue to exist that some people in the country knew exactly what was going on, and that it wasn't just a gigantic accident caused by people who couldn't possibly have known what the consequences of this corruption would be.  Sad to say, that's just about the best that can be hoped for at this point.

*i.e. I'm too lazy to do it today.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

We Want Our Epidemic Back!

So, I was in the supermarket today, and I noticed that one of the tabloids is featuring a story titled "Obama's Ebola Blunders Revealed."

Blunders.  Here's the story to date:

Number of Ebola Cases in the U.S:  4

Number contracted in a foreign country by someone who then came to the U.S: 2

Number of those who died:  1

Number contracted in the US: 2

Number of those who died: 0

Number of American citizens who contracted Ebola:  3

Number of American citizens who died:  0

In summary: two people got Ebola in the United States and both of them survived.

By contrast, since Thomas Duncan, the one fatality listed above, first went to a hospital in Texas, something around 1300 people have been killed in this country with firearms.  And that many die every day from smoking related causes.

And let us remember that President Saint Ronnie Reagan saw over 20,000 people in this country die of AIDS before he even mentioned the subject in public, let alone did anything about it.

Of course, you will have noticed that once the recent election was over and the Republicans have no need to paralyze the American populace with fear, Ebola has pretty much totally disappeared from the news.  Still, while it lasted, it was great fun, I guess, beating up on the President for a situation which he seems to have handled pretty spectacularly.

Executive Summary

Digby reports:

"Jason Leopold of VICE News says he's got a hold of the Executive Summary of the Torture Report."

The executive summary of the torture report.  For people that didn't have time to read the whole thing, because it just wasn't that important.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Maybe It's Astrology?

People who are too upset at the Republican wins the other day might want to consider the fact that the Lakers are currently in last place in their division and the Cleveland Browns are in first place in theirs.  Something is sure out of control in the universe right now.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

And Now For a Little Perspective

Of course, the mainstream press is reporting Tuesday's elections as the greatest miracle since the loaves and the fishes, and insisting that it's all over for Democrats, particularly in the Senate, probably forever.  But despite the inevitable pro-Republican spin, how true is it really?

Here's my not-so-pessimistic take on what happened in the 2016 elections.

There have been four two-term Presidents since Roosevelt.  In the midterm elections of their second terms, they lost an average of six seats.  At this point, the Democrats have lost seven (there are a couple of runoff seats still in play.)

Several factors combined, however, to make this a particularly bad year for Democrats.  The 33 Senate seats up for re-election this year included far more vulnerable Democratic seats than Republicans, something that is due more to chance than anything else.  Also, this is really the first year of Citizens United, in which the Republicans were able to utilize billions of dollars of "dark money" on their behalf, a vicious phenomenon that has never been seen in American politics.  Finally, this election comes after an unprecedented campaign of public abuse directed toward the President and all Democrats, also financed by more billions from sociopathic oligarchs determined to dominate American political life.

So, what did all of this money and all of this malignant propaganda buy the Republicans?  One seat.  One Senate seat beyond the pattern for previous second term midterm elections.  One seat- that is what Republicans have bought with their six year campaign to pervert American democracy.

Even that is a tragedy, given what Republican rule inevitably means for the country, but if this is the best that they can do, under the most favorable of circumstances, I don't think we need to be that worried.  And the Republican base continues to age and die off, while the Democratic base grows.  Now, all we need is for Democrats to decide not to run away from the things that made the Democratic party great, and the Republicans will soon be relegated to the place they belong- the dust heap of history.

And don't get me wrong here- I am by no means happy about the miserable, craven campaign the DNC and the DSCC ran this year.  They have run away, over and over again, from positions supported by a vast majority of Americans- traditional Democratic positions- in order to wage a Quixotic campaign to win over the zombie hordes that vote to harm themselves by electing Republicans.  I remember a political saying I heard (from a Republican) long ago:  "Shoot the ducks where they lie."  It means not going after voters you are never going to persuade when there are so many that will vote for you if you are on their side.  That's a lesson that Democrats seem never to learn- go after people that just might vote for you, not the ones that never will.  Had they absorbed that simple concept, they might, even in a year when everything was stacked against them, have won a victory.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Get Ready for a New Holiday

From the website of the Impeach Obama Week people, this posting:

"November 1, 2014 

We did not have a regular impeach Obama protest on the weekend of November 1, because it was the weekend of Remembrance Day for the victims of illegal aliens. This event was for Robert Rosas, who was murdered five years ago by a gang of drug smugglers for his night vision glasses. He was guarding the border near Campo, CA."
I am sure that one of the first acts of the new Republican Senate will be to make Remembrance Day for the Victims of Illegal Aliens an official national holiday- probably replacing Martin Luther King day.

No word for when they will take up action on the Remembrance Day for the Victims of the Koch Brothers.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Green Eagle Wins Big!!!

Green Eagle must announce that he is deeply touched that the American voters decided that nothing in this country was as important as their opportunity to provide him with two more years of material to subject to his ridicule.

You really love me!  How could I have ever predicted that the nation would rally around Green Eagle like this?  And before I go let me give a shout out to our President, for standing for nothing, and for the Democrats in Congress, who decided the way to win an election was to send approximately one trillion e-mails to their (former) backers, begging them to finance a campaign devoid of every single thing it used to mean to be a Democrat.

Just a little reminder of what that used to mean:



And don't forget that tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life...like it or not.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Kos Gets the Problem, but Do They Get the Solution?

Daily Kos today:

"73% of conservatives vote, only 58% of liberals...The problem with too many of us liberals is we don't take the time to vote and so the Tea Party gets to control Washington"

No, the problem is not that liberals don't take the time to vote.  The problem is that Conservatives have a party that they think (more fools them) represents them, and liberals do not.

This election cycle, I must have gotten close to a thousand begging e-mails asking me to contribute money to a party and a President that will agree to cut Social Security and Medicare, but not oversee the criminals on Wall Street, that will occasionally talk about global warming, but never even try to really deal with it, that won't prosecute a single one of the war criminals responsible for the invasion of Iraq and for making our country synonymous with torture, that won't do a thing to protect the American people from the ravages of a couple hundred sociopathic billionaires.  

Right now, we don't have a party.  Sure, I will vote- I always do, but I can understand why a lot of liberal people don't, and it's not because they're lazy.  It's because they don't really have anyone to vote for, and because unlike Conservatives, who run on anger and hatred, liberals aren't really that into voting against people.  "The Republicans will be worse" just isn't that convincing an argument with our kind of voter, and it shouldn't be.  We need to know that we will be voting for someone who will act on our behalf, and except for a small minority of Democratic "leaders" that just isn't true these days.