Showing posts from December, 2011

Drill, Baby, Drill

Let those oil companies just drill away, so we have enough oil right here at home, right?  That's what the Republicans have been telling us for years, isn't it?  That's how they justify giving billions to the world's most profitable business, while we can't even afford to pay our police and fire fighters at home. Think again: "For the first time, the top export of the United States, the world's biggest gas guzzler, is — wait for it — fuel.  Measured in dollars, the nation is on pace this year to ship more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other single export...Still, the U.S. is nowhere close to energy independence. America is still the world's largest importer of crude oil. Experts say the trend helps explain why U.S. motorists are paying more for gasoline. The more fuel that's sent overseas, the less of a supply cushion there is at home.  Gasoline supplies are being exported to the highest bidder, says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst

Wingnut Wrapup

Well, I've had real trouble putting this one together.  I'm not sure if I'm just bored by the right's lies, or if they decided to go back on their meds for Christmas.  Well, I present, you decide: This news about John McCain:  "Appearing on Fox News Thursday morning, Senator John McCain (AZ-R) didn’t mince words when he told Fox and Friends host Brian Kilmeade that President Obama was to blame for the impasse in Washington over how best to extend the expiring payroll tax cut. “The president should play much more of a lead role, rather than go shopping for his dog,” he said" Well, I agree with you there, John.  How about if he starts by throwing several dozen Republican congressmen in prison for treason, for deliberately sabotaging the economy?  Would that satisfy you?  By the way, if he had taken "more of a lead role," you would be screaming that he was interfering with Congress in a Socialist power grab. And here's a funny comment on thi

Republican Tackle Our Nation's Pressing Problems Again

And here's the latest example, from USA Today: " Indiana lawmaker wants to criminalize deviant versions sung or played at school functions...Sen. Vaneta Becker, R-Evansville, has introduced legislation that would direct state education officials to set "performance standards" for singing and playing the national anthem at any event sponsored by public schools, charters or state universities. Singers and musicians would have to sign a contract agreeing to follow the guidelines and would be fined $25 if their performances weren't deemed "acceptable." I think I'll just invite a guest commentator to respond to this.  I wonder how many tens of thousands of dollars of fines this would have been assessed:

Is It a Violation of Godwin's Law...

...To call a person what he clearly is?  Courtesy of Little Green Footballs, this remark about Ron Paul, published at a neo-Nazi website in 2007: "Comrades: I have kept quiet about the Ron Paul campaign for a while, because I didn’t see any need to say anything that would cause any trouble. However, reading the latest release from his campaign spokesman, I am compelled to tell the truth about Ron Paul’s extensive involvement in white nationalism." For those of you who may not be aware of this, "White Nationalism" is a euphemism for Naziism. "Both Congressman Paul and his aides regularly meet with members of the Stormfront set, American Renaissance, the Institute for Historic Review, and others at the Tara Thai restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, usually on Wednesdays...I have attended these dinners, seen Paul and his aides there, and been invited to his offices in Washington to discuss policy." Stormfront has been the leading neo-Nazi umbrel

And No, I Couldn't Help Myself

Some wonderful footage of the funeral procession of Kim Jong Il.  He was apparently quite the popular guy among the ladies.  Don't forget to listen to the tone of voice of the narrator- I think that's the best part.

The Power of the Narrative

I want to talk about what I believe to be the great failure of Obama as president, and in fact the great failure of the Democratic party in the last sixty years. The Republican party, starting in the years before World War I, has presented to the people   a consistent narrative about our country.  You know the details: less taxes for the rich mean more money for everyone; the "free market," i.e. big business, is best equipped to set the rules by which we have to live; regulations (that would be laws to protect ourselves from crimes committed by businesses) are illegitimate, although we have a perfect right to be as harsh as we want, to protect ourselves from crimes committed by ordinary people; government always does the wrong thing;  Democrats are weak pussies who can't be trusted to run the country, and on and on.  Yes, all of this is nothing but an immense mass of lies, but they have repeated it over and over again for a hundred years, and at this point they have suc

Green Eagle Gets Distracted

What has Green Eagle been doing, while he has been neglecting his public complaining?  Well, he's been cooking some food for Christmas: There you go- fillet, salmon with mayonnaise vert, ham Villandry and some assorted Zakouski.  Probably every bit as big a waste of time as Green Eagle's blog, but at least no one went away hungry.

Wrong Again. As Usual.

Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post, which specializes in misinterpreting everything in favor of the Republicans, today: "There are only two possible reasons for House Republicans to behave the way they did. Maybe they are so blinded by ideology that they no longer care about the impact their actions might have on struggling American families. Or maybe their only guiding principle is that anything Obama supports, they oppose." Still working every day to avoid gazing at the real reason why Republicans act this way: the Republican party is a corrupt conspiracy to do whatever is in the short-term interest of the very rich.  They haven't cared about "struggling American families" for a hundred years.  They didn't care in the nineteen twenties when they cut the top tax rate by 75% and did away with banking regulations, thereby precipitating the great depression.  They didn't care when they pulled the same stunt this time around.  "Struggling

How Many Lies Can a Republican Cram Into One Remark?

Mitt Romney tries for the record: "At that time, we didn't have the knowledge that we have now. At that time, Saddam Hussein was hiding. He was not letting the inspectors from the United Nations into the various places that they wanted to go. The IAEA was blocked from going into the palaces and so forth. And the intelligence in our nation and other nations was that this tyrant had weapons of mass destruction. And in the light of that- that belief, we took action which was appropriate at the time" 1.  We did have the knowledege we have now.  Bush, Cheney, et. al. just lied about it 2.  Saddam was not hiding.  He was sitting at home. 3.  Saddam was giving the UN inspectors full access to his country.  In fact, they only had to leave because the United States threatened them when we decided to go to war. 4.  We had exactly zero intelligence that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction; in fact, after years of inspection, we knew that he did not. 5. Our  murderou

As Full Of Crap

As one human being could be. Today, I mean Tom Friedman.  Via Atrios, and thanks to Virtually Speaking, this little contrast.  Friedman now: " the decision to go to war stemmed, for me, from a different choice: Could we collaborate with the people of Iraq to change the political trajectory of this pivotal state in the heart of the Arab world and help tilt it and the region onto a democratizing track?" Friedman, as you will remember, then: "What they needed to see was American boys and girls going house to house, from Basra to Baghdad, um and basically saying, “Which part of this sentence don’t you understand?”   Well, Suck. On. This...We could have hit Saudi Arabia. It was part of that bubble. Could have hit Pakistan. We hit Iraq because we could. That’s the real truth…" See, it's not just the Republicans.  People like Tom Friedman, hailed far and wide as a responsible, even liberal (my God) journalist, felt free then to indulge in their infantile

Standing Firm

From a piece at Daily Kos (part of this is quoting Greg Sargent:) "A senior Senate Republican aide I spoke to this morning said the sentiment among some Senate Republican aides is that the House holds no leverage at all. And he suggested a very interesting endgame in this fight for Dems. “The House has zero leverage,” this Senate GOP aide says. “If I’m Schumer or Reid, what I’d do is let it expire and force the House to come back the next day and pass it.” And according to a Democratic aide who spoke with Sargent, that appears to be exactly what Democrats are doing...So Democrats are standing firm." Standing firm.  For how long?  The last three years have been littered with examples of Democrats not standing firm, even when they held all the cards and the American people were overwhelmingly on their side.  Unfortunately, the far more likely scenario is that Congressional Democrats are just milking this for a little (nonexistent) propaganda benefit before caving

All Things Come To An End

"Dictator for Life"  Kim Jong Il was term-limited out over the weekend. With our political outlook at home so bleak, we can ill afford the loss of someone who has brought us so much innocent humor over the years. 

Sad News for Democrats

Newt Gingrich's lead in the Republican Race to the White House appears to be in collapse, having declined by half in the last few days. I know the folks at the Daily Show are going to take this particularly hard.

The Most Important Fact In Years

No, I'm not kidding here.    This is the most important (and distressing) thing you could possibly read, and so it will turn out to be of virtually no interest to the people who control our mainstream news: " A new look at U.S. census data painted a stark picture today of poverty. It showed nearly one in two Americans are now in poverty or classified as low-income." The lightning fast decline of The Greatest Country Ever from the land of opportunity into a third world hellhole has been a frightening spectacle indeed, and is therefore far less worthy a part of our national discourse than, for example, whether Obama broke into a State vault in Hawaii when he was three or four years old and planted a forged birth certificate. In the meantime, we have Republican Senior Intellectual Newt Gingrich, last heard advocating toilet cleaning as a way for poor children to prepare for a career, now suggesting that, as President, he would be justified in having Federal judges ar

A Quick Note About My Lack of Posts

Man, what difference does it make?  At this point, the country is pretty much controlled by the enemy, and the Democrats with the power to do anything about it seem like they'd rather just roll over and go back to sleep. Obama has turned his back on the decent thing to do way too many times to put up an effective counter-narrative to the Republicans' self-serving, endless avalanche of lies, and pretty much every Democrat in Congress has joined him.  I just don't have a clue how we turn things around at this point.


At least minor combat operations are over.  We all remember so proudly when major combat operations ended:

99%- We Should Be So Lucky

Anyone who thinks the battles in the United States today are between the bottom 99% and the upper 1%; and those people who think they are safe if they can just make it into that top 1%, should consider this piece of information: "...the six Walton family members on the Forbes 400 had a net worth equal to the bottom 30 percent of all Americans." Yes, the end game of the Republican plan is to leave the net worth of this country in the hands of not the top 1%, but of a few hundred families, after the pattern of South American dictatorships of yore.  The rest of us will just have to be content to degenerate into near slave status. It is the top hundredth or even thousandth of one percent that the Republican party exists for.  The "rich" who are today making half a million or a million a year are on a path to the same place as the guy who was making $200,000 a decade ago and thought that he was sitting pretty, until his world collapsed on him. And the violent repre

Wingnut Wrapup

Here we go again: Ben Shapiro, Town Hall:  "Poverty Doesn't Make Thieves -- Liberalism Does...The liberalism of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lyndon B. Johnson and President Obama hasn't turned thieves into sudden lovers of big-band swing. It's turned more and more Americans into thieves." Now, what evidence does Ben have to support this interesting idea, that FDR, from beyond the grave, is still generating generations of thieves?  Get ready for it: "This week, the Los Angeles Times reported a wave of theft plaguing area high schools. The objects at stake? Tubas. According to South Gate High School music teacher Ruben Gonzalez Jr., thieves broke into the band room and stole nothing but tubas." Now, how am I going to put this?  Ben, when liberals want to make low notes, they generally resort to something more like this: Now, here are some conservative musicians for contrast: Notice which one has the tuba?    Well, Ben continues: "Spend five

The Truth Hurts, I Guess

Courtesy of Media Matters, this wonderful chart from Fox News of the nation's unemployment rate:   Observe from this chart that the current 8.6% unemployment rate is exactly the same as the 9.0% unemployment rate the month before, and is far above the 8.8% unemployment rate from last March.    Math is a wonderful thing when you are a Republican.

The Vicious Lies Continue

Senator Lindsay Graham yesterday, on the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a branch of the Federal Government created in 2010 by an act of Congress: "So this consumer bureau that they want to pass is under the Federal Reserve...It is something out of the Stalinist era." Yes, it is not just Communism, but Stalinism, for a single government agency to exist in order to protect consumers instead of oil companies and multinational corporations.  If you go to their website, you will see such subversive topics discusses as how to submit a mortgage complaint, or how to handle your student debt- malicious ideas that are undoubtedly going to result in the murder of tens of millions, just like with Stalin.  And do not forget that Lindsay Graham is constantly classed as one of the "reasonable" Republicans, which at this point apparently means he only compares Obama to Stalin, and not Satan.

It's Time

As Paul Krugman says: "It’s time to start calling the current situation what it is: a depression." Of course, I don't agree totally with him: "...ominous political trends shouldn’t be dismissed just because there’s no Hitler in sight."

Brilliant History

From that brilliant historian, Newt Gingrich, the Republican party's resident intellectual: “Remember, there was no Palestine existing as a state. Part of the Ottoman Empire." Of course, by that logic, the following countries also don't exist:  Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Israel, Morocco, Lebanon, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, the Sudan, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Rumania, and a bunch of others. I suppose we have good reason to also doubt the legitimate existence of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Michigan and large parts of New York, since they were once part of the Iroquois Confederacy. This is the ignorant, shoot-from-the-hip logic which qualifies one to be well informed by Republican standards.  Sad, isn't it? Of course, the response of the Palestinian authority to this remark isn't much better: "The most racist remark I have ever seen,” said Saeb Erekat, a top negotiator for a new Palestinian state and a close advisor to Pre

They Don't Get It

And they don't want to get it.  Latest Example - Michael Gerson, in the Washington Post: "In the news coverage of Newt Gingrich’s rapid rise, there is wonderment that evangelicals are willing to forgive his serial offenses against the Seventh Commandment." Gerson naturally tries to explain this phenomenon with a bunch of nonsense about how right wing Christians supposedly love reformed sinners.  This might be believable if it weren't for the obvious fact that Republican sinners don't even need to pretend to reform to get their votes, while Democratic sinners can reform from now until doomsday without getting a shred of forgiveness from right wingers. No, I have stated the real reason for this phenomenon over and over again.  The simple truth is that American Conservatism is about one thing and one thing only, to the exclusion of all else:  Cut My Taxes.  Give me all the free Government services I want, but don't charge me a penny for something that ben

The Unique Mixture of Idiocy and Pandering

That is today's Republican party: "House Republicans Push Bill To Ban Abortions Based On The Race Or Sex Of The Fetus...For House Republicans, this year has been the year of outlandish answers to non-existent problems. And tomorrow, they will offer the magnum opus of their 2011 campaign against a woman’s right to choose: the Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA). The bill seeks to somehow protect the “civil rights” of fetuses by banning physicians from performing abortions based on the fetus’s race or sex." Now, a fetus is presumably the same race as its parents.  Apparently, these parents are committing a racist murder against their own race.  There is just no end to the misuse of the legislative process that is just dandy with Republicans, as a perfectly fine substitute for any sort of real attempt to deal with the nation's problems.  I suppose that this is because dealing with our problems would involve admitting that th

A Sad Day

It is with considerable sadness that I report the death of one of the last links to the great era of the Chicago Blues, Hubert Sumlin, who was Howlin' Wolf's guitar player for many years.  Here is Sumlin playing an extended version of Killing Floor, my favorite Howlin' Wolf song to play:

The Stupidest, Dumbest, Most Idiotic, Most Ignorant Political Article Ever Written

Jon Meacham in Time Magazine: "The Myth of the Stature Gap: Could Newt Be the Next FDR?" And no, things like this don't get links from Green Eagle.  You got a problem with that?

China Syndrome

Who could ever have expected that it was worse than they admitted: "Fuel rods inside one of the reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have completely melted and bored most of the way through a concrete floor, the reactor's last line of defence before its steel outer casing, the plant's operator said. Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said in a report that fuel inside reactor No 1 appeared to have dropped through its inner pressure vessel and into the outer containment vessel, indicating that the accident was more severe than first thought. The revelation that the plant may have narrowly averted a disastrous "China syndrome" scenario comes days after reports that the company had dismissed a 2008 warning that the plant was inadequately prepared to resist a tsunami." And remember,  this plant was built by an American company, which has produced many of our own reactors, and was located in a country acclaimed for the strongest nuclear saf

The Insanity Continues

I want to direct you toward an excellent piece today by Maureen Down, highlighting the total lunacy involved in the return of Newt Gingrich to prominence in the Republican party. Who knew he wrote his Ph.D dissertation on the Belgian rule of the Congo, attempting to justify a colonial regime which was so barbarous that it shocked and disgusted even the other European colonial countries: "Of the Europeans who scrambled for control of Africa at the end of the 19th century, Belgium's King Leopold II left arguably the largest and most horrid legacy of all. While the Great Powers competed for territory elsewhere, the king of one of Europe's smallest countries carved his own private colony out of 100km2 of Central African rainforest...the king unleashed new horrors on the African continent. He turned his "Congo Free State" into a massive labour camp, made a fortune for himself from the harvest of its wild rubber, and contributed in a large way to the death of

Two Different Planets

I mean of course, the one we live on and the one where Republicans live. On our planet, one of the few major anti-global warming figures got a grant from the Koch brothers to debunk all the previous global warming data, and ended up announcing that the previous studies were all true.  On our planet: "Alas, a favorite climate change denial trope is on its deathbed. Specifically, the claim that modern polar ice sheets formed during a period of rising carbon dioxide. New analysis of CO2 levels from the time, about 33 million years ago, show the greenhouse gas dropping sharply and the ice caps forming right alongside" And on our planet: "NOAA: Arctic worse than in 2005...The report, written by 121 scientists from around the world, said statistics point to a shift in the Arctic health in 2006. That was right before 2007, when a mix of weather conditions and changing climate led to a record loss of sea ice, from which the region has never recovered. This summer's