Showing posts from June, 2013

Guns and Dreamliners

Here's an editorial from the New York Times that conveniently sidesteps the truth: "One of Connecticut’s gun manufacturers, PTR Industries, is departing the state in a melodramatic huff for gun-friendly South Carolina, complaining about the tightened gun safety laws enacted in Hartford by conscience-stricken legislators following the Newtown gun massacre of 20 children and 6 educators last December. “One hundred percent of our product line is illegal in Connecticut,” explained John McNamara, the company’s vice president for sales. “They just want to collect our tax dollars on a product that they don’t think is safe to own.” Now, let me state the obvious:  This company is not moving because of gun laws.  They are taking the opportunity to move to a "right to work" State, where they can pay their employees half what they had to in Connecticut, and are just thrilled to have an excuse to blame it on the government instead of the real culprit- their own greed. This brou

Fair Politics, Republican Style

And it's just fine with our wonderful mainstream press, too.  Here's a step by step guide, courtesy of Darryl Issa: 1.  Congressman Issa orders the office of the Inspector General to conduct a survey of the IRS' investigation of political groups for possible violations of their tax free status.  He further orders the Inspector General to restrict the investigation to right wing groups. 2.  Congressman Issa then dramatically reveals that the Inspector General has found lots of right wing groups that the IRS checked out, and no left wing groups, neglecting to mention in public that he had explicitly ordered the Inspector General to ignore left wing groups. 3.  Congressman Issa proceeds to hold day after day of hearings, mesmerizing the members of our mainstream media, into allegations of partisan behavior at the IRS which he knows to be false. 4.  Congressman Issa releases excerpts of committee interviews which seem to suggest that the Obama White House was using the

The Jerusalem "Settlements"- What Are They?

A note about this post:  With John Kerry's current visit to the Middle East, the issue of Israeli "settlements" has come back into the news, because the Israeli government announced the approval of building permits for a couple hundred apartment units in East Jerusalem, immediately adjacent to the city.  This is a post I wrote four years ago about these settlements, which I think may still be interesting to people. Having spent a reasonable amount of time in Jerusalem and the adjacent areas of the West Bank, I get the feeling that there is a lot of misunderstanding on both sides on the issue of "settlements" in the Jerusalem area, and I would like to write about what I think I know. I want to say first of all, that nothing I have to say here is in any way intended to be a defense of Benjamin Netanyahu, who I have always believed to be an American-style right wing warmongering demagogue more like Newt Gingrich or Tom DeLay than anyone Israelis are used

Justice- American Style

I'm sure we will all be overjoyed by news of this victory for judicial fairness in the military: "The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces threw out the conviction of Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III of Plymouth, Mass., who has served about half of his 11-year sentence. According to the ruling posted on the court's website Wednesday, the judges agreed with Hutchins, who claimed his constitutional rights were violated when he was held in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer for seven days during his 2006 interrogation in Iraq." Solitary confinement!  Seven days! I am sure we are all anxiously looking forward in coming days to when the "Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces" deals similarly with a certain hundred or so military detainees who have been held for ten years in prison, most of them without charges ever being filed against them. Or is "justice" only for white Christians?  Let's just wait and find out.

I would be able to say "I Told You So"

If I weren't so damned lazy that I never wrote the post about Paula Deen that I thought of writing a couple of days ago.  Now comes this story from MarketWatch: "Today in The Wall Street Journal, Keach Hagey raises another point that may have worked against Deen: Ratings for her show, “Paula’s Best Dishes,” had been sliding steadily since 2011—particularly among the younger demographic groups that advertisers covet. Hagey’s sources note that Deen’s show, “Paula’s Best Dishes,” falls into the category of “’dump and stir’ instructional food shows” that trace their lineage through Emeril Lagasse all the way back to Julia Child. But that format has been falling out of fashion among younger viewers, who have gravitated toward competitions and reality-show formats. Ratings for “Best Dishes” were down 22% among viewers in the 18-to-49-year-old group, and Hagey reports that Deen’s agent had been bogged down in contract negotiations with the Food Network for several weeks before the

Priceless Verbal Exchange of the Day

Michelle Bachmann:  ""Marriage was created by the hand of God. No man, not even a Supreme Court, can undo what a holy God has instituted." Nancy Pelosi:  "Who cares?" You go, girl.  And I don't mean Michelle.

Supreme Court Scorecard

We won the right to marry someone of the same sex, and we lost the right to vote in fair elections. Anyone who thinks that makes for a good week is crazy.

Equality for Women, Texas Style

From Fox News (who else?) "Texas woman set to be 500th execution in state" Not, by the way, that you need to feel too sorry for her.  She hacked a neighbor to death with a butcher knife, cut her finger off to get her wedding ring, pawned it and immediately spent the money on drugs.  She was also charged with killing two other elderly women in similar brutal fashion, but was not tried for the murders after she was sentenced to death for this one.

The Death of Democracy

I have long argued that the 5-4 division that Republicans have forced on the Supreme Court was not a split between liberals and conservatives, but between four decent, centrist justices and five corrupt criminals who are nothing but sleeper agents, committed to destroying democracy in this country so that the richest people in the world, and the corporations they own, can run America as an effective despotism. These evil people have not needed to do their dirty work very often to steal control of the country from the people.  Oh sure, there are a thousand mean-spirited decisions they have made over the years.  But three acts stand out. The first was the destruction of the Presidential election process to place a crooked, terminally corrupt person in the White House- someone who in eight years destroyed our nation's economy, and deliberately destroyed the government's ability to function.  The second was the Citizens' United decision, which essentially allowed the riches

Paul Ryan is an Ignorant Jerk

In case you didn't know that already.  Here he goes: "Look, I'm a conservative who believes that our constitutional principles, founding principles are the key principles for the day and they're the best if applied to our problems to solve problems," Ryan said during an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "And we need to have that kind of temperament. This is why I'm focused on poverty these days, this is why I'm focused on—we've got the 50th anniversary of the war on poverty coming up next year. We don't have much to show for it." He argued that "there are better ideas that we can use to approach and attack the root causes of poverty" and that the right "should not cede the moral high ground on this issue."  The "founding principles" are the key principles to apply to solve our problems?  The science of economics essentially did not exist in the late 1700's, when the Constitu

More Proof that the Human Race Has Lost the Evolutionary Race

And is about to go extinct: "2013 – Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator and GOP presidential candidate, is now CEO of EchoLight Studios, the first movie company to produce, finance, market and distribute faith-based, family films across all releasing platforms. Santorum announced his new venture Saturday, June 22, on FNC’s “The Huckabee Show.” EchoLight’s upcoming first theatrical, THE REDEMPTION OF HENRY MYERS, is slated for a fall 2013 release.  Meanwhile, EchoLight’s second theatrical is in post-production, a film based on the inspiring story of Illinois basketball player Eric “Hoovey” Elliott, starring Patrick Warburton and Lauren Holly, and directed by SOUL SURFER’s Sean McNamara, to release in 2014. “This is the right place and right time, and I’ve jumped in with both feet,” Santorum said, having spent the past year helping EchoLight develop and grow. “I often say that culture is upstream from politics, and I know entertainment  also can be strength and light for people who

Wingnut Wrapup

Yeah, Green Eagle has been neglecting Wingnut Wrapup lately.  Well, not exactly- he has just been waiting for a legal opinion about whether he could be sued for boring people to death if he repeats much of the turgid garbage Republicans have been dishing out lately.  Here's the best of a miserable crop: John Ransom, Town Hall:  Certainly the GOP has helped establish a track record of what might be the sorriest 25 years of governing in American history. But it’s because they have supported watered-down versions of the Democrat agenda." Yes, we Republicans have wrecked the country.  But it's all the Democrats' fault.  No, really.  Take John's word on this one.  Would he lie to you? Mona Charen, Town Hall:  "I've pored over some of the research (on climate change) but can't hazard a guess as to whether the alarmists or the skeptics are right." She can't tell whether 99.84% of the peer reviewed papers are likely to be right, or whether the
From the journal Nature Climate Change*, via Think Progress , the following little map: Of course, we are still going to be daily inundated with articles like this: "There is a reason we keep hearing about "climate change," the replacement code words for "global warming." As Rucker points out about the fear-mongers, "They pay no heed to real world observational data..."  "...there is NO GLOBAL WARMING! Global warming is nothing more than just another hoax...Global warming is being used to generate fear and panic. Those behind this movement are using it to control people's lives and for financial gain." ...endless ravings produced by a satanic collaboration of energy companies and right wing lunatics, which have succeeded in seeing to it that over half of all Americans don't believe that man-induced climate change is real. Those of us who live in the real world know what the result of this is going to be in a few more decad

Why We Can't Have a Decent Country

Here's a depressing story from the Los Angeles Times this morning: "WASHINGTON — The Senate is poised to approve a military-style buildup along the U.S. border with Mexico, doubling the number of Border Patrol agents on the ground and tripling the number of drones overhead — a $30-billion plan designed to win the votes of as many as 15 Republican senators for the immigration reform bill. The plan would add so many new agents to the Border Patrol — 20,000 — that if all were deployed at once, they could be stationed roughly every 250 feet along the border, stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. Spending that amount — more than four times what senators initially had proposed — would also be a boost to defense contractors..." This idiotic waste of billions of dollars is necessary to get Republicans to vote for an immigration bill which they largely all supported before it occurred to them that they could damage Obama by voting against it.  So, it takes

Tea Party Fail Again

Well, today is the big day!  The great national Teabag March on the IRS in Washington!  A march which is going to change everything! "Tea Party Set for Mass “Audit the IRS” Rally in DC – A massive and unprecedented “Audit the IRS” Tea Party rally is set to take place in Washington, DC on June 19 at noon. Organized by local and national Tea Party groups and patriots nationwide, thousands, if not millions, are set to converge on our nation’s capital in a display of unity, protesting the IRS’ targeting of the Tea Party and conservative groups." Thousands, if not MILLIONS! A march with a stellar constellation of right wing stars that must certainly attract a massive group of angry American patriots!  Here's a description (in advance) from the Washington Times: "Party like it’s 2009? Fourteen Republican lawmakers, media mavens and liberty-minded activists will crowd onto the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, ready to rumble as they did four years ago when

Can't Wait to Hear More About This Story

Man, what next? "ALBANY, N.Y. — An industrial mechanic with General Electric Co., who is also allegedly a member of the Ku Klux Klan, designed a deadly mobile radiation device...The device was intended to be a truck-mounted radiation particle weapon that could be remotely controlled and capable of silently aiming a lethal beam of radioactivity at its human targets. The concept was that victims would eventually die from radiation sickness." What a wonderful country we live in, where an enterprising American Patriot can do so much to protect our Freedom!

Time For Us To Go

This news from TPM: "KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s president says he will not pursue peace talks with the Taliban unless the United States steps out of the negotiations and the militant group stops its violent attacks on the ground." Let's not forget that this "President" of Afghanistan is a former executive of the Union Oil Company, who was hand-selected by our former oil guys Bush and Cheney to take over one of the most troubled countries on earth- sort of an international example of the "let's put a horse guy in charge of FEMA" strategy that worked out so well after Hurricane Katrina.  What Afghanistan got is just what you would expect from an oil guy- one of the most unashamedly corrupt governments on earth. So, who cares what Karzai has to say?  He doesn't want us interfering?  Leave him to deal with the Taliban on his own.  Today would be a perfect day to announce that we are finally giving up on the hopeless task that

Just a Graphic

From an excellent article by Avedon Carol* on the subject: I'm so tired of saying the same thing over and over again, that I'll just let someone else say it for once. *Whom I stupidly misidentified in my original post.  Sorry.

The Beast Slouches Toward All of Us

Or, The American Taliban Strikes. As Rod Serling might say, I introduce you to one David Lane.  David works for the American Family Association, listed by the SPLC as a hate group.  It was founded by Donald Wildmon, one of the people most responsible for mainstreaming right wing Christian intolerance, and features as a spokesman Bryan Fischer, one of the most vile hatemongers in the country. Well, David Lane's activities range far beyond the reprehensible AFA.  He has served as an adviser to  Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Michelle Bachmann and others, and is currently a director of outreach for the Presidential campaign of Rand Paul. Well, Mr. Lane has managed to achieve quite a feat.  He had an opinion piece published at World Net Daily, which was so upfront that even the crackpots at WND couldn't take it, so they removed it.  Luckily for us, significant portions of it were saved, thanks to the blogs Dispatches from the Culture Wars and The Immoral Minority.   The mind

God in Heaven Above, Is the News Boring Lately

Sorry for the lack of posts, but what the hell is there to talk about?  Some guy revealing what anyone with half a brain already knew?  Republicans trying to press Obama to do something- anything- in Syria, where both sides are the bad guys, so that they can blame Obama for whatever happens?  More vicious anti-woman legislation around the country from the same Republicans?  What is there the least bit interesting in any of this?  Even the right wingers I cover are just listless and stupid these days. Oh well, I'll have something to say when I think it won't bore people half to death. Corroboration :  This little quote this evening from Hunter at Daily Kos: "it's been a fairly dismal week, and I don't want to talk about politics anymore." Amen, brother.  

Edward Snowden and the Death Agony of the Mainstream Media

Of all the stories to have consumed the attention of the mainstream press, this one, of a guy revealing what we should have known all along, that the government apparently has the same access to information about who we contact, what websites we visit, that is enjoyed without complaint by businesses around the world, is a strange one.  And the vituperative attacks against this one guy (in preference to dealing with the real issues) are, to say the least, out of proportion to the crime.  Why?  What has led the media all across the political spectrum to coalesce in this onslaught? I think that, to understand this, we have to go back in time, to the days of the sainted Ronnie Reagan and his great project, deregulation-in this case, deregulation of the press.  Before Reagan, over three quarters of media outlets were owned by families or small corporations.  After Reagan's "reforms" had run their course, over 80% of the media ended up in the hands of major corporations.  Add

Some More Really Bad Climate News

This long story from Daily Kos is something that you should really take a look at.  Here is but one of quite a number of illustrations from it: Try to make it through as much as you can- I guarantee that you will not regret it.  This is the sort of approaching catastrophe that should have all of us fixated on dealing with it, but of course we are much too busy worrying about the endless nonexistent scandals that the Republicans cook up. Not much else to say, really.  We are allowing multinational corporations and their press to destroy us while they keep most people preoccupied with things that mean nothing. And I mean you too, Glenn Greenwald.  Joining the Conservatives in calling the Obama administration a bunch of out of control would be dictators only furthers the right wing goal of seeing to it that nothing interrupts the plundering of our economy by really evil people.  Meanwhile, we creep closer and closer to global disaster, whipped up into a panic about whether the Fe

It's So Inevitable

That this would be the Republican response: "Tea party-backed Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) is urging Americans to be "skeptical" of income taxes, the estate tax and President Barack Obama's health care reform law because of last year's terrorist attack in Benghazi and a National Security Agency (NSA) program that collects millions of phone records each day"  As I have pointed out so many times, the Republican party is nothing but a corrupt tool of the hyper-rich.  Its members do not give a damn what happens to this country, as long as the interests of the rich around the world (whether American citizens or not) are served.  The proof, as we have seen again and again, is no matter what happens, their answer is always the same thing: more money for rich people. Yet, our so-called mainstream press goes on, decade after decade, ignoring what is right in front of their faces, even when these people inevitably do more damage to us than Al Qaida could ever dr

Wingnut Wrapup

A special tip of the hat to Oklahoma freshman Congressman Jim Bridenstine, who, having served a grand total of five months in Congress, feels entitled to speak as follows, as reported on the right: "This is what real leadership looks like!! If the GOP wants America’s support again they need to begin speaking up like this freshman congressman from Oklahoma. Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) spoke on the House Floor yesterday and gave his review of President Obama. Bridenstine ended by saying, “The president’s dishonesty, incompetence, vengefulness and lack of moral compass lead many to suggest that he is not fit to lead.” He added, “The only problem is that his vice president is equally unfit and even more embarrassing.” This, from people who are positive that the least criticism of themselves is a blatant act of treason.  I can't wait to hear more from this scum, who is apparently already positioning himself to duke it out with Louie Gohmert for the title of st

Oh, the Outrage

And so the indignity swells, from every part of the ideological spectrum, that the government seems to have found out who we all called.  Of course, let's get this one thing out of the way first: these practices and worse were instituted under the Bush Administration, and never did a single Republican complain.  So, we know how seriously to take their whining (as if we didn't already.)  But this time they have been joined in the festival of outrage by tons of Democrats, and formerly respectable writers like Glenn Greenwald. Hey, I'm not happy about people knowing who I got calls from (mostly my wife and the dentist- I hope they get some really good national security information from that.)  But as far as I am concerned, this issue is way down on the list of things I am outraged about.  I wonder why (and I really do- this is not sarcasm) all of the people on our side who are so up in arms about this, are not more concerned about things like this: An administration that start

See: Sanity Works

This news today: "North Korea proposed on Thursday, 6 June, to hold talks with South Korea on reopening the Kaesong Industrial Zone (KIZ) just north of the Demilitarized Zone and on restoring almost all civilian connections with South Korea that it severed in March and April." Obama's policy of just keeping quiet has allowed Kim Jong Un to back off from his ridiculous confrontational stances of a few months ago, and return to what passes for normal in Korea. If a Republican had been President, the U.S. government would have resorted to an endless series of belligerent statements and actions which would have guaranteed that the Korean situation would only get worse.   I think it is pretty clear now, as I said at the time, that Kim's hostility was intended for domestic consumption, to consolidate his position as head of the country.  Of course, if we had responded in the Republican way, we could have easily turned this into a horrible international incident.

Laughable Right Wing Threat of the Day

As reported at Little Green Footballs: "Rural Colorado county commissioners are pursuing a plan to splinter from the state and create a new one in the aftermath of a legislative session they say runs counter to their way of life." Someone needs to explain to these jackasses that the rest of us don't care if they splinter from the entire earth (which they have largely done already, anyway) but that doesn't give them the right to declare that they are a new State.  The rest of us get a voice on that one.  After all, if it's that easy, Green Eagle is splitting off from his State and declaring his own residence to be a new State.  We're then going to send Green Eagle's two sons to Washington as our new Senators.  Finally, a way to get them out of the house for six years.

We Can't Make Anything?

I provide the following evidence that, when Americans set their minds to it, they can consistently, over a long period of time, manufacture products whose quality crushes the output of the entire rest of the world: I rest my case.