Showing posts from July, 2013

A Comparison

What you get when you have a Republican supermajority and a Republican governor (North Carolina): Massive abortion restrictions snuck in as amendments to totally unrelated bills Laws to prevent voting by the members of other party Slashing unemployment benefits and turning down Federal unemployment assistance in a State with the fifth highest unemployment in the country Attempts to frustrate the enforcement of Federal law cuts to education spending hundreds of arrests of peaceful protesters What you get when you have a Democratic supermajority and a Democratic governor (California): A balanced budget Paying down of State debt in workers' compensation funds Increased spending on education Massive reduction in cost to get health insurance

The Stupidest Idea of the Decade

Kenneth Pollock , Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, and "liberal" Iraq war hawk from way back: "In an alternative universe, the United States might re-intervene in Iraq, redeploying tens of thousands of soldiers to restore everyone’s sense of safety and allowing the political process to heal again." So that is the sort of thinking that it takes to get a great-paying job presenting the "liberal"  view of what our foreign policy should be.   If that isn't stupid enough for you, try this: "Ousting the Foreigners.The sudden reemergence of a unified Iraq was good news for the Iraqis and bad news for the foreign elements helping to tear it apart. As always, when Iraqis felt that they could trust one another and live in peace, they had no reason to seek foreign assistance against one another. At this point, Iraqis still did not really trust one another, but they all trusted the Americans." In this brain-dead person'

They Can't Take Responsibility for Anything

As I've pointed out so many times before.  Case in point, this comment from an interview with Dan Balz from the Washington Post, and Mitt Romney: "(Balz) interjected, “But when you said there are 47 percent who won’t take personal responsibility — ” Before I finished, he jumped in. “Actually, I didn’t say that. . . . That’s how it began to be perceived, and so I had to ultimately respond to the perception, because perception is reality.” What Romney actually said: "There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what...[M]y job is is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives." I don't think much of a comment is needed. This is so much standard Conservative behavior that it hardly bears noticing.

Fat Chance

From Daily Kos, on the upcoming Republican budget tantrums: "President Obama must tell Speaker Boehner that he will not get he wants. Period.  Obama won the election, and the American people are with him. If Boehner wants to shut down the government, then he must shut down the government. I believe that in such a scenario, given the polling and the president's history of being reasonable and willing to compromise, the American people will put the blame squarely on Boehner and the House Republicans...  But none of this can happen unless Barack Obama does his part. He is the key. If he stands firm, as did Bill Clinton when Newt Gingrich tried to blackmail the country not that long ago, then the priorities and morals of the American people have got a chance." But he won't. Instead, he will do what he always does- cook up some slimy deal where the Republicans get another big chunk of the corporate legislation they want, in return for a few more months o

Why Do We Have To Wake Up to This "News?"

"...John McCain Is Barack Obama’s New Best Friend The two have their eyes on history as they transcend years of friction. The upshot could be good for the country." Yeah, and the "upshot" could be really bad for the country, too.  Guess which one Green Eagle is putting his money on. This bastard conducted one of the dirtiest campaigns in history against Obama, and has tried to stab him in the back over and over again.  How can Obama be oblivious to the consequences of cozying up to a miserable person like McCain?

The Energy Industry Versus the Rest of Us, Again

Here's an all too typical story from the New York Times today, about the energy industry trying to make it harder for people to provide for their own energy needs, thus leaving them captives to huge corporations: "For years, power companies have watched warily as solar panels have sprouted across the nation’s rooftops. Now, in almost panicked tones, they are fighting hard to slow the spread. Alarmed by what they say has become an existential threat to their business, utility companies are moving to roll back government incentives aimed at promoting solar energy and other renewable sources of power. At stake, the companies say, is nothing less than the future of the American electricity industry... to hear executives tell it, such power sources could ultimately threaten traditional utilities’ ability to maintain the nation’s grid.  “If the costs to maintain the grid are not being borne by some customers, then other customers have to bear a bigger and bigger portion,” sa

A Very Disturbing Story About Glenn Beck

So, Glenn Beck has rented several rooms in a Salt Lake City hotel to display an "Independence Through History" exhibition.  Here is a brief description of some of the material, from Alexandra Karl, writing in the Salt Lake Tribune: "The adjoining room contained objects from Glenn Beck’s personal collection. This included a hooded KKK cape and a swastika banner which had been used at Nuremberg. Underneath was an illuminated vitrine containing a copy of Mein Kampf signed by Adolf Hitler, a stack of love letters by Hermann Göring, and a satin handkerchief browned with Hitler’s blood...I can’t help wondering what prompted Beck to collect such macabre objects and include them among his personal belongings. What are the virtues of owning Göring’s love letters, Hitler’s signature or a few drops of his blood?" I certainly have to second Ms. Karl's feelings here.  Glenn Beck is one of the most influential figures in the American right today.  He is held in the hi

A Squalid, Ugly Country

How did it ever come about that we have to wake up in the morning to read things like this in the newspaper: "Snowden won't face torture or execution, Holder tells Russia... NSA leaker Edward Snowden won't face abuse or the death penalty if he returns to the U.S. as he claimed in his request for political asylum, the attorney general tells Russian authorities." This is the country that Bush and Cheney, the Republicans and too often their Democratic fellow travellers, the neocons, the teabaggers, the corrupt corporate sellouts in Congress, have bequeathed to us- a country that needs to reassure people that we won't torture someone. Now, we're right down there with Robert Mugabe or the rulers of the Sudan, telling the world that, oh no, of course not, we wouldn't torture that person; they have no need for political asylum. Just send them home and we will be so good to them.  We won't torture them like all those other people we tortured (and sti

More Shameless Conservative Lying

About their current hero, George Zimmerman.  I keep promising myself that I am going to forget about this nauseating specimen of humanity and move on, but here I go again.  It was my disgust with his story that led me to not post about this ludicrous incident before: "Now added to the list of  false news reports appears to be the story of George Zimmerman heroically rescuing a family of four from a burning SUV. The initial report was that George Zimmerman was ‘just coincidentally’ driving by after a car accident occurred, that he leaped out of his vehicle to come to the rescue of the family of four trapped inside as the vehicle caught fire, pulling them to safety. That was followed by the claim that the family he rescued had planned a press event to thank George Zimmerman, but that they canceled due to threats from Trayvon Martin supporters." My first instinct when I heard this story of Zimmerman leaping from his undisclosed hideout and heroically saving a family, jus

Wingnut Wrapup

Yeah, again.  Yup, there's more.  As there always is: Derek Hunter, Town Hall:  "Mike Lee Prepares to Buck Leadership, Fight to Defund Obamacare...since 2011, when Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, Republican leadership had some teeth to act on those words, they seem to have turned vegetarian." Voting 38 times to do away with Obamacare, while doing nothing to address the nation's real problems- not enough focus on Obamacare.  Really, Mike, how about having a useless vote every day in Congress?  That will use up more time and money while accomplishing nothing, which seems to be Republicans' intent- collecting a salary for doing nothing.  And they call food stamp recipients chiselers living off of the government's dime. Doug Giles, Town Hall:  "Obama Stirs Trayvon Pot to Distract from IRS, NSA, DOJ and Benghazi Scandals" Doug, I hate to break this to you, but outside of your right wing echo chamber no one even remembers

More Ranting from Green Eagle about Wall Street

I'm breaking down and revisiting the topic of uncontrolled criminality in the financial world, and how it is crushing us out of existence.  What finally pushed me over the edge is the persistent rumors that the President, who has been worse than useless in controlling Wall Street is now considering making one of the chief Wall Street malefactors, Larry Summers, the chairman of the Fed, further postponing the likelihood that the government will face its responsibilities to keep the economy stable. A couple of days ago, I posted some longish excerpts from the New York Times about the manipulation of the market in aluminum by Goldman Sachs.  The general take on this conduct is that it was a really shrewd move on their part to artificially drive up the cost of aluminum, damaging both consumers and producers of anything with aluminum in it, while raking in billions in profits from a scheme which was of absolutely no benefit to anyone but themselves. Well, it is not "shrewd" t

Anthony Weiner

Cooked.  Done.

The Royal Baby

Ha ha.  Just kidding.

The Real Story of Our Country Today

No, not the Zimmerman trial or whatever else the cable channels currently have wall to wall coverage of.  It's a long story that amazingly was the headline article in Sunday's New York Times, showing that the mainstream press can still once in a while latch on to what is really going wrong with our country.  Still, the press will largely let this tale of abomination die away as fast as possible, since it is more than obvious that the government will do nothing to rectify the problem.  I am going to quote at some length from the article, because it is so important, but I urge you to try to read the whole thing, which has much information I can't include here: "MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. — Hundreds of millions of times a day, thirsty Americans open a can of soda, beer or juice. And every time they do it, they pay a fraction of a penny more because of a shrewd maneuver by Goldman Sachs and other financial players that ultimately costs consumers billions of dollars. The sto

Sorry To Say I Told You So

Who can be surprised about this? "Welcome back to filibuster city. The Senate’s agreement to approve President Barack Obama’s nominees and avoid the “nuclear option” will expire later this week after senators are expected to vote in two new members to the National Labor Relations Board. That’s the last part of the deal that expedited seven of Obama’s picks, with the president agreeing to choose two NLRB nominees to satisfy Republicans. But there’s already a queue forming of new Obama nominees, and Republicans aren’t about to lay down and let this group go through." Here comes the Republican obstruction of the Senate, from John McCain, Rand Paul, and several others. "The implication that somehow now Republicans are just going to roll over on these nominations is very wrong,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota, a member of GOP leadership. “If we’ve got members who raise red flags about particular nominees, yeah, the rest of us pay pretty close attention t

By All Accounts...

Just noticed this in last week's New York Times Magazine (print edition, so sorry, no link:) "Since 1994, violent crime in the United States has fallen by more than 40 percent.  By all accounts, police departments today are more professional, less corrupt and more effective than they were 30 years ago.  Yet, for variety of reasons, minority perceptions of the police have not improved." So, to sum things up briefly, "by all accounts" does not seem to include "minority perceptions."  "All accounts," to the New York Times, apparently only include the same establishment idiots who have compiled a decades-long record of being wrong about everything.  Minorities are not entitled to have "accounts."  That is for their betters.

Depressing Chart of the Day

The truth hurts.  Here's a chart I cribbed from Brad de Long which could make you feel rotten all day: There is not one reason that this should be true, except for the greed of the rich, and corrupt politicians, very largely Republicans, who fight to give the rich anything they want.  Sorry, "patriots," we really do live in a terrible country- the worst industrial "democracy" on earth.  And the stupidity and greed that makes you blab on about "the greatest country on earth" keeps us this way.  All of us- you (who deserve it) and your victims in the rest of America (who don't but are getting it anyway.) The truth, in the end, is so simple.  The only reason so many don't see it is that they are blinded by hatred and avarice, and they will themselves to ignore reality.

Time To Break Up the Banks

Way past time, of course.  The gigantic banks that have played such a major role in destroying our economy should have never been allowed to come into existence at all.  Here's part of an excellent column by Dean Baker on the subject: "In the last few years, plans for breaking up the big banks have gained support from both ends of the political spectrum. Unfortunately, the more centrist figures in both political parties continually stand in the way. This is a clear case where the ability of banks to buy politicians is obstructing the will of the American people. The basic point is straightforward. The large banks enjoy a massive taxpayer subsidy in the form of implicit insurance. Creditors believe that the government will bail them out if the banks get themselves in trouble, as was the case in the financial crisis. Because of this government guarantee, investors are willing to lend money to J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs at lower interest rates than the

Wingnut Wrapup

Well, now that right wingers have had a few days to get the gloating out of their systems over the fact that a white guy got to stalk and murder a black guy, and other white people decided that was cool, I thought it might be time to get back to their normal, everyday hatred.  So, here goes: Dennis Prager, Town Hall:  "The Election of a Black President Has Meant Nothing...The greatest hope most Americans -- including Republicans -- had when Barack Obama was elected president was that the election of a black person as the country's president would reduce, if not come close to eliminating, the racial tensions that have plagued America for generations." Because white assholes like Dennis are still hating as much as they can.  So, that's Obama's fault.  He failed to find a magic way to turn Dennis into a decent human being.  And by the way, Dennis, if we want to know what the American people hoped for when they elected Obama twice, we sure as hell aren't going t

The Idiocy of Generating Nuclear Waste

I want to say something about the moment when I realized that all talk about preserving nuclear waste intact for tens of thousands of years is just more lying corporate propaganda.  Actually, what I want to mention is where I was when the emotional argument hit me.  I was here: Two views of the pathetic remnants of the Roman Forum.  The Forum was one of the greatest creations in the history of mankind, and yet less than two thousand years later, these ruins are all that remain of it.  No one will ever be able to convince me that nuclear waste, which has a real value to terrorists and countries that want to enrich uranium to build bombs, can ever be safely preserved intact for 60 or 70,000 years- ten times the age of civilization to date.  One look around the Forum should convince anyone of how absurd and malicious that claim is.

Does the Nuclear Industry Ever Tell the Truth?

As long as I can remember, every nuclear disaster- Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, etc.- has routinely been followed by an endless succession of lies, as plant operators and government officials do everything they can to prevent the truth from leaking out. Here's a specimen of typical corporate behavior, from Three Mile Island: "Company officials created the conditions that led to the accident, then withheld the information about its seriousness from the public, state and federal officials for two days. This was even though the plant was minutes from melting down, which would have spewed lethal radioactivity far and wide. After the accident, company officials lied to the government regarding its causes and covered up facts, which eventually led to the criminal conviction of the company that ran the reactor, GPU subsidiary Metropolitan Edison Co. Rather than fire anyone, GPU rewarded and promoted those who were responsible and who had lied. GPU engaged in an ongoi

They Can't Shut Him Up

Thankfully, because he seems to be the only person in the entire mainstream press who is allowed to tell the truth on a consistent basis.  Of course, you know who I am talking about: "Something terrible has happened to the soul of the Republican Party. We’ve gone beyond bad economic doctrine. We’ve even gone beyond selfishness and special interests. At this point we’re talking about a state of mind that takes positive glee in inflicting further suffering on the already miserable. The occasion for these observations is, as you may have guessed, the monstrous farm bill the House passed last week. To fully appreciate what just went down, listen to the rhetoric conservatives often use to justify eliminating safety-net programs. It goes something like this: “You’re personally free to help the poor. But the government has no right to take people’s money” — frequently, at this point, they add the words “at the point of a gun” — “and force them to give it to t

And Another Little Remark about Zimmerman

Thank you George Zimmerman and your jury, for proving to us that Antonin Scalia and his four right wing fellow travelers on the Supreme Court were so right a couple of weeks ago when they told us that we don't need to do anything about racism, because it doesn't exist any more in America.

I Can't Resist

I know it's useless, but I am going to make a remark about the acquittal of George Zimmerman for his murder of black teenager Trayvon Martin. I told this story some time ago, but it bears repeating.  As an L.A. Dodger fan, I learned that the Dodgers once had a minor league training camp in Sanford, Florida, the home of Zimmerman.  In the 1940's the Dodgers sent the now legendary Jackie Robinson, who would become the first black man to play major league baseball, to this camp: "As Jean West, a school teacher in Florida, wrote, "Branch Rickey had miscalculated the degree to which Jim Crow was entrenched in Sanford...The mayor of Sanford was confronted by what the author describes as a "large group of white residents" who  "demanded that run out of town." The Mayor caved. On March 5th, the Royals were informed that they would not be permitted to take the field as an integrated group. Rickey was concerned for Robinson’s life


The New York Times' lead editorial today is about testing in the schools.  Of course, it starts from the premise that the Bush Administration's insistence on universal testing in public schools was motivated by some real Republican desire to improve the quality of public education: "The theory behind the No Child Left Behind Act was that holding schools accountable for test scores would force them to improve instruction for groups of children whom they had historically shortchanged." How can anyone who has followed the history of the Republican love affair with charter schools, vouchers, home schooling, and anything else that eats away at the quality of our public schools possibly believe that for a second?   And at this point in time, how can people delude themselves into thinking that the Republican party gives a damn for anyone but the rich? Here is the obvious truth about testing:  School testing is linked to the resources that must be provided to school

Hiyo Silver and Away!

I remember when friends of mine were starting to work on The Lone Ranger.  I heard of the predicted $200 million price, and I couldn't believe that anyone was actually proposing to spend that kind of money on a cowboy movie.  In my experience this sort of idiotic overspending is almost inevitably accompanied by a total lack of concern with the only thing that really counts in a movie- the story. Well, here we are.  I, for one, am very glad indeed to see this bloated specimen of poor management crash and burn.  I wish it would lead to more rational thinking at the top,  but this is America, after all.  So, I guess I'm just venting.  Idiots will continue to get millions for running companies into the ground, while the rest of us suffer.  At least in this case the suffering is limited to two and a half hours of boredom.

Egyptian Democracy

I can't resist making a comment about events in Egypt the last few days. A lot of us are conflicted, glad to see  the end of a government intent on imposing a theocratic dictatorship, but concerned that the agency bringing about this desirable end is the military.  Well, I have a couple of thoughts about this. First of all, for those who don't know what happened in Egypt's elections, there were really three groups competing to run the government after the fall of Mubarak:  the military, which had been in control for decades, the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, and a very large but loose coalition of relative liberals.  It is the last group which really represented the aspirations of the Egyptian people (as far as we can tell) and it is they that pushed Mubarak out. Just a side comment here:  My wife, in watching the various protests over the last few days, noticed that the Muslim Brotherhood supporters were practically all old guys with beards; the "liberals" (fo

Little Note

I'm going to be away for the next week or so.  I've been pretty lethargic about writing anything lately, because most of what is going on in this country is Republicans acting piggish and stupid, and that gets tiring after a while.  Hopefully, I'll feel a little better after my trip.

Their Asshole Behavior Never Stops

Former Republican Congressman and war criminal Allen West, speaking out in outrage because Lady Gaga changed one word when she sung the national anthem: "Having served in the US Army for 22 years alongside some very brave men and women, I find Lady Gaga's defiling of our National Anthem reprehensible. We are the land of the free because America has always been the home of the brave from Lexington and Concord to Kandahar. This young lady should be taken to Ft. McHenry and given a history lesson as to why Francis Scott Key wrote those words incredible words. In this week where we remember the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the 237th anniversary of our Independence is further evidence of the level of ignorance and disrespect some have for our national character. She and all those who cheered her abomination should be ashamed and apologize to every serving and retired member of our Armed Services. But perhaps I ask too much…" How ashamed and

Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Because of this: Not because this sort of thing is happening in Egypt.  It's because it isn't happening here in the United States.  And because on the rare occasions when it does happen, the American Press, which is obsessed now with the protests in Egypt totally ignores it when it happens in our country. Meanwhile, this is what has happened to the vast majority of the American people: Look at column 7.  Currently, the middle class in this country possesses 0.6% of our country's wealth.  This compares to, for example, to 33.4% in Australia, 40.6% in Denmark or 49.4% in the Czech Republic.  We are down on the level of India and China. Our wonderful country, which not too long ago had the richest, most thriving middle class in the world, now is ranked 27th, and is still on the way down.  And yet, I'd bet that not one American in a hundred, and not one American in a thousand in the red States, believes anything but that we are the richest country on earth. Th

Hey, It's July, Harry

Time for Harry Reid to put up or shut up on his promise to change the filibuster rules if the Republicans keep using them to thwart government action on every single thing that doesn't give money to the rich. My guess:  Harry will shut up.  That's what he always does.