Showing posts from May, 2015

Denny, Denny, Denny

Oh, Denny, how could you?  And by the way, I wonder how many of us have committed evil acts that we would be willing to pay $3.5 million dollars to keep quiet?  Me, I think I'd keep the money; after all, the statute of limitations was up long ago. Okay, I've had my laugh.  Now I want to talk about why Democrats can not afford to let this story go; particularly coming on the heels of the almost unbelievable tale about those Conservative icons of morality, the Duggar family.  These two incidents, and the endless similar ones that keep coming to light about Republican politicians, demonstrate a simple fact: the claims that they inevitably make to be the party of morality and decency are complete lies, just like everything else they ever say.  In fact, they do whatever they damned please, whenever they want to, and count on a compliant press, and fellow party members, who don't give a damn as long as they can win elections, to ignore the fact.  The Republican party has commit

Travel Days

I'm on the road again, off to a show in Louisiana, so that will disrupt my posting for a couple of days. In the meantime, try this: Back soon.

Occupy Wins in the End

A good article from Mike Konczal in the Nation (via Digby) discussing the changing narrative in this country about the economy: "I come to bury centrism, not to praise it. Discussions of the economy during the 2016 campaign will look very different from those of the past two elections, because centrism as an ideological force has collapsed.   An optical illusion has shielded centrism from critique. Centrists position themselves as anti-ideology, representing a responsible compromise between liberals and conservatives. The word conjures sobriety and restraint, caution and moderation—all of which sound compelling in uncertain economic times.   But institutionalized centrism is more than that: It's an elite group of thinkers and writers, popular in Washington, DC, and favorable to business leaders, who told a very specific story about what was happening during the Great Recession." I bring this up, not just because I think there is a very good chance that it is

But Tell Us, How Do You Really Feel About the Poor?

Here is a very clear statement of the Conservative view of poverty in this country.  As is my habit, I will not link to it; and in this case, I will not even identify the author of this grotesque document.  I hope you will trust me when I tell you that it really exists.  I must warn you that my efforts to comment on it fall far short of the condemnation that it, its author, and the many people that believe such things, deserve. "US suffering from massive equality of rich and poor   Propaganda is about telling a good story. So when the media wants to tell a story of how the rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer, they ignore incovenient facts, such as the value of the various federal, state, and local transfer payments, as well as the value of charitable contributions from private groups such as soup kitchens." Soup kitchens.  Yes, when "the media" want to tell you how badly the poor have it, they ignore the contribution of soup kitchens to t

Wingnut Wrapup

Today's Wingnut Wrapup (dis)respectively dedicated to Congressman Louie Gohmert, for coming up with the ultimate Republican answer to the question, "knowing what you know now, would you have invaded Iraq:" “Everybody else wants to ask that question of, ‘Gee, would you have gone into Iraq if you’d known what you know now?’ And I think if President Bush had known that he would have a total incompetent follow him that would not even be able to negotiate a status of forces agreement with Iraq and start helping our enemies and just totally put the Middle East in chaos, then he would have to think twice about doing anything if he had known he would have such a total incompetent leader take over after him. That should be the question.” Thanks, Obama.  And let's just serve up a large helping of total contempt for the vicious, disgusting assholes in Texas who put this man in Congress. And I want to continue out with something that is not at all funny, but you are going

And No, I'm Not Ready to Give It Up Yet

Iraq. Remember Richard Clarke?  He was Clinton's national security coordinator.  After Bush was elected, he begged him to pay more attention to Al Qaida.  Bush told Clarke to fuck off, and we knew what happened.  Once again, there is nothing that gets you eliminated from consideration as a serious voice on national affairs, like being right. Well, here's Clarke today, on MSNBC: "...all the stuff we're seeing today -- the rise of ISIS, the disintegration of the state in Iraq, the disintegration of the state in Syria, I think is directly connected to our invasion...We destroyed the state. This is what happens when you destroy a state. You have chaos, you have the rise of factions, regional and ethic factions," he continued. "And I think you can look at that decision and say that's the reason hundreds of thousands -- probably a couple of million if you add it all up -- people have been killed." Not Obama.  Not weak-on-defense liberals.  No, the

$40 Million

And while I am on the subject, can I remind people that Dick Cheney made a personal profit of $40 million dollars from "no-bid," i.e. corrupt, contracts, which he awarded his own company while he was Vice President?  As far as I know, there has never, ever, in the entire history of the United States, been an example of blatant criminality in a Presidential administration that compares in any way to that, either in the massiveness of the amount or in the blatant disregard for any fig-leaf of legality.  And yet, no one seems willing to call this monstrous abuse of power what it is. Cheney should have been imprisoned for this alone, but it pales to virtual insignificance compared to his other wrongdoing while in office.

Iraq- The Hits Keep Coming

It is now clear that, in the future, no one on earth is going to remember Pandora.  Instead, they will talk about "Jeb's box."  Boy, I bet he's regretting being so confident that the rich guys were going to give him the Republican nomination, that he decided that running for President didn't involve ten minutes' thinking about the issues before opening his fat mouth. Chris Matthews had George W. Bush's CIA briefer on his show yesterday.  A couple of excerpts, via Crooks and Liars: First, Matthews asking the guy about the facts that the administration's public statements corresponded to the information that he gave them: "MATTHEWS: Was that true?   MORELL: We were saying—   MATTHEWS: Can you answer that question? Was that true?   MORELL: That's not true.   MATTHEWS: Well, why'd you let them get away with it?   MORELL: Look, my job Chris—" His job was apparently to just shut up and allow Dick Cheney to lie the countr

The Lie to Rule Them All

Let me tell you a brief story.  I remember watching on TV as Colin Powell gave his famous speech to the United Nations detailing the Bush administration's "evidence" that Saddam posed such a threat to the world that we had a right to go halfway around the world and smash his country.  Of course, this was before I was a blogger, so I can't prove a word of this, but I remember listening to what he had to say with total astonishment.  What did he have to back up his case?  Some childish cartoons of the insides of supposed mobile factories to produce nerve gas, a couple of aerial photos of a totally unidentifiable light industrial building that he claimed, without a shred of evidence, was a factory for WMD's and a vial of white powder that, for all we know, was purloined from W's coke stash.  The thing was laughable on its face, and if anything proved beyond a doubt that the Bush administration did not have one shred of evidence to back up its case. And I was ha

Jeb Opens The Door to Hell, and the Angry Geezer Walks Right In

God in heaven above, John McCain just had to open his mouth again today, surely one of the least needed contributions to our national discourse that anyone could imagine.  What motivated this latest senile maundering?  Well, of course, Jeb Bush, the serious Republican candidate (serious, by virtue of having sold out to the big money guys years ago) made the colossal error of bringing up his brother's grotesquely incompetent invasion of Iraq.  So now, Republicans need to defend the indefensible and try one more time to convince people that the Iraq aggression was anything but a war crime, and one of the most incompetent war crimes in history.  Here's McCain spouting off, in case you care.  The coverage is from Newsmax, a right wing lie factory, but I think you should hear how they are playing this story, so you can get a nice dose of outrage: "The Islamic State's takeover of the city of Ramadi over the weekend is a "terribly significant" event that will hav

Hero Worship

Not a good way to look at history.  Scott Walker: “I came of age during the Reagan administration. I was I think I believe just turned 13 two days before his election in 1980. And for me, looking at that kind of leadership, he set the tone, not just domestically with that action; he sent a message around the world as – as you just read off, I think not only to our allies, this is – was someone who was serious that that could be trusted. But in combination with our adversaries, they sent a clear message, not to mess with him.” You see, that's how our adult, serious Republican leaders evaluate history- through the eyes of a preteen boy.  That's how a malignant parody of a leader like the actor Reagan can still be regarded as a great man by so many Republicans, who don't seem to have ever grown up.

Someone Else's View

My horoscope today: "No matter how high your confidence level is today, it's still wise to remember that your perspective is only one point of view out of many." So, I thought I would bring you someone else's opinion - Paul Krugman's: "But back to Iraq: the crucial thing to understand is that the invasion wasn’t a mistake, it was a crime. We were lied into war. And we shouldn’t let that ugly truth be forgotten." There.  Well, I'm glad I got that over with.

Christian Karma

There have been a lot of stories lately about a recent Pew study showing a surprisingly sharp drop off in the number of people in the US who consider themselves Christians.  Here's just one sample, from the Washington Post: "Christianity is on the decline in America, not just among younger generations or in certain regions of the country but across race, gender, education and geographic barriers. The percentage of adults who describe themselves as Christians dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years to about 71 percent, according to a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center.   “It’s remarkably widespread,” said Alan Cooperman, director of religion research for the Pew Research Center. “The country is becoming less religious as a whole, and it’s happening across the board.” Of course, no one can resist musing about why this might be true, most of the guesses involving blather about millenmials and about people just becoming more secular.  Based o

Jeb Bush Reveals His Own- and His Party's- Hollowness

I guess everyone that would be reading this blog has heard about Jeb Bush's colossal failure this week in dealing with one of his brother's two great legacies as President- the Iraq invasion and the disaster that followed. This guy has been apparently preparing to run for President for a couple of years now, if courting the backing of the super-rich is any indication, but apparently, his preparation to hold this office doesn't extend to putting in enough time to think about how he feels about the most obvious question he will ever be asked: would he have precipitated the same calamity as his brother did.  Asked the question on Fox News this Monday, he had this appalling answer: MEGAN KELLY: "On the subject of Iraq... obviously very controversial. Knowing what we know now, would you have authorized the invasion?"   BUSH: "I would have..." Well, by Wednesday, he was furiously trying to back out of that, claiming that he somehow misheard the questi

B. B.

It appears that B. B. King has died. This is one of the first blues songs I ever learned, now over 40 years ago.  I learned it from a B. B. King race album I had the luck to find in a record store in San Francisco. I still have it, and its four companions that I bought at the same time.  Now, my guitar-playing son is listening to them, and I hope he can hear in them what I did. These early B. B. cuts are, in my opinion, the greatest blues guitar playing of all time.  The simplicity and perfection of what he did in the late '50's and early '60's has never been equaled in my opinion.  It's the reason why I never tried to play fast- you really don't need it if your head is in the right place. I managed to see him perform three or four times, but not for many years. There is just nothing I could ever say that can express what a loss this is, so I won't try.

Wingnut Wrapup

Today's Wingnut Wrapup is dedicated to Jeb Bush, who, when asked to clarify his incredibly stupid statement that he would have invaded Iraq just like his brother, refused to answer, claiming that being honest about what he said would "do a disservice" to American troops; possibly the most disingenuous hiding behind our soldiers in all of history.*  With things like this coming from numerous Republican candidates for President these days, is it any wonder that I've had so much trouble lately finding anything worth mentioning from my usual collection of right wing online jerks? Well, here's the best I can do: Daniel Doherty, Town Hall:  "Blame Kim: Top North Korean Official Suffers Horrible, Sickening Death" Being blown up with an artillery shell.  Still, in my mind, a better fate than writhing in agony for forty minutes or so while the State of Oklahoma runs corrosive chemicals through your veins. Matt Vespa, Town Hall:  "Some Mississippi S

Yeah, Where Are They?

Andrea Tantaros, on Fox News:  "Where Are The Organizations In Defense Of White Men?" Yeah, I mean, where are they? Really, can anyone answer that question? Oh wait, here they are: Question answered, Andrea.  Happy now?

The Hardest Places to Live in the US

A chart from a New York Times article, revealing pretty much what we would have expected: I don't think I need to say much about this.  The point is pretty obvious.

Ganging Up on the Democrat

An unusually honest evaluation of what we have to face in the next year and a half, from Dylan Byers at Politico: "...the national media have never been more primed to take down Hillary Clinton (and, by the same token, elevate a Republican candidate). Even before she announced her presidential bid, The New York Times alone had published more than 40 articles related to her private email account, spurring other stories across the national print, digital and television media. Since announcing her bid, the national media have spent the bulk of their time investigating potential lines of influence between Clinton Foundation donations/speaking fees and Clinton's actions as secretary of state. The Times, The Washington Post and others even struck deals for early access to anti-Clinton research." As I have said on numerous occasions, given the charlatans and crooks who (as usual) make up the Republican field of Presidential contenders, virtually any Democrat could beat an

We're So Exceptional

America- another way it stands out from all the other countries in the world: Screenshot from Alice Goffman, via Daily Kos.


This is what makes me so utterly disgusted with American politics these days. So now, the governor of Texas, as well as one of its two Senators have joined in on a conspiracy theory that the US military is about to take over the State and turn it into a concentration camp.  The theory involves the Federal seizure of five Wal-Marts, recently closed by the company, apparently in an attempt to avoid unionization, but no, that is too simple an explanation.  In fact, according to this theory, the government is digging a vast network of tunnels around the Southwest* to aid (somehow) in its takeover, and plans to use the Wal-Marts to disguise the entrances to the tunnels.  And no, sad to say, I am not kidding. In response to this imminent threat of government takeover, the Republican governor of Texas has called out something known as the "Texas State Guard," described by Wikipedia as "one of three branches of the Texas Military Forces," and not to be confused with th