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Showing posts from July, 2015

Just Another Little Fact

I read today that in my home State, California (a total failure in every way, according to Republicans,) Obamacare has reduced the percentage of uninsured people by 68%. That's what happens when you make an honest attempt to implement laws, instead of spending billions to poison people's minds against them, so rich people can steal everything.

No, Of Course We Don't Have a Police Problem in Our Country

The following stories from the last two days, on my Facebook feed this morning: "Video shows Georgia cop slammed elderly black man’s head on concrete and lied about it"   "Alabama cop admits to lying to protect colleague who viciously beat a handcuffed man"   "SC cop killed teen with two shots to the back during weed bust — and didn’t even report it: attorney"   "San Jose cop followed black family home and held them at gunpoint for no reason: lawsuit"   "COP KICKS SUSPECT: The Delaware Attorney General's Office has indicted a Dover police office on assault charges after he was caught on camera kicking a suspect in the face, knocking him out and breaking his jaw"   "This Alabama jail really did torture an inmate with a Burmese python"  I have to mention a couple of stories I heard recently on Thom Hartmann's show.  The first involves a guy who was refused a chance to be a policeman because he scored too

How the Republican Propaganda Game Functions

The latest example:  So, Barack Obama, in concert with five other world powers, let's remember, manages to pull off what is probably the greatest example of Middle Eastern diplomacy in decades. Here is how this is reported.  First, there is a phase where at least some people are reporting and discussing the actual details of this agreement.  But you see, that can only go on about a week or ten days, at which point the truth is pretty much out there for those who are interested. This limit does not extend, of course, to the people who are lying about the agreement.  They can continue telling their nauseating falsehoods indefinitely- my God, they are still at it with Benghazi- with the playing field left to them, because the truth has already been told.  And every time they broadcast another lie, a few more people fall for it.  And soon, Americans think Obama increased the budget deficit, the stimulus didn't generate any jobs, Obamacare is a grotesque failure, and on and on.  A

The Insanity...

The dishonesty.  Apparently, Jon Stewart has actually been at the White House TWO TIMES!!!!!! during the Obama administration. Cue the insane right wing freakout over this disgraceful revelation: “Secret visits, unprecedented access...It’s Official: Jon Stewart is an Obama Shill.” ...now we know that there was a coordinated effort to control which Administration foibles got ha-has, and which were exposed for actual critique. It’s not a particularly shocking revelation, but it does serve as one more layer of slime covering the travesty that is the relationship between liberals and the media.” Just a small sample of the synthetic outrage today over this utterly meaningless fact.  Click the link to the article at Alicublog for much more, if you are interested. Two obvious things to point out about this latest Republican outrage.  First of all, they have succeeded in their Pavlovian task of training their minions to react with hatred and anger to anything about the left, no matter

The Most Redneck Thing In History

This: "OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin said Tuesday she was trying to be a good mother when she let her daughter park a "nice trailer" on the grounds of the governor's mansion, but that the vehicle runs afoul of an obscure state regulation and Christina Fallin must move the home on wheels." God in heaven above, how can things like this be true?  Maybe she could also have a couple of trashed 1970's cars up on concrete blocks, or an old washing machine or two.

The Electoral Stacked Deck

I'd like to deal with two incidents in the last week that show just how difficult it is going to be for Democrats to have a fair shot of winning the 2016 election.  Those of us who actually pay attention to what goes on in this country spend their time in a constant semi-daze at the thought that, after its performance the last few decades, the Republican party is afforded any credibility whatsoever by the electorate.  By now, the Republicans should be as lost to history as the Whigs or the Know Nothings, but there they are, seemingly taken seriously around the country.  A buffoon like Donald Trump is treated like the Conservative equivalent of Bernie Sanders, while a malignant, corrupt liar who has devastated everything he ever touched, like Scott Walker or Chris Christie, is treated as a suitable opponent to Hillary Clinton.  How does this happen?  How does this madness continue?  Well, here are a couple of examples of how this magic trick is pulled off. The first one has to do

My Current Take on Donald Trump

So, the real likelihood is that Trump is just a really rich guy who loves being the center of attention, and is willing to pay for it.  But here's another possibility that I haven't heard anyone suggest: Trump is actually the Republicans' answer to Bernie Sanders.  The Republicans can see the utterly unexpected degree to which Sanders' populist message is resonating with people, and they are deathly afraid that their own supposed populists, the teabaggers, will hear him and respond to what he has to say.  So, their only possible response (short of actually doing something that benefits anyone but the Koch brothers, but let's stick to reality here) is to find a candidate that can keep those people on the reservation.  Well, Trump is the perfect choice- he loves the media coverage, and he knows that he won't get the nomination, so it's just a fun carnival ride for him.  And they can keep him in the news as long as Bernie Sanders continues his surge.  Because

Good Guys With Guns

From an AP story: "LOS ANGELES (AP) — Police investigating the death of a Los Angeles man uncovered an arsenal inside his home and garage — more than 1,200 guns and about two tons of ammunition, authorities said Monday. Los Angeles Police Department Cmdr. Andrew Smith called the number of rifles, pistols and shotguns staggering. There were no signs of foul play." Well, I'm just glad that his guns proved so useful to him.

Wingnut Wrapup

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Greetings from Baton Rouge!  Well, I want to start out today with a wonderful picture circulated on the internet, by that sterling Conservative intellectual, Dinesh D'Sousa.  Yes, just a couple of weeks out of prison and he's at it again.  And here's the picture: Of course, the photo was not online for more than about ten minutes before someone found the original, which naturally didn't have the Confederate flag.  But that wasn't fast enough to keep it from spreading to a whole bunch of other right wing sites.  As to why Hillary, when she was a student at Wellesley who grew up in Illinois, would have a Confederate flag in her dorm room, well, who knows? And while we are on the subject of right wing lies, get ready for an avalanche of coverage about a video made by a friend of professional liar James O'Keefe, purporting to picture a person from Planned Parenthood, selling baby parts from aborted fetuses for $30-100.00.  I'm not going to waste your time

Greece and Collapse

What led to the current Greek fiscal calamity?  To hear our betters in the economic world, it is all a result of the Greeks being shiftless, irresponsible borrowers who spent themselves into penury, and must now pay the price.  But if that is so, why is it that the bankers that lent them the money, year after year, encouraging them ever more strongly to keep taking more, and who are presumably able to tell a good loan from a bad one, didn't cut them off, and make them live within their means, for their own good? Well, you see, that's the way things used to work, at least from the thirties until the nineties.  The wise old mortgage lender wouldn't grant you a loan you couldn't handle.  That might have been frustrating at the time, but in the long run, it saved you from disaster. But then, something happened.  Rich people, and their stooges, like Reagan, Bush, Gingrich- you know the names- decided that they just didn't have enough money, so they tilted the playing fie

Iran

So, the Republicans are screaming their heads off over the deal just reached with Iran.  A little sample, from their Presidential field: Mike Huckabee:  "Shame on the Obama administration for agreeing to a deal that empowers an evil Iranian regime to carry out its threat to 'wipe Israel off the map' and bring 'death to America.' Marco Rubio:  "Based on what we know thus far, I believe that this deal undermines our national security. President Obama has consistently negotiated from a position of weakness" Chris Christie:  "After two years of humiliating concessions by President Obama, he has made his deal with Iran" And on and on.  Here's one thing about all of this, which no one in the mainstream press seems to have noticed:  for months now, the Republicans have been talking as if this was some sort of deal between Iran and President Obama personally.  They forget that there are six  world powers who have been involved in this negot

Greece

Let's be clear about what is going on in Greece.  A bunch of European banks made big loans to Greece, and Greece could not pay them back.  All of this "austerity" is about making the Greek people pay the banks back for their bad investments.  None of the money raised by these measures is going to Greece- it's all going to the bankers who made their bad investments. Well, you know what?  Here's how I thought capitalism is supposed to work:  You make an investment, and if it works, you make money.  If it doesn't work, you lose.  Instead, it is now seemingly established that if you are a big enough bank or brokerage, you have to get your money back, even if that involves crushing the democratically elected government of a country like Greece, and looting your money from innocent people who had nothing to do with your bad loan.  This is the death of democracy, at the hands of a rich elite who feel so entitled that they believe that someone else has to bear the

Jeb's Excellent Dogwhistle

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So, Jeb! opened his big fat mouth and made what people all over are calling a gigantic, Romneyesque gaffe: "The 2016 candidate said that to grow the economy, workers must do more.  Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Wednesday made a proposal that may fail to gain widespread popularity.  In an interview with New Hampshire’s The Union Leader, Bush said that to grow the economy by 4%, “people need to work longer hours. The Democratic National Committee released a statement calling Bush’s statement “easily one of the most out-of-touch comments we’ve heard so far this cycle,” and citing them as proof that Bush would not fight for the middle class." Forget the fact that, like every dickish rich Republican asshole, Bush want's to blame all of the nation's problems on the moral failings of people who do not happen to be rich, or the fact that the United State already forces its workers to work far more hours than all of the successful industrialized countries.

Crash

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I just read about this at Daily Kos, - while everyone has been watching Greece, the Chinese stock market has undergone a colossal crash over the last couple of weeks.  I don't have a clue what to make of this, but it sure sounds crazy.  You might want to take a look at the article.

The Strange Descent of Antonin Scalia

North of Arkham, the hills rise dark...Oops, wait a minute, wrong monster story.  Let's start over again. It has always amazed me that Antonin Scalia has been held up so long as a paragon of legal brilliance.  As long ago as the Bush v. Gore decision, it seemed to me that what he had to say was a patently fallacious justifiction for the five Conservatives' action, as brilliantly outlined in Vincent Bugliosi's short book, "The Betrayal of America."  I began to watch the comments of this supposedly great legal mind, and again and again, he seemed to be engaging not in a search for the truth, but for a justification for a predetermined decision, filled with sophistry and contempt for his listeners.  Needless to say, this is just about the worst basis on which a judge can operate; yet he has long reigned as the supposed intellectual champion of the Conservative judiciary.  I have really wanted to write about this mystery for a long time, but extensive quotes from

Wingnut Wrapup

Well, a couple of Supreme Court decisions and a right wing terrorist really have the wingnuts up in arms these days.  Here's a taste: Alan Keyes, Renew America:  " The demand to take (the Confederate flag) down has more to do with fomenting racial division for political purposes than with any concern over racial bigotry and conflict. Many of the same people who make a show of grieving over the Christians murdered in Charleston have greeted the likelihood of America's Obama-led complicity in arming the Christian-slaughtering terrorists of ISIS without batting an eye." "The likelihood" of Obama-led complicity in arming the Christian-slaughtering terrorists of ISIS...  "The likelihood."  I guess I don't have to explain what that means, do I?  If he had the flimsiest shred of evidence, he would be screaming it from the rooftops.  But, boy is it "likely" that The Kenyan Usurper is helping ISIS kill Christians.  Yes sir, it surely is. A

Gaza Delusion Reaches a New High

Here, from a recent article in the Washington Post , are a couple of interviews with Palestinian spokesmen, about the issue of whether the state of Israel is occupying Gaza.  Since there is not one single Israeli in Gaza, this would seem to be an easy question to answer, but things are n ever that simple where Palestinians are involved. First, let's remember the background.   Israel withdrew all of its military and Jewish civilian population in 2005, in an act of what might be considered self-ethnic cleansing: "The Israeli disengagement from Gaza (Hebrew: תָּכְנִית הַהִתְנַתְּקוּת, Tokhnit HaHitnatkut; in the Disengagement Plan Implementation Law), also known as "Gaza expulsion" and "Hitnatkut", was the withdrawal of the Israeli army from Gaza, and the dismantling of all Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip in 2005. Four small settlements in the northern West Bank were also evacuated...The Gaza Strip contained 21 civilian Israeli settlements... The