Thursday, July 30, 2009

104 Degrees: Still Alive -- Barely

I've been quiet the last few days -- because of Global Warming we are having unprecedented record-breaking temperatures here in what used to be called The Wet Corner. Not that the heat bothers me so much -- I grew up in rural Oklahoma in the 1950s -- but She Who Must Be Obeyed melted yesterday afternoon. I had to sponge her up off the kitchen tile and put her in the freezer for an hour until she reconstituted. Good thing she didn't melt into the carpeting.

Yesterday it got up to 104 with no breeze, and our house, like pretty much every other house in town, doesn't have air conditioning. It actually never really needed it before, but with this heat spell due to last for several more days we thought about getting one of those portable A/C boxes.

Hah. It turned out that we were, surprise, not the only people in the South Sound to want one. Naturally they are all sold out. A store in Seattle had people lined up starting at 1:00 AM, only to find out at 10:00 AM that the truck delivering the units had not arrived. I think the only thing that prevented a riot was that it was too hot to fight.

So I'll be back in a few days, when it's cooled off again. We're going to the lake and cool off in the water.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The The Late Scores: Shana Holmes 1, Canada 33.7 Million

By now I'm sure everyone has heard of poor benighted Shana Holmes, who has been all over wingnut media serving as a cautionary tale for anyone even considering the benefits of single payer health coverage.

Especially Faux News, which considers poor Shona's story red meat for the unschooled, the uneducated, the moronic, the infantile -- the average Faux News viewer.

The only problem with poor Shona's red-meat story is that the testimony of the other 33.7 million Canadians proves it to be a lie.

Besides we shouldn't even be talking about this shit, since none of the proposed health care programs even comes close to the "socialism" of Canada's. Or Britain's. Or western Europe's. Or any other civilized nation on this ball we call earth.

Friday, July 24, 2009

You Go, Girlfriend!

I can always rely on my good buddy Blue Gal to cut through the bullshit:

Take that, you moronic birthers!

Of course this will have zero effect on the morons on the right, who would not accept a sworn statement from Pope John the XXXIII-rd that it was correct. Or from Hey-suss himself.

I can't believe that here it is midsummer of 2009 and we're still putting up with this nonsense...

The Daily Show and the "Birthers"

This is a must-see clip, a terrific sendoff for the wackadoodle Obama-birth-certificate nutjob moron crowd, like that crazy lady at the Republican US Rep's town hall. This is why, with Uncle Walter Cronkite no longer with us, Jon Stewart is now the most trusted name in television journalism.

more about "Daily Show Goes After Birthers", posted with vodpod

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Email Slime Job on "Queen" Nancy Pelosi

Once again the Internets are providing the rabid slavering dogs of the right with plenty of willing sheeple who will pretty much believe anything. As long as it consists of slandering Democrats.

A friend of mine got this email the other day:

I thought you would appreciate a story that helps reaffirm your confidence in our Congressional leaders.
Newt Gingrich, A Republican, served in the House from Georgia From 1978 and as House Minority Whip in 1989. He was Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999. During that time he never made use of military air craft.
Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from California , Current Speaker of the House. The Pentagon provides the House speaker With an Air Force plane large enough to accommodate her staff, family, supporters, and members of the California delegation when she travels around the country.
But, Pelosi wants routine access to a larger plane. It includes 42 business class seats, A fully-enclosed state room, an entertainment Center, a private bedroom, state-of-the-art Communications system, and a crew of 16.. Pelosi Wanted "carte blanche for an aircraft Any Time," including weekend trips home to San Francisco . Pretty nice but very expensive perk! Her Air Force C-32 Costs approximately $75,000 an hour or approximately $750,000 per trip home.
NANCY PELOSI FACTS: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's home District includes San Francisco .....
Star-Kist Tuna's headquarters are in San Francisco , Pelosi's home district. Star-Kist is owned by Del Monte Foods and is a Major contributor to Pelosi.
Star-Kist is the major employer in American Samoa Employing 75% of the Samoan workforce.
Paul Pelosi, Nancy 's husband, owns $17 million Dollars of Star-Kist stock. In January, 2007 when the minimum wage was Increased from $5.15 to $7.25, Pelosi had American Samoa Exempted from the increase so Del Monte would not have to Pay the higher wage. This would make Del Monte products Less expensive than their competition's.
Last week when the huge bailout bill was passed, Pelosi added an earmark to the final bill adding $33 Million dollars for an 'economic development credit in American Samoa . ' Pelosi has called the Bush Administration"CORRUPT"??
How do you spell "HYPOCRISY"??
This came with a couple of pictures attached to it, one of Newtie Family-Values-Republican Gingrich smiling pretty at the camera with wife number three (or maybe wife number two; I don't know, and I pretty much don't care). And the other was a photoshopped Nancy Pelosi decked out like Queen Elizabeth, complete with tiara and scepter.

The only problem that I can see with this email is this: Every single word of it is wrong except possibly for the assertion that Gingrich didn't fly on a military plane when he was Speaker. But his successor, Denny Fatboy-Make-That-Three-Triple-Cheeseburgers Hastert did. And why do you suppose that was? It was because the Republican controlled and dominated Congress, aided and abetted by Baby Doc Bush, wanted it that way. This happened after 9-11 and was justified as a security measure, and I didn't hear any of these whiny-assed Rethug crybabies wailing about it then, did you?

It's not like it's particularly difficult to shine the light of truth on crap like this – a simple visit to a website like Fact will tell you the real story, for example see here and here.

But the truth has never been of even the slightest importance to the Faux News Gang of Media Thugs and Rush Ass-Pimpled-Limp-Dick-Draft-Dodger Limbaugh or their mentally challenged and morally mutant dittohead followers.

However, in one respect I do agree with the moron that wrote this: Every hypocrite politician should be thrown out of office. But that of course would rid the entire government of all Republicans.

Not that there's anything wrong with that…

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Where Does Faux News Get These Assholes?

There must have been a sale at Walmart.

I'm talking about the latest Faux News talking head, a dick named Ralph Peters, who advertises himself as some kind of a "strategic military analyst", who claims to be a retired Army light colonel, and who came right out and said over the weekend regarding the Taliban taking American soldier Bowe Bergdahl hostage:

Bergdahl is "collaborating with the enemy" on the released video, and strongly implies he should be executed by the Taliban and "save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills."
...nobody in the military that I’ve heard is defending this guy. He is an apparent deserter. Reports are indeed that he abandoned his buddies, abandoned his post, and walked off. We’ll see what the ultimate truth of it is, but if he did, if he’s a deserter at wartime, well, as one of my old platoon sargeants [sic] would say, he’s in 'boku deep kimchi.' Now there’s another problem Julie. On that video, he is collaborating with the enemy. Under duress or not--that’s really not relevant--he’s making accusations about the behavior of the military in Afghanistan that are unfounded, saying that there are no rules, he’s lying about how he was captured, saying he lagged behind the patrol.
(Uh, "boku deep kimchee"??? He must have picked that phrase up while watching a Rambo movie. Nobody in Germany, where Peters spent most of time, even talks like that. Besides, it's not "boku' -- it's boocoo, pidgin French-Vietnamese from the French beaucoup, and kimchee is Korean...)

This is an excerpt from a much longer piece over at the Boise Idaho NewsWest Boise, and here's the video from YouTube:

I don't know jack shit about this so-called lieutenant colonel, but I'm willing to bet that he's never been within a hundred miles of a war zone. Not when he can come out with statements like this, condemning the man because he made a propaganda video for his captors. [Postscript: I looked him up on Wikipedia -- I was right; he was never anywhere near an active war -- instead he worked in the oxymoronically-named Military Intelligence]

Okay, can anyone still remember Grampa John McCain? When he was a "guest" of the North Vietnamese at the infamous Hanoi Hilton, he was tortured and made to sign a confession that he was a war criminal, etc., before he got medical assistance. Where was this shitball of an officer when that was going on? Does that make McCain a liar, a collaborator, a traitor?

Yeah, come to think of it, there were some flapping gums about all that last year or so, from the same kinds of dickwads who are now ardent Obama "Birthers" -- the shit never stops and it just gets crazier.

Peters himself has long been a wingnut wacko -- he was instrumental in the infamous Killian Documents case in 2004 which "proved" that Baby Doc Bush wasn't a deserter, the way we all thought he was. And is. So Peters is so solidly in the rightwing camp that he can't recognize the truth when it comes up to bite him on the ass.

And that mouthy motherfucker has got absolutely NO business saying shit like Bergdahl ought to be murdered by the Taliban, to save us a lot of money.

You know, I'm so old that I remember when people used to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Apparently I'm behind the times, when people like Ralphie Dick Peters has no problem setting himself up as judge, jury and executioner.

Well fuck you, Ralphie. We need to wait until all of the evidence is in, there's been an investigation and the facts are out. Until then, you fucking pissant, help yourself to a steaming cup of STFU and get out of the way.

BTW, this case is clearly a lesson as to why we should do our part to abide by the Geneva Convention when we take prisoners. It's a little hollow to pull the "do what I say not what I do" card at this point.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Mojave Cross

I know, it sounds like a western movie title, but a battle is raging in California's Mojave Desert over a cross that was erected as a "veterans memorial" by the VFW back in 1934.

And there it stood mutely for a number of years, out of sight and out of mind.

There was only one small problem with that: It was erected on public land, in what is now the Mojave National Preserve. And, to make matters worse, no other religious group has been "allowed" to erect their own religious memorial on the site.

Okay, fast forward a few years, and now the whole issue has landed squarely in the robed laps of The Supremes, who agreed to hear Salazar v. Buono this coming term.

As a member of several veterans groups (all of them progressive in nature -- I would never join VFW or the American Legion -- nor would they have me, as I think you all could have guessed), I get on some pretty weird email threads.

And today some joker sent me a breathless missive wailing about the tearing down of this symbol of veterans' sacrifices:

OK Folks. Take about 6 minutes and watch this and see what you think??? Amazing how off-base the courts and government can get!!!!!!
I cannot believe how this can happen in our country....wait until you hear the reason the complaint was started and what it has turned into....
I guess nobody told this asshole that typing in ALL CAPITALS is shouting...But maybe that's what he meant...

Anyway, here's the video:

Note the presence of those slick fuckers from the so-called Liberty Legal Institute, an extremist Religious Right organization, and the smooth production values of this video. Aside from the lies and mudslinging against the ACLU, though, the worst part of it that Liberty has absolutely no qualms about using those ancient veterans, cynically manipulating them into believing that this is about veterans. "A literal slap in the face," one of the Liberty fuckers calls it.

This case, with its abrupt turns and attempts at legal obfuscation, is confusing enough for legal scholars (go ahead and read the summary), let alone the general public. Which is why it's really easy to confuse people and get them to believe something that Liberty wants them to believe.

And finally, it looks as though this will be the first "establishment clause" case that Sotomayor will hear. Let's hope that she's more liberal than she appeared in those "show trial" hearings last week.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Five-Year-Old Wanted to Explain Evolution Simple Math to the Discovery Institute

Over at one of my favorite science blogs, PZ Myers' Pharyngula, he asks the rhetorical question Any 5 year olds want to explain the problem to the Discovery Institute?

The so-called Discovery Institute, for those not in the know, is an organization of professional morons whose goal is to try to denigrate the Theory of Evolution in general and Charles Darwin in particular. And, to my everlasting chagrin, they are headquartered in, of all places, my own Seattle!

But anyway, back to the question. Today's news that Thomas Jefferson would have supported so-called Intelligent Design has drawn, of course, much laughter on the side of science, scientists and the reality-based community in general.

Go read PZ's take on the whole thing, including the timeline which includes the following notation for 1859: Thomas Jefferson, still dead (and has been since 1826); Charles Darwin publishes The Origin of Species.

To get to the heart of the matter, how could the father of the wall of separation been an evolutionist fifty-three years before Darwin published his work? Granted, Thomas Jefferson was undoubtedly an ultra-genius, but really...

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Fault, Dear Brutus, Lies Not in the Stars but in Ourselves...

In my innocent youth -- my time of naivety about how the world really works -- I was more or less surrounded by howling packs of intellectually-challenged emotional morons, blatantly bigoted racists, quasi-neo-nazis and sheet-on-the-clothesline members of the KKK.

Mostly they were a squalid lot, a rabble of tarpaper-shack-dwelling semi-toothless goons with chronic white-lightnin' breath, tobacco stains on their chin-whiskers and family trees that looked like telephone poles.

But when I considered them, I thought two things that turned out to be problematical:

(1) These assholes were all old -- at least to my young eyes -- and how much time did they really have left to spew their bullshit anyway, and who would listen to it?
(2) None of the younger generation -- my generation --shared their beliefs, not even their own children.
So, obvious conclusion, all we had to do was basically wait it out until the old fuckers died off, and their attitudes and beliefs died along with them, and then we'd be free. Free at last. Yes, great gawdamighty, we'd be free at last.

Except it didn't quite work out that way. Here it is, nearly 60 years after I arrived at those faulty conclusions, and this is what I observe now:
(1) They might have died off, but their ideas remain vibrant.
(2) The younger generation that I knew personally was, apparently and evidently, an insufficiently diverse sample from which to draw any conclusions.
Of course, looking back (in retrospect, which is the best way to do it...), I realize that even at that young age I would not have included in my circle of friends anyone who thought that way, which left me with a self-limiting sample, in statistical terms a bad thing.

Which brings me to the news today, that the new president of an outfit called the Young Republicans is one Audra Shay (R-Deluded), who, at nearly 40, stretches the definition of "young", and who is just as racist and bigoted and psychotically paranoid and homophobic as those old geezers I knew 60 years ago.

Shay is actually little younger than Sarah Palin (R-Quitter), and it is just a little odd that someone who is approaching the age of 40 could be a leader of the YOUNG Republicans, but there she is, Audra Shay, now famous for her racist rants and her Bachmann-Beck-induced trumpeting of an impending Obamanation Meltdown.

In the meantime, our old friends the Freepers over at the so-called Free Republic website, are insulting the Obama daughters (children!) thusly: "A typical street whore ... A bunch of ghetto thugs ... Ghetto street trash ... Wonder when she will get her first abortion." (See the exposé of this over at The Political Carnival and brace yourself -- it's pretty ugly stuff). But this is really nothing new for the party of hate, whose spokesman and chief motherfucker Limbaugh said many years ago that Chelsea Clinton was the White House dog...

All of which goes to depress me some, knowing that I was wrong -- REALLY WRONG -- way back in the day. But that's not so depressing (if I started counting up everything that I've been wrong about in my life, the numbers would outlast the days I have left until my biblically-allotted threescore and ten...) as the fact that this shit is still with us, and it seems to be getting more virulent.

And in the famous words quoted from William Shakespeare by Edward R. Murrow when he was basically the only person to stand up to Joseph McCarthy: "The fault, dear Brutus, lies not in the stars but in ourselves."

In other words, we let this happen. We let people like Audra Shay and Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Michelle Malkin and Michael "Savage" Wiener and the hundreds of other raucous voices braying Big Lies over a public airway at an uniformed populace without break, without end, and without correction.

I'm for free speech as much as anyone, but in the words of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., free speech does not extend to "falsely shouting fire in a crowded theatre".

And no, I don't have any immediate solutions. But these people have an immense amount of psychological power over their sheeple listeners and they need to be dealt with somehow. I'm not so much in favor of silencing their voices (except on a personal level -- after all, I did challenge Limbaugh to a wild-west shootout...), but I do like the idea of boycotting their sponsors.

If anyone can provide a comprehensive list -- hell, even a semi-comprehensive list -- of the sponsors of hate-talk/lie-talk venom, including Faux News and the manifestly-misnamed Excellence in Broadcasting Network (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rush Limbaugh), I'd be glad to promote it.

One of our biggest problems over here on the left is that we lack the Nazi-like organization, the Gestapo-like regimentation, and the blind willingness-to-follow-any-orders-at-all that the right wing has been perfecting for years, and that lack of lock-step skills has left us in the lurch so many times. The very fact that I can't seem to find a comprehensive list of the sponsors of hate talk illustrates this.

Top Ten Palin Out Edition

In case you missed, this week's Top Ten Conservative Idiots gives the top three positions to none other than Sarah Palin, soon-to-be (but-not-soon-enough) ex-governor of Wasilla, Alaska. (Note that I say Wasilla and not the entire state -- little old pit bull/hockey mom Sarah couldn't be bothered to actually go to the state capital in Juneau to perform her duties, perfunctory though they might have been. But hey, you can see Russia from Wasilla, ya betcha!)

My personal favorite? Number three, which talks at length about Sarah P. pouring the cold water of reality over Rich Lowry's boner. Remember last year, when he had this to say about her:

I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. [emphasis added]
Oh, how things can change. Now Lowry has this to say:
...she needs substance, not the hackneyed sound bites she clings to for dear life...she needs a positive program, not just the hatred of conservatism’s favorite enemies. On this score, her premature exit from the governorship makes her task all the more arduous. As the soon-to-be-former half-term governor of a small state, she makes that other prominent populist social conservative, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, look formidably credentialed in comparison.
Jeez, just don't tell me Lowry's got a boner for Huckleberry now...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Is Jeb Bush a Child Molester?

That's the question being asked over at AmericaBlog. The answer? "I don't know, define child molester for me".

This is of course poking some innocent fun (okay maybe not so much fun for the victim) at Jebbie Bush as a result of this story on CNN

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush told an interviewer that he could not say whether or not President Barack Obama is a socialist, and that the president would not have been elected if he had been honest with Americans about his agenda.

Bush would not answer the question of whether he agreed with the assessment of some congressional Republicans that the president is a socialist. "I don't know. Define socialism for me," he told Esquire Magaznie. "It's a word… I believe he's a collectivist. He believes that through collective action, through government, you can solve more problems." He added that he believed the word "socialism" was a pejorative, and "didn't help" the GOP make its case.

In terms of political discourse, this kind of thing is right down in the Republican gutter. You'd think that gutter would be overflowing by now, what with all the slander and shit and garbage in it, but they must have found, miraculously, those waste water removal tools that mysteriously went missing from New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina... That's what keeping the Rethug gutters flowing. They can pour tons of their shit out there every day and there's always room for more.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Another Repug Sex Scandal? Yawn

This time it's Nevada's US Senator John Ensign (R-Naturally), whose -- get this -- whose parents bailed him out with an almost $100,000 payoff to the family of the "other woman"...

That's the only aspect of this story that raises it even slightly above the yawn stage when it comes to Republican sex scandals, that makes it more than your routine "dog bites man" story.

But it does give a whole new slant to those "Republican family values", doesn't it now?

The "Real Victim" of the Vietnam War

Jesus, what the fuck happened to the Washington Post? It used to be in the vanguard of the Fourth Estate (remember Watergate?). Now it is just another suckup rag excuse for a newspaper.

Witness its despicable editorial "obituary" of Robert McNamara: 1995, 30 years after the launching of the American buildup in Vietnam, Mr. McNamara made the astonishing (if only for its candor) admission that he had suspected almost from the beginning that the war could not be won. Rather than closure, that brought a new wave of vilification, not just from the war opponents but from those who had supported the American action and saw Mr. McNamara's attempt at penance, or at an honest accounting, as a betrayal.
Well boo-fuckin'-hoo. Poor Bobby McNamara. Hated by the left, then hated by the right. I feel so fucking bad for him...

No, not really. I'm beyond the point in my life where I can somehow "forgive" McNamara for his sins. It's not my place, really. As I've said before, it's almost worth wishing for some kind of "judgment day" after death, just so I can see the evil that people have done come back to bite them on the ass. But that's too much to hope for, I guess.

The judgment of history will have to suffice.

Batboy's Batshit Crazy Advisory System

Thanks much to my blogbuddy Blue Gal, here's a new Batshit Crazy Alert:

Great to see that our favorite Congressperson, Michele Bachmann (R-Insane) has been honored with first place.

McNamara Update

Here's Pat Olyphant's take on the death of Robert McNamara:

No further comment is necessary.

You all know how I felt about the motherfucker.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Robert McNamara Dead at 93

I missed this poignant bit of news yesterday. Robert McNamara, SecDef under JFK and LBJ, died at the age of 93.

This is the man, you'll recall, who was the chief architect and most gung-ho supporter of the US massive intervention in Vietnam. But tragically, according to his later "second thoughts" revelations, he became resigned early on to the fact that it was a hopeless task, an unwinnable war.

Got that? That goddam McNamara knew -- he fucking knew! -- that we were doomed, and figured it out that we had been doomed from the very start of that ignoble misadventure.

Never mind that...he STILL kept sending troops there.

Including yours truly. And many of my friends who had misfortune to die there, or leave body parts there, or be cursed in their later years by the damaging effects of Agent Orange poisoning.

Thanks, Bob. Thanks for everything.

And I'm sure that a large number of those 58,000+ who died in Vietnam would be thanking you too. If they could. They never got the chance to attain those "golden years" of which you seem to have been served more than your share...

Today's the Day: Harry Reid, Shit or Get Off the Pot

Al Franken, fresh from his victory lap around the mouldering bones of Norm Coleman, will be sworn in at the 60th Democratic Senator of the 111th US Congress.

What this means, for those who have been living under a rock under a boulder under a crashed comet under the ocean for the last fifteen years or so is that now Harry Reid won't be able to mumble out that wishy-washy namby-pamby mommy-the-were-mean-to-me whining about the Dems not being able to pass any legislation because of the threat -- just the threat! -- of a Rethug filibuster.

Well now, Harry old boy, it's time to shit or get off the pot. Knock off that cross-the-aisle bullshit you've been sowing and start passing some fucking legislation!

Universal single-payer health care would be a great place to start, doncha think? If the Republicans don't want to play nicely, remember what Farnsworth always says: Fuck 'em! They're now as marginalized -- more marginalized -- as the Dems were for so many years.

It's not like they're even a viable party any more. Cut 'em off at the knees and let 'em crawl out of the capitol like a bunch of the crippled war vets that they've been so eager to create in the last eight years.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Palin a Corrupt Politician? Say It Ain't So.

After a few relaxing days camping at Long Beach (WA) and another couple spent hunkering down in the bunker from the resounding artillery strikes from my neighbors (aka the celebration of Independence Day) I'm back.

The first thing on the radar, of course, is the resignation of Sarah Palin from the Alaska governor's seat. Even though the USA today story's headline said that top Rethugs were "puzzled" by her abrupt resignation.

Speculation has run rampant, of course, mostly centering on some of the apparently shady deals she engineered while still mayor of Wasilla.

But the best part of the USA Today article is this line: "Her lawyer, Thomas Van Flein, threatened legal action against reporters and bloggers who suggest any wrongdoing by Palin or her husband, Todd."

Legal action???

Sorry Tommy Van Fink, but she's a public figure and as such she is fair game for those of us out here in Left Blogistan. Bring it on, you sorry excuse for a hemorrhoidal human wart. Your client and her husband are corrupt crooks who will soon be under Federal indictment.

So sue me.