Wednesday, December 31, 2008

More fun

This was sent to me by a friend:


The Mom Song from Northland Video on Vimeo.

Happy New Year Everyone!

I know, I know, I've been a slacker. What can I say. There's too much going on, and I've been on vacation. Went with a girlfriend to see "Cadillac Records" and it basically sucked despite great music and commendable performances by actors impersonating great musicians. Here are the main performers that were represented in the film, with some of the songs that were in the movie, some not:










Now that's the way to ring in the new year! Cheers to you all!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Friday odds and ends

Al Frankin's gonna win!

Blue Texan was reminded of Jeremiah Wright like I was, but said so much more eloquently. And Greenwald effectively points out that, however good or bad Obama's strategy of reaching out to the rightwing is, it is certainly anything BUT "new" or "Change". We've danced to this tune before.

And Donna's back! Yay!

And Karl Rove is certainly earning his pay at Faux News, isn't he.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas with The Fam

Heydave sends a YouTube contribution. Thanks, HD!

"It's the indictment of all of us if we walk away from a clear war crime."

Greenwald actually has a hopeful column up today:
It's almost as though everyone's nose is now being rubbed in all of this: now that the culpability of our highest government officials is no longer hidden, but is increasingly all out in the open, who can still defend the notion that they should remain immune from consequences for their patent lawbreaking? As Law Professor Jonathan Turley said several weeks ago on The Rachel Maddow Show: "It's the indictment of all of us if we walk away from a clear war crime." And this week, Turley pointed out to Keith Olbermann that "ultimately it will depend on citizens, and whether they will remain silent in the face of a crime that has been committed in plain view. . . . It is equally immoral to stand silent in the face of a war crime and do nothing."
UPDATE: Our friend, Ruth, over at Cab Drollery has a great post on this subject, as does her co-blogger, Diane.

Here's an idea

Yeah, the Rick Warren idea was bad. WHAT is Obama thinking? I suggest he compensate for it by inviting Jeremiah Wright to do a dual service with him. Now that would be worth the price of admission.

UPDATE: Atrios suggests that those in attendance at the inauguration turn their backs on Rick Warren. Mahablog has some thoughts worth considering, as does digby. Will also link to Ruth when she gets her post done.

MORE UPDATES: Here's Ruth's post, and don't miss Greenwald's interview with Pam Spaulding. Steve Benen over at Washington Monthly posted Obama's response which, as he notes, sounds nice but is ultimately unpersuasive. Benen, however, says:
I'm reluctant to make too big a deal about this. As I argued this morning, it's a symbolic gesture, which will likely have no substantive effect whatsoever. But that doesn't change the fact that it's a mistake.
and I'm inclined to disagree with that. I think it might be substantively damaging indeed. "The Left" as I see it, is tired of being marginalized.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Never again?

Glenzilla asks the right question regarding the (non)response to the just-released Senate Armed Services Report on detainee abuse:
This Report was issued on Thursday. Not a single mention was made of it on any of the Sunday news talk shows, with the sole exception being when John McCain told George Stephanopoulos that it was "not his job" to opine on whether criminal prosecutions were warranted for the Bush officials whose policies led to these crimes. What really matters, explained McCain, was not that we get caught up in the past, but instead, that we ensure this never happens again -- yet, like everyone who makes this argument, he offered no explanation as to how we could possibly ensure that "it never happens again" if we simultaneously announce that our political leaders will be immunized, not prosecuted, when they commit war crimes. Doesn't that mindset, rather obviously, substantially increase the likelihood -- if not render inevitable -- that such behavior will occur again? Other than that brief exchange, this Senate Report was a non-entity on the Sunday shows.
The world is paying the price for our country's mistake of allowing Nixon to go unpunished in a court of law for his crime, which allowed his minions Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld to return to power and engage in further - and much more egregious - lawbreaking. In the name of "post-partisanship" and "looking forward, not backward" we are about to do the same with George W. Bush and, again, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. How bad does it have to get for the citizens of this country to say Enough?

With regard to the now-infamous shoe-throwing incident over the weekend, I found this interview with Bush right afterwards to be especially revealing. The idiot treats the whole thing like a joke and never once loses that ubiquitous smirk, wisecracking that the reporter "just wanted to get on TV" and declares offhandedly, "I don't know what his beef is." Of course not, and he obviously couldn't care less. Someone should fill him in. But they won't, will they.

UPDATE: Oh yeah, one shouldn't miss this part of the above-mentioned interview. And something tells me that these reports will be effortlessly kept from our Chimp-in-Charge's view.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Amen

Digby:
Earlier today Chris Matthews was running down a (very short) list that some wingnuts had put together about Bush's accomplishments. One of them was that he had maintained the honor and dignity of the white house.

I find that deeply offensive. Not only is the man speaking above clearly of embarrassing, substandard intellect and often exceedingly bad manners, he is, more importantly, profoundly immoral:


Risen charges that Tenet caved to Bush entirely on the torture of al-Qaeda detainees. After the 2002 capture of Abu Zubaydah, a bin Laden deputy, failed to yield much information due to his drowsiness from medical treatment, Bush allegedly told Tenet, "Who authorized putting him on pain medication?" Not only did Tenet get the message — brutality while questioning an enemy prisoner was no problem — but Tenet also never sought explicit White House approval for permissible interrogation techniques, contributing to what Risen speculates is an effort by senior officials "to insulate Bush and give him deniability" on torture...

Abu Zubaydah, his captors discovered, turned out to be mentally ill and nothing like the pivotal figure they supposed him to be....Abu Zubaydah also appeared to know nothing about terrorist operations; rather, he was al-Qaeda's go-to guy for minor logistics...

Which brings us back to the unbalanced Abu Zubaydah. "I said he was important," Bush reportedly told Tenet at one of their daily meetings. "You're not going to let me lose face on this, are you?" "No sir, Mr. President," Tenet replied. Bush "was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth," Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, "Do some of these harsh methods really work?"

Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety — against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, "thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each...target." And so, Suskind writes, "the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered."



Republicans, many of them good Christians I'm sure, consider such behavior to be a model of honor and integrity. And that is precisely the problem.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Compare and Contrast

First up, from the sterling minds on the editorial board of the San Antonio Express-News:

Terrorism is a clear and present danger. You know, I hate to admit it, but I am a sucker for those Tom Clancy-based movies like "Clear and Present Danger". Perhaps the author of this editorial should have watched it before assigning this title to his/her piece and thus invoking memories of this plot which, you know, is all about a President (who bears a striking resemblance in both appearance and character to Bush Sr.) who reacts emotionally and turns loose a rogue faction of his administration, resulting in lost American lives and all sorts of other bad things.

Then there's hilzoy:

Terrorism's Perverse Success?

And who could add to that?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home Again

Safe and sound, had a great time. Friends, food and copious amounts of alcohol make a pretty swell combination I say. Here's a little something to tide you over until I feel up to writing something:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sorry to have been absent lately. Life tends to get in the way of blogging duties sometimes, as I am finding out. Anyway, I'm still happy with our new President - so far, so good I say even if he isn't the pinko commie Hitleresque leftist that I thought he was when I voted for him. Hah!

I'm going out of town for a few days, probably be back on Saturday. My job for this year's Thanksgiving is to bring "sides" and I threw in a pumpkin flan also. The side dishes I'm bringing are: Orange Roasted Sweet Potatoes Con Poblanos, Spinach Artichoke Casserole, Corn Pudding, and Garlic Green Beans. Any of you out there cooking? I'd love to hear some of your favorite dishes and/or recipes in the comments.

Will also be watching to see if our Dallas Cowboys can hang on to their sliver of a hope of getting into the playoffs this year. Maybe go see "Milk", play some croquet, drink liberally - try to forget the crash for just a little while. How 'bout you?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

60

Regarding all the buzz about the possiblity of a 60-seat filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, I heard this mentioned on some show last night (might have been Countdown, not sure) and it was something that had also occurred to me: There is, of course, no assurance that even if we have 60 Democrats in the Senate they would all vote with the Democratic caucus - they probably won't on every issue. Furthermore, on some issues, it should not be difficult to find moderate Republicans who are willing to vote with Democrats. Thus, a filibuster-proof majority is going to depend more on the strength of Obama's/Democrats' agenda and their political skills than on the actual number of Democrats in the Senate. Seems that way to me, anyway. That said, the more Democrats the better, no doubt, but I'm still more concerned about the quality rather than the quantity of Senate Democrats - and that of course is what requires our vigilance and participation.

It's fun watching this new administration begin to take shape. I really don't know what to make of the brouhaha over Hillary for Scty/State, except that the press just seems to get the vapors about anything Clinton-related. I think she'd be fine, and I don't believe there would be any problems with either her OR Bill attempting to "upstage" Obama. That scenario seems like press drama dreamed up entirely for their own amusement. I liked John Kerry for the job, too, though frankly I'd be sorry to lose either of them in the Senate, and not because of that 60-vote majority thing but because they're both good Senators.

By all accounts, Daschle is a great pick for HHS. I like Howard Dean, and I think he deserves to be rewarded for the job he did with the DNC, so I hope that happens. Greenwald, whose authority on this subject I respect, has what seems to be to be a thorough and ultimately positive assessment of the Eric Holder pick. I think that most of us who feel strongly that there should be some serious investigations and prosecutions for the criminal abuses of the Bush administration know that we are going to be disappointed(this little comedy notwithstanding), but for now, are willing to give Obama the benefit of the doubt that he will move a progressive agenda significantly forward. And that, added to the pleasure of seeing the back end of George W. Bush as he fades into history, is reason enough to relax and say an extra prayer of Thanksgiving as we head into this holiday week.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

He's not our "Commander-in-Chief"

Glenn Greenwald has rightfully excoriated the particularly pernicious example of rightwing wordplay (given legs, of course, by helpful Democrats and pundits) of calling the President "our" Commander-in-Chief. Our Decider Chimp just loved to strap on his codpiece, dress up in a flightsuit and prance around on an aircraft carrier calling himself "Commander-in-Chief." It's not that hard to see how this wordplay has contributed to the encroaching misperception that our President, and those whom he deems worthy, are above the law. Our founders went to great lengths to ensure that we do not live under a monarchy; that we answer to a concept, not a person, and that concept is The Rule of Law. I believe that Barack Obama understands this, but I hope that he also understands how corrosive the Bush administration has been to that concept and what steps are going to be necessary to restore its validity.

UPDATE: This is not a good first step. Yeah, I know that what Joe Lieberman did was not against the law, but what I'm talking about here is accountablility, which is what standing for the rule of law is all about - and this does not bode well for Obama's and Senate Democrats' commitment to accountability - or, for that matter, to that "Change" thing that Obama campaigned on. As Jane Hamsher says:
It's high irony for Reid to talk about being "unified as Democrats." He just told the people who worked hard for Obama's election, who still want to see some oversight on Katrina, to go Cheney themselves.

I'm not feeling too welcome at the moment.

How about you?

Will someone please explain this to me?

Who the hell sets up twin bathtubs outside and WHY? Wouldn't lawn chairs be a lot easier?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wanker of the Day

Beating Atrios to the punch, Jamie Kirchick.

If Senate Democrats don't want to kick Joe Lieberman out of the caucus, fine. The citizens of Connecticut will get around to it soon enough. But to leave him in as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is just stupid. We've had 8 long years of Intense Stupid and I'm tired of it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hope

Not just a campaign slogan?

UPDATE: Digby weighs in.

Vanquish the Beast

Ruth and I see very much eye to eye on this issue. Thanks Ruth!

Forget the First Puppy

Mark Hoback reminds us that there are more important things to wonder about.

Specs

Digby has a post up about this flow chart. Interesting. I like the idea of Howard Dean in HHS, seems to me that he's earned it and would be good in that position. I also would like to see Richard Clark, Tom Daschle, and as many Kennedys as possible included in this new administration. There are so many good Democrats out there, and I'm sure many of the best ones are those I've never heard of, so we'll just have to see what President-elect Obama does with this hand that he's been dealt, right? Should be quite a show in Center Ring these next few months, not to mention what's happening on the sidelines.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

My place of employment has granted us this day off, an unusual move so I plan to make the most of it and will be away from my computer for most of it. For all of you who are not as lucky as I am, nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!

"Halting"?? Excuse me, did you say..."HALTING?"

The Assrocket propels himself into the Wingnut Hall O' Shame.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Send in Luca Brasi

And let's give Senator Lieberman an offer he can't refuse.

Something to thank Sarah Palin for

Taking some of the heat off of Texas:
My former state has taken a battering and the things people believe about it now are quite damaging. It used to be that I would say I was from Alaska and people would be interested and intrigued, some of them very envious. Now people think it's either a laughing stock or a corrupt hellhole. The truth is that it's become a petrostate, similar to Saudi Arabia, run by princes who are made wealthy on oil profits. They need to do something about it.

I know how they feel

Faces from around the world.

And here are some more!

Apparently, the Post had some kind of contest:
Limerick Contest Winner
Thanks to everyone who participated in our PostPartisan campaign limerick contest yesterday. We saw unprecedented turnout -- with close to 300 entries. And it was a tough race. But the votes have been counted and the results are in. After the jump are our eight honorable mentions, our runner-up (who will receive a commemorative edition of today's Post) and our winner (who will get an original Toles cartoon).

Honorable Mentions

engelmann:
No greater survivor there can surely be
than John McCain, Vietnam pilot and detainee
but even a veteran of crashes
couldnʼt escape from the ashes
of the smoldering wreckage of Bush forty three

DeanAlterman:
An Irish-American mama
Said to her priest, "Father Thomma,
How can I choose
Twixt the reds and the blues?"
He quickly replied, "Vote O'Bama."

slenon:
When engaged in a contest political
Running mate choice is most critical
Avoid giggles and winks
Pick a partner who thinks,
And possesses some skills analytical

tgearty:
They said that Obama lacked "tough"--
Too smooth when the going got rough.
But they didn't know,
To win the whole show,
Speak softly and carry a Plouffe.

YourManInKetchikan:
A wink and a not and he let
A barracuda inside of his jet
Now heʼs bit and heʼs bleeding
His polls are receding
If only he'd called for a vet!

f_kranzberg:
"It's the economy, stupid" they say,
'Cept for McCain on that fateful Fall day.
Did it cost him the crown?
Or is Palin the clown,
Who cares - we enjoyed Tina Fey!

pinkfire:
The Republican menu lacked drama,
So they served up a hot hockey mama.
But red meat on high heels
Is an unhealthy meal,
So, no thanks, Iʼll be having Obama!

garyt23:
In the land of red, white and blue,
Rode a man who was black/white and new,
People questioned his range
When he named his horse "Change,"
But that steed drove him straight, drove him true.

Runner-Up
bgraham1:
This limerick is written by Palin,
And I'm just gonna ignore your liberal media "gotcha" rules and requirements
About rhyming, which is also
A socialist agenda
So too and also in my experience
As a mayor of the buckets of job creation
I can see Russia from my house

Winner
busstopboxer:
McCain's new best friend, Joe the Plumber
Is having his Indian Summer
He soon hopes to be
On a country CD
And probably driving a Hummer

Nancy sends a limerick

Obama rode forth from his garrison,
While McCain menaced the Saracen.
Biden his time,
Barack made his climb.
McCain was Palin comparison.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

OMGOMGOMGOMG

What an incredible night. I am at a friend's house on her computer so I will be brief - actually, I think I'll let Atrios say it for me:

Holy Fucking Shit!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today's The Day!


Heh - stole that image from...wait for it...TexasFred! It's nice that, for once, a wingnut could be good for something!

So what are you all doing tonight? I'll be going over to a girlfriend's house and a few others are coming over for dinner and we'll gab and drink and watch returns. I also am planning to spend the night there and take the day off from work tomorrow - whoopeee!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Oh Damn.

Obama's grandmother died today. I was so hoping, as I'm sure everyone was, that she would live to see him win this election.

More Travelin' Friends

Not to be outdone, heydave sends along pictures from his travels to Wisconsin's Copper Falls State Park:





One. More. Day.

As a most pleasant and needed diversion from thinking about this election, here are a couple of pix sent along this morning from friend MW's farm in east Texas. Not the Smokey Mountains, he acknowledges, but Texas takes what it can get:


Friday, October 31, 2008

God Bless You, Dr. McNabb!

From today's San Antonio Express-News:
Identifying ‘grave evil’

In his comment on Wednesday, “Voters must know stances on ‘life’ issues,” Archbishop José Gomez wants the pro-choice vs. pro-life issue highlighted in the Express-News voter’s guide.

He states, “Society should not insist that people of faith be silent in the face of grave evil.”

Let’s remember a few basic facts. Half of all pregnancies in this country are unplanned, and half of the unplanned pregnancies end in abortion. One out of every three American women will have an abortion.

The leadership of the Catholic Church opposes contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

The leadership of the Catholic Church opposes access to safe, legal abortion care.

When Archbishop Gomez points his finger at ”grave evil,” he’s pointing at women who make difficult decisions every day. He is, in fact, pointing at one-third of the female population.

Archbishop Gomez wants to speak for the innocent, by which he means fetuses with the future potential for independent, human life.

I’d like to hear him speak for living, breathing women.

Deborah McNabb, M.D

Learn, young grasshopper

As She-Who-Would-Be-President expounds upon the Constitution and, in particular, The First Amendment.

Intellectual violence

Behold another great post from Digby. Here's part of it:
This is why I say that they have retired the concept of hypocrisy. It goes far beyond double standards or duplicity or bad faith. There's an aggression to it, a boldness, that dares people to bring up the bald and obvious fact that the person making the charge is herself a far worse perpetrator of the thing she is decrying. There's an intellectual violence in it.

In a world in which the conservatives weren't such post modern shape shifters, we could come to a consensus on certain issues in this country --- like privacy, for instance. We could agree that it's wrong for government employees to use private information for partisan purposes --- or for the media, including bloggers, to stalk and publish private information of anyone who dares speak out for a political cause. But we don't live in a world like that.

We live in a world where the right wing ruthlessly and without mercy degrades and attacks by any means necessary what they perceive as the enemy, and then uses the great principles of democracy and fair play when the same is done to them. They leave the rest of us standing on the sidelines looking like fools for ever caring about anything but winning.
I would also include crap like this in the same category. "Intellectual violence" is a perfect term for it.

Happy Halloween!

What's your favorite scary movie? I'm no good at "favorites" myself - just too indecisive, I suppose. But "Wait Until Dark" would certainly make any list of my, say, Best Ten. I have long heard of - but never seen - this interview with Alan Arkin in which he described how distressing it was for him to be mean to Audrey Hepburn, so it was fun to find a clip of it on YouTube and I decided to go with it instead of an actual clip from the movie. Bwaaaahahahahahah!

Well, for some reason, yesterday and today I have been unable to upload YouTube videos to my blog. So, in lieu of the video, here is the link.

UPDATE: This year's installation of the saga of The Headless Bikeman is not to be missed!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

From the mouths of babes

And of course by "babes" I mean devastatingly handsome young adolescents.

Sandy (my 15-yr-old) and I seem to have our best conversations in the car. Tonight, as we were on our way to go buy a pumpkin, I was rattling on about how exciting a time this is in the history of our country - to be on the brink of electing our first black president. And I had to say, "Of course, Texas will go for McCain.." and Sandy burst out (with real feeling), "I just wonder what it would be like to live in a SMART part of the country!"

God I love that kid. I also noticed tonight that when he described a television show that he likes, he said it was "real liberal".

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Sign

Capconnundrum sends in an idea for a new yard sign:

Palin, the Anti-Feminist

Digby nails it again. This is for my boys who, despite my lame efforts, are still somewhat unclear on the concept of "feminism." Excerpt:
Just being a woman who made it in a man's world doesn't make you a feminist. (Some of the worst anti-feminists I've ever known were women I worked for --- and one of the most committed feminists was a man.) Being a feminist is not determined by what genitalia you have but rather the principles for which you fight. Palin's priorities are obvious. She's more interested aerial wolf hunting than she is in woman's equality.

I don't know if she will flame out or if she will end up being the second coming of Abraham Lincoln. But whatever happens, the fact remains that she got to where she was because of feminism but not because she was a feminist. She walked on all our backs so she could step on our throats. She's a typical right wing Republican.
Do read the whole thing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Signs

I'm going out to buy my third yard sign. The first two have lasted about a week apiece before they were stolen. I notice that the 3 McCain/Palin signs on my street never get stolen. Guess nobody wants them!

Shout out to Donna who is bruised, inside and out. Glad no one was seriously hurt, Donna.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Countdown

Sorry - again! - about the lack of posting here. Been out of town (HI LISA! Thanks for dinner Saturday night!) and just flat TIRED of it all! I mean, Atrios' advice sounds really appealing right about now.

I suppose part of what's wearing me out is the effort it is taking to not get too over-confident at this point. Things are looking really good for us, but you know, we've been here before. Not quite exactly here, but close enough. And, of course, there's no limit to what the Bush administration will try to get away with before they leave. This is going to be a nerve-wracking week.

So let's take what good news we can find, and let our hearts be warmed.

Because these creatures are out there, and they are not going away any time soon.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Get out your violins

Poor TexasFred. He tells a crude and rather stupid joke (no link, 'cause, you know, he doesn't want me to) in which he compares Michelle Obama to a chimpanzee, then his first commenter tells him how funny it is, and Fred replies:
comment number 2 by: TexasFred
Today at 1:39 pm (2 hours ago)

Rob, here’s the deal….

I am tired of the bullshit… I am tired of the accusations… I am tired of the goddamned hypocrisy of the leftist, libbers, ACLU, NAACP, the nappy headed ho’s, ALL of it…

For 8 goddamned years we have heard Bush called McChimpy, Bush-Hitler, The Chimperor, all kind of shit…

We see the left BLAST Sarah Palin, the “Sarah Palin is a Cunt” T-Shirts that are popping up all over, all of THAT bullshit…

Let these leftist sons a bitches call me a racist… Let their hypocrisy be exposed… Screw em ALL, save 6 for pall bearers, THIS IS WAR!!
Life is so hard when the nappy headed hos at the NAACP keep calling you a racist. Poor Fred is so beleaguered. And, after all, we "libbers" have been calling Bush a chimp (ed. note: I know I sure have!) and why isn't that the same thing as comparing Michelle Obama to a monkey? Huh? HUH?

Socialism!

My friend MW passes along this article which he found in, of all places, Fortune Magazine! A clip:
Ronald Reagan told us that government was the problem, and that low taxes and deregulation were the solutions. The result, even more than Americans recognize, is a government so shrunken in skill and mandate that our gravest problems - financial collapse, natural hazards like Hurricane Katrina, broken health care and education, unsustainable energy systems, and growing global instability - are left without a serious response.

Either we once again invest in our future, notably through an expanded public sector, or we will lose our future.

I presume that John McCain and Sarah Palin will lose the election. Never has a national ticket been less equipped intellectually, temperamentally, and practically to confront America's problems than this one. I also presume that Palin's winks to America will prove to be the equivalent of the Cheshire Cat's grin: the last expressions of an ideology disappearing from the scene.
Wow. Heckuvajob, George! We do appear to be on the precipice of a sea change, thank God. It makes stories like this all the more puzzling, and infuriating.

UPDATE: See also Maha.

Can Republicans do anything right?


How much did they spend on her wardrobe? Wouldn't it be great if the money spent on this item went straight into DNC coffers?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

High Apple Pie in the Sky Hopes!

Can this actually be true? What do you all think?

Huh? Wha...?

Dear God, this is funny! You can practically hear his audience scratching their heads trying to figure out what this doddering old fool is trying to say:



(H/T Talking Points Memo)

Hey Fred!

This one's for you. And please don't think you need to leave a comment.

UPDATE: LOL! Apparently Fred was somewhat miffed that I deleted his spittle-flecked invective from the comments here and tacked on this little coded message to one of his posts today. Guess who the highlighted part refers to!
And I am fairly certain there will be some bleeding heart libbers that read this and will have tacky comments to make on their nothing little blogs and journals, but that’s OK, at least for now we’re still getting some of these WETBACKS out of the USA, and before the moonbats in Lbberville even start, WETBACK is NOT a race, it’s a statement of fact, deal with it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

On a happier note

I voted today and it was a breeze. I gave the check-in person a hard time (not too much, really) when he asked for my driver's license until he pointed out that my voter registration card was expired......Heh. And get this: Yesterday, the first day of early voting, my little rural county (population approx. 30,000) saw about 900 people come through to vote! Woo hoo!

Bases Covered

Gawd, I don't know why I read this idiot. Mike warned me not to, but do I listen? Nooo. One thing that I can't help but be fascinated by is how difficult it appears to be for these folks to come to terms with their racism. They seem to be both proud and ashamed of it at the same time. Their comments are peppered with statements that begin: "I'm not a racist, BUT...." or, "Okay, you want racist? I'll give you racist!", yadda yadda. Behold:
There are some seriously ignorant people on both sides of the *race* issue, some scream nigger, some scream cracker and that’s all they have, ignorance and name calling. I truly HATE Barack HUSSEIN Obama, but his skin color is NOT the reason, I hate him because I feel he’s a halfbreed Muslim MUTT with a buried agenda for America! His being part black has absolutely nothing to do with it.
Course not. Nothing at all. Uh huh.

Or how about this little gem:
We have not even begun to see racial strife in America. IF Obama is elected there will be serious repercussions, if McCain is elected there will be serious repercussions, any way it goes, the black race baiters are going to have a field day. An Obama loss triggers riots because they will claim that he was cheated, an Obama win triggers civil insurrection on their part because with Obama as POTUS the ghetto gang bangers and wannabe bad boys are going to feel they have been given a free pass of sorts and there is already serious word on the street in the law enforcement community in regards to the threats of potential racial violence against ALL white police officers.

White supremacists, black radicals, all of them are IDIOTS. Obama may not be the Islamic tool I fear he is, but suppose he is. Do the pimps and drug dealers honestly believe that radical Islam is going to allow them to run like wild animals in the street? Islam will destroy them as easily as it will anyone else that doesn’t submit to and ardently practice their *Religion of Peace*.
No racism there! None at all! And you gotta love that: "Obama may not be the Islamic tool I fear he is, but suppose he is." Good old Fred, he's got his bases covered.

This is a great post actually. He's telling us how bad it's going to be, no matter who wins the election. It's gonna be bad, and it's all the Democrats' fault, of course. Certainly it's not the fault of race-baiting xenophobes like him! Oh noooo.

ALSO: Sane stuff on the race issue here. See the post immediately preceding this one also, entitled "Base: How Low Can You Go?" (H/T Atrios) For some reason, I can't get a link to work on it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A view from France

Nettie sends us the Dancing Frenchman.

Sorry for light posting. We had to put down our beloved Labrador retriever, Buddy, this weekend and I'm still feeling kind of blue. Yeesh, that's a hard thing to do.

To distract ourselves, Sandy and I went to see "Body of Lies". Pretty good, we recommend it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cap hits the Big Time!

Creative talent pays off! Congratulations, Cap!

RIP Levi Stubbs

Damn. We lost another one of the great ones. I heard this news on the radio when I went out to lunch today. This was one of my favorites:

Comparisons

In the comments to my mildly-tempered "WTH" post below, friend heydave contributes an apt comparison to the GOP debating style. Ezra Klein found another:

Friday Music!

A recommendation from Richard:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

McCain and the torture issue

Digby discusses something I noticed and was bothered by, also. I have heard some Democrats say that, while they are voting for Obama, it "wouldn't be too bad" if McCain won because he's a "pretty good guy" who is "not as bad as Bush." This seems to be based on this myth of McCain's maverickiness and his so-called "principled" stand on the torture issue. Digby shows exactly what a crock all that is.

WTH??



Best captions to these pictures here. Seriously, WTH? There was a time when I would have felt sorry for John McCain, but no more. He has carved out his place in hell and he deserves it.

Schadenfreude

Palin and (ex?) Friends? Hilarious. If only the same were true of George W. Bush and his operatives. Well, it is, I guess, to some extent, but just not enough. Karl Rove has no business sitting in a cushy job as a pundit anywhere and Cheney and his Chimp should be in jail, along with at least half of his administration. At least. Period.

For Joe, The Plumber



What I was looking for was Ethel Waters doing this song in Cabin in the Sky, but YouTube seemed to have everything but. So Ella will have to do, even though, lovely as she is, she just doesn't bring the same ebullience to the number that Ethel did.

And Lord knows, a certain joi de vivre is what this day calls for in view of the fact that last night's debate seems to have put another nail in the coffin of John McCain's '08 presidential campaign! I don't think I'd go this far though. It's not "conservatism" that has been repudiated at the polls, it's rightwing reactionary McCain/Bush/Republicanism. Not the same thing. As Digby and Greenwald have both noted repeatedly, we have a long way to go in order to restore the good name of "liberalism" from the trashing that GOP extremists have given it and, unintentially I think, the same is true for "conservative." What a relief it will be, just to get back to actual centrism!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Outta here

One might wonder what took so long.

Monday, October 13, 2008

TBogg can have his Bassett Hounds, adorable as they are

But I would give my eyeteeth (remember that expression?) for one of these:

"We make our own reality"

Apparently assuming that their supporters are too stupid to read the Troopergate Report for themselves (and, really, who can blame them) the McMavriks are going around claiming that it completely exonerates Governor Pitbull! Yup, and "the fundamentals of our economy are strong", "we're WINNING in Iraq", "I said Thanks, but no thanks to that Bridge to Nowhere" and "we've got 'em just where we want 'em"! The GOP appears to be running their own version of Baghdad Bob for president.

Armchair Travelling

Well, not quite "armchair" I suppose - but what I am trying to convey is that, while I don't get out of Texas much (okay hardly AT ALL) I am not wanting for exposure to global cultures thanks to my dear friends (talking to YOU, L, G, S and V, you lurkers you!) who lured me out of my house to attend San Antonio's annual International Accordion Festival where we drank copious amounts of beer and swayed (helped by the beer) to the likes of Rupa and the April Fishes:

Travelling Friends

Jeannette reports that it's very refreshing to observe our elections from Europe which is "unanimously OBAMA" and, to prove her point, sends this:



Meanwhile, pal MW has been enjoying the fall foliage on a hiking vacation in North Carolina at a spot called Sugar Mountain, and also sends pictures:




Saturday, October 11, 2008

Still waiting for his parade...

The sheer magnitude of this man's delusional arrogance still boggles the mind.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Kitchen Sink

I thought he was an "elitist"?

Oooh! Most librul evah! (H/T Atrios)

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Sweet Home Chicago

Buddy Guy was on Letterman last night. Reminded me that it has been awhile since I posted any music. What's up with that?

Crack'd

Yesterday I speculated, and Mike concurred, that it seems likely that GOP bigwigs know that they are going to lose this election, and are probably just going through the motions this last few weeks. But things are getting really weird.

Frankly, I'm worried. I remember all too well how happy I was when Clinton won in '92, how foaming-at-the-mouth the wingnuts were at the time, and how I, in my naivete, thought that this was a good thing because, after all, the more they showed themselves, the more normal Americans would surely reject them, right? Uh, no.

Hoo boy, wingnuts sure do hate to lose, don't they? So here we are, facing a pretty solid Democratic sweep in November and the nut base of the GOP, including the two Head Nuts at the top of the ticket, appear to be in full-bore meltdown mode.

Hilzoy noticed it:
This is the kind of thing that really makes me fear for Obama. They are already screaming "terrorist" at Palin's rallies and shouting "kill him." The whole "Obama is a muslim" thing is bizarre, but with his name and childhood spent partly in a Muslim country --- and the fact that he's black, which makes everyone flash on Louis Farrakhan --- the collective right wing lizard brain twitches uncontrollably. They will use this, I have no doubt. There is an entire wingnut industry devoted to stirring up tensions in the middle east and another on devoted to character assassination of Democrats. Obama brings them together in serendipitous loathing and paranoia. It's going to be ugly.
Maha noticed that Hilzoy noticed:
Hilzoy says that the gang at The Corner "seems to have gone well and truly insane." I don't know where she gets the "seems."
It's gotten so bad that even the normally clueless are beginning to take heed:
Oct
8 Shorter Kathleen Parker

Put the Gloves Back On

Has anyone else ever noticed that Republican politicians speak in a sort of code whose subtext communicates certain tribal messages about race, religion and regionalism, which – if taken to their logical extreme – could poison political discourse or even inspire politically motivated acts of violence? Who knew?

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard. We are aware of all Internet traditions.™

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Brad adds: This is remarkable. I can’t remember seeing anyone inside Wingnut Nation ever give up the game like this:

The McCain campaign knows that Obama isn’t a Muslim or a terrorist, but they’re willing to help a certain kind of voter think he is. Just the way certain South Carolinians in 2000 were allowed to think that McCain’s adopted daughter from Bangladesh was his illegitimate black child.

Could Kathleen Parker be having her Terri Schiavo moment? Hey John, do you think you could help us with the deprogramming?
'Course, down here in Texas, we are no strangers to redneck lunacy:

Example One.

Example Two.

And, as this example clearly shows, this trend is nothing new.

So, in sum, McCain and Palin are out on the campaign trail, whipping up the nutter base of their party for no clear discernable reason whatsoever. Maybe just because they can? Maybe becaue this is how they get their sick jollies? What? Is it any wonder that our country is in the sad shape that it's in with these idiots having been in charge for the last 8 years?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Still here!

Sorry to have been so absent here lately. I've been fighting off the annual allergy attack that always fells me this time of year, and finally gave in yesterday and went to the doctor and got a shot. Much better now, thank you very much! Ah, drugs!

So, what, there's an election in a couple of weeks? Things are looking good for our side - not here in Texas, of course, but there you go. I've got my Obama yard sign up and consider it a major victory if I get through the day without some redneck expressing his/her disagreement through whatever form of vandalism is in vogue at the time. So far, so good. Sandy was able to wear his "Hippies for Obama" button to school and not get beat up. So yeah, we're doing good.

I have to wonder if the GOP isn't just going through the motions now. They surely know that, unless they rig another Supreme Court ruling or fix enough electronic voting machines and/or throw out truckloads of ballots in Democratic counties, they are going to lose, big time. Doesn't mean they wouldn't try, though, if they thought they could get away with it. I just wonder if they don't realize - now - that they might not be able to get away with it, and that they may as well just pack this one in and start making their plans for 2012. Of course, I won't rule out an attack on Iran until Bush is actually gone from the White House on January 21, 2009. There is nothing, nothing at all, that those lunatics won't do.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Four weeks to go....

Hilzoy maps out the landscape.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

O.J. Behind Bars

I'd be interested to hear what our friend, Donna, over at Happiness Anyway has to say about the conviction of O.J. Simpson and his imminent sentencing. I can't help but be pleased that the man is going to jail, finally - I have no doubt that he did kill his wife and her friend, Ron Goldman. But the path that he has taken to jail, it seems to me, doesn't reflect very well on our justice system, which all too often favors the rich and the famous. It seems to me that this case, while still feeding off of Simpson's notoriety, was designed to compensate for the failing of his earlier criminal trial, but is that really the proper role of our courts?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Holy Mackerel Moose!

We could call her "Georgina".
She isn't a politician at all. She's a caricature of a politician, as he is. They are both figureheads who represent something important to voters who believe that the biggest problem in the world is that pointy headed elites are incompetent because they lack comm on sense. And the funny thing is that it's the product of one of the harshest conservative criticisms of liberalism over the years ---- the self-esteem movement. Both George W. Bush and Sarah Palin are self-esteem symbols, put forth to prove to people who have been convinced that liberal elites are ruining everything, that the world would be better led by someone just like them. It's the ultimate social promotion. That people like David Brooks would celebrate Palin's mastery of its aggressive know nothingness, says that the conservative elites, even after Bush, are still committed to using this for their own cynical, Straussian ends.

Ed Rollins just said that Sarah Palin is now the front runner for the GOP nomination in 2012.

Best Headline About the Debate

This sums it up pretty well, I think:
Sarah Palin exceeds expectations -- and still loses

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Rage and Self-Pity

Glenzilla strikes again! Behold:
As they've ruled the country, it's been driven into the ground on every level. The President they revered and endlessly glorified is the most unpopular in modern American history. They've ushered in disastrous wars, virtual economic panic, state-sanctioned torture and astonishing debt. Their leaders have been exposed as bloated, corrupted criminals and hypocrites. Their current candidate chose as his Vice President someone who can barely string together a complete sentence or opine on the simplest of matters, and himself acknowledges that he's been joined at the hip with the failed Bush Presidency on virtually all key issues.

But still -- they're about to lose not because of anything they did, but because the corporate-owned Media hates them and is distorting their message; because they're being persecuted for their religion (which more than 75% of Americans share); because they are just weak, kind, good little Davids being hopelessly crushed by the Goliath forces arrayed in a confederacy against them. That they belong to virtually every majority group and wield most power makes no impact on any of that. This kind of self-centered, self-victimizing, self-pitying worldview provides great psychological comfort and a release from any responsibility for one's actions, and so they are highly motivated never to give it up. To the contrary, they'll cling to it -- are clinging to it -- even more desperately as their failures and rejection by the public become more vividly apparent.

Stealing

Everyone's doing it. So, since I'm having some kind of burnout I guess and can't come up with anything of my own to say that isn't Palinesque babbling, I thought I'd get in on the action by stealing this great post from Mike today which goes very well with this very apt YouTube that Atrios posted a few days ago (it's the only thing I ever liked that Liza Minnelli did):

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The anti-Reagan

"Hope" is just way too weak a word for the anticipation that this might actually come to pass.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Epic Fail

Steven Benen on the politics of the failed bailout vote today. There's a lot about this mess I don't understand at all, but common sense tells me that when little Mr. Pissypants starts stamping his feet and screaming for something Now Now Now Now Now, it's not a bad idea to stop, take a deep breath, and look the situation over a little more carefully.

Special Prosecutor

Ask and ye shall receive.

August Evening

Saw this quiet little film this weekend and enjoyed it very much, though I'm ashamed to say that I recognized no part of my hometown, Boerne, in it. I did, however, recognize San Antonio and Gonzales. I found the user review at the IMDB to be spot-on; the pacing is quite slow but the characters are engaging and the story is poignant.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Oh no

no, no, no, no

Debate

I tried to watch it, I really did. I just lose my temper far too easily. That said, I have to admire the fortitude that I imagine it must take for Obama to stand up on that stage and subject himself to McBastard's smirks and lies (for, what, six hours? so it seemed) without striding across the stage and delivering a swift and well-deserved kick to the groin. I bet a lot of other lefties like me feel the same way and I wonder if that accounts for the predominance of this perception and the overall general consensus that Obama kept his cool and did very well. In what little of it that I did watch, I thought Obama looked tense and angry (was I projecting?). He gave good answers, but I would like to see him rattle McCain some more rather than allow himself to be rattled by him.

I'm actually really nervous about the Vice Presidential debates. Biden's a loose cannon, very subject to gaffes, and it would be far too easy for him to underestimate Palin. As a Cowboys and Spurs fan, I've seen it happen all too often that a star-power team gets trounced by the underdog because they went into the game overconfident. Palin's awful, of course, and we've seen no evidence whatsoever of her being the "quick study" she's reputed to be. And Biden's commercials and stump speeches have been great. But it's Biden, unscripted, that I'm worried about. He's very smart and experienced, though, and those are definitely two things she is not. So we'll see.

On Choices and Judgement

Our friend, Freewheel, makes this exact point in a comment to the "post turtle" post below, which just proves that old adage: Great minds think alike.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Texans love a good turn o' the phrase

And would you believe it took a non-Texan (Thanks Freewheel!) to send this one to me:
While suturing a cut on the hand of a 75-year old Texas rancher whose hand was caught in a gate while working cattle, the doctor struck up a conversation with the old man. Eventually the topic got around to Sarah Palin and her bid to be a heartbeat away from being President. The old rancher said, 'Well, ya know, Palin is a post turtle.' Not being familiar with the term, the doctor asked him what a post turtle was. The old rancher said, 'When you're driving down a country road and you come across a fence post with a turtle balanced on top, that's a post turtle.' The old rancher saw a puzzled look on the doctor's face, so he continued to explain. 'You know she didn't get up there by herself, she doesn't belong up there, she doesn't know what to do while she is up there, and you just wonder what kind of dumb ass put her up there to begin with.'
And Susan, over at Kiss My Big Blue Butt says that McCain "has it floored in neutral." Yup!

Washington Mutual

holds the mortgage on my house. Can I stop making payments now?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Convenience" this, asshole.

I hate the religious right. Hate them, period. I do not think that there has ever been an ideological movement that has been more broadly damaging to our country. Their leaders, such as the execrable James Dobson and Tony Perkins, are charlatans who have exploited people of genuine religious faith, encouraged and fostered ignornace, and pandered to the worst elements of human nature such as racism, xenophobia, and misogyny all while cloaking themselves with the phoniest and most thinly transparent sanctimony imaginable. I would, frankly, love to see a true spiritual Rennaissance occur in our country, with the Christian church being a leading agent, but as long as the religious right has as dominant a voice in our culture as they do, I don't see how it is possible. I believe they have done more to drive people away from the Church than the pedophile priest scandal did. It makes perfect sense that the criminal thugs who comprise the Cheney-led GOP, and who are now scrambling to get McCain elected (via Sarah Appalling), would make their bed with the religious right.

The two most prominent issues that bring the worst elements of the religious right into glaring view are, of course, abortion and gay rights. I know that a couple of my readers are aware that I recently engaged in a rather long exchange on the subject of abortion over at Donna's place, Happiness, Anyway, with a rightie named Mark who can usually be found trolling over at Mike's place - except when McCain's poll numbers are down, heh. I don't know that much of value was accomplished, and I'm not particularly proud of whatever neurosis it is that drives me to enter into these duels, but for some reason I find it impossible to refrain from responding to stupid, pernicious wingnut talking points on the subject of abortion so I was rather like a bull reacting to the waving red cape when I saw this today.

One of the most repugnant aspects of rightwing talking points on abortion is how blatantly dishonest they are. Of course they have to be, because they know perfectly well that they can't prevail honestly. Facts and basic human decency are not in their favor, so they lie. And what could be more illustrative of their overriding contempt for women than the despicable falsehood that the "majority" (???) of women who seek abortions do so for their "convenience"? As a woman, and as a mother, I simply can't imagine a more gut-wrenchingly painful dilemma than an unwanted pregnancy, a dilemma which can be made infinitely more painful by any number of all-too-common life factors and variables. What kind of moral and intellectual vacuity does it take to deride women who are in these situations?

There are two dimensions of the abortion debate, both of which can be approached with honesty, maturity, compassion and intellect. One is the religious or spiritual dimension that looks at the question of when life begins and whether or not it is ever moral to deliberately stop the life process prior to birth. The other is the civil dimension which considers questions of policy and government in a secular society. It's an important debate, with far reaching consequences for all of us, and it deserves more respect as an issue than the religious right has allowed so far.

McCain's Meltdown

The freakshow that is the McCain campaign has certainly drawn some howlingly funny commentary (e.g. Letterman) about the antics they have pulled since yesterday, and here is a pretty good summary. But I think my favorite has to be the picture that accompanies this article.

UPDATE: Uh oh. Greenwald issues a correction. I must say, as rife with comic possibility as this campaign is, Palin is no joke. And I would be enjoying the humor much more if the polls weren't so close and the stakes weren't so high.

UPDATE: Speaking of high stakes.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain looks desperate

And, as usual, like a damn fool.

Meanwhile Obama, in comparison, looks cool as a cucumber (emphasis mine):
As we talked about earlier, McCain said yesterday he's looking for a variety of things in the bailout package before he makes up his mind, including "greater accountability," a "path for taxpayers to recover the money," "complete transparency," and a mechanism to prevent Wall Street executives from profiting from taxpayer money. Obama had expressed his own ideas on measures that the bailout package should include, 48 hours earlier, and the lists were nearly identical.

So, this morning, Obama called McCain with a straightforward idea: if both candidates supported similar provisions, the two sides could endorse a joint set of principles. McCain, this afternoon, agreed. Obama did this quietly, away from the media spotlight, and without leaking anything to the media. Just one candidate looking for a bipartisan solution with a rival candidate. Everyone was happy.

And almost immediately after an agreement was reached, McCain, in the middle of debate prep, decides it's time for a stunt. How very sad that McCain's desperation has become this transparent.

Details are a little sketchy at this point, but as I understand it, Obama still wants a debate on Friday, as planned, and does not plan to suspend his campaign, but we're supposed to get another statement on these developments from Obama very soon.

They are not "conservatives"

I can think of many things to call the gang of criminal thugs that currently hold sway over our government and the mouth-breathing morons that want to re-elect their carbon copy successors, but "conservative" is not among them. To be academic about it - and to avoid, if one must, profanity - the proper term for them is "radical rightwing reactionaries." We are in the throes of a revolution, and it has nothing whatsoever to do with "conservatism." I venture to say that a large percentage of Americans who currently label themselves "conservatives" have no idea what the term actually means, either in its current form or its more academically correct, historical form.

UPDATE: Also not "conservatives" (and not "Christians," however much they claim that mantle) are the "Christianists."

Much more like this please!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

How bad could it get?

Digby hits another one out of the ballpark:
This is a scary time. Bush is the lamest of ducks but he is still president for another four months and the damage he could do in that time is incalculable. It's a big chance to take. But the absolute most irresponsible thing that Democrats could do is allow the election of another Republican administration --- all else pales before the prospect of another four years of this kind of governance.

Everyone needs to keep in mind that in spite of everything, the biggest danger to the world economic system and the security of the planet in general is to elect John McCain and his successor, Sarah Palin to preside over the mess that that the conservatives have made of things. We might as well take out money and bury it in the backyard --- or get a boat and sail away.

Cheap Date

Steve Benen says:
For leaders like Weyrich and Dobson, they opposed McCain vehemently, but ultimately threw their support to him ... in exchange for practically nothing. McCain didn't have to work to earn their backing, he just had to become the Republican nominee.
Well, not quite "nothing." He gave them Palin. Of course he may have thought it was "nothing" when he made the choice, after being told that he couldn't have Lieberman. But, should he manage to win this election, of course the joke will be on all of us should he croak and Palin takes the office. Ha, ha!

How I woke up this morning

Listening to NPR:
President Bush Bids U.N. Farewell
by Michele Kelemen

Listen Now [3 min 35 sec] add to playlist

Morning Edition, September 23, 2008 · President Bush addresses the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday for the last time. In his speech, he'll portray himself as a multilateralist who wants to see the U.N. function better.
Just shoot me now.

Monday, September 22, 2008

"catastrophic failure of Republican governance"

Ugh, sickening:
Bush has been the most successful president for the aristocracy in American history. He opened up the federal treasury to his rich friends, and they looted it like a Bagdad museum for nearly eight long years. Now that it's been stripped bare to the point that its going to cost trillions to even stabilize the thing, the Village has decided it's time to sober up and stop all this profligate spending. How convenient.

This is very similar to the arguments that were made 16 years ago when once again the establishment decided that the bill for Republican malfeasance would come due during a Democratic administration, thus foreclosing the possibility of solving many of the long term systemic problems that plague ordinary Americans. Heads they win, tails you lose. It's quite a racket.

But, at the very least, can we hear no more from Republicans about fiscal responsibility? Is it too much to ask that every time they say such a thing, that every opponent gets right in their face and starts yelling about Bush and Cheney and the catastrophic failure of Republican governance? I suppose it is. But until they do that, over and over again, the Republicans will be allowed to spend the country into oblivion, reward their rich friends with all your hard earned money and then morph into fiscal scolds the minute the Democrats take power, thus denying the people any sort of normal first world safety net. That's the pattern and it looks to me as if it's highly likely to replay itself once again unless the Democrats learn how to play this game.
Does anyone besides me find the concept of a "golden parachute" to be just as pornographic as it sounds? And not in a good way!

Democratic Rally in France

Jeannette sends pictures:


She says she hasn't received her ballot yet and wonders what the Bush GOP is doing to screw up absentee voting.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Time to start hitting that speed-dial button

For inspiration before you start calling your congresscritter, go here, and here, and here:
And finally, I am confident that the American people will greatly benefit from this. Which American people? After 8 years of Bushism, you have to ask? Why, those who caused this crisis and who exploited this crisis, of course. They will slurp up the trillion dollars of our hard-earned money that's gonna be served up on a silver platter faster than you can say "Americans are suckers if they vote Republican."


Update from digby: I just have to add that when I heard Paulson say this bail out was actually going to make money for the government, I couldn't help but remember Paul Wolfowitz assuring us that the Iraq war would pay for itself.
And, of course, here:
Chutzpah shortage averted: republicans propose $700 billion no strings giveaway to whoever they want, warn Democrats not to overreach:

"Some Congressional Republicans warned Democrats not to overreach. “The administration has put forward a plan to help the American people, and it is now incumbent on Congress to work together to solve this crisis,” said Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader.
Mr. Boehner added: “Efforts to exploit this crisis for political leverage or partisan quid pro quo will only delay the economic stability that families, seniors, and small businesses deserve.”
...Mindful of a potential political fight, Mr. Paulson and Mr. Bernanke held a series of conference calls with members of Congress on Friday to begin convincing them that action was needed not just to help Wall Street but everyday Americans as well."

seems a bit odd that the phrase "working through the weekend" when applied to administration officials and congress is afforded the same breathless seriousness as "sacrifice your first born child".

Friday, September 19, 2008

The Bad and the Beautiful

I'll leave it to my discerning readers to figure out which is which:






For those of you who need more clues, there is this.

An Excellent Suggestion

The company I work for is currently in the middle of its annual charity campaign and for the last several years I have targeted Planned Parenthood for my donation, so this idea fits in perfectly with those plans.

Contempt

I certainly share the outrage expressed in these two posts, but as I read about this story, something occurred to me that I hadn't seen discussed elsewhere: I wonder how Alaskans in general, but the Alaska State Senate in particular feel about having McCain's thugs come barrelling into their state and sidewinding this investigation which, by all accounts, was - prior to McCain's involvement - a universally agreed-upon process that, supposedly, everyone was fine with moving forward? Aren't Alaskans supposed to be a little more than usually suspicious of outsiders, or folks from "down below" or whatever. Greenwald points out that the Alaska State Legislature isn't supposed to convene until January, but I can't help but wonder if they might not be angry enough about this latest spit in the eye to just up and call themselves into a special session. Thoughts?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ronald McBush?

So, the question for voters this year is this: Is John McCain as dim a bulb as George W. Bush or is he in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease like Ronald Reagan, or perhaps some charming combination of both? Hilzoy has some observations about McFuddled's inability to recognize the Prime Minister of Spain:
In any case, however, this is a big gaffe. It's not like Bush's not knowing who the head of Pakistan was in 2000. In that case, Bush was asked a surprise question. In this case, McCain was being interviewed by Spanish media. If he wasn't briefed on Spain, including the name of its Prime Minister, before he sat down for that interview, then he has completely incompetent staff, who should be fired on the spot. (Avoiding mistakes like this is part of what they're paid for.) If he was briefed on that, then it's not just that he forgot, in the sense of not being able to recall the name when asked. That happens sometimes, but it's not what happened here. Here, he didn't recognize the name when someone else said it.

In my experience, that's a lot harder to do, if you know the name to start with, especially if you're in a context in which that person might be brought up in conversation. -- It sometimes happens to me that I fail to place someone when they appear in a completely unexpected context: when one of my students (in Baltimore) appears at the wedding of an old family friend (in Boston), for instance. But, again, this is not a context in which mentioning the Prime Minister of Spain is in any way unexpected.
UPDATE: Barbara O'Brien is having a great time with this, beginning with the title of her post. Be sure and check out her graphic. A couple of great headlines she found:

Time, The Pain in Spain Falls Mainly on McCain

The Guardian, Barack's Back (sub-head, "McCain's Spain brain-pain")

Comparisons

Freewheel sent me an email he received that describes the up-is-downism of today's Republican voter and I thought I would share with you:
I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....

* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.'

* Grow up in Alaska eating moose burgers, a quintessential American story.


* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.

* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.


* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.

* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.


* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.


* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.

* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.


* If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.

* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant , you're very responsible.

* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America 's.

* If you're husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable.
In related news, see this wonderful post over at Mike's place about a conservative who is planning to vote for Barack Obama.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

That's not feminism we can believe in, my friends!

You know, maybe she was planning to just offer a bounty and shoot them from airplanes. Don't miss the comments to this post!

Carly Chucklefest

We might as well laugh about SOMETHING! I bet you heard that Carly Fiorino, one of McMillionaire's many brilliant economic advisors, is being "disappeared" because of her ill-advised comments to the press recently about who can and who can't "run a large corporation" (she should know, right?). Best snarky responses:

TBogg

Mahablog

Atrios:
Now that the government is running the biggest insurance company in the world, shouldn't we elect a president who is qualified to run a large company?

Moral Hygiene

Amen to this:
Y'know, occasionally I catch some grief by saying I have come truly to despise Bush/McCain and their ideological cronies like Cheney, Addington, Rumsfeld, and so on. Here's why:

Because the Bush/McCain gang is so ignorant violent, mentally disturbed and powerful, they get hundreds of thousands innocent people killed. Sheer moral hygiene makes it imperative that this country say no to four more years of the same.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Foreign Policy

Coals to Newcastle here but:

Two good posts.

Those two are examples of adult, thoughtful discussions of the very important issue of who we should elect to become President of our country.

This one should probably get more play for effectiveness, though.

John McCain, Liar

Anyone remember the 2000 narrative about Al Gore's problem with the truth?

Honor

Sorry to be so gloomy. Maybe this will help:

Maha points us to this very eloquent Kos diary on the topic of honor.

Could it actually get worse?

According to Krugman, it could, and he's right.

I don't think I'm prepared to face that possiblitiy. That probably says something not good about me, but there you are. I was flabbergasted when my country elected, twice, Ronald Effing Reagan, that phony snake oil salesman actor fer pete's sake. I was appalled at the shenanigans my country was willing to engage in and then ignore, resulting in the installation of George W. Bush in 2000, and I thought there was No WAY we would be stupid enough to re-elect him in 2004, which resulted in my breaking out in a full-body rash on the day after that election. "Stress" my doctor said. This one might put me in the hospital.

"Worse." Think about it.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bracing for the storm

Ike is bearing down on the Texas coast and it looks like we inland folks in the hill country might even get some pretty heavy wind and rain, or so the current weather chatter holds. We shall see.

Kudos to Mike for deconstructing the old "socialist" tripe trope. Good job!

And as sick-to-death as I am of Palinapalooza, I must pass along this great link sent to me this morning by our good pal, heydave. Thanks heydave!

It's 9/11. I'm not much for Memorials, but I can't let the day pass without sending out heartfelt good wishes to all those who lost family and friends on this horrible day seven years ago. May all our fallen countrymen rest in peace, and may the world forgive us for our tragically misguided response in the years since. (H/T to Barbara O'Brien at Mahablog for that first link.)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More of that McBush-style "restoring honor and integrity"

H/T Atrios:
One of the employees named in the investigation, Jimmy Mayberry, has already pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Washington to violations of conflict-of-interest laws. The Justice Department declined to prosecute Smith and former Associate Director of the Minerals Revenue Management program Lucy Querques Denett, who the report says manipulated contracts to ensure they were awarded to former Interior employees.

The findings are the latest sign of trouble at the Minerals Management Service, which has already been accused of mismanaging the collection of fees from oil companies and writing faulty contracts for drilling on government land and offshore. The charges also come as lawmakers and both presidential candidates weigh giving oil companies more access to federal lands, which would bring in more money to the federal government.

"This all shows the oil industry holds shocking sway over the administration and even key federal employees," said Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla. "This is why we must not allow Big Oil's agenda to be jammed through Congress."

While most government royalties for drilling on federal lands are paid in cash, the government in recent years has been receiving a greater share of its oil and gas royalties in the actual product. More of that oil is also being sold on the open market, versus being deposited in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the nation's emergency oil stockpile. Congress earlier this year passed a law halting deposits of oil to the reserve to alleviate high gasoline prices.

Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, who was asked about the reports earlier in the day before they were given to him and congressional offices, said the investigation was prompted by a 2006 phone call from anemployee who said there were ethical lapses in the Denver office.

"I look forward to having the opportunity to review the inspector general's findings so we can take the appropriate actions," Kempthorne said.