Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tell Dick to shut his yap

When will this country tell Dick Cheney to sit down and STFU? The best way to do it, of course, would be to prosecute him and his boy toy for their war crimes. Lock them and their cohorts up and throw away the key.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Baby Steps

Wow, it's been awhile since I posted anything, hasn't it? I wish I could say that it is because I have been off in some remote, exotic corner of the world where no intertubes exist and life is, resultingly, bliss - but, no. I have definitely been in holiday mode or, as Bob might say, "on vacation, from my problems!" and just really unable to work up much to say about things like HCR, the Winkie Bomber Failed Terrorist Attack ("Failed", that is, in terms of not killing scores of innocent people, though certainly quite successful at terrorizing the poop out of America's rightwing Keyboard Commandos and Very Serious Pundocrisy), or Little Boots' penile implant.

Suffice it to say that the presence of friends and family and vast quantities of food and alcohol has dulled the intensity of my fervor for issue commentary. Sorry about that. Look for me to return to shrieking harpy status sometime around mid-January. Yeah, or not. Whatever.

In the meantime, for healthy doses of rationality and sufficient Rage Against the Machine, read everything by Digby and Glenn Greenwald. That always works for me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Gaslighting game

I'm with Atrios - Carney wants to go, fine. But I'm tickled pink that Josh used the term gaslighting and I hope everyone knows where the term comes from and if you don't, make it a point to find out ASAP.

How I Spent My Christmas Vacation

Shopping, cooking, wrapping, cleaning, decorating. Fun, huh? Actually, it kind of is.

Meanwhile, the world spins along pretty much as always. Looks like we'll get HCR before Christmas and Joan Walsh says what needs to be said about that, Maha agrees and so do I.

In her column, Walsh referenced this post by Glenn Greenwald which I think is worth reposting here.

Me, I think I'll just focus on being glad that the Bush administration is, for the most part, gone - and try not to fret too much that they're not in jail, where they belong - and that Obama, for all his faults, at least is not John McCain. So, there's that.

And then there's this, a perennial favorite:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Feeling fatalistic

This is another edition of what this guy says.

In a little while, I will cheer myself up by going Christmas shopping. Ho! Ho! Ho!

And in case you missed it below, I'm posting this again:

Hammer, meet nail.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Suck. On. This, Puritans!

Bah, F***ing Humbug

Oh. Mygod. I am so past ready for this country to be done with its goddam neo-Puritan phase. What on earth does it take for us to marginalize these hateful, destructive lunatics? Maha sez:
Does that mean they’re going to fast until the health care bill is defeated (she said, hopefully, thinking that this could take a while)? Apparently not; they’re just going to pray a lot. Anyway, I’m saying that any self-respectful wrathful omnipotent being would have sent enough lightening bolts to vaporize the lot of them by now. Yet members of the Family Research Council are still corporeal.
Exactly.

I got one of those toxic emails from a coworker the other day, you know the one about demanding that everyone say "Merry Christmas" and expressing great offense that anyone should dare utter the dastardly words, "Happy Holidays".

Now, it's true that I'm not a religious person - in fact, I'm pretty namby pamby on the issue of religion. But I was raised as an Episcopalian and I have decidedly fond feelings for the Episcopal Church and pleasant memories in particular of the Christmas service. And it just infuriates me that rightwing assholes use religious language to claim exclusive dominion over the right to call themselves "Christian" when, to me, their practices are anything but. So, against my better judgement I responded to the stupid email, and did my best to keep it civil despite how pissed off I was:
The point is that not everyone is celebrating Christmas at this time of year. As a Christian, I was raised to celebrate this time of year as a time of peace on earth and goodwill towards all, not just those who share my religious faith.
Which garnered this snooty reply from my coworker:
Sorry, Ann, it’s that time/day of year when the birth of Christ is celebrated. Peace on earth can be anytime people choose to participate in making peace happen.
And, yeah I shouldn't have, but I replied:
Of course it can, and you don’t need to be “sorry”. It’s just that other people celebrate other holidays this time of year also that aren’t Christian. I was raised to honor that fact, and I never experienced that as any kind of diminishing of the significance of my own religious celebration.
I'm sure you can see that this is not going to end well. Here, again, is my coworker:
I stand on facts and truth. I’m sorry for those who do not seem to know, the real significance and stand on human, commercial babble.
I truly wished I had not sent this to you.
Let’s ends this. No more correspondence on this, please. We clearly are not like believers in Christ. For that I am truly sorry.
Ah, the classic smug sanctimony and passive aggressiveness of the religious wingnut! Standing on "facts and truth"! She's truly "sorry for (me)"! And, having shot off that little bullet, she then suggests that we "end this" now. Uh huh. NOT:
No, *****. You can’t insult me and expect me not to respond. No we are not “like” believers in Christ, and for that I am most definitely not sorry. I am sorry for those who feel the need to disparage others in order to feel good about themselves, who consider themselves to have a corner on the market of “facts and truth” and imply that others who disagree with them (on matters of FAITH, no less!) somehow “do not seem to know, the real significance and stand on human, commercial babble.” That’s the kind of tripe that drives people away from Christianity and diminishes the spirit of this season.
Well, I haven't heard back from her. I suspect she probably deleted my email without reading it, which is okay by me. Lawdy, save us all from the neo-Puritans.

And speaking of these same pseudo-religious assholes, our good friend Julie alerted me to yet another horrible toxic email circulated by them which contains several nude pictures of (supposedly) Obama's mother(!!) posing salaciously and it ends with the utterly nonsensical declaration:
“and keep reminding yourself that Obama is the first
BLACK President of the United States . Yeah, right.”
WTF is WRONG with these people???

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Oh I dunno, maybe he should take it personally...

I'm so glad the people of Minnesota put Al Franken in the Senate. Thank you, Minnesota.

No Duh

IMO, Benen's point here goes without saying, or ought to. That's another reason it is so infuriating to be treated like rubes by our own party leadership. Or worse still, as Atrios points out, to have some of the worst elements of our side treated like intellectual giants.

Bogey Bonanza!

Last night was a good time to stay away from the computer and plant oneself in front of the TV instead. Check out this lineup on TCM last night:

The Maltese Falcon
I don't care who loves who. I won't play the sap for you.
Casablanca
I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Badges? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges.
And last but, ohmygod most definitely not least,

The African Queen
By the authority vested in me by Kaiser William II, I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution.
Sigh. Perhaps as a Christmas present to myself, I will finally break down and get that Tivo I've been wanting for so long. In the meantime, I must be happy with what comes across the screen at its scheduled time. Last night, I fell asleep at some point during the beginning of Casablanca, but with a big smile!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Giving in to cynicism

I don't know when I've been so dispirited. Our government appears to be as corrupt as the worst of any third world country. Evidence: Example One and Example Two.

Not even the death of Oral Roberts can cheer me up - that's pretty bad.

As the cynic I've devolved into, the perfectly obvious answer to this question is that our government is totally owned by the corporate interests that finance it. Period.

I don't know how we fix this, I really don't.

UPDATE: At times like this, you just have to get rude.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Please support the ACLU

They need it.

Go here.

Thanks!

Nobel

I watched the ceremony this morning with mixed feelings. Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland gave a very persuasive speech about why the prize was awarded to Obama, and I don't disagree with their decision. But even if it weren't for the reasons that Obama is very much Not George Bush, or perhaps even more importantly, Not John McCain, those alone are sufficient reasons to honor him. Obama's speech was characteristically beautiful, yet I cringed when he said:
Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe that the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. And we honor those ideals by upholding them not just when it is easy, but when it is hard.
and then later:
Those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price. Intransigence must be met with increased pressure - and such pressure exists only when the world stands together as one.
Yikes.

Still, I'm proud of him for what he has achieved, and grateful for the willingness of the world community to continue to put their faith in us. May we earn it.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Stupak

Why is an "amendment" necessary if all it does is "maintain current law"?

Zero Tolerance vs. Zero Accountability

In America, we have "zero tolerance" for relatively minor criminality, usually involving drugs (think mandatory sentencing/"three-strikes-you're-out" crap). Yessir, we're so ToughOnCrime, yet we have "zero accountability" for those who have committed and enabled the most horrific crimes of all, war crimes. Greenwald:
Other disclosures reveal that Blair was making claims that his own intelligence services were vehemently rejecting. For all the discussion about what happened in the run-up to that war, we still have not, in my view, come close to appreciating the historic magnitude of the evil of this crime -- and, of course, there have been no consequences for anyone responsible. It's always worthwhile -- and still startling -- to look back and see how blatantly false claims such as Blair's taxi-derived "45-minute" assertion were pervasively and uncritically exploited to justify this war
...
The people who mindlessly passed on claims like Tony Blair's "45-minute" hysteria did it without regard to whether it was true. At best, they didn't care. They wanted the invasion and were willing to say anything to justify it. The ones who were most unquestioning were "journalists" whose only ostensible function is to question -- see but a small sampling of examples above. What's most remarkable about all of it is that virutally none has even acknowledged wrongdoing and none has suffered any consequences of any kind. This British investigation is underscoring just how extreme all of this was.
In America, if you're rich and powerful, you can get away with murdering your wife, as O.J. Simpson did, and you can get away with lying your country into a war in which thousands of your country's best and brightest young men and women will go off to die and millions of innocent civilians will be killed or displaced, hundreds more imprisoned without charges and tortured. In the UK, at least they are willing to publicly investigate these crimes. Let's see what happens with their findings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

John Lennon

I am reminded that today is a sad anniversary. RIP John.

Separate and still unequal

WSJ:
The push for compromise on the public option came as the full Senate plunged into debate on whether to tighten insurance coverage of abortion in the bill. Sen. Nelson introduced an amendment to remove abortion coverage from the public plan and prevent any woman who gets a new tax credit to buy insurance from enrolling in a plan that covers the procedure.
Others have expressed this same sentiment, but I say let's not make women bear the total brunt of passing health care reform; if this amendment passes, there should also be an amendment that prevents any man who gets a new tax credit to buy insurance from enrolling in any plan that covers boner pills or, say, vasectomies.

I don't mean to make light of this. It makes me sick that they are probably going to pass this misogynist bullshit. Any constitutional experts out there? Can this language pass constitutional muster? Abortion is a legal medical procedure, fercrissakes. If this passes (and I hold precious little hope that it won't), it will simply become unavailable to women who can't afford to pay for it out of pocket.

UPDATE: Amanda, of course. And she also gave us this wonderful visual, albeit connected to another post:

Come to think of it, that post is worth a read too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Wow, that's some contest

According to Susan, the race for the GOP nomination for the Texas Governorship is between Dick Cheney with boobs and George W. Bush without intelligence. Now THAT'S entertainment!

Happy Birthday Sandy-man!


Sandy The Younger turns 17 today, and his proud parents are delighted to report that he is a humorist, a liberal thinker, a devout lover of blues music and, in fact, is developing his own impressive skills as a blues guitar player. He certainly has the hands for it - like his father, incredibly long and thin. Tonight for dinner, by request, we are having turkey mole enchiladas and orange pudding cake. Happy Birthday, Sandy!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Who we are

I've been out for the last 2 days for some work-related training; now that I'm back I've got tons to catch up on, so I apologize for light posting. Upon reading this, however, I'm not sure there's anything else for me to say. I'm deeply grateful for Greenwald's writing on this subject - It really is helpful for me to read such an eloquent voice express the abject horror and disgust I feel about the dirction our leaders have chosen to take us, and with our support no less.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fringes

So Charles Johnson, of Little Green Footballs fame, has renounced wingnuttism. Allright. Good for him.

Steve Benen, in looking at conservative reactions to Johnson's announcement, begins to make a good point about the stupid "both sides" nonsense that attempts to portray the base elements of either side of the ideological spectrum as being somehow equal:
But this surface-level look is, at best, incomplete. Code Pink and Truthers don't have, and never have had, any meaningful role in progressive politics or the Democratic Party. Love these groups or hate them, we're talking about a fairly small group, with limited-to-non-existent influence. Indeed, Democratic Party leaders and officials take pains to keep the groups at arm's length. It's not as if leading Dem candidates, seeking high-profile offices, go out of their way to seek Cindy Sheehan's endorsement.

On the other hand, leading Republicans at every level can't do enough to express their support for the Tea Party crowd, and love nothing more than talking to Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. We have GOP members of Congress, even some of the party's leadership, endorsing all manner of unhinged nonsense, ranging from Birther questions to state nullification.

The point is, there's a clear and impermeable line between the progressive mainstream and the left fringe. The line between the Republican Party/conservative movement and the far-right fringe barely exists.

Whereas Dems kept the fringe at arm's length, Republicans embrace the fringe with both arms. Both sides have nutjobs; only one side thinks their nutjobs are sane.
I know practically zip about the "9/11 Truthers" and not much more about either the Code Pink movement or Cindy Sheehan's mental state. But, regarding Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan, their methods may be weird, but wasn't their message that the war in Iraq was a boondoggle? Hello? I would just point out to Benen, and anyone else that cares to listen, that another significant difference between the left's "fringe" and the right's is that ours may be "nuts", but they're right.

What would motivate me

Oh gag. I am surrounded by rightwingers at work and one of them (who is a very sweet girl, really, and sits at the desk right next to me) got all excited this morning and was chattering on and on about how unbelievably AWESOME it would be to attend this and she generously sent me email all about it.

I told her, in my most diplomatic voice possible, that the only way I would ever spend money to see George W. Bush would be the on the occasion of his sorry ass being dragged up in front of a war crimes tribunal at the Hague. That I would pay to see.

UPDATE (In case I wasn't clear): The only thing that chimp-faced felon GWB motivates in me is my upchuck reflex.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Post Holiday

I am back, and slogging through all my emails which is likely to take me the better part of the day. My holiday weekend was wonderful: we ate like kings and drank like peasants. We played croquet, bocce, dominoes, Scrabble, and went for walks and drives in the country. We went and tasted wine and toured the facility at this lovely vineyard which was right up the road. I mostly avoided any newspapers or news shows on TV - though the Sunday bobbleheads were on in the background, I tried not to listen. Hope all of you had spendid times with your families and/or loved ones, and thanks to all of you who left me well-wishes! Now it's time to get serious about Christmas....

Regular (well, regular for me) blogging will resume shortly - which is to say, when I feel like it. Meanwhile, wish a Happy Birthday to Dick Clark



and Mark Twain, who said, among other things, "Humor is mankind's greatest blessing.":

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Am heading out to the country today where there will be no computer, no internet. There will, however, be indoor plumbing, electricity and alcohol. Plenty of alcohol. Oh, and turkey.

I'll be back, sated and hungover, on Monday. In the interim, I'm sure you all will find much to entertain yourselves but here are a couple of posts from our friends at Sadly,No! who always do such great work. That second one is especially good as we 'Murcans celebrate our thankfulness for being 'Murcans.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

On media bias

Yes, we're all sick of hearing that idiotic whine about the "liberal media" but this is the best dissection of that topic I've found so far. H/T, as usual, to Atrios.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"festering sore of prejudice and hatred"

Via Susan at KMBBB here is an article and a letter that must be read.

And speaking of history repeating itself, this also.

Marvin and Tina

Just because.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

An excellent suggestion

Ruth invites you to join her worthy campaign - count me in!

Wingnut humor, explained

As Atrios calls it, "the good Christian kind." Amanda's theory:
The most obvious thing about these coded messages is how thin the coding is---the wingnuts putting this together are either so dim they can’t see that these “jokes” aren’t as dense as they purport to be, or they assume their audience is so stupid that “jokes” have to be really obvious to be got. Or both. It doesn’t seem possible that they’re so dense that they think that these shirts and other non-jokes are so dense as to evade being understood by outsiders or law enforcement, and so I don’t think that’s really to point of using these codes to encourage violence against Obama.

No, I think they engage in these codes not because they’re effective protection or because they’re funny, but because they get a rise out of approximating what they think being clever might feel like. These codes may not be clever, but they feel clever to people who aren’t really used to exercising their brain cells. To understand these threats, your brain needs to take two admittedly tiny steps, but those are two more steps than these assholes are used to putting their brains through, so it feels like what they imagine it must feel like to be one of those people who are actually clever and use their brains all the time. These non-jokes also function as jargon, language that only the insiders of the wingnut tribe use, which helps create a group identity, the people Sarah Palin likes to call “Real Americans”. Which is dangerous, because we know how very little they’re willing to believe that outsiders are real people.
Be sure also to read the comments to Amanda's post.

Then of course there's also this.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Which came first?

The name or the personality? Consider "Bart Stupak" and now "Chris Buttars". Seriously, "Chris Buttars". With a name like that, could you be anything BUT an asshole?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Happy Birthday James!

This picture is a couple of years old, and Younger Brother Sandy (whose birthday is in a couple of weeks) has sprouted up to eye level with his Older Brother. They are quite a pair.

Not that I'm lazy or anything, but I think this birthday post I wrote for James way back when I started this blog still hits the right note for me today.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How bad could it be?

If it's even worse than this guy could have predicted, it's pretty darn bad. And he has the quotes to prove it. Yikes.

Patriots and Not-Patriots

Not hard to tell the difference. Good idea to send a donation to the real patriots today.

Happy Birthday Margaret Atwood

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where obsession will lead you

Okay, remember how yesterday I was thinking about food and Thanksgiving? Well, let me tell you, there's a price to be paid for giving in to one's obsessions, and getting lost in here is a good example of just such a price. Good for dieters!

In a post-Bush world

Anyone else cringe when they read, or hear, stories like this?
Obama stresses human rights in meeting with China's Hu Jintao

...

Obama, who appeared tired, said that he had reiterated to Hu in their private meetings "America's bedrock beliefs that all men and women possess certain fundamental human rights . . . they are universal rights and that they should be available to all peoples, to all ethnic and religious minorities." He said the U.S. and China would hold additional discussions on human rights next year.
"Fundamental human rights"? You mean like the right to not be tortured or imprisoned indefinitely without trial? Those "fundamental human rights"?

Until we are willing to respect our own rule of law and to hold our own leaders legally accountable for violations of those laws with regard to "fundamental human rights", we simply have no moral authority to sanctimoniously spout off to leaders of other countries. Period.

Crawling out of the woodwork

I know the Washington Times has had its problems recently, but is this what we have to look forward to from its editorial pages? Good Lord.

As usual, Dave Neiwert was right.

We will always have racist bigots among us. But the current political atmosphere seems especially dangerous. The internet and cable networks have made it easier than ever for the worst of them to communicate and encourage each other, often under the guise of shared contempt for "political correctness". I see no good end to this.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Never too early

to think about food! I will be travelling to east Texas with friends this Thanksgiving, to gather at the farm of another mutual friend and we are all excited and talking about food. This year, for the first time, I am responsible for the turkey! No biggie - I've done turkey before, and it's probably the easiest of all the dishes to do (...maybe that's why it's been assigned to me...? Heh, no, actually I volunteered.)

Riding in to work this morning with a co-worker, the subject of turkey-cooking came up, and I heard of a cooking tip that was new to me: Soaking the turkey in a "brine" of salt and sugar for about 24 hrs. prior to cooking. I haven't heard of this before, have any of you? The claim is that this gives the turkey a perfect pitch of moisture and saltiness. I just might give it a try. What goodies are you looking forward to this year? Any recipes to share?

Terrorism 101

It really is appalling how few people of influence seem to get it. It's not that hard.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Blues for a Friday afternoon

A friend passed along this KWS combination CD/DVD and it looks interesting enough to fill in some gaps in this weekend's entertainment:

Words matter

I agree 100% with this. I also hate that reactionaries in this country have gotten away with calling themselves "conservatives" - they are of course, anything but. It is the tattered remains of the left that is now "conservative" for all intents and purposes.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Will not sit at the back of the bus

Katha Pollitt hits the nail square on the head and drives that thing clear through to the other side. H/T Atrios.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Leo DiCaprio

He's got a pretty face, sure, but don't hold it against him. I think he's also a phenomenal actor.

Reunions

Have a box of Kleenex nearby for this one.

H/T Balloon Juice

Happy Armistice/Veterans Day

Granddaddy:


Here's the story that accompanies this picture.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ft. Hood Memorial Service

Time to take a break from my anger and disappointment in Obama's (and the Democratic party establishment) shortcomings, and pay tribute to his significant strengths. At a time of national tragedy like this, I am especially grateful for a President who has the intelligence and grace to speak truth so eloquently:


Text and more commentary here.

There, that's better

Need cheering up. This is just the ticket; let's celebrate an anniversary:



Still pretty pissed

I got stuck in traffic this morning behind a car covered with bumper stickers such as: "Proud to be everything liberals hate" and that one with Obama made up to look like the Joker in Dark Knight that said "Socialism". I smiled thinking that this guy would be pretty happy to know how pissed I am right now. (On the upside, though, I should say that I see a lot more "Obama" stickers around than you might expect for here in red Texas - saw one the other day that said "Vets for Obama".)

What's happening to us? What do liberals have to do to turn this tide around? Barack Obama had a historic opportunity to achieve something truly worthwhile with overwhelming popular support for a Democratic agenda. And he blew it. I'm sorry, but he did:

Digby this morning (emphasis mine):
All day long, I kept hearing the argument that pro-choice Democrats are going to have to compromise because Pelosi just doesn't have the votes otherwise. But the truth is that she doesn't have the votes without the pro-choice caucus either. Why isn't it just as reasonable to say that Stupak and his crowd should compromise? I hear people say over and over again that Democrats will prove they can't govern if they hold the line on this or that provision and risk tanking the bill. But these Stupak Democrats did it --- and they won. Indeed, many people are hailing the outcome as a triumph of legislative maneuvering. (All except for the women of course, but they're on their own.)

The dynamics working against liberals are fairly obvious: they are the ones who want to help a whole bunch of people in dire straits and nobody else gives a damn. That makes them weaker in the final stages because everyone knows they want it more (that people are desperate) so they will not risk getting nothing at all when so many are suffering. The people who are willing to walk away always have more power in a negotiation.

So, knowing that, why in the hell do they go into every discussion having already given away everything but their bottom line? Especially when the only people with whom they are negotiating are ostensibly on their own team, where presumably the leadership and the president have some extra sway? If there was ever a case for the liberals to go in with guns blazing, demanding repeal of the Hyde Amendment, demanding single payer, demanding huge tax increases on the wealthy, demanding open border access to the health care system (which some countries have.) Then they would have had something to work with.

Instead they went in with the tried and true "don't make trouble" strategy assuring everyone who would listen that they had no intention of upsetting the status quo or causing "distractions" and practically apologizing for even asking for universal coverage. In the end they ended up actually rolling back their position on a matter of fundamental principle. And it sounds like that still isn't going to be enough.
It's absolutely appalling to me that women's access to healthcare should be sacrificed in order to pass a bill that makes baby steps toward achieving something that has overwhelming popular support: universal access to healthcare! What's up with that?

Atrios sez:
It's quite possible Dems will lose - and lose badly - in 2010. A bad economy, failure to deliver a recognizable good health care plan, and the determination that most of the people who vote for you don't deserve proper medical treatment, could all hurt Democrats at the polls. But good news for Republicans? People still hate them.
Small comfort, that.

UPDATE: Obama apparently insisting that he WILL NOT - not no way, not no how - sign a bill that isn't "deficit neutral". Whoopie. Good to know that he listens to the likes of Fred Hiatt.

Jill has some thoughts too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

House health care reform vote

Color me cranky. I guess I'm just a little bit too tired of concessions to rightwingers being touted as "centrism" or, even worse, "bipartisanship". It's bad enough that we have to cope with the loons in the Republican party, but we also have to contend with the backstabbers in our own party. Digby, as usual, has a couple of posts up that offer both enlightenment and snark, and if you feel the need to DO SOMETHING, as I did, may I recommend a donation to Planned Parenthood in Bart Stupak's name.

The Stupak-Pitts Amendment: What it actually does. H/T Atrios.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Brain cleansing

Friend heydave has sent along some pictures of fall life in Iowa that serve as a lovely antidote to the grim realities of the last couple of days. Thanks heydave!



"Questions have got to be asked"

And we can count on Fred to ask 'em:
Of course CAIR has condemned the murders. They have to. They can’t risk an angry American populace declaring WAR on every Muslim walking down the street. And I have to say, that WAR is not out of the equation from some of the things I have heard ‘through the grapevine’.

We have to hope that cooler heads prevail, but suppose they don’t? What then? Suppose there was some action taken in retribution by the American people? Has radical Islam not already declared WAR on us? Has radical Islam not already made their intentions VERY clear?

I’m not advocating anything, but the questions have got to be asked. At what point in time do Americans stand and defend this nation in the way it is intended by the 2nd amendment of the U.S. constitution?
Tellingly, Fred never provides any answers to these questions he poses. I guess he's waiting to hear from some of those "cooler heads" he's so very sincerely hoping will prevail. But, amazingly, no "cooler heads" manage to show up in his comments. Instead, here's a sample:
He was a Muslim American by birth. This is from a interview with his cousin. There were ample signs, altercations with others over his pro-Islam talk… someone should have locked him up and processed him OUT. We have enough fine “real American” troops, we don’t need someone who is not there to stand up for and defend America. The more I find out, the more I want to see all Muslims deported.

...

What CAIR says is irreverent. This guy will be considered a hero to Islam in the Middle East. The news is reporting he’s still alive. It’s too bad he wasn’t sent to his virgins.

...

Islam has declared war on this country and want to bring the US to its knees while killing as many Americans as possible. Why let them have a free shot at our troops from within. Until the Koran is changed and promotes peace muslims should not be allowed to join the military or any other form of govt service. As for the shooter, when he is executed; bury him with a pig.

...

I sadly predict there will be more and more terrorist activities in this country and unfortunately BO has made it easier in so many ways for this to happen. Once again, we the people will have a decision to make, whether we want to live in a constant state of terror, not knowing if we and our families will be safe from these random acts of violence, or if we are going to take a stand against those who have sworn to kill us and transform our nation into an Islamic state under Sharia Law. The war is no longer in the middle east, the war is here in our country and we can now longer deny it. I’m sure the media will try to portray this as an “isolated” incident and not that of a jihadist, but the facts don’t bear that out. When you add up all the “isolated incidents” what you get is an organized movement that acts with intent and forethought. I for one believe the old adage “the best defense is a good offense”.

...

If our government don’t have the balls to send them back to where they came from………hey!! no problem, they can be buried right here ….in pig pens. Bring back the vigilantes
and start burning the mosques first.
And on and on - you get the idea.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Didn't take long

Our troll friend, Mark, posted this comment over at Mike's blog (emphasis mine):
The Religion of Peace (c) kills again.

1. This is far worse than if Muslims had busted through the gate in a suicide truck. This is an Army Major, a Muslim, murdering his comrades in arms. They have now infiltrated our army, and these three are only the tip of the iceberg. How many murderous Muslim terrorists are in our communities? Hundreds? Thousands? A majority of Muslims here in America? We certainly have the right of self-defense to find out.

2. Eight years. Eight years and this shit never had happened again on our own soil. Now it has. On Obama's watch.
x | Homepage | 11.05.09 - 4:30 pm | #
This is TexasFred-level stupidity and bigotry. Astounding.

I stopped on the way home from work this evening to pick up some radiator coolant for the car, and in the auto parts store some woman was yammering about Obama (of course the TV was on overhead with the Ft. Hood shooting being discussed) and something about "THIS is the change they wanted?"

God help us all.

"In other parts of the world..."

Any of you ever read The Cider House Rules? I can't recommend it highly enough; I read it for the first time (and re-read it many times thereafter - something I really don't do with most books) in the mid-1980s, and it still ranks as one of my favorite books of all time. The movie was not so hot, the book is absolutely outstanding - follow the Amazon link I provided and read some of the reader comments, you'll get the gist.

Anyway, in that book one of the characters, a man named Dr. Larch, keeps a journal and his entries always begin with one of two phrases: either "Here in St. Clouds.." or "In other parts of the world...", and I was reminded of that as I started to write this post.

"In other parts of the world" this is a fairly significant news item. Here in the US, not so much.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Holy Cow!

The total absence of ability for introspection in wingnuts never ceases to amaze me. Then again, it's entirely possible that this phenomenon reflects not an inability, but rather a sociopathic capacity for dishonesty that, given their audience, they feel free to exercise with impunity.

In WallyWingnutWorld

If Eric Erickson tells you it's going to be a sunny day, be sure to take your umbrella.

Apparently there were some elections last night

Good rundown of significant results across the country here thanks to Blue Texan at Firedoglake. Good news in New York, California and Washington - bad news in Maine, New Jersey and Virginia. And so it goes. In Texas, we passed a bunch of amendments to our mammoth state constitution.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Healing Arts


A friend sends me email - ghosts of my past life.

For Freewheel - Tour de Gruene

This is cool - for a town more famous for it's dance hall (I saw Susan Tedeschi there).

Dia de los muertos


Day of the Dead for you gringos out there.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween, over

Finally, around 9:00 it seemed that the trick-or-treaters had stopped ringing the doorbell. I checked up and down my street and most porch lights were off, things were quiet. So I blew out the candle in the jok-o-lantern and turned off my lights too. We had a pretty good turn out though I think not as many as last year, in spite of great weather and a full moon. I have a fair amount of candy left over which, unfortunately, won't last long! So now I'm going to fix myself a glass of wine and curl up on the couch to watch a little bit of late night horror shows and try to calm down my traumatized cats.

And, speaking of Halloween films, Dennis Hartley over at Hullabaloo has a great post up, the second half of which is called Creepy Lodgers and Seedy Inns: The 10 Worst Places to Check In at the Movies.

Halloween, The Day

Happy Halloween, everyone! Here's hoping that all the ghosties and goblins that visit you tonight are placated enough to leave you alone - I find that plenty of chocolate usually works. But here in cyberland, well who knows....

Thought you'd enjoy seeing a picture of this year's "jok"-o-lantern that will be scaring the poop out of all the little ghoulies in my neighborhood:


I'm sure their parents will appreciate that. To accompany, here's spooky music from Pink Floyd, along with really cheesy visuals:



Happy Haunting, all!

UPDATE: Wow - this makes Halloween almost like Christmas: Capmconnundrum has started a blog! Go check out all the great Halloween goodies to be found there...

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween, Day 5

Ohboyohboyohboy, getting closer! Today we are going to follow-up Screamin' Jay Hawkins Day with a slightly more esoteric pursuit, an examination of the most famous work by fauvist* Edvard Munch, The Scream:


And I can't recommend strongly enough a viewing of this wonderful documentary about the artist himself. The database entry has "TV" after the title, but I recall seeing it in the theater (and apparently I was one of a select few) sometime in the mid-seventies, and it has always stayed with me.

*At least I'VE always thought of him as a fauvist. So far, a brief Google research effort has not supported this contention, as most refer to him as a "Norwegian expressionist". I may have to investigate further.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

As midnight approaches...

...and we bring a close to Screamin' Jay Day, let's give a listen to Jay's signature scream:

Sick Scream

Still Screamin'

"Feeding the toxic asylum"

Digby makes a prediction. So, how much crazy is too crazy? When I said in my post below that I hope they keep this up, I was referring to the kind of lunacy that certain rightwing factions engage in that ends up backfiring on them. As we all know, they are also quite capable of lunacy that destroys everything in its path, including themselves.

Screamin' J

I hope they keep this up.

Because I just have a feeling that this can only be good for the cause of health care reform. Seriously, when these idiots let their freak flag fly, sane people - and I would LIKE to believe that means the majority of us - react with horror and disgust. Think Terri Schaivo.

UPDATE: Oh yeah, like I was saying.

UPDATE: Susan anticipates much hilarity with the Dueling Loony Show that is the upcoming Texas GOP primary gubernatorial race. Good times!

Halloween, Day 4

I hereby declare today Screamin' Jay Day! Now, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, as you may know, was a bit eccentric. And for his most famous song, I Put A Spell on You, he used to dress up in full witch doctor regalia which would be most appropriate for our theme this week. But given the recent unpleasantness concerning witch doctors, bones in noses and whatnot, I felt somewhat uncomfortable going in that direction on my blog. But there's plenty of Screamin' Jay that fits the bill for our purposes. Here's a start:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Eeeewwwwww.......

You could spend all day reading the "Steve, Don't Eat It!" series (and if you don't know what that is, then you DIDN'T follow the instructions from my last post, and you have to move to the front of the class next to Harvey Mussbaum who has allergies) and you won't ever find anything more nauseating than the antics of The Connecticut Manque. Personally, I think Driftglass wasted his effort on the photoshop. Joe's face is disgusting enough as it is.

UPDATE: My, my.

Tree Brains!

No Halloween Week would be complete without a visit to The Sneeze, and this year we are rewarded with The Saga of the Tree Brains:


You are encouraged - strongly - to browse around the site which entails following all the links provided and who knows where you will end up and what kind of trouble you will get yourself into, but what else is Halloween for, right?

And speaking of creeps

The most ghoulish of monsters of course are those who walk among us, and they are usually masters at maintaining an innocuous appearance. But really, one look at this asshole - especially in the setting where he was operating - would have set off all my red flags. Once again the godless public schools have proved what an utter failure they are!! Oh, wait.....

Halloween, Day 3

Let's start off the day with The Creepiest Doll Ever (and, frankly, the kids in this commercial are pretty creepy too):



H/T The Bloggess

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Charles Addams

My mother swears this is true: The first time anyone ever heard me laugh was when my older brother sneaked up on my crib, peeked over and scared the wits out of me by yelling "Boo!" Clearly, I was born with a twisted sense of humor, a truth which is borne out by my early fascination with the cartoons of Charles Addams. Addams' work appeared regularly in The New Yorker, a weekly magazine I grew up reading (Mom's cousin worked at their office in NYC so we received gift subscriptions every year for Christmas - I don't think my parents, staunch Republicans, would have bought it otherwise) first of course for the cartoons, then later for the fiction and film reviews, and much later for the political articles. So, Lord knows how old I was when I saw my first Charles Addams cartoon - all I know is that it was love at first sight for work such as this:

And this:

Addams, whose biography can be read here, is better known for his cartoons depicting the Addams Family, characters later developed for television and movies:

But to me, those venues, while fun, never did justice to the wit and intelligence of their creator.

The state of criminal law in Texas is, well, criminal.

Even publius, who is himself a law professor in Texas and therefore has been exposed to his full share of scoundrelism that our fair state is notorious for, is taken aback by the sheer sucktitude of Todd Willingham's defense attorney, David Martin. Martin has apparently seen fit to take to the airwaves recently and is certainly mounting a more vigorous defense of himself than that which he provided his client. To publius' comment:
Anyway, here you go people -- this is the face of criminal defense in Texas.
I would only add one qualification: This is the face of criminal defense of poor people in Texas. As is true in most places, if you've got money and/or influence, you can buy your way out of the death penalty. I think we should call it the George W. Bush Rule, formerly known as the O. J. Simpson Rule.

If only they'd ask us to stick around.

Atrios makes an observation that reminds me of this:

Halloween Week, Day 2


I don't think I'd trust THIS guy with a taser....

"Liberal" or....?

Digby quotes the Pantload:
"Obama's personal popularity is still sustaining him, but it seems to me that the Democratic Party missed an enormous opportunity. I don't think they're doomed or anything like that. But, they've managed to rebrand themselves as a very liberal party again, and that's a problem when 80% of Americans don't describe themselves as liberals"
then goes on to point out:
Unfortunately for Jonah, the Republicans have managed to rebrand themselves from an epic screw-up party to a batshit crazy party, and that's a problem when 99% of Americans don't describe themselves as epic screwups or batshit crazy. I'll take our chances.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Capital Ghost Story

Freewheel has written his best one yet! Made me cry...

Halloween Week begins!

Let's start off with a visit to Extreme Pumpkins and take a look at one of the winners in this year's Pumpkin Carving Contest, "The Swine Flu Pumpkin":

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rhyme time

There once was a man named Obama
Whose election caused wingnuts great trauma.
They ranted and raved
And became quite depraved,
Filling our lives with much drama.

ObamaNixon

There's an awful lot o' stupid going around.

Great, if not best evah, Shorter

Be sure and follow the link.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Official White House family portrait

Good job, Annie Liebovitz!

Not just movies

I love a good thriller in either book or movie form. I think at the top of my list of favorite thriller books would have to be The Bottoms by Texas writer extraordinaire, Joe Lansdale. Set in deep East Texas along the banks of the Sabine River in the 1930's, it's the story of a boy's coming-of-age as he tries to help his father, a small town constable, solve the mystery of a series of grisly murders. It's evocative of that other favorite classic, "To Kill A Mockingbird" in that it's told from the point of view of the children (the boy and his sister), has a sub-plot involving the town bogeyman which in this case is called "the Goat Man", and it deals with the rampant racism that characterize both the region and the period. Lansdale has a wonderful narrative style and is particularly skilled at depicting strong female characters. I met him once at the Texas Book Fair in Austin and told him that I liked this about his work saying something like, "Your women characters are so strong!" to which he responded, "Well of course - they're Texan!"

Two other good scary books that come to mind are "The Exorcist" and "The Shining" - do you have any that you would recommend?

UPDATE: Sandy Underpants, witmeister, has some more recommendations that sound really good, though not of the thriller variety.

Grab the popcorn and douse the lights!

Tonight on Turner Classic Movies, one of capmconnundrum's (and my) Halloween favorites is playing at 7 p.m. CST, "The Night of the Hunter":



There is much of interest to note about this little gem, such as Lillian Gish's wonderful performance as the matron of a safe haven, and the fact that this was Charles Laughton's only directorial attempt. Apparently he was so discouraged by the film's poor showing at the box office that he never tried it again, which is a darn shame.

Still waiting for Rush to file that libel lawsuit

Our wingnut friend Mark (who goes by many aliases) believes (see Comments) that the much-maligned Rush Limbaugh is owed an apology from the "liberal media" that told vicious lies about him and caused him to lose his bid to become a part-owner of an NFL franchise. In fact, Mark calls these lies "slanderous" and "a potential libel case" so Mark apparently has about as much understanding of law as the Liberty University graduates that the Bush administration stuffed the DOJ with - no surprise there. Still, we're wondering, since Mark is such an advocate for apologizing, if he agrees that maybe Rush himself owes a few.

UPDATE: For those of you who don't trust me after the last time I linked to a wingnut site and didn't warn you, THIS link takes you to our good friend and non-wingnut Mike's blog, so don't worry.

Polanski

I'll be very glad to see Roman Polanski serve his long-overdue time in jail. I'm as much a fan of his films as anyone, but the man drugged and raped a 13-year-old girl when he was in his 40's and no amount of fame or talent mitigates the sleaziness of that. Furthermore, his own cavalier attitude and clear lack of remorse indicate beyond a doubt that he deserves to be in jail, which is right where he is and where he will stay, thanks to a wise Swiss judge who denied his bail citing his flight risk. No duh. The BBC reports this morning that Polanski's lawyers are wrangling over whether or not to appeal the US request for extradition since such an appeals process can go on for many months. Fine, he stays in jail either way.

What I don't look forward to is the media circus that seems to always accompany such events. On the one hand, I think it's good for the US and its national press to witness a high profile figure being held accountable for his crime via our justice system. Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Washington press corps, you watching? On the other hand, our national appetite for reality TV-style navel-gazing is apparently insatiable and I dread the endless fawning, sickeningly solicitous interviews and exposes of both the perp himself and his victim (though for all I know she may welcome the monetary gain from exploiting her notoriety - whatever. I still hate it).

Still, it's good to see justice done. Better late than never. Maybe we won't wait so long to do the right thing to those responsible for doing to our country what Roman Polanski did to a 13-year-old girl.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night...

Don't know about where you are but last night we had thunderstorms. So my son and I turned out all the lights and watched one of my favorite thrillers of all time:



I saw this one in the theater when it came out when I was about 15 or 16 and it was, to put it mildly, a memorable experience! Sandy commented that Alan Arkin's character here ranks at the top of his list of scary bad men in films (along with Jack Torrence from "The Shining", among others), so I always enjoyed how Arkin spoke about playing this character in interviews like this one:



The biggest drawback of the film is the dickhead character of Sam, the husband. But that's so typical of the genre: The audience's experience of the victim's isolation is enhanced by the cluelessness, emotional and/or physical distance, or just plain absence of his/her support system. Still, many (including me) felt that Sam's reaction to Suzy's plight at the end of the film was a bit, er, odd to say the least.

So, getting ready for Halloween? Who's on your list of Top Badasses in scary movies?

UPDATE: I knew I had posted about "Wait Until Dark" before, so I decided to look it up and, sure enough, it was on Halloween last year! I even posted the same interview with Alan Arkin. Lord, am I predictable or what.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Because it's funny, that's why. Laugh, dammit!

This post is so dedicated to my ex-husband who never did seem to appreciate my, um, sense of humor. Yeah, that's it. My sense of humor!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shorts

This is Good.

This is Not Good.

The sounds of silence....

That sound of crickets chirping you hear over here at Beginning To Wonder isn't your imagination - it's just me with nothing to say. (Sorry Julie!) I'm pretty sure it's Crazy Fatigue. (H/T Digby)

So, has Anita Dunn been fired yet?

Also, I'm working myself up for the most awesomest ever Halloween week - brace yourselves!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Wonder how much they spent on that study

Republicans commissioned a study which concludes that their own base is nuts. Democrats responded with proposal for new program as part of ObamaCare.

Friday, October 16, 2009

They don't want to wait

If Obama manages to get through his first term without some part of the lunatic rightwing triggering major death and destruction, we will all be very, very lucky. Here's TexasFred today, citing Glenn Beck, no less:
When do we STOP this crap? When do WE stand and fight? When do we take America back from these un-American cretins?

Glenn Beck is fighting FOR this nation. Don’t you think that perhaps we too should join in this fight? Don’t you believe that America is going down a path that we will ALL regret?

Even with the possibilities of 2010 and 2012, does America have that much time to sit back and wait? Can we afford to wait? Do we absolutely need to take this nation back NOW? By force?

He lets them use his bathroom

Remember, we're the racists for Playing The Race Card in criticizing this asshole's behavior. And it's all Obama's fault.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"We are all Rush Limbaugh"

Hard to argue with that one. H/T Atrios.

UPDATE: Ruth urges me to warn readers that clicking on the "that one" link will take you to Red State. Caution advised!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Judge Justice

Donna reminds us that there has been the occasional blue oasis in our vast red wasteland.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Paul Simon

I had a hard time deciding on a single number to commemorate this artist (and, yeah, I could have posted several, but truth is I'm not THAT much of a fan). I love the whole Graceland album, and 50 Ways To Leave Your Lover, and Kodachrome, and he did some nice collaborations with Willie Nelson and Paul McCartney (not to mention these guys). But the harmony he achieved with Art Garfunkel lent such a beautiful poignancy to his wonderful lyrics, I had to go with an old favorite:



And, as a bonus, lyrics:
I am just a poor boy and my storys seldom told
Ive squandered my resistance for a pocketful of mumbles, such are promises
All lies and jest, still the man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest, hmmmm

When I left my home and my family, I was no more than a boy
In the company of strangers
In the quiet of the railway station, runnin scared
Laying low, seeking out the poorer quarters, where the ragged people go
Looking for the places only they would know

Li la li...

Asking only workmans wages, I come lookin for a job, but I get no offers
Just a comeon from the whores on 7th avenue
I do declare, there were times when I was so lonesome
I took some comfort there

Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than Ill be, thats not unusual
No it isnt strange, after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same

Li la li...

And Im laying out my winter clothes, wishing I was gone, goin home
Where the new york city winters arent bleedin me, leadin me to go home

In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him
til he cried out in his anger and his shame
I am leaving, I am leaving, but the fighter still remains
Yes he still remains

Li la li...

Corruption in Texas

Rick Perry is a liar, a murderer and all-round general sleazebag, just like his predecessor and most of the rest of the Texas GOP who share the same contempt for human life (beyond the blastocyst stage) and the rule of law. These two posts illustrate my case. An excerpt:
What's amazing is not so much that Perry replaced the panel members, but that he felt secure enough to be so brazenly corrupt about it. It's a sad reflection on the state of politics in Texas that a governor could commit such blatant whitewashing two days before the hearing.

Of course, his motive is fairly clear. Perry contributed to the execution of an innocent person. And the formal recognition that Texas executed an innocent man would trigger a massive political earthquake -- one that would clarify to an inattentive public the utter barbarity and immorality of Texas's criminal justice system.

So yes, I can understand Perry's motives. But it doesn't change the fact that he is acting in a profoundly immoral way. The whole thing reminds me of a banana republic dictator clumsily covering up his crimes.

But in addition to making me mad, I'm hopeful that this story will change some "hearts and minds." Specifically, I hope that social conservatives (particularly in Texas) take some time to reflect on the implications of the fact that Texas executed an innocent person -- and that Rick Perry is trying to cover it up. It's hard to think of something that more directly contradicts the "culture of life."

Monday, October 12, 2009

WATB

Have the wingnuts quit squealing like little 2-year-olds about how the Nobel Peace Prize isn't worth anything anyway SO THERE? Gawd what a bunch of insufferable little brats.

Apropos of Nothing

A little something for all my friends having to be at work today:
How I learned to mind my own business

I was walking past the mental hospital the other day.
All the patients were shouting, '13....13....13.'

The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks, so I looked through to see what was going on.....

Some crazy bastard poked me in the eye with a stick!

Then they all started shouting '14....14.....14'...

Progress

Must be a pretty good bill then.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Let's keep it up!

To all of you who responded to my TexasFred post below and the email I sent out to many of you, thank you! Today, Fred is ranting again and has posted another article from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about Mayor Ward and his joining the effort to close the gun show loophole. Fred even admits to being the person identified in the article as one Fred Witzell, whom poor Mayor Ward now says he "regrets" having called "dumb and ugly". I'm sorry he regrets that. Anyway, Fred ends his post today with this entreaty to us:
I hope ALL of you will go to the original story from the Star-Telegram and voice your wonderful opinions, let them know what YOU think of Mayor Richard Ward and his stand with MAIG!
Okay then! Let's let Mayor Ward and the Star-Telegram hear from us!

And Now For Something Completely Different

Greenwald be damned, Obama can never fall too far out of favor with me since I found out (H/T Sandy Underpants) that the man has such impeccable taste as to decorate his home with one of my favorite artists, Richard Diebenkorn! But yeah, I probably would have chosen something from the Ocean Park series:

Nobel Peace Prize to Obama

Wow, this is a surprise and, I suspect, a mixed blessing for Obama. There is bound to be lots of good (and bad - we certainly know where to look for THAT) commentary on this subject today, but I think Josh Marshall hit the right note for me this morning. And, shorter, Attaturk too, heh.

UPDATE: Ouch. Glenzilla The Shrill is, not surprisingly, a bit more scathing, and I find it hard to disagree. I wonder if this award might even serve to shame Obama into improving his record from here on out. There I go, being all Hopey again.

UPDATE UPDATE: It's early yet, I know, but this is my favorite wingnut response so far (H/T Firedoglake):
This makes three times, incidentally, in just seven years that the committee’s turned the Peace Prize into a “f*** Bush” award by bestowing it on a liberal American Democrat.
You betcha!

UPDATE AGAIN: Yeah, I knew it was too soon to talk about "favorites" - that category will undoubtedly be subject to updates for some time to come. Here's one. Meanwhile, here's some sanity:
Of course the Republicans are going to freak out. Our guy wins a Nobel Peace Prize after 9 months in office, primarily for tinkering with the worst excesses of the wars their guy started. That's humiliating. Humiliated Republicans lash out, news at eleven.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

"The country's favorite conveyor belt to the death chamber"

What a shining star is the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

Attack of The Cute

I had a close call the other night, y'all. The most adorable little girl who lives across the street from me and whose name is, I kid you not, "Angel", came over to show me her dog's two French Bulldog puppies that look EXACTLY like this:


I was totally ready to take the pair (brother and sister!) due to the fact that Angel told me that their price had "dropped" to $100. So, Angel may not be a rising star in the world of Finance. It seems that she got $100. and $1500. confused. Could happen to anyone! Unfortunately, now I'm spending sleepless nights trying to figure how I can take out a third mortgage on my home. I'm completely lost. My cats would be plotting my death if they knew what I was contemplating.

So I spent most of yesterday cruising the internet for pictures and info on "Frenchies" and I came across this site wherein a puzzling bit of trivia caught my eye (emphasis mine):
The French Bulldog was originally developed in England as a miniature version of the English Bulldog. In the 1860's, French dog breeders imported some of these very small Bulldogs from Great Britain and bred them with French Terriers. Streetwalkers in France greatly admired the imports and this led to the name French Bulldog. When the breed was eventually brought back to England for exhibition, the English made a big uproar about the name French Bulldog, since the Bulldog was originally an English Breed and because the Bulldog was a traditional symbol of English culture.
WTF???

UPDATE: From Wikipaedia:
As the new, smaller bulldogs gained popularity in France, they became favorites of the Parisian "Belles De Nuit" - the street walkers. One reason for this is that when strolled, the exotic looking dogs brought attention to their owner, and gave potential customers a legitimate reason to chat with her. Another is that the docile breed was content to nap for short stretches when brought to hotel rooms, without making a fuss. Breed historians can still sometimes turn up notorious "French Postcards" bearing images of scantily clad French prostitutes posing with their little "Bouledogues Fran├žais". The aura of notoriety that ownership of the little dogs conveyed made them a fashionable way for the well-to-do classes to show off how daring they could be, and they soon became favorites of the "artistic" set across Europe.

Photos dating to around this time show the Russian royal family posing alongside their French bulldogs, and they imported several of the little dogs from France. Other famous fanciers included Toulouse-Lautrec, the author Colette and King Edward VII.
That's it. I've got to have one.

Let's show some libber luv

After I wrote that last post, I sent off a quick email to Mr. Ward of Hurst, Texas, with a link to my blog and a "Kudos!" and asked him where I can send money to his reelection campaign. Here's the response I got this morning:
Ann,

I wish you were here. I would give you a big bear hug. I really needed your very kind email.

I have really taken a beating today from a group of bloggers. They are just like fire ants and never stop attacking. I will add your name to my list of supporters. The election is in May of 2010.

Richard Ward
Mayor
Fire ants, huh. Well, I say let's show Mayor Ward that there are sane people who have taken notice of his brave and principled position and fully stand behind his efforts to bring some badly-needed Reason to the discussion of gun control in our country. You can send him an email at: hurst@ci.hurst.tx.us or ward.richard@charter.net And tell him I sent you!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

And you call yourself a Texan!

Hooooo-eee! Meet Mayor Richard Ward of Hurst, Texas, who has become quite the burr in ol' TexasFred's saddle. Seems that Fred doesn't cotton to the Mayor's support for closing the infamous gun show loophole (see what all the fuss is about here) so Fred up and wrote a very civil, respectful, friendly, neighborly little email asking a simple question about why the Mayor would do such a thing:
from: TexasFred
to: hurst@ci.hurst.tx.us
date: Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 10:36 AM
subject: To the Office of The Mayor
mailed – by texasfred.com
hide details 10:36 AM (0 minutes ago)

How does it feel to be the ONLY Mayor in the entire state of Texas to sign on to this veiled attempt at a libber gun grab? I sincerely hope your constituents take you to the wood shed in your next election. You are a disgrace!

450 Mayors Petition Obama To Adopt Broad Gun Reform

TexasFred
http://texasfred.net/
Guns don’t kill people
People KILL People
See? Now how could anyone take offense at such a note? As Fred sez:
I didn’t attack Mr. Ward, I asked a question and I stated an opinion. And this is what I got back;
Behold:
from: Richard Ward – ward.richard@charter.net
to: texasfred@texasfred.com
date: Tue, Oct 6, 2009 at 11:23 AM
subject: Your latest drivel,
mailed – by charter.net
hide details 11:23 AM (31 minutes ago)

Texas Fred,
You are as ugly as you are dumb. I suggest you at least take your picture from your web site. If you want to see a handsome dude, go to the City Of Hurst web site. http://www.ci.hurst.tx.us./

As to your question, how does it feel to be the only Mayor in Texas to be a member of MAIG. It feels wonderful. At least one mayor has the guts (actually I preferred another word) to stand up for what is right. I am sending you an attachment that I put together. You will likely have to have your wife or child read it to you. It has some big words in it. But… have it read to you with an open mind and you might realize that we are all seeking the same thing. Get the criminals and illegal guns off the streets.

Richard Ward
Mayor
My, my! Guess who won't be invited to the next Million Man Rootin' Tootin' Teabaggin' Hullapalooza at Yosemite Sam's TexasFred's place.

I get email

From Gayle:

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Light posting

Apologies to all for light posting lately - sometimes life interferes. Meanwhile, for my new (hi Julie F!) and not-so-new (hi Cap!) Freethinking pals, here's one for you to enjoy.

Hey, did you hear that our We-Create-Our-Own-Reality crowd has decided to start at the beginning and rewrite the Bible? I predict that, once they're done with that, they'll take aim at that other notoriously liberal screed, the Constitution.

Friday, October 2, 2009