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.

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.
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.



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.

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


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

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


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.