Monday, September 24, 2012

"If they can't buy it, they will steal it"

Republican's cheat. Always have, always will - it's just how they roll.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Today's GOP: The Party of Rich Old White Guy Has-Beens

Clint Eastwood.   Really? Pretty sad.

Well, to be fair, Charlie Heston wasn't available......

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

On Lessons Not Learned

Once again, Charlie Pierce.

See the comments also, such as:

Sadly, I think the only lesson ever learned permanently from Watergate was the journalistic hack of attaching '-gate' to the poutrage of the day.




Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Today's Must Read

Journalism Edition. This is another edition of How Things Got This Way.

BTW, I did go see Dark Shadows with Son#1 and his girlfriend. It's a very silly movie, with some slow parts, and typical Burton excesses, but also some terrific gags, my favorite having to do with "macrame"....

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Dark Shadows

Can't wait to go see this latest Burton/Depp collaboration.

And this Andrew O'Hehir review sounds promising.  FWIW, a couple of points about that review, though. O'Hehir says:

If you’re too young to have seen the original “Dark Shadows” — which remained a daytime staple, in reruns, well into the 1980s, and is now available on DVD in (almost) its 1,245-episode entirety — or just aren’t wired that way, explaining its importance may not be possible. The main thing to point out is the immensely different cultural context in which the show emerged. Barnabas Collins predates not just “Twilight” and “True Blood,” but also Anne Rice’s “Interview With the Vampire” and the entire rise of the Goth sensibility. In the 1970s, vampires were something that only marginal weirdos who went to science-fiction bookstores and watched Hammer films like “Dracula: Prince of Darkness” knew about. People like the teenage Tim Burton, in other words. (Christopher Lee, who played Dracula in seven Hammer movies, has a cameo role here, at least his fifth performance for Burton.)
Many of us unlucky enough to be conscious during the 1970s were desperate for markers of cultural difference, and “Dark Shadows” offered a big one in the years before punk rock. If you were into that show, you probably listened to records by Alice Cooper and the Rolling Stones and the Velvet Underground. You read Tolkien, and Harlan Ellison. You also watched “Star Trek,” an extremely different kind of show with some odd similarities. (Each became more popular after their cancellation; each starred a Canadian Shakespeare actor — William Shatner and Jonathan Frid, respectively — who took a low-paying TV gig that would define the rest of his life.) You probably knew the guy in your town who sold Acapulco Gold and Panama Red.
I was watching the TV serial, Dark Shadows, in the years 1966-1967, when it came on after school at 4 pm, so a few years earlier than the time period that the movie parodies. Even so, the characterization of the typical viewer that O'Hehir describes above doesn't quite fit. E.g.:

1. "desperate for markers of cultural difference,"  Not me. I wasn't desperate because my "markers" were quite obvious. Furthermore, everyone I knew loved that show, including my mother who watched it with me! If anything, I would have watched it to fit in, not to be different. But I didn't - I just loved it.

2. "If you were into that show, you probably listened to records by Alice Cooper and the Rolling Stones and the Velvet Underground. You read Tolkien, and Harlan Ellison. "  Uh, nope. The Stones, sure - "Satisfaction" was just playing on the radio. But Alice Cooper? Ick. And I never heard of the Velvet Underground until I was in my 30's. As for reading, I was into murder mysteries, Agatha Christie being one of my favorites.

3. "You also watched “Star Trek,”" I liked it okay - but I did have a classmate who was a fanatical fan, and we all thought she was kind of weird.

4. "You probably knew the guy in your town who sold Acapulco Gold and Panama Red." Bingo! But, yeah, not until 1970....

Monday, May 7, 2012

On a lighter note today

Another Republican on the crowded Appalachian Trail.

Monday, April 30, 2012

What We've Become

This is how low we've sunk. Excerpt:
This has been probably the most chilling aspect of the new civil liberties regime over the last 12 years: it's not just what has been done in our name--that's bad enough--but that what was done has been justified so openly. It's not as if the American government hasn't since its inception done some truly awful things in its past by people who justified to themselves, like Mr. Rodriguez, that they were doing it all for flag and country. But at least in the past such people had enough shame to know they should at least keep it under wraps and classified. J. Edgar Hoover, terrible as he was, at least knew better than to proudly make public his operations.

But when torture becomes a matter of national public policy and men like Mr. Rodriguez proclaim it proudly on national television rather than from behind cell bars, we have a different order of problem entirely. And the onus for that problem lies not just with our elected officials, but with all of us as a society. After all, once it's on 60 Minutes it's not as if we can turn our heads and pretend we didn't know.
That's exactly right.

E. L. Doctorow has some related thoughts.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Don't know how much longer I'll be blogging

Blogger appears to be changing and tells me that I won't be able to update this blog unless I do something-or-other, which I've tried to do, but, well.... Anyway, should something happen and I'm no long able to write at this site, I'll probably try to do something else. Who knows! Hows that for Vague??? I never had any intention of stopping - just often find myself without much to add to the current conversation. I will keep this blog going as long as the server lets me.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The NRA rules their world - and ours

First read this, then this. We are so screwed.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Wanker of the Decade via Atrios

Duncan Black has done yeoman's work assembling this list of the decade's ("Decade" defined as the last 10 years that Atrios has been blogging) wankiest wankers.

It's a great piece of work, culminating today with WANKER OF THE DECADE and should be read in its entirety.

Also, too, throw some cash love his way. He deserves it!

Monday, April 2, 2012

"Unzip him"

Ann Romney wants us to know that her husband is NOT "too stiff"!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Who will Romney choose as VP?

CW appears to be that one chooses a VP to appeal to a demographic that one is weakest with. For Romney, this would seem to be the entire Republican base, who hates his guts with the passion of a thousand suns. And, too, women. So, who should he pick? Palin (It worked so well last time!)? Bachmann (too nuts? Is that possible?)? Frothy (too disgusting? Is that possible?)? Or some fellow corporate-sponsored cyborg like Paul Ryan (too happy in his current job?)? This is fun speculation - anyone out there have an opinion?

Friday, March 16, 2012

It's Not Greenwald's Fault

I get tired of the sniping at Greenwald by lefty bloggers who leap like yapping dogs every time he points out Obama administration abuses and/or failures. Seems to me there's a certain shoot-the-messenger tribalism at work in their protests. Barbara O'Brien has opined that those who have been disappointed in Obama's presidency thus far are naifs who had unrealistic expectations of him to begin with. I think that's probably true in some quarters, but I don't think it applies to Greenwald and it doesn't apply at all to the truths that Rude Pundit points out here.

We need a better Democratic Party, and liberals need a much better voice than the one Obama has offered thus far. I don't know how to achieve that except to continue to support better candidates and speak out on issues I care about. I don't think it helps the Democratic Party (or our country) to "punish" them by allowing Republicans to come back into power, though, so for sure I'll be voting for Obama this fall and encouraging other liberals to do the same. Democrats may be hapless and inept - and the system they all participate in is massively corrupt - but Republicans are just fucking insane and they must not be given positions of power in our government.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Winning Strategy

You know, if Mittens adopted this strategy, even I might vote for him! Okay, no. But still.

America's Barbaric Racism

Via Firedoglake, I found this amazing spot-on commentary at a site called Black Agenda Report. But what I found really interesting was the sidebar on the right, listing other essay topics, and noting how decisively anti-Obama they are. Yikes. I'm bookmarking that site for sure.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Dummification

Two posts about the religious right assault on public education, something we here in Texas are all too familiar with:

Paul Krugman, and

Rachel Tabachnick.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pictures, Words, what are they worth?

This image might turn that old adage on its ear.

And furthermore: TBogg.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Andrew Breitbart

Dead. If you're looking for a tribute, go somewhere else.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Someone else who would make Santorum throw up

Barry Goldwater, whose statements 40 years ago comprise today's Ouote of the Day from the Texas Freedom Institute:
Goldwater had a different view. “Mark my word,” he said four decades ago. “If and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me.”
Ah, for those Golden Days of Yesteryear when some semblance of sanity could be found in the Republican Party.

And guess who else would have Frothy reaching for the Pepto Bismol: The Founders.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Virginia backs down

Good. And good for the activists who sounded the alarms and worked to bring about this result: Thank you!

Dan Savage's gift that keeps on giving

One of Digby's readers had a catch, and I saw a headline on a newsfeed earlier today that said: Santorum Surges. Yeah, ew. But hey, the endless stream (oh, ew) of ridicule and infamy that this internet joke has spawned is so very richly deserved.

While I'm at it, I might as well just divert all (!) my traffic today over to Digby's place. She has two more posts up that I'd like to draw your attention to:

First, this one from David Atkins, part of which includes this:
This is a man who is absolutely terrified that someone, somewhere, might be having more fun and staying truer to themselves than he is. And he's bound and determined to stop it. He desperately needs a good psychiatrist to talk through whatever repressed, latent urges he's feeling and bring them out in a more healthy way.

On a broader note, it's mind-boggling that the same people who are obsessed over what two or more people might be doing consensually and harmless in their bedrooms or at a music concert, hurting no one and enjoying themselves, are utterly unconcerned with the horrific damage done by billionaire greedheads who pollute and impoverish entire nations simply to buy a few more yachts and private jets. It's repulsive moral perversion of the highest order, and sane observers shouldn't be afraid to call it that for fear of offending their delicate sensibilities.

Something is really, really wrong with these people. Not just the politicians, but their supporters, too.
And this, from Digby herself.

So, yeah, Thank You Dan Savage!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

"Religious Freedom"?

That phrase, I do not think it means what you think it does.

Happy Valentine's Day!

I know. It's a crappy, stupid holiday. But I love you all! So, here's Paul to sing it for me:

Monday, February 13, 2012

If everyone, including non-believers, doesn't have "religious freedom", then none of us do.

A San Antonio judge had some choice words for rightwingers that he had to contend with during a court case addressing prayer in a local public school. My local Freethinkers group was proudly supportive of the family that sued Medina Valley ISD, and I couldn't help but admire them all. It's far too easy to throw up one's hands in despair, given the overwhelming social pressure in these small Texas towns to conform - I think one would need to be prepared to move. At my son's high school graduation last June, the level of aggressive smugness with which the Boerne ISD school superintendent delivered his official "prayer", both before AND after the ceremony, and the wild applause the crowd rewarded him with each time, were just staggering. In these circumstances, it's easy to feel hopeless.

Regarding the recent flap about birth control, and the Obama administration "compromise" - I think it remains to be seen whether or not this turns out to be a good move. I don't think any ground should be given to the American Taliban, but Amanda Marcotte seems to think they got pwned on this particular episode. We'll see - I have my doubts.

Whitney Houston, RIP

Somewhere on this blog, quite awhile back, I mentioned something about not caring all that much about Whitney Houston's work. I was an admirer of her mother, Sissy Houston (of the Sweet Inspirations), and of course of her other relative (cousin, aunt? I can't remember), the wonderful Dionne Warwick. And I prefer Dolly Parton's version of her own song, I Will Always Love You, because - to me - Whitney's version, while technically impressive, seems to lack the emotional depth that Dolly brought to that song.

OTOH, there was no denying Whitney's raw talent and powerhouse of a voice, and the news of her death yesterday made me very sad for a life cut short way too soon. I'm not a close follower of Celebrity Tabloid gossip, but I gathered that Whitney has made a number of bad choices in her life and that, apparently (certainly not the fact that she was, you know, BLACK - no certainly not!), has triggered a fresh torrent of rightwing bile the likes of which we haven't seen since, well, since Barack Obama was elected. I wish I could say that I was shocked. These are the things we need to point out when some idiot starts blathering about our "postracial" society. My ass.

Anyway, for a better tribute to this beautiful and sad young woman, go here.

UPDATE: Just for grins, I checked to see what Texas-libberscallmeracist-Fred had to say about this and you will be absolutely notstunned to discover that he is right on board with the rest of the lunatics in his tribe, with a long post about what a crack ho Whitney Houston was and how only the Liberal Media would waste print on such trash while ignoring the Real Story which is that a soldier died in Afghanistan. Seriously.

RELATED, OF COURSE: I mean, really. Is it my aging imagination, or did this crap used to be much more "under the radar"? Certainly most sentient human beings understood that racism didn't disappear after the civil rights movement of the 60's, but became less socially acceptable, less talked about in polite circles. It just seems so much more brazenly out in the open these days.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Color me skeptical

I don't know if Planned Parenthood will actually get their funding back, but I would say that this episode has been a huge PR (not to mention fundraising)bonanza for them. Thank you Komen!

Update: Ohgod, the comments to this post are hysterical. Sample:
actor212 says:
February 3, 2012 at 12:34 pm
So, is it safe to say that Komen has aborted this policy?

"They screw things up"

Wow. TexasFred, meet NevadaKent. Y'all might have been separated at birth!

Wingnuts keepin' it klassy

See here.

Ya, cuz the forced-childbirth groups don' know nuttin' bout "throwing political bombs", do they.

Oth, I am definitely getting this printed up for my office wall, just to irritate the wingut in the next cubicle over who has NRA and "Choose Life" posters plastered all over his. Ya, that's me - crying a river.

H/T Balloon Juice and see TBogg here too.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Boycott Komen

Okay, so we've just learned that the Komen Foundation is now as relevant to women's health as the term "pro-life" is to, well, actual life. Articles abound, but two really good ones are here and here, and TBogg tells you what you can do about it here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

In that case, double it.

Texas Democrats are demanding that Rick Perry repay the State of Texas for the taxpayer money he spent running for President which is estimated to be 2.5 million, all told. Perry, of course, is refusing but his grounds for refusing are noteworthy: He claims that the expenses are legitimate because he was "representing the State of Texas."