Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President

Top Ten Ways To Tell Your President & His Party Aren't Fighting For Health Care For Everybody

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"America the Great ... Police State"--Gore Vidal

For those of us who had hoped that the Obama administration would present us with a rebirth of the old republic that was so rudely erased a few years ago by that team of judicial wreckers, Bush and Gonzales, which led, in turn, to a recent incident in Cambridge, Mass. that inspired a degree of alarm in many Americans. But what was most alarming was the plain fact that neither the president nor a “stupid” local policeman seemed to understand the rules of behavior in a new America, where we find ourselves marooned as well as guarded (is that the verb?) by armed police who have been instructed that they are indeed, once armed, the law and may not be criticized verbally or in any other way and are certainly not subject to any restrictions as to whom they arrest or otherwise torment.

This is rather worse than anyone might have predicted, even though the signs have been clear for some years that ours is now a proto-fascist nation and there appears to be no turning back; nor, indeed, much awareness on the part of our ever-alert media. Forgive me if you find my irony heavy, but I too get tired of carrying it about in “the greatest nation in the country,” as Spiro Agnew liked to say.

But the true meaning of the mess in Cambridge has been carefully avoided by a media incapable of getting the point to anything if they can excitingly change the subject to something else. So here we now have a cast of characters that includes the president himself, a distinguished scholar and a feckless young policeman who on the radio said, when asked why he had behaved so rudely to the “old” scholar, he said because the old guy had been rude about his mother. I haven’t heard this excuse since the playground of St. Alban’s in 1935.

What the police in their ignorance have not figured out is that they have lost all credibility since World War II. They are sort of parasites on the fringe of society and do no particular good for anyone except possibly themselves. Certainly to hear them complain—you’ve never heard such whines as from a policeman who feels he’s been wronged! Apparently, all Earth owes him a living, and he’s the bravest man on any block.

You can read the essay in its entirety at

The Joint Public-Option Single-Payer United Front |

The Joint Public-Option Single-Payer United Front |

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

email to Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Dear Dr. Gates,

I do not blame you for being outraged by your arrest. From the news stories I read Sergeant James Crowley's reaction was out of proportion to the situation.

But do I think his actions reflect any racism on his part. Well...technically no. And I will get to that below.

If there was any overt racial profiling involved in your recent arrest it was on the part of the neighbor who called the Cambridge Police Department when she saw, "...two black males with backpacks on the porch," with one "wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry." (Melissa Trujillo, AP) Your neighbor owes you and apology...and then some.

However, what Sgt. Crowley arrested you for was "contempt of cop." Now as my cursory research shows me, African American men are arrested for "contempt of cop" at higher rates than whites, but I was almost arrested for contempt of cop myself last winter! This happened after I had spent two hours of struggling with a software problem on my computer, I decided to take a long walk.

During my walk the credit union where I do my "banking" was robbed by a white, male wearing sunglasses, a baseball cap and hooded jacket. Guess what I was wearing.

Anyway, as I was making the last leg of my walk home I noticed a larger number of police and Sheriff's cars than usual in my neighborhood. I had just crossed the intersection of a major street when the "Neighborhood Patrol" officer of the Des Moines PD pulled his SUV over to the side of the street where I was walking and haled me:"Where are you going?"

"Home!," I truthfully answered.

"You know a bank's just been robbed?"

"How would I know that, I was out on a walk!"

"You fit the robber's description," because, he said I had a narrow face, white hair and was wearing a hooded jacket, ball cap and sunglasses.

This particular bank robber had been caught on camera at an earlier robbery where it was established the man was well over 6 foot tall. I'm 5'6". And I told the officer so. He replied,"You know eye witnesses are unreliable."

Long story short, this went on for five minutes or so, during that time a local business waddled up and offered his two-cents worth that I did, indeed, match the description of the robber. During this time the office threatened me with arrest more than once. Noting that I was "feisty."

What saved me from arrest was that the cop radioed in a description of me and what I was wearing. Fortunately, besides being several inches shorter, my hooded jacket and cap were not the same colors as the robber's clothing. So I was allowed to go my merry way home. Undoubtedly had I been African American, different color clothing or not, I probably would have been cuffed and taken for a ride downtown. Needless to say, I was pissed and wanted to call in a complaint to the police and my city council man. But upon reflection that would have been futile. However, I have heard the words "arrogant" and "asshole," used by neighborhood businessmen with whom I trade, describing our "Neighborhood Patrol" officer.

I think your arrest goes beyond merely being an issue of white cop-black civilian man. I feel there is a systemic problem with our civilian polices forces throughout the nation. In the recent past two small town Iowa police officers, actually one was the chief, were tried, convicted and sentenced for rape. This has become especially acute since the founding of the Milton J. Friedman All Volunteer Force in 1973, since most police departments recruit officers directly out of the military. I have no remedy for the situation but as long as police officers, especially white police officers, feel that they are somehow apart and above those whom they are sworn to "protect and service" then arrests such as your's will continue.

I'm glad all charges, spurious as they were, were dropped.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Of Henry Louis Gates, Jr., asshole cops and Al Sharpton

Geezus, read this:
BOSTON — Supporters of a prominent Harvard University black scholar who was arrested at his own home by police responding to a report of a break-in say he is the victim of racial profiling.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. had forced his way through the front door of his home because it was jammed, his lawyer said Monday.

Cambridge police say they responded to the well-maintained two-story home near campus after a woman reported seeing "two black males with backpacks on the porch," with one "wedging his shoulder into the door as if he was trying to force entry."

The woman, Lucia Whalen, is the circulation and fundraising manager at Harvard Magazine, a news and alumni magazine affiliated with the school. The magazine's offices are down the street from Gates' home.

Here we have a case of racial profiling, but not by the police. The racial profiler in this instance was the woman who called police after seeing two black men with backpacks...yaddy-yaddy-yaddah, Lucia Whalen. Ms Whalen is white. Liberal hypocrisy rears its ugly head in what the local wing nut wags refer to as "The People's Republic of Cambridge." The bitch owes Mr. Gates a very large apology...and then some.

But what about the cop, Sargeant James Crowley of the Cambridge, MA police? Is he guilty of racial profiling?

Technically, I don't think so.

But what I do think Sgt. James Crowley is guilty of is being an asshole cop. And by asshole cop, the vast majority, I mean a guy, usually, who just because he wears a black uniform, carries a sidearm, mace, maybe a taser and whatnot thinks he's king of the world. You, guilty or not, are his serf in that instant and will obey all his commands whether they seem reasonable or not from your perceptive.

Now real criminals don't have any trouble understanding this relationship. But we law abiding citizens do. According to The New York Times:
According to his lawyer, Professor Gates told the sergeant that he lived there and showed his Massachusetts driver’s license and his Harvard identification card, but Sergeant Crowley still did not seem to believe that Professor Gates lived in the home, a few blocks from Harvard Square. At that point, his lawyer said, Professor Gates grew frustrated and asked for the officer’s name and badge number.

Professor Gates followed him outside, the report said, and yelled at him despite the sergeant’s warning “that he was becoming disorderly.” Sergeant Crowley then arrested and handcuffed him. Professor Gates was held at police headquarters for hours before being released on his recognizance.

Now here's where I say, "What the fuck! Did you really have to arrest the guy, Sgt. Crowley?"

No, Crowley didn't.

In fact: (CNN) -- A prosecutor is dropping a charge against prominent Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. after Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the city's police department recommended that the matter not be pursued.

So cooler heads prevailed but not after the Cambridge, MA police department made itself look like a bunch of Southern nedneck sheriffs and until Al Shapton:
called Gates' arrest "an outrage of no small implication."

"I have heard of driving while black and even shopping while black, but now even going to your own home while black is a new low in police community affairs," said Sharpton, who is vowing to attend Gates' Aug. 26 arraignment.
Al Shapton is the last guy Professor Gates needs in his corner. Whenever this fried, dyed and laid to the side clown make the scene, the right wing bloviators lick their chops in hopes he'll say something they can work into their "pity the poor, privileged white guy" meme. So thankfully, no arraignment, no soapbox for Al Sharpton to pontificate on. And no "white" backlash.

I don't blame Professor Gates for being pissed. After all the guy gets home from a trip to China, he's probably tired after a long flight, which I know makes me cranky, and he can't get into his house. The next thing he knows some asshole of a cop is on his porch hassling him.

I'd be pissed too and I'd probably react just like Professor Gates.

And from a guy like Professor Gates' prospective, an African American scholar whose major works deal with racism in America, he will naturally react to perceived racism.

I see nothing but an asshole cop.

If this country had fewer asshole cops there would be fewer incidents like Professor Gates'.

Monday, July 20, 2009

More "poor" Paula....bleech

Here's an update to yesterday's post concerning the American Idol "judge" Paula Abdul and her whining campaign for a bigger slice of the American Idol-pie.

That paragon of American journalistic excellence, People magazine is polling its online readers on the question: Should Paula Abdul come back as a judge on American Idol?

Here's a sample of the comments

  • Silkrose July 20th, 2009

    Yes, she should be back. I would miss her.

  • barbara July 20th, 2009

    i love Paula. Yeah….. whatever she & the CEO’s decide. I, for one, would LOVE HER TO COME BACK. but it’s out of my hands ~~~ GO PAULA….”"” YOU “”" ARE THE FASHION DIVA~~~~~~~~~~

  • nichol July 20th, 2009

    If Paula goes, im not watching and im asking my friends to do the same.. They brought Kara in hoping we’d get use to her and it would be ok to dump Paula but i dont think so..

  • Michelle July 20th, 2009


  • SA July 20th, 2009

    Paula is AMAAAAZING… our generation just sucks so we don’t appreciate such artists from the past. She should be back!
  • I could go on but what's the point. You'll notice the major of posters seem to be female and young.

    And scattered throughout the comments are some very pointed remarks, almost to the point of hatred, on new "Idol" judge Kara DioGuardi, a woman whom I, and I suppose anyone, knew anything about until her addition to the "Idol" judging staff. Though Ms. DioGuardi does have at least one fan

    Danielle July 20th, 2009

    I think Kara is a good judge. She actually makes sense, unlike Paula. I think Paula should have been gone a while ago and the addition of Kara was a smart one. Honestly I have to fast forward on my DVR every time Paula talks because I literally cannot watch her. She makes me cringe. I find that she says the same things over and over again and I also think she takes whatever Kara says and paraphrases in her own jumbled words. It’s time for Paula to move on so this show can continue to thrive.
    And one "Idol" fan does get the equation right

    Valerie July 20th, 2009

    First, this is just a ploy by Abdul to get more money and more press…

    Secondly, if they are going to have a singer as a judge, they should at least be able to sing. Abdul couldn’t sing her way out of a paper bag unless it was over-engineered with too much reverb and dubbing, etc.

    Get someone in there who knows what they are talking about and has something constructive to say.
    Yes, this is all bullshit publicity engineered to boost the ratings of Fox television's flagship program. A leaking flagship that is set to crash on the rocks of bloated salaries, inflated egos and diminishing amateur talents.

    But the saddest fact of the "People" piece is those who are defending some one who clearly does not need defending. Ms Abdul will get her money and the stupid show will go on.

    But in the skinner-box that is early twenty-first century America, the pigeons are dancing to the tune paid for by Wall Street's elite. As long as the unwashed remains fixated on the comings and goings of "celebrities," whom the right wing bloviating class labels "Hollywood liberals" and "liberal elite," then the folks who brought you the Dot Com-bubble, the housing-bubble and the TARP bailout-bubble will happily continue in their criminal ways.

    The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure: From the Vietnam to the Afghan Quagmire

    The War on Drugs and the Politics of Failure: From the Vietnam to the Afghan Quagmire

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    Sunday, July 19, 2009

    Over paid, under worked and distorting the economy

    Today's title can describe any mass-market entertainer in the Western world today, including your favorite professional athlete. If there has been any force over the past thirty to forty years which has distorted the industrialized world's economy it is the inflated salaries of mass-market entertainers.

    The trend is particularly acute here in the good, ol' USA. Why else would "aging" soccer star, or "footballer" as they call them across the pond, David Beckham sign a $250 million contract with the L.A. Galaxy, a struggling Major Soccer League (MSL) franchise in a "major" market? Certainly it wasn't for the shear love of the sport.

    But overpaid, aging sports superstars isn't the topic of today's rant, overpaid, under worked aging pop entertainers is: To wit one Paula Abdul.

    It seems that the 47-year-old singer-dancer is in a bit of a snit:
    Paula Abdul may not return to “American Idol” for a ninth season, her manager claimed in a new interview with the Los Angeles Times.

    “She’s not a happy camper as a result of what’s going on. She’s hurt. She’s angry,” David Sonenberg, the “Idol” judge’s manager, told the newspaper on Friday.

    Sonenberg, who said that he became Abdul’s manager just weeks ago, at the end of June, added that he has yet to receive a proposal for a new contract for Abdul., July 19, 2009
    It seems that the "I'm not a pill popper" ex-pill popper is miffed that non-singing, non-dancing American Idol fluffer, Ryan Seacrest has pinned a $45 million, three-year deal to continue hosting the show. Allegedly the $15 million-a-year Seacrest is numbered among the "producers" of the hit Fox television "reality" show, being the rational for the big bucks. Seacrest, by the way, is the perfect right wing/libertarian/coordinator class personality Fox parent company, News Corp, owner and CEO Rupert Murdoch trawls for: White, suburban, two-parent household--daddy's an attorney, momma's a trophy wife--boy, who never did a lick of hard physical labor for a buck in his life though he will tell anyone who cares, and many who don't, that, now that James Brown's in the cold, cold ground, he's the hardest working man in show business. In short, Glenn Beck without the personality.

    But of course this turn of events did not set well with Ms Abdul. Well, boo-hoo-hoo. I'd be happy getting a tenth of whatever Abdul gets for publicly making a stunning, middle-aged ass of herself on TeeVee.

    But why should anyone care?

    Ms. Abdul has fans who care and, like the aging diva, think she's getting a raw deal from Fox. And it is because of her fans that I care. So distorted has America's values become that legions of teenaged welfare-moms, minimum-wage divorced mothers and assorted under-paid and unemployed or under-employed fans think that it is just O.K. that a middle-aged woman with so-so singing and dancing abilities is remunerated beyond her true level of talent. In a sane world Paula Abdul would be making a decent in a Vegas lounge.

    In a sane society Paula Abdul would be a nobody, but she is not. In all likelihood, should she follow through with her threat to quit the top-rated American Idol, she will sink into the obscurity she so well deserves so this is only a well coordinated stunt to get a few extra coins in her purse.

    But we do not live in a sane least in the middle latitudes of North America. We honor and reward people for who they are, or were, rather than what they do. The only intrinsic thing that a Paula Abdul or a Ryan Seacrest does is make it possible, merely by being face-talent for a wildly popular television show, for Rupert Murdoch to remain obscenely rich. As long a King Rupert gets his substantial cut, more than likely Ms Abdul will be back on the American Idol panel with her equally over paid and under worked colleagues.

    We Americans are conditioned to believe that the professional athlete, the television actor and the movie star is worth oodles of cash because he or she is the best at whatever it is that he or she does. This may or may not the case, the scale usually falls on the "not" side of the register.

    There will always be a certain amount of income inequity in any economic and political system. Perhaps this is a good thing too. But what the enormous salaries of the superstar professional athlete, TeeVee personality and movie actor do is provide cover for the even larger, more obscene amounts of money their ultimate bosses in the corporate boardrooms receive. After all even Oprah works for some one else.

    If anything, our over paid, under worked entertainment superstars are part of the minor nobility, along with doctors, lawyers and the occasional reservation-casino Indian chief, in what is evolving into a "free market" capitalist version of feudalism. The Rupert Murdochs of the world are our petty kings, their sons heirs apparent, and all the rest of the Wall Street nobility our petty princes, dukes, counts, barons and so on down the line. For the rest of us the future looks bleak indeed.

    After all, say our modern kings and princes of finance, labor is a fungible commodity. And as long as the unwashed can remain deluded that it matters more to them that a Paula Abdul is paid millions per year for setting at a desk, judging the talented as well as talentless, than what Walmart pays them to stock shelves, mop-up puke and chase down shopping cart all will be right with the world.

    Randall Terry warns of ‘potential violence’ if health care reform passes

    Randall Terry warns of ‘potential violence’ if health care reform passes

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    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Michael J. Petrilli: Sarah Palin, anti-intellectualism, and the plight of the liberal arts

    Michael J. Petrilli: Sarah Palin, anti-intellectualism, and the plight of the liberal arts

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    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    Killing the bunny

    I just killed my bunny. Well, he was no more my bunny than the robins, sparrows and house finches who flock around my back yard. But he was my bunny in that I became attached to him...or the few brief weeks of his life.

    When we first saw him he was so very small we thought he must be orphaned. Perhaps his mother had been killed by one of the neighborhood feral cats so the little guy was left to fend for himself. I don't know when baby bunnies are weened so perhaps momma kicked him and his brothers and sisters out to fend for themselves as momma bunnies have done for millions of years in the scheme that evolution has laid out for them.

    But, today, I had to kill him.

    I liked to watch bunny creep from out the great hosta leaves in my back yard. I watched as he munched grass and, once in awhile much to my chagrin, a few leaves of white Nancy. When he was out back I was careful to talk to him, letting him know I was around, and he didn't seem afraid.

    But just about an hour ago, for whatever reason, I looked out my front door and saw bunny in the jaws of my cat. He was hurt I could tell, quite possibly dying. I was angry with the cat.

    I made her drop it. Then when I saw bunny was yet alive, though life was ebbing away, I ordered her to finish him off. She could not. My temper got the better of me. I picked up the cat, took her in the house and yelled at her. I chased her up stairs into the bedroom, were she is at this moment, hiding from her daddy's rage underneath the bed.

    My neighbors hear the commotion. They wanted to help. They wanted to take bunny to an emergency pet hospital but it was already too late.

    I tried picking up bunny with my Gopher grabber, a reach extension tool hawked by the late Billy May. Bunny was too big and limp however so I put on a pair of suede winter gloves, picked bunny up in my two hands and took him back to the hosta garden where he lived. Then I gently as I could smothered his nose until he stopped breathing and buried him a a shallow grave.

    Or so I thought.

    I just now looked out my back window and, were I a superstitious man, I would think I am seeing ghosts. But no, it's bunny. My bunny. I know it's my bunny because he didn't run when I went outside and talked to him.

    The cat is also forgiven. She is back on her place on the front porch.

    Funny. When I thought the bunny I had to euthanize was my resident back yard bunny I was filled with rage, regret and a touch of sadness. Now that I know, however, that I was just another in a long line of bunnies the old cat has instinctually killed over the years all that has lifted.

    Monday, July 13, 2009

    Et tu, Tom?

    As you can tell from the post below I am not a fan of "cap-and-trade." Yet however weak it may be for cleaning up carbon pollution, and strong for lining the pockets of the Wall Streets assholes who fuck up this "free market economy" on a regular basis and get away with it, it may be better than doing nothing.

    Well don't tell that to our good U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, liberal hypocrite when it comes to environmental issues. Here's what the late-Paul Wellstone's bestest buddy said of the "cap-and-trade" bill crawling out of the U.S. House:"The fact is the House bill, I think, does disproportionately hurt some of our Midwestern states, and we're going to have to get that rectified in the Senate[.]"

    In other words my "liberal" Democratic U.S. Senator is standing in the schoolhouse door to protect one of the major air polluters in the country, MidAmerican Holdings, parent company of my utility company MidAmerican Energy,q.v. Des Moines Register, June 14, 2009.

    In a news story by Thomas Beaumont in this morning's edition of The Des Moines Register:
    Sens. Tom Harkin and Charles Grassley both have senior roles on committees related to energy policy, and they both say the House-passed bill unfairly penalizes Midwestern utilities and faces long odds in the Senate.

    That hasn't stopped MidAmerican Energy Co. from conducting an ad campaign criticizing Iowa Democrats' support for the bill in the House. The utility says the bill would require it to raise rates in order to comply with provisions aimed at lowering carbon emissions.

    U.S. Reps. Leonard Boswell, Bruce Braley and Dave Loebsack say they backed the bill despite reservations because they were happy with changes that helped farmers and rural electric co-operatives. Boswell and Braley described MidAmerican's ads, in print and on the air, as misleading and intended to justify a rate increase.
    Well, jesus christ, Blue Dog Boswell and Braley just may be on to something. And why would this "investor owned"--Omaha-based billionaire Warren Buffett being the most major investor--utility company and polluter of Iowa skies seek a rate increase? Back to Beaumont's news story:
    The bill would require utilities to obtain government allowances for the amount of heat-trapping carbon they emit. The number of allowances granted would be reduced over time, to compel power companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

    Half of these carbon credits would be awarded based on a company's emissions, and the other half would be awarded based on its annual sales.

    Some large companies such as Seattle City Light, which provide emissions-free electricity to millions of customers, would be allowed more credits than they need, according to the formula.

    MidAmerican, which operates mainly coal-fired power plants, would need to buy credits on a regulated market. The utility, the state's largest electricity provider, had fewer than 550,000 residential customers in Iowa last year.
    In other words, MidAmerican will be a big loser in the "cap-and-trade" shell game. Warren's good investment doesn't look so good now. I mean he's in the business of making money from making money and if MidAmerican has to actually use some of its capital to invest in clean(er) electricity generation the value of its stock may take a temporary nose dive. We can't have that, can we? That must be why the "obsessively, relentlessly at your service" MidAmerican has been asking its customers to kick in a buck or ten for renewable energy for the past five years or so.

    Well, fuck Warren Buffett and the Dairy Queen he rode in on.

    And the usually reliable Beaumont either sallowed MidAmerican's, "we're just a li'l, ol' ma and pa Iowa utility company" bullshit or he was too lazy to "Google" MidAmerican Energy Holdings. Hell, the figure Beaumont quotes "...the state's largest electricity provider, had fewer than 550,000 residential customers in Iowa last year[,]" seems suspiciously low.

    Oddly enough, while the Des Moines-based company keeps mum about the real number of its Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois customers, it has no problem telling anyone with enough dough to buy a big block of its holding company stock that subsidiaries PacifiCorp has 1.7 million customers in Oregon, California, Washington, Utah and Idaho, or that CE Electric UK is ...responsible for delivering electricity to over 3.8 million properties across the North East of England, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire[.]

    Yet according to "liberal" Democrat Tom Harkin, poor li'l MidAmerican Energy is just a struggling li'l ol' Iowa utility that can't meet its obligations under the terribly flawed and too-little-too-late Waxman-Markey Climate and Energy Bill.

    Sunday, July 12, 2009

    R ECs grow Astroturf to fight "crap & trade"

    First of all I think the carbon cap-and-trade legislation, now wending its way with all the alacrity of a tortoise though the Halls of Congress, is kind of goofy. I mean the government "auctions," these "pollution permits," emissions permits in polite society, to all the electricity generating and coal-burning plants in the land. These "pollution permits" tell all the carbon-smoke producing industries know just how much carbon dioxide, CO2, the federal government will let them pump into the atmosphere every year. By selling these "pollution permits" to smoke-stack industries, like electricity generating plants, the federal government will supposedly rake in a ton of dough.

    Now here's where it get screwy. After all the "pollution permits" are handed out and all the carbon-smoke belching industries find out how much they are allowed to continue polluting Company X sees that it doesn't pollute the atmosphere nearly as much as Company Y. So Company X sells its excess "pollution permits" to Company Y, for a profit, that can now go on its merry way spewing black clouds of CO2 into the air we breath.

    As far as I can figure the theory behind this shell game is that the guys running Company Y will get tired of being screwed by the guys at Company X so this gives the guys at Company Y an incentive to clean up their act and in turn sell their "pollution permits" to some other Smoky Joe of a company. Of course, this being American, land of the "free market economy," we gotta have middle-men, brokers if you will, to set up and sell these "pollution permits" in some sort of "free market" stock exchange thingie. And this is where the real money will be made. The general public gets slightly cleaner skies while the assholes who bought you the Dot Com-bubble, the Housing-bubble, and last summer's Oil-bubble get to wax even fatter on the coming "Crap-and-Trade" Bubble.

    But this being the United States there are always a few dipshits too lazy or too cheap or just too stupid to know a good thing when they see it. Either that or they just want to be spoilsports and wreck the good times ahead for the Wall Street fucks with their "cap-and-trade" bullshit because they're making a shitpot of dough doing what they've been doing for the last seventy years, thank you.

    In this case the spoilsports are some of the good folks of theNational Rural Electric Coopertive Association, NRECA". It seems that a group of these "privately owned, democratically governed" businesses in the Chesapeake Bay region, North Carolina and Iowa just don't want to play ball. So they've sent up an Astrotruf organization called Find A Balanced

    Here's what these guys are pitching to the bib-overall set out here in Iowa
    We can't afford not to act on the issue of climate change. We also can't afford soaring energy costs. The answer is a balanced solution.

    We can have a clean environment AND a healthy economy.

    We need a balanced climate change policy that reduces emissions without raising the cost of electricity. The current cap-and-trade proposal before Congress will tip the balance, sending energy costs soaring at a time when reliable, affordable energy is essential for our economic recovery. The effects will be felt in every sector of our economy, in every business and every home.

    We need a balanced policy that focuses on new technology, innovation and American ingenuity. Iowa's member-owned cooperatives are already addressing this issue by investing in energy efficiency, clean technologies and renewable resources. We can't let Congress tip the balance with policies that will drive costs up and drag our economy down. Work with us to tell Congress we want a balanced solution.

    Act now. Tell your congressmen you want a balanced solution to climate change.

    Member systems of CIPCO, NIPCO and Corn Belt Power Cooperatives

    What the fuck does this double-talk supposed to mean?

    As near as I can figure what this is supposed to mean is that you, Mr. and Mrs. Corn-fed Rural Iowan will see higher electricity bills if this "cap-and-trade" bullshit goes through Congress and President Oreo signs this steaming pile of crap into law. Well, d'uh, Mr. and Mrs. Corn-fed Rural Iowan, you are going to get higher electricity bills in the near future with or without "crap-and-trade" anyway, so what the fuck? You're screwed no matter what.

    And as far as the "balanced solution?" My take on the above gobbledygook is, first: "We didn't try nothing and it didn't work so we're just gonna keep on doin' what we been doin', 'cause it makes us money"; and secondly: "We'll get around to 'clean' energy generation just as soon as the price of coal goes up. Trust us." Like that's ever going to happen since coal, the real villain in this melodrama, is the continental United States' number-one fossil fuel. We have more of the shit than nearly anywhere else in the world. And that's why the assholes in Washington, D.C. are playing around with this "cap-and-trade" garbage in the first place.

    So either way, "cap-and-trade" or doing nothing, we, the American people, are screwed.

    Look, if we lived in a sane country the electric utility industry wouldn't be in private, for-profit hands. At the very least if we just had to have private, for-profit entities own the electric grid, it should be highly regulated like the old AT&T was when it had a virtual monopoly on telephone service. Before divestiture AT&T was a highly profitable company that provided excellent service, in spite of Lily Tomlin, and everybody, except the boys at Bell Labs, was happy with the arrangement.

    As far as I'm concerned, "cap-and-trade" is a load of bullshit. The only real way to get these polluting sonsuvbitches in line is to threaten them with legal action if they don't mend their ways. All "cap-and-trade" will accomplish is making the pricks who ran this country into the economic ditch it now finds itself in the first place a little richer and assuage the the consciences of a few well placed and well-known limousine liberals, who will undoubtedly also pad their bank accounts at the same time.

    Thursday, July 09, 2009

    batshit crazy: Iowa Republican Party

    The big political story going around the Internet is that all the "smart" Republicans want to keep Sarah Palin about as far from them as possible, I guess so her cooties don't rub off on them.

    But not to fear. The Iowa Republican Party, the party that gave you Fifth U.S. congressional District Congressman Steve "Crazy Train" King announced today
    The Republican Party of Iowa is hot after Sarah Palin to headline the state GOP’s annual Reagan Day Dinner this fall, state party executive Director Jeff Boeyink told The Des Moines Register today.

    “Absolutely we are pursuing Sarah Palin,” Boeyink said, responding to Sen. Chuck Grassley’s comment that Palin would be a good fund-raising draw. That effort has accelerated since the Alaska governor’s surprise announcement last week that she planned to resign.

    [T]hey are hoping Palin agrees to headline the state GOP’s Reagan dinner, the party’s premier fall fund-raiser.

    “That’s the concept. We would love to have her be our headliner for our traditional fall event,” Boeyink said. “We would need a very large venue to make that happen.”
    Tom Beaumont, The Des Moines
    Damn, like I said a day or two ago, we ain't seen the last of this idiot woman. That's because she attract lunatic wing nuts like a corpse plant draws carrion flies.

    Tuesday, July 07, 2009

    Right Wing Lunacy From the Inbox

    I have no idea where this bullshit comes from or who thinks it up because as usual there is no attribution, no references cites and certainly no name of anyone who wants to take "credit" as author. Anyway, here's the latest from the wing nut world of tin-foil hats:
    Very Interesting questions

    More questions, and this time some good questions.

    While I've little interest in getting in the middle of the Obama birth
    issue, Paul Hollrah over at FSM* did so yesterday and believes the issue can be
    resolved by Obama answering one simple question:

    What passport did he use when he was shuttling between New York, Jakarta , and Karachi ?

    So how did a young man who arrived in New York in early June 1981,
    without the price of a hotel room in his pocket, suddenly come up with the price of a round-the-world trip just a month later?

    And once he was on a plane, shuttling between New York , Jakarta , and
    Karachi, what passport was he offering when he passed through Customs and

    The American people not only deserve to have answers to these questions,
    they must have answers.

    It makes the debate over Obama's citizenship a rather short and simple one.

    Q: Did he travel to Pakistan in 1981, at age 20?
    A : Yes, by his own admission.

    Q: What passport did he travel under?
    A: There are only three possibilities.
    1) He traveled with a U.S. Passport,
    2) He traveled with a British passport, or
    3) He traveled with an Indonesia passport.

    Q: Is it possible that Obama traveled with a U.S. Passport in 1981?
    A: No. It is not possible.
    Pakistan was on the U.S. State Department's "no travel" list in

    When Obama went to Pakistan in 1981 he was traveling either with a
    British passport or an Indonesian passport.

    If he were traveling with a British passport that would provide proof
    that he was born in Kenya on August 4, 1961, not in Hawaii as he claims.
    And if he were traveling with an Indonesian passport that would tend to
    prove that he relinquished whatever previous citizenship he held, British or
    American, prior to being adopted by his Indonesian step-father in 1967.

    Whatever the truth of the matter,the American people need to know how he managed to become a "natural born"
    American citizen between 1981 and 2008..

    Given the destructive nature of his plans for America ,
    as illustrated by his speech before Congress
    and the disastrous spending plan he has presented to Congress,
    the sooner we learn the truth of all this, the better.

    If you Don't care that Your President is not a natural born Citizen and in Violation of the Constitution, then Delete this and go into your cocoon.

    Destructive nature of his plans for America as illustrated by his speech before Congress? Which speech? What destructive plans? Continuing the Wall Street bailouts begun by George W. Bush's Treasury Secretary Henry "ex-Goldman Sachs CEO" Paulson? The stimulus package designed to keep welfare queen Red States like Texas, Alaska and South Carolina in the fiscal black?His willingness to talk to leaders of countries that wing nuts don't like, such as Fidel Castor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or the Russian two-headed monster Vladimir V. Putin, and Dmitri A. Medvedev?

    And where is the proof that Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981 with either a British, Indonesian or any other passport other than a U.S. passport? There is none in fact,...American citizens traveled freely to Pakistan in 1981., June 5, 2009, More "Birther" Nonsense: Obama's 1981 Trip to Pakistan

    Every time I read some right wing lunacy like this I get a little more steamed. Why? Because I am devoted to the truth, no matter how ugly, no matter how unsettling. And what really steams me is that somewhere there is some one or, more likely, some organization funded by the same folks who surreptitiously funded reactionary Christian fundamentalists like R.J. Rushdoony, Jerry Falwell, Bill Graham; funded right wing talkers like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and FoxNews.

    Is there a conspiracy?

    Yeah! There is a conspiracy. It is a conspiracy to keep Americans at each other's throats over trivia like whether or not the United States is a "Christian" nation, it is not, and whether we should all walk around with a pistol strapped to our hips; whether queers have the rights to fight and die for their country and get married and go through the joys of divorce court. Oh, fuck, that's real important shit. Whenever the history of this era is written, future historians will undoubtedly conclude, early Twenty-first Century Americans were some of the pettiest, stupidest human beings ever to infect the face of the Earth and the tragic fate that befell them couldn't have happened to a more deserving group of people.

    In some ways I wish John McCain would have won the 2008 presidential election; then like William Henry Harrison die a month after taking the oath of office leaving us in the tender mercies of President Sarah Palin. Then the dumb bitch could start another unwinnable war, this time with Iran.

    At least with a President Palin the death march of the United States would be over quickly. What we are experiencing now is a death by inches.

    *Family Security Matters (FSM) originated in 2003 as a project of the Center for Security Policy, a hawkish security policy think tank and advocacy group. Soon after its formation FSM claimed to represent "security moms". While generally supportive of President George W. Bush's domestic and international security policies, FSM have had their differences with the Republican administration over issues such as immigration policy[1], U.S. policy towards Russian Presdient Vladimir Putin[2]. Since the Democratic ascendancy in the 2006 mid-term elections, FSM have also published criticisms of the Bush administration -- such as those by Newt Gingrich -- for being too cautious in their strategy in the Middle East.[3]

    Saturday, July 04, 2009

    Posted using ShareThis

    Sarah Palin, crazy like a foxy MILF

    Y'know I just wish this dumb bitch would just go away. But I don't think she will.

    In spite of the announcement yesterday, July 3, 2009, that she was resigning her post as governor of Alaska later this month, speculation is running rampant on her motives, from
    Sarah Palin Indictment - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin reportedly resigned because of a federal indictment pending in an embezzlement scandal that allegedly involves her receiving huge financial favors from Spenard Building Supplies.
    Jim Brogan,
    to, one of the wing nuttier theories
    But it keeps coming back to Trig.

    From the moment Palin was nominated for V.P., the attacks on Trig began. First there were the rumors, spread by Andrew Sullivan and others, that Sarah Palin was not Trig’s mother, that there was a grand conspiracy of hundreds if not thousands of people to cover up that Bristol Palin was Trig’s real mother.*
    to not being able to take the heat of Republican in-fighting
    The 2008 vice presidential nominee was seen as a likely presidential contender in 2012 and had proved formidable among the party's base. But the last week brought a highly critical piece in Vanity Fair magazine, with unnamed campaign aides questioning if Palin was ever really prepared for the presidency.
    Rachel D'Oro,

    And of course there are those who aver the MILF From Wasilla has just committed political hari-kari
    CBS) If Sarah Palin thinks quitting the Alaskan statehouse is going to help a 2012 presidential campaign some pundits speculate she's mulling, she's mistaken, according to longtime Republican strategist Ed Rollins.

    Rollins contended that, "She diminished the job of governor. I think, at the end of the day, I've never -- I've been in the business four decades, I've never seen a governor ever walk away from the job at mid-term, and I think, at the end of the day, that's what's gonna affect her."
    O' dear, my pretties, I do think we all misunderestimate Caribou Barbie. I mean here it is the Fourth of July, 2009 and the Internet, the TeeVee and whatever accounts for a daily printed news media is yet chattering about the soon-to-be erstwhile former beauty queen governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin. Any way you look at it, Palin's rambling, often incoherent resignation speech on the Friday before the holiday is a brilliant piece of political theater.

    In some aspects it was rather reminiscent of the late Richard Milhouse Nixon's petulant statement upon losing the 1962 California gubernatorial contest to liberal Democrat Edmund "Pat" Brown:"You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around any more. Because gentlemen, this is my last press conference." But we all know that like the mythical phoenix Nixon arose from the ashes of that campaign to take the presidency from a divided Democratic Party in 1968 and, proceeded to alter the trajectory of U.S. history from Free World powerhouse to Third World shitholedom.

    So I don't think we have seen or heard the last of Sarah Palin. Nor do I think this is the end of her political ambitions. There is a certain segment of the American right that...well logic and critical thinking do no apply. Acting tough, reacting strongly to perceived slights and insults, hyper-patriotism, hyper-religiosity, hyper-materialism and hyper-love of family characterize the personality types to whom Sarah Palin appeals. I am sure my Republican union steward, who manfully told me, "I'll hunt for my family's food," when I asked him what he would do if George H.W. Bush privatized the Postal Service and fired all us union workers, is the kind of guy who idolizes le jeune femme Palin. And remember with this crowd looks account for a lot and, like it or not feminists, Sarah's got a right purdy ass.

    *the blogger is one William A. Jacobson, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY (Kinda scary ain't it.)