Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Support The Party

My email in box is crammed daily full of pleas for campaign donations.  The pleas are heavily seasoned with "Rove" and "Koch" and other ooga-booga super scary things.  The overlying message is the other guys are really really horrible.  Well, more horrible than the current administration, so if I don't pony up the insanely popular Affordable Care Act might be repealed.  Oh wait, it's not really all that popular.  Now if it was single payer, or had a public option, it might be worth salvaging, but pointing the taxpayer money cannon down the throats of rich conglomerates (AHIP & PhRMA) with an auto fire setting is not a real positive policy, YMMV.

The Administrations foreign policy of raining freedom bombs from unmanned drones is alarming, their domestic civil rights record is appalling, their justice department is limited to busting prescription marijuana users and an economic policy that is anemic at best.  Still, it is a true statement that a second Obama administration would be far better than a Romney presidency.  The problem is how can the Democratic wing of the Democratic party get the President to not take their vote for granted?  What can the current administration do at this late hour earn back the vote of the left?

After Obama won the Presidency his motto changed from "Yes we can," to "I got this."  His Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, organized a scheme to protect Obama's left flank by giving the heads of several lefty interest groups a seat at the table and explaining the policies of the President.  If any of them objected and threatened action, Rahm would threaten to contact that organizations big money donors and tell them the President demands they withhold support--in short cut off their main money supply.  Jane Hamsher of firedoglake famously dubbed this "the veal pen."  At one such "strategy sessions" certain moderate Democrats were threatened with a primary candidate for weakening the Health Care bill.  Rahm declared that was "fucking retarded."

Obama's press secretary Robert Gibbs, frustrated at how ungrateful the President's base was declared we should be "drug tested."  With such open contempt held by senior staff for the base of this President shows a clear political problem.  Reporters who wish to maintain sources declare the liberal wings' discontent as a desire for "ideological purity" when nothing could be further than the truth.  That should be reserved for the teabaggers.  But Gibbs and Rahm have done real damage to the Presidents re-election chances.  How is it possible to actively support the President's re-election without Rahm and Gibby doing a snoopy dance and spiking the football for enacting a center-right agenda?

The health care bill we should be so grateful for was born in the bowels of the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank.  A Vampire Squid is wearing the Presidents' jewelry, punctuating the Obama domestic economic agenda.  Upper marginal tax rate increase?  Nope.  Inheritance tax resolution?  Nope.  Employee Free Choice Act?  Not so much.  Lock up a single crooked Bankster for the most massive fraud ever perpetuated in the history of the planet?  Crickets.  I guess I'm just a fucking retarded degenerate junkie for not being fired up and ready to go.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Obama Vies For Second Term

In an effort to protect his flank and close ranks among his base, President Obama has made recent overtures to the LBGT community and Latino's.  Specifically, he finally "evolved" on his opposition to same sex marriage.  This is not a small thing, since this is the first sitting President to endorse gay marriage.  Also, congress' failure to pass the "Dream Act," which prevents the children of undocumented workers--who should not be visited upon by the iniquities of their parents--from being deported, as long as they aren't hoodlum junkies and such.  He is doing this by Executive Order.  He has set out parameters that if immigrants fall into a certain bracket, they will not be deported.

It is fairly easy to categorize those who oppose these two measures as homophobes and bigots, so I think I will.  Rush Limbaugh immediately told his "ditto heads" Obama's same sex endorsement was an assault on marriage.  His first, second, third and fourth wives were not available for comment.  The President, speaking a belief like he did on same sex marriage is a far different thing than telling the Justice Department who not to prosecute.  The Dream Act is a reasonable proposition but the President's actions demonstrate a troubling pattern.

The Justice Department is supposed to be independent of politics.  Presidents can set priorities--drugs, porn, white collar--etc., but telling the Justice Department who to, and who not to prosecute, smacks of political elitism.  Many on the left demanded previous administration officials be prosecuted for war crimes, and indeed when Eric Holder, undergoing confirmation hearings for his successful appointment as Attorney General for the United States, agreed with Senator Patrick Leahy that water boarding was torture, he failed to bring charges once he was confirmed.

President Obama insisted that we "look forward" his reasoning for demanding the Justice Department not do Justice on prior administration officials.  Overlooking the fact that all crimes occur "in the past" it fed into the belief that prosecutions are selective and the elite class, no matter how heinous their crimes, would receive deferential treatment from a politicized Department of Justice.  America has more people locked up right now than all other countries combined, so the Department of Justice is no shrinking violet when it comes to visiting the full weight and benefit of its resources on the American citizenry, and yet not a single Bankster has yet to be charged, 4 years after nuking the world economy.

Clearly President Obama has an eye on the "Citizens United" ruling of the Supreme Court which allows unlimited corporate expenditures on political campaigns.  Obama received more Wall Street money in his bid for the Presidency than John McCain.  It would be unreasonable not to speculate that a Savings and Loan type of prosecution (circa 80s & 90s) might somewhat thin out Obama's election coffers.  The same can be said for his "evolvement" on the LBGT marriage issue.  Two incomes with no children leaves a lot of disposable income for campaign contributions.  The importance of votes, not money, is the reason for adding the Dream Act Executive order into the Department of Justice, giving them another category of whom not to prosecute.

It is true Obama took office in a country facing a four alarm fire.  When the opposition party showed up with hatchets to chop up anything that resembled a fire hose, the President threw the entire country over his shoulder and tried to drag it to safety, while republicans predictably bit his ankles.  Yet he insisted on dealing with them, coming out of the gate with the compromise positions which naturally ended up with republican policies after additional compromise.  Democrats are tired of this and the President is in real danger of losing re-election.  There is a large block, count me among them, of Democratic voters who are drifty.  Sometimes we vote, mostly when we have something to vote for or against.  I have huge difficulties in voting for Obama since all we get out of him are republican policies and Banksters like Jamie Dimon, famously called a Vampire squid wrapped around the face of America sticking his beak into anything that smelled of money showing up at a recent Senate hearing after losing $3 Billion wearing Presidential cufflinks.  He's got sack because Obama's got his back.

Friday, October 07, 2011

An Occupy Wall Street Analogy

There is an Urban Legend among truck drivers, about a driver delivering to a warehouse. Now this particular warehouse, he particularly hates to deliver to. Usually, after a driver opens his trailer doors and backs into the dock, he gets to spend precious bunk time while waiting to load or unload. Not at this warehouse. When he backs into the dock and goes in to let them know he's ready, they casually point to a forklift and ignore him. The meaning being he does it for himself and gets no additional sleep.

Well, one fine day while driving to the warehouse, the driver worked out a plan. He backed into the dock, went in and announced he was ready. He was directed to the forklift. He climbed aboard, fired it up and aimed it for an empty bay door, jumping off right before it sailed out, crashing ruinously to the ground below.

Hearing the great crash, the warehouse managers came running out, demanding to know who did this. "I did," the truck driver said, "but I think I know what I did wrong. If you get me another forklift, I think I can do better next time." So, what did the warehouse managers do?

A) Hastily agree and provided the truck driver with another forklift?
B) Demand the driver leave immediately, ban him from the property but maintain the same policies?
C) Hire trained forklift operators and ban any truck drivers from operating them?

Since this is an urban legend, there are no wrong answers.

Now we see Lehman Brothers, laying in crushed wreckage in the throes of dying quivers. Government Treasury Agents demand to know who is responsible. ShitiGroup, Skank Of America, Golden Sacks, Sterrill Mynsch, said they were. "Sorry about your busted economy," the ring of professional check kiters declared, "but if you give us $700 Billion dollars, we think we can do better next time. If not, I'm afraid we'll all have to jump." So what did the Government agents do?


Well, we did get Dodd-Frank, and a consumer protection agency. Of course Dodd won't be running for reelection due to pending employment in the financial industry, leaving loopholes in the legislation big enough that our tired truck driver can turn around in. And the Consumer Protection Agency is yet leaderless, the best choice kicked to the curb--Elizabeth Warren.

It is painfully and crystal clear that something is deeply wrong in America. Those who occupy Wall Street, and their Brethren (and Sistren!) with like protests across America are demonstrating frustration with our Government. Corporations and banks and bond traders will do all they can to make as much money as they can--from the rest of us. Unfettered, raw, free range capitalism has only one end in all the history of the world--all the money and power in the hands of the very few and a powerless terrified everybody else. That is not the America I know and love and it is what the Occupy Wall Street movement is fighting to prevent.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Left Battles The Left

Recently I got into a debate with a fellow lefty. For my part, I was deeply annoyed at our "Democratic" President and his unwillingness to fight for Democratic principles. As the leader of the party I hold him responsible for the right wing legislative agenda that has continued to plague America. The one I was debating with held that Obama does not write legislation, but was nonetheless amazed at the success he had and was immeasurably pleased with his performance faced with such abstinence in the congress. In short, this person had built a hedge around the President, as completely powerless to influence legislation, but was happy for the most part for the Presidents accomplishments on the legislative outcomes.

We have four groups of voters in America. About 1/3 of them are racist christopaths who pervert a perfectly good religion for a dose of fundy red bull and are protected by a diamond hard ring of mile thick, bunker hardened ignorance. There is no reaching them; giving them facts is like giving medicine to a dead guy, why bother. Then there is the third that works so hard, they have nothing left to pay attention to politics and view politics like voting people off of an island to see who will end up running the "Meet The President" show for the next four years. They know it's serious, but it should be entertaining too.

Then it's the last third, divided in half. One half believes criticizing a Democrat, especially the President, is absolutely insane and we should support them because they are on our team. The other half (of this third) believes Democrats should enact democratic policies since thats what they were elected for--and criticize them when they do not. I hold it is wrong for the Government to prosecute whistleblowers. I hold it is wrong to "rendition" people and hold them indefinitely without trial. I hold it is wrong to wiretap American citizens without a warrant. Even if the President is a Democrat, these things are just as wrong today as they were when a Republican was in the White House.

I felt it was a colossal error to sacrifice the public option in the healthcare bill at the insistence of the insurance industry. The idea was to make the system more affordable and efficient. The health insurance has 500 square miles of 20 story buildings jam packed with denial clerks. That takes a lot of money, gums up the works and delivers not one ounce of health care. The progressive caucus, with several other democrats, signed a pledge not to pass health care without the public option, more than enough where it would be impossible to pass one without it. House teabaggers swore they would not raise the debt ceiling without massive cuts and no new taxes.

Why did the progressives cave on the public option? They will never be taken seriously. The teabaggers did not cave and Boehner said he got 98 percent of what he wanted. The same man was President in both cases. One was a victory for the far right fringe element and the other was a victory for AHIP and PhRMA. Both were major losses to the middle class of America. The insurance industry gets 30 million new customers, premiums paid mostly by the treasury, with copays so high the newly insured still won't be able to afford a doctor visit. A one-way cash flow from public funds to private industry, traded for campaign contributions.

Next, Dear Leader will look into cutting Medicare and Social Security. Will the Obamabots stand quietly by, dropping their laundry and grab their ankles while saying "Thank you Sir, May I have another?!" Perhaps they'll save their criticism for people like me, who think it is a good idea to enact legislation that polls in the high 60s and low 70s and a bad idea to cut programs that over 80 percent of Americans approve.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Conservative Values

As his horrified wife looks on, Senator Vitter R-LA admits to infidelity before the cameras. He is perfectly comfortable as his wife is unbelievably humiliated, either by the fact Senator Vitter has been hiring hookers or by the fact that his particular twisted fetish involves hookers changing his diapers.

Senator Vitter is up for re-election this year, and it is unknown whether the Louisiana electorate share in Mrs. Vitter's shock, horror and humiliation so plainly visible on her face.

But that isn't all of the swaddled Senators problems. Another one is Brent Furer, one of the Republican Senator's aides. Seems Brent likes doing cocaine, getting liquored up and driving around, and terrorizing his girlfriend before stabbing her in the face. When he makes bail he goes back to DC where, as part of his portfolio, he works on women's issues.

When the Republican Senators' aide has to go to Louisiana for one of his numerous court appearances, the taxpayer picks up his travel expenses.

Senator David "Diaper" Vitter has drawn a primary opponent, a virtual paragon of nice, conservative family values sort of a guy, retired Republican State Supreme Court Justice Chet Taylor. In a demonstration of family love, Judge "Chester the Molester" has a samsonite marriage (shack-n-pack) with his own son's estranged wife.

Is it really possible to lose to these guys?


According to press reports, Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) ended with dramatic success:

Halliburton Co. said on Wednesday that it has gotten a letter of intent from Shell Iraq Petroleum Development BV that would make Halliburton the project manager for developing the Majnoon field in southern Iraq.

Halliburton said it wold be working with Nabors Drilling and the Iraq Drilling Company. The contract needs final approval by Iraqi authorities, Halliburton said.

Iraq reached a deal with Shell in January to develop the mammoth oil field, along with partner Petronas, Malaysia's state-run oil company. Shell and Petronas plan to raise production in the field from the current 45,900 barrels per day to 1.8 million barrels per day over 10 years.

Halliburton shares rose 9 cents to close at $28.79 on Wednesday.

And if President Obama's employee doesn't feel properly praised, he needs to re-read my headline. It's the best he's gonna get.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Ground Zero Muslim Mosque

I've given this a little thought and feel I have reached a compromise that will suit all parties involved. Perhaps instead of a full fledged Mosque, the developers might consider scaling it back a little bit. I suggest they scrap plans of the 8 story statue of Osama bin Laden flipping off lower Manhattan and even do away with the minarets as well.

Maybe they should make it more like a community center and just put in a prayer room somewhere. I think maybe they shouldn't build it on ground zero and move it a couple of miles away. I know of an old Burlington Coat Factory building available.

I sure hope this is helpful and we can get back to the very real problem of jobs and the economy, instead of telling a bunch of swarthy mid-easterners to get in the back of the bus.

Boehner The Environmentalist

The Tan Man Cares
Replacing Divots For 18 Years

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Maureen Dowd Punches Hippies

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd supports White House press secretary Robert Gibbs broadside against the "professional left." But, she thinks he should be removed from that position because:
He’s often unresponsive and sometimes hostile to the press. His adversarial barking has only heightened tensions with a press that was once lampooned for fawning over his boss.
Wow. Modo finds it perfectly reasonable for Gibbs to say the professional left should be drug tested, but lack of press comity is sufficient to bounce him from behind the podium. He need not respect the wishes of the activists that supported and worked to put his boss in office, but the MoDo's of the world prance around in their Manolo Blahnik's while doing Cartman impersonations.

Modo compares and contrasts the way the two parties deal with their fringe elements and sympathizes with the "asymmetry at the heart of American politics," noting how Republicans pander to their supporters yet Democrats do not.
Fox built up a Republican president; MSNBC is trying to make its reputation by tearing down a Democratic one.
One network advocates blind fealty while the other seeks good policy for the benefit of Americans. One network is symbiotic to the authoritarian cultist tribalism of the ruling caste and low-information fan base and the other calls out political leaders who fail to deliver on campaign promises.

Modo sprinkles in plenty of words like "crazies" and "ideologues" and "radicals" throughout her column drawing false equivalencies on the right and left, leaving a nice comfy reasonable centerness equidistance from the fringes. This is where the Modo's of the world feel good legislation and punditry occur.

But that place is not where the middle exists.

The fringes of the right are populated with names like Newt and Rush and David Fucking Brooks and Palin and Bachman. Folks whose rolodexes are full of reporters phone numbers and booking agents who also have their numbers as well.

I can't think of one left-wing fringe politician who resigned in disgrace and has not held elected office in over a decade and gets booked on teevee shows as often as serial himbo Newt Gingrich.
Whenever someone like MoDo pens a column like this, the impression is made that the left is rigid and demanding and are unwilling to compromise to reach the sensible center. She puts it like this:
Obama and Gibbs are upset that the lefties won’t recognize the necessity of compromise. The left is snapping back: What necessity? You won 365 electoral votes. You have both houses of Congress. And bipartisanship is an illusion.
Well, liberals are not bullies or feel the need to be dictatorial. But to the larger point of compromise--this suggests a trade--a give and get. The left is absolutely correct in being annoyed that we worked our asses of to get these majorities only to see policies weakened radically for no discernible benefit whatsoever. Then MoDo slips in this one:
Some liberals, like the president, felt he could live without the public option, whereas lefties thought the public option was essential.
The public option is a sore spot without a doubt. For some reason, the MoDo's of the world are convinced it is strictly a fringe lefty Quixotic charge. Even though it was wildly popular with everyone--and the left thought it would be a good thing to enact policy that polled in the high 60s and low 70s--the fringe left "won't recognize the necessity of compromise."

The DFH furiously whipped the House and Senate--pledges were signed and oaths were taken to support the public option. Hey, in a fair fight, liberals don't mind a black eye. Punching hippies is a national sport enjoyed by pols and pundits alike. But this wasn't a fair fight. We were told for months and months by political reporters that the votes weren't there for the public option in the Senate.

So, where was the upperdown vote on the public option? The administration sacrificed it in a backroom deal with AHIP, the lobbying group for the health insurance industry before the first vote was cast. The same thing was done for big Pharma and drug reimportation from Canada or Medicare negotiating for bulk prescription buys.

Maybe to the MoDo's of the world, this falls under the category of compromise. So what did the Obama administration get for slaughtering the public option in a backroom altar to corporate special interest lobbyists? Campaign contributions directed to Democrats with pledges and oaths not to support Republicans.

The disillusionment of the left does not come from reasonable compromise but from a candidate who campaigned against powerful special interests cutting secret backroom deals getting elected and cutting secret backroom deals with powerful special interests.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The 2010 Elections

All things point to Democrats losing seats in the mid-terms. The only question is how many seats? The 2006 and 2008 elections were massive blowouts with Democrats first taking the House and then winning a super-majority in the Senate. To be fair to Senate leader Reid, D-NV, the 60 vote majority was brief and sporadic, what with the illnesses of Kennedy and Byrd.

The 2006 and 2008 elections were the result of a long wind-up of the left-wing. Many organizers were furious with the selection of W by the Supreme Court and never got over it. Count me among them. Networks were created, rallies were formed and voter registration drives were manned and carried out.

It was during this time, W's second term, that I decided to do my small part. I set a goal of registering 3 people and making sure they voted. I tripled that and felt good about it as we took back the House.

And Pelosi took impeachment off the table.

I stayed in the fight anyway and phone banked, and continued to recruit voters. Mostly I targeted apathetic voters and encouraged them to return to the polls to support worthy Democrats.

This happened millions of times across America and resulted in a massive defeat of Republicans across the board.

But then something happened. For some reason those elections were interpreted as wanting moderately Republican legislation that the Republicans were not in favor of supporting. Legislation could not be more liberal than the most conservative Democrat in the most conservative district in the country.

In other words, all the hard work the Democratic base had put in for all those years was merely to protect the most corporate friendly Democrats--even those we took great pains to eliminate--like Joe Lieberman.

I can point to two unqualified liberal legislative acts signed into law by President Obama; The Equal Pay Act, aka the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the Hate Crimes Bill, aka the Matthew Shepard Act.

At his point, I'm wondering, is this it? Is this the best we can hope for? All of our hard work and we get health insurance reform that just guarantees more customers for wretched health insurance companies subsidized by tax dollars? No public option or expanded Medicare, or drug re-importation?

Financial regulatory reform that is thin milk, headed up by Chris Dodd, D-CT, who is retiring this year and trying to feather his bed at some financial institution?

Lobbyists are still writing our legislation. All we did was shuffle some names around at the K-Street hand-out line.

No doubt things would be far worse with a Republican Senate, a Republican House and a (shudder) McCain-Palin administration. That isn't even the point. The point is a lot of people really worked their asses off to get corporate friendly legislation that is viewed tepidly by most of the voters and hated by all right-wingers.

This is what they call "the enthusiasm gap."

Why should I take my time to recruit voters, phone bank, precinct walk, rally and network? What shall be my battle cry, "We Suck Less?"

Oh, I'll vote and even donate to very carefully selected candidates, like I did with Bill Halter, the one candidate running for US Senate in Arkansas who might have had a chance in November. Obama and Bill Clinton and the entire incumbency protection racket threw everything they had behind the corporate friendly Blanche Lincoln, D-WalMart.

Blanche supported the Employee Free Choice Act when the Dems were in the minority, but when the Dems were in the majority and it could actually pass, well, she couldn't support it anymore. She was in favor of the public option until it could pass, then she was against it.

The Obama administration laughed in my face when Blanche beat Halter and told me I wasted my time and flushed my money down the toilet. Now, Arkansas Democrats are deeply divided, it's Blanche's numbers that are in the toilet and the rightwing are a cohesive voting block.

See, no matter how much leg you show Republicans, they're just not that into you.

And now, I'm not either.


I've been seeing stuff on the interwebs, a series of tubes, about Journolist and did a Google to find out about it. Apparently, it was a group email list, called a listserv, where like-minded individuals could discuss events of the day. The group, by rule, was composed of center-to center-left people on the political spectrum and included some actual journalists as well as bloggers, people of academia etc.

I certainly cannot take any such list very serious. First of all, I was not on it and as a stalwart and foundational thinker of progressive thought such an oversight would clearly have rendered such an organization rudderless.

What is totally hilarious about this issue is the Gestaltian reaction from the right-wingers. This proves, to them, that the liberal media is coordinating their message to crush conservatives. Tucker Carlson and other conservatives have posted many emails as proof that liberals are secretly trying to influence the media.

Why the liberal media would need to be convinced by a secret media listserv is not entirely clear. And the words "liberal" and "coordinate" should not even be used in the same day, much less in the same sentence. None of this however, fits in with the victimization of wealthy white conservatives or their carefully culled base of victims of tax collectors for the welfare state.

But seriously, does a left-wing cabal of journolisters actually pull the levers of power? Well, with virtual unanimity the left-wing has been screaming at the Obama administration to appoint Elizabeth Warren to the Consumer Protection Agency, part of the recent lukewarm financial overhaul legislation, and have been met with the sound of crickets.

Yet, the entire right-wing wurlitzer engorged themselves on a big steaming pile of Brietbart, aka, the carcass of Shirley Sherrod, and she gets fired in fifteen minutes.

How stupid can these people get?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No Teahadists Are Racist

What gives people such ideas? I mean, it's not like they wrote "nigger" across his forehead or anything.

Opposed To Tort Reform

Awhile back I had a little back and forth with another blogger about tort reform--he is in favor of it--and I put in my minor thought on the issue, but it got me to thinking. Perhaps I should flesh out my thoughts and explain my positions.

First up, I'll address Steve, who blogs at The Otter Limits and his post here. He provides a link to Wikipedia on tort reform then summarizes by stating,
Basically, it reduces the amount of frivolous lawsuits.
No, Steve, it doesn't. It caps damages and takes options away from jurors, you know, peers, otherwise known as the American people.

See, our founders left a land of propertied elites who pranced around in powdered wigs ruthlessly prosecuting feudal serfs for encroaching on the propertied elites interests. A New Deal and a new country was formed, where the power of law and government was laid into the hands of the people.

Tell the folks around those parts who were gathered in as jurors what happened and let them judge. Many, many laws since have been written to enlarge the importance of lawyers and judges, mainly to diminish what the good people of the jury is allowed to hear. And now some people want to further limit the American people from punishing dangerous and negligent practices of very powerful propertied elites.

It's Deja Vu, all over again. But back to Steve, who attempts to define a frivolous lawsuit:
In my opinion, a woman that sues McDonald's (and wins) because she spills her hot coffee on herself, is afrivolous lawsuit.
Now, if I were a member of the Bush defending, warmongering, 101st fighting chairborn trike force, I would say something like, oh, I don't know, "Hey Steve, why do you hate America?" but since I am not like that I won't say it.

Everyone knows of this case and it is the canard poster child for tort reform because very few people know the details of the case. Allow me to introduce you to Stella Liebeck.

This 79-year-old grandmother was a passenger of her grandson when they went through the drive-through at McDonald's for a cup of coffee. He pulled to the curb so Stella could add cream and sugar. She placed the cup between her knees to remove the lid and dumped the entire cup of coffee in her lap.

The coffee was so hot, she received 3rd degree burns, required skin grafts and hospitalization for 8 days. She lost 20% of her body weight during this time, reducing her weight to 83 pounds. She required 2 years of medical treatment. It sounds like it damn near killed her.

But how is this the fault of McDonald's? I'm glad you asked.

She asked for a settlement of $20,000. Her medical bills were $11,000 and McDonald's offered $800. So a lawsuit went forward. Further investigation revealed that in the previous ten years McDonald's had received literally hundreds and hundreds of complaints about the scalding and dangerously hot coffee and McDonald's had paid out over half a million dollars to settle them, but their coffee remained virtually the hottest in the industry.

So, in short a massive corporation realized it was producing an injurious product and yet continued to do so and refused reasonable settlement offers. A jury awarded Stella nearly $3 million, the judge cut that to $640,000. During the appeals process, both parties reached a settlement for less than $600,000.

I am opposed to huge corporations giving boiling cups of hot lava to old ladies and giving free coupons for sundaes when they get burned.

When a massive multi-national corporation becomes aware of an injurious product they are making, I want the fear of a trial lawyer to cause them to cease and desist. When a "cap" is placed on liability, corporations will do a cost-benefit ratio, much like the infamous Ford Pinto Memo.

In 1972 the auto industry needed the value of a human life so they could do cost-benefit ratios. I mean, if it costs more than the benefit, why bother to do it? To remove their fingerprints from coming up with such a morbid and absurd dollar figure for a human life, the auto industry pressured the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to do it for them.

The NHTSA placed the value of a human life at $200,725. Ford plugged in this number with 180 fiery deaths a year and found a full recall with an $11 fix per car would make the cost of fixing the pinto outweigh the benefit of 180 lives. It just warms the heart, doesn't it?

It was a trial lawyer, with a sky-is-the-limit damages, coupled with public outcry that caused the NHTSA to force Ford to recall the Pinto. Then, as now, the Government watchdog organization was wholly captured by corporate overlords.

Judges throw out most frivolous lawsuits. Some get through. Oh well, I can live with that. But tort reform limiting caps, no way. Those of us who understand history and the corporate mentality don't want any part of it.

Trial lawyers are the good guys.

And The South Shall Rise Again

The latest skirmish between the Gray and the Yella, finds guerilla warrior Andrew Blightfart (an ill wind that leaves devastation in its wake) firing high-tech sniper rounds into opposing ranks, hitting no one. The resulting chaos--caused by a rudderless chain of command--leads to the intentional fratricide of a loyal soldier.

By now, everyone knows about Andrew Breitbart's doctored video of Shirley Sherrod's address to an NAACP audience and the ensuing firestorm that it caused. Blightfart claims The NAACP started the fight by calling the Teahadists racist, which of course they didn't. The NAACP called for the Tea Party to "refudiate" racist elements within their ranks.

But the victimology of the conservative movement does not allow for nuance. I recall the drubbing Janet Napolitano received when Homeland Security released a document alerting to the threats of rightwing extremists. The entire rightwing wurlitzer claimed they were under assault and went to DEFCON 4.

The Administration responded by retracting the document.

And Van Jones.


And now, Shirley Sherrod.

But the fault is not with Blightfart, or Fix News, or rightard radio. They do what they do and everyone knows this. The fault lies with the Administration's rope-a-dope strategery. Sometimes it's a tough gap to hit, what with Chris Matthews saying "You don't have a hair on your ass if you take that shit!" (Okay, so maybe I paraphrased that a little bit) and when they come out swinging they have to listen to days and days of him lecture, "In politics, you never fight down, you fight up. What the hell are they doing? Fox News is probably loving this."

But above all, anything that emits from Blightfarts gashole, and pukes from Fox Spews, should maintain the default position of completely false. Oh, and Rahm, who looks like a fucking r@t&rd now?

Monday, April 12, 2010


Tim McVeigh stalagmites hate Democracy and America so violently they seek to overturn a massive landslide election by force. Teahadist's in Oklahoma are in serious conversation with wackjob local politicians to form a local armed militia to defend Oklahoma from the will of the people.

Teabag suckler and GOP wannabe for Governor, Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, thinks armed hooligans running amok promoting armed coups is a swell idea.
The founding fathers "were not referring to a turkey shoot or a quail hunt. They really weren't even talking about us having the ability to protect ourselves against each other," Brogdon said. "The Second Amendment deals directly with the right of an individual to keep and bear arms to protect themselves from an overreaching federal government."
Double dip nut sucker state Rep. Charles Key, R-Oklahoma City, said he believes there's a good chance of introducing legislation for a state-authorized militia next year.

Yes, as I write this, we rest a week shy of the 15th anniversary and in the waning shadows of the survival tree, where an anti-government fanatic blew up the Afred P. Murrah building, killing 168 Americans.

And now, we have a bunch of losers, who hate losing so much that they are willing to get a gun to show how unpatriotic and un-American they are by imposing their will by bullets instead of the ballot. Fucking worthless cocksuckers. And they are conspiring with a few cowardly politicians, desperate for some votes, willing to fellate these worthless pieces of shit.

Turning Fifty

So, as I turn the corner to approach the back nine, I guess it's time to reflect on the past 50 years. A big, huge, gigantic thank you must be paid right up front to Dr. Seuss, and Green Eggs and Ham. And my mom for buying the book. And my big brother for relentlessly reading it to me.

You see, this is how I learned to read, and I learned to read before my first day at school.

Thanks Mom, bro, and Doc.

And my little sister. Until she showed up, girls were just dumb girls. Then she looked up to me. She admired me. I was admirable. I had never before been admirable, not even by myself. And my sister was a girl. I began to view girls differently.

Thank you, sister.

I was a football player and gymnast in high school and could run the 100 yard dash in 10 seconds flat and graduated a year early. Sort of an over-achiever.

I got married and raised a family. Three kids, none of which is in jail or on the pipe. Perhaps some may think this is a low bar, but hey.

After the Oil bust in the early eighties, I went back to school and entered corporate life. Two cell phones, plus a pager. Conducted leadership and sales seminars, herded politicians to ribbon cuttings as a photo-journalist and aided in numerous political campaigns.

The crowd I ran with crowed about stress pimples as though they were shrapnel wounds.

After years of creating, implementing and selling just about everything, sometimes in the multi-million dollar range, I burned out and went into business for myself.

I was not a good boss, because if I had five dollars in my pocket, hell, that was enough for bait and I was going fishing.

Someone bought me some work boots--the classified section rolled up inside one of them with some ads circled.

Back into the oilfields I went.

I am confident as I look forward to the next 50 years that I have the ability to do anything I want--as long as a chair is involved.

Thanks for the many good wishes on my facebook page. You know who you are.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Don Blankenship: Hoist By His Own Petard

Sad news out of West Virginia. A mine exploded, killing every miner inside, save two, one of which is still in intensive care. In the worst mining disaster in over a quarter of a century, 29 miners lost their lives. Hope turned to despair which faded into incredible loss and grief. Soon, this will be replaced with fury and demands of accountability and steely resolve.

So, our attention turns to Don Blankenship, the head cheese for Massey Energy. Now Don, ran the company like a real Don. He was known as a union buster who preferred to run things in a dictator like fashion. Employees did what they were told, or got fired. It was always a simple take-it-or-leave-it proposition with Don Corleone Blankenship.

Over the years Don has stacked up thousands of safety violations. Some fines he would pay, some fines he would fight, but always he would make political contributions in an effort to reign in those pesky regulators and perhaps round of some corners of the regulations.

In short, Don is the poster child for the Republican default position of anti-union, deregulation, open range capitalism.

And now, hanging over him is a cloud of criminally negligent homicide. Multiple counts. Depraved indifference due to the well-documented history of safety violations. Perhaps his legal team and political contributions will enable Don to avoid criminal prosecutions, but his civil liabilities will be unavoidable and enormous.

But the point is all of Don's struggles against unions and regulation, which he felt impeded the ability to run coal, and coal is what pays the bills, are the very things that would have prevented the Montcoal disaster and avoided what is in store for Don Blankenship.

At some point unions and regulations should be seen as a benefit and not a hinderance for industry Titans such as Don. It is my hope that Mr. Blankenship is totally ruined forever by this unfortunate and preventable disaster. Safe mines do not explode. Powerless employees either go home or go in. Organized labor have options that Don fought tooth and nail to prevent.

Because coal is what pays Don's bills. Hey Don, how much coal are you running now?

Cross posted at The Seminal.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


The National Review Online, a wingnut welfare operation, heard rumors that discrimination may play a role in higher minority unemployment in today's Great Recession. So, NRO rounded up a posse of ex-spurts (has been drips under pressure) to discuss and conclude. Here is a photo of the folks heading up NRO's "symposium."
What's wrong with this picture?

After a thorough discussion, they concluded "Discrimination is an insufficient explanation for black unemployment." Well, that sort of misses the point.

Gravity, is an insufficient explanation for my epic fail triple somersault. Note I didn't say gravity doesn't exist, because it does, and like discrimination, it sucks.

But to the larger point, it is sort of tone deaf to deliver color commentary with a monochromatic panel.

Republicans Defend Their Base

Watching the Republican party and their vast right wing wurlitzer defend the behavior of the looney teabagging base, in a brick-throwing, spittle-flecked, slur-hurling id-like tantrum, is akin to the defense of a dog bite. First, says the lawyer, my client doesn't own a dog. Second, if he did own a dog, he certainly wouldn't bite anyone. Third, if he did bite someone, he must have been provoked.

Point number three is also known as the abusive husband defense. See, his wife makes him beat her.

For 30 years Republicans have carefully cobbled together this coalition, nourished them with the fell meats of rancid distrust and bootstrappilosophy. "Getting government off our backs," was a useful dog-whistle slogan against tax collectors for a welfare state. The base new what this meant to them--don't take my hard earned money and give to some lay-about colored.

But what it really meant to the boys who ran the store was giving private corporations free reign to rape, pillage and plunder. It was a win-win for Republicans.

Then something happened. The Fairness Doctrine, which kept some sort of harness on the media, was killed during the Clinton Administration. Deep pockets began purchasing radio stations all across the land, pockets friendly to Republicans, and the steady encephalitic drip, drip, drip of right-wing ideologues like Rush began to seep into the next generation.

And market success began to overtake electoral victory.

Stars and multimillionaires were created out of this vast right-wing media conglomeration, and its audience became a movement who demand absolute rigidity in not only abstract political philosophy, but also in policy itself.

The result was that any and all Democrats must be hated. If they agreed with any Republican policies, then the policy must be flawed. No compromise ever on anything--compromise is like "date rape."

The moderates have been pushed out of the Republican party by the purists, and heated primaries to decide who have the wing-nut bonafides results in a treasure trove of Democratic ads to run in the general election. This will concern the "mushy middle" the swing voters, that are so precious in deciding elections.

The teabaggers are now in control of the Republican party, and every candidate actively and gleefully seek their approval. But there are only so many angry white folks to go around, and not enough to be more than an impediment to progress.

And this will only make them angrier. Sigh.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


There is no shame from sleazy, profitmongering health insurance companies. They are already side-stepping the new health insurance reform law in order to reject children:
Insurance industry lawyer William Schiffbauer told the New York Times, “The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy. But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition. And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost.’’
This is why it should be illegal to profit from health insurance. American Health Insurance Providers (AHIP) now have a new mascot.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Demonstrating Teabagger Gets Broke Back

I don't care who you are, that shits punny right there. Setting aside the entire Republican party as "not ready for prime time," because let's face it, they are not, a determination should be made about the governance of America.

Which leaves us with the fractious Democratic party. Some among us are uncomfortable with unregulated vaginae and feel Catholic pederasts should divine control of not man parts--wielders of the not man parts (save for the nun chucks) should be shunned as unserious and silly little split tails.

President Obama, in order to get elected, said his first act would be to sign the Freedom Of Choice Act and now, in order to pass his health care reform bill, he codifies the Hyde Amendment by Executive Order.

He publicly claimed to be in favor of the public option while giving private assurances to private insurance organizations that none would be in the final bill.

In short, President Obama kicked every demographic group in the teeth to pass a piece of republican legislation which only drove the teabaggers into a brick throwing frenzy.

Unions had to make a special call and twist arms to prevent their hard-fought health benefits from being taxed.

Women saw control of their own body parts being traded as mercantile on the exchange.

Liberals saw health insurance firmly yoked to private industry determined to profit from our dying quivers.

Minorities found an open maw to consume any meager leftovers from a week of toiling in the traces going to massive corporations guaranteed a 15% minimum in profits.

He wishes for 15%.

Some lecture the liberal base that certain trades, like the one to Bart Stupak and his dirty dozen of posse regulators was needed.

That we should not join with the wacked out teabaggers to deny health insurance for 31 million additional Americans.

That they can never afford the deductibles and copays is irrelevant--the important part is that we supply a one-way cash flow to the health insurance industry. A health insurance policy offered by the federal government, one beyond the grips and Enron style accounting tricks of the health insurance industry is a bridge too far--it is too liberal and the teabaggers and its republic polyp party would declare this a massive takeover of the health care industry.

We wouldn't want that.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Anatomy Of The Health Care Bill

President Obama knew coming in that reforming health care, the Wild West of American Capitalism, would be a tough job. Only two industries, professional baseball and health insurance are exempt from anti-trust legislation. So how do you harness something free to collude and cahoot--a beast that has never been ridden?

And the pharmaceutical industry, flush with billions delivered from the cash cow of overcharged sick Americans and an army of lobbyists willing to purchase meaningless reform or finance opposition that upset their apple cart.

And the Republicans, ran out of office during a five alarm fire stand armed with moltov cocktails to pitch at any fire trucks arriving on the scene. A party willing to see this country burn to the ground rather than any democratic policies enacted for water.

And the liberal base of the President's party seeing their moment of empowerment wanting to slit the throats of those profiting from sick people and demanding Medicare for all--also known as single payer.

The post-partisan President sought to thread that needle.

And to thread that needle, President Obama chose the DLC-Clinton model. The DLC or Democratic Leadership Council is a corporate friendly organization formed to suckle off some of the Republican campaign dollars from the corporate teet. The DLC-Clinton model is where progressive goals are obtained through private entities for the mutual benefit of the private entities and the administration.

In early July of last year the Obama administration entered into deals with Pharma and America's Health Insurance Plans, (AHIP). Pharma agreed to cut up to $80 Billion in projected costs to American citizens and seniors over the next ten years, run ads supporting vulnerable Democrats in their districts, not to torpedo the reform effort, and no playing footsie with Republicans. They would receive no drug reimportation bill, no shifting of drugs from Medicare part B to Medicare part D, and no Government negotiated prices for drugs.

The deal with AHIP was similar--$155 Billion in cuts over ten years, run some ads, don't torpedo the effort, eliminate pre-existing conditions, quit dropping sick people, etc. They would get 30 million new customers mandated by law to purchase their product with tax subsidies for those who can't afford it.

AHIP became a little concerned with the public insurance option but were assured it would not be in the final bill. Even though candidate Obama campaigned on a Government run plan and President Obama said he favored it, behind the scenes it was a different story. The public option was merely a cudgel over the head of AHIP to encourage compliance and something to keep the progressives busy with. It was traded away in early July.

These meetings and deals were not aired on C-Span. The congress scampered around having their kabuki with the Senate, meanwhile the deal was done and no meat was left on the bones. Congress looks bad in this whole thing because they didn't have much to work with.

What we are left with is the most massive transfer of wealth from the public sector to the private sector in American history, save for WWII. This money goes to an industry rife with bad practices. However, the money comes attached to some regulations--and not a regulator in sight.

I feel better already.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

In Defense Of Mark Sanford

Republican party leader and degenerate drug addict, Rush "Oxymoron" Limbaugh, defended Governor Sanford's leaving the country and cheating on his wife--Obama made him do it.

"This is almost like, 'I don't give a damn, the country's going to Hell in a handbasket, I just want out of here,'" said Limbaugh. "He had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn't want any part of it. He lost the battle. He said, 'What the Hell. I mean, I'm -- the federal government's taking over -- what the Hell, I want to enjoy life.'"

"The point is," he added, "there are a lot of people whose spirit is just -- they're fed up, saying to Hell with it, I don't even want to fight this anymore, I just want to get away from it."

So, terrified of being teabagged by a huge Mandingo stimulus package and thereby feeling impotent and self-conscious, the Governor just said "Fuck it," it, presumably being Maria in Argentina.

It's all about the man, keeping you down, Argentina way.

Aye caramba!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Another Republican caught screwing someone besides his wife or the American people. Fix News is on the case though, and labeled Governor Sanford as a Democrat.


One wonders how the pallid peoples of the Republican base of South Carolina will cotton to the idea of cross-breeding with a Latina instead of a good hometown American woman. The fact his presser was on hump day is just a coincidence.


Clearly we should

Shower them
With Freedom Bombs


Getty Images via, and apologies to, Driftglass

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Leave Meghan McCain Aloooooone!

She bravely entered the den of liberalism and admitted she was catching a lot of shit for it. Nonetheless, they treated her like a whetstone to sharpen their knives.

Meghan did way yonder better than I would've done when I was 25. I probably would've resembled a potted plant. Begala can't be blamed for taking an opening a truck could drive through, but Meghan does have a message as it pertains to the future of the Republican party. Trying to incorporate current complaints of the Democratic President is not part of it and just turns her into a typical whiny shill opening her up for drubbings like Paul gave her.

Note to Meghan--stick to your heartfelt beliefs as it pertains to the future of the Republican party and avoid trying to critique the opposition. Methinks your plate is overfull.


Republican congresscritter Pete Hoekstra gave a new twist to restructuring, when he complained on Twitter, comparing the life and death struggles Iranians are having with Republican Victimhood.

The Pete Tweet:
Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House.
Not to be outdone, other tweets came in with similar really bad analogies:

Got a splinter in my hand, now I know how Jesus felt.

Someone walked in on me in the bathroom. Reminded me of Pearl Harbor.

Sitting in a chair, feeling a good deal like Stephen Hawking.

More Hoekstroika fun here.

Liberal Media

So the Washington Post fired Dan Froomkin. Apparently, according to Froomkin, his column "wasn't working" according to his bosses. One of the hardest things he did was his job, while keeping his job. That is because, as a political critic, many times he found his columns repudiating the war cheerleaders on the editorial page.

He was branded with the scarlet letter of being a liberal.

Somehow, I missed the part where avoiding foreign entanglements, opposing torture, opposing illegal wiretaps and expecting elected officials to follow the law as liberal positions.

Asking tough questions has become out of vogue for our stenographic press. Press The Meat fellator David Gregory explains the media failure in the run-up to the Iraq war:

"I think there are a lot of critics who think that . . . . if we did not stand up [in the run-up to the war] and say 'this is bogus, and you're a liar, and why are you doing this,' that we didn't do our job. I respectfully disagree. It's not our role"

As an example to Froomkin, David Gregory shows how to question the President prior to going to war:

Q Mr. President, good evening. If you order war, can any military operation be considered a success if the United States does not capture Saddam Hussein, as you once said, dead or alive?

Q Sir, I’m sorry, is success contingent upon capturing or killing Saddam Hussein, in your mind?

In sales, this is called a choice close. "Do you want the red car or the blue one." One assumes the sale and gives the choice of options as opposed to whether the sale should take place at all, or in the field of journalism, calling bullshit:
Mainstream-media political journalism is in danger of becoming increasingly irrelevant, but not because of the Internet, or even Comedy Central. The threat comes from inside. It comes from journalists being afraid to do what journalists were put on this green earth to do.

What is it about Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert that makes them so refreshing and attractive to a wide variety of viewers (including those so-important younger ones)? I would argue that, more than anything else, it is that they enthusiastically call bullshit.

Calling bullshit, of course, used to be central to journalism as well as to comedy. And we happen to be in a period in our history in which the substance in question is running particularly deep. The relentless spinning is enough to make anyone dizzy, and some of our most important political battles are about competing views of reality more than they are about policy choices. Calling bullshit has never been more vital to our democracy.

[...] Dan Froomkin, recently fired bullshit detector.

Froomkin served an odd function in that he practiced the art of journalism at the Washington Post, and it "wasn't working." He turned into the guest actor of an old Star Tek episode, the one with the different colored suit.

Spock, Bones, Scotty and...Froomkin, beam down to the surface...
Hell, you knew Froomkin wasn't coming back. It was his perverted view that journalists should be skeptical and adversarial to claims made by political figures, and was labeled liberal for pointing out their false claims and radical policies. Reporters are simply supposed to type down what both sides say and run it through a spell check program. Calling bullshit, as David Grogory has told us, "It's not our role."

To get an idea of what Dan Froomkin felt the role of the press was, read this, this and this. Simply put, he didn't believe journalists should be stenographers, much less cheerleaders for politicians. And he was fired.

But the persecuted and largely silenced voice of conservatives, like neocon Charles Krauthammer, neocon Bill Kristol, Kathleen Parker, Glenn Beck, neocon and serial comb licker Paul Wolfowitz (who told congress prior to the Iraq invasion that Iraqi's would be able to finance their own rebuilding. He went on to head the World Bank, where presumably, math was involved. He got fired shortly thereafter) still get published in The Washington Post.

Keep chasing that thirty percent WaPo and see where that gets you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sex And Politics

I don't think most people really care about the personal sex lives of politicians. If only some politicians wouldn't be so morally outraged at other politicians pecadillo's, actions like Senator Ensign (R-NV) wouldn't amount to much. But the standard was set during the Clinton administration and the Lewinski affair (aka the Clenis). Not that President Clinton was the first public official to engage in such behavior, but he was the first to suffer a highly-partisan public lynching of a wildly popular President.

At some point, someone needs to call a truce and leave this sordid stuff to a single paragraph AP story. We have more important things to worry about than preachy two-faced sleaze bags.

Right Wing Extremists Terrorize America

Since Obama's inauguration, America has suffered nine attacks from right-wing extremists. Many of these attacks resulted in numerous fatalities from Nazi loving, xenophobic, women hating, racists coked to the gills on white power Aryan victimhood.

After DHS secretary Janet Napolitano released the report initiated during the Bush administration titled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," every right-wing pundit in America was outraged. Even though no names were mentioned, curiously these pundits stepped in and demanded an apology, for slandering them personally--a blatant admission that they too, are right-wing extremists.

What is it exactly do we have to fear from these right-wing extremists that have a protective and Semper Fi-ish punditocracy who forced Napolitano into multiple apologies and retraction of the report?

The day after Obama's inauguration, Keith Luke kicks things off with a raping and murderous rampage. His plan was to kill as many "non-whites" as possible before killing himself.

Twenty days later, on February 10, Hitler admirer, Nazi memorabilia collector and serial wife-beater James Cummins was killed by his wife. Police found radioactive "dirty bomb" materials in his home.

Sixteen days later, on February 26, Dannie Baker walks into a townhouse where 14 Chilean students, here legally, were gathered and opened fire. He kills two and injures five, out of fear immigrants are taking over the country.

Thirty eight days later, on April 5, Richard Popalowski, a white supremacist, gun nut and cop killer lay in wait, wearing a bulletproof vest, for police. He killed three officers in the ensuing gun battle.

Twenty three days later, on April 28, Army Reservist, wife-beater, cop killer and Obama hater Joshua Cartwright shot and killed two deputy sheriffs when they tried to arrest him on a misdemeanor charge of domestic battery.

Eight days later, on May 6, racist Jew-hater Stephen P. Morgan guns down, in cold blood, a female Jewish Wesleyan student. He kept a journal where he wrote down his belief that it is, "Okay to kill Jews and go on a killing spree."

Twenty four days later, on May 30, founder and Executive Director of the militant vigilante group Minutemen American Defense (MAD)Shawna Forde along with some thug followers, allegedly did a home invasion where two of the occupants were murdered. Husband and father Raul Flores, along with his nine-year-old daughter were mercilessly gunned down. The wife and mother was wounded in the invasion.

The next day, on May 31, far right extremist Scott Roeder assasinated Doctor George Tiller in church.

Ten days later, on June 10, white-power Aryan nutcase and Jew-hater James Wenneker von Brunn walks into the national Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and opens fire, killing a security guard.

These cannot be brushed aside as "lone wolf" isolated incidents as I am sure the mighty right-wing wurlitzer will try to claim but it is disturbing to watch them attempt to call these right-wing extremists as lefties.

More of these attacks will surely occur, and they seem to be coming with higher frequency. More and more Americans will recoil from such acts, which will further isolate the right wing. And like a stalker, the more you ignore them, the more brazen they will become.

We're in for a long, hot summer.

h/t to Orcinus

Monday, June 15, 2009

Truth Hurts

Apparently someone took offense at me pointing out not all Republicans are racists, but all racists are Republicans. In defense of his dwindling, wingtard party of old white bigoted southerners, he neglected to point out the "southern strategy." From the father of the "southern strategy" Richard Nixon's strategist Kevin Phillips:
From now on, the Republicans are never going to get more than 10 to 20 percent of the Negro vote and they don't need any more than that... but Republicans would be shortsighted if they weakened enforcement of the Voting Rights Act. The more Negroes who register as Democrats in the South, the sooner the Negrophobe whites will quit the Democrats and become Republicans. That's where the votes are. Without that prodding from the blacks, the whites will backslide into their old comfortable arrangement with the local Democrats.

Also, he failed to mention high-powered political operative Lee Atwater, who worked in the Reagan Administration, ran Bush the first's Presidential campaign and went on to control the Republican party as the RNC chair. Here he explains the modern use of code words in dog whistle politics of the "southern strategy."

You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger." By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, "We want to cut this," is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than "Nigger, nigger".
I appreciate the history lesson Red put up about the birth of the KKK and how Lincoln freed the slaves and all, but I wonder how he missed the part how the Republican party targeted and actively campaigned to welcome racists? To completely be ignorant of a decades old strategy that continues to this very day is an indicator of stunning incompetence.

Yes, I know I rarely blog these days, as I have a full-time job in the energy sector. Please don't waste energy whining about my "drive-by blogging." Instead, thank me for providing the electricity you use for blogging.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Clingy Losers

Back in the 90's when the Democrats were in control of the Federal Government, a guy tried to crash his plane into the White House. He hit a tree and died on the White House lawn. On another occasion, a guy stuck a gun through the fence at the White House and fired off several rounds before being tackled by civilians. When Newt engineered his "American Revolution" with his "Contract On America" regaining control of the House, fanatical wingnuts seemed to calm down.

Now, after Republican rule over two wars and doubling the size of the Federal Government and debt, Katrina, Schiavo, and just all around dickeadedry, America has turned its back on the fanatical 20 percent that remains of the Republican Party. The anger has risen to a dangerous level and is manifesting itself in recent killings.

Ann Coulter once said "Not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslim."

I think it is fair to say that not all Republicans are racist, but all racists are Republicans.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Hoist By Their Own Petard

Dr. Ed put up an interesting post where he posits all that remain of the Republican party is fanatics.

Ya think?

Well, actually, there are four parts to the Republican Party.

The Corporate Cons. These are the guys who actually own the joint. Captains of Industry and Galactic Scions all. They send their sniveling whelps to the best schools and purchase them elite positions in think tanks who issue relentless opinions that if Pops has to pay taxes or clean up the megatons of daily toxic waste his company spews forth, then all America will die of festering boils. They have color charts and everything.
Now, The Corporate Cons are not a large voting bloc, and probably couldn't get elected coffee pot carrier at the local Ihop. That's just not their job. And they are not Republican or Democratic--the ideology they hold is entirely self beneficial. So who would be a good tool to help them out?

The Neo Cons. These are the lackey's, the lickspittles who carefully crafted a legalized bribery machine to power the military-industrial complex. Actual Congresscritters and Senawhores purchased to enact legislation to benefit their owners--and we are not talking about the American people. But unfortunately they were stuck in the 40 percent range and could never actually achieve power. What savior could they call upon to deliver them to the promised land?

The Theo Cons. About two generation ago it was determined that social issues could be used to push the Republican party over the top. A partnership was formed wherein the religious leaders vowed to deliver votes for the Corporate Cons much like a station wagon is used to deliver groceries. And the sermon on the mount was delivered, that the evil liberal had set upon the good, God fearing Christian, persecuting them, conducting evil that would condemn our great nation to eternal damnation.

Tha assault was relentless. Every month a new group to hate. Welfare queens, abortionists, sodomites, dirty fucking hippies, ad infinitum. Some were repelled by such rhetoric, but many were not. The distillation process left them with the...

Conned Cons. An entire generation or two of millions of people have been indoctrinated into the belief that Democrats and their policies or position are evil. They are akin to the ceramic doll in the back window of an El Dorado Cadillac, heads bobbing up and down to anything Rush or Hannity or Newt (the three stooges of the republican party) says. Intelligent discourse is gone and compromise is heresy. A construct designed wholly by the republican party, like Frankenstein, cobbled out of hate and intolerance, rotten flesh and bad breath, the Conned Cons walk around like the undead, spewing talking points like a right-wing pez-dispenser.

But this Frankenstein doesn't fear torches, he carries them. The three stooges told them to never show weakness by compromise, so they carefully look amongst themselves for non-purist and quickly set upon those they find. So the three stooges and Faux News get great ratings and are doing financially quite well in the free-enterprise system and the market of ideals.

But that succesful rating came at the cost of electoral disaster. Now the teabaggers feel persecuted once again, but they are such mindless drones they don't see their tormentors at the head of the parade.

And The Corporate Cons? Why, they are comfortably fondling the Democrats now.

And so it goes.

Don't Ask Don't Tell

When Don't ask, don't tell was first implemented as military policy during the Clinton administration, I could see the inherent flaws involved. At the time I asked my big brother, an ex-marine (okay, no such thing as an ex-marine--Semper Fi bro) how he felt about gays in the military. Best as I can recall, his answer was somewhat like this:
Say me and another guy are pinned down behind a rock under heavy fire. We have limited ammo, and the other guy is a flaming queer o'sexual and a crack shot. One shot--one kill. Hell I'll kiss him right on the mouth, tongue, no tongue, his choice. Now say the same scenario but the other guy is a homophobe hetero. But he is a titty sucking lightweight, firing into the air, using his weapon like a noise maker, hoping to scare off the enemy.

Now we only have so many bullets. I'll let you draw your own conclusion as to who the first sonofabitch is I shoot.

The point being, in life and death situations you want the best qualified individual standing next to you. In times like that lifestyles are so far down the priority list as to be irrelevant. Repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Abortion Doctor Murdered By Far-Right Extremist; Pro-Lifers Rejoice

Updated Below
George Tiller, an abortion doctor, was shot dead in his church Sunday morning by Operation Rescue follower Scott Roeder. Somehow, shooting someone in cold blood doesn't seem all that pro-lifey to me. Right-wing extremists disagree:

Red State:

Killing Tiller was the ethical thing to do

tankertodd Sunday, May 31st at 2:25PM EDT
I can’t escape the conclusion that killing Tiller was the right thing to do. I am uncomfortable with this conclusion because it’s dangerous. But nevertheless, it was the ethical thing to do. Tiller would have continued to take numerous lives. Nothing was going to stop him. So someone did stop him. And now fewer lives will be taken.
Operation Rescue founder and far-right extremist Randall Terry:
"George Tiller was a mass-murderer. We grieve for him that he did not have time to properly prepare his soul to face God.
Current Operation Rescue President Troy Newman tries to distance his organization from the killer:
Scott Roeder has never been a member, contributor, or volunteer with Operation Rescue. Mr. Roeder may have posted to our open blog web site, as have thousands of members of the public, including those with pro-abortion views, but he is not affiliated with this organization.
We deplore the criminal actions with which Mr. Roeder is accused.
However, when Scott Roeder was arrested an envelope on his dashboard with the phone number written on it belonging to Operation Rescue senior policy adviser and convicted abortion clinic bomber Cheryl Sullenger. She claimed she had not spoken with the killer "recently." Sullenger is one of two names listed on the Operation Rescue's press release denying contact with Roeder.

Years of hate speech directed at Tiller for performing a legal medical procedure drove zealots to relentlessly attack the Doctor. His clinic was bombed and Doctor Tiller was shot in both arms. Now he has been murdered in his church.

Probably the biggest spewer of vile invective toward Doctor Tiller is the Supremely Moral phone sex enthusiast Bill O'Reilly who labeled the Doctor "Tiller the baby killer:"

According to Gabriel Winant, Billo first discussed Tiller on February 25, 2005 and followed it up with 28 more shows that mentioned the Doctor. Falafel boy portrayed the Doctor as a killer on the loose and using profits from his "death mills" to purchase political protection by giving campaign donations.

What could possibly go wrong?

What can never be explained to far right-wing extremist pro-lifers bent on bombing and killing are the deeply personal and dreadful choices people were faced with who sought out Doctor Tiller, from Feministe:

I was almost 26 weeks. I showed up for my ultrasound by myself. I was scanned for almost 2 hours. This is when my life forever changed. The scan showed that her little brain was severely calcified, parts were not symmetrical and there was fluid. The doctor took me into a room to talk to me. I told her “please just tell me the truth I need to know.” The Doctor said that she had no idea what this meant but that she felt something was terribly wrong. Within two weeks her brain had gone from “normal” to massive problems. I was sent up to Genetics. The counselor told me that the genetic doctor wanted to talk to me. I requested that they wait until my husband got there. The conversation with this doctor was the same, she felt that something was terribly wrong, but they had no idea what it was. “This looks like the tip of the iceberg” we were told.

The hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life was to decide to terminate this pregnancy. This all happened on a Wednesday.

Friday we had to go and talk with some perinatologists. They told us that they had never seen this before and that they could not tell us what the outcome would be. We did not even get a percentage of what her life would be like. They told us that she possibly could die in utero, die shortly after birth, or be a vegetable. They told us that we could wait another two weeks and have another scan and possibly an MRI. How could I go on another day? It killed me to feel her move around inside. This was so awful.

We had another appointment with the doctor that performed the terminations. We were told that with my conditions and the lateness of the pregnancy he did not feel he could give me the care that I required. That’s when we were referred to the Women’s Clinic in Wichita, Kansas.

I was 27 weeks by this point. I was terrified. The moment I met the doctor, all of that ended. He was a wonderful and loving man. I came in on Monday and gave birth to our baby girl on Friday. We were able to hold her after, and say our goodbyes. That doctor will always be in my heart.

This happened two weeks ago and sometimes I feel like this isn’t real. I miss feeling her inside me. I miss singing or talking to her, touching my belly and have her respond. The hardest part now is that I will never get to see her smile or laugh or to watch her grow up A day does not pass that I don’t think of her. I miss her so much.

Recently anchor baby Michele Maulkkkin led the flying monkey brigade assault on Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to pull a report identifying future threats possibly coming from right wing extremists and anti-abortionists. Now our lady of concentration camps is calling for civility and warning the left and the corporate media not to politicize this political assasination cheered by right wing extremist theocons who operate outside the law.

Creepy phone sex enthusiast and serial sexual harasser responds:
When I heard about Tiller’s murder, I knew pro-abortion zealots and Fox News haters would attempt to blame us for the crime, and that’s exactly what has happened. [...]
I see. Bill O'Reilly is the real victim here.

Friday, May 01, 2009

My Coffee With Jane

About three years ago I had occasion to have coffee and conversation with Jane Hamsher, co-founder of Firedoglake, progressive activist and movie producer. She had come to Tulsa to see her ailing mother, who succumbed to her illness. At the urging of the "firepups" (what the commentors at Firedoglake call themselves) I called her up. She invited me up to visit over coffee at a local Starbucks.

I live in Oklahoma City, which is 120 miles from Tulsa, but since I am also a truck driver, the trip is like to the corner store. I tend to be somewhat course having spent twenty years in the oilfield and very little makes me nervous, yet that two hour drive up the Turnpike worked on me. In my line of work I never get to have a conversation with a woman of her caliber--to hell with that--anyone of her caliber. She can be brutal and brilliant on her blog. I had better not piss her off was my main concern.

When she came in the coffee house, I noticed she was wearing the same satiny over sized blue top she was wearing the first time I saw her at YearlyKos in Las Vegas. One of those comfy, light and roomy shirts that could easily become a favorite. Her hair was long back then, and very thick, still slightly damp from a recent shower, and, to me, she seemed very thin. One could use the word fragile, if one was completely ignorant of the force that is Jane Hamsher.

We greeted warmly, got some coffee and on the way to a table she gave a brief recount of her mother, Greta, mixed with smiles and tears. Slowly I led the conversation to other areas, as I felt was my role, to gently ease her pain. I asked her how long she had been involved in politics. She sat up, cocked her head and said "always" and regaled me with tales of hither and yon, clearly enjoying her walk down memory lane of her early activism.

We talked and laughed and generally made good of the time. On two occasions her mood drastically changed. The first one was when she declared, "Another Republican President will change the make-up of the Supreme Court and set back women's rights for a generation. I am not going to let that happen!"

The second one came as we were walking toward the door and she let it be known that she had fought off cancer twice. I was angling for the door, being a proper southern gentleman, to open it for her when she said "I will NOT let it beat me," grabbed the door and snatched it open. Her face had completely changed. Her classic beauty had been replaced by a grim glare fixed in determination.

We parted company, and as surely as I was dazzled, she was probably underwhelmed. Still, I hoped I gave her a brief respite from her deep loss. When she left Tulsa, she headed to Connecticut to primary Joe Liebermans ass. Ned Lamont, a local businessman, was running against Lieberman as an opponent to the war. Rahmbo, then head of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was parroting Chuck Schumer, then head of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee urging all their hand-picked Blue Dogs to NOT TALK ABOUT THE WAR!!

Jane led the blogosphere by hanging the war around Joe Liebermans neck, along with all his other "short ride" idiotic positions. When Ned Lamont kicked Liebermans ass in the primary, it sent shock waves through the political glitterati. Suddenly it became okay to oppose a stupid war we shouldn't have started to begin with.

Democrats did not lose a single seat anywhere, and the Republicans were slaughtered. The most dangerous place to be was between a camera or microphone and Rahmbo or Schumer. Stupid shits.

Jane suffered her third bout with cancer. It was a bad one, and yet again she stared the grim reaper in the face and sent the fucker packing. In my neighborhood, she is what we would affectionately call one tough fucking broad.

The Presidential race, for awhile, offered three options. One was a warmonger, one voted for the war, but was now opposed to it and the other was opposed to the war from the start. A nice spread on the options and America chose the non-waffling-non-warmonger. No one could have anticipated...

And now our newly elected Democratic President will choose our next Supreme Court Justice. All I have to say is, "Jane, this Justice is for you."