Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Joys and Perils of Living in THE STOOPID Country

As 2009 winds down, it’s time to reflect on the perils of the enemy within –- THE STOOPID. THE STOOPID so outnumber the rational that they pose a greater threat to the people’s welfare, healthcare, and pocketbooks, than any realistic threat of terrorism; a threat, incidentally, which THE STOOPID enabled then politicized with fear and loathing and hypocrisy.

SCUMBAG OF THE YEAR: Dick Cheney

Only in America, THE STOOPID can a lying hypocrite and coward who took seven deferments to stay out of serving his country in Vietnam pound his chest and criticize the Obama administration for the national security train wreck Bush/Cheney created.

LIAR OF THE YEAR: Sarah Palin

Only in America, THE STOOPID can a truth-challenged MORON like Sarah Palin perpetuate the biggest lie of the year about nonexistent “death panels” in the healthcare reform bills, then parlay her lies into a best selling book that she didn’t write for THE STOOPID white people who don’t care that it’s filled with more STOOPID LIES.

Runners-Up: Liz (like father/like daughter) Cheney, Joe (I LIE!!!) Wilson, Jim (I WISH I’D LIED TOO) DeMint, (also nominated in other categories) GOP, Teabaggers, “Truthers,” Dick Armey, Joe Lieberman, lobbyists, Rush Limbaugh, FOX “News” (collectively), Glenn Beck . . . really, too many to mention.

GRAMPS OF THE YEAR: Chuck Grassley and John McCain

When these doddering old fools keep repeating Sarah Palin's lies about “pulling the plug on Grandma” to incite their STOOPID constituencies, it makes one wish we could pull the metaphorical plug on them.

LUNATIC OF THE YEAR: Glenn Beck

It doesn’t take a licensed psychiatrist to realize this dude’s seriously delusional, clinically insane bordering on psychotic. And the scariest thing is he has a loyal following of THE STOOPID who actually believe Beck is a well person. THE STOOPID are in dire need of mental health services. Can we build some insane asylum gulags in Alaska to warehouse them? (Kidding!)

CULT OF THE YEAR: The C Street “Family”

The revisionist “Christian brotherhood” in the heart of D.C. spawned anti-abortion DINO crusader Bart Stupak, hosted and encouraged adulterous GOP politicos (because, as the chosen, the rules don't apply to them), sponsored parallel track renegade foreign policy, promoted a Ugandan law to criminalize and kill gays, and saw its tax-exempt status as a “church” revoked by the IRS after decades of sinister freeloading. What would Jesus do? Hmm.

STOOPID OF THE YEAR: Teabaggers

These Caucasian tools are the very embodiment of THE STOOPID. They can’t read (always finding what’s not there in the health bills), they can’t spell (those signs are enough to make kindergarten teachers question their vocation), they don’t know their own history, the difference between the (“U.S.S.”) Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (neither do Republican party leaders, for that matter), let alone that socialist and fascist are not one and the same, and President Obama is neither.

Oh, and they can't count either, unable to distinguish between 20,000 (the average size of their D.C. protests) and one million (their slightly inflated claims of their numbers). In short, the Teabaggers get a failing grade in the three Rs -- reading, writing, and arithmetic -- the minimum necessary education to function in society.

(Arne Duncan, Sec. of Education: can you spare any stimulus funds to give these people remedial courses in the three Rs? Their protest rallies would be a good place to sign them up. And they could start by correcting the typos in their hate signs!)

GUTTERSNIPE OF THE DECADE: Rush Limbaugh

Only in America, THE STOOPID would such a sleazy, repulsive pig make millions broadcasting his daily vomit of lies, sophistry, demagoguery, and racist hate speech, attaining such power and notoriety that he is hailed the BOSS of the GOP.

STOOPID OLD PARTY: GOP

The party of “NO” has no ideas, no policies, no plans, except to defeat President Obama and prevent the Democrats from governing by resorting to the filibuster more than at any time in the history of the republic. Shameful.

STOOPID NEW PARTY: Tea Party

If New York’s 23rd District is any indication, the new party of THE STOOPID could well prove to be THE STOOPID/GOP/Beckista “Waterloo.” After all, wouldn’t the short, rotund, wild-eyed Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh look just perfect in a Napoleon get-up?

Debunking the “liberal media” myth: MSNBC’s Identity Crisis

“Newt Gingrich, despite not having held any position in government for over a decade, was the single most frequent guest on "Meet the Press" in 2009 of any political figure in the United States. Literally.

From March to December, Gingrich appeared on “MTP,” on average, every other month. No one else in American politics was on the show this often.

MTP didn't have the actual Speaker of the House on at all this year. It also featured zero appearances from all of the other living former House Speakers (Hastert, Wright, Foley) combined.”

- Steve Benen, Political Animal
Why should this be? For one thing, David Gregory, the host of MTP, was anointed by legend-in-his-own-mind Tom Brokaw, the guy from the Charlie Rose school of corporate media, the stiff who presumed to write a book about the 60s and made snarky comments about the advocacy journalism of Keith Olbermann, who not only happens to be speaking truth to power, but is carrying NBC’s cable outlet MSNBC in the ratings with his fellow advocates.

David Gregory who is adept at corporate ass-kissing -- which KO is not (one of his finer qualities) -- seems to have the same fascination with Newt Gingrich’s bullshit as Tom Brokaw had with Henry Kissinger’s.

CNN, which despite its Orwellian claims to the contrary, truly has the worst political team in television, is an utter irrelevancy in political reporting. John King and David Gergen can’t save a network fronted by a pallid corpse in suspenders, a narcissistic pseudo-journalist who cackles like Larry, and stupid touch-screen tricks. Pathetic.

Ratings-wise, MSNBC is a tale of two networks: Its middle-of-the-roadkill shows and news programs are faring poorly, while the liberal advocacy opinion journalism of Olbermann-Schultz-Maddow-Matthews is ultra-competitive, posting first and second in the ratings depending on how the demographics break down. Ed Schultz, MSNBC's ballsy populist liberal is riding high because he brings the issues into sharp relief and isn't afraid to take a stand. On the other side, the nebulous Dr. Nancy show, that failed to take a firm position on healthcare reform, let alone educate the viewers on these issues and hold politicians’ feet to the fire, got axed.

MSNBC, cable’s allegedly “liberal” network, is nothing if not schizophrenic. (Where’s Carlos Watson been hiding? They could use him.) Once MSNBC stops the pretense, sends Tom Brokaw back out to pasture, tells Charlie Rose to STFU, and truly becomes the anti-FOX, then we can talk about one cable media outlet that is progressive.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Memo to the DNC: Ad Campaign Against DINO Parker Griffith Set to Roll thanks to the RNCC

Alabama Congressman Parker Griffith's party switch from Democrat to Republican went over like a lead balloon. Who cares. The guy voted against the stimulus, funding our troops, and healthcare reform. Paul Krugman calls him a “dinosaur” who is the “last of the Dixiecrats.”

Good riddance.

The Republicans welcomed him with open arms, but this is what they really think about him:





Listen up, DNC. You've not only rid the party of another Southern scumbucket, but if you're smart you don't need to fund a new ad campaign opposing Griffith. Just use the GOP ads above with the following voice-over: “Er . . . the Democratic National Committee is responsible for the contents of this ad (SMIRK).”

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Since President Obama Is a Flamengo Fan . . .

(Here he is in beautiful Maracanã Stadium celebrating Flamengo's 2009 Championship:)

. . . I won't give our President a hard time for claiming he never campaigned for the public option!

Thanks, Santa!



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Xmas, everyone

This year has been a terrifically long one, with pain and sickness and death and loss and grief for so many, many people I know. I don't know how we make it through at times, except for the gift of each other. Thank you for all your kindnesses and support through all our travails this year. As a friend elsewhere said today, "Merry Christmas, and I hope that whatever your struggles may be, you find some measure of peace."

I'll leave you with a song that I think represents the best of the spirit that so many try to hold this time of year. Regardless of your beliefs, hoping for a year without fear seems like a good thing.

Happy Xmas (War is Over) - John Lennon

So this is Christmas
And what have you done
Another year over
And a new one just begun
And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
For weak and for strong
For rich and the poor ones
The world is so wrong
And so happy Christmas
For black and for white
For yellow and red ones
Let's stop all the fight

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear

And so this is Christmas
And what have we done
Another year over
A new one just begun
And so happy Christmas
We hope you have fun
The near and the dear ones
The old and the young

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let's hope it's a good one
Without any fear
War is over, if you want it
War is over now

Happy Christmas

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Senator Whitehouse Slams the Wingnuts

And they go apopleptic on the Net . . . I love it! He struck a raw nerve on these mutants, now didn't he? Here's the Senator's must-see slam:



The Right reacted with feverish and wimpy whining. Here's a sampler:
“Resorting to polemical and outrageous claims of racism is the last refuge (or sometimes the first) of liberals who can’t win substantively on issues.”

Hahaha … gotta laugh: pot meet kettle. The vitriol against President Obama has been NOTHING BUT RACIST, beginning with Glenn Beck, FAUX News, birthers, Teabaggers, etc. etc.

“Sheldon Whitehouse becomes Alan Grayson.”

And this is bad . . . How?

Then there were the usual lame and stupid expletives: “uber moron,” “clueless clown,” etc. whine/whine/whine . . .

My very favorite: “Video: Sheldon Whitehouse Calls ObamaCare Opponents Racist, Then Denies!”

And they have the video to “prove it!” Here’s the setup: A breathless Washington Times reporter corners the Senator and tries to score a gotcha moment. But this foolish tool of the Right was hardly the Senator’s intellectual equal; he swatted her down:

“I didn’t say that, you should listen more closely. I’ll stand by the speech.”



While the wingnuts play this short clip ad nauseum –- there's a breathless and desperate tone to their whining -- the full speech can be viewed above, in its total, magnificent context.

One is hard-pressed to find a more toxic, “malignant and vindictive” subspecies of human than these practitioners of the “paranoid style in American politics.” Senator Whitehouse exposed the truth about them in eloquent and contextual history. The wingnuts can't handle the truth; they never could. So they get hysterical and cling even more tightly to their guns, racism, and paranoia.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Responding to Carlos

Well, they did get their 60 votes last night, and yes, they did drag Byrd out at 1 am to do it, but they'll get through the other two votes, and we'll be off to conference by Christmas. The more I read about the bill, the more I'm sad for the bill that we're not getting, but I'm an optimist at heart, so I have to hope that the good parts of this bill (and there are a bunch) make a real difference. I think that the more we learn about Obama, the more it's revealed that he's no idealist, and that he's not actually driven by the fierce urgency of much of anything, but he is (at least in his own mind) a pragmatist, and only targets what he thinks *can* get done, not what *should* get done.

So let's say at the beginning of the process, he believed that he'd never get a couple of senators (say, Lieberman and Nelson) to vote for the bill that he had said publicly he wanted. Given the monolithic nature of the GOP, I suppose the options were (1) that Harry Reid would grow a spine and somehow do enough arm-twisting to get it done, which certainly would have involved giving them something, although I know not what, or (2) this, or (3) put forth a good bill and let the conservatives kill it. I might have gone for (3), except that since it would have been a bipartisan (there's the magic word) effort to kill the bill, and out media is a bunch of morons, it almost certainly would have been painted as the fault of Obama and liberalism (read: Kenyan socialism) and a victory for "real" Americans, who will try their damnedest to follow Sarah Palin off a cliff.

Question: Is there an electoral defeat so convincing that at least *some* Republicans would be willing to break ranks with the teapartiers of the world, and is there a Democratic mind out there who can engineer it?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Healthcare Kabuki Theater and President Obama's Waterloo

The Democrats will have their healthcare bill, barring any unforeseen circumstances, including supernatural interventions invoked by Senators Brownback, DeMint, Vitter, Coburn, and House GOP loon Michelle Bachmann. Apparently they have turned the evil eye on venerable Senate Dean Robert Byrd, who is frail and ailing. Shame on them for forcing Senator Byrd onto the Senate floor at one a.m. in a wheelchair to cast his vote. Such unbecoming lack of “comity” is enough for progressive Democrats to give the bill qualified, but unenthusiastic, support.

It’s far from perfect. It’s not even a good bill. In fact, it’s an insurance companies and Big Pharma bonanza, unless it is drastically improved, amended, and its implementation closely monitored by Congress. The Chicago Tribune has the nitty-gritty.

Progressive Democrats argue that this is a first step toward universal coverage, that they can revisit it later and make it better. Perhaps. But history shows that bad social legislation either ends up in the historical dust bin or compounds its flaws. The best social legislation is that which is done right at the outset, or is designed from scratch: Social Security, Medicare, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Social Security was a limited, generational pension plan that could be built upon and improved over time. Medicare, I would argue, was more progressive in its original form, with Parts A and B –- hospital and outpatient care –- than with Part C, the so-called “Medicare Advantage” adopted in 1997, and the prescription drug sellout to Big Pharma in Part D, passed in 2006. Both Parts C and D were enacted by a Republican Congress.

Part C was Newt Gingrich’s backdoor scheme to privatize Medicare, which he said should “wither on the vine.” Part D was a deficit-busting transfer of wealth to Big Pharma rammed through during the Bush regime. Adding insult to injury, Obama Democrats voted down the pro-consumer drug reimportation amendment, which would allow the government to negotiate drug prices down by importing the same drugs from the same manufacturers for a fraction of their U.S. price. These drugs in countries like Canada and Germany are priced as much as 3-1 and 4-1 or more cheaper. A clear slam-dunk for the consumer was defeated solely because of the White House cheapskate $80 billion deal with Big Pharma.

Has anyone noticed those obnoxious anti-healthcare reform doom-and-gloom TV commercials with a darkened warehouse, a morose, supposedly unemployed worker or two, and the ominous voice-over about an “economy in crisis,” lost jobs, etc. urging us to call Congress and tell our representatives to vote down healthcare because “we just can’t afford it”? It got so that those commercials, paid for by the insurance companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, were so ubiquitous and patently false that I was compelled to dive for the remote and change the channel every time they came up. Which was often.

I mention this only because the sudden relief from the absence of such scummy crapaganda was instantly noticed, recorded and recalled here. It couldn’t be for lack of funding –- the anti-healthcare lobby has outspent proponents of progressive, pro-consumer legislation by roughly a 2-1 ratio. So what gives? For one thing, the ads stopped running right after Joe Lieberman’s despicable grandstanding in which he shot down the public option and Medicare buy-in for those 55-and-over, that he had publicly endorsed only two months before, in one fell swoop.

Was Traitor Joe really responsible for the sudden cutoff of the noxious anti-healthcare reform ads? Hmm . . . Not coincidentally, immediately following Lieberman’s sashay down the walk of infamy, President Obama Consiglieri Rham Emanuel was locked in Harry Reid’s office browbeating the Senate Majority Leader to cave to Traitor Joe’s demands, all of them.

Who the hell is Joe Lieberman anyway? He’s not too smart, he’s lazy, he hasn’t read the bill and doesn’t know what’s in it, and he’s a lousy campaigner. Clearly, he was enjoying the limelight, not fully realizing (I believe) the depth of anger he provoked in the progressive community, until Senator Al Franken took him down on the Senate floor and the netroots reacted with (surprise, surprise, corporate shills) characteristic ferocity. In the space of a few days, MoveOn.org has raised $1 million to defeat Traitor Joe.

Senator Sherrod Brown, one of the good guys, said of Traitor Joe in an unguarded moment, the time for retribution is not now, it can come later. I’ll buy it. Traitor Joe should know by now that his petty pique will have its consequences at the ballot box. He’s in the progressive movement’s crosshairs for defeat by a real Democrat who will fight for consumers and against the insurance companies. Opponent X to Traitor Joe can expect a sizable campaign fund of millions, thanks to good governance netroots fundraising. President Obama could find himself busy raising money from fat cats to offset the other DINOs targeted for defeat by the fighting progressives.

As that old SNL skit proclaimed, “believe me now or believe me later” . . . the message was heard loud and clear. Not only by puny Joe, who has all but gone underground, but in the White House too. Consiglieri Emanuel unleashed Capo Uno David Axelrod to discredit, rather hysterically, Dr. Howard Dean, who suggested that if the bill were not improved or fixed in Conference it should be killed. One of Dr. Dean’s objections is the bill’s onerous non-denial of pre-existing conditions if insurance companies are permitted to raise premiums at a 3-1 ratio for certain categories of older individuals. Well, argued Senator John Kerry, taking to the floor to insinuate that Dr. Dean didn’t know of what he spoke, prior to this reform this ratio could be as high as 10-1 or 25-1.

Wow. The problem is, Mr. Kerry, not every American is a multimillionaire heir to a ketchup fortune. The point Dr. Dean made is this: If the average policy is $15,000 and an older American with a pre-existing condition, say diabetes, is suddenly charged at the higher 3-1 ratio for insurance coverage, would you consider it onerous for someone making $80,000 or less? Is this the Senate’s idea of affordable healthcare? Do the math.

Watching the Republicans posture politically against a bill they don’t really oppose is like watching GOP kabuki theater. When Mitch McConnell came out to oppose the bill, he was not surrounded by the usual coterie of Republican Senators. Why? Make no mistake about it: The insurance companies and Big Pharma want this bill, and the Republicans know it. So does President Obama, who gave little more than lip service to the public option. Senator Russ Feingold, another good guy, laid the blame squarely on Don Obama’s shoulders:
“Unfortunately, the lack of support from the administration made keeping the public option in the bill an uphill struggle. Removing the public option from the Senate bill is the wrong move, and eliminates $25 billion in savings. I will be urging members of the House and Senate who draft the final bill to make sure this essential provision is included.”

Frank Rich of the New York Times, analyzing the President’s actions during the bank bailout earlier this year, argued that President Obama is a corporatist at heart. Watching the President charge on 60 Minutes that Wall Street bankers “don’t get it,” then deliver a different, more sedate message to bank CEOs in a White House meeting in which three CEOs stiffed the President and didn’t bother to show up, was too cute by half. The President’s pulled these stunts quite a bit lately, and they’re beginning to wear thin with his erstwhile progressive Democratic base, which has grown increasingly restless. Do not forsake us, Mr. President.

Glenn Greenwald of Salon argues in a provocative piece that President Obama
“clearly intended from the start that the final health care reform bill would contain no [public option] and was actively and privately participating in efforts to shape a final bill without it. From the start, assuaging the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries was a central preoccupation of the White House -- hence the deal negotiated in strict secrecy with Pharma to ban bulk price negotiations and drug reimportation, a blatant violation of both Obama's campaign positions on those issues and his promise to conduct all negotiations out in the open (on C-SPAN). Indeed, Democrats led the way yesterday in killing drug re-importation, which they endlessly claimed to support back when they couldn't pass it. The administration wants not only to prevent industry money from funding an anti-health-care-reform campaign, but also wants to ensure that the Democratic Party -- rather than the GOP -- will continue to be the prime recipient of industry largesse.”

Senator Feingold was one of the few Democrats to speak truth to power: "This bill appears to be legislation that the president wanted in the first place, so I don’t think focusing it on Lieberman really hits the truth."

In a weird way, the most vociferous GOP opponent of this legislation is one of the Senate’s most conservative members, Dr. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. Senator Coburn is perhaps one of the few remaining honest Republicans in opposition. The guy is obsessive about deficits, above all, and shows no sign of even regarding government as a necessary evil. He is a bona fide nutcase who would probably be better off as a full-time self-described “country doctor.” But Coburn is honest in his convictions, and McConnell is more than willing to let him take the point in opposing the bill with rambling, semi-coherent diatribes.

In a bit of Kabuki drama, Senator Coburn said the American people should pray that someone doesn’t show up to vote. Senator Dick Durbin called him out on this, noting that senators should not wish ill upon any member. The assumption was Coburn had referenced the ailing 93-year-old Senator Robert Byrd, who everyone hopes can make his entrance into the Senate chamber in a wheelchair to cast his vote. Ooops . . . Much to Senator McConnell’s chagrin, Coburn hasn’t been seen since.

What a mess. Back to those ubiquitous and obnoxious anti-healthcare ads: They ceased airing because the insurance companies, in their own words, “won!” Thanks to President Obama and allies like Traitor Joe, who carried substantial water for the President, Max Baucus, and the rest of the DINOs, the insurance industry and its wheel-greasing lobbyists will get the sweetheart deal of their dreams. Given his MO, the President probably genuinely believes he can compel the insurance execs to “do the right thing,” suddenly transforming themselves into good corporate citizens and honest, caring stewards of our nation’s healthcare.

The insurance companies and Big Pharma played a shell game of both sides, Republicans and center-right Democrats against progressive Democrats. As usual, progressives, consumers, and the American people were sold down the river to corporate interests. Who do they think they’re fooling? Is the White House still in a post-campaign hubris of “yes we can”? Have they checked their numbers lately? Have they forgotten who elected the President? Senator Byron Dorgan, another good guy, who introduced the drug reimportation amendment, that was implicitly defeated by President Obama, said of the Senate: “My father always told me never to buy anything from someone who’s out of breath. And there’s a breathless quality around here, with all the deal-making.”

Indeed, all the wheeling and dealing makes Clinton’s “triangulation” look like child’s play. Is President Obama on-track to be the greatest president since FDR? Not likely, despite the premature Nobel Peace Prize. The President now seems less like an FDR and RFK Democrat than a strange blend of wonkish fellow Illinoisian Adlai Stevenson and mini-me triangulator Bill Clinton, an Obama ally who said failure to pass this –- any -– healthcare bill would be a “colossal failure” for Democrats. Master politician that he is, Bill Clinton is right. Not passing this bill after all that’s transpired would be a surefire electoral bloodbath for Democrats.

There's always the chance of redemption. Failure is truly not an option. Yet, the conundrum is the inherent danger in passing such a flawed bill and the insurance companies reverting to what they do so well -- gouge their customers -- in spades. Ironically, President Obama might get his healthcare bill and his Waterloo too, after all.

High stakes. It didn't have to be this way. I hope it works out, but I'm not optimistic.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Something's Rotten in Denmark . . .

President Obama cuts a deal behind closed doors with China, India, South Africa, and Brasil, makes a few tough-sounding statements, then admits there are no binding provisions, before hightailing it out of Copenhagen.

Sound familiar?

What's the melting of the polar ice caps, species extinction, underwater Pacific island-states, water wars, floods, violent weather, continental dust storms, and tropical populations collapsing from the blistering heat . . . in the greater scheme of things?

Whatever happened to the fierce urgency of now?

The other day, Gail Collins wrote:
I used to cover Lieberman when he was the majority leader of the State Senate in Connecticut. We got along very well, except for one interview, during which he talked about working for J.F.K., and how he kept a Mass card from Robert Kennedy’s funeral to remind him of the principles to which he had dedicated his career. Showing me the card, he remarked casually that he hadn’t looked at it for some time.

I wrote an article using the neglected Kennedy card as a metaphor for Lieberman’s fall from his old ideals into the pragmatic politics of a party leader. He was outraged and wounded, and I believe I apologized.

Taking back the apology now.

We really miss Ted Kennedy's feral voice in the Senate on behalf of healthcare for the American people. And I keep coming back to John Lewis's question whenever he was confronted with a issue of principle over politics, of justice over expediency: "What would Bobby do?"

I could tell you, but you can guess the answer.

The cutting edge of journalism

CNN.com's lead story when I checked it this morning was headlined: "Debate over 'war on Christmas' claims"

The lede: "Is there a "war on Christmas"? Some Americans say so, arguing that there are continuing attempts to devalue the spiritual nature of the holiday. But others dispute these claims and say Christmas is not under attack."

1) Why the hell are we discussing this as if it's news?

2) Was that paragraph originally written for some sixth grader's report?

3) Isn't that structure applicable to any topic, anywhere? To wit:
"Is the world flat? Some Americans say so, arguing that the world looks flat from where they're standing. But others dispute these claims and say that the world is round."

What fucking uselessness we're surrounded by.

Edit: Two stories below that, there's a clearly scintillating article: "Opinion: Hate-based violence must stop".

Enlightening, this is not.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Good for Al Franken

This counts as a slap-down in the Senate. It may not be much, but Senator Franken made his (and our) point. In a legislative body that likes to wallow in the gallows of its traditions -- I say bring back caning -- the so-called "comity" of the Senate in search of an SNL comedy skit got caned thanks to Senator Al Franken's exquisite actor's sense of timing:



Senator Al spoke for millions of us who are itching to get back at Traitor Joe, the most loathsome, despicable, and petty member of a pretty loathsome deliberative body . . . That is, save for the saving grace of Al Franken, who answers to no one but the people of Minnesota -- which is as it should be -- a point he made quite clear to the insurance company shill standing before him.

P-Span: Joe Lieberman Socks

A little humor goes a long way ... MoveOn's anti-Lieberman ad with sock puppets:

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Not to leave out his colleagues

I didn't want to insult the Democratic leadership in the Senate, so I have included a picture of them as well:

For Emperor Lieberman

A lyrical tribute to the gentleswine from Connecticut (pictured below):

Big man, pig man
Ha, ha, charade you are
You well heeled big wheel
Ha, ha, charade you are
And when your hand is on your heart
You're nearly a good laugh
Almost a joker
With your head down in the pig bin
Saying 'Keep on digging'
Pig stain on your fat chin
What do you hope to find
Down in the pig mine?
You're nearly a laugh
You're nearly a laugh
But you're really a cry



(h/t to the Pink one)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Demoralized

Why are the 80% of the Dems who have a clue caving in to the 20% who don't? Is it because just like the GOP, they're only in it for themselves?

This is more passive failure than the active destruction of the country that went on under the GOP, but failure it is nonetheless.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Memo to Harry Reid: Run Joe Lieberman OUT of the Democratic Caucus On a Rail!

And strip him of his Homeland Security chairmanship NOW!

This unprincipled jerk had the gall to go on Face the Nation and rail against the Medicare buy-in for people 55 and over WHEN JUST LAST SEPTEMBER HE WENT ON RECORD AS PROPOSING THE EXACT SAME THING!



HOW MANY WAYS ARE THERE TO SPELL HYPOCRITE?

This is personal; it's not about the national interest, it's not about principle. It's all about Joe Lieberman sticking it to liberal Democrats for casting him aside in his last election, so he's opposing the liberals' major agenda item -- because HE CAN.

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Kick Traitor Joe out, Mr. Reid, take away his chairmanship NOW, and go to reconciliation. His presence in the Democratic Caucus has become toxic and viral. Healthcare legislation is too damned important a NATIONAL issue to be held hostage by a gang of reactionary corporate shills from small states who are bought and paid for by the insurance industry.

Go to reconciliation and BE DONE with Lieberman, Landrieu, Lincoln, Nelson, and Stupak. NOW.

And don't listen to MIA President Obama, when Rham Emanuel reportedly tells you to cut a deal with Traitor Joe. I don't think so. Progressives have had enough. We will compromise no more. Grow a spine -- and a set of cojones -- while you're at it Mr. Reid, or we'll find someone who HAS.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

GOLDFINGER . . .

This one's dedicated to the Beckista patsies: How many gold bars have you stored in your own private Forts Knocks to date???

Beck - Not So Mellow Gold
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Friday, December 11, 2009

We Need a Little More Irish in the U.S. Senate

For those who still read this blog (where have all our friends gone?), I think we may agree that the U.S. Senate needs a little more blunt language directed at its most heinous members. Can we start with Traitor Joe Lieberman?

Here's a script the American people, the lobbyists, the despicable corporate interests, and immoral insurance companies can understand (where's any mention in the Senate of Aetna dropping 600,000 "customers" to protect its obscene profits?):

The Public Option Is Dead, Long Live Medicare for 55 and Other Cave-ins Along the Way

This is not what progressive Democrats and Obama voters bargained for:
  • First, a bailout of Wall Street -- Big Banking and too-big-to-fail investment firms -- with no strings attached, no curbs on indecent bonuses, and no regulatory reform (waiting, waiting . . .);
  • Second, a watered-down stimulus bill with inadequate funds, few job-creation measures (paging FDR and the WPA) thanks to the President's sought-after vote of a Republican dope from Maine, Senator Susan Collins; as if she and her colleague Olympia Snowe suddenly controlled the entire progressive agenda in their stupid, half-measures middle-of-the-roadkill hands;
  • Third, the healthcare reform soap opera, still in progress with tumbling ratings, and a Democratic compromise (cave-in?) with itself behind closed doors to get the votes of reactionary senators Ben Nelson, Blanche (what she does with every mention of a government-run public option to compete with the private insurers and keep prices down) Lincoln, malleable Mary Landrieu, not to speak of Traitor Joe, the Democratic Caucus court jester, who is biding his time to deep-six healthcare with much fanfare for his insurance lords; and
  • Finally, the heavy medal Nobel (in anticipation of a swift) Peace Prize President, who seems determined LBJ-like to consume the entire Democratic progressive domestic agenda in the execution of foreign wars, the pursuit of terrorists, protecting the nukes of a failed state from falling into the wrong hands -- which is it or all of the above?
No, this isn't what the voters bargained for, although as they say, the devil's in the details. Is the Democratic compromise to kill an already watered-down beyond recognition public option in favor of extending a Medicare buy-in to those uninsured Americans 55 and up a good thing? Some prominent progressives -- Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, Anthony Weiner -- say yes, which is reason enough to believe the reactionary insurance ("we won!") industry shills in the Senate won't back it once the CBO numbers come in . . . or they'll water it down beyond all recognition so Harry Reid can slap a reform tag on it, and the President can hold his extraordinary "I've achieved healthcare reform for the American people" signing ceremony with insurance executives, just offstage, the only ones smiling broadly at the prospect of 30 million more customers to gouge.

"We won!" Did we?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Where in the World Is Our Path to Success in Afghanistan? This Pentagon Flowchart Has the Answer

This is no joke, folks, it's the genuine article, uncovered by NBC's Richard Engel. And just yesterday, Afghan President Karzai helpfully offered his own timeline. He wants to keep the family in the drug trade with USAID and the world’s finest military to protect his brother’s narco-trafficking ass and Swiss bank accounts courtesy of the American taxpayer for AT LEAST 15 MORE YEARS!


Here’s my version of the Pentagon flowchart for VICTORY in Afghanistan:

Monday, December 07, 2009

The World's Greatest Fans!

Carnaval 2010 in Rio is coming early this year. Flamengo, Brasil's most beloved (“o mais querido”) football club with a 40-million-strong fanbase in the Scarlet & Black Nation, a club whose 115-year history is as rich and storied as the history of football itself, became Champions of Brasil Sunday.

The title ended a 17-year drought for Flamengo in 2009 as the team capped a Cinderella season vaulting from 14th place to 2nd, with three games to go, then to first place with one game left in the season. In its last 17 games, as it made its victorious run at the title, the team’s record was a dazzling 12 wins, 4 ties, and 1 defeat.

Yesterday, with the team playing its last game at home, in majestic Maracanã Stadium, they needed one more win to make the fans explode in an awesome display of color and improvised pageantry. And they did. Flamengo won its last game, 2-1, and the celebration was on. The poet Nelson Rodrigues (who rooted for another team but could never hate Flamengo) said, as he gazed upon a sight such as this, “Flamengo, this force of nature, is like the wind, the rain, thunder and lightning”:


From the very beginning, Flamengo was the club of the people, representing the everyday struggles of the common man and woman against seemingly impossible odds with faith, perseverance, and hard work. Game day Sunday with Flamengo playing at Maracanã is a foil for the great expression of joy from the masses.

And when Flamengo wins, things just don't seem as gloomy as they did just a day ago. It's no accident that Saint Jude, patron saint of impossible causes, is also Flamengo's guardian angel, or so the fans believe. As everyone's favorite passage in the team anthem goes, “I'd have a profound sadness, If there were no Flamengo in the world.”

It’s a special thing, and once you fall in love with Flamengo, it’s a forever thing. For me, it's a trip back to my childhood when I would go to Flamengo games with a home stitched red-and-black flag on a bamboo pole, soaking in the atmosphere, feeling the energy and the excitement approaching the stadium, that force of nature of 100,000 souls breathing, sweating, crying, bleeding scarlet and black.



League MVP Adriano "The Emperor," powered Flamengo's road to the Championship with an awesome offensive display of goals:



Once Flamengo . . . always Flamengo!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Comic Relief: Chinese TV Recreates Tiger Woods Accident With Alleged Vixen Mistress

Is President Obama Making a Mistake With His Troop Escalation in Afghanistan?

Eerie shades of LBJ's Vietnam troop escalation in the President's decision to increase America's military presence in Afghanistan by more than 30,000 troops. Let us hope Mr. Obama has learned the lessons of history (Vietnam) and his decision won't come to this:

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Soccer Diplomacy: Take Note U.S., Brazil Is on the Rise

This is the kind in-depth diplomatic analysis that you won't get anywhere in the North American-Eurocentric media, which is unfortunate, because it is spot-on. In effect, the rise of Brazil as a major actor on the diplomatic stage heralds the death of the Monroe Doctrine and U.S.-European hegemonism in Latin America.

The reaction in this country to Lula's meeting with Ahmedinejad has been predictable: hysterical and hyperbolic. For so long, the United States has cornered the market on the projection of raw power as a substitute for diplomacy in pursuit of its vital interests that it is shocked!, I say, shocked! when a putative ally decides that its own vital interests do not always conform and align with those of U.S. military belligerence in the greater Middle East. In short, the critics should sit down, take a look in the mirror, and STFU. The days of dictation in place of conversation are over.

Brazil is speaking and doing business with Iran for the same reason the United States sold weapons of mass destruction to Saddam Hussein; poured millions in aid to the Pakistani military which openly collaborates with the Taliban and gave direct assistance to the 9/11 terrorists; and held hands with Saudi despots whose nationals perpetrated the greatest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, and who fund madrasas that breed suicide bombers to kill U.S. troops.

Brazil's nuclear program is much more advanced than Iran's, with the caveat that Brazil made public its determination to renounce development of a weaponized nuclear program. Brazil wasn't forced or intimidated to do so. It was a rational and civilized state decision: It isn't threatened militarily by any of its neighbors, and it can't possibly compete with the nuclear might of the United States any more than India, Pakistan, Israel, France, Britain, and China can. These are all regional nuclear states that are not on a par with the United States and its only credible nuclear deterrent state, Russia.

Brazil supports the U.S. goal of non-proliferation, containment of the nuclear states club to its current status quo, and gradual draw-down of nuclear weapons held by the nuclear states. At the same time, Brazil asserts it has earned a seat at the UN Security Council. It has a constructive diplomatic role to play toward achieving real and lasting peace in the Middle East for these reasons:
  • Brazil can be a genuine honest broker;
  • Its growing economic ties with the Middle East and absence from U.S.-European colonialist history in the region give it real bargaining power and influence to effect a lasting peace among warring parties; and
  • As a non-nuclear power with an advanced peaceful nuclear energy program, Brazil has more credibility with Iran to move it away from weaponization than nuclear powers that seek to impose their will on Iran with threats of military intervention.
The suggestion that Brazil could play a leading role in promoting an overall easing of tensions in the Middle East through soccer diplomacy has genuine promise of success. Kids over there don't play much baseball or basketball. But they love their soccer, and they're often seen wearing the jerseys of their favorite stars on the Brazilian national team.

Let the games begin!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More on Andy McCarthy

See my post below for starters.

This clown is ABSOLUTELY CRAZY. I don't care about his prosecutorial experience. He is as credible as the San Francisco street people who yell at you on Market Street.

He is a birther. He STILL holds to the absurd "Atta in Prague" lie. Iraq was the home of al-Qaeda.

Absolutely crazy train, but he is EVERYWHERE.

Sad.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The World According to C Street

We've glimpsed how C Street Family “brother” Bart Stupak's early morning assault on a woman's legal right to an abortion has become the most serious threat in a generation to pro-choice rights in America. Next come the tawdry revelations involving Family adulterers “brother” Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, and “brother” John Ensign, senator from Nevada. Sanford was charged with 37 ethics violations while the cuckholded husband in the Ensign affair gave a tell-all interview about John Ensign's sordid dalliances with the man’s wife.

If these were normal circumstances involving elected officials with an ounce of self-respect, these shameless politicians would have spared themselves and the public further embarassment by resigning. But that is not the way of the Family. After all, Sanford and Ensign are the “chosen ones” living in a bizarre Religious Right elitist world in which they are exempt from the normal rules of society. Doug Coe, head of the Family, explained in a colloquy what it meant to be a “chosen one”:
“Suppose I hear you raped three little girls. What would I think of you?”

“You would think I was awful, a monster.”

And Doug Coe said, “No, I would not, because you’re chosen, and when you’re chosen, the normal rules don’t apply.”

The DINO Holdout Outrage: In Praise of Landrieu but Not Lincoln, Nelson, and Traitor Joe

In electoral politics, what often “dictates” the balance between principle and expediency is the next election. When Senators Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas took the Senate floor to announce they would vote to invoke cloture on the healthcare bill and allow debate to begin, a Martian alien sitting in the gallery would have correctly deduced that, of the two, Senator Lincoln was the one facing a tough reelection campaign in 2010.

Disregard self-serving language about serving the people of [enter state: Arkansas] and not being “dictated to” by outside liberal groups [enter populist language], or the insurance companies [enter wink-and-a-nod to master donors]. Blanche Lincoln vowed to oppose a “government-run public option” even though the people of Arkansas support a government-run public option by 55%-38%. Altogether, the uninsured Americans in the states represented by the four senators in the Democratic Caucus who are threatening to tear down healthcare reform –- Lincoln, Landrieu, Lieberman, and Nelson –- number roughly 2 million people.

The common denominator among these four conservative Senate Democrats are the millions in campaign contributions from the wealthcare insurance industry and Big Pharma. The common denominator between the wealthcare insurance industry and Big Pharma is their intention to kill healthcare reform and the public option, outspending reform advocates by 2-1. REAL Democrats are fed up. Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio has had enough. With a right back at ya to Senator Lincoln, he said 56 Democrats in the Democratic Caucus will not be “dictated to” by four senators.

Way to go, Senator Brown. The President needs to step up to the plate and read these senators the Riot Act. (Sorry for sounding redundant.) The President’s studied indifference (think Waiting for Godot) in taking a strong stand and twisting some arms is showing up in his approval ratings, which will continue their southward slide unless Barack Obama reins in the DINOS with tough Johnson-esque cajoling. Astonishingly, Harry Reid has channeled LBJ much more effectively than President Obama.

Given the large Democratic majorities in Arkansas Senator Lincoln has infuriated, her political posture is, frankly, incomprehensible. Senator Lincoln’s grousing at outside liberal groups is ridiculous and self-serving. First, these groups comprise a substantial portion of Lincoln’s donor base. Second, the message carried by the netroots campaign in Arkansas simply informs voters of the Senator’s refusal to heed the wishes of 55% of Arkansans that support a public option.

What Senator Lincoln calls meddling by outside groups they call bringing sunshine to the process and forcing Lincoln to be accountable to her constituents. With hundreds of thousands of uninsured Americans in Arkansas alone, no apologies are forthcoming for inconveniencing Senator Lincoln. To the contrary, outside liberal groups will continue to ramp up the pressure. Go ahead, Senator Lincoln. Turn your back on the people of Arkansas, and they will defeat you. A strong candidate, Arkansas Lt. Governor Bill Halter, is waiting in the wings to pose a primary challenge on the question of a public option should you vote to destroy healthcare reform.

Conversely, the attacks on Senator Mary Landrieu by wingnut hate pimps Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck are despicable. They called Senator Landrieu an “expensive prostitute” for negotiating with Harry Reid a $300 million natural disaster Medicaid package for Louisiana, ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. The Bush Administration’s criminal neglect of Louisiana, depopulating the state of thousands of destitute residents -- an ethnic cleansing that has colored it lighter and more Republican -- made Senator Landrieu’s intervention on behalf of the poverty-stricken residents that remained an absolute moral imperative. She took the point on this issue, and sustained withering attacks by the wingnut blogosphere, with nothing but obscure, timid support by every Republican in Louisiana, from the governor on down.

Senator Mary Landrieu has received tough but deserved criticism on this blog for her public option flip-flop, but on the question of Medicaid disaster relief for her state she is completely in the right. It should be noted that the depopulation of New Orleans in the wake of the Katrina disaster robbed Senator Landrieu of a large chunk of her Democratic base in Louisiana. She can be forgiven a vote against the public option on an up-or-down floor vote, but should not, under any circumstances, filibuster final passage of the bill.

The worst thing Harry Reid can do is cave to the four DINO holdouts in the Democratic Caucus and accept a watered-down pro-insurance bill. If they do not fall in line, there’s always the simple majority of the reconciliation process. If forced to go this route, Mr. Reid should strip the DINOS of their committee chairmanships and privileges.

What can they do? Threaten to switch parties? Please, DINOS, there's the door. If you cannot support the Democratic Party on procedural votes, what are you good for? Don't let the Caucus door hit you on the way out.

Before I forget, there are two more inductees to The Thinker Hall of Shame: DINO Senators Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska. This brings the number of Hall of Shame laureates to four -- Mary Landrieu, Bart Stupak, Blanche Lincoln, and Ben Nelson -- with one non-DINO inductee, “Independent” Traitor Joe Lieberman. Hopefully Landrieu, Lincoln, and Nelson can be persuaded to return to the Democratic fold once more. Bart Stupak the Christian anti-choice stealth crusader, whose allegiance is to the C Street Religious Right mafia, never was a Democrat.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

2012: The Rapture or the Apocalypse?

“Rounding Third and Heading for Home”

This is how Senator Tom Harkin, Chairman of Ted Kennedy’s Health Committee where it all began on the Senate side, described last night’s historic Senate vote, 60-39, to break the Republican filibuster and allow debate on Harry Reid’s merged healthcare bill to proceed. Yes, there’s plenty that can happen between third and home but by any measure this was a momentous, historic vote.

The vote concluded with no small drama, as 92-yo Sen. Robert Byrd entered the chamber in a wheelchair pushed by an aide and pointed to the sky indicating his AYE vote, the usually taciturn Harry Reid planted a kiss on Mary Landrieu’s hand, and together with Sen. Schumer, hugged Blanche Lincoln, who blushed. The Senators voted from their desks, giving the proceeding a somber and dignified appearance.

Significantly, the one notable absence was Sen. George Voinovich of Ohio, who elected to attend the 30th anniversary of his Cleveland mayoral election instead. While he remains publicly opposed to the bill, Voinovich is no sure vote for the Republican caucus. This is Voinovich’s last term in the Senate, having announced his retirement, which gives him a great deal of independence. Recently, Voinovich lashed out in disgust at the current Republican Party:
“We got too many Jim DeMints (R-S.C.) and Tom Coburns (R-Ok.). It's the Southerners. They get on TV and go "errrr, errrrr." People hear them and say, ‘These people, they're Southerners. The party's being taken over by Southerners. What the hell they got to do with Ohio?’”
Could this be the first chink in the armor of Republican Senate discipline?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Why do Republican Women LIE So Much?

Maybe it’s the Palin tour that’s tipping the scales –- the documented, fact-checked lies in her book and her whining rebuttals mount by the day -– but even so, the scope and nature of female Republican lies is so much more outrageous than that of their male Republican counterparts. It’s not only about Palin’s lying. It’s Liz Cheney, Michelle Bachmann, and the latest outrageous liar, Virginia Foxx:



Nothing gets my blood boiling faster than a lie about settled history (and this woman was an educator!). For the record, the Senate vote for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was 73-27, with 46 Democrats and 27 Republicans voting AYE. At the time of passage, President Lyndon Johnson said prophetically, “there goes the South.”

He was right. Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” was born, the racist Dixiecrats in the Democratic Party moved to the Republican Party, and what has become the modern realignment of the parties took root. As for those moderate Northern Republicans who voted with the Democrats: They were purged by the Republican Party’s lurch to the right, driven out by Southerners and evangelicals, culminating in Ronald Reagan’s election.

One interesting sidebar: Yesterday, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia, the only Northern Democrat to vote against the Civil Rights Act, made history as the U.S. capitol’s longest-serving lawmaker. Senator Byrd, who will turn 92 on Friday, regrets that vote and has since renounced his segregationist past.

And Virginia, about Jesse Helms … At the time of passage of the Civil Rights Act, Helms was broadcasting racist rants from the local TV station, somewhat like a small-time Glenn Beck. Once elected senator in 1972 until his retirement, Helms never renounced his racist views even after many of his Southern colleagues had softened theirs.

These Republican women –- Foxx, Palin, Cheney, Bachmann -- are pathological liars. They can’t tell the difference between fact or fiction, and they don’t care. What makes them lie with such … brazenness?

Surfing the net, I landed (where else?) on Oprah.com for an answer. Susan Shapiro Barash says in her book Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets that “women lie not only more cleverly [than men do] but more often because in our society women are held to such a standard, and a lot of times, they have something to cover up. My theory is they use it as a survival technique and do it because they have been very good at doing it for so long.”

I’ll say, and it’s not only metaphoric. When she belongs to a conservative-to-wingnut white male-centric culture/party that so casually and frequently, and in so many ways, tells her to “stay in [her] place,” the Republican woman’s need to lie as survival mechanism must kick into high gear so early in her repressed childhood that at some point she just loses her grasp on reality and what is and is not, true.

Barash concludes: “I just note the way that women live their lives in this country and what they need to do to feel they aren't disempowered.”

Well, Republican women certainly. The one thing feminism has given Democratic women is, precisely, a sense of empowerment. Offhand, I can’t think of any Democratic women who flaunt their sexuality (nothing wrong with that, mind you) as much as Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann. Umm … but it's a certain kind of sexuality: I can imagine Palin and Bachmann pole-dancing, but not much else.

Here's what I mean:

Too stupid to breathe

From Salon: "Fully 26 percent of respondents said they believe ACORN stole the election for Obama, compared to 62 percent who said they think he won it fair and square. 12 percent weren't sure.

The numbers were even more revealing when broken down along partisan lines. A majority of Republicans -- 52 percent -- think ACORN stole the presidency, while just 27 percent said they believe Obama's office is legitimately his."

Really, I want to know. How do their brains function well enough to send signals to their hearts and lungs?

Using CNN's data, Obama got 254 EV's from states he won by 10% or more of the vote, and another 16 from states he won by 9%, which would get him to 270. Really? ACORN stole more than 10% of the votes in one of those 22 states, most of which are hard-core blue?

I want to add a question to their poll - does it hurt being that stupid?

Joe, I mean Andy, McCarthy speaks..

Andrew McCarthy (NOT the bad actor, just an all-around bad guy), the former assistant U.S. attorney and current NRO mouthpiece who mishandled and nearly blew the blind sheik prosecution has been very noisy in a CYA fashion about prosecuting KSM.

Right, we should listen to you, Andy, the genius who bemoaned how ungrateful the Iraqis have been to us. Yup, we killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, crippled the economy, made thousands of people homeless, subsidized ethnic cleansing, destabilized the region, empowered their arch-enemy, etc. etc. etc., and they are not the least bit appreciative The nerve of them. Just see if we go invading them again, harumph!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New York City to GOP Nervous Nellies: DROP DEAD!

Barring that, Reps. Gohmert, Shadegg, Bachmann, hick wingnut scumbags all, GO FUCK YOURSELVES.

Same goes for all other wingnuts out there who would presume (???) to speak for New Yorkers.

How Dare You! All of you sorry GOP excuses for cowering, subhuman jellyfish, most of whom never set foot in the metropolis you view as Sodom and Gomorrah, FUCK OFF.

Listen up assholes, including the FOX News and hate radio Beck/Limbaugh scum the city must tolerate because that’s where they happen to make their millions off the brain-dead hordes in flyover territory: Forget Paris, London, Rio, LA, Hong Kong, Chicago, SF. Fugheadboutit …

New York City is IT.

New York City is the world’s GREATEST CITY. Period.

NEW YORK CITY IS THE CAPITAL OF THE UNIVERSE.

Pathetic wingnuts -- you really think the City can’t handle Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the human waste that planned the Twin Tower attacks?!?

Take it from New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg:

“It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered.”


And United States Attorney General Eric Holder:

“I’M NOT SCARED OF KSM, AND NO ONE ELSE NEEDS TO BE AFRAID EITHER.”


It is FITTING indeed that New York City, the city that is constantly reinventing itself and being reborn, should emerge from the pit of 9/11, brush itself off, and stand tall, greater than ever to show the world that IT and the United States of America are unbowed and undefeated.

Leave it to New Yorkers.


[Note: apologies for the expletives, not generally my style, but sometimes like Doc, I just need to vent.]

STUPAK AMENDMENT WILL ELIMINATE ABORTION COVERAGE FOR ALL WOMEN

PRO-CHOICE WOMEN, TAKE NOTE: Particularly young women, who do not remember a time when abortion was illegal in this country, and cannot conceive of it ever being unavailable through their private health insurance plans, think again. A new study by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services has concluded that the effect of the Stupak anti-abortion poison pill amendment is to eliminate abortion coverage “over time for all women.”

If the extent of your involvement in politics was to vote for President Obama, here's some free advice: You know that little device that you keep glued to your ear, prattling on while stuck in traffic? Think about using it for something beyond chatting, texting, and downloading midlessly stupid apps. Find out who your congresspersons and senators are, and call them, expressing your opposition to the Stupak amendment. Do not take your freedoms and rights for granted or you will lose them.

Bart Stupak, who has been preening on the talk show circuit about his new found notoriety, continues his Family-inspired campaign to deceive the American people. This religious extremist is no more a moderate Democrat than President Obama is a Kenyan. His co-sponsor, Republican Congressman Joseph Pitts, has already said he will vote NO for any healthcare bill even if it contains their amendment intact. This is the company that anti-abortion Christian crusader Bart Stupak keeps. 'Nuff said, for now.

This one's for Peter

For Jimbow below

Never hesitate to disagree with me!

I've actually been kicking the hate crime aspect around a bit. If we strip away the "Republicans don't like blacks and gays" aspect of their opposition to hate crimes, there is a reasonable legal point there. The argument is that extant law is sufficient because we criminalize the INTENT TO COMMIT THE ACT (i.e., punch someone in the face or blow up a building) rather than the MOTIVE. A motive may have evidentiary weight but it is not an element of the offense.

But then those same people wail and moan about trying "terrorists" as criminals. The INTENT is the same as your garden variety criminal, as is the conduct. What differs is the MOTIVE, and folks, you can't have it both ways.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Terrorists" are CRIMINALS

and should be treated as such.

There is no factual or legal distinction that can be cogently drawn between KSM and Tim McVeigh. Both engaged in criminal plotting and actions to destroy a building/buildings and kill people. I have heard it suggested that somehow 9/11 is beyond the reach or scope of ordinary criminal prosecutions.

Hogwash. This is a garden variety crime, a crime that differs from a street shooting only in the number of victims, not in intent or conduct.

I have heard it suggested that this is an "act of war." Double hogwash. Under no recognized construct of international law is this an act of war. The concept of "war" has a definition by consensus. Not every element of the paradigm need be present, as wars can involve asymmetrical conflicts and sub-state units. However, every element of the paradigm CANNOT BE ABSENT as it is in this instance.

We know why they don't want a public trial. First of all, Republicans thrive on fear. If they can't frighten, they can't win. The loathsome John Yoo, who should be in prison, and the cretinous Andrew McCarthy (who wrote that the Iraqis were not sufficiently "grateful" argued that a trial would afford the "terrorists" a treasure trove of intelligence.

First of all, a competent prosecutor and a capable federal judge under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure can adequately limit discovery (note to Mr. McCarthy, I said "competent.") And of course, the important question isn't what the government knows that it will tell. It is what the defendant knows and will tell that the bleating sheep don't want to see the light of day.

Once again, Doc...

(and a tip o'the cap to Jonathan Swift)

We can solve two problems at once---

USE THE STUPID FOR FUEL!!!

I'm coming very close

Between Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Lou Dobbs, Rush, Cheney's progeny, Michelle Bachmann, Bart Stupak (I know he's a Democrat, technically), Bow-gate, and all the rest of the stupidity out there, I'm thinking of punching everyone I know in the face, just in case they're thinking of acting like a Republican.

Christian Crusader Bart Stupak, DINO par Excellence, Hall of Shame Inductee No. 2

In its heyday the Christian Coalition, vanguard of the Religious Right, took control of the Republican Party, brick-by-brick, running self-described “stealth” candidates in local races that eventually set the stage for the election of national candidates. They pushed an extremist religious agenda, unknown to voters, to impose through government action a fundamentalist Christian doctrine on all aspects of civil society.

The Religious Right’s agenda blurs the lines between church and state on issues as seemingly benign as prayer in schools, includes Biblical Creationist mythology in our science textbooks, censors school board curricula, and rolls back decades of hard-fought civil rights for gays and women. It has spearheaded well-funded drives against gay marriage, and now a poison pill amendment to the House healthcare bill, introduced by little-known Democratic Congressman Bart Stupak, threatens to severely restrict a woman’s legal right to an abortion, and tear down any hope for meaningful healthcare reform.


Explaining why the Christian Coalition backed “stealth candidates” who would downplay their affiliations to get elected, former Coalition director and GOP strategist Ralph Reed wrote: “It's like guerrilla warfare. If you reveal your location, all it does is allow your opponent to improve his artillery bearings. It's better to move quietly, with stealth, under cover of night.”

The Religious Right’s power and influence hasn’t receded with the demise of such high-profile organizations as the Moral Majority, as some have been lulled into thinking. If anything, it has metastasized, gone underground, and grown stronger. The Religious Right has moved beyond the GOP to infiltrate not only the Democratic Party but government at all levels.

Until the titillating sexual scandals involving powerful Republican politicians Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, and Senator John Ensign of Nevada, both touted as GOP presidential prospects, not many people had even heard of the “Family.” Located smack in the heart of our nation’s capital, the Family is a shadowy and -- depending on one’s point of view -- sinister religious “Fellowship” catering to some of the most powerful and connected politicians in town and beyond.

When the sexual scandals broke, Bart Stupak denied any knowledge of the place, saying “I only live there.” Anyone who believes that will no doubt buy the fiction that the Family is simply a Christian frat house for politicians to commune with Jesus and share prayer breakfasts about being good Christian citizens.

Like a good “brother” with the white starched shirt, Bart Stupak kept his powder dry. Unlike his GOP brethren, Stupak was most adept at the stealth game. He was after all a Democrat, if only in name. Secrecy and a low profile were Family members’ guiding principles, which is why the sexual peccadilloes of the “brothers” threatened their mission, and Stupak was quick to distance himself.

The Democratic Party includes in its platform a strong statement preserving a woman’s legal, constitutional right to an abortion. Pro-choice Democrats are a solid majority in the party. Even so-called pro-life Democrats were comfortable with existing law -- the Hyde Amendment -- that forbids the use of any federal dollars to fund abortions.

The Stupak amendment changes all that. It goes far beyond the language of the Hyde Amendment to deny women the right to an abortion even with their own private funds. Most insulting of all, Stupak included a rider which would permit women to purchase “separate” abortion coverage in their choice of healthcare insurance. As if in this most traumatic event in a woman’s life she would have planned ahead of time to have an abortion. This is the modern equivalent of a Scarlet Letter. If ever there was any doubt as to what an arrogant, patronizing weasel Bart Stupak is, this should settle it.

The carefully crafted compromise language to retain the Hyde Amendment in the House bill was rejected as an “accounting gimmick” by Stupak and his allies, the Conference of Catholic Bishops. Incredibly, the CCB were given a seat at the table in the halls of Congress by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In the minds of most pro-choice Catholics, the Catholic Church is hardly in a position to preach public and private morality to women about sexuality and abortion, in light of the scandal that rocked the Church involving its decades-long, systemic sexual abuse of children.

But this hasn’t stopped them from lobbying Congress and getting into the weeds of actually crafting anti-abortion legislative language. This gross violation of the spirit of separation of church and state, if not the letter of the law, should alarm every American, especially Catholics. How ironic that in Italy, whose government-run universal healthcare system is ranked first by the World Health Organization, abortion has been legal since 1978. There is little the Vatican can do about it. Just recently, Italian health authorities approved use of the abortion pill over the strenuous objections of the Catholic Church, which threatened to excommunicate anyone that uses it. Now there’s a 16th century response to a 21st century issue.

And yet in America, the only advanced nation not to provide universal healthcare for its citizens, we are fighting battles with the Catholic Church for the right of 44,000 people not to die every year for lack of healthcare. Where is the Catholic Church’s concern for them? Where is their concern for the once innocent living children, recipients of hush money, that they damaged for life?

In the wee hours of a Saturday morning the House Rules Committee voted to allow the Stupak amendment an up-or-down vote on the House floor. Pro-choice Democrats were stunned. After roundly defeating the Stupak amendment in Committee in favor of the compromise language, they felt the issue had been settled. Their hastily organized opposition was no match for Stupak, all of the Republicans, and the 40 pro-life Democrats who were Stupak’s ace in the hole.

Stupak’s legislative guerilla tactic, executed in the dead of night, should have come as no surprise. It was pure Ralph Reed. Stupak telegraphed his intentions all along, even boasting of his ability to mobilize his bloc of 40 Democratic votes: “Now, I have not threatened that every time that we went to Rules Committee and we didn’t always get our pro-life amendments, I did not try to take down any rules. You have to pick your fights at the right time. You can’t be crying wolf all the time because you lose your wolfishness. You lose your credibility. So I’m not going to lose my credibility. So you use it at certain times when it’s appropriate.”

Pure, cynical power politics, perfectly executed with stealth, subterfuge, secrecy, and hypocrisy. Pure Family.

The Family’s cult of secrecy and distortion of Christianity, sees it as a doctrine in which the elites or anointed ones, “the new chosen” carry out their mission for Christ by any means necessary, which includes the flouting of laws that apply only to lesser citizens, undermining governments, parties, and presidents, and the application of ruthless power to the greater glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Family is not the benign religious group dedicated to lawful good works within civil society that it seeks to project. Rather, it is a theocracy-in-waiting of Christian crusaders, arrogant in the righteousness of their mission in Christ.

Bart Stupak and “the brothers” live in “Ivanwald,” a sleeper cell of warriors for Christ in the heart of our nation’s capital, hosting lawmakers from both political parties who patiently bide their time before striking. The guerilla spirit evoked by Ralph Reed, the admiration for Mao, Hitler, and Stalin is very much a part of their twisted “theology.” All of these men changed the world through the power of a covenant, they say, but the Family has the covenant of a “total Jesus” of a brotherhood in Christ: “Jesus plus nothing.”

Members include Republican senators Jim DeMint, who vowed to make the defeat of healthcare reform President Obama’s “Waterloo;” Chuck Grassley, the health insurance industry shill who openly perpetuated the lie about “death panels” while pretending to collaborate with Democrats; John Ensign, whose anti-healthcare rants, filibusters and frivolous amendments obstructed and delayed the Finance Committee’s work on its bill; James Inhofe, a fierce global warming denier, opponent of cap-and-trade energy legislation, and contemptuous of environmentalists and President Obama.

Surprise, surprise, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has had since 1993 a personal relationship with the Family’s leader, Doug Coe. Considering her meteoric political rise from New York senator to just a step away from the Democratic presidential nomination, it wouldn’t surprise that her association with the Family factored in her being dropped as a vice presidential prospect and hastened her flight to Foggy Bottom. Keep your adversaries close: despite assertions to the contrary, the President is no dupe.

If there is a pattern to this tale of stealth power politics, it is that the Family is actively engaged in undermining the presidency of Barack Obama. Target One: the President’s major domestic initiative, healthcare reform.

While they might not be monolithic, Family members of both parties work strategically to achieve at least six of one, half-a-dozen of another. And so, if there is to be a healthcare bill, the Family will work across party lines to water it down, to serve the corporate health insurance interests and the Catholic Church. How will Democratic Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, a Family member, vote on the Stupak poison pill amendment? We shall see.

The Religious Right’s threat to the body politic is bigger than anyone could have imagined. Were it not for the sex scandals of religious bigots who believe they live by one set of rules and everyone else by another, and for Bart Stupak’s frontal assault on a woman’s right to choose a legal medical procedure, we might never have known.

Knowledge is power. It’s time to push back, and push back hard against the religious bigotry and arrogance of these Christian mullahs and crusaders who would take us back to the days of back-alley abortions and of intolerance against gays, and who seek to turn our democracy into the Kingdom of Christ on Earth, as they see it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

BOW-WOW ... WOW!

What's all this foaming buzz in wingnut freeperville about the President's bowing to the Japanese Emperor? Did he show too much respect? Project U.S. submissiveness? Or was it just plain courtesy to a kindly little monarch, and ... umm, protocol?

OK, wingnuts, let's take a stroll down GOP presidential history memory lane ...

NIXON: "YOUR MAJESTY, ABOUT PEARL HARBOR, WE HAD NO CHOICE BUT TO NUKE YOU FELLAS."

HIROHITO: "AH, SO ..."



EISENHOWER: "CHARLES, MONSIEUR L'ETAT, I BOW BEFORE YOU WITH HAT IN HAND."

DE GAULLE: "AH, MON GENERAL, L'ETAT C'EST MOI INDEED. FRANCE WELCOMES YOU."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Keith Olbermann's Side-Splitting LOL Sendoff of Lou Dobbs

HAHAHA ... KO's MUST-WATCH impression of Lou Dobbs is A CLASSIC, righ up there with his Bill-O the Clown. Don't worry, Keith, you'll still have Lou's radio show to ridicule him.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lou Dobbs Takes Time Off to Reassess Priorities ... With Tequila Bottle in Hand

Former CNN News Anchor Lou Dobbs was last seen heading for sunnier climes south of the Rio Grande. Here is Dobbs on a party break in Tijuana with his new amigos. Claiming he was desentendido, Dobbs handed out copies of his moving farewell statement to anyone who would take them:

“En este momento estoy considerando varias opciones y direcciones, y les aseguro que se los haré saber cuando fije el rumbo. Realmente creo que los principales temas de nuestra época incluyen el crecimiento de nuestra clase media, la creación de más empleo, atención médica, política inmigratoria, el medio ambiente, el cambio climático, y nuestra participación militar, por supuesto, en Afganistán e Irak.

Pero cada uno de esos temas se encuentra influenciado, en mi opinión, por nuestra capacidad de demostrar la gran resiliencia de nuestra economía capitalista, actualmente debilitada, y de demostrar la disposición política para superar la falta de verdadera representación en Washington, D.C.

Creo que esos son temas profundamente importantes y fundamentales, y continuaré realizando esfuerzos para tratarlos de manera honesta y sin vueltas en el futuro.

Desafortunadamente, esos temas se definen ahora en la arena pública por pertenencia a partidos e ideología en vez de un razonamiento riguroso y empírico y análisis y discusión franca y sincera. Trabajaré con diligencia lo mejor que pueda para cambiar eso. En cuanto al importante trabajo de restaurar la inspiración en nuestra gran sociedad libre y nuestra economía de mercado, me esforzaré también por ser un líder en ese diálogo nacional.”

~ Compañero Louis Dobbs ~

Bears Fix

I may have listened to too many of the callers to B&B this afternoon, but here's what I think is wrong with the team and how to fix it:

People accuse Lovie of being unemotional, but I think that it all starts at the top. Where's Virginia? Why isn't she on the sideline, getting into Cutler's face after every INT? Why isn't she screaming at the D-Line every time they go offsides? How the hell can they expect to win with an elderly woman running the show? What they need to do is sell the team, and get some real emotion going. First, I'd put together an ownership team of Da Coach and JP Morgan, cause he was richer than God. Then I'd hire the reanimated corpse of Genghis Khan to run the offense, Doug Plank to run the D, and I'd bring in Jim Cramer to give the halftime speeches. I'd have a team of rabid dogs on the sidelines and unleash them on any player who makes a stupid penalty. I'd ban any hair that showed outside the helmet, music, and books other than the playbook. Players with tattoos would get cut, unless they were of their mom or Sweetness. I'd turn Soldier Field into a
dome, make it 15 degrees for every home game with 32 mph winds, and get snow machines in to cover the field, while at the same time banning long sleeves.

Oh, and I'd move Chris Zorich to linebacker.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BREAKING NEWS (GLOATING): LOU DOBBS QUITS, CNN RESIDENT RACIST NO MORE

Lou Dobbs, CNN's resident racist (below) has QUIT, effective immediately!


Joe Wilson and anonymous Dobbs fans (below) were disconsolate:


Heh, exquisite timing ... This blog's work on Dobbs is done, unless and until he once again raises his ugly, racist head. Question: Will Geraldo Rivera quit FOX News if Dobbs lands there? Stay tuned.

For now, no further comment is necessary. WE ARE PLEASED.

Sí Se Puede.