Saturday, December 31, 2011


COURTESY OF: Garth Hudson's ORGAN-IC keystrokes, with the BAND. As the story goes, Robbie Robertson said they had planned on playing Auld Lang Syne at the stroke of midnight, but with five minutes to kill, Garth Hudson launched into an ethereal, awesome improvisation on the Organ. Enjoy!

S'Long Newt Gingrich, You MEAN S.O.B.

War Is Hell; For Hundreds of Thousands of Our Iraq Veterans It's Far From Over

It was suggested by Rachel in one of her last 2011 shows, as a matter to "discuss" amongst ourselves, that we should have a ticker-tape parade in the "Canyon of Heroes" in New York City to welcome home and honor our returning Iraq War veterans, celebrating the official "end" of the war with the last of our troops' pullout. People, veterans, are divided over this. As they should be.

Here's my two cents: I think it's an ill-conceived, if not terrible, idea. A New York City ticker-tape parade is traditionally an upbeat celebration to honor some remarkable event, or person(s) who did heroic service to the nation, or, as in this case, the end to a war. That's key. The war in Iraq may be over, but the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan is not. Borders are porous. American troops have lost their lives on both sides of the so-called "Af-Pak" line, a metaphor for a border where lines on a map are largely meaningless. Americans are fighting a shooting war in that perilous region as we prepare to celebrate the New Year. Every day, it seems, there are reports of more dead and wounded in this shooting war.

As long as any part of our military are in harm's way in a hot, unresolved war in the "Af-Pak" theater of operations, it's unseemly, in my view, to celebrate the safe return from Iraq of their brothers and sisters in arms with a ticker-tape parade. Yes, we should and must honor our returning Iraq troops, but with more sober and dignified ceremonies that acknowledge the simple fact our troops still face peril in a war whose end is not in sight. Iraq and Afghanistan are inextricably linked. Celebrating the end of one war while the other rages on just doesn't seem right. When the last of our troops leave Afghanistan for their final trip home, alive and whole or not, then maybe we can consider having a New York City ticker-tape parade.

In the meantime, our veterans need all of our support, and then some. Two sobering news items I read today only begin to show just how sheltered we, non-combatants, are from the immensity of the horrors suffered by the troops fighting for us. Dan Froomkin of the Huffington Post writes that the official number of wounded, 32,226, "wildly understates the number of American servicemembers who have come back from Iraq less than whole":
"The true number of military personnel injured over the course of our nine-year-long fiasco in Iraq is in the hundreds of thousands — maybe even more than half a million — if you take into account all the men and women who returned from their deployments with traumatic brain injuries, post-traumatic stress, depression, hearing loss, breathing disorders, diseases, and other long-term health problems."
In a related story, is this disturbing item the Pentagon and U.S. military do not like to publicize: "For the second year in row, more US soldiers killed themselves than were killed in combat. In 2010, 468 soldiers took their own lives, compared to 462 killed in fighting." According to reports, "an average of 18 veterans per day commit suicide and many more attempt it. Last year, 20 per cent of America’s 30,000 suicides was a soldier or veteran."

These are the hidden costs of war, on the human scale. They will be with us long after the last U.S. soldier leaves Afghanistan. And there's not enough ticker-tape that can ever paper over such tragedy.

Occupy Holiday Message For Wall Street

In 2012, prepare to be occupied by the 99 percent. Meanwhile, Occupy protesters from around the country descend on the Iowa caucuses.
The movement keeps evolving; I wonder how the Idiot Punkditocracy will cover this?

Friday, December 30, 2011


With polls flying fast and furious all over the airwaves, has anyone noticed how so under-reported this Pew Research Poll is:
"A new poll from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press out yesterday shows that “progressive” is the most positively viewed political label in America, with 67 percent holding a positive view compared to just 22 percent who view the term negatively:"
The reason this poll was suppressed at MSNBC is simple, really. This isn't just Michael Moore or Rachel or Big Eddie talking; it cannot simply or easily be dismissed with a throwaway "amusing" line. Hell, Chuckles Toddy could be called on to interpret it, and he might not survive the ordeal. This is, as Chris Matthews, Dean of the sorry-assed Idiot Punkditocracy likes to say, "polls, what we live (and die for, metaphorically, unless someone has a cardiac reading this poll) here at MSNBC."

Then he'll trot out their "Political Director" Chuckles Toddy to tell us peons what to think of the poll's findings. Where is it, dudes? C'mon, out with it! Get over your hives and dry heaves, take two aspirin and lie down if you must, then do your fucking jobs. There's plenty of time to hit the basketball court later, Chuckles. Jonathan and Chris C., if GQ helps, go for it. You can't ever look any worse than POLITICO's Jonathan Martin after an all-night bender as he struggles to stay awake on the Andrea Mitchell show.

Center-right, homogenized, censorious corporatist "news" from the non-FOX/hate radio propaganda axis is a BIG part of the reason we have such a misinformed electorate; not an ignorant electorate as the Pew poll shows; just misinformed in "appalling" ways. You have no NO IDEA what's going on outside the Beltway. NOT A FUCKING CLUE. And that's the real tragedy. Isn't this "fascinating!"

There's lots to digest in the "internals" as Chuckle's colleagues like to say. Illustrative of the rampaging demonizing of the word "liberal" by Republican right wing propaganda over the past 40 years, "liberal" is still viewed positively by 50 percent of the American people. As Robert Kennedy Jr. said, "60 percent of Republicans are just misinformed Democrats." Indeed, 55 percent of Republicans have a positive view of the term "progressive." That's roughly the same number of self-identified Republicans who favor a tax on millionaires and oppose any cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

As progressives have been saying from the start, notably Michael Moore, to the guffaws of the Beltway Media, this right wing Tea/Republican Party has lurched so far right of the American people that it is no longer representative of where the country stands politically, which is center-left. Another amazing finding is that the 18-29 year demographic have a 49-43 POSITIVE view of socialism compared with a 46-47 NEGATIVE view of capitalism. This is a manifestation, a snapshot of the political ground-shifting effect on our body politic of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Not surprisingly, this is the demographic that is least attuned to corporate news, that gets its information through the internet, social media, and a fresh, ongoing college education which still, it seems, encourages young people to question establishment corporatist precepts and homilies — tax cuts at any cost for the "job creators" — and to think critically. Sadly, the pressure to conform and the money offered (not everyone is like Cenk) is too seductive for most of the young punks working the Beltway Media axis of misinformation to resist. The OWS movement lifted that scab to expose their sellout. And it's not a pretty sight. So expect continued reactionary reporting and misinformation. The country be damned.

The Mother Card — Final Nail In The Iowa Newt Coffin

The Idiot Punditocracy is falsely comparing Newt's teary recollection of his late mother with Hillary's tears on the eve of the 2008 New Hampshire primary, credited with her victory there. Here's the AP report (emphasis mine):
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Newt Gingrich choked up and wiped away tears while recalling his late mother's struggle with depression and mental illness.

Speaking at an event with mothers in Des Moines, Iowa, on Friday, the former House speaker said his focus on brain science issues stems directly from "dealing with the real problems of real people in my family."

After showing his emotions, Gingrich allowed that he does "policy much easier than I do personal."

The moment was reminiscent of Hillary Rodham Clinton's teary-eyed response to a question just before the 2008 Democratic primary in New Hampshire. The moment was credited with humanizing her in the eyes of voters.

Gingrich has fallen in recent Iowa polls, with the state's caucuses just several days away.
In New Hampshire, Hillary confessed the "personal" moment was not about personal ambition but what the future held for her children and loved ones. She was crying for her country. It was as eloquent and genuine moment as I've ever seen in response to the question every presidential candidate faces: "why are you running for president; why put yourself through this?" Here's the Hillary moment:

The cynics will say they were crocodile tears, but for those who watched it, it was an unscripted moment, a defining character moment. It's no accident that Hillary Clinton is perennially at the top of most admired women. She has that rare quality in a politician, that what you see is what you get. Not so with Newt. Those who believe the old cliché about politicians, that he would literally use his mother's memory if it could gain him political advantage are probably correct, as Newt teared up recalling her bipolar disorder. Consider that Newt cried at an event hosted by leading GOP message guru Frank Luntz "at a downtown Des Moines coffeehouse ... styled as a focus group of moms," notes astute Atlantic staff writer Molly Ball, so Luntz asked Newt about his mother, "and tearjerking is his MO." Ball explains:
At a Thanksgiving forum in Des Moines in November, also moderated by Luntz, Gingrich was one of several candidates who broke down in tears. That time, the trigger was thinking about a friend's baby who was born with a heart defect. Also shedding tears at that event were Rick Perry, Rick Santorum and Herman Cain; Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul managed not to crack.

"I feel like Dr. Phil!" Luntz joked at that earlier event, and it's clear his manipulative lines of questioning -- probing the candidates for the emotional pressure-points of family and faith -- were responsible for the orgy of tears.
Gail Sheehy has written the closest piece to a "psychological" profile of Newt, in which his behavior, according to Dr. Frederick Goodwin, director of the Center on Neuroscience, Behavior, and Society at the George Washington University Medical Center and a national authority on bipolar disorder, "is "consistent with studies of first-degree relatives of manic-depressives."
"While stating that he was not making a diagnosis, he noted that in leaders, hypomanic behavior is “often intolerant and impulsive.” Studies characterize the thinking of a person in a hypomanic state as “flighty. He jumps by bypaths from one subject to another, and cannot adhere to anything.”

Gingrich repeatedly stunned his House colleagues in the Republican leadership when he was involved in lengthy negotiations over a major policy proposal and agreed to every detail, only to go public and pull the rug out from under them. Where some see this as evidence of his “flightiness,” others see a man willing to say whatever comes into his head as long as it will capture the next news cycle."
One doesn't have to be a clinical psychologist to conclude Newt Gingrich is temperamentally unfit to be president. The man's public behavior as a venal, backstabbing, grandiose politician is enough. The Republican House had to pass a rule to keep this from public view. Sound familiar? This is CNN from Nov. 16, 1995:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The debate over balancing the budget temporarily degenerated into name-calling and low comedy on the House floor Thursday. Democrats trooped to the floor to ridicule the Speaker Newt Gingrich for allowing his personal anger over a perceived snub by President Clinton to influence his attitude during budget negotiations.

Lawmakers paraded around with blowups of the New York Daily News' front page, which featured a caricature of Gingrich as a wailing baby in diapers with the headline "Cry-Baby."

Republicans voted 231-173 to stop Democrats from bringing the blowups into the chamber. They said it was against House rules to call the speaker a "cry-baby," and said Democrats were just trying to divert attention from Clinton's inability to balance the budget.

Rep. Patricia Schroeder, D-Colorado, held up a mock Oscar, and said she awarded it to Gingrich for best child actor. "There's only one problem," she said. "This speaker is not a child."

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fake 'Progressive' Channel Watch: Got Game For 2012?

Not one cable show in the top ten. Posting #14-16, #19, and #21 is pretty dismal. In fact the inability to deliver top ten FACTUAL news is a national security disaster. Isn't it curious that MSNBC's decline/flatline coincides with the corporate desire to be more milquetoasty like CNN sans the overseas crisis visuals — that so incredibly successful political news and commentary model? How's Michael Steele et al working for ya, suits? Here's a hint that even President Obama has come to understand: The more progressive your message, the better your numbers will be. By the way, Steve Capus, what have you done for us lately? Oh yeah, the quisling apologia to Romney ...

Gingrich FAMILY VALUES Ad Allays Voters' Unease

Marco Rubio Has Inside Track On Republican Veep Spot

Regardless of who the nominee (Mitt Romney) is. Why? Just check out the latest Pew poll confirming the President's strong position with Latino voters: He leads Mitt Romney by 68% to 23% among Hispanics. Still, a Marco Rubio on the GOP ticket doesn't necessarily mean a significant Latino vote switch. First of all, this guy's a Teabagger's wetback dream, and Latinos despise Teabaggers primarily for their anti-immigration bigotry.

Another inside baseball factor is that Cuban-Americans, like Marco Rubio, are a privileged class among all immigrants given the idiotic 50-year plus anti-Castro U.S. standoff with Cuba. Cuban-Americans, as a class, are wealthier and far more conservative than Latinos from other countries, who tend to be more liberal politically, and Democratic voters. Younger Cuban-Americans are less beholden to the Republican Party than their elders, and a Rubio Veep nominee would have his hands full just delivering them, much less the state of Florida which elected him Senator in a three-way race with Tea Party support.

Marco Rubio is a bundle of untested political expectations on the national stage. And of course, he fibbed on his parents' fake Escape From Cuba saga. But he's the best Republicans can hope for to reverse the pro-Democratic Latino vote trend. Marco Rubio, El Justiciero:

Ron Paul Dress Code

A fringe campaign shows it is truly serious about winning when it instructs its followers to, basically look like normal folks. Those bearded skinhead types wearing olive cammo T-shirts flanking Ron Paul onstage just won't do. The New York Times reports:
"And they say they are under strict orders: To look, dress, shave, sound and behave in a way that will not jeopardize Mr. Paul's chances. Even before flying here on their own nickel, some students said they had been instructed to cover up tattoos and told that their faces should be fresh-shaved or beards neatly trimmed, wearing only nice clothes that one described as "business casual."
As for the fresh shave, the raunchy MSNBC anchor Chris Jansing added: "I guess that means men ..." Hmm. Any word on whether Ron Paul female volunteers were instructed to get "Brazilians"?

Ron Paul Lured To Bruno's Hotel Room ... Priceless Video

Lawrence unearthed this 2008 Sacha Baron Cohen video clip of Ron Paul in a potential compromising position with Cohen posing as the flamboyant Austrian fashion reporter character of his film, Bruno. Said Paul at the time: "I was expecting an interview on Austrian economics. So, that didn't turn out that way. But, by the time he started pulling his pants down, I, what is going on here? I ran out of the room. This interview has ended."

There's the Ali G character with Newt, who thought the dude was legit, but in this bit of Lawrence mischief-making, the Bruno-Ron Paul clip takes the cake (full video here), as Richard Wolffe shows his professionalism by providing serious commentary. Unfortunately, Bruno's ass-wagging dance is edited in this piece. It's hilarious; watch:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

MSNBC Fashion Plate of The Day: Jonathan Capehart, With a View

JONATHAN CAPEHART's impeccable threads and touch of holiday elegance gotta have MSNBC women (viewers) swooning ... PLUS, thoughtful commentary to rescue the network. Wow. That's enough to make Chris Cillizza doubly jealous, and Jonathan didn't even break a bow tie:

Ron Paul Gets Important Endorsement: The New York Times

The New York Times, viewed in Paul-friendly racist white supremacist, anti-Semitic and homophobic circles as the 'Great Satan' of the American press, has fiercely repudiated Ron Paul's candidacy, calling on him to "immediately" give "a full and detailed accounting of who wrote the newsletters and what his role was in overseeing their publication." Right. Nice try, Times editorial writers. Paul supporters are celebrating your anti-endorsement.

You read it here, first. Repeatedly. Especially after NBC News President Steve Capus's tongue lashing of MSNBC news reporters and anchors for accurately reporting Mitt Romney's use in a speech and campaign ad of a KKK slogan in the state with the nation's highest per capita number of KKK groups. This Sunday the 'newspaper of record' finally got on this blog's bandwagon, reporting that "dozens of members of the white nationalist Web site Stormfront are volunteering for the Paul campaign, along with far-right militias, survivalists and anti-Zionist groups. Don Black, the Stormfront director, said his members were drawn to Mr. Paul by the newsletters and his positions against immigration and the Fed (run by Jews, Mr. Black said), even if Mr. Paul were not himself a white nationalist."

Can y'all fake progressive channel's fake 'political analysts' say 'racist vote'... anyone? It should be noted that our friend Chris Matthews deserves honorable mention, cited in the Times article, for extracting from Paul the admission he would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act. More often than not, Chris breaks out in journalism before taking a step back for playing Steve Capus bagman. Two lean forwards, one lean back.

Presumably, if a white supremacist group is sufficiently energized to volunteer jack boots on the ground, they'll be taking dozens upon dozens more like-minded Paul voters to the caucuses. Will they be making a fashion statement by wearing brown shirts, too? The Times concludes with an ominous, but rather foolish 'as if' warning. (Don't you know this train's left the station, Times editorial writers?):
"Mr. Paul, saying he still hopes to “convert” these supporters to his views, has refused to disavow them or to chase them out of his campaign. If he does not do so, he will leave a lasting stain on his candidacy, on the libertarian movement and, very possibly, on the Iowa caucuses."
The so-called 'paleoconservatives' and 'paleolibertarians' supporting Ron Paul are theoretically an insult to legitimate conservatives and non-Randian libertarians. The fact remains, though, that these fringe elements have never been categorically disowned by conservative movement elites. How many years was it before Bill Buckley publicly repudiated the John Birch Society?

Yet these extremist far-right fringe elements keep coming back to populate the activist and policy wings of the Republican Party. Has it ever occurred to the Beltway Media that there's less than six degrees of separation between these so-called 'paleo'-FREAKS and conservative movement elites; that the schism may be more a class thing than politics or policy? Seriously, can anyone see Stormfront director Don Black rubbing shoulders with Bill Kristol at a Georgetown cocktail party? Really.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Newt Gingrich Would Have This Judge Arrested

Think about it. As Republican politicians in federal and state government across the nation "overreach" — the tea parlor Beltway euphemism for authoritarian rule — a federal judge in Arizona has blocked a new law meant to exclude charitable donations to organizations that provide abortion services or provide referrals to abortion providers.

In issuing her temporary injunction, Judge Roslyn Silver said the law scheduled to go into effect January 1 violates free speech:
“Arizona could not punish an organization with a fine if it were to engage in certain types of abortion-related speech. Excluding an organization from the program solely because of the type of abortion-related speech which the organization engages in is an attempt to impose a similar financial harm.”
In a Gingrich presidency, Judge Silver would be in shackles for having the temerity to issue such a ruling. In a Gingrich administration, she would definitely be deemed "anti-American", an "activist", and subject to arrest by federal marshals for knocking down an anti-abortion state law on First Amendment grounds. So much for constitutional rule and separation of powers. But would her ruling be vacated were the judge to be arrested? Hmm ...

Chaos In Iowa?

The Idiot Punditocracy is experiencing pre-orgasmic political convulsions as it tries to stay abreast of the final sprint to the Iowa caucuses, predicting winners and losers. In horse racing terms, the field has bunched up at the top of the stretch, and it's "anyone's race." Perhaps.

The post-Herman Cain joke favorite, Newt Gingrich, is fading fast, victim of repeated challenges from Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, with devastating negative ads that have gone unanswered by the low funds/no organization Newt. And the Beltway Republican establishment, with an assist from honorary members like Chris Matthews, has lashed out en masse at Gingrich with a ferocity that would make the 11th Commandment non-Christian Mormon revisionism, and Ronald Reagan blush.
Meh ... NOPE.
 Will there be a pro-Newt backlash? Not likely. He really does look like a car bomber and the earthly manifestation of Mephistopheles whenever he cracks that cold cheshire cat grin. Will Romney's heavy late spending in Iowa propel him to the top? Not likely. Even with his nod to racist KKK voters (Iowa is first in the nation per capita in KKK groups) recanted, sort of, when he was caught working an old KKK slogan into his campaign speeches. Once MSNBC caved disgracefully from its report, it only showed that Romney can pull strings with the Beltway Media, not that he really means what he says. Typical Romney flip-flop and none too convincing to the racist vote.

No, the real racist candidate, at least with the most unambiguous bona fides is Ron Paul. After the GOP establishment-driven Paulie racist past exposé was dusted off for another presidential go-round by the conservative establishment publication Weekly Standard, the Beltway Media seized upon it with a vengeance. The anticipated result (is Steve Capus happy, or what?) of course, is to help the establishment candidate Mitt Romney by depressing Paul's numbers.

But will it work? It's not a good idea to spread your piñatas around. The more you have, the more diffuse the whack-the-piñata energy becomes. Newt has become the piñata of this GOP field, a testament to how universally reviled he is, not only by the establishment but by those in the know and who have experienced Newt close up. Chris Matthews reacts to Newt as if he's responsible for stealing Chris's childhood. Everyone in these circles, it seems, wants to see Newt's final humiliation at the polls, as voters run the other way. I don't. Mixed feelings. He'd be excellent for Democrats up and down the ballot nationally, and the most entertaining major party candidate since Richard Nixon. Of course, Nixon won, which may explain Chris's panic. But Newt? He's the second coming of Barry Goldwater without the intellect and integrity. His loss to President Obama would be a landslide of Goldwater proportions. Ah, well.

If anything, the media attacks on Paul's racism have only energized the racist vote — white supremacists have come out in his defense — and not budged Paul's followers one inch. By the way, calling them "Paulistas" is an affront to the residents of Brazil's most populous state, São Paulo, the "major industrial and economic powerhouse of the Brazilian economy." With a population plus 41 million "Paulistas", São Paulo easily has more people than have, or will ever vote for Ron Paul. On the other hand, São Paulo is also home to the "Confederados", the last confederate southern outpost to flee this country and take up roots in São Paulo rather than surrender to the Yankees. But you'd have to know your history, and Paul supporters are historically illiterate, among other things.

And so my prediction that Paul wins the Iowa caucuses with a 31 percent share of the vote, stands. Little has been said about his organization and ground game, but it's the best, even his opponents will concede. The question then becomes, who finishes 2, 3 and 4? There's something about Romney that doesn't sit well with voters, including Iowa voters. We all know what it is. In a word, the man is a phony. He has no political core — familial, sure, a Mormon Ozzie and Harriet? — and voters have smoked him out.

Romney doesn't expect to win Iowa. If he does, it'll be the surprise lump in his gravy. Second place is well within reach, and a "win" for Romney heading into New Hampshire and beyond. Finishing third or below is problematic and a boost for Gingrich, provided he survives in the top four. Iowa has been a general campaign strategy laboratory for the Romney campaign, testing the effectiveness of his three-pronged attack: retail politics staying positive with official campaign ads, while blanketing the state with (wink-wink) unlinked Romney SuperPAC negative ads targeting his main perceived rival, Newt Gingrich. They've left Paul alone; they need that racist vote, as well as Paul's libertinos, which won't happen in numbers. Ron Paul is Mitt Romney's stalking horse to destroy Newt Gingrich in Iowa, and they're OK with that, even if Paul comes out the winner. Notice that the Beltway Media's preemptive narrative is that if Paul wins Iowa, Iowa doesn't matter. Not true. Can you feel the tug of strings Idiot Punditocrat puppets?

My predicted order of finish in Iowa is: (1) Ron Paul; (2) Rick Santorum; (3) Mitt Romney; (4) Newt Gingrich. Rick Santorum is heavily courting the evangelical vote, and has an important endorsement to show for it. Iowa voters like to be wooed, and the fact Santorum has visited every Iowa county will earn him a strong finish reward from the voters. As Paul heads south, literally not figuratively, his racist props strengthened and validated by the Yankee media, he may well emerge as a strong STOP-Mitt candidate.

But I may be wrong. We shall see.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


From south of the Rio Grande this beautiful tribute and celebration of Jesus Christ
by the other "King of Pop" with the props to earn it: