Archive for September, 2009

What she said.

Sep 30, 2009 in Culture

Not much room to defend Roman Polanski. Whatever plea bargain he didn’t think was going to be honored, going on the lam isn’t a solution. Because they’re right to catch you, and then you have to be punished for running. Had he stayed, there’s this amazing process called an appeal. It likely would have been over and done with 30 years ago. He also had a recent chance to appear in court to settle the issue, and turned it down.

It’s unfortunate that many directors have signed a petition in Polanski’s defense, which allows wingers to trot out their usual anti-Hollywood blather, but I understand that most of these people like Scorsese are Polanski’s friends. Subjectivity is a bitch, and knowing that Polanski has walked a pretty straight line and lived a good life since fleeing is certainly somewhat reassuring. But he’s got unfinished business. I look forward to him being able to walk on American soil again after he’s resolved it.

Now if only those wingers were calling for Bush and Cheney’s arrest…

-jb

It might work. What the hell do I know?

Sep 30, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

If this crap is how one can “take back America” (hint: notice how it’s ultimately about power? Do you see any real policy expectations from Republicans? If so, how come they didn’t happen when they were very recently entirely in power?), then I say Democrats just go one step crazier and snatch it right back.

Ah, dammit…I just realized you can’t get any nuttier than the GOP has gotten in the past year. And if you recall, they were pretty much off the hinges during the Bush years (hell, the Clinton years too). It was only being in control that soothed them. Then in 2008 they got completely bitch slapped by the voters and they went into denial. They’ve soared so far out into the wilderness, can one really be surprised that they’re convincing themselves they have a chance in 2010?

Some of the most prominent attendees told TWI that they had doubts about the president’s birth records. Rep. Cynthia Davis, a Republican state legislator in Missouri who has worked with “birther” lawyer Orly Taitz for most of this year, said that lawsuits demanding proof of the president’s citizenship were chiefly about the integrity of the Constitution, and that because Obama’s father was Kenyan, Obama’s eligibility problems extended beyond his birth records.

“Her credibility is questioned because she has an accent,” said Davis, defending Taitz, “and yet the reason she has an accent is because she came from a Communist country, and she knows how awful that is, to have a government usurped.”

Her credibility is questioned because she has an accent?

And people just think I’m balding because my glasses distract them from my hair. The lady was carting around an obvious fake Kenyan birth certificate.

I mean, how do we top this flat-out delusion? Start declaring we have proof Republicans are infected with brain parasites? That they reproduce asexually? That whatever candidate in 2012 is the grandchild of Hitler’s love child? I HAVE NO IDEA. The GOP has mastered the arts.

All I got left is faith in the American people to discern that none of this, not a scrap of it, is about policy. Are we to believe that all that spending under Bush was okay, including the TARP funds, but a stimulus package and a health care mandate given to Democrats in the election represent fascism/socialism/blahwhatever? (They can’t even keep their terminology straight, all that matters is saying bad things about Obama.)

The Republicans pretty much have one real opening in the next year, and that’s trying to sink health care. Except it’s already been long-held consensus that something will get passed, so the point is whether what gets passed is sufficient to please those who are actually interested in health care reform (not the GOP, obviously).

That leaves us with the public option, which is having a bit of a hard time since five of the worst Democrats happen to be on the Finance Committee, but should be able to survive the Senate’s procedural hurdles. If it doesn’t, then Democrats will be pretty devastated, and won’t view whatever “reform” emerges as being worth much more than the paper its written on (see: Baucus’ bill, an outstanding example of the worst of Washington and Democrats who get bought and paid for by the insurance companies). Then again, any Democrat who did vote yes has a solid campaign to run, and knocking out a few shmucks in the primaries could re-energize Dem voters.

Oh, yeah, and the prospect of a bunch of yahoos who belong in strait-jackets taking over the country. If the thought of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Rush Limbaugh being the most powerful people in America doesn’t get your ass running to the voting booth in terror, then what the hell excuse will you have? If we escape Republican rule, only to have a Republican minority throw a wrench into efforts to carry out the public’s will, can we really decide that the answer is more Republicans?

Can we really reward this Republican fugue in which they all became fiscal conservatives January 20th (while protesting cuts in Medicare, really)? Can we really reward unbridled rage, race-baiting, and an unrepentant retreat from reality?* Can we honestly afford the consequences of granting the people who have been screwing everything up for the past ten years more power? Or do we need to rebuke them once again, and get them firmly away from the steering wheel until they pass the sane-alyzer test?

I don’t think so. I think whatever objections people have on how to handle certain issues, they want to return the political dialogue in America towards sensible, practical conventions of discourse. We have real problems to deal with in our future, and electing clowns like this is like drinking to avoid dealing with the bills. Liberal or conservative, you know you get your shit together when the repo man is knocking.

-jb

*Check the alliteration, bitches!

How to take America back from the librulz. (Hint: It involves guns)

Sep 29, 2009 in Politics

I know, I know. Big shocker.

I used to think that Fox had Glenn Beck around so that if something truly hideous were to occur (like a Federal Census worker being hanged with the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest, for instance) he would provide cover for the crazies that are higher up on the totem pole. My mistake was assuming that any of them could be held accountable for what they say. It’s obvious that they simply don’t give a shit what happens.

-mg

Flashing conscience?

Sep 27, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

First Glenn Beck melts down into a babbling schizophrenic when asked what white culture is:

Now Michelle Bachman doesn’t want to comment on the grisly killing of the Census worker.

By all means, I would give her any chance she wants to answer the question fully.

Still, is it me, or is there this creeping sense growing among these extreme rightwingers that they might have opened up their mouths a little too widely? Like astronauts landing after six months in space, they return to the everyday world weak, unable to make their legs work like they did in space. The atrophication of thought that has been going on in the right-o-sphere for the past decades, most prominently in the Limbaugh era, has resulted in an increasing inability to function among people outside the cult.

The Census murder mystery will continue to play out, but it is a potentially very frightening and powerful symbol of the tipping point of rage reached on the right. Demonization has produced demons. And demons must be fought. Preferably killed. You would let one live?

Do we need to wait to find another body? Ten more? Or is it time to start dialing it down a little over there in the right-o-sphere?

Here is a closer look at their bubble. These are the least favorite Republicans:

19) Bill O’Reily (6)
19) Peggy Noonan (6)
16) Mark Sanford (7)
16) Mike Huckabee (7)
16) Charlie Crist (7)
14) Colin Powell (11)
14) Arnold Schwarzenegger (11)
12) Kathleen Parker (12)
12) Andrew Sullivan (12)
10) Meghan McCain (14)
10) Ron Paul (14)
9) Michael Savage (15)
6) Pat Buchanan (16)
6) Charles Johnson (16)
6) Susan Collins (16)
5) David Brooks (17)
3) Lindsey Graham (19)
3) David Frum (19)
2) John McCain (22)
1) Olympia Snowe (26)

Almost each and every one is somebody who doesn’t toe the line, somebody who has dared to question the wisdom of these people:

23) John Stossel 4
23) Mitt Romney 4
23) Daniel Hannan 4
23) John Bolton 4
16) Fred Thompson 5
16) Antonin Scalia 5
16) Glenn Reynolds 5
16) Bobby Jindal 5
16) George W. Bush 5
16) Sean Hannity 5
16) Tom Coburn 5
14) Victor Davis Hanson 6
14) Dick Cheney 6
12) Ed Morrissey 7
12) Ann Coulter 7
10) Jonah Goldberg 8
10) Newt Gingrich 8
9) Jim DeMint 9
7) Mark Levin 10
7) Glenn Beck 10
6) Charles Krauthammer 11
5) Mark Steyn 14
4) Michelle Malkin 15
3) Thomas Sowell 17
2) Sarah Palin 20
1) Rush Limbaugh 24

Ah, there he is: King Limbaugh, still on top, requiring everybody who calls themselves a Republican to pay fealty.

Not much overlap between the two lists, is there? And not much sunshine between the names on the favorites list either. Uniformly pro-war, pro-Bush, pro-GOP, authoritarian. The only variety is in the degree of learning required to be a hero of the right, and the list sends a clear message, with Limbaugh and Palin holding the top two spots: belligerent idiocy is the most widely prized trait.

Those in the rightwing bubble will manage to, among each other, maintain that the murderous rage being incited has nothing to do with them, but that’s beside the point. Outside the bubble, it will be immediately preposterous, and if an overwhelming majority of Americans rejects the views of the GOP base, the people hurt or killed will be their only legacy.

Any Democrat shaking his ankles over 2010 needs a slap in the face. How could you possibly lose to these loons? Obama and the Dems own the middle. The Republicans are purging the middle, and will use their primaries to recruit the craziest of the crazy.

When will they break the cycle of fail?

-jb

Yes, Mike, it is too much to ask for some consistency.

Sep 27, 2009 in Politics

Amid the haste to condemn and defund ACORN it looks as if lawmakers didn’t realize the possibility that they were also condemning some large defense contractors.

The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to “any organization” that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.

Lockheed Martin and Northrop Gumman both popped up quickly, with 20 fraud cases between them, and the longer list is a Who’s Who of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors.

It’s one thing for there to be a law in place but it’s quite another thing entirely to actually enforce it.

If the outrage over ACORN was about the money then you’re stuck with having to explain why the billions Lockheed Martin gets while breaking the law is somehow different. If it’s not about the money then I wonder what it is about ACORN that makes them different…

-mg

A Fox exclusive: Hannity/Limbaugh do the 69!

Sep 27, 2009 in Racism

If only everybody could think like them. Hannity interviewed Limbaugh back in June. Limbaugh:

He’s too big to fail. He’s historic. He’s the first African-American president. They — most of these media people came of age in the civil rights era. This, to them, is Nirvana.

He can’t make a mistake. He can’t say anything wrong.

And from his perspective, they think he’s right, America was mean. It was mean to African-Americans. It was mean to minorities. It was mean. That’s what they think too.

And Rush doesn’t?

It’s one thing that this man is considered a hero for being monumentally vile and stupid three hours a day (although he looks like a Harvard professor next to Hannity), but the continuous barely-veiled racism, a mash-up of resentment against black culture and historical revisionism, seems to be his biggest selling point. And if anybody gets a pass from the media, it’s Limbaugh and the party he leads, Republicans. Unfortunately, they can drop bombs like that and turn on a snap to complain as soon as you point out it’s racist. It’s a transparent one-two punch that has certainly fooled very few black people, but it has our mainstream outlets bound and gagged.

-jb

If you’re going to whine, make sure you’re not hallucinating first.

Sep 26, 2009 in Politics

Photographer sees his photo cropped to focus on Dick Cheney cutting steak, goes on a rant about “journalistic integrity,” because the image of Dick Cheney cutting steak “implied something sinister, macabre, or even evil.” Of course, Dick Cheney smelling flowers could imply “something sinister, macabre, or even evil.”

In the updated post, Newsweek offers to point out the obvious, but it doesn’t dissuade the man. I guess his original interpretation is simply beyond reproach…and nobody can ever crop a picture of Dick Cheney again. And all photos must include Cheney’s shoes, else it be implied that he walks with cloven hoof.

-jb

Its weird.

Sep 26, 2009 in Politics

I don’t think I know a single gay person right now. Well, there are my lesbian and transgender cousins, but…I dunno. My wife and her family have a pretty far-ranging social circle, I work with tons of people…but nobody talks about it on the job, even the gay people. This must be how they threaten your marriage: by stealth. I hear ya sneakin’ out there! YOU CAN’T HAVE MY MARRIAGE I AM BETTER THAN YOU!

-jb

The public option is in.

Sep 25, 2009 in Health Care, Politics

We win the elections, we win the argument, we get the public on the side of health care reform.

Nobody’s told Rahm Emmanuel yet, but the teabaggers are turning off Americans. It became a battle of Glenn Beck vs. Obama, and America made a rather simple and obvious choice. Intellectual conservatives started defecting, and once again we’re looking at those low-30s Bush-style approval ratings for the GOP. That same crowd is staying stubborn, just staying Republican because they hate their liberal cousin who’s a pussy literature major.

Suddenly, we think we can tackle the filibuster, because scaredy cat politicians are starting to come out of their shells. “Did the Republicans stop saying mean things about us?” is their first question, but right before they crawl back in their holes they start hearing voters clamoring. “It’s okay to stand up for what we believe?” is the second question.

So to all the latecomers, the answer is, yes, it will be okay. You will win re-election because of the public option. If you’re Olympia Snowe, you will win re-election because of the public option. No Democrat in a red state will lose a race because of the public option. The policy has a firm grounding. The answers are easy to give. The opposition will still be talking about Commies. Serious retardation required to lose that election.

-jb

Best openar evar.

Sep 25, 2009 in Politics

Most accurate Glenn Beck impression I’ve ever seen.

-mg

Your liberal media.

Sep 25, 2009 in Politics

Republicans kick the ball and they all go running after it.

-mg

Blackwater’s squadered billions and body count are no match for ACORN’s misdeeds.

Sep 24, 2009 in Politics

Chart showing Hannity and Beck’s slobberings over ACORN versus other scandals:

Bit of head scratcher as to why those two are so obsessed with ACORN’s supposed misdeeds. One thing I do know is that we can immediately rule out racism because we wouldn’t want to suggest that either Hannity or Beck are bigots.

-mg

Silly truthers.

Sep 24, 2009 in Politics

If it was indeed a missile that struck the Pentagon they’re more than free to produce the missing Boeing 757 with sixty four passengers.

Dogfighting; the beloved past time of degenerates.

Sep 24, 2009 in Politics

These people need to be horsewhipped.

And these people
.

And these people.

There’s just something about animal cruelty that is so vile and despicable that it causes me to lose any tiny speck of sympathy I may have otherwise had for the perpetrator. Even more outrageous is the fact that these creeps routinely get off with a paltry fine or a short jail sentence. Putting them all on an ice sheet and launch them into the Barents Sea would be fine by me.

-mg

Wait a second…

Sep 23, 2009 in Health Care, Politics

On the possibility that some Democrat might be a chickenshit and join the filibuster:

“People have lost seats on procedural votes,” said Tad Devine, a long-time Democratic strategist. “That is what happened in the 1994 election, when President Clinton’s economic package went into law and a number of Democrats in the House lost their seats… But if you are talking about one or two people who are well established, they can oppose legislation on the merits but allow it to come to a vote and I don’t think that’s enough to cost them a seat.”

News flash: No Democrat could lose an election over providing health care. I’m glad it looks good to clear a filibuster, but any Democrat scared of losing his seat over a yes vote on the public option is a goddamned pansy.

Still, 51′ll do, pig.

-jb

A picture is worth a thousand words and all that.

Sep 23, 2009 in Christian Right, Foreign Policy, Iran, Politics

If Ahmadinejad makes a speech and no one is there to hear it did it really happen?

I am so so glad this little man can now give a speech without the right wing fringers pissing their pants in fear all over the networks. I mean, they still do quiver and quake but a least we don’t have to endure the humiliation of our president doing the same.

-mg

How does concern about sex predators turn into this?

Sep 22, 2009 in Legal

Arresting and stigmatizing kids who have sex:

It takes so little for this happen to a child. A girl in school has oral sex with a boy in school. She becomes a sex offender for the rest of her life. Streaking a school event, as a practical joke, becomes a sex crime in the new America. Two kids “moon” a passerby and are incarcerated in jail as sex offenders, where they may well learn a lesson or two about rape. A teenager, who takes a sexy of photo of him, or herself, is paraded around the community as a “child pornographer” for the rest of his or her life. Two kids in the back seat of a car have fumbling sex. The law says one is an offender because the other is a “victim.” One week later, a birthday passes, and it is no longer a crime. One week’s difference and a life is ruined. In other cases an act that is legal on Monday is illegal on Tuesday because the older of the two turned one year older. That becomes enough to qualify him, or her, as an offender.

I’m sure rightwing puritanism has nothing to do with this, and Republicans can join Democrats in repealing this insane criminalization of youth.

-jb

Who I’m listening to almost every day.

Sep 22, 2009 in Music

I’m convinced I have to try to see Fleet Foxes live, and I haven’t seen anybody live since Interpol in 2003.

-jb

Harry Reid again claims to have a pair.

Sep 22, 2009 in Health Care, Politics

Watch out with those threats, Harry! Republicans might say mean things about you!

If you don’t mean it, Harry, then hand over the reins.

-jb

“All pornography is homosexual pornography.”

Sep 21, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, teh gay

Every right-winger/homophobe is an amateur psychoanalyst. They also spend an inordinate amount of time fretting over what consenting adults do in the privacy of their own homes. So it was only a matter of time before a Values Voter Summit speaker got around to pontificating on Teh Gay when speaking in reference to “how men, who already are good husbands and fathers,” can “change the culture.”:

SCHWARTZ: But it is my observation that boys at that age have less tolerance for homosexuality than just about any other class of people. They speak badly about homosexuality. And that’s because they don’t want to be that way. They don’t want to fall into it. And that’s a good instinct. After all, homosexuality, we know, studies have been done by the National Institute of Health to try to prove that its genetic and all those studies have proved its not genetic. Homosexuality is inflicted on people.

Schwartz then recalled “a very good friend” of his “who was in the homosexual lifestyle for a long time,” saying that he “had good conversations about, about the malady that he suffered.” He then relayed “an astonishingly insightful remark” his friend had made about the relationship between pornography and being gay:

SCHWARTZ: And one of the things that he said to me, that I think is an astonishingly insightful remark. He said, “all pornography is homosexual pornography because all pornography turns your sexual drive inwards. Now think about that. And if you, if you tell an 11-year-old boy about that, do you think he’s going to want to go out and get a copy of Playboy? I’m pretty sure he’ll lose interest. That’s the last thing he wants.” You know, that’s a, that’s a good comment. It’s a good point and it’s a good thing to teach young people.

So now even looking at straight porn is gay? Somebody better tell Jesse Jane that all of the hard work and sacrifice she’s putting into her craft is having the reverse effect and is slowly eroding her fan base. There’s so much wrong with the above that it’s difficult to know where to begin.

Putting aside the hilarity of a Christian fundamentalist invoking science I think that it needs to be pointed out that nobody has set out to “prove” anything in regards to a strictly genetic homosexuality link because science doesn’t work like that. No serious researcher starts off with a conclusion and goes looking for evidence to support it. Especially in regards to questions involving human nature; an area of biological science that we know the absolute least about. A good scientific analogue is the story about a person who walks out of a bar and sees someone looking around in the dark under a lamp post. He asks the man what he is looking for. The man replies that he lost his keys and he is trying to find them. When asked if he knows where he dropped them the man points over to a dark alleyway and says that he thinks that he lost them there. He is then asked why, if his keys were lost in the alley, he is looking under the lamp post. The man responds by saying that he is looking under the lamp post because that is where the light is. Just like the global warming deniers who see every cool day outside of their office window as an affirmation, Michael Schwartz has decided that since he can’t find the keys under the lamp post they never existed to begin with.

-mg

Deep thoughts on the mandate.

Sep 20, 2009 in Politics

We understand that it is immoral for health insurance providers to withdraw care once you’re sick after you’ve paid into the system for years or decades. Why is it any less immoral for somebody to opt out of health insurance while they’re healthy, if the government is offering financial assistance? If you can’t claim poverty, then what is your claim? All the while, the insurance industry lacks the overhead to cover Grandma’s hip replacement surgery.

Unless you’re willing to sign a form that says you not only are refusing to buy health insurance now, but forever, you shouldn’t be allowed to game the system. Otherwise, the system simply won’t be able to afford you when you come a’knockin’ once mortality raises its fearsome head.

-jb

The logic of outrage.

Sep 20, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care, Politics

Jewish man reacts the obvious way to teabaggers using Hitler/The Holocaust in vain:

A week after his arrest, Gasparian was still emotional. He said he recalled his miserable childhood in Armenia, where, because of the war, some days he had no more to eat than a small piece of sugar or bread.

His father, drafted by the Soviets to fight the Nazis when Gasparian was just 1 year old, returned home six years later, unrecognizable, injured both physically and mentally.

Historical accounts say that a half-million Armenians fought for the Soviets against the Germans. Half were killed, including Gasparian’s two uncles.

“I saw Hitler’s soldiers. I saw swastikas every day. To call Obama stupid, even criminal — OK, that’s politics. But Hitler? It’s hurting to anyone no matter who is president,” he said.

I could see somebody having the same reaction to the occasional extreme comparisons of Bush to Hitler…if they hadn’t actually seen warning signs. I think what provoked this man’s outrage was partially enhanced by the substance of the issue. Obama is trying to get everybody health care. Hitler was probably in favor of public health care for Germans, sure…but he was also in favor of schools, and movies, therefore watching, “Tuck Everlasting” in the 9th grade is akin to the Gestapo showing people Leni Riefenstahl films (fit for conflageration, as seen in Quentin Tarantino’s brilliant Inglorious Basterds).

These are people wondering about Obama’s Muslim indoctrination as a youngster, ignoring Prescott Bush, Dubya’s Nazi-financing grand-daddy. These are people worrying about the government giving them money to get health insurance, who sat still while Bush waved away every constitutional right in the name of national security. These are the people who laugh and say, “Waterboard me any day!” while Bush crafted a rebirth for verschaerfte Vernehmung.

I noticed the article could only bring itself to admit to LaDouche supporters waving Nazi signs, but we’ve seen the Hitler stuff come in exactly the same doses from the teapartiers. They have put the Devil’s horns on Obama, metaphorically speaking, and now dance about at the discovery of the Anti-christ: The smooth-talking practical politician who sweeps up everybody’s hearts and, you know, like, four years from now we’ll just have robots hunting Republicans for food. Really.

Oh, wait, the Anti-christ is supposed to lead the UN. Well, some proposed it for Bill Clinton, so maybe that’s what Obama will do after the presidency. Darn.

The Hitler imagery is nothing more than devil horns. It really has nothing to do with the Holocaust, or any of Hitler’s crimes, or his subjugation of a democratic republic. It’s cheapening the Holocaust to the level where you just say it about any president you don’t like. Policy shmolicy!

If we get any Republican trolls commenting on this post, they will go for the quick and easy “ITS JUST THE SAME YOU DID IT TO BUSH BUT NOW IT REALLY IS THE HOLOCAUST BECAUSE I PAID ENOUGH TAXES ALREADY!!” routine, which I don’t expect to survive long in the comments thread before we utterly dismantle it and rape the author of his/her ambitions. It’s just noise, not reason. Reason is a Jewish person revolted by teabaggers screaming at how bad they’re gonna have it under Obama. May more Holocaust survivors speak out, while they’re still here to take a stand. And let’s hear especially from those who have lived under European socialized health care since then. Or the Holocaust survivors in poverty with poor health care in America.

-jb

It’s STILL about (black) welfare queens driving Cadillacs.

Sep 19, 2009 in Politics

I understand that the core of all the race baiting bullshit is to demonize the recipients of government expenditures that the Republicans view as undeserving. After all, that’s what the welfare reform act that Clinton and Gingrich championed was all about; making sure that “those people” weren’t getting something that they didn’t deserve. For instance, single mothers who needed to learn the value of hard work (because raising children isn’t considered work by our government).

Skipton is a town of around 14,000 at the foot of the Yorkshire Dales. The town features an exquisitely preserved castle that stood as a chief bulwark in the North against Parliamentarians during the English Civil War in the 1600s. In the castle one can view the enormous wood-fire ovens of the kitchens that were used to bake bread around the clock. The tour guide informs visitors that the Royalists who lived there long ago used bread not only for sustenance but as napkins to wipe their faces and hands with. If they chose not to eat it the noblemen supping at the table would throw this bread onto the floor at their dogs who would then fight each other over the discarded bread which would provide amusement for the entertained and also save a little bit of effort that would have otherwise been expended by the wait staff. Those that fixate on micro-scandals like ACORN are just like the dogs that fret over the scraps cast under the table. They’ve decided that fighting over the pennies that fell out of the register that Goldman Sachs just carried out of the front door is more important than addressing the larger crime. They claim to be worried about government fraud and waste but when they fixate on micro scandals like ACORN, doing so stands as proof of just how insincere they really are.

-mg

Market fail for pharms.

Sep 19, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Health Care

A Sullivan reader points out how short free market rhetoric falls when it comes to prescription drugs:

Sick people will consume only the quantity they need to stay alive/healthy, but will pay any price for that. If pricing was left up to the market, supply and demand for patented, life-saving drugs would reach equilibrium at about 100% of the consumer’s assets, plus five years of indentured servitude.

The reader also notes that the drug he needs, for narcolepsy, is only available because of government intervention.

“Keep the gubmint out of my Medicare!” sums up the fundamental contradiction of the right: protesting against government involvement, utterly dependent on government involvement.

-jb

Cut spending!

Sep 19, 2009 in Economy, Politics

Republican claims to fiscal conservatism are completely baseless. An actual conservative, Bruce Bartlett, explains the reality: No Republican has any serious plan to deal with the deficit. 54% of discretionary spending goes to defense spending, and they’re deficit hawks now?

In short, there is no evidence that it is politically possible to cut spending enough to make more than a trivial difference in our nation’s fiscal problems. The votes aren’t there and never will be. Those who continue to insist otherwise are living in a dream world and deserve no attention from serious people.

Even shorter: your choice is tax and spend, or borrow and spend. Republicans are neither able nor willing to make any serious budget cuts. They only talk the talk to get elected. Give them complete control of the government, as we did for most of the Bush administration, and you only get more spending and more borrowing to fund the politically easy tax cuts.

Meanwhile, Obama takes the slightest measures to reduce the frighteningly costly boondoggle known as missile defense, and wingers are already hyperventilating that he’s handing the keys to Eastern Europe to Russia. Again, hardly any thought, only what they think they can say to push voter buttons and keep their asses in office another term. Unfortunately, our discourse on foreign policy has become so suffocatingly dominated by neocon theology and military industrial complex campaign financing means that we’re again left with only one party able to merely discuss unnecessary spending, and Republicans standing firmly in their way.

-jb

Rightwinger psych 101: I’m not a racist, regardless what came out of my mouth.

Sep 18, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Racism

One of the first warning signs in arguing with a winger that they’re a racist is the line, “you get accused of being racist for opposing Obama’s policies!”

Nobody gets accused of being racist for disagreeing with Obama’s policies. They get accused of it for saying racist shit. They know Limbaugh’s message for 20 plus years has been, “the darkies will take over because liberals listen to their whining monkey bullshit,” yet they bristle at the suggestion that their views on race have any flaws whatsoever.

-jb

Cronkite turns against the war.

Sep 17, 2009 in Health Care

Bill O’Reilly comes out in favor of the public option, seeing it exactly for what it is:

Stunning. This opens up a huge fissure on the right. Bill O’Reilly actually chooses to calm down for five seconds and see that the public option would provide much needed care to everybody.

In related news, this week’s Newsweek opens up a one-two-buckle-my-shoe, noting that simple end of life counseling lowers Medicare costs by a third where it is practiced. People are simply offered the dignity of self-determination, the power to decide for themselves when it’s time to leave this world. Topping that off, they examine the moral choice we make about health care and the system it results in. America has arrived at the same crossroads other nations reached long ago: stay with a system that rations care according to individual wealth, or realize that when it comes to health care, we are all truly equal.

That doesn’t mean eliminating roads to deluxe care for those who can afford it. It means deciding there’s a basic level of care that everybody is not only entitled to, but obligated to as a citizen. Why would anybody not pay into a system that covered everybody? Unless you’re talking about insuring a secret race of immortals (see Highlander), mortality is the thread that binds us all.

If you can’t agree on that fundamental statement on the value of human life, then what is the basis of your moral system?

Hats off to Bill O’Reilly. Every once in awhile he manages to take a step back and cool off Michelle Malkin’s engines. Few people are wrong constantly, even the new reigning village idiots of Iowa at the Coralville Courier.

-jb

Wendall Potter deserves a medal.

Sep 17, 2009 in Politics

-mg

OMG! It’s full of czars!

Sep 17, 2009 in Politics

Chance that this will have an effect on the howler monkeys: 0%.

And we’re still waiting for Group2012 to explain how “What Obama has done is unprecedented“. We’re in the central timezone here meaning that Limbaugh’s show just went on the air so perhaps he’ll have a response for us when he’s done listening.

Ben Nelson follows the money again.

Sep 16, 2009 in Disappointing Dems, Health Care

Hey, Nebraska, thanks for this guy:

Many Senate Democrats, noticeably lacking in anything approaching party unity, have proudly stepped up with promises to scuttle several elements of President Obama’s budget, including some that would cut federal spending by billions of dollars.

“The most emblematic objection has come from Nelson, who is balking at Obama’s plan to save money on college loans. You might suppose that a fiscal conservative like Nelson would agree with Obama’s plan to save $4 billion on a social program,” Chait wrote. “But he does not, for reasons that provide a useful window into the rot afflicting the congressional Democratic Party.”

He referred to Nelson’s opposition to a plan that would eliminate billions of dollars in federal support for private companies, such as NelNet in Lincoln, which make student loans. Several studies have shown the government’s program of direct loans and grants is more efficient, could provide more dollars for students and would save billions of taxpayer dollars.

NelNet has consistently been among the largest contributors to Nelson’s political campaigns. The depth of that support was reported by the New America Foundation in July of 2007.

Politico.com noted Tuesday that Nelson has objected to the plan because NelNet employs 1,000 people and could go out of business if the Obama plan were enacted.

“I think it would be the wrong direction for people to outsource jobs from Lincoln, Nebraska to Washington, D.C.,” Nelson said. “It’d be pretty hard for me to vote for it he way it is.”

Chait was merciless in his assessment.

“Obama thus proposes to save the taxpayers more than $4 billion per year by ending the guaranteed loans. This is as straightforward a case as you can find of a fight between special interests and the public good. Nelson opposes it because one of the lenders that benefit from federal overpayments is based in Lincoln …”

We can’t save $4 billion dollars because of 1000 people employed in Nebraska. That’s $4 million per person.

Quite a lot of bang for the 48,000 bucks they donated to his campaign, eh?

Ah, but this guy waffles on health care reform because he’s concerned about “costs.” Not the insurance, pharma and other health care industries that put a million bucks in his coffers.

Nebraskans, please send a simple message to Ben Nelson: You’re an incumbent, virtually guaranteed re-election anyway. Get off the fatcat gravy train, let the grassroots raise your money for you, vote on principle, and you’ll be safely re-elected.

The old ways cannot sustain us.

-jb

Staving off dementia.

Sep 15, 2009 in Politics

There’s plenty of stuff to write about but for various reasons I simply haven’t been up to the challenge lately. Not least of which is Kirkwood Community College’s predictably incompetent Financial Aid department who, to their credit, flatly admitted to me that sometimes their call center gives incorrect information to students. This was the outrageous response I was given when asking why I was told my funds would be released last week when in fact October 21st was the correct date. It leaves me wondering who exactly we’re supposed to go to for reliable counsel. Apparently, students are expected to rely upon their intuition. Of course this has all occurred during the midst of a serious bout of SSRI discontinuation syndrome.

To keep myself busy I’ve been on an upgrade binge. I installed Windows 7 on my home computer. My life has so far remained unchanged but I’ll keep you all updated. I updated my iPhone software to the 3.1 version. Doing so has vastly altered my text messaging capabilities and not in a good way. The phone will now stop sending and receiving text messaging abruptly and without any warning signs. It also seems to have a difficult time staying connected to wifi hotspots. On the bright side we iPhone users are now being ushered into the year 2005 with the inclusion of MMS service. They really are too good to us.

Steady on, lads.

Get Ready For Lots of This

Sep 15, 2009 in Politics

THIS IS A BUSH RECOVERY THE WSJ IS LIBERAL MEDIA WAS GOING TO HAPPEN ANYWAY WHERE’S THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE DEATH PANELS TELEPROMPTER.

Protesters whose taxes haven’t increased are upset that their taxes have increased.

Sep 12, 2009 in Politics

The traveling circus goes to DC:

Participants in the demonstration spanned the spectrum of conservative anger at Obama, including opponents of his tax, spending and health-care plans and protesters who question Obama’s U.S. citizenship and liken his administration to the Nazi regime. By 11 a.m., the route between Freedom Plaza and the Capitol was a sea of demonstrators chanting “USA!” and carrying signs such as, “Taxed enough already,” “The audacity of dope” and, “Czars belong in Russia.”

None of these people’s taxes have gone up. And what’s with the “czars” chant all over the wingnut blogs lately? Is that a Glenn Beck thing?

Paul Banks is…Julian Plenti

Sep 11, 2009 in Politics

Interpol fans, take note:

Like Dave Gahan and Thom Yorke before him, Banks turns out a solo album that sounds like his band anyway, so no fears.

-jb

Republican makes embarrassing comment, former Republican reacts embarrassingly.

Sep 10, 2009 in Politics

I know it’s in his blood but could somebody tap Arlen Specter on the shoulder and let him know that throwing a hissy-fit only serves to encourage the Chris Matthews and Sean Hannitys?

-mg

The irrefutable argument is the ultimate weapon.

Sep 10, 2009 in Barack Obama, Health Care, Politics

Democrats have perpetually failed by being afraid to use their best arguments forcefully, so as to club their enemies about the head, neck and chest area and turn those ideas into real, valuable, pragmatic policies.

President Barack Obama is, so far, the master of political rope-a-dope. Time and time again he has let his opponents unleash their full fury on him. He has stumbled, looked weak, spoken with frustration, and perpetually exasperated his supporters. He keeps this going until people start to throw up their hands and say, “Damn, I think he got licked this time.”

Before tonight’s speech, we were undoubtedly reliving this experience. “Hope-less,” reads the Newsweek cartoon. Joe Klein declared the public option dead. Iowa Liberal seethed at his weakness.

And yet, he has done it again. No, we’re not done yet, but he has in a single masterstroke gained the upper hand.

With tonight’s speech, Obama wrapped the moral argument for health care reform around the pragmatic argument, utterly destroying and erasing every scrap of noise Republicans have made about reform. He sealed the case that he approached the GOP in good faith, leaving it doubtless that such was not returned. He reaffirmed the public option as a compromise, an option already standing in the center between the left and right, yet one that can be incredibly effective. He soothed people’s real fears about health care, revealing the cartoonish buffoonery of the GOP scare campaign. Already out of gas, the “death panel” panic was itself put to death. “Health care for illegals!” was also snuffed out, strangled with the moronic cry of Rep. Joe Wilson, who has already apologized for yelling, “You lie.” Besides being incredibly rude and uncouth, he himself was lying. Obama was right. And so they flail.

Health care reform is now within our reach. There is more work to do, but Obama just filled the left’s tank with rocket fuel. Once again, people can believe he’ll fight on this issue, and rally behind him with less fear of being left out in the open. He has afforded his followers the right to be known as champions of what is right and good.

To those liberals still critical of Obama (*nudging Thomas Tallis*), keep in mind that this post is about health care. It’s not every issue, it’s one issue. Yet it is a momentous issue, one of the most important issues of the past sixty years. President after president has tried to make headway on this, at best winning incremental steps like Medicare and Medicaid. Yet all the time, the system kept warping into something dangerous to Americans, draining their wealth and leaving them for dead. The success of health care reform will signal a monument in our nation’s history, one that will forever have Obama’s name attached to it.

Best of all, its completion in his first year gives us three (well, everybody knows it’s seven) more years to ride his back about the other things we must do in order to truly point the country in a new direction. Ending our Middle East wars, restoring Constitutional rights, returning regulation to Wall Street, charting a path out of deficit, and creating a green economy will fill up the rest of Obama’s time easily, not to mention the inevitable future contingencies.

Make no mistake, however, this time right now must be focused, and nobody who calls themselves Democrat, left, liberal, progressive, or simply a concerned American citizen focused on doing what is right for our country can be idle or distracted with those other issues. Health care owns this time, and it will not be over until it is done. Now is the time to get out of the car and push, ’cause ain’t nobody giving us a free ride.

-jb

SUCKAAAZ!!!!

Sep 09, 2009 in Politics

Liberal Neal Boortz on Obama’s school speech:

President says he will give speech to schoolchildren.

Republicans say the speech will be full of leftist propaganda.

Parents run in circles flailing arms overhead while screaming and shouting.

Some school officials black out Obama’s speech. (racist comment)

Grinning speechwriters prepare speech with no leftist propaganda.

Republicans look like fools.

People now more reluctant to listen to conservative complaints about Obama.

I’d like to be able to say that people are now more reluctant to listen to mainstream media punditry that add legitimacy to these types of hysterics by treating them seriously but I know that’s a long shot. It must say something, though that Newt Gingrich, the best the Republicans can do for leadership right now, disavows the crazies.

-mg

The old hot mic blunder strikes again.

Sep 09, 2009 in Politics

Pointing out that he’s a Republican proves that KCAL-9 is librul!!!

So, he chairs the Utilities and Commerce Committee and one of his special lady friends works as a lobbyist for a utility company. Kinda sums up lobbying in a nutshell.

-mg

Iraqistan.

Sep 08, 2009 in Politics

Can somebody please tell me why the hell we are there, again? Like WWI, I think Afghanistan is going to be one of those long, bloody slogs that in hindsight nobody will be able to explain what the hell we were doing there in the first place.

-mg

Going Galt. Kindergarten Edition.

Sep 08, 2009 in Politics

Any news on how successful National Keep Your Child At Home Day was in your area? A school district in Toronto, Ohio had .016 percent (!!!!) of their students avoid the speech. Their parents could not be reached for comment as they were busy stockpiling muskets, hardtack and salted pork in their fortified suburban stockades.

I noticed that Jim Greer, after completing his goal of whipping the mouth-breathers into a frenzy, flatly stated that “It’s a good speech. It encourages kids to stay in school and the importance of education, and I think that’s what a president should do.” Yes, fine, but did the president mention the importance of TYPING IN ALL CAPS?!?!

-mg

GOP: Run with it and don’t look back!

Sep 05, 2009 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives

On Glenn Beck fans running schools who are freaking about Obama’s speech:

Asked if the Collier school district would have made the same ruling about webcast “logistics” if Obama’s Republican predecessor, George W. Bush, had proposed making a similar speech to U.S. students, a spokesman for Thompson told TIME, “exactly.” But Dean calls it “a moot question” because “I don’t think President Bush would have ever done it. He understood that this sort of thing starts in the home.” But when reminded that Bush’s father, President George H.W. Bush, broadcast a similar speech to the nation’s pupils, Dean says, “That was different. It was, if I remember, largely a say-no-to-drugs speech.”

And this is a “school is good!” speech, ya friggin’ maroon.

The modern GOP: believing that rejecting all intellectual honesty is the key to making American #1.

-jb

You Know How Some Of Us Are Always Droning On About How There’s Not Really Much Difference Between Democrats and Republicans?

Sep 04, 2009 in Barack Obama, Disappointing Dems

This is what we mean.
-TT

Al Franken neutralizes teabaggers.

Sep 04, 2009 in Health Care

They tried to ambush him and ended up in a sane policy discussion. Beautiful.

Lead the way, Al. Republicans will continue to seek instant gratification by stoking the Beck/Limbaugh nutbase, but it can’t endure if Democrats keep doing this. Keep things sane, keep things rational, and let reality point the way. It’s our current system that is unsustainable and immoral. We must have a better one, and babbling about Nazis is deceitful and obstructive in such a way as to be destructive.

-jb

It’s Pledge Week in Kabul!

Sep 03, 2009 in Uncategorized

Why is it that the hazing rituals our macho, he-men devise always turn out to be completely fucking gay?

-mg

National Truancy Day.

Sep 02, 2009 in Uncategorized

Hey kids! Obama’s making a PSA speech on September 8th about staying in school, serving your country, etc.

The right-wing response? RAAAAAAAAAAAGE!!!!!!!!!!!! Here are some actual comments from AmericanElephant.com:

“When I first read this on Drudge I thought it was a hoax. I cannot believe how this administration is trying to intrude in every aspect of our lives. I guess we now have the perfect excuse to take an extra long holiday weekend. Excellent post.”

“And this is why we homeschooled our kids! I did’nt want Bush, Clinton, Bush directly addressing my kids and if I had kids in school now I would keep them home ! The arrogance of any politician “addressing” children without the parents consent and presence is mind-boggling!”

“Good start — now if everyone would truly take responsibility for their kids and take them out of school not just on Sept 8th, but every day after that, we might actually end up with an educated society!”

“Our country is unrecognizable. I find myself wondering if this is how the Jews felt in Germany in the 1930s.”

“I’m sure his ‘FIRST’ address to school children will be quite subtle and strictly about education but, as I said, it’s his ‘FIRST’ address; The making of precident for future indoctrinations. . He is bringing Hitler and Mao’s tactics upon our children. I am keeping my child at home on that day.

“Now go, run along, and poke your finger into the eye of the true, silent, side-line sitting masters of this whole facade. Keep rousing us to anger and when we’ve finally awoke, say goodbye to your little utopian socialist dreams!”

“HIS ARROGANCE IS OVERWHELMING!!!! THIS SHOULD BE ILLEGAL. ALL THIS HOPE AND CHANGE IS A LITTLE TOO MUCH TO BEAR. ARE WE LIKE SHEEP BEING LED TO THE SLAUGHTER?”

“This is the first step to getting our children to “like” him so they can turn their parents in to the authorities later. Look at the election…he woed so many with his smooth talk…a child has no defense against his charm. Many teenagers think their parents are clueless as it is…with little effort they would turn on their own parents. The Bible even mentions that children will be disobey their parents.”

“This does not sound like Hitler. It sounds like Stalin.Even more like Mao and Pol Pot.
Children will be pressured to become informers, or will be bullied by mobs of their former friends. Wait for summer training camp for the Young Obamists.”

Pure, unadultered, bat-shit crazy hysteria.

You’d think that sooner or later the Hebrew community would get annoyed by the constant equating of Obama’s agenda to throwing Jews into to ovens at Dachau.

-mg

PS> My favorite quote:

carolina gal
September 2, 2009 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

Kids today are a product of the “time out” generation. I feel sorry for our teachers…there are still a few good parents left out there but they are losing all their rearing rights to the government. The government needs to stay away from our children. I don’t want my 5 year old learning about same sex relationships when he should be learning his ABC’s.

I don’t know if this is more a reflection on the school he goes to or the parents but if your kid doesn’t know his ABC’s by the time he’s 5 years old then he’s missed too many days at school already.

Hanson beats NOM (Burgmeier).

Sep 02, 2009 in Uncategorized

A victory for equality.

-mg

Et tu, WSJ?

Sep 02, 2009 in Uncategorized

Sadly, the Rupert Murdoch owned Wall Street Journal has decided to spread liberal propaganda about Obama’s economic stimulus package:

WASHINGTON — Government efforts to funnel hundreds of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy appear to be helping the U.S. climb out of the worst recession in decades. …

Economists say the money out the door — combined with the expectation of additional funds flowing soon — is fueling growth above where it would have been without any government action.

Many forecasters say stimulus spending is adding two to three percentage points to economic growth in the second and third quarters, when measured at an annual rate. The impact in the second quarter, calculated by analyzing how the extra funds flowing into the economy boost consumption, investment and spending, helped slow the rate of decline and will lay the groundwork for positive growth in the third quarter — something that seemed almost implausible just a few months ago. Some economists say the 1% contraction in the second quarter would have been far worse, possibly as much as 3.2%, if not for the stimulus.

And Iowa’s using that stimulus money to repair infrastructure that would normally be put on the back burner during hard times:

Iowa ranks second nationally in using federal stimulus dollars allocated for highway and bridge projects, a congressional committee reported today..

Eighty-five percent of the federal money granted to Iowa has already been awarded to contractors, with 75 percent of the work underway. Eighty-seven percent of the money has been assigned to road projects sent out for bids, according to the U.S House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

I think the tea-baggers should go protest contractors that have accepted stimulus money financed projects. Ya know, show those construction workers the courage of their convictions.

-mg