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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Republicans outraged at.....what Bush did

Republicans are "appalled", even Mitt got in on the action, calling it a “a slap in the face to all those brave individuals in Cuba who are enduring relentless persecution.”

'It' is giving Fidel Castro's niece a visa to chair a panel on LGBT issues at the Latin American Studies Association in San Francisco later this week.

She was granted visas on three separate times during the Bush years.  Selective amnesia is a wonderful thing in politics. 


Friday, May 18, 2012

Why Isn't James O'Keefe in Prison yet

The pusculent stain on humanity that is James O'Keefe is still around to run free with his video camera is a measure of just how low right wing standards have sunk.  His one big hit, the takedown of Acorn was only possible because he hadn't yet been exposed as a monumental fraud and the wholesale panic that set in among Democrats allowed Acorn to be defunded and shut down before any of the evidence was in. 

Turns out his video 'evidence' was a monument to selective editing and a 'Pimp' outfit used just for show but not in the actual meetings with Acorn where he was dressed normally.  Why anyone in their right mind would even be conned by this alleged 'Pimp' get up is beyond me. 

His story soon fell apart and he's now the subject of a number of lawsuits from former Acorn employees.  Courts in New Jersey and California threw out cases against Acorn in the preliminary stages once the courts saw how heavily the tapes were edited. 

The Acorn debacle did prove that thee right understands absolutely nothing about both the voter registration process and the election process itself.  For the few that may know, silence was preferable to bursting the right's bubble about voter fraud.  Firstly, anyone registering voters is obligated by law to turn in every filled out voter registration form even if they know its fraudulent.   The person or organization turning in the registration can notate their suspicions but destroying that registration even if it says 'Micky Mouse, 123 Main Street, Disneyland" is a felony.  Not to worry, the county election board will check every registration and only they can reject them. The myth that invalid registrations turned in by Acorn or any other organization registering voters will allow Mickey Mouse to vote is a paranoid fantasy.

His next stunt was getting arrested for illegally entering Sen Mary Landrieu (LA)'s offices posing as telephone repairmen.  It was never certain what he was trying to do but tapping her phones wasn't part of his plan.  Lucky for him because that would have landed him in jail, not as a Pimp but as a Pimpee or in prison parlance, someone;s bitch.  Instead he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and got 3 years probation.  

O'Keefe's next foray into voter fraud was in New Hampshire.  After studying recent death notices O'Keefe and his cohorts showed up at polling places using the names of those recently deceased to obtain ballots.  Soon enough they got caught when it turned out a poll worker knew the recently deceased individual. O'Keefe and his cohorts, probably more by luck than design stayed out of serious trouble by not casting any of the ballots they illegally obtained. All they had proved was it is possible to commit voter fraud, not that it actually happens. 

Undeterred by looking more stupid each time O'Keefe set his sights on North Carolina.  This time he was going to prove non0citizens were busy casting votes.  Bingo success, or so claimed

Undeterred hus next stunt involved the failed seduction of CNN reporter Abbie Boudreau aboard a yacht sprinkled with condoms, sex toys and a sexy soundtrack to video the action and compromise Boudreau who was asking too many questions about her.  

He then turned his attention to North Carolina where, horror of horrors, non citizens were voting illegally.  The Breitbart babes were all over it.  Please get back to vetting the 2008 version of Obama.  The whole world is waiting to hear who he hugged.  World Net Daily took time off trying to prove Obama was born in Kenya to cover the story as well. 

Unfortunately the two individuals singled out by O'Keefe both happen to be U.S. citizen and are therefore entitled to vote.  O'keefe's reaction.  He deleted all messages on his U Tube page pointing this out.  

Maybe he will finally go away....then again

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Donna Summer - RIP - dead at 63

Not my favorite type of music but she defined the genre. 

GOP and Reality -Complete Strangers

Back in the days of the Iowa caucuses, which seem like a decade ago, Tim Pawlenty, former governor of Minnesota decided to withdraw from the GOP Presidential race after a poor showing in his former state.  Little did he know that being marginally less of a dufus than Perry, Cain, Bachmann or Gingrich, he could have got his 15 minutes of fame as putative GOP nominee.  Who knows, his fame might have lasted a little longer seeing as he didn't want to build Club Med on the moon, had no sexual harassment suits, knew the three branches of government and didn't make up stories about 7 foot tall doctors.

Instead, he chose to spend his time working for the computer robot formerly known as Willard (Mitt) Romney.   With a persona about as exciting as mud he's probably better off working for Romney.  The Romney team has him working the morning Cable News shows where few are watching anyway.  Talking to Mrs. Alan Greenspan AKA Amdrea Mitchell today, he came up with some real zingers.   He started by claiming President Obama has no clue about the economy seeing as his only previous experience was as a community activist which is like being in government and moreover, Joe Biden who has been in government forever is even less qualified.   Pawlenty differentiated himself by claiming that he is far more qualified because he comes from a "blue collar" background as does Joe Biden, but who's counting anyway. 

He also claimed that the stimulus was a complete waste of time and money and did nothing to help the economy despite clear evidence to the contrary.   That almost 50% of the stimulus was in the form off tax cuts is obviously completely irrelevant to Pawlenty.  Simple logic thus suggests that tax cuts don't help the economy, an idea that totally cuts the cornerstone of the entire GOP economic policy but who's counting?

During Pawlenty's second term of Governor, Minnesota faced a huge budget shortfall.   How was he able to balance the budget?.....with a large onetime payment from the stimulus.   


Monday, May 14, 2012

A pciture is worth a thousand words

"Some Blots on the Record"

John Derbyshire was a leading writer for The National Review, one of the leading conservative journals, originally founded by William F. Buckley back in 1955.  The journal describes itself as, "America's most widely read and influential magazine and web site for conservative news, commentary, and opinion."

Derbyshire was recently fired for an article he wrote that pushed the envelope of racism a little too far even for the Review, which itself has moved far further right in recent years.

Free to spew, he's revealing his true colors.  In an article on a White Nationalist website that will remain unnamed and unlinked to he wrote the following:

The enemies of conservatism are eager to supply their own nomenclature. “White Supremacist” seems to be their current favorite. It is meant maliciously, of course, to bring up images of fire-hoses, attack dogs, pick handles, and segregated lunch counters—to imply that conservatives, especially non-mainstream conservatives, are cruel people with dark thoughts.
Leaving aside the intended malice, I actually think “White Supremacist” is not bad semantically. White supremacy, in the sense of a society in which key decisions are made by white Europeans, is one of the better arrangements History has come up with. There have of course been some blots on the record, but I don’t see how it can be denied that net-net, white Europeans have made a better job of running fair and stable societies than has any other group.

Firstly, the 'enemies of conservatism' don't call the right "White Supremacist" very often unless, as in this case, they are just too blatant about it but what really cracks me up is the "some blots on the record".  A 'blot'..that's like calling Katrina a minor inconvenience for the people of New Orleans.

In Derbyshire's world colonialism probably doesn't even rate a blot, even its worst aspects.  The Holocaust, that may rate as a blot because for people like Derbyshire, Jews are not really truly worthy of absolute "whiteness" even if some of his friends are Jewish.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A few Mother's Day songs.

Merle Haggard - Mama Tried

Dionne Bromfield, Amy Winehouse - Mamma Said, covering the original Shirelles hit

and lastly

'Mother's Llittle Helper" - The Rolling Stones.

God bless mothers everywhere.  It's a tough and often thankless job. 

Catholics Bishops attack Girl Scouts

And no, it's not a headline from the Onion although in a saner world it would be.  They're investigating the Girl Scouts for among other things, supporting abortion, supporting the "homosexual agenda" and partnering with Planned Parenthood.  There is scant evidence to support any of these charges other than guilt by co-incidental association.  The Planned Parenthood charge, for example stems from a United Nations event the Girl Scouts attended.  At the same event Planned Parenthood brochures were handed out.  No one expected the Spanish Inquisition but we know have the 21st Century version.

The Bishops are racking up quite a record this year.  The House held a hearing about insurance covering contraceptives and the Bishops were invited to give testimony. Famously Sandra Fluke, nor any other woman was invited to give testimony at the GOP led hearing.  That ended well for everyone concerned.

Then they viciously attacked Nuns for caring to much about social justice and not enough time fighting abortion and gay marriage.

The Catholic Church are also exploring new ways to fight sexual abuse suits by filing lawsuits against organizations supporting victims of pedophile priests as well as forcing every victim to fight lawsuits one by ono instead of  paying out large lump sum settlements. 

Bill Donohue, that miserable excuse for a human being and also Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights said,

He said bishops were also rethinking their approach of paying large settlements to groups of victims. “The church has been too quick to write a check, and I think they’ve realized it would be a lot less expensive in the long run if we fought them one by one,” 
They would have racked up a perfect 100% record for vile ignorance but for one blemish.  The criticized Paul Ryan's GOP House budget for failing to meet certain “moral criteria” by disproportionately cutting programs that “serve poor and vulnerable people.”  This is the same budget that Ryan claimed was influenced by his strong Catholic faith.   You're really got to push the envelope of decency to piss off the Bishops.  Ryan managed that.  Never fear, it was back to the regular program scheduling for the Bishops, attacking nuns, Girl Scouts, covering up sexual conduct and the like.

Bear in mind that while the Bishops oppose Catholic institutions covering contraceptive coverage for women even when medically needed, they have no problem covering Viagra prescriptions.  You just never know when a priest might have to rise to the occasion at the sight of an innocent altar boy.

The GOP: Obvlivious to the Real World

The Bush administration kept on telling us that they are creating their own reality, never mind what we're observing in that same reality. 

We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out."
 We all know how that reality turned out. Fast forward to the present and more recent past.  The right has adamantly refused to assign any blame to the banking world for the financial collapse in 2008.  They have fought every attempt to regulate the financial markets.  All the GOP candidates vowed to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial reform completely. 

Their cause took a hit last week when J.P. Morgan announced they had just lost $2 billion in a matter of weeks on high risk bets.  Jamie Dimon, their CEO has long railed against financial reform.  Admittedly J.P. Morgan handled risk somewhat better than other investment banks in the financial meltdown but all the same.  Boo effing hoo.  Take your medicine and shut your piehole. 

In this weeks announcement, Dimon said, "We made a terrible, egregious mistake," and "There's almost no excuse for it.".  No shit Sherlock!   Out in the real world, this could help undermine Mitt Romney's position that Dodd Frank should be repealed in full and it may help Obama a little. 

Then along comes John Thune with the GOP version of reality.  The shorter version, We should mitigate risk but not at the expense of forming banks to mitigate risk and we definitely shouldn't be jumping to conclusions. 

“We need to make sure we get all facts before jumping to conclusions about the need for greater financial regulation,” he said on Fox News Sunday, "it is important that we make sure we have got some good safeguards in place but in a way that doesn't impair their ability to mitigate risk and to protect themselves and their balance sheets as well."
Fortunately J.P. Morgan can handle the loss.  What it shows is the financial markets haven't leared a damn thing and unacceptable risks will still be undertaken.  Meanwhile, the GOP's vision of reality remains at odds with reality. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nina Simone - Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues

Nina Simone's great cover of one of Bob Dylan's most poetically evocative songs.  It doesn't get much better than this.

Sweet Melinda
The peasants call her the goddess of gloom
She speaks good English
And she invites you up into her room
And you're so kind
And careful not to go to her too soon
And she takes your voice
And leaves you howling at the moon.

Friday, May 11, 2012

And Then There Is This

To emphasize the point below.  It has to be heard to be believed.  She takes right wing crazy to a whole new level.  The City Council in Lincoln Nebraska is debating an LGBT rights ordinance.  Lincoln, the capital of Nebraska is also a University town, the verging on sanity but obviously not in this woman.

The Right Won't Take Heed

A leading GOP pollster has written a quite startling letter to party insiders, candidates and operatives.  The message: back off gay marriage.  He writes that up to 2009 support for gay marriage was increasing at about 1% a year but since then it has accelerated to 5% a year and now has a lead of 10% against those who don't support it.  The movement crosses party lines as well as age groups but is strongest among younger voters.

The last paragraph of the letter by pollster Jan Van Lohuizen is telling.

Conservative fundamentals:       “As people who promote personal responsibility, family values, commitment and stability, and emphasize freedom and limited government we have to recognize that freedom means freedom for everyone.  This includes the freedom to decide how you live and to enter into relationships of your choosing, the freedom to live without excessive interference of the regulatory force of government. 

He's right but for one thing.  Today's Republicans are as much Conservatives as Obama is a Socialist.  Today's right are Christian Fundamentalist Reactionaries and as such cannot and will not accept the idea that gay marriage is congruent with their philosophy.  It's why they stepped right into the contraceptive fight on the wrong side and in the process will lose a few million votes in November.  They do not support most conservative principles, certainly not fiscally or socially. 

Obama's announcement on Wednesday was a stroke of political genius, coming a day after the debacle in North Carolina.  The Romney 'bullying' store coming right after that doesn't help the right's cause either.  A few of the saner wing of the GOP might tut-tut and say he's right but any who speak out loud in support of the ideas of the memo will face instant crucifixion.