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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Right wing starts boycott of Justin Bieber based on a parody interview

The paranoid stupidity of the right never ceases to amaze. Here is part of the parody interview.

Bieber went on to say that Muslims are "super cool," Christians are "lame-o-rama," and that the mosque will help "start a dialogue" with all religions about which Justin Bieber song is the most awesome.

For the crowd that buys into the idea that Obama is about to give America back to the Indians, the Bieber parody makes complete sense.

Christine O' Donnell is being investigated by the FBI - A left wng plot

O'Donnell is being investigated by the FBI for using campaign funds for personal use, but it's not her fault, it's all those evil leftists. This story isn't new and the details seem to suggest she is guilty.

Never mind the facts, she wen into full victimhood mode without bothering to mention the facts. Here she is on Fox whining like a toddler.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

How a house went into foreclosure without ever being late on a payment

“In one of the more bizarre foreclosure cases, Bank of America is threatening to throw a West Hartford family out of their home even though the couple never missed a mortgage payment.

The largest bank in the United States earlier this month notified Shock Baitch and his wife Lisa (Friedman) Baitch that foreclosure action will start today – Christmas eve – unless the couple agrees to put their home up for a forced sale.

Why? Because another unit of Bank of America erroneously reported to credit agencies that the family was seeking a loan modification, ruining their credit rating and as the result putting their mortgage into default.

All this is happening even though the bank – after admitting it erred and sent a letter of apology in September – handed this case to a special unit at Bank of America that is charged with dealing with severe customer issues. It promised to notify the credit reporting agencies that the couple were not deadbeats, but were good credit risks”

This sort of shit is happening all over the place because the entire system is broken, and worse, trampling all over the legal due process of property law.

More here.

Midnight Oil - 'Dead Heart' live unplugged

Midnight Oil are obviously part of the great conspiracy to give America back to the Indians.

U.S. corporations are hiring.....

everywhere but in the U.S. Last year they hired 1.4 million workers outside the U.S. but less than 1 million in the U.S. They also checked in with record profits in the last quarter.

If we're going to continue giving U.S. corporations tax breaks how about giving them tax breaks to create those jobs in the U.S. Nah, that makes too much sense.

Study: Conservatives have larger ‘fear center’ in brain

That explains a lot.

The coming war on sanity and science

GOP Rep. Fred Upton (MI) won a three way battle to chair the House Energy Committee. He was considered the moderate compared to the either Joe Barton or John Shimkus his two rivals. Barton had spent much of the spring apologizing to BP for the 'harsh' treatment they were getting from the government as well as suggesting more than once that the taxpayers should foot the bill for the cleanup. Shimkus' energy policy was stolen from the Alfred E. Neuman 'What, me worry?' school of government policy.

Global warming was no threat according to Shimkus because God had promised Noah that he was done destroying the earth and 'cross my fingers' I'll never do it again.

Upton was being attacked by the Tea Party and it's allies for co-sponsoring the 'godless communist' bill to encourage Americans to switch to more energy efficient light bulbs. Key word in this horrifying attack on America's freedom was the word 'encourage' not force. Upton had already committed the heresy of suggesting climate change is a serious problem and that the world would be better off if we could reduce emissions.

Upton amazingly won possibly because the 'really crazy' vote was ssplit between Barton and Shimkus. America's carbon based future has been assured though. Upton has seen the light. All it took was $20,000 in donations from Koch Industries whose spigot supplies an endless stream of money for the Tea Party and similar patriotic organizations.

In a Wall Street Journal editorial yesterday Upton and Americans For Prosperity president Tim Phillips argued against any carbon emission restrictions. AFP is wholly funded by the Koch Brothers whose combined net worth of $42 billion has been made entirely off oil. Gotta love those benign sounding right wing propaganda machines.

Phillips has previously claimed the idea that green energy could create jobs is a myth and that a couple of dubious e-mails is conclusive proof that the reality global warming is a world wide conspiracy.

The House GOP energy policy will be a three pronged attack. Kill Cap and Trade, strip the EPA of as much power as possible and spend the rest of their time investigating climate scientists to get to their Holy Hrail where the scientist break down in hearings and admit their work is part of a world wide conspiracy and finally admit that the world is actually cooling.

The climate deniers have their proof. It snowed a lot this past week. Time to build a twenty first century ark.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Obama to give back Manhattan to the Indians

That's the latest conspiracy theory on the Right. Two convergent facts have given rise to this latest piece of idiocy. First, during the 2008 campaign, the Crow tribe made Obama an honorary member. Can you belong to the Crow and still be a Muslim? We need answers.

The second part of the equation is that the U.S. finally signed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. The Declaration was adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2007, but the U.S., under President Bush, opposed it.

This was enough for the paranoid conspiracy addled loonies on the right to project. Brian Fischer of the Christian conservative American Family Association who is always good for a laugh was first out of the gate. He wrote in a blog that:

"President Obama wants to give the entire land mass of the United States of America back to the Indians. He wants Indian tribes to be our new overlords."

"Perhaps he figures that, as an adopted Crow Indian, he will be the new chief over this revived Indian empire, but for the other 312 million of us, I think we'll settle for our constitutional 'We the people' form of government, thank you very much."

World Net Daily atepped in next:

"President Obama is voicing support for a U.N. resolution that could accomplish something as radical as relinquishing some U.S. sovereignty and opening a path for the return of ancient tribal lands to American Indians, including even parts of Manhattan."

These people are truly fucking nuts. They were band enough during the Clinton years but they have taken Obama Derangement Syndrome to an entirely new level. Do they lie in bed awake at night, fantasizing about Obama's next plot to destroy America. They truly believe that Obama's sole mission is to destroy America.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Meet the new GOP head of the Science Committee

As we saw that thing bubbling out, blossoming out – all that energy, every minute of every hour of every day of every week – that was tremendous to me. That we could deliver that kind of energy out there – even on an explosion.

I'm glad Rep. Ralph Hall, (R-TX), the new head of the House Science Committee got an emotional lift from seeing a stream of oil flooding into the gulf of Mexico 24/7. Thousands of residents along the coast weren't as excited. They saw their livelihoods being flushed down the crapper.

He's a big 'drill baby drill' fan and can't wait to get his hands on the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and get all the oil out of there to solve America's energy future, or a maximum of 2 years supply of oil, depending on whether you believe Sarah Palin or scientists.

What most Americans are blissfully unaware of is that 5,500 current offshore leases are not being used. The oil companies get very nice tax breaks for not using the leases so they are in no hurry to ramp up production and see oil prices drop. The estimated reserves of these 5,500 unused leases is between 5 and 10 times the total estimated reserves in ANWR. Taking away or even reducing the tax breaks for oil companies on their unused leases is not even on the table.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The 'extraordinary' Rick Scott, new Governor of Florida

The head of the Republican Party in Palm Beach Florida told Time Magazine that Gov. Rick Scott "is going to be within six months of taking office one of the most extraordinary national figures we've seen in years."

As Washington Monthly described it:

Depending on how one defines "extraordinary," that might well be true. If one takes it to mean "very unusual" and "far outside the norm," then sure, Scott might well prove to be extraordinary, but not in a good way.

The incoming governor, elected despite massive fraud and corruption allegations, has already caused several stirs. It was Scott and his team, for example, who raised the prospect of privatizing all public education in the Sunshine State, scraping state support for public hospitals, and canceling infrastructure investment plans that would create 24,000 jobs for Floridians.

His next target is the 'unemployed' or Newt Gingrich's favorite new target for why the economy sucks. Using Gingrich's cue people are only unemployed because they want to be. His new economic team put out a release furthering Gingrich's rhetoric. Part of the plan will force anyone who has collected unemployment will have to start to do community service, one assumes at minimum wage or maybe Scott's team has come up with a new way to cut government costs by using the 'unemployed' to replace previously higher paid employees to cut costs and ensure an endless supply of unemployed people.

Not only that, Scott's economic team misrepresented a study of how the 'unemployed look for work.

When Scott was head of Columbia/HCA they were forced to pay about $2 billion for Medicare fraud. He claimed he had no idea of the fraud but was forced to resign in disgrace with a mere $30 million in stock and a $10 million severance package.

Scott is Either a lying, thieving piece of shit or one of the dumbest, most incompetent CEO's in history. My guess is that he is the former rather than just incompetent which whould worry sane Floridians ever more. Sadly, they are obviously a minority in the state.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Santa Claus is coming to town - Bruce Springsteen

Last Christmas song for the day. Who better than 'The Boss'. Merry Christmas to all those who celebrate the day.

Happy Christmas (War is Over) - John Lennon

Tenacious D (AKA Jack Black) - The 12 drugs of Christmas


Friday, December 24, 2010

Goebbels would be proud of this lot

A couple of days ago the FCC passed "network neutrality" regulations which will allow for equal access for all legal content on the internet. The idea is called 'net neutrality' and is opposed by some ISP's like Comcast and Time/Warner whose cable systems have been bleeding subscribers over the past couple of years who want to be able to charge companies with large internet volume premium for allocated bandwidth as well as to control access to the internet itself.

Sounds like a win for the First Amendment and freedom of speech to me. On would assume the right should be happy with that? WRONG. As long as there is a Kenyan Muslim/Socialist with an anti-colonial view in the White House everything i a conspiracy to destroy America.

Here's what Rush Limbaugh had to say about it.

– LIMBAUGH: Today the FCC approved a proposal by chairman Julius Genachowski to give the FCC power to prevent broadband providers from selectively blocking web traffic. And that’s just a ruse. Net Neutrality is not what this is really all about. This is about the feds wanting to control the Internet just as they control the public airwaves. They want to be able to determine who gets to say what, where, how often — they want to be able to determine what search services are providing what answers to your queries. It’s total government control of the Internet, and the regime has just awarded it to itself.

It’s another gleaming aspect of free speech, free market, private industry Obama has decided to take over as a Christmas present to himself and the Democrat National Committee and to Mr. Soros. He’s even beaten Hugo Chavez to the punch. Chavez is just talking about taking over the Internet in Venezuela; Obama has got it done.

In the 'up is down' world of the Right where everything is a conspiracy this one crosses wat beyond the line of sanity. What? We're suddenly going to wake up one morning and we won't be able to access anything but Liberal/Left Wing blogs. Millions of citizens will be mobilized to make sure only the 'right' answers are available. Overnight they will revamp Wikipedia to echo left wing opinion and EBay sellers will be forced to give their products away if the customer has less money than they do.

If it were only the bloviating fat Limbaugh it would be bad enough but even the master of 'compromise' and Senate Minority leader jumped on the conspiracy bandwagon.

– McCONNELL: Today the Federal Communications Commission is expected to approve new rules on how American access information on the Internet. There’s a lot of people rightly concerned. … The Obama administration, which has already nationalized health care, the auto industry, insurance companies, banks, and student loans, will move forward with what could be the first step in controlling how Americans use the Internet by establishing federal regulations on its use….The Internet is an invaluable resource. It should be left alone. As Americans become more aware of what’s happening here, I suspect many will be alarmed, as I am, at the government’s intrusion. They’ll wonder, as many already do, if this is a Trojan horse for further meddling by the government.

I must have missed the news when Obama nationalized the auto industry as well as the banks health care and insurance businesses. McConnell is a liar as well as being a world class idiot. These rules will 'leave the internet alone'. Putting control of it into the hands of corporations is a guarantee that those private industries controlling access will also try to control content.b

This paranoia has been simmering for a while. By some freakish coincidence the Tea Party/far right noise machine have echoed the corporate line. Not that Limbaugh McConnell or the Tea Party have actually come up with any reasonable alternatives.

For them it's all about fantastically illogical conspiracies. Goebbels would have been proud. Scary thought is all those dittoheads and Beck slaves will believe it without question.

Sen. Jim DeMint and John Boehner incoming speaker of the house echoed the above sentiments.

In April Beck claimed that 'net neutrality' is a prelude to the 'hostile takeover' of America. I'll leave you with a snippet from Beck's radio show. It's tough to out-loony Limbaugh et al but Beck manages.

Because 'labor' is just such a socialist word

One of the House committees is 'The Education and Labor Committee'.  Now that the GOP controls the House they have changed the name to 'The Education and Workforce Committee'.   It sounds far more Orwellian while 'labor' has so many evil connotations.  

Thursday, December 23, 2010

End the filibuster

The rise parallels the rise of Republican lunacy, right about the '92 midterms when the bloviating gasbag, Newt Gingrich lead the House GOP to close down government.  It was also when the Rovian idea that Party and politics comes before country and duty.   The rise in the past two years has been incredible.  When the majority can't rule the government becomes a farce. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sen. McCain kills bill to help Iraqi/Afghanistan vets

No wonder the IAVA (Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans of America) gave 142 out of 146 'D' and 'F' ratings to Republicans. John McCain is one Senator who should know better having spent time as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

WASHINGTON — In 2008, a young sergeant named Coleman S. Bean took his life. After completing his first tour of duty in Iraq, he had come home and been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Nevertheless, he was deployed to Iraq a second time. Bean had sought treatment for PTSD but as a member of the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR), he found fewer resources available to him than to veterans and active-duty members.

In April, Rep. Rush Holt (D-N.J.) introduced legislation named after the late soldier meant to provide more resources for suicide prevention to Reserve members. The House in May incorporated it into the National Defense Authorization Act for 2011, but it was stripped from the final version, and Holt is pointing the finger at the lead Republican negotiator on the Senate legislation, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.)

Coleman Bean is by no means alone. Suicides among troops and vets is at an all time high, while the Pentagon is still reluctant to admit that PTSD (Post traumatic Stress Disorder) is a problem. In their eyes if your man enough to be a soldier you're man enough to keep it together mentally,

The asymmetric nature of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where soldiers have been fighting an enemy that wears no uniform and can strike at anytime adds a whole new level of stress to the military. Couple that with the thousands of brain injuries from IED devices and you have a major problem. Because there is no blood shed when a soldier receives a traumatic brain injury the military has been reluctant to acknowledge and deal with these issues.

So McCain, the so-called 'maverick' strips the bill out of the National Defense Authorization Act. No debate, no justification, no anything. Never mind the scary thought that Sarah Palin could have been Vice President. This seemingly embittered, nasty fuck could have been President.

The Smiths - There is a light that never goes out

The most abject love song ever written.

And if a double decker bus
Crashes into us
To die by your side
Is such a heavenly way to die
And if a ten-ton truck
Kills the both of us
To die by your side
Well, the pleasure - the privilege is mine

40% of Americans believe in Creationism

I know it was a lot but that number is quite stunning. Idiots, you can still be religious and believe that the story about the creation of the earth is not literal. What do all those scientists and their carbon dating know anyway.

Montana jury stages 'Mutiny' in marijuana case

A marijuana mutiny? According to a prosecutor in Missoula County, Mont., potential jurors made it clear they wouldn't convict anyone for possessing a few buds of pot. District Judge Dusty Deschamps found it impossible to seat a jury, and decided to work out a plea bargain for the man in question, Touray Cornell, instead.

We need more of this. We need more of this.

Rep Jeff Flake (R-AZ) wants to cut the successful Head Start program

Head Start has helped millions of low income children and their families through comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services since it was started in 1965. Flake thinks this is a waste of money citing "study after study" that it doesn't work. Like many government programs it can be improved but all these studies he cites do not exist.

Contradictory to Flake’s claim, a longterm study in California found that “our society receives nearly $9 in benefits for every $1 invested in Head Start children.”

Cutting Head Start will reduce the deficit by a stunning 0.002 percent. Way to go asshole. If only those low income kids would donate to his campaign fund it would all be very different,

Sen Coburn (R-TX) vows to block 9/11 first responders bill

The ridiculously arcane Senate rules allow one senator to block legislation. Even Shep Smith of Fox News who shows occasional flashes of decency called him out on this.

English Beat - Mirror in the Bathroom

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peter, Paul amd Mary - Early Morning Rain

Written by Gordon Lightfoot. Something we're having every day in Southern California these days. Sundy, yesterday, today, tomorrow and through most of the week. At least the smog is gone, the air is clear and everything is green.

Monday, December 20, 2010

It takes a comnedian to expose the hypocrisy of the right, once again.

Bill O'Reilly recently wrote a bizarre column about the dangers of being to charitable, ending it with a quote that he is not in the Bible despite making it sund as though it is.

He ended with "The Lord helps those who help themselves. Does he not?" No Bill, only right wing faux Christians who rail against the "War on Christmas" believe that is the message of Jesus.

Steven Colbert takes it from there.

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Our biased liberal media at work - 60 minutes takes the GOP point of view

60 Minutes did a segment on Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey who went on and on about how unfunded pension liabilities were killing the economy and something had to be done to cut benefits. New Jersey has its problems, just like virtually every state but Christie neglected to mention how many of the problems with the pension funds arose in the first place.

As a politician, no one should expect Christie to tell the truth but the disgrace was that CBS didn't bother interviewing anyone who might disagree with Christie's opinion nor did they ask him any tough questions. The whole segment could have been scripted by his campaign staff.

Consider these points. Public employee pension funds in New Jersey are underfunded for two basic reasons. Firstly the state has failed to fund the pension plans in 13 of the past 17 years, using the money to pay for tax cuts instead. Secondly, the average pension fund in the U.S. has lost 29% of their value since pension managers that the so called AAA rates investments they peddled them were actually piles of shit, something they were well aware of when they peddled said piles of shit.

Did 60 miinutes even mention either of those points? Not a chance.

Media Matters has the story

The AFSCME (public employees union) hits back at 60 Minutes.

Congressional idiots out in force today

This time it's Bill Flores (R-TX) who wants to shut down the entire EPA. Not that he's alone among the GOP, it's something most of them would love to do.

Here's Flores in an interview today:

FLORES: Absolutely, that’s one of the reasons I wanted to get on Natural Resources is it puts me in the position, not my full jurisdiction over the EPA but I do have some jurisdiction there. I can tell you the House as a whole, the Republicans in the House as a whole want to get the EPA shut down on these bunny trails that’s going down that are throwing people out of work — particularly the way it’s abusing Texas. And I think that Texas can count on getting some relief from the EPA within the first few months of this Congress because they really have gone overboard.

For people ;like Flores, any environmental law, no matter how benign, is 'going overboard.' Funny during the Clinton era when the EPA were a lot more active in regulating polluters than during the Bush era 22 million new jobs were created. For Republicans, the idea that Green Energy can create jobs is a myth that has to be fought tooth and nail. The Scientists have all got it wrong, the earth's temperature is cooling despite all evidence to the contrary. It's cold and it's snowing a lot in Europe and elsewhere, ergo the scientists are all wrong.

Burn more coal, spill more oil and we'll pollute our way back to prosperity. As a side benefit we'll save Social Security because people won't live so long.

Scientisst could spend time studying an epidemic of stupid that seems to be affecting a lot of Americans.

Another Tea Party clueless idiot Congressman elect

Congressman elect Mick Mulvaney (R - SC) is another Tea Partier who lives in the world of wishful thinking.

In April Congress will have to raise the debt ceiling. They really have no choice; raise the ceiling or the Federal government has to stop paying bills and cannot borrow any more money. Apart from stopping Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments were stopped. All non-essential government workers were sent home without pay. The cost of borrowing money will immediately go up for the government which will technically be in default.

Mulvaney thinks not raising the debt ceiling will have 'no negative consequences'. It's like not going to the dentist with a severe toothache. Yes, it's painful that we have to raise the debt ceiling but the alternative is far worse.

There is already a considerable bloc of GOP House and Senate members who are on board with Mulvaney. It's going to produce a battle royal with the GOP making demand after demand while doing what they always do, shift the goalposts as soon as a tentative agreement is reached.

Last time the Republicans tried this with Newt Gingrich they ended up second best. It's time the Democrats dug in their heels and let the Republicans go about their destructive ways.

Sen. Kyl (R-AZ) still doesn't believe 9/11 first responders need help

Kyl has been one of the most vocal GOP Senators blocking the passage of the bill to help the 9/11 responders. He's at it again, this time questioning whether they even need any help.

Here's what this dipshit had to say:

HOST: Will you change your vote to a yes on the bill, knowing those changes?

KYL: This has been a moving target since day one. … This is something that they came up with to just put directly on the floor of the Senate, without any hearings, without any opportunities to figure out what it should be like. [...]

I have no idea how this thing would work. So they reduced it from $7 billion to $6 billion — I have no idea whether $6 billion is a reasonable figure. … But the question is who’s responsible? Who’s at fault? Do they have the money? Is the insurance adequate to cover it? Wasn’t the previous settlement adequate? Why would they need $6 billion?

Kyl is a liar. The bill has been available for him to read for well over a year. There were hearings on it in the Senate and it was even amended to overcome some GOP objections.

He should watch this interview with some members of the NYPD and NYFD who are all suffering horrendous health issues and who aren't getting adequate health care coverage. Kyl should bury his head in shame. He's an utter disgrace to America and to his party.

9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster
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Judson Phillips, Tea Party founder is a bigoted asshole

A few weeks ago he made the headlines for suggesting only property owners should have the vote because they are the only ones who have a real stake in the community. That requirement was done away with in 1850 but Phillips would rather turn the clock back over 160 years.

He's back in the headlines, this time railing against the Methodist Church that he calls, 'The first church of Karl Marx' because they support the DREAM Act that would allow children who grew up in the U.S. to become citizens.

A blog post on his Tea Party Nation page says that on Friday he walked by the United Methodist Building in Washington D.C., which had a sign that said, "Pass the DREAM Act." Phillips wrote: " I have a DREAM. That is, no more United Methodist Church."

In Phillips world, a church should only cater to rich, preferably white property owners. He added, "In short, if you hate America, you have a great future in the Methodist church,"

Does he even read the Bible. It sounds like he doesn't.

Bob Marley - Them Belly Full

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Supreme Court has become a tool of corporate interests

The Roberts court has ruled more favorably for large corpoerate interests than any previous court, and it's not even close. Chief Justice Roberts promise in his confirmation hearings that he will adhere to precedents and rule like a neutral referee proved to b e a lie in the Citizens United decision where he upturned 00 years of accepted law and allowed the corporate coffers to substantially influence elections from behind the curtain.

And it's likely to get worse. Two cases, both class action suits against large corporations are to be heard by the court who will, more than likely rule agsinst class action suits, the only weapeon consumers often have to keep corporate malfeasance in check.

Almost 40 years ago, a Virginia lawyer named Lewis F. Powell Jr. warned that the nation’s free enterprise system was under attack. He urged the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to assemble “a highly competent staff of lawyers” and retain outside counsel “of national standing and reputation” to appear before the Supreme Court and advance the interests of American business.

The chamber now files briefs in most major business cases. The side it supported in the last term won 13 of 16 cases. Six of those were decided with a majority vote of five justices, and five of those decisions favored the chamber’s side. One of the them was Citizens United, in which the chamber successfully urged the court to guarantee what it called “free corporate speech” by lifting restrictions on campaign spending.

The rise in the percentage of decisions favorable to corporate interests have leaped higher udner Roberts.

The Roberts court, which has completed five terms, ruled for business interests 61 percent of the time, compared with 46 percent in the last five years of the court led by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who died in 2005, and 42 percent by all courts since 1953.

The full article is here in the New York Times.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lie of the Year - as chosen by

Not exactly a surprise. They chose "a government takeover of health care" as the clear winner. It was repeated thousands of times and became the basis of the GOP's entire campaign in the mid term elections. They funneled over $80 million in campaign funds to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce alone to perpetuate the lie.

We are now living with the consequences.

John Hammond Jr, one of the true legends of American pop music

Wednesday, Dec. 15 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Hammond Jnr. who left an indelible mark on popular music that spanned generations and genres like no other. Born into the wealth of the Vanderbilts he chose music over the world of business.

He started producing music in 1933 and played a role in putting together Benny Goodman's band, introducing black artists such as Charlie Christian and Lionel Hampton In the same year he discovered 17 year old Billie Holiday and Count Basie.

In 1938 he put on a seminal concert at Carnegie Hall that introduced a range of black blues, jazz and gospel artists to what had been a 'whites only' world. He wasn't done yet and subsequently discovered Bob Dylan, Pete Seeger and Aretha Franklin. Columbia Record executives fought him on signing Dylan calling it "Hammond's folly". He won in the end but had to produce Dylan's first record for $402.

He later signed both Leonard Cohen and Bruce Springsteen to Columbia as well.

He died in 1987 leaving behind an unmatched legacy. His bio on Wikipedia is here.

Blowing in the Wind - produced by John Hammond Jnr.

Bobby Jindal, the so called GOP rising star is an idiot and a hypocrite.

Jindal, the GOP governor of Louisiana was touted as a rising star in the party until he gave the response to Obama's State of the Union. It was a bumbling scattered response that could have been done more competently by the average high school kid.

In the speech he railed against useless government spending and highlighted a $140 million grant to study volcanoes. His timing was perfect. About a week later the volcano eruption in Iceland disrupted air travel across Europe costing billions.

It turns out Jindal is quite happy to waste money, as long as it goes to the right people. During the Gulf oil spill he used $360 million of BP's money yo build a huge sand berm along the coast of Louisiana to stop the flow of oil that never materialized. He was roundly criticized at the time for spending the money on something the experts said wasn't needed. Not that Louisiana didn't need the money. t did, as thousands of fishermen and oyster harvesters and the businesses they support suffered ongoing economic losses.

For months, critics of Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal's BP-funded $360 million sand berm project have blasted the effort as a tragic misuse of time and resources. They charged that the governor and his lead advisers could have undertaken scores of other projects that would have been far more beneficial to the damaged Gulf and the inhabitants of its coast.

Some have even charged that the plan was nothing more than a multi-million dollar kickback for the governor's supporters. "The only reason those sand berms are still being built is because Bobby Jindal has supporters he needs to pay back," a current Louisiana officeholder, speaking on the condition of anonymity because of ongoing dealings with the Jindal administration, told Yahoo News back in October. "It's that simple ... follow the money. The people making money off this thing are people that gave money to Jindal.

A recently released independent commission report blasted Jindal for the project that captured virtually no oil. The report said, "...comfortably conclude that the decision to green-light the underwhelmingly effective, overwhelmingly expensive Louisiana berms project was flawed."

That $360 million could have been used far more effectively. Republicans have no problem spending money as long as it doesn't go to people who really need help.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbied Republicans to kill 9/11 responders bill

They should change their name. What a fucking disgrace.

They lobbied against the bill because it was being paid for by closing a tax loophole exploited by foreign corporations doing business in the United States.

GOP Senator, John Thune killed the bill because extending all tax cuts was more important. There people who wrap themselves in the flag yet deny those who sacrificed for the country ought to be ashamed of themselves.

Here is Jon Stewart in his last show of the year. Neither NBC, CBS, ABC or Fox have covereed the story. Which news network did? Al Jazeera.

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Stewart devoted the entire show to the issue. In the seocnd part he had some 9/1 first responders live on the show who are all suffering horrendous health issues from 9/11. It is heartbreaking and makes me so angry at the same time.

the right in this country have totally lost their moral compass and any sense of decency.

9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster
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Captain Beefheart RIP (1941-2010)

The world lost a true genius today when Don Van Vliet aka Captain Beefheart passed away at 69 due to complications from multiple sclerosis.

Captain Beefheart on the Letterman show on two different occasions.

I saw him live a few time including one great performance at the Whiskey in Los Angeles. Back in the a past life as a minor computer mogul I was hiring a couple of salespeople. One of the applicants was Moris Tepper. The interview was short and sweet.

ME: Are you Moris Tepper, the guitarist for Captain Beefheart.


ME: You're hired.

I was more than honored. Great guy and a pretty good salesman, although he didn't stay very long. I couldn't blame him for moving on.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Fox News makes viewers stupid - wrong on multiple facts

* 91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
* 72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
* 72 percent believe the economy is getting worse
* 60 percent believe climate change is not occurring
* 49 percent believe income taxes have gone up
* 63 percent believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts
* 56 percent believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout
* 38 percent believe that most Republicans opposed TARP
* 63 percent believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear)

World Public Opinion, a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, conducted a survey of American voters that shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. What’s more, the study shows that greater exposure to Fox News increases misinformation.

Who would have thought that? Duh

Newt Gingrich - fiscal conservative loves those private jets

You've got to love the name conservative PACs come up with. Newt Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future sounds so optimistic. Like most of these PACs his shares the same traits. They spend a lot of money on themselves.

Last year is organization took in $14.5 million, mostly from the coal industry. Over half of the group's money -- $7.9 million -- went to InfoCision, a telemarketing company that specializes in political, Christian and nonprofit fundraising. They brought in $9.2 million, a 16 percent return on the investment. That means that for every dollar donated to Newt's group through InfoCision, the company kept 86 cents.

The biggest expense for American Solutions was $1,525,393 for private chartered flights for Gingrich. The biggest donors to Gingrich's organization, according to their most recent IRS filing are from the oil, coal and electric industry, which says that Gingrich's 'Solutions for Winning the Future' is living in the past.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

DADT passes House - on to the Senate

Anything can happen in the Senate. Passage looks likely but you never know. A few Republicans in the Senate have expressed support for the bill but they have done that before and pulled the rug away at the last minute.

As usual the Republicans in the House were good for some choice quotes. Louis Gohmert of Texas was his usual idiotic rambling self.

GOHMERT: To my friend who said that history would judge us poorly, I would submit if you would look thoroughly at history — and I’m not saying it’s cause and effect — but when militaries throughout history of the greatest nations in the world have adopted the policy that “fine for homosexuality to be overt” — you can keep it private and control your hormones fine, if you can’t, that’s fine too — they’re toward the end of their existence as a great nation.

Barney Frank had the last word and the last laugh though. He accused the Republicans of using their own "unease" about gays and lesbians to discredit the many gays who have capably and bravely served in the armed forces.

Rick Scott, Florida's governor elect's plan to destroy education in the state

There are some things Republicans be;ieve are inviolate. One is that tax cuts are always the best option and the other is the private sector can always do a better and less expensive job no matter what the job. Never mind that both theories have proved to be wrong, the Bush tax cuts ultimately didn't help the economy and private contractors in Iraq cost billions extra with rampant fraud ad numerous charges of brutality.

It looks like Florida is about to learn that with it's education system. Rick Scott is no stranger to fraud. He ran Columbia/HCA which pleaded guilty in 2003 to massive Medicare fraud and paid a $2 billion fine. He was charged himself but claimed he knew nothing about systemic and rampant fraud in the company he ran. Scott claimed he knew nothing of the fraud, yea right. He was forced to and had to endure the pain of a severance settlement of just under $10 million and walked away with $350 million i stock. Another company that he still owns was also accused of Medicare fraud. He privately settled the fraud case days before he entered the Gubernatorial race.

He's announced a radical agenda for Florida's school system that will reduce property taxes and hand out $5,500 worth of vouchers for every child no matter what the financial status of the family. It's designed to severely damage if not destroy the public school system, a favorite target of the right. It will also open the door to rampant fraud, which is something Scott seems to have no problem with.

One of the hallmarks of Scott's education reform plan is the idea that many kids don't need to go to school at all; they can learn everything they need to in virtual classrooms. Online schools offer many cost-saving advantages, but unfortunately many of them are so bad that even the military won't take people who graduate from them. Online schools also seem even more vulnerable to fraud than regular old charter schools.

In June, Bush spoke at a graduation ceremony at Electronic Classroom for Tomorrow, Ohio's largest online school, which enrolls nearly 10,000 kids but only graduates 35 percent of them. ECOT didn't get off to a stellar start, demonstrating some of the pitfalls of such schools. In its early years, the management company running the school overcharged the state $1.7 million in teaching hours it couldn't document, as well as $500,000 in computer equipment that disappeared with students who never came back.

Scott's education "reform" plan seems be less about actually making Florida's schools better and more about paying private companies to run bad ones. On his transition team are a couple of CEOs of for-profit charter school companies with questionable track records, including the head of Imagine Schools, which runs underperforming charter schools in Ohio, Arizona, and Florida. Five of the 11 schools the company runs in Ohio are on an academic emergency list and another three are on an academic watch list. The Imagine School in Florida is on probation for its second consecutive "F" rating and at risk of being closed by the state. Charter schools figure prominently into Scott's reform plans.

These are the sorts of schools that would likely be on the receiving end of Scott's universal voucher program. It might help him cut property taxes for the state's rich seniors and wintering hedge fund managers, but it's hard to see how the plan does much to improve "accountability" as he's claimed—or more importantly, improve the fortunes of Florida's school children.

One has to assume there will be minimal oversight of the system and there is little doubt that the children of Florida and their parents will ultimately pay the price of this experiment in privatization.

Mother Jones has the full story.

Man reportedly cured of HIV by stem cell treatment

It happened in Germany not the U.S. Maybe the right's hysterical anti-science paranoia about stem cell research had something to do with it. We're losing the edge in green technology as well because the anti science right wing believes it's a hoax so why bother dealing with it.

Maybe we should go back to the horse and buggy and put all those millions of lazy unemployed welfare loving Americans back to work so we can recreate the 19th century and keep the Tea Party happy.

Tea Party loves the constitution except when they don't

They complain about the 10th, the 14th and the 17th Amendment despite a reverence for the whole thing that borders on the absurdity. Seems like they're not too keen on the 1st Amendment either.

Sonic Youth - Teenage Riot

Another great band from the classic era of punk, LA style in the early 80's.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Slim Harpo - Baby, Scratch My Back

Republicans in commission on mortgage mess. Want to ban the phrase "Wall Street" from the report.

The four Republicans appointed to the commission investigating the root causes of the financial crisis plan to bypass the bipartisan panel and release their own report Wednesday, according to people familiar with the commission's work.

The Republicans, led by the commission's vice chairman, former congressman and chair of the House Ways and Means Committee Bill Thomas, will likely focus their report on the explosive growth of subprime mortgages and the heavy role played by the federal government in pushing mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase and insure them. They'll also likely focus on the Community Reinvestment Act, a 1977 law that encourages banks to lend to underserved communities, these people said.

The full story here.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, as George Santayana said.

While there is some truth to the role of government in the mess bear in mind that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac wrote about 15% of the subprime mortgages. Most of the fraudulent mortgages were written by private companies such as Countrywide and Washington Mutual. If all those mortgages had failed the total loss to the economy would have been well below $1 trillion, bad enough, but a hit the economy would have been able to absorb without triggering the 'Great Recession". It would have been worse than the Savings and Loan crisis of the 80's but not by much.

It was only when Wall Street stepped in and securitized the mortgages at a 30-1 ratio in complex derivatives that caused the wheels to come off the economy. For every $1 in bad mortgages, $30 was at risk. Other than running into the many trillions, we still have no idea how much has been at stake and the investment banks have still not accounted fully for the pile of shit they are sitting on but according to the Republicans on the panel we are not even allowed to mention "Wall Street" lest it offends those poor hard pressed banks.

How the fuck are we ever going to get anything fixed when Republicans can't even get the slightest grip on reality.

In looking up the exact wording of Santayana's quote I found another gem from him.
Fanaticism consists in redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim. It sums up the current GOP perfectly.

Jon Stewart - GOP in full hypocrisy mode on 9/11 first responders

Lame-as-F@#k Congress
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Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) - Harry Reid disrespects Christians

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has suggested that the Senate might have to bring the Senate back after Christmas and before the New Year to wrap up business. The reason they might have to do that is because the GOP has blocked all legislation in the Senate until the tax deal is signed.

"It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out," Kyl said today, "frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff."

One of the things the GOP has blocked is the extension of unemployment insurance for over 2 million Americans who stopped receiving their checks on December 1st. At best, they will start getting their checks after Christmas. For more than 2 million Americans and their families its already a truly shitty Christmas, short of money and with no guarantee that their benefits will be extended.

That doesn't seem to bother the very Christian Senator Kyl. What a self righteous ignorant turd! A lot of Americans who are lucky enough to have a job, work on Christmas day as well as during the week between Christmas and New Year.

As a Jew I do not officially believe in heaven or hell but I sure as shit hope that a special place in hell is reserved for assholes like Sen. Kyl who wears his Christianity on his sleeve but doesn't follow Christian ideals on which the religion was founded. I believe Jesus had a thing or two to say about hypocrites like him. Let him stew in eternal hell so he can reflect on what a worthless piece of shit he is. I have this vision of the look on the faces of people like Kyl, who, when the pass on to the other side fully expected to be rewarded with a place in heaven only to find just the opposite.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Is this even constitutional?

A few states have tried to rule that the health care reform bill is unconstitutional and have failed. Virginia's ultra conservative Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli filed a similar suit and succeeded thanks to Judge Henry Hudson.

It's no surprise considering Judge Hudson owns part of a GOP consulting firm that actively campaigned against health care reform.

Can a judge even own part of a company that is actively engaged in politics and surely if the company was involved in campaigning against the very matter that Hudson was ruling on represents a clear conflict of interest?

Not when you're a Republican seems to be the correct answer.

I'm shocked, shocked to find that Main street America just doesn't get it

88% of Americans are against huge Wall Street bonuses. 71% want them banned outright while another 17% want the bonuses taxed at 50%. 7% think they should remain as an incentive while the 'not sure' 5% are obviously in a coma.

But wait, aren't our wise overlords in Washington telling us that if we tax the wealthy too much or deprive them of their billions no jobs will be created and the private jet industry will be devastated. Maybe Spencer Bachus, the incoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee believes that Washington and regulators are there to serve Wall Street.

He has also remained a staunch opponent of the creation of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can obviously fool most of the people most of the time.

Boomtown Rats - I don't like Mondays

Not my favorite day either. The title comes from a comment made by 16 year old Brenda Ann Spencer who opened fire on an elementary school in San Diego on a Monday in January 1979. She ended up killing two adults as well as injuring 8 children and a police officer. Her reason for the shooting spree, "I don't like Mondays, this livens the day".

Bob Geldof heard the story and wrote the song. Spencer's family sued to prevent the song from being released in the U.S. to no avail, although understandably no radio station in San Diego played the song. About a year later I saw the Boomtown Rats in San Diego. When he started the song the crowd went apeshit, trying to storm the stage. Calm eventually prevailed in the end. Definitely one of the more bizarre concerts i have ever seen.

Washington and the regulators are there to serve the banks,

That's the view of the new incoming GOP chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-AL). Commenting further without a trace of ironyhe claimed that he represents the views of Main street and not Wall Street.

The GOP believes that gutting the Financial Reform Bill is the only way to create jobs. The big issue at stake is the Volcker rule, named after the former Sec. of the Treasury under Pres. Reagan who believes that banks should be prohibited from using government loans to finance derivatives. Currently, the large investment banks can borrow money from the Fed at a rate far closer to 0% than to 1%. The taxpayer is on the hook for those loans.

The current GOP doesn't give a shit about the potential risk to taxpayers. Mortgage based derivatives cost the economy millions of jobs and caused the net worth of the average American to drop from about $100,000 to $62,000 but who's counting?

Americans support raising taxes on rich by a 2-1 margin: CBS Poll

It all depends on how the polling company asks the question.

CBS worded the question in this way:

Which comes closest to your view of the tax cuts passed in 2001? 1. The tax cuts should be continued for everyone, 2. The tax cuts should only be continued for households earning less than $250,000 a year, or 3. The tax cuts should expire for everyone.

The result was 26% agreed with # 1, 53% agreed with questin # 2 while another 14% felt all tax cuts should expire.

Rasmussen, a notoriously conservative polling company put the question differently:

President Obama and congressional Republican leaders have reached an agreement that extends the Bush tax cuts for all Americans for two more years, cuts the Social Security payroll tax rate for one year and renews long-term unemployment benefits for an additional 13 months. Do you favor or oppose this agreement?

71% agreed. Rasmussen's question intentionally clouded the issue and got the desired result they wanted. CBS laid out the all the options and got the answer that far more accurately represents the opinion of the American people.

In the end, the only opinion that matters is the reality challenged opinion of the politicians on Washington whose opinions are determined by those who give them piles of money so they can keep their jobs.

Sen. Conrad: Extend All Tax Cuts; Time to Get 'Serious' About Deficit.

That headline sums up the absurdity of current Washington thinking.

As Chris Hayes of The Nation put it:

It's the standard bribery model of legislating that has come to characterize Washington in the era of oligarchy: if you want to put food on the table of the unemployed, you must lavishly wine and dine the CEOs and bankers who laid them off. Obama didn't create this system, but he is making it stronger before our very eyes.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

John McCain is a lying weasel

John McCain today on Fox News in supporting extending tax cuts for the rich:

McCAIN: I guess it was my old beloved friend Morris Udall who said the politician’s prayer is: may the words I utter today be tender and sweet because tomorrow I may have to eat them. We’re seeing clips all over the place — “We can’t extend these tax cuts for the rich,” “it’s the rich people” — you know, all of the clips of the President.

He got a good laugh out of that.

Maverioky John McCain in 2000 and later:

“There’s one big difference between me and the others – I won’t take every last dime of the surplus and spend it on tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy.” [McCain campaign commercial, January 2000]

“I am disappointed that the Senate Finance Committee preferred instead to cut the top tax rate of 39.6% to 36%, thereby granting generous tax relief to the wealthiest individuals of our country at the expense of lower- and middle-income American taxpayers.” [McCain Senate floor statement, May 21, 01]

“I voted against the tax cuts because of the disproportional amount that went to the wealthiest Americans. I would clearly support not extending those tax cuts in order to help address the deficit.” [Meet the Press, 4/11/04]

A congenital liar and a weasel.

One in seven Americans are relying on Food Stamps

Up 16% from last year. In Idaho its up 39% - in the richest country on earth where corporations are recording record profits but not hiring many and Wall Street bonuses are close to $150 billion. More tax cuts for the rich and everything will be fine.

Wall of Voodoo - Mexican Radio

One of the seminal bands of the LA punk/new wave era

Your Tea Party principles ar work

MINEOLA, N.Y. — Facing a huge budget deficit when he took office in January, Nassau County Executive Edward P. Mangano did not impose a hiring freeze. He did not stop borrowing to subsidize some of the richest school districts in the country. He did not eliminate the Police Department’s beloved mounted unit.

Instead, Mr. Mangano, a Republican who won one of the first upsets of the Tea Party era, did what he had promised: He cut taxes, adding $40 million to the county’s deficit, which has since reached nearly $350 million.

Now, with its bonds suddenly downgraded and a state oversight agency preparing to seize its checkbook and credit cards, Nassau is on the verge of a full-fledged fiscal crisis.

Cut taxes and damn the consequences.

Robert Reich pisses on Clinton's support of Obama tax deal

But the analogy falls apart as soon as you realize Clinton's economy was vastly different from Obama's. The recession Clinton inherited was relatively small, and caused by the Fed raising interest rates too high to ward off inflation. So it could be reversed by the Fed lowering interest rates -- as the Fed did in 1994. By 1995, the so-called "jobless recovery" had morphed into a full-blown jobs recovery. By 1996, at pollster Dick Morris's urging, Clinton could proclaim to the American people "you've never had it so good, and you ain't seen nothing yet."

The Great Recession has been far larger, caused not by the Fed raising interest rates but by the bursting of a giant housing bubble. In 2008, the biggest asset of most middle-class people, upon which they borrowed and that they assumed would be their nest eggs for retirement, collapsed. Housing prices continue to fall in most parts of the country. The Fed has lowered interest rates all it can, and unemployment remains sky high.

Full article here.

Tom Waits on what to do on a Saturday Night.

I'm helping an old friend who is moving up north to finish packing up for the move. Far too many people are being forced to move in the current economy. A sad reflection of the times.

MIchelle Bachmann beleives defecits created by tax cuts don't count

She really has shit for brains. So whh's going to pay them or is the Federa; government going to start using Enron accounting to keep revenue lost from tax cuts "off the books".

The new Obama job stimulus - "Butler's for Billionaires"

I know that's a little harsh and in the end both he and the Democrats painted themselves into a corner. Support for extending tax cuts for the richest Americans was never popular with the public, even amongst the GOP party faithful but the White House and the Democrats lost control of the narrative.

They should have forced the issue during the window when they the votes in the Senate after Al Franken was seated and before the Scott Brown debacle. By waiting until the last minute in a ;lame duck session before giving up control of the House they were playing with a weak hand.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Sen. Bernie Sanders rules - in a marathon filibuster

He's been speaking in the Senate for over six hours using the filibuster the way it was intended, not as a procedure to blog legislation but to hold the floor and talk about the real issues.

That's what he is doing, right now, reading letters from constituents that are heartbreaking.

Joined at different times by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sanders has been decrying the Obama tax cut plan for bailing out the wealthiest people in America. "How can I get by on one house?" Sanders railed, sarcastically. "I need five houses, ten houses. I need three jet planes to take me all over the world! Sorry, American people. We've got the money, we've got the power."

Follow live here. Follow live here.

Move along: nothing much to see here

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” says Ira Rheingold, an attorney and executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates. Homeowners in Florida, Nevada, Texas and Pennsylvania have filed lawsuits alleging that they were victims of mistaken foreclosure. In many of those cases, the bank went so far as to haul away belongings and change the locks on the wrong homes.

One such suit was filed in March by Pennsylvania homeowner Angela Iannelli. She was up to date on her payments when, she says, she arrived home in October 2009 to find that Bank of America had ransacked her belongings, cut off her utilities, poured anti-freeze down her drains, padlocked her doors and confiscated Luke, her pet parrot of 10 years. It took her six weeks to get the bank to clean up the house.

Just a couple of minor glitches that we can fix, according to the mortgage industry and who needs financial reform or a consumer protection bureau to stop such abuses? Republicans certainly don't think so.

Fox coached reporters on slanting news on the Health Care Reform debate

At the height of the health care reform debate last fall, Bill Sammon, Fox News' controversial Washington managing editor, sent a memo directing his network's journalists not to use the phrase "public option."

Instead, Sammon wrote, Fox's reporters should use "government option" and similar phrases -- wording that a top Republican pollster had recommended in order to turn public opinion against the Democrats' reform efforts.

Fair and balanced, yea right!

RIP - John Lennon who died 30 years and a couple of days ago

It remains one of the most surreal and incomprehensible events in my life.
His life and music live on. Catch Lennon NYC on PBS if you haven't already seen it.

These people make my head explode.

DEMINT: Rather than support something that is a bad deal, I think I would put my bets on a republican house fixing this thing the second week in January, when we are back in session. But I’d like to get the deal done now. But it should, in my mind not increase the deficit. And we should at least have a vote on making these rates permanent. If we do that, I think it will really help the economy the way it is structured now, I think it could actually hurt the economy by expanding the deficit. So, you know, I’ve heard countless times since I’ve been in Congress, this is the best deal we can make but frankly, with $14 trillion in debt, this is not what we need to do. We need to fight a little bit harder before we let this thing go.

What the fuck is ge trying to say?

The Tea Party's war against education

More homeschooling, more parental rights and they hate the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, something which every country in the world except the U.S. and Somalia, which barely has a government has ratified.

How will a child, home schooled by a Tea Party parent ever cope with the real world?

Republicans to 9/11 first responders - we don't care if you're sick or dying

It's been over 9 years since 9/11. It wasn't too long after that respiratory and other health problems started cropping up. It took years before the government even acknowledged there was a problem. Nine years later the bill to finally fund health care for these first responders finally made it to the Senate. For many it is already too late. About 900 of those first responders have died since 9/11. While not all might be related to the toxins they breathed in a significant percentage is. Many more are ailing.

The Republicans blocked the bill from passing in the Senate yesterday. Some say it's just another entitlement, wasting money while others are holding their breath till their faces turn blue or until all the millionaires are guaranteed no tax increases. Either way this is typical of the GOP. They are the first to wrap themselves in the flag of patriotism, cheer on ill-conceived wars, rail against the 'not a mosque' near ground zero but when it comes to supporting those whose lives a literally on the line they are AWOL.

The IAVA (Iraq/Afghanistan Veterans of America) recently rated House members on their support for veteran's issues. 154 got a 'D' or an 'F', 142 were Republicans. Out of 94 members who got an 'A' only three where Republicans.

They have a long history of not giving a shit about the 'peons' they send into danger. Bush and Cheney both managed to avoid Vietnam yet it was John Kerry who got vilified for his service in Vietnam.

Jon Stewart put it into perspective.

Republicans Block 9/11 Health Care Bill
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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dear President Obama, "They will still vilify you, call you a socialist"

Dear President Obama, "They will still vilify you, they will still call you a socialist and their goal of making you a one term President will still mean far more to them than solutions for an ailing nation."

The American people even had your back on this one. A Bloomberg poll just yesterday showed that about 60% of the nation favored ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans making over $250K a year. A CBS poll showed that only 26% supported extending all tax cuts while Democrats in another poll overwhelmingly want the cuts for the top 2% to expire.

We'll have the same fight in 2012 after another two years of total obstruction by the GOP. Will Obama be forced again to extend billionaire's tax cuts for some meager concession extending free school lunches for homeless kids or some other assistance to those who still don't have jobs because the rich will have spent the past two years living in 'uncertainty' about whether their tax cuts will be extended past 2012. The GOP will blame that 'uncertainty' on the fact that the tax cuts haven't provided the millions of jobs that normally magically accompany tax cuts because, but for the grace of God, the Marxist, Kenyan anti-colonial Sharia mindset hasn't become the law of the land.

The Presidency starts to atrophy

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Merle Haggard - If we make it through December

What would a day be without the usual amount of blithering idiocy.

Joe Lieberman joins Sarah Palin issueing a call to try Julian Assange with treason for the Wikileaks document releases. Assange is Australian and despite appearances to the contrary, Australia is not a wholly owned subsiduary of the U.S. Joe, here's how it works - you kinda have to be a citizen to committ treason against the U.S.

Texas State Rep. Leo Berman should also learn how laws work, especially seeing as he can propose and vote for them. He's already introduced a 'birther bill'. He's gone one step further buy introducing a bill making it a felony for any federal official to enforce the Affordable Care Act: or Health Care Reform as it is commonly known, believing it to be unconstitutional, except for the part that says, Acts of Congress “shall be the supreme law of the land.

Obama gives in on virtually everything........and it's still not enough for the right

He couldn't even get any concession on those making one million or more a year. With the marginal tax system someone making $1.5 million a year would have had to pay $20,000 more a year in taxes. A majority of Americans believe we should sunset the Bush tax cuts on the top 2%. Hell, even a majority of Republicans think we should do the same but the theology of tax cuts as the cure all for everything is etched so deep among those playing the game in Washington other opinions are irrelevant.

The biggest fucking joke is that the excuse the GOP kept using was 'uncertainty'. Companies weren't investing because of uncertainty about future tax rates for wealthy individuals. That excuse ranks slightly better than 'the dog ate my brilliant bipartisan plan to save the American economy and I forgot to save the file before I printed it.' Now they'll have another two years of 'uncertainty' to bandy around just in time for 2012 while we can sit back and see just how tax cuts for the rich create jobs.

Now we can all focus on trimming around the edges of the budget for show.

And all of this is still not enough

Sen. Jim DeMint and others are outraged that the 'death' tax hasn't been completely and permanently abandoned. WWPD (what will Paris (Hilton) do). The compromise on that wasn't unreasonable despite some whining from the left and right. Leaving $1 million exempt and then 55% on the balance was unfair, especially when there were 3 or more children splitting the inheritance. At the same time there is something absolutely wrong about letting someone like Paris Hilton walk away with every last penny.

If Obama only had the balls to use his bully pulpit to explain the reality of America's current economic position. All this to get unemployment extended for another 13 months when every extension in the past 40 years when the rate has been higher than 7.5% has been rubber stamped.

And the House Democrats are pissed as well.

At this point, let all the tax cuts expire, then start all over again. Get rid of tbe 15,000 amendments passes since 1980 and come up with a reasonable tax system. Shit, I forgot the GOP will be running the house come January, Never mind.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Missouri GOP demands the right to abuse dogs

If you recall, one of the key issues in the recent elections in Missouri was Proposition B AKA the "Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act,". Missouri is the puppy mill capital of America, producing over 1 million puppies a year. In many cases the dogs used for breeding are kept in abject conditions. Data from Missouri's Department of Agriculture, released by Freedom of Information Act request, showed that the nation's largest commercial dog-breeder, Hunte Corporation, disposed of 50 to 100 dead dogs a month.

The Bill mandates breeders basic food and water, adequate shelter, necessary veterinary care, adequate space, regular exercise, and adequate rest between breeding cycles to dogs under their care. In some alternate GOP worl association world the word 'adequate' automatially conjures up an image of Lenin or Stalin.

Proposition B passed but the GOP are fighting back. Republican State Senator Bill Stouffer filed legislation to repeal a bill aimed at curbing cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs by breeders last week. The main thrust of his argument seems to be that people who aren't dog breeders are breaking the law as well by abusing dogs. Based on this 'logic' why bother passing laws if people are going to break them.

If you need to be reminded just how totally fucking nuts the Tea Party, who were loudest in their opposition to the law said this on the Job Stewart Show.

"Proposition B is very similar to Obamacare," Anita Andrews from Alliance for Truth told Daily Show correspondent Olivia Munn. "They're expecting all the breeders to sit there and pay for exorbitant amount of care that is not needed, like adequate food,adequate water, adequate space."

"Proposition B is one more step to making us a communist, socialist society," Andrews added.

Like I said, anything 'adequate' is Marxist. There can be no other interpretation.

Local Chambers of Commerce running away from US Chamber.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is under fire from some local chambers over its hard-hitting $75 million ad campaign to elect a Republican House, with dozens of hometown groups distancing themselves from the effort and a handful even quitting the national group in protest.

Many others have already cut the tie. Weeks before the election the U.S. Chamber were holding seminars ably assisted by Chinese companies on how U.S. companies can best outsource jobs to China while the U.S. Chamber were claiming with bright-eyed innocence how much they supported small businesses in the U.S.

Bachmann vows to kill tax bill if unemployment extension is added

"The bitch who stole Chrstmas".

Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), the chairwoman of the House Tea Party Caucus, said Republicans could balk at voting to extend all the tax cuts for two years if it's tied to a long-term extension of jobless benefits.

"I don't know that Republicans would necessarily go along with that vote. That would be a very hard vote to take," Bachmann said on conservative talker Sean Hannity's radio show on Monday.

Because $13 billion on extending unemployement is will be recycled right back into the economy but $70 billion in added defecits for the the top 2% will create more jobs if the recipients decidev to hire a butler or finally get the plastic surgery for the wife that they have been delaying beause of "economic uncertainty'.

After all, it's the Christian thing to do. Keith Olberman should retire his Worst Person in the World award and give it to Backmann.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Steve King wants to hunt down Marxists just like in the 50's

The HUAC (House Un-American Committee) was Sen. Joseph McCarthy's favorite organization from the 1950's to root out Communists in Hollywood and elsewhere. There has been a move to rehabilitate McCarthy's image as a fighter for the American way.

Now Rep. Steve King (R-IA) want's to bring back that era. In 2008 Michelle Bachmann argued for a similar "witch hunt" to root out those 'anti-Americans' in the government including Obama so this is not an entirely new concept.

Hunting down commies is just what we need right now.

Joe Miller losing Alaska senate candidate blames Native Alaskans for his loss

Tea Party backed Miller became the first Senate candidate to lose to a "write-in" candidate when incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski lost to him in the primary.

He accused them of using their political power and influence to help her win. How dare they! Image that, actualy using legal means to influence an election.

He claims they formed a "super-PAC" called Alaskans Standing Together, which conducted all sorts of underhanded activities for Murkowski -- such as running an ad campaign against him, educating voters on how to cast a write-in vote, and getting out the vote with rides to the polls.

"AST hit the airways with hundreds of thousands of dollars in attack ads, making numerous false allegations regarding my positions and background. Within a mere three weeks, AST spent $1.2 million, inundating the Alaska market," Miller writes. "It also hired dozens of workers to travel to the villages to teach people how to vote for Lisa Murkowski. They even painted vans with AST's logo to bus people to the polls."

Aftre all, they could be considered illegal aliens as they crossed over from Asia when land atill connected the two continents in what is now the Bering Straight.

A little quiet on the Irritable front

I've been fighting a dreadful cold/flu for the past few days doing the bit of work I've had to in between bowls of chicken soup and hacking, coughing sleepless nights. My father had the best cure for the above. A bottle of good brandy, no specified does but enough to take the edge off the aching body and head, at least 5 blankets and then let human nature take its way and sweat the crap right out of the system.
(Scotch Whiskey) can be substituted if needs be but the sweetness of the brandy does a better job of soothing the cough.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Daily Flog Blog

Visit my friend, Shauan Z's blog called The Daily Flog Blog. It's witty, contemporary and sardonic, while taking a wry look at various things around us.

Check it out. The Daily Flog Blog

Friday, December 3, 2010

Arizona has instituted 'death panels'

What's Sarah Palin going to say about that.

A law in Arizona that cuts Medicaid funding for certain transplant operations is likely to bring about the deaths of poor residents in need of such procedures.

Starting in October, a measure passed by the Republican-led state legislature began denying Medicaid funds for organ transplants such as bone-marrow, lung, heart and liver transplants, which can be very expensive and are often performed in life-threatening cases.

Even people who have waited years to get to the top of list are being denied.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Robert Reich nails the problem and tears Obama a new one in the process

One of the most common accusations against Obama is that he wants to transfer waelth from the rich to everyone else, so obviously he's a 'Socialist". The reality is that the last 20 years has seen the largest transfer of wealth in history and it's all gone in one direction. the rich have gfrown immeasurably richer while the median income for Americans have dropped in the past decade. The top 5% own 62% of the wealth while the bottom 80% own 15% of the wealth. As Reich says, the last time that gae was this great was in 1928. It's a story you never hear from the Democrats.

I doesn't make for a vibrant economy because the bottom 80% send most if not all their money which ultimately drives demand and the economy. With industrial capacity well below 100% the davocates of more tax beaks for corporations and extending tax cuts for the wealthy will not stimulate muxh investment of create jobs except in the wishful thinging of Repubicans.

Let Reich explain the problem.

If Obama and the Democrats were serious about story B they’d at least mention it. They’d tell the nation that income and wealth haven’t been this concentrated at the top since 1928, the year before the Great Crash. They’d be indignant about the secret money funneled into midterm campaigns. They’d demand Congress pass the Disclose Act so the public would know where the money comes from.

They’d introduce legislation to curb Wall Street bonuses – exactly what European leaders are doing with their financial firms. They’d demand that the big banks, now profitable after taxpayer bailouts, reorganize the mortgage debt of distressed homeowners. They’d call for a new WPA to put the unemployed back to work, and pay for it with a tax surcharge on incomes over $1 million.

They’d insist on extended unemployment benefits for long-term jobless who are now exhausting their benefits. And they’d hang tough on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy – daring Republicans to vote against extending the cuts for everyone else.

It's really quite simple. Why doesn't the White House get it. They seem to be frozen with fear.