Thursday, December 29, 2011

Oh, The Humanity!

Reproduced from the website, 12-29-11, 22:47 CST

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

From the "What A World What A World" Dept.

We Are Respectable Negroes via Jack & Jill Politics:
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
What Do They Call a President Who Happens to be Black? If You Are Fox News You Call Him a “Ghetto Crackhead”
Malcolm X famously asked, “what do you call an educated negro with a B.A. or an M.A., with a B.S., or a PhD?” The answer? “You call him a nigger, because that is what the white man calls him, a nigger.”
Decades later, his wisdom endures.
Malcolm’s observation captures the pain experienced by many African Americans, when during their coming of age moment (either before or after the talk about how not to get shot by the police during a routine traffic stop), they realize that being “young, gifted, and black” is not, all things being equal, sufficient for success in America. Malcolm’s words also capture the sentiments felt by any black person whose confidence has been described by their managers or peers as “threatening” or “arrogant.”
His wisdom also explains the moment when black professors walk into a room for the first time and their students look at each other in shock, wondering if this teacher is “qualified” to teach them; Malcolm’s wit also captures the frustration and insult felt by any black or brown person who has been presumptively assumed to be a janitor, maintenance worker, or mail clerk at their job, when in fact, their titles are actually “manager,” “director,” or “vice president.”
Malcolm’s comment on the arrogance of white racism also speaks to collective memory: it conjures up family stories of men and women trained as doctors, engineers, and lawyers, but who had to work as Pullman Car porters, maids, and home health attendants because Jim and Jane Crow America was by definition, a system designed to choke out the social and economic mobility of the African American community. Both then and now, white racism does the work of class inequality.
It is a given that Fox News has no love for President Obama. To point, on the Hannity show last week (and without retraction or apology after the fact), Eric Bolling described President Barack Obama, “as a skinny, ghetto, crackhead.”
This moment was an object lesson on the white racial frame in action, and the truth of Brother Malcolm’s deep understanding of the pathologies of white racism, where any black person, however accomplished, intelligent, and gifted, is de facto seen as “less than,” a “nigger,” as a person who is not equal to even the most mediocre and lowest of white people.
Black people and black humanity are forever suspect, under watch, and viewed as less than by many in White America. To the white gaze channeled by Eric Bolling, we are perpetual criminals, deviants, over-sexed, libidinous, dangerous, and pathological. These sentiments are a function of the “wages of whiteness,” the psychological investment in white supremacy, and white superiority, spoken to perhaps most famously by W.E.B. DuBois more than a century ago.
My surprise at the claim that President Obama shares anything in common with a “skinny, ghetto, crackhead” is rooted in its absurdity. Obama is human. He is imperfect. I often disagree with his politics. Obama is a man. He is nothing more, nothing less. But a crackhead? Impulsive drug user? A hype? Nope. Not ever. Obama’s personhood and habitus, his relaxed and effortless black cool pose (even if some do not possess the cultural framework and lens necessary to perceive it) is obvious–and unapologetic.
The inability by some on the Right to see Obama’s full and dignified black humanity, as opposed to a default of black drug use, criminality, and omnipresent, irrepressible “niggerdom,” is the source of my hurt. I must ask: If the white conservative imagination can frame a man of Obama’s abilities, poise, intelligence, genius, life accomplishments, and talent as a skinny, ghetto, crackhead, how do they see the rest of us?
And we wonder why the colorline persists.

Read the entire post. It's well worth it.

"A Target-Rich Enviromnment"

"This is what I call a target-rich environment." - Tom Cruise, Top Gun

Why am I starting out this post with a quote from a noxious piece of rah-rah Reagan-era propaganda trash today? Because when I look at the Iowa caucuses, it's true! Have you ever seen such a group of losers, sad sacks, incompetents, and just plain fuckups anywhere outside of a circus clown car, or Washington, D.C.?

So we're left with this: a very rich white guy who belongs to a nutty Christian cult (take it from a so-called "descendant of Cain," they're a cult), another rich white guy whom everyone hates and who can't keep his dick in his pants, a crazy old white guy, a crazy white woman, a stupid and crazy white guy, a stupid, crazy, religious nut of a white guy who can't get his name to the top of Google's listings, and another rich white guy from the same cult as Candidate #1, except he says he's not as crazy as the rest--and therefore has a snowball's chance in hell of winning the caucuses, the primaries, or anything else other than a job on CNN, where he can equate demons with honest men and women for a living.

That's not a field of Republican candidates, that's the clown car at the circus emptying out. Whatever happens in Iowa next Tuesday, it's going to leave our country worse off. More ignorant and uninformed, more blind and uncaring, more full of hate. It's a damn shame. So many targets for ridicule, so much hatred to go around, so much ignorance on display...and the whole world can see it. This is the land of opportunity? Yes, the opportunity to show how far we've fallen.

Too many targets, too little time....and too little value in hitting them again.

BTW, would somebody please tell the Donald to shut the fuck up?

Monday, December 12, 2011

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

Rick Perry, the Texas Buffoon, apparently thinks that Solyndra is a country:

On the stump in Iowa Saturday evening, Rick Perry made made yet another spectacular gaffe. According to CNN, the Texas governor tried to accuse President Obama of ‘picking winners and losers,’ but ended up saying something a little different:

“I want to say it was over $500 million that went to the country Solynda.”

Solyndra, of course, is the solar panel-production company which went bankrupt despite loans from the Department of Energy. Republicans have been using the incident as an example of ‘crony capitalism’ and has become a favorite faux-scandal Republicans have used to attack the administration. Solyndra received $535 million in federal loan guarantees. 

Now, Perry's defenders can say all they want about slips of the tongue, or that they're minor mistakes made under the pressure of running for the presidency, or that it's to be expected that the "lamestream media" would highlight every mistake Perry makes, c'mon, give the guy a break, he's not using a teleprompter! He's genuine! Real!

I'd agree. Perry is a real dumbass, that's for certain. An ignorant, willfully uninformed, reactionary dumbass. Or, as Stephen Colbert once said about another Southern political genius, "what a stupid cracker!" And there's not a Saltine in sight around here. If Perry flubs simple things like "Solyndra is a company" and "the voting age is eighteen." the Chinese will have Perry pimping out his own daughter to pay off our debt to them, and he'll think he made a great deal!

Rick Perry, Newt Gingrich, and Mitt Romney: is this the best the Republican Party can offer?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Romney Embraces the Medicare-Killing Ryan Budget

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Few Quick Hits

Michele Bachmann found herself confounded Tuesday by an eight-year-old boy. It's not surprising that an eight-year-old could make Bachmann look stupid, but she also looked like a callous bitch, when she walked away from young Elijah without saying a word. What did he say to make her so flustered? "My mommy -- Miss Bachmann, my mommy's gay but she doesn't need fixing," Kudos for you, Elijah! We need more adults with your courage.

Newt Gingrich says he would nominate John Bolton as his Secretary of State. Notwithstanding that picking cabinet members is illegal under federal law.....really, Newt? Bolton? John Bolton? The wingnut whackado who said that the top ten floors of the UN Building could be lopped off and it wouldn't make any difference? The same walrus-mustachioed, diplomatically incompetent, paranoid, stupid jackass that couldn't get through the Senate for confirmation, so Bush had to do a recess appointment to make him the USA's UN Ambassador? That same asshole? Really, Newt, why don't you just take another cruise. Saturn is nice this time of year.

Chris Christie thinks he can lecture us on manners? "They (OccupyWallStreet) bought that 'Hope and Change' garbage"? I know he thinks that he's an expert on the subject, but don't relate to everything in terms of your personal political philosophy....and diet.

Ann Coulter says she would vote for Jeffrey Dahmer over Barack Obama. I'd vote for Ann to date Jeffrey Dahmer. After all, he was attracted to slim, blonde, gay men.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Visits OccupyWallStreet

A little weekend levity starring Triumph. Wish I had been there to see it!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Stupid Is As Bachman Does, or
Michele Bachmann Is A Stupid & Crazy Bitch™,
Part #1,983

Wow, been awhile since I wrote on of these. Honestly, though, there hasn't been that much need: Bachmann's been telling the whole country how stupid and crazy she is since last spring!

Nevertheless, Michele sometimes outdoes herself. Case in point, her latest "not-a-gaffe" gaffe; this one's a doozy, folks:

Michele Bachmann has had her fair share of foreign policy stumbles, but she just hit a whole new level.
According to a tweet from NBC News’ Jamie Novogrod, Bachmann responded to the recent raiding of the British embassy in Iran, by saying that if she was President, she would close down the U.S. embassy there.
There’s just one problem: The U.S. has not had an embassy in Iran ever since the Iranian hostage crisis, when revolutionaries from the budding Islamic state held 52 Americans for 444 days.

Michele, I thought you were on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence? Has campaigning worsened your memory? Or is this another not-a-gaffe gaffe?

Apparently, it's not a gaffe when you seem to have been asleep for the last thirty years. Or is it that it's a thing of no consequence, in this soon-to-be-over Cain/Perry/Bachmann Age? C'mon, Republicans! You can do better than this! This is embarrassing. Weren't you guys supposed to be expert in matters of foreign policy and national security? You're going to force President Obama to make even more apologies around the world for our stupid and woefully uninformed politicians.

But don't worry, Repugs. Obama won't be able to get around to that until sometime in 2014, during his second term.ittee?

I Think The Matter Is Settled

One of the reasons given for the necessity of a large U.S. Navy is that it's needed to "keep the sea lanes open," presumably to protect our container ships, full of goods for the Hong Kong marketplace, from marauding Chinese warships.

Oh, wait....those container ships are Chinese, and they're sailing eastward, carrying tons of plastic crap for Wal-marts located here. My bad.

Today's global action by the central banks of England, Canada, Japan, China, and Switzerland proves once and for all that we live in an interconnected world. These countries were shooting at each other just 60-70 years ago!--and today they took part in a global effort to prevent another financial

Yes, my fellow Americans, 50-70 years isn't a very long time. Just ask an Iranian, or a resident of Nagasaki or  Ho Chi Minh City, or a Native American. Hell, ask and Englishman about the French! Our superficial, "gotta-have-it-NOW!" culture has left us unable to appreciate and understand what carrying a real grudge means.

So, I view today's action as an encouraging sign that technology, which in part has caused these problems, has also given us the means to be closer to each other.--even if "closer" in this instance means the hand in my pocket is 4,000 miles away. That's progress! And it also means that we don't need such a damn big navy, too.

So instead of all those ships, can we please bring some of those sailors and marines home, mothball a few ships, and use the money to fix some bridges, roads, and schools? And oh yeah, hire some teachers and firemen too! It might just help the economy, and also President Obama's chances of being reelected.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A REAL American Hero

Judge Jed S. Rakoff is the hero of the day, folks!

WASHINGTON — Taking a broad swipe at the Securities and Exchange Commission’s practice of allowing companies to settle cases without admitting that they had done anything wrong, a federal judge on Monday rejected a $285 million settlement between Citigroup and the agency.

The judge, Jed S. Rakoff of United States District Court in Manhattan, said that he could not determine whether the agency’s settlement with Citigroup was “fair, reasonable, adequate and in the public interest,” as required by law, because the agency had claimed, but had not proved, that Citigroup committed fraud.


The agency in particular, Judge Rakoff argued, “has a duty, inherent in its statutory mission, to see that the truth emerges.” But it is difficult to tell what the agency is getting from this settlement “other than a quick headline.” Even a $285 million settlement, he said, “is pocket change to any entity as large as Citigroup,” and often viewed by Wall Street firms “as a cost of doing business.”

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Citigroup stuffed a $1 billion mortgage fund that it sold to investors in 2007 with securities that it believed would fail so that it could bet against its customers and profit when values declined. The fraud, the agency said, was in Citigroup’s falsely telling investors that an independent party was choosing the portfolio’s investments. Citigroup made $160 million from the deal and investors lost $700 million. 

This stinks to high heaven. The SEC's practice of settling with "too big to fail" banks like Citi is an absolute disgrace, an abandonment of their responsibility to regulate the markets, and what looks like, from this perspective, collusion with the banks in their fraudulent practices.  And when I look at things like this:

Think Progress:

Banks May Have Illegally Foreclosed On 5,000 Members Of The Military

In the latest episode of this mess, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has found that banks — including Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup — may have improperly foreclosed on up to 5,000 active members of the military:
Ten leading US lenders may have unlawfully foreclosed on the mortgages of nearly 5,000 active-duty members of the US military in recent years, according to data released by a federal regulator. [...]
The data released by the OCC are based on estimates prepared by lenders and their consultants. BofA said it is reviewing 2,400 foreclosures involving active-duty military families to see if they were conducted properly. Wells Fargo is reviewing 870 foreclosures and Citigroup is looking at 700 cases.
Also under review are 575 foreclosures at OneWest, formerly known as IndyMac; 87 at HSBC; 80 at US Bancorp; 56 at Aurora, formerly known as Lehman Brothers Bank; 25 at MetLife; six at Sovereign; and three at EverBank.
Back in April, JPMorgan Chase, which was not one of the 10 banks that the OCC examined, agreed to a $56 million settlement over allegations that it had overcharged members of the military on their mortgages. Chase Bank has even auctioned off the home of a military member the very day that he returned from Iraq. Two other mortgage servicers agreed in May to settle charges of improperly foreclosing on servicemembers. makes me shout, "WTF?!" This has to stop. The entire concept of "too big to fail" is bogus; nothing is "too big to fail," and if we as a nation were stupid enough to allow these banks to grow to gargantuan size, then believe their lies when they dubbed themselves TBTF, then the joke's on us. If the megabanks were behaving as responsible corporate citizens, then things like those military foreclosures wouldn't happen; things like the $13 billion-with-a-b secret loans from the Fed to the banks wouldn't happen; movements like OccupyWallStreet wouldn't have to form, the lion would lay down with the lamb.....(OK, I'm getting carried away.) But even if one accounts for the normal amount of human arrogance, stupidity, and greed, these "too-large-to-fail" banks have far exceeded their quota.

That the SEC would settle for what's essentially chump change to a bank like Citi is absurd. It's offensive, it's an abandonment of their responsibilities to the citizenry, and heads should roll! As stated in the Times, the banks are free to resume their predatory practices as soon as court is adjourned. How is this fair? How is this justice?

Citizens United established into law the ridiculous assertion that "corporations are people." If so, then let's try and execute these criminals, just like people. (Hell, let's try and execute them just like African-American people, that'll make SURE that the banks would fry!) Everyone knows they're guilty; now it looks like they might finally be brought to justice. Kudos to you, Judge Rakoff!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Bidding a Fond Farewell to a Favorite Target

"Well he loved plenty women from Canada to Mexico
They would to love to see him coming and hated when he had to go
A macho man before macho ever came to town
The only problem was not enough of him to go around."

I've lost count of how many women have accused Herman Cain of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and now this new charge of a 13-year extramarital affair? Negro, please!

It's not enough that the man doesn't seem to know where Libya is or what's happened there lately, not enough that he can't understand the simple math that proves that his simple "999" plan (and how come no one has mentioned that "999" is "666" inverted?) won't work, not enough that he doesn't seem to have any knowledge in depth about anything other than pizza (How do you say "delicious" in Cuban, Herman? Try "¡Soy un idiota!"). It doesn't seem to matter to Republican primary voters.

"You know he had had more romances than L.A.'s got stars
He had had more romances than Detroit's got cars
He's a, a legend in his own mind and God's gift to women
On a day God wasn't giving up a thing."

This field of Republican candidates for the presidency is a national embarrassment. Is it too much to ask that a person seeking the highest office in the land not be a serial liar, adulterer, buffoon, or creep? Is expecting that a person running for president has read a newspaper, internet news site, or magazine sometime within the last six months? I'm a lifelong progressive Democrat, but I expect some knowledge and competence from the opposition. So far, all I've seen that these GOP "candidates" are capable of is delivering pizza, cheating on their spouses, and hypocrisy. And that's not enough to offer to the American people.

"Well you hate to see him coming when you're grooving at your favorite bar
He's the death of the party and a self-proclaimed superstar
Got permanent Jones to assure you he's been everywhere
A show stopping name dropping answer to the ladies' prayers.

I've had it with Herman. He's too stupid to understand that no one believes his lies, and too arrogant to realize that the President has to read, lead, and achieve. As for the rest of the field, they're not anything to write home about either, unless your emails to Mom feature examples of boundless arrogance and rank stupidity.

"To hear him telling he had more romances than doctors got bills
He had had more romances than Beverly got Hills
He's a, a legend in his own mind and God's gift to women
On a day God wasn't giving up a thing."

So Hermie, I'm officially ignoring you, until the not-too-far-off day that your campaign ends, going out with a mad cacophony of lies, rage, bile, and tears; and you leave the stage to return to private life and the once-loving arms of your wife, who by that time will no doubt be waiting for you with a cast iron skillet in one hand and a pair of garden shears in the other. I foresee a great career opportunity for you in the starring role of "The John Bobbit Story!" You'd have to play it in whiteface, but you're used to that. Just smear some of that fake cheese that Godfather's uses on your face, put on a big, shit-eating grin, and smile as you reenact the climatic event without a stunt double.But this, as I said earlier, it's all becoming just too easy.

I'm ignoring you from now on, Herman, from today through the rest of the campaign, because frankly, you're just too easy.

Goodbye Barney, We'll Miss You

Rep. Barney Frank, one of the lights of the progressive caucus in the House, is retiring:

Rep Barney Frank (D-MA) put his trademark pugnaciousness on full display in his retirement press conference Monday, giddily bashing Republicans — especially former Speaker Newt Gingrich — at every turn.

Frank said he decided to retire for a number of reasons, including the Republican majority’s stranglehold on policy decisions, the prospect of a tough re-election, and a redesigned district that includes over 300,000 new constituents. Frank said the latter was the immediate factor behind his retirement, since he dreaded the prospect of having to reintroduce himself to so many new voters while still performing his job at a high level and wanted to give his party a heads up to find a new recruit to run. 
Frank said he would not use his Congressional experience to secure a lucrative job lobbying his former colleagues.

“I will neither be a lobbyist nor a historian,” he said, a jab at Gingrich’s self-proclaimed $1.6 million “historian” gig for Freddie Mac. “My intention is to do some combination of writing, teaching, and lectures.”
He got in some more one-liners at Gingrich as he waded into the GOP presidential primary.
“I do not think I have lived a good enough life to be rewarded by Newt Gingrich being the nominee,” he joked, calling his potential nomination “the best thing to happen to the Democratic party since Barry Goldwater.”

Frank has been a stalwart progressive Democrat throughout his service, a vocal and humorously critical champion of the left. Openly gay, he defied conservatives and the far right to defend the 99%. I've always enjoyed his acerbic putdowns of fools, clowns, and wingnuts, his acumen with financial law, and his forthright opinions, always freely given.. He'll be missed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Kent State Moment

Watching the students being doused with pepper spray at UC Davis reminded me of the iconic photo of the Kent State massacre in 1970, the pic that brought the war home to me, and many others. I remember seeing it on the front page of the Boston Globe that morning; it both turned my stomach and alarmed me. "Dammit, they're shooting us now!" I remember thinking. A lot of other students across the country had similar thoughts, and students began to strike at dozens of campuses across the country that day.

The war ended five years later with the fall of Saigon, but I never forgot that spring day when death greeted me in the morning. Over the weekend, I had another image capture my attention; this time, fortunately, less violent, but no less compelling:

As much as I'm angered by the actions of the UC Davis campus police, I think they've just given the Occupy movement a rare gift. There's nothing like the image of peaceful protestors being abused by authority figures to give a grassroots movement a vital push, and now we have that picture. Painful as it is now, over time, the image of those peacefully resisting, nonviolent students, and that swaggering, sadistic cop dousing them with pepper spray, will become the image of the Occupy movement. I hope and pray that those who were sprayed fully recover with no lasting effects. I also pray that the Occupy movement is successful.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Michael Jordan: Turncoat

I must admit, right at the start, that I've long had problems with Michael Jordan. I abhor the near-deification of sports figures in America to begin with; I've seen the hypocrisy of fame and mass adulation while the players are active in their particular sport, and watched the dismissal and degradation of retired athletes after they've left the spotlight. I've long had a problem with Michael Jordan in particular, ever since his athletic shoes became an item of desire so intense that kids were killed for their sneakers. To my knowledge, Jordan never once went on TV and said something like, "I know my shoes are cool, but killing for them isn't." So I go into this with an axe to grind, and I freely admit it.

The current NBA lockout caught my attention recently. To me, it really looks like yet another form of the 99% (the players) against the 1% (the owners)...well, except that everyone on both sides is a millionaire! Still, I'm always going to side with labor over management, having been both. These day, though, Mike's no longer a player (finally!); he's currently the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, the first former NBA player to become a team owner. So, given the state of negotiations between players and management this year, Jordan, as a former star player himself, should be four-square for the players, right?

Uhhhh, no:

A group of players is planning a drive to dissolve the union if it accepts any deal that reduces the players’ share of revenue below 52.5 percent.

The league is facing an equal threat from a group of 10 to 14 owners — led by Charlotte’s Michael Jordan — who are determined to cap the players at 50 percent, according to a person who has spoken with the owners. The hardliners are expected to reiterate that stance when all 29 owners meet Saturday morning in Manhattan, about six hours before the bargaining session.


Jordan’s emergence as a leader of the hard-line owners is curious. Although his stance was no mystery — he was fined $100,000 this summer for speaking publicly about the need to reduce costs — he had largely stayed in the background until now.

As a historical matter, during the last labor crisis, in 1998, Jordan famously challenged Abe Pollin, the Washington Wizards owner at the time, reportedly bellowing, “If you can’t make a profit, you should sell your team.”

At the time, Jordan was a superstar who had made $33 million — the most in league history — in his final season with the Chicago Bulls. Now he is a cost-cutting owner in one of the league’s toughest markets. Today’s stars may soon be challenging him in a similar manner.

Strange, but true. Next, weights in:
Last night the NBA players union decertified after months of not really making any major progress in negotiating with owners. This gambit, while pretty serious, is just the latest step in what has become another horrifying example of how the 1% work while the 99% chew on their tails.


ESPN plays mouthpiece to whatever the NBA owners and commissioner David Stern want.  But, shockingly, it is the usually firebomb throwing, race baiting Jason Whitlock over at Fox Sports that actually has a fair look at what the players are doing. He’s showing why this situation deserves a lot more respect and objective analysis than the media is giving For example: why is nobody looking like Michael Jordan?

Michael Jordan is famous for winning a lot of championships, making a lot of money and being so a-political to the degree that he never stood up for anything of significance.


As the most famous player in basketball history turned less-than-impressive owner of (first) the Washington Wizards and now the Charlotte Bobcats, it’s amazing how little attention has been given to his massive flip-flop on labor issues.

It’s one thing for the press to bow to their corporate masters at ESPN and slam the union as a bunch of foolish emotional players – but it’s something else to ignore the incredibly juicy story of one of the game’s greatest players now getting  slammed by the likes of Ron Artest and Stephon Marbury for selling out and being one of the most hardline owners in these negotiations.

Jordan the player was one of the strongest advocates of player rights when he was in the league, and his agent David Falk was a key part of the 1998 negotiations. At one point “his air-ness” famously told the former owner of the Washington Wizards Abe Polin: “If you can’t make a profit, you should sell your team.”  Now that same Jordan has told several players to their faces: “I’m not wearing Jordans anymore.” Ouch. So: you still wanna be like Mike?

Yikes! Mike, what the hell, man? Have you forgotten what the player side was like so quickly? Apparently, so. Then last and fittingly, this, from - believe it or not - the aforementioned Jason Whitlock at Fox Sports:
Michael Jeffrey Jordan finally found a cause he can get behind off the court: being an obstacle for any black kid dreaming of matching or exceeding Jordan’s wealth.


And I don’t throw that word around liberally. But there’s no better description for Jordan now that he has reportedly decided to be the hard-line frontman for NBA ownership’s desire to rob NBA players of their fair share of the revenue the league generates.


Now that NBA superstars have decided to fully engage in the lockout negotiations and threaten union decertification, David Stern and ownership have decided to unleash their token minority owner from the house to play hardball. According to The New York Times, Michael Jeffrey Jordan, the greatest player of all time, is the owner most determined to bury the union financially. Jordan allegedly wants current players to take a 10- to 20-point basketball-related-income pay cut.


This is the ultimate betrayal. A league filled mostly with African-American young men who grew up wanting to be like Mike is finally getting to see just who Michael Jordan is. He’s a cheap, stingy, mean-spirited, cut-throat, greedy, uncaring, disloyal slave to his own bottom line.

Nike’s “Air Jordan” marketing strategy was based on getting black inner-city kids to worship Jordan and his shoes. Allen Iverson, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Paul Pierce, the Fab Five, etc., made Michael Jordan a billionaire. The NBA Players Association fought like crazy so the Bulls could make $30 million balloon payments to Jordan in each of his final two seasons in Chicago.

And now Jordan, as the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, wants to be the face of ownership greed and vindictiveness.

Wow! And that was from FOX! Does this mean that maybe people are getting over the spell cast on them by the media? Maybe folks are finally seeing Mike for what he really is? It's beginning to look like His Airness is finally getting his comeuppance. I told ya, Mike, you really should have said something to the kids about those damn shoes.

Friday, November 18, 2011


Herman Cain today undermined over fifty years of promoting education and encouraging academic achievement to young African-Americans and people of color. My anger and disgust with him is overwhelming. More later...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Best Wisecrack of the Day

“Frankly, I thought the ‘Gingrich Group’ were his wives.” --Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Are They Blind, Or What?

Reader LM writes:
Why do poor republicans identify with CEOs and their outrageous bonuses, their stockpiling cash, and their not hiring?

I just saw a friend post a thing about the military saying "I'm too busy protecting your freedom to occupy Wall Street." What does one thing have to do with another? Is it more American to pay the upper echelons of business at an outrageous rate and not use it to hire people to put them back to work?

Who is creating this class warfare: the ones who perpetrate it or the ones who point it out?

The poor and middle classes are the 99%, whether they're Democrats or Republicans, and they are protecting the ones who are screwing them over. Is it just that the Republican poor and middle classes think that someday they'll be the wealthiest and when they get there they don't want to have to pay more? I mean, if the 1% were ACTUALLY providing the jobs then they might have a point, but they're not. They're spending their time trying to figure out more loopholes to screw the 99% in new and interesting ways.
This is a question that's perplexed me for most of the last 10-15 years. It should be clear by now to most people that the rich are taxed at a disproportionately low rate, and receive tax breaks or exploit loopholes in the tax code that the middle class and the poor can't get or can't use (mostly due to the fact that they are poor or middle class). The wealthiest 1% of Americans corrupt our political system with their lobbying dollars to tilt laws and regulations to their favor, and receive health care access and benefits that are far beyond what the average working stiff can receive or afford. The 1% are even favored after death, being able to leave an even larger portion of their estate to their descendants than ever before, encouraging the establishment of a permanent upper class, the very thing that estate taxes are intended to prevent.

I don't get it. To me, this chart says it all:

Obviously, though, not everyone either understands or believes that chart. If more people did, there'd be riots in the streets, far beyond what Occupy Wall Street has managed so far, riots so big that the alleged anonymous soldier in LM's quote would either be called out to stop them, or join in. Maybe the math is too hard for most Americans. But saying that Americans are bad at math doesn't excuse this level of ignorance. Everyone has to eat, everyone has to have a place to sleep, and the cost of both of those necessities has skyrocketed in the last 30 years. Yet, perversely, the Republican poor and middle classes enthusiastically support the very policies, people, and legal actions that create higher costs, defeat their attempts to advance, and actively deny them the very freedoms and opportunities they claim to desire and possess.

In the last few months, however, we've begun to see the signs of an awakening among the American people. The Occupy movement is the most obvious example, as are the recall effort against Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and the defeat of Ohio's anti-labor law. Maybe Americans are regaining their senses, after slumbering for far too long. And, to my faithful fan LM, I want to show that it's not necessarily the soldiers who are voicing that illogical, self-denying sentiment about "protecting our freedoms." In fact, it looks like it's just some Repug shills: via def shepard :
"For too long, our voices have been silenced, suppressed and ignored in favor of the voices of Wall Street and the banks and the corporations," said Joseph Carter, a 27-year-old Iraq war veteran who marched Wednesday to Zuccotti Park, the epicenter of the movement that has spread worldwide.

The former Army sergeant from Seattle spoke to fellow Occupy protesters and passersby on Broadway after joining about 100 veterans marching in uniform from the Vietnam Veterans Plaza through Manhattan's financial district nearby.

Their unemployment rate outstrips the national average and is expected to worsen. They worry about preservation of First Amendment rights. And they're angry.


"For 10 years, we have been fighting wars that have enriched the wealthiest 1 percent, decimated our economy and left our nation with a generation of traumatized and wounded veterans that will require care for years to come," said Carter, who leads the national Iraq Veterans Against the War group.

  Maybe after an Arab Spring, we're entering an American Autumn.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cain Wreck!

Herman Cain finally screwed the pooch today:

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board, Cain was asked whether he agreed or not with President Obama’s decisions on Libya.
The beginning of Cain’s answer then gave the impression that he might have been working from rote memorization — and struggling to remember his lines.

“Okay, Libya,” Cain said — then paused, looking downward. “President Obama supported the uprising — correct? President Obama called for the removal of Qaddafi. Just want to make sure we’re talking about the same thing before I say, yes I agreed, or no I didn’t agree.”
“I do not agree with the way he handled it, for the following reasons — No, that’s a different one. (Pauses) I gotta go back, see. (Pauses) Got all this stuff twirling around in my head. Specifically, what are you asking me, did I agree or not disagree (sic) with Obama?”

Whatta joke this chump is! What an arrogant ass! The man wants to be President, and he doesn't have a clue about Libya. I'll bet he doesn't even know what continent it's on! The Libyan people only just overthrew their dictator after 42 years of tyranny; but I guess it's hard to find that in the newspapers when you only read the sports, the comics, and the stock market tables. (And I don't think Hermie is down with that "internet" thing the kids keep telling him about. "Ain't that just a series of tubes?" asks Hermie.)  It's painfully obvious watching that interview that he's desperately trying to remember his latest foreign policy lessons, and he seems to be as clueless as Sarah Palin in that area. He knows nothing...and I'm frankly outraged that a black man of his generation and alleged education (BA Math, Morehouse College, Class of 1967, MA Comp. Sci., Purdue University, 1971) could be so ignorant. The arrogance I can at least understand; too often people think that competence in one area gives them competence in all areas, a common conceit. But this man came of age in the time of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, and he doesn't know what's been happening in Libya over the last six months? And he thinks he can be the President of the United States of America??

Meanwhile, the ex-boyfriend of Cain accuser Sharon Bialek held a press conference this afternoon to back up Bialek's accusations. Dr. Victor Zuckerman appeared before the press to support his ex-girlfriend. He doesn't have a dog in the fight, and yet there he is, standing before the press, corroborating her allegations. Way to go, Doc! How many more women will come forward, and how many more stories of sexual harassment and assault will have to be made public before Republican primary voters see that this man isn't fit to be dogcatcher, much less President?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

No Further Proof Is Necessary

Has Rick Perry finally made an ass of himself enough times to end his campaign? As far as I'm concerned, it was a joke of an effort from the very start, somewhat along the lines of the "Herman Cain Performance Art Project," Rachel Maddow's apt description of Perry's competitor for the GOP nomination. Another dumbassed Texan who thinks that he can make up with arrogance and swagger what he lacks in intelligence and depth of thought. Coming off his impaired performance in New Hampshire last week, Perry increasingly looks and sounds like what he really is: an ignorant, uninformed Texas cowboy, a stalking horse for the oil lobby, and an arrogant, clownish jackass who could only win the governorship in the state of Texas.

Last night, though, Perry really outdid himself. As the Huffington Post reported:
The Texas governor promised to eliminate three federal government agencies, and then searched his memory -- for what seemed like an eternity -- to name a third.

"It's three government agencies when I get there that are gone: Commerce, Education and the um, what's the third one there. Let's see," Perry said. He turned to Texas Rep. Ron Paul, looking for some help, but got nothing but a remark from Paul that he would eliminate five agencies.

"Oh five," Perry said. "So Commerce, Education, and, uh, the uh, um, um."

"EPA?" offered former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

"EPA, there ya go," Perry said as the room exploded in laughter.

CNBC moderator John Harwood honed in and pressed Perry: "Seriously? Is EPA the one you were talking about?"

"No sir. No sir. We were talking about the, um, agencies of government," Perry said. "The EPA needs to be rebuilt."

"But you can't name the third one?" Harwood persisted.

"The third agency of government," Perry said. "I would do away with the education, the um, Commerce, and let's see. I can't think of the third one. I can't. Sorry. Oops."
"Oops"? "Oops"?!?! This is a guy who wants to be President, thinks he can be the President, presents himself as the superior choice to Barack Obama, and he can't even remember what his handlers and masters...*cough* the Koch brothers *cough*...told him to say?! Gedouddahere! See for yourself:

"OOPS"?? Please, God, let this idiot, or one of the other buffoons, win the Repug nomination!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Smokin' Joe Frazier, R.I.P.

Former heavyweight champion Joe Frazier passed away tonight.

CBS News:

 He beat Muhammad Ali in the Fight of the Century, battled him nearly to the death in the Thrilla in Manila. Then Joe Frazier spent the rest of his life trying to fight his way out of Ali's shadow.  
That was one fight Frazier could never win.
He was once a heavyweight champion, and a great one at that. Ali would say as much after Frazier knocked him down in the 15th round en route to becoming the first man to beat Ali at Madison Square Garden in March 1971. 
But he bore the burden of being Ali's foil, and he paid the price. Bitter for years about the taunts his former nemesis once threw his way, Frazier only in recent times came to terms with what happened in the past and said he had forgiven Ali for everything he said. 
Frazier, who died Monday night after a brief battle with liver cancer at the age of 67, will forever be linked to Ali. But no one in boxing would ever dream of anointing Ali as The Greatest unless he, too, was linked to Smokin' Joe.

I remember going to see the 1971 Ali-Frazier match with my father. It was Ali's first fight after the Supreme Court decision that allowed him to return to boxing. We saw it in a live closed circuit broadcast, at a neighborhood theater. Back in those days, "closed circuit" meant going to see it in a movie theater, not on HBO, and there were still neighborhood theaters. And there was more to this fight, of course, given the times and personalities, than simply the fight itself.


The fight itself became something of a symbol of the country. Leading up to the fight, Ali (who had denounced the Vietnam War) had refused induction into the U.S. Army in 1967, leading to him being stripped of his title and barred from fighting for three years. Ali became a symbol of the anti-establishment movement, while Frazier became a symbol of the conservative, pro-war movement. (In his autobiography, Frazier said that he didn't fight in the war because he was a father but that he would have fought if drafted because his country had been so good to him.) 
Many boxing fans argued that Ali's speed and ability would blind Frazier, while others thought Frazier's superior punching power combined with Ali's long absence from the ring would give the advantage to Frazier. On the night of the fight, there were riots in many United States cities, including Chicago, where a whole theater was torn apart by angry attendees who had just learned they would not be able to watch the fight on closed-circuit television.

 What a battle! Ali called it the "Fight of the Century," and so it was. I think I was hoarse for two days afterwards, following an evening of yelling for my hero, Ali, to win. (He didn't; it was Ali's first loss.) Tickets were $18 each, and my dad grumbled about how much they cost...more for show, I think, than anything else. It was one of those nights you still remember years later, as much for the company as for the event.

My thoughts and prayers are with the Frazier family.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Great Way to Help Occupy Wall Street

The Rude Pundit has a great idea on how to help Occupy Wall Street:

On Friday, November 25, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, as marketers force us to know, let's give to our local Occupy encampments what they need to stay warm for the winter. 
The deal: check out your local Occupy website. There's a list of all the things they need in order to flat out survive into the spring
Bring stuff to keep 'em all warm through the cold nights since they are doing the hard, hard work of creating the foundation for genuinely forcing change in the political dialogue and the economic stratification of the United States (and around the world). 
On November 25th, as a show of general support, we'll meet to give as large a donation as possible in person at the occupation areas (or where the supplies are kept). Each city could have a meeting place and time for the donors. 
Speaking of marketing, we could call this "Blanket the Earth." We could organize this on, say, a Facebook page or perhaps a Twitter feed or a hastag.

Now, I live in the Frozen Tundra, and as I was just saying to my Significant Other earlier this evening, I must have enough cold weather gear to completely outfit two or three protesters. So I'm going to dig in my closet and visit my favorite outfitters for some stuff they could use, as well as talk to my friends and fellow bloggers about chipping in. How about you? I think this is a great idea!


ABC News via Eschaton:
Goldline, a company that used endorsements from Glenn Beck and other conservative icons to sell hundreds of millions of dollars to consumers, has been charged with theft and fraud in a 19-count criminal complaint filed Tuesday by local officials in California.

Strong's Rules of Racial Politics, #42

Rule #42: When you (a political candidate and person of color) claim that you're a victim of a "high-tech lynching," make sure that you haven't hung the rope around your neck yourself.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hey, Rick Perry, Is This Good Enough For You?

So today Rick Perry, Dubya 2.0, said that he wanted to see the President's college transcripts. This is after he dragged out the birther nonsense again. Apparently, Perry, like seemingly most Republican politicians, doesn't know how to use "the Google," so I did a quick search to answer both questions this idiot had today:

The New York Times, Published: February 06, 1990:
BOSTON, Feb. 5— The Harvard Law Review, generally considered the most prestigious in the country, elected the first black president in its 104-year history today. The job is considered the highest student position at Harvard Law School.
The new president of the Review is Barack Obama, a 28-year-old graduate of Columbia University who spent four years heading a community development program for poor blacks on Chicago's South Side before enrolling in law school. His late father, Barack Obama, was a finance minister in Kenya and his mother, Ann Dunham, is an American anthropologist now doing fieldwork in Indonesia. Mr. Obama was born in Hawaii.

Now, Mr. 2.5 GPA with a bachelor's degree in Animal Science from Texas A&M, did you see that part about the President's mother being an American anthropologist? That means that, according to the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution you profess to be so enamored of, and by the laws of the United States, that her son, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, is an American citizen.

But please, keep talking! Maybe you'll drop even further in the polls.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Herman Cain Is A Lying, Self-Hating, Race-Baiting Huckster

Well, it was either that, or a handkerchief-headed lawn jockey. Either way, I was right: he's not fit to collect my garbage (I respect sanitation workers), much less be the President of the United States of America.

Think Progress reports:
  [...] before climbing the 2012 ladder, GOP presidential front runner Herman Cain served as the spokesman for the right-wing America’s PAC. The group spent millions during the 2004 and 2006 election to run political ads on black radio stations — one of which suggested that Democrats wanted to kill “black babies.” Another ad links Democrats to the “Ku Klux Klan cracker” David Duke. Not only did Cain serve as spokesman, he also performed voice-over work in several ads. 
You might remember those ads. They were so vile that even "the Bush administration called the ads 'inappropriate' and the RNC called them 'racist,' and the man who paid for them is now the leading frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination." Herman spend over $1 million of his own money supporting America's PAC and these noxious ads.

Here's Herman himself in one of those 2006 ads. Notice also how his speech lacks the country coon accent he now favors when talking to the GOP base:

I've said before that Herman was likely a race-baiting huckster, and I see that I was right. Living here in Minnesota with a small minority population, I've seen his like before. Some people of color figured out that a sure way for them to get ahead was if they would be, in the memorable words of Denzel Washington's character in the film Glory, "the white man's dog." Herman is indisputably one such cur.

As terrible as it sounds, it's not impossible for a black man to be racist against his own. Dr. Boyce Watkins, on the Your Black Politics blog, writes:
Herman Cain has become, in many ways, the perfect racist. America lives under the interesting premise that a racist can’t be black. That’s like believing that a man can’t hate his sibling, or that a woman can’t advocate for a man to beat his wife (as Whoopi did to Oprah in “The Color Purple”). The truth is that racism is typically most effective when you put a black face on it, and Herman Cain has volunteered to become the cute little political puppet which allows white America to say the things that they are afraid to say out loud.

It is their ability to put Cain out front to absorb the criticism for racist remarks that makes millions of Right Wing Americans so happy about his racial politics. Cain validates and brings security to a set of ideas that are generally unacceptable to those who understand America’s ugly racial history. In this regard, Cain is a breath of fresh air because he is the only Republican who doesn’t change the subject when the issue of race is brought to the table.

Yeah, and it increases his bank account, too.

Add to these problems Herman's demonstrated difficulty in explaining his much-vaunted, stockbroker-devised "9-9-9 Plan" (first it's "9-9-9," then it's "9-0-9", then it's "9-0-9 with a slice of ched....errrr, opportunity zones"), his total ignorance of foreign policy ("Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan"), his deficiencies when it comes to immigration policy ("a real fence. Twenty feet high, with barbed wire – electrified"), and even Karl Rove says that Herman is "not up to the task."

Personally, I think he's trying to be the next Huckabee, get himself a fat media deal with Faux and/or sell more copies of his book. Thank goodness, though, that Herman has a snowball's chance in hell of actually winning the nomination.

UPDATE: Gawker says that Herman is simply a"a stupid, stupid man." I agree, but I think it's more than that. I believe, as Dr. Watkins wrote, that "not only is Herman Cain a political gimmick, he is also a coward....He's no Colin Powell, and he's no Barack Obama.  The most he can ever be is entertaining." I'm just waiting for his minstrel show to end; I don't even think that he's that damn funny.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hey Herman, Yo' Mammy's Callin'!

Honest to God, where did Herman Cain come from? And when is he going back? I'm sick of hearing his fake country accent, his idiotic plans to create job growth, and his criticisms of the President, black Congressional leaders, and America in general. Cain presents himself as some kind of down-home, plain-spoken country simpleton, and I honestly can't make up my mind if it's an act or not. His simplistic plans for the economy, his racist statement that he would not hire a Muslim in his administration (don't worry Herman, you'll never have to make that decision), and now, his criticism of progressive African-Americans, all make me want to take off my belt and beat the shit out of him the next time he's in Minneapolis. Cain is either a handkerchief-headed lawn jockey or a duplicitous charlatan and race-baiting huckster.

I'm not the only one disgusted by Cain's minstrel show, either. Jack & Jill Politics had this to offer about Cain's recent remarks:

Saying things like:
“Don’t blame Wall Street, don’t blame the big banks, if you don’t have a job and you’re not rich, blame yourself. It is not someone’s fault if they succeeded, it is someone’s fault if they failed.”
is basically spitting in the face of  teachers, police officers, firefighters, librarians and nurses who have dedicated their lives to serving the public and who now find themselves out of jobs due in part to Wall Street malfeasance. It’s saying to all those who were targeted for fraudulent mortgages, you don’t deserve the American Dream of a home. It’s saying to all those who worked hard and saw their pensions taken away by employers, your work ethic doesn’t matter. It’s saying to all the unemployed, you’re stupid and you don’t deserve the dignity of a job or any help to make a contribution to your country. It’s saying to all the recent graduates out of work, you’re a bunch of jerk-offs who don’t work on Wall Street and therefore don’t deserve to earn a living.

Then again, Herman says that I'm a racist:

GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain said Tuesday that many liberal Democrats in the black community are "racist" for questioning his political ambitions as a black conservative Republican.
"A lot of these liberal, leftist folk in this country, that are black, they're more racist than the white people that they're claiming to be racist," Cain said Tuesday in a radio interview on the conservative Neal Boortz talk show.
Boortz interrupted Cain, saying he prefers the word "bigoted" to "racist."
"Ok, bigoted," Cain said. "How dare Herman Cain, first, run as a Republican? How dare Herman Cain be conservative? And how dare he move up in the polls, so that he just might challenge our beloved Obama? That's the problem they have."

Damn, where can I get some of what Herman is smoking?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Now That's A Good Idea!

Mark Morford makes a cogent suggestion for the President: get your own Dick (Cheney):

Despite all his power and formidable intelligence, Obama seems to have no real capacity to deal with, you know, morons.

And it's largely his own fault. The president, I believe, still wants history to tag him as the peacemaker, the grand unifier, the great Middle Way. Despite all gruesome evidence to the contrary -- not to mention his own toxic poll numbers -- he still seems to think he can bridge the violent disparities in Congress, reach consensus, simultaneously serve as the lighthouse to the Dem's lost ship and the truckload of Zoloft to the GOP's unchecked madness.

No surprise, then, that Obama often looks to be in a state of stunned disbelief that no matter how hard he tries, no matter how many compromises and concessions he makes to the malignant right, the wingnut contingent still blocks him at every turn. And then spits in his face. And bashes him in the kneecaps. And then hits itself in the head with a brick. And then cackles.

To say this is the most shamelessly weird, unscrupulous right wing in modern history doesn't seem to adequately capture how far Boehner & Co are willing to go to undermine and sabotage Obama's presidency. They will insult and demean their own constituents, yank insurance from children, hold the world economy hostage, cost the nation hundreds of billions, hobble the FAA, endanger lives, eat their young. And it's not even an election year yet.

Which is why I believe Obama needs to make a change. He needs to bring in someone who will get the dirty work done, who is utterly fearless and without shame, qualms, reasonable moral compass when it comes to dealing with dingbat creationists and dinkbucket "mama grizzlies," juvenile science deniers and tiny-brained freshman congressmen with IQs that match their shoe sizes.

To put it bluntly: Obama needs a Dick.

Cheney, that is. One to call his very own.
A very astute observation, if you ask me. Actually, I've been thinking the exact same thing since the middle of the summer, but couldn't find the right words to express it. Nonetheless, I concur: the President either needs to grow a pair, or get someone who already has some balls, and let them loose on these wingnut fools.

Hence, Mark Morford's latest. If you aren't familiar with his cheery, irreverent commentary, now's the time to start., because I think he's onto something here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh, Yeah?

Michele Bachmann says that last week's East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene were sent by God:
"I don't know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We've had an earthquake; we've had a hurricane. He said, 'Are you going to start listening to me here?'"
Hey Michele, you think that "God told (me) blah blah blah"? Guess what?

God told me to tell you to go fuck yourself.

UPDATE: Late-breaking reports indicate that Bachmann was "just kidding" about God sending the hurricane, according to one of her house slaves. Unfortunately for her, God is still telling me to tell her to go fuck herself.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Funny and Succint

From, via Facebook:

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Huck Stops Here

Mike Huckabee thinks that appointing Donald Trump as Treasury Secretary would be a good idea, "a game changer":

As the economy tumbles, Mike Huckabee floated a radical idea for treasury secretary: Donald Trump.

The real estate developer-turned-TV celebrity decided against running for the Republican nomination for President this year, but Huckabee thinks The Donald would be perfect as the nation's money man.

"Have Donald Trump take the job for 90 days," Huckabee said on the Fox News channel Monday. "It's a game changer."

The Donald, however, demurred, in his own inimitable way:

When asked about it on Fox News later Monday morning, Trump said he would have a lot of naysayers if he took the job.

"I'll tell you, it would be very painful for China, it would be very painful for OPEC, it would be very painful for many of the countries that are just ripping us off," he told Fox News.

He also suggested Obama might not be so keen on putting him in his Cabinet. While he was flirting with a run for the presidency, Trump became a major thorn in the White House's side by firing up the "birther" movement and demanding to see Obama's birth certificate.

"It's hard for him to appoint me after the way I talk about him, I mean in all fairness," he said.
"In all fairness." That's big of you to admit that, Donny.

But hey, Mike? - we already know that you're not about to leave your cushy job at Faux News. We already know you're not eager to regain 40-50 pounds or so, while chowing down campaigning at every greasy spoon restaurant in small town America; we got that message loud and clear. But it's unbecoming for an alleged man of the cloth to be so desperately needy for attention. What's the matter, Huckster, Bachmann and Palin are getting all the good press, while your propaganda show's ratings are floundering? What would Jesus do?

Here's a hint, Mike: he wouldn't have a tv show, for starters.

But maybe putting Trump in at Treasury might be smarter than it looks, at first blush. With the way we're going as a nation, with the way the Tea Party idiots have become (not solely by themselves, I'll admit, but that's a later post) economic terrorists - yeah, I said it! Meant it, too - with the debt ceiling, maybe it would be a good idea to have as Treasury Secretary a man who's intimately familiar with bankruptcy....

A game changer?! Redneck, please!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"A Satan Sandwich"

Sometimes, I get too angry to write. Or, at least, too angry to post what I've written (Dept. of State Security, take note: I did NOT make that suggestion!). So I take some time off from the blog, and try to immerse myself in the rest of the world.

Of course, just because I ignore politics for a while, it doesn't mean that politics will likewise ignore me. And this shit sandwich (I'm not as polite as Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver) that is the debt ceiling deal is giving me indigestion. Fortunately, before I get my bile up, Keith Olbermann already got angry for me. I'll let him take it from here....

Thursday, July 7, 2011


The Washington Post:

President Obama is pressing congressional leaders to consider a far-reaching debt-reduction plan that would force Democrats to accept major changes to Social Security and Medicare in exchange for Republican support for fresh tax revenue.

At a meeting with top House and Senate leaders set for Thursday morning, Obama plans to argue that a rare consensus has emerged about the size and scope of the nation’s budget problems and that policymakers should seize the moment to take dramatic action.

As part of his pitch, Obama is proposing significant reductions in Medicare spending and for the first time is offering to tackle the rising cost of Social Security, according to people in both parties with knowledge of the proposal. The move marks a major shift for the White House and could present a direct challenge to Democratic lawmakers who have vowed to protect health and retirement benefits from the assault on government spending.


It is not clear whether that argument can prevail on Capitol Hill. Thursday’s meeting at the White House — an attempt by Obama to break the impasse that halted debt-reduction talks two weeks ago — will provide a critical opportunity for leaders in both parties to say how far they’re willing to go to restrain government borrowing as the clock ticks toward an Aug. 2 deadline for raising the debt limit.

You damn right that argument won't prevail on Capitol Hill! Time to hit the barricades again...damn, I swear I should just get a condo there or something....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 5 - "No Flags Flying, No Bands Playing"

The clueless & uninformed cry, because they can't buy lottery tickets, or go to the track. State parks remain closed and roads aren't getting paved (and let me tell you, some of them look like they've been under artillery attack), while 20,000 state workers and counting have been furloughed, Thousands more in state-supported non-profits and dependent businesses nervously wait for the hammer to fall. The Republicans seem to be actually enjoying the shutdown, and T-Paw -  the author of this goddamn mess - has the nerve to brag about the first shutdown he instigated?

Rachel Maddow is right: they have no shame.

Meanwhile, back in my home state of New Jersey, Democrats in the state legislature have just now - after he screwed them on a budget deal of their own-  figured out that Chris Christie is a rat bastard. What took 'em so long??

Fools everywhere, and not enough time to count them all.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Call for Help

I've had it with the Repugs in the Minnesota state legislature. They're holding the whole damn state hostage so they can keep their property taxes down a few dollars. So what if the neediest Minnesotans go without health care, food, or shelter? So what if the roads don't get repaired, convicts, sex offenders, and the mentally ill literally get dumped on the street, or veterans get kicked out of veterans' homes? Who cares? The Republicans don't!

Admittedly, Strong: Progressive doesn't spend a lot of time on local issues, but this one has really angered me, not to mention that I know many people who would be affected by a shutdown in one way or another. It's angered me because this isn't just about eliminating services and keeping taxes down for the greediest, which is happening state-by-state across the country; it's also about deconstructing the social safety net that we created during the 20th Century. These wingnuts want to repeal the New Deal, and return to the laissez-faire capitalism of the 19th Century. Goodbye, child labor laws! Make the little bastards earn their keep! Goodbye, FDA! Who needs some busybody Fed monitoring the acceptable amount of roach parts in my hot dog? Goodbye, social safety net! If you're poor and haven't made your pile, well, it must be because God doesn't like you, like He likes the Koch brothers, for example. Fuck you, you broke SOB, get outta my country!

Yeah, I'm pissed.

So I'm lighting up the bat-signal. I sent the following email today, with the appropriate changes, to several national progressive media stars. Enjoy:

We need your help in Minnesota! The Republican-led state legislature is going to cause a shutdown of the entire state, and there's no notice of it in the national media. The Repugs, as usual, are trying to force spending cuts on our Democratic governor, Mark Dayton, and they're holding Minnesota hostage to do it. If the state government shuts down, the neediest Minnesotans will lose all their state-funded services and aid (my fiance is a social worker, and she can give you tons of info on how that will affect people); roads won't be repaired, hundreds of veterans may be evicted from veterans' homes in the state, state parks will be closed; passports, professional licenses and fishing and drivers' licenses won't be issued, public transportation will see reductions in service; convicts, sex offenders, and the mentally ill may have to be released from state prisons and correctional facilities; and we haven't seen a mumbling word about this in any national news medium, print, tv, or online! Medicaid recipients will lose their health insurance. Thirty-six thousand state workers have already received their pink slips. Many small businesses that provide state-funded services will begin layoffs in the event of a shutdown, and might eventually fail. This is worse than Wisconsin.

I believe that your attention could help us here. We desperately need the national media's spotlight to shine on this. Please mention this next week on your radio or tv show. The deadline for Minnesota is July 1, and Gov. Dayton can't do it alone.

Well, let's see if it works. In the meantime, I'll be spending more time shining my own spotlight on these Minnesota Republicans. Maybe if I do, they'll scurry back into the woodwork like the cockroaches that they are.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Awww, Damn: That WAS Weiner's Weiner

And that motherless fuck Andrew Breitbart was right?? Damnit, Anthony, what were you thinking?!


Around 4:25 p.m. a tearful Mr. Weiner took the stage and said he had sent a close-up photograph of him in his underwear to a woman on Twitter, then lied about it and claimed he had been hacked. He apologized to his wife, his supporters, his staff, the woman he sent this photo to and to Andrew Breitbart, the blogger who revealed the indiscretion.
Mr. Weiner said he had sent inappropriate photos of himself to six women over three years, mostly before he was married, but some after.

WTF?! Do we have to open a progressive and confidential brothel for horny Democrats, or an updated version of Murder, Inc., to shut up lying (but not this time, dammit!), conniving bastards like Breitbart? Why can't we find some Repug with his dick in the nookie jar, and publicize it near & far?

Ahhhh, dammit, dammit, dammit.....more on this later.

Jon Stewart Beats ALL of Faux News

And this is a surprise, how?

The AtlanticWire via CredoMobile:
In the battle over the entertainment news market, Jon Stewart just had a great month. According to May Nielson ratings, reported, The Daily Show had more viewers last month than the average for the entire Fox News network, topped only, in fact, by the O'Reilly Factor. The British-based Daily Mail points outthat while The Daily Show's audience is growing, reaching 2.3 million viewers, every one of Fox News' prime time shows lost viewers last month, bringing its scope down to 1.85 million.

I wonder if Faux will cover this.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Gil Scott-Heron: A Remembrance

"Say not in grief that 'he is no more' but say in thankfulness that he was."

Gil Scott-Heron is dead.

I've always dreaded that I would have to write those words one day, but still, part of me has always expected it, nearly every day for the last ten years or so. No flame can burn as brightly as Gil's did, and expect to last too long. And it *has* been a long time, although I suspect that it's only going forward from these moments that we'll be able to appreciate how very special was the time that we had Gil with us.

Gil Scott-Heron is dead. A man whose words and music were some of the major influences in my life has now passed into eternity. As I write this memorial, I remember the first time I heard Gil, his song "Home Is Where The Hatred Is" making a cold New England night a little brighter for me, knowing that someone else understood some of the feelings inside me. I was unhappy, and hearing Gil's song lifted some of the darkness for me.

Gil Scott-Heron is dead, and I remember hearing "The Bottle" everywhere in New York City the summer of 1974, hearing it echoing out of club doorways, car windows and open storefronts. Not bad, I thought, for an album that was only released in three cities on the Eastern Seaboard. I spent that summer digging up all the older albums in his catalog, and connecting with other fans of his.

Gil Scott-Heron is dead: so when I first came to Minnesota that fall, I quickly discovered that I possessed one of only three copies of "Winter In America" on campus. "This," I said to myself, "has got to change." And so began a four-year-long campaign to bring his poetry and music to as many people out here on the Frozen Tundra as I could. I saturated my show on the campus radio station with his music. Even near the end, when it hurt, I was still able to say, and spin, "Peace Go With You, Brother."

Gil Scott-Heron is dead, and I can still see with my mind's eye the first time I met Gil, before his first set at the Bottom Line in Greenwich Village. I told him I wanted to bring him to Minnesota for his first concert here. "Minnesota?" he said. "It's cold there, ain't it?" We all laughed, but I persuaded him, and he gave me some phone numbers to call. I got to work on it the very next day, and, after similarly persuading many others, I brought him to Carleton College in February for Black History Month. The hall was packed to the rafters, and I was happy to see my efforts come to joyous fruition. Gil, Brian Jackson, and the Midnight Band played for over two hours. That night is still one of the high points of my life.

Gil Scott-Heron is dead. His music was never made for Top 40 radio, and those of us who were his devoted fans didn't care about that, didn't care that the only way we could hear his music was to search for and buy his albums, record them on fragile magnetic tape and share them amongst ourselves, and go to see him perform in concert. (The internet and advancing technology makes all of that seem so quaint now!) But the record company wanted to sell more GSH albums than we paltry few could buy, sell more concert seats than we alone could fill; and Gil himself had written "you're only as important to them as your latest hit." Did he not see or care what was coming? Or did he know, and cared and despaired at what was happening in our country and our world, as well as to his career? Did the pain from his clarity of vision create the despair, and made him look for an escape? Or did the escape overtake his vision, and the role he had assumed in our world? It must be hard to be a prophet with few listeners, a storyteller whose stories spoke with intelligence, passion, and insight, but one whose words fell on ears deafened by greed and selfishness.  

Gil Scott-Heron is dead!--I think it was his despair that ultimately killed him, knowing something of him, and sharing with him some of that vision and pain. Gil had written of and looked for the Revolution that he hoped would come. A revolution brought about, not through violence, but by the spirit, by awareness, by empowerment. His daughter and some of his band members have said Gil fell into despair in that decade as he looked at the greed-obsessed culture we'd become, and as his hopes for that revolution died. Because it was also in the Eighties that Gil began his long, drug-fueled, downward slide, becoming a sad character from one of his own songs. Gil had never been too prompt about starting his shows, and now he began to rival Sly Stone in the category of "Most Shows Missed Due to Drugs & Alcohol." He continued to tour, but his increasing unreliability made his appearances become scarcer and scarcer.

Gil Scott-Heron is dead, and although I think he started to clean himself up in the mid-Nineties, dropping "Spirits" in 1994, it wasn't to last. While the release of "Spirits" saw Gil proclaimed - rightfully -  as the "Godfather of Rap," it also included a heart- and gut-wrenching revamp of "Home Is Where The Hatred Is," retitled and performed in three parts as "The Other Side." While many hailed the album as a return of the words and songs of Gil, I could hear within "The Other Side" the thoughts and feelings of a man who's just popping his head above ground for a fast glance, making a quick look-see before resuming his downward descent. Gil subsequently had several drug convictions, contracted HIV, and spent time in prison on at least two different occasions. 

Gil Scott-Heron is dead, even as he made a triumphant comeback last year with "I'm New Here." He seemed more introspective than ever on this album, and he had become painfully thin, no doubt due to his continued drug use. Nonetheless, he seemed to burn with a fire within, an unspoken vow that he had more stories tell, more social and political observations to make And oh, how we missed his voice the last fifteen years! Perhaps, just perhaps, Gil could resume his role as our griot, and teach another generation.

Gil Scott-Heron is dead, and today I read all the obituaries and quotations from other musicians paying tribute to his influence and his genius. And I see that nearly every news source references "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" and I know that they don't know a damn thing about him. They don't realize that he was more than just that one song-poem, that he had much more to say than that. I see his obit in the New York Times, and I wonder if Gil would have been pleasantly surprised, or would he have laughed upon seeing it. I see his fans come together on line to mourn together, and I think that some of Gil's revolution, at least, is happening.

Gil Scott-Heron is dead. But in even in death, as he did in life, Gil Scott-Heron makes us look at ourselves and the world we live in, and ask "Why?" and "How did this happen?" and "What can we each do to mend and rebuild our world as it should be?" As I seek my own answers to these questions, I remember that the answers can only happen one at a time. "Each one, teach one," Gil said. Because we only have each other, because so many have come before us to light the way, because, as Gil wrote, "of all of the places we've been." 

Gil Scott-Heron died today, but he lives on in each of us. 

My condolences to the Scott-Heron family.