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.