Friday, October 5, 2012


Last night's debate depressed me. I don't know what was wrong with the President, and at this point, I don't care. Here's what I do care about, Mr. President:

You're a Democrat, and in the words of the Rude Pundit, "Fight, motherfucker!" Act like you want to win, and stop worrying about looking like the "angry black man." If some lying sack of shit spits in your face and calls it rain, you're allowed to get mad. Don't stand there and take it, call bullshit the very second you hear it. Would you rather be the angry black president who won his second term, or the nice guy who got his ass handed to him by a plutocrat who wouldn't last ten seconds in the real world? Democrats believe what they say, have passion about what they believe, and aren't afraid to say what they believe to anyone. Be a Democrat, dammit!

And I can't stress this enough: stop lecturing. Stop giving 30 seconds of detail to a retort that should last three. A quick "you're lying, Mitt, and here's why" should suffice. Then give him chapter & verse, if you must, but find a way to shorten that, too.

Find your heart, Mr. President. Find that fighting spirit that I know is within you. Use your heart, and your brain, and your soul, and kick this guy's ass. I know you can do it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Take Him Off The Fire, He's Done

The revelations derived from the now-infamous video of Mitt Romney speaking at a private fundraiser last spring have been sending shock waves throughout the media, across the entire political spectrum. Two questions dominate the talk: "Did he really say that?" and "Does he really mean it?"


Mitt, as I've said many times before, is Thurston Howell III, except that unlike Thurston, Mitt lacks a conscience. Jonathan Chiat at New York Magazine eloquently described the person now fully revealed:
The video exposes an authentic Romney as a far more sinister character than I had imagined. Here is the sneering plutocrat, fully in thrall to a series of pernicious myths that are at the heart of the mania that has seized his party. He believes that market incomes in the United States are a perfect reflection of merit. Far from seeing his own privileged upbringing as the private-school educated son of an auto executive-turned-governor as an obvious refutation of that belief, Romney cites his own life, preposterously, as a confirmation of it. (“I have inherited nothing. Everything I earned I earned the old fashioned way.”)
Mitt really believes that he's earned everything that he has in this life, and now he thinks he's earned the right to be the President of the United States of America. President of just 53% of the population - the upper 53%, to be sure - but nonetheless President.

How could Romney have been so foolish as to speak so plainly and offensively? Easy. Mitt was in his element, amongst other plutocrats who all think that "they made it on their own," notwithstanding that first stock portfolio (Romney) or apartment building (Trump) that Dad gave them. Not a minority in sight, except for the waitstaff. Everyone relaxed after a nice meal (no rubber chicken for this crowd!), some 25-year-old brandy, and the comfort of being in a crowd of the "right" sort. None of those uppity blacks or pushy Jews that they have to pretend to tolerate at the office, just their old prep school buddies and fraternity brothers.

Among his own people, Mitt felt comfortable, a feeling that he can't seem to find on the campaign trail. He was able to relax and share his thoughts. Listen to the tape. There's none of the halting, uncertain rhythm to his speech that marks his public appearances. Here he was smooth, relaxed, thoughtful. Able to let his mind stretch and his thoughts teach out, able to really get into the strategy of his campaign and share it with his brethren. Fortunately, we have a record of that, this video.

And now we know what Mitt really thinks of us.

We haven't seen all of the video yet; David Corn said Monday night on the Rachel Maddow Show that there are other sections of the recording that will be released today (Tuesday) and later this week. I'm sure that we'll hear other excerpts that will not only sink his campaign, but machine-gun the survivors floundering in the water. 

Take Mitt off the fire, he's done.

Monday, September 17, 2012

What To Do About Mitt

After today's revelations, something permanent and pervasive must be done. Just saying "fuck you, Mitt!" and voting Democratic isn't enough. We need to make the name "Romney" have a new meaning, the same way something similar was done to "Santorum." Google "santorum" if you don't know what I mean.

I'm open to suggestions, and I'll post the best ones. Let's go!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Older But Worth Noting

Illness has delayed my impressions of the DNC & RNC conventions, but I believe this piece by Ta-Nehisi Coates identifies the GOP's basic problem with Obama, upon which I'll expound later:

To paraphrase a commenter from a few years back, in GOP eyes, Barack Obama is a spellbinding orator always in need of teleprompter; the disciple of a radical Christian preacher who reigns like a secular-atheist determined to bring about a new era of Islamo-fascism; an Ivy-league wimp hailing from the gutters of Chicago; a white culture-hating racist who is not really black, but half-white; an anti-military peacenik who pals around with terrorists, who insists on killing terrorists, who insists on bragging about killing terrorists; an avowed Marxist specializing in the shadow arts of crony-capitalism and Leninist theories of banker bail-outs.

They've never figured Obama out. They have no contact with people who like him, or remain utterly blind to people like him, even as people like him become America.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lies, Damned Liars, and Paul Ryan

Well, I didn't watch Ryan's speech last night because I knew I'd shout at the screen until  I was hoarse, but reading about it and watching video clips of it aren't doing my throat any better. Did Ryan say one word of truth beyond speaking his own damn name?


The speech effectively rallied his supporters in the audience. But on the merits it was chock full of misstatements of fact that undermine his reputation for brave, big ideas — which has hastened his rise through the ranks of the GOP.

Here are the top five examples:

  • Medicare Ryan forged his reputation in large part by drafting and advancing an unpopular plan to dramatically cut and privatize Medicare. Though he didn’t mention that plan once on Wednesday, he included it in his last two budgets, both of which preserved the Affordable Care Acts cuts to Medicare — taken mostly from overpayments to private insurers and hospitals.
    Instead, Ryan once again dubiously accused President Obama of being the true threat to Medicare.
    “You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama. An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.”
    Obama did use those Medicare savings — in the form of targeted cuts in payments to providers, not in benefits to seniors — to pay for the health care law. Ryan’s budget calls for using them to finance tax cuts for wealthy Americans, and deficit reduction. But by now calling to restore that spending commitment to Medicare, Ryan and Romney are pledging to hasten Medicare’s insolvency by many years.

  • U.S. Credit Rating Ryan said the Obama presidency, “began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.”
    Standard & Poors downgraded the country’s sovereign debt rating in 2011 because congressional Republicans, of which Ryan is a key leader, threatened not to increase the country’s borrowing authority — risking a default on the debt — unless Democrats agreed to slash trillions of dollars from domestic social programs and investments. Ryan even briefly toyed with the idea that the country’s creditors would forgive default for “a day or two or three or four” as long as Democrats ultimately agreed to GOP demands.
    • Janesville GM Plant Ryan criticized Obama for — yes — not using government funds to prop up an auto plant in his district.
      “A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: ‘I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years,’” Ryan recalled. “That’s what he said in 2008. Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day.”
      Ignoring the inconsistency of a Republican chastising Obama for not bailing out more auto manufacturers, the plant in question closed before Obama’s inauguration in 2009.
    • Bowles-Simpson Debt Commission Ryan chastised Obama: “He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.”
      Ryan sat on that commission. He voted against it. Following his lead, so did the panel’s other House Republicans.
    • Protecting the Poor Near the end of his speech, Ryan claimed the campaign’s top priority is protecting the poor. “We have responsibilities, one to another — we do not each face the world alone,” he said. “And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak.”
      Just under two thirds of the dramatic spending cuts in Ryan’s budget target programs that benefit low-income people. That plan also calls for large tax cuts for high-income earners.
  • Ryan lied so much, that even the mainstream media, with their reluctance to call out deceiving politicians, took notice. Salon's Joan Walsh went so far as to file a piece titled "Paul Ryan’s Brazen Lies." The New Republic asked "The Most Dishonest Convention Speech ... Ever?" "Meet The Press'" David Gregory accused Ryan of having "ideological amnesia."

    But remember, fact-checking isn't important to these people. We're in for a wild ride, folks. At this rate, I fully expect the President to be called a space alien before November.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012

    Neal Armstrong
    First Human On The Moon,
    1930 - 2012

    The first human to walk on the surface of another planet died last weekend. Thank you, Neil, for that early morning walk on July 20, 1969. May we all have a life so accomplished, yet live so humbly. And may we not concede the universe to the Chinese!

    "Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) was not entirely human. He was the spiritual repository of our spacefaring dreams & ambitions. In death, a little bit of us all dies with him. Farewell my friend. And now, perhaps more than ever, I bid you godspeed." --Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Kudos to Chris Matthews!

    This morning, MSNBC host Chris Matthews gave us a textbook example of how to talk to lying Republicans, backing RNC Chairman and escaped Muppet Reince Priebus into a corner and tearing off a piece. Matthews was incensed (and so am I) about the lying attacks on the President and the unfunny dog whistle Mitt Romney sent on Friday to the birthers. Romney gave a nod to the birthers in the form of an unfunny remark, and Mathews gave Priebus hell about it. Way to go, Chris! Here's the video, courtesy of ThinkProgress:

    Thursday, August 23, 2012

    The Imperial Candidate

    Usually, a person has to hold high office before catching the "Imperial Me" bug; not so with Romney & Rayn! They're already dictating to the press what questions they will and will not answer:

    The Plum Line:

    What if one of the two presidential candidates concealed huge amounts of information about himself and his plans for the presidency for the explicitly stated reason that revealing that info would allow it to be debated during the presidential race, to his own political detriment?

    In an interview with Time magazine, Mitt Romney was again asked whether he would detail what loopholes and deductions he’d eliminate to make his tax plan — which would cut taxes deeply in ways that disproportionately benefit the rich — pay for itself. Behold his answer:
    QUESTION: Is there something you’re willing to say that’s more specific about which deductions you would eliminate?
    ROMNEY: I know our Democrat friends would love to have me specify one or two so they could amass the special interest to fight that effort.
    Romney will not reveal more details how his tax plan will be paid for, because Democrats would attack those details. And he again confirmed that they will all be worked out with Congress — which is to say, after the election. In other words, if Romney reveals those details now, Democrats would subject his plan to more scrutiny.

    Then Romney went even further, forbidding questions about abortion and Todd Akin in a Denver interview:

    The Huffington Post:
    A Denver reporter granted a one-on-one interview with Mitt Romney Thursday said she was instructed not to ask him any questions about abortion or Rep. Todd Akin's (R-Mo.) controversial comments about victims of "legitimate rape."
    Shaun Boyd, a reporter for Denver CBS affiliate KCNC, was one of four local reporters to speak with Romney, according to the station. She said that the Romney campaign had set pre-conditions before allowing her to interview the candidate.

    So Thurston won't tell us his plans because we might vote against him if we knew them? Romney won't address questions that might open his campaign to additional scrutiny? Even Richard Nixon wasn't that arrogant! How is this anything but an insult to the electorate? And how the hell does he think this will make people more likely to vote for him?

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012

    94 - 0

    Support for President Obama among African-American voters, according to a recent poll, is 94% - 0%.

    That's right, zero percent for Romney. Zero!

    First Read:
    Looking inside the numbers, Obama continues to lead Romney among key parts of his political base, including African Americans (94 percent to 0 percent), Latinos (by a 2-to-1 margin), voters under 35-years-old (52 percent to 41 percent) and women (51 percent to 41 percent).
    I don't know if this indicates that African-Americans have better bullshit detectors that the average person, or if all the Rent-A-Negroes the GOP uses weren't polled, or just makes me laugh.

    Monday, August 20, 2012

    Breaking The Outrage Barrier

    Entering the blog after a long absence.....Turn on the lights!

    Walking around the surface, then looking inside, checking old posts and examining the HTML....OK, that looks good. Let's get started!

    Outrage Engine....Ignition!
    Sarcasm Module...Online!
    Information Conduits....Open and free-flowing!
    Caffeine Injectors....Filled to capacity and ready!  
    Positronic Natural Intelligence....Online, rising to 100% capability and holding steady!

    Liftoff in 5....4....3....2....1....

    OK, I hope you had as much fun with that intro as I did. I'm back, for better or worse. Reasons of health and other catastrophes kept me away from the blog for most of this year, but I'm back to sow some intelligence, direct some righteous anger, and hopefully provide a unique perspective on our world. 

    What's attracted my attention and stoked my legitimate anger are the ignorant comments of Republican Congressman and Missouri candidate for the U.S. Senate Todd Akin, and the general issue of the Republican "war on women," I say that in quotes because I believe it's not just a war on women, but on the whole of the 20th Century.

    Now, Todd Akin himself is toast. There's no way that he can salvage his political career now that he's said, in public and on recorded video, the ignorant superstitions that he and his ilk believe. Typical of wingnuts like himself, Akin didn't realize that the unscientific and reactionary beliefs he and his fellow travelers hold are not equally believed by the rest of the populace. Living in the Fox News bubble as they do, these rightwingers don't realize that the majority of the country, those of us who don't rely on Fox as our primary source of information, actually believe and act on facts, proven by scientific investigation, and observable by anyone with a functioning brain.

    I don't need to repeat Akin's ignorant and reprehensible remarks about rape. I'm sure that if you're reading my blog, you're aware of them. I will note, however, that Akin's published response to the furor did not include an actual apology; Akin merely stated that he, as so many of his comrades have said before, "misspoke." I don't know exactly when the word "misspoke" became a synonym for "fuck you, I still mean what I said," but I've been away for awhile. Todd Akin has no intention of joining the rest of us in the 21st Century, and he doesn't see why he should. Neither the condemnation of his fellow Republicans, the withdrawal of funds by both the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Karl Rove's Crossroads America super-PAC, the calls for him to drop out of the race coming from all quarters, nor the absolute refutation of his ignorant, misogynist beliefs by credible physicians and medical experts, has so far moved him to withdraw. He's determined to see this through to Election Day, and frankly, I couldn't be happier.

    But what this has brought to light is the general conservative rejection of science, reason, and modern civilization. In the Huffington Post, Soraya Chemaly writes:

    What Todd Akin said and believes doesn't just play into a media-catchy, election year "war on women" narrative. It's part of a reactionary, fundamentalist backlash to modernity. It's a war on science. It's a war on facts. It's a war on critical thinking. But, really, consider it a war on democracy. Statements like Akin's reflect the degree to which some men, steeped in all sorts of dangerous denialism, will go to protect their power and how they undermine equality and democracy to do it. Mitt Romney's smart, he gets how Akin made this obvious, which is why he's distancing himself so fast and furiously from this incident. But, Romney deep down inside agrees with the ideas that reside under the surface of such an obvious mistake. That's why he will not renounce his rights-stripping-for-women-personhood-for-fetuses happy running mate Paul Ryan, who shares the ideas expressed by Akin, even if he expresses himself less offensively.

    This is what's really happening. As the GOP has now been completely conquered by the conservative movement, insane beliefs like Akin's will find their way into the public awareness with increasing frequency. The wingnut echo chamber grows louder and louder, while the self-deluding occupants forget that they're all alone in there. Consequently, more and more of their anti-modernity agenda will find its way into the public consciousness, where it will be soundly rejected. Like exposing an infected wound to sunlight, this publicity will hopefully end this rebellion against everything that's happened since the Enlightment, which is a good thing. Democracy cannot flourish in a general atmosphere of such ignorance and hatred.

    Thomas Jefferson said, "if a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."  The conservative movement has flourished in part because of its acceptance and acquiescence to the forces of ignorance, hatred, and division. Let's hope we're seeing the beginning of the end.

    Sunday, June 17, 2012

    Requiem For A Friend

    "He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not look upon his like again."

    --William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark: Act 1, Scene 2

    My friend Fidel died yesterday.

    He had been ill for several years, never fully recovering from the removal of a benign brain tumor three years ago. A once-vibrant and energetic man was reduced to a shell of himself, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and it hurt us all to see him so diminished. Still we, his friends, held onto the hope that he might one day be fully restored to himself--but it was not to be, and now, Fidel's booming, exuberant voice is stilled forever.

    I miss him already.

    I first met Fidel over twenty years ago; we worked together as stockbrokers, and stayed close friends after I left Wall Street. He mentored me when I first joined the business, and proved to be one of the most intelligent, audacious, classy, and genuinely funny people I've ever met. At 6'2" with a weightlifter's arms and chest, Fidel hailed from Nigeria by way of London and Wisconsin, and spoke with the unique accent one might expect of a man with roots in three continents. He was always elegantly well-dressed, well-read, boisterous and absolutely unafraid to speak his mind to any one, at any time. Politically aware and astute, we spent many enjoyable hours discussing politics. Fidel's sharp sense of humor made him both a popular and easy-to-find figure in the Twin Cities. He could always be found in the middle of a circle of friends, smiling, laughing, talking, and teasing, with his bespoke suits, shaved head, and booming laugh marking the spot that he'd made his own.

    Now his stentorian voice is stilled--who can I talk politics with for hours on end? Who will say my name with that distinctive accent of his? Whose roaring laugh can I hear clear across a busy street? The silence is deafening. You left us too soon, Fidel.

    Our world is now much quieter and darker without you, my friend, but all our lives are richer for having known you. Until next time, rest in peace.

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012

    "Senator, You're No Jack Kennedy"-- And You Never Will Be

    I've been in a cold rage ever since I heard Rick Santorum's disgusting, appalling, and unforgivable words about President John F. Kennedy. I frankly have been too angry to write about it until now; after all, I couldn't interrupt my narrative with a string of cursewords after every paragraph, and expect to be taken seriously. But the fury, revulsion, contempt, vituperation, and just sheer, overwhelming Old Testament-style wrath I felt made me stay away from my keyboard for awhile. You all know what the alternative is (pointing upwards to the blog's epigraph), so I took the wiser course of silence, for a time.

    But I have to say something about Santorum's JFK gaffe, because his remarks were so immature, so disrespectful, and so stunningly ignorant, coming as they did from a former U.S. senator, that I couldn't remain silent.  I revered JFK: John Kennedy was a decorated war hero. He supported civil rights for African-Americans. Kennedy averted nuclear war with the Soviet Union in the Cuban Missile Crisis--what more do you need, Rick? "Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy." JFK was also the first Catholic candidate for the presidency, and without his trailblazing, Rick Santorum would be just another crank muttering on the internet.

    Santorum says that Kennedy's speech on the separation of church and state "made (Santorum) want to throw up." Well Rick, it's time to learn the facts. What did Kennedy actually say?

    American Rhetoric:
    I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute; where no Catholic prelate would tell the President -- should he be Catholic -- how to act, and no Protestant minister would tell his parishioners for whom to vote; where no church or church school is granted any public funds or political preference, and where no man is denied public office merely because his religion differs from the President who might appoint him, or the people who might elect him.


    But let me stress again that these are my views.

    For contrary to common newspaper usage, I am not the Catholic candidate for President.

    I am the Democratic Party's candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic.

    I do not speak for my church on public matters; and the church does not speak for me. Whatever issue may come before me as President, if I should be elected, on birth control, divorce, censorship, gambling or any other subject, I will make my decision in accordance with these views -- in accordance with what my conscience tells me to be in the national interest, and without regard to outside religious pressure or dictates. And no power or threat of punishment could cause me to decide otherwise.

    But if the time should ever come -- and I do not concede any conflict to be remotely possible -- when my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do likewise.
    Kennedy would have resigned as president if he faced an irreconcilable conflict between his beliefs and the good of the nation! You don't see that kind of courage in politicians anymore.

    Or that kind of intelligence. Rick Santorum says that he doesn't believe in the separation of church and state, ignoring over two hundred years of settled law. And Santorum holds both an MBA and a JD. Rick Santorum thinks President Obama is a snob because he wants everyone's kids to go to college, because the first thing that snobs do is elevate others to their level. And not just birth control, but even contraception, is evil in Santorum's opinion.

    But all of this pales - for me, at least - in light of Santorum's appalling statement about JFK's speech. Doesn't he realize that, purely on a political basis, that a lot of the people he's trying to sway still have a JFK plate on their walls? Doesn't he understand that reigniting the culture wars will only turn American women against him in record numbers? Is Santorum so inflexible in his beliefs that he thinks that the issues that matter to most Americans isn't the economy, isn't the rising price of gasoline, isn't the threat of a nuclear Iran, nor the still-looming debt crisis in Europe. No. All of these problems are side issues compared to denying women contraceptives and declaring that a zygote is a person. (Does that mean that pregnant women voters get two votes?) Oh, and keeping gays and lesbians from getting married.

    So, in his infinite and divinely inspired wisdom, Rick Santorum thinks that insulting the memory of a beloved President is going to help his electoral chances.

    All it does is show how ignorant and out of touch he really is.

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    If Wingnuts Have Their Way....

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    The Right's War on Women

    I've just about had enough with the wingnuts' mealy-mouthed, duplicitous argument against offering contraceptive services to women who work for religious institutions. They're wrong. Plain & simple, they're wrong. Here's why:

    If religious institutions want to act as employers in America, then they must obey the employment laws of this country. They must, in short, obey the Obama Administration's "decision to require religiously affiliated hospitals and universities to cover birth control in their insurance plans." Simple. No one is, as the Rude Pundit imagined, mandating "that all pills be shaped like Jesus or Mary or eucharists." No one is insisting that all women employed by the churches be required to use contraceptive devices - although polls show that 98% of all women do use them. Their employers are merely required to offer preventative care to their female employees at no cost to them. Twenty-eight states already have a similar mandate, and no one complained before. Neither did anyone one get upset during the Bush years, when this first became the law of the land. What's the problem now? Why now?

    I have yet to see any argument as to why the Catholic Church should be allowed to thumb its nose at the laws governing employment. Indeed, I would not credit any such argument. As an institution that receives public funding, enjoys tax-exempt status to the tune of billions of dollars a year, and expects, nay, demands the respect and obeisance of politicians, the Catholic Church and its American bishops need to just shut the hell up. They operate businesses here, so they have to obey the law. Period.

    The thing is, this is a fake controversy.

    ThinkProgress via DailyKos:
    Twenty-eight states already require organizations that offer prescription insurance to cover contraception and since 98 percent of Catholic women use birth control, many Catholic institutions offer the benefit to their employees. For instance, a Georgetown University spokesperson told ThinkProgress yesterday that employees “have access to health insurance plans offered and designed by national providers to a national pool. These plans include coverage for birth control.”

    Similarly, an informal survey conducted by Our Sunday Visitor found that many Catholic colleges have purchased insurance plans that provide contraception benefits [...]
    Fake. Trumped-up (hey, there's a phrase that really fits!). Manufactured. But why?

    Hunter @DKos again:
    This is a non-issue being pushed into the spotlight because one side desperately needs to convince people they're being oppressed and needs preferential treatment. In this particular case, the bishops don't even have the respect of their own flock, and the conservatives using it as yet another bludgeon against healthcare reform doesn't have the public on their side. Yes, yes, it's a "wedge issue." But it's an embarrassingly phony one.
    And let's face it, how did conservatives, American Catholic bishops, evangelicals, and GOP legislators all decide, all at once, that dictating to women how they might care for their bodies was something worth going to war with the Obama administration. The Times article notes how fast the bishops were ready with their counterattack: "On the day of the decision, bishops across the country posted...dire statements on their Web sites, and at Mass on the following Sundays, priests read the bishops’ letters from their pulpits and wove the religious freedom theme into their homilies. By the bishops’ own count, 147 bishops in the nation’s 195 dioceses have now issued personal letters on religious freedom, which are trickling down to Catholics through their local parish bulletins and diocesan newspapers." Oh, yeah, they were ready! Not bad for a hidebound, two-thousand-year-old institution. Follow the money up, and follow the lines of power down, and you'll find the answer.

    The real situation here is that the GOP sees a tough, maybe impossible road to victory this election year, with their clown car of candidates, so their strategy is to stir up as much sturm und drang however and wherever they can, to see if  "the right-wing outrage machine can be cranked up to 11" to hide their legislative, economic, and practical failures. Their tactics are as always, to stir up the culture wars in an election year in which they have nothing to offer, with the willing aid of the Catholic bishops, who also see their influence waning in an increasingly secular and independent world. And once again, the target is women.

    This isn't about "religious freedom," this is about partisan politics and personal liberty, and the rights of American women are once again being threatened. Call the White House, and call your Congresscritter. Don't let them get away with this.

    The Best Argument For Involuntary Sterilization that nasty piece of work, Cal Thomas:

    At a CPAC panel discussing the new contraception rule conservatives are rallying against, the moderator played a clip of Rachel Maddow saying that Republicans were waging a war on contraception. Panelist and conservative columnist Cal Thomas replied: "Rachel Maddow is the best argument in favor of her parents using contraception. I would be all for that - and all the rest of the crowd at MSNBC for that matter."

    Watch the video at TPM, if you wish. I won't run it here. For a bunch of folk who claim to revere life, they sure do worship death - and I for one won't shed a tear when they meet their true god.

    Damn, but CPAC sure brings out the crankiness in me.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Santorum Goes Two Out Of Three & Counting....

    Rick Santorum, as of this hour, has won nonbinding caucauses in Missouri and Minnesota, and is leading in Colorado.


    His candidacy all but dismissed just days ago, Rick Santorum won the Minnesota caucuses and a nonbinding primary in Missouri on Tuesday, raising fresh questions about Mitt Romney’s ability to corral conservative support. 
    Mr. Santorum was also running strongly in Colorado, a state Mr. Romney captured four years before. With a quarter of the vote counted by midnight, he held a substantial but narrowing lead over Mr. Romney. 
    With his unexpected victories, Mr. Santorum was also suddenly presenting new competition to Newt Gingrich as the chief alternative to Mr. Romney, the front-runner. 
    Mr. Santorum’s victory in Missouri was symbolic. The vote will not affect the awarding of delegates, which will be decided at district and state conventions later this year. But more Republicans participated in the Missouri primary than in the Nevada caucuses. 
    And, combined with the victory in Minnesota, it gave him an important lift that his campaign hoped would translate into an infusion of new donations and support from the conservative Republican voters — evangelicals and Tea Partyadherents — who have told pollsters all year that they are searching for someone whom they view as a true conservative. 


    Call me when he comes up first against Dan Savage.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Calling Dave Chappelle!

    Just saw what I think is the best comment on Pete Hoesktra's virulently racist attack ad that aired in Michigan during the Super Bowl. No, I'm not going to post it; if you haven't seen  it, it's easily found online, if you want to view it. Created by Fred Davis, the idiot who was responsible for the infamous 2010 California Republican Senate primary's "Demon Sheep" ad, Hoesktra & Co. have gotten more than enough free PR for it, as far as I'm concerned.

    No, the best response came from Jack & Jill Politics' Marcus Touissant, who opined:
    "I think they missed the mark completely by not having Dave Chappelle emerge from the rice paddy in full Rick James regalia and say 'Welcome to the China Club!'”

    "I Support The Right To Life....Just Not Yours"

    More right-wing hypocrisy: a majority of polled conservatives oppose Planned Parentshood's breast cancer screening.

    Daily Kos:
    In addition to finding that Susan G. Komen for the Cure's decision to defund Planned Parenthood's cancer screening programs damaged Komen's brand and alienated its supporters, our new Daily Kos-Public Policy Polling survey released today found a rather interesting tidbit: 
    Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screening services (among conservatives only):
    Favorable........................................................ 25%
    Unfavorable .................................................... 51%
    Not sure ......................................................... 25%

    For a group of people who are always screaming about the "right to life," they sure don't seem to give a damn about the lives already being lived.

    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    How'd He Fix His Mouth To Say Some S#!+ Like That?

    This is why I hate CNN: this morning Candy Crowley had on her show three conservatives and a moderate, and considered that to be a fair representation of all viewpoints. In the course of the program, Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonald - he of the gay-bashing far-right - came up with this amazing assertion:

    Virginia Governor and Mitt Romney surrogate Bob McDonnell (R) on Sunday floated what may turn into a Republican talking point if the economy continues to improve: It wasn’t President Obama who made it happen, it was the GOP governors.

    “Look, I’m glad the economy is starting to recover, but I think it’s because of what Republican governors are doing in their states, not because of the president,” McDonnell said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

    The Virginia governor unleashed a comprehensive broadside against Obama’s economic record and governance in his first term. “It’s been a complete failure of leadership,” he said. “He cannot run on his record. He’s had no plan for jobs or energy that he’s got passed, so he’s got a tough record.”

    The remarks came just two days after the Labor Department revealed the U.S. economy added 243,000 jobs in January and the unemployment rate fell to 8.3%, a development that was widely heralded as good political news for Obama.

    The intricacy of McDonnell’s argument is noteworthy: He didn’t say jobs are created on the state level, as opposed to the federal level. He said the improvements happened because of Republican governors. That’s a difficult argument to make when the recovery is taking hold across the country, even in states with Democratic governors.

    Republican governors are making the economy grow? What is McDonald smoking? Clearly the recovery is continuing across all state boundaries; so what did McDonald hope to achieve with this easily refuted statement? I think it's part of a GOP plan to confuse and deceive the voters, taking credit for anything good that happens during Obama's presidency, and blaming him for everything from high unemployment to the birth of two-headed calves. I believe it's a natural follow-on to their obstructionism. Make a mess of everything in sight, then blame the other guy!

    Republican lies and Republican liars. What will they come up with next?

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Midnight Jazz Club

     Something different for the blog. This one is for you, B!

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Finally Revealed! Mitt Romney Shipwrecked the Minnow!!

    After listening to the "highlights" of the two Republican debates over the weekend, it finally came to me: Mitt Romney is Thurston Howell III.

    No, seriously! Look at the similarities: Romney is a rich white guy who's out of touch with the lives of his fellow Americans; Mr. Howell treated the other castaways like servants, and spent his time counting the money he brought along for that fabled "three-hour cruise." Mr. Howell made his money from the misery of others; Mitt was a corporate raider, a real-life Gordon Gekko who, in his own words, "likes to fire people." Mr. Howell contributed nothing to the survival or rescue of the castaways; Mitt does the same for the benefit of his fellow Americans.

    There's more! Mitt claims that "corporations are people;" a sentiment of which I'm certain Mr. Howell would approve. Mitt wants to "get government out of the way of the job creators;" in other words, deregulate everything in sight, no matter that deregulation got us into this mess in the first place. Mr. Howell believed in laissez-faire capitalism, just like Mitt. Mr. Howell spent money like it was just dirty paper; Mitt casually makes $10,000 bets.

    What a joke...the Republican front-runner is a damn caricature from a Sixties sitcom.

    Wednesday, January 4, 2012

    That's One Small Step For A Man,
    One Giant Leap For That Frothy Mix....

    Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum finish in a tie for first place in the Iowa caucuses:

    NY Times:

    DES MOINES — Mitt Romney’s quest to swiftly lock down the Republican presidential nomination with a commanding finish in the Iowa caucuses was spoiled on Tuesday night by the surging candidacy of Rick Santorum, who fought him to a draw on a shoestring budget by winning over conservatives who remain skeptical of Mr. Romney. 

    In the first Republican contest of the season, the two candidates were separated by only a sliver of votes. The outcome offered Mr. Santorum a chance to emerge as the alternative to Mr. Romney as the race moves to New Hampshire and South Carolina without Gov. Rick Perry, who announced that he was returning to Texas to assess his candidacy.


    The Iowa caucuses did not deliver a clean answer to what type of candidate Republicans intend to rally behind to try to defeat President Obama and win back the White House. With 99 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Santorum and Mr. Romney, whose views represent the polar sides of the party, each had 24.6 percent.

    And Newt? Fourth place.

    So now, they're off and running! Where's my popcorn?

    Monday, January 2, 2012

    I'm Not Surprised...

    ....that Newt Gingrich is talking trash about Mitt Romney in New Hampshire:

    Newt Gingrich's claims he was running a "relentlessly positive" campaign have been ... questionable. That meant he was restricting himself to meta attacks on his competitors for the Republican presidential nomination: they were nasty lying cowards who should be ashamed of themselves for attacking a relentlessly positive gentleman such as himself, but he wasn't really going after their records.
    But that was last week's Newt Gingrich. Now, as he sinks in the polls:
    "I think New Hampshire is the perfect state to have a debate over Romneycare and to have a debate about tax-paid abortions, which he signed, and to have a debate about putting Planned Parenthood  on a government board, which he signed, and to have a debate about appointing liberal judges, which he did," said Gingrich, starting in Marshalltown, Iowa, the case he'll take to the Granite State and beyond next week.
    New York magazine spells out what Gingrich is saying there:
    So there you have it: Gingrich, who trails Romney badly in the Granite State, plans to use the week between the caucuses here and the primary there to rip Romney a new one; and in doing so, weaken him in South Carolina, where Gingrich (for the moment) is polling strongly and is at the head of the pack.

     C'mon, who really expected Newt to stay positive? This is, after all, the guy who went after Bill Clinton over his affair with Monica Lewinsky while Newt himself was having an affair with the woman who became his third wife (after cheating on his first wife with the second - at least he's consistent!), the guy who shut down the government because he was forced to ride in the back of Air Force One; the man who Joe Scarsborough described as a "bad person." The guy who "discussed divorce terms with...(his first wife)...while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery." The first Speaker of the House to be reprimanded and heavily fined (for the amount of $300,000) for unethical behavior in the history of the Republic.

    Yeah, that guy.

    Gingrich is, and has been throughout his political career, a blatant hypocrite, an opportunist, and a bad liar; possessed of an almost megalomaniac sense of self-importance, a largely undeserved reputation for "thinking big/outside the box," and the humility - or, lack thereof -  of a professional athlete.

    Gingrich's drop in the New Hampshire polls on the eve of the Iowa caucuses merely serves to demonstrate that even conservative Granite State voters aren't quite as gullible as one might think. Like I said, Newt's a bad liar, too.

    Tomorrow, Iowa conservatives will give Newt the back of their hands. Believe it.

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Where's The Beef?

    Newt Gingrich accuses Mitt Romney of wanting to "buy the election," Ron Paul supporters still embrace the fantasy that a 76-year-old sexist, homophobic, anti-Semitic racist could be elected president,  the undecided vote in Iowa remains undecided at the 11th hour, and the dirtiest headline of 2011 (and leading challenger for 2012) remains "Santorum surges from behind in Iowa." Sorta makes you laugh while at the same time making you feel unclean, doesn't it?

    The clown car containing the 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls rolls on, and the view from this keyboard is that not one of them has a snowball's chance in hell of beating President Obama in the fall. Even though the mantra of the day is "electability," who among this crew honestly has a chance? Newt is hated in his own party, and seems to really be on an extended book tour, not a presidential campaign. Bachmann?--please! Too crazy. Perry? Too stupid. Huntsman? Too sane. No, at the end of the day, it's going to be the guy who's been running for President for the last five years: Mitt Romney. Romney, who will lose votes to a third-party challenge from Ron Paul, and be soundly defeated by Barack Obama.

    There! I said it, on record. Believe it.