|In retrospect, the poodle should have told us something. |
Bebe Rebozo with J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, dog, and a mystery shoe.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Photographic proof that parties were much gayer in the 1960s.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
"... give all the toys to the little rich boys ..."
Have yourself a merry merry Christmas
Have yourself a good time
But remember the kids who got nothin'
While you're drinkin' down your wine
Father Christmas, give us some money
We got no time for your silly toys
Father Christmas, please hand it over
We'll beat you up, so don't make us annoyed
Father Christmas, give us some money
Don't mess around with those silly toys
We'll beat you up if you don't hand it over
We want your bread, so don't make us annoyed
Give all the toys to the little rich boys
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Language Matters: The Iraq-War Recession and Iraq-War Deficit (a Marxist Perspective)
"War would mean a prohibitive increase in our taxes," the uniformed Freedonian functionary warns Groucho Marx's Rufus T. Firefly at the 8 second mark of this video from Duck Soup.
Everyone knows that if the leaders of Freedonia decide they need to attack Sylvania -- or the United States government needs to attack Iraq -- then those leaders need to raise taxes to pay for their war. Or almost everyone knows that basic fact of responsible governance. The Bush/Cheney administration slashed taxes on their rich friends and benefactors as they began multi-trillion-dollar wars throughout the Islamic world. Of course some true-blue-liberal cynics might point out that their goal was to bankrupt the nation with their unfunded wars and unnecessary military spending so that they could roll back New Deal achievements like Social Security and Great Society programs like Medicare.
All they (and we) ended up getting for their troubles (besides the unnecessary deaths of Americans, Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, ...) were a massive recession and an astronomical deficit.
According to the True Blue Liberal style guide, the so-called "Great Recession" should always be referred to as the "Iraq-War Recession" and the multi-trillion-dollar deficit created in the Bush/Cheney era is the "Iraq-War Deficit." Period. We should use those terms as single-mindedly as conservatives who use the "job-killing" prefix before any mention of environmental regulations.
Willard "Mitt" Romney's Shadow Cabinet (or ghosts of Christmas past)
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I promise this will be the last anagram for the day...
|Click on the Box to Reveal the Troll's Name.|
Sorry John, but I woke up anagramming ...
|Please Click on the Box to Bring It to Life!|
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Anagrams are addictive (and sometimes weirdly appropriate)
Liberal War On Christmas Anagrams of the Day
Callista Gingrich = 'Tis Glacial Grinch
Inspired by this:
Happy Chanukah my true blue liberalites!
If you don't know these two live versions of "King Without a Crown," you're in for a treat (and I hope they lead you to look for others on YouTube). These sure beat one more repetition of Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song".
Like a King without his Crown
You keep fallin' down
You really want to live but can't get rid of your frown
You're tryin' to reach unto the heights and wind up down on the ground
Givin' up your pride - then ya heard a sound
Out of night comes day, out of day comes light
Nullified to the One like sunlight in a ray,
Makin' room for his love for a fire gonna blaze,
Make room for his love and a fire gonna blaze.
And to all my Christian brethren out there? Season's Greetings!
Did Mitt Romney attempt to commit a Class C felony in Des Moines?
Time and Place: 10 December 2011, Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa
Perry: "... I read your first book and it said in there that your mandate in Massachusetts, which should be the model for the country — I know it came out of the reprint of the book, but, you know, I’m just saying, you were for individual mandates, my friend.”I'm not in the betting business either, so I don't know if the offer of a high stakes bet is the same, in the eyes of the Iowa legal system, as actually shaking on that bet, but wouldn't the drug dealer who offered to sell you $10,000 worth of cocaine be guilty of something even if you said, "No thanks"?
Romney: “You know what, you’ve raised that before, Rick. and you’re simply wrong.”
Perry: "It was true then, it’s true now…”
Romney: (extending his right hand) “... Rick, I’ll tell you what, 10,000 bucks, 10,000 dollar bet.”
Perry: (no hand extended) “I’m not in the betting business...”
If Rick and Mitt had exchanged palm sweat on this "friendly" wager, would they have both been dragged off to a Des Moines hoosegow by the local constabulary on felony charges? Probably not, but it seems they would have been guilty of breaking the following Iowa law:
Iowa Gambling Laws
725.7 Gaming and betting -- penalty.Reading farther down in the gambling laws to section 99B.12 "Games between individuals" there is an exception for bets when "a. The gambling is incidental to a bona fide social relationship between all participants." Provided that: "g. No participant wins or loses more than a total of fifty dollars or other consideration equivalent thereto in one or more games or activities permitted by this section at any time during any period of twenty-four consecutive hours or over that entire period. ..."
1. Except as permitted in chapters 99B [bingo] and 99D [racetracks], a person shall not do any of the following:
b. Make any bet.
2. A person who violates this section is guilty of the following:
d. Illegal gaming in the first degree if the sum of money or value of other property involved exceeds five thousand dollars. Illegal gaming in the first degree constitutes a class "C" felony.
I would love to see the trial where Willard "Mittens" Romney tried explaining to an Iowa judge that $10,000 is exactly the same as $50 to a man of his means.
UPDATE at 10:15am on 12/20:
I probably should have Googled "Romney Class C Felony" before I posted this, because it seems that EVERY liberal blog beat me to some variation of this post on December 11 or December 12 when I was on vacation from TV and computers. Sorry. I didn't watch the 12/10 debate live and I'm just catching up. I'll leave this up because I like my last line.
Monday, December 19, 2011
The Party of Big Government Is .... ?
"It's a great embarrassment to the conservatives that they want to tell people who they can have sex with ... this is big government. Who can I have sex with? Who can I marry? What can I read? What can I smoke? You guys on the whole -- not all of you -- but it's the conservatives that want to intrude on personal liberty there."
-- Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Language Matters: Liberal Environmental Hysteria!!!
"... and the president of the United States cannot figure out that it is – I’m using mild words here – utterly irrational to say I’m now going to veto a middle-class tax cut to protect left-wing environmental extremists in San Francisco, so that we’re going to kill American jobs, weaken American energy, make us more vulnerable to the Iranians and do so in a way that makes no sense to any normal, rational American."
|TBL.org sidebar 12/19/2011|
Newt's "left-wing environmental extremists in San Francisco" came to mind just now when I was looking at my blog and ran across the attached selection of articles with the keyword "liberal" selected by Google for the trueblueliberal.org sidebar. "Liberal Insanity on Light Bulbs" from the Washington Examiner and "Keystone XL: Liberal Histrionics Answered" from Forbes are not at all uncommon uses of "liberal" as an adjective in the center-right press. Look back at Newt's quote and see how he ends his rant with an appeal to the common sense of "any normal, rational American." You don't have to search far in the right-wing and mainstream media to find the same opposition between "insane," "hysterical," "histrionic," "left-wing," "liberal," "extremist" defenders of the environment and those level-headed, normal, rational, mainstream defenders of the bottom line and real (i.e., monetary) concerns over anything that might seem squishy or fuzzy-headed.
We can all see how the GOP is purposely using and abusing the language in a Luntzian manner (and being parroted by a lazy press), but I still can't -- on any emotional level -- understand why anyone, even Tea Partiers, would have the same visceral reaction against environmentalists that the Occupiers have against the billionaires hanging onto their low tax rates as a birthright. I don't have a lot of understanding for other red-meat conservative issues (executions, torture, anti-gay prejudice) either; maybe it's just because I don't eat red (or any other color of) meat. And that's an environmental issue too.
Strange Things Come in Sevens
Can you match the correct dwarf with the correct clown?
Bashful....... .......Rick SantorumI know, there should be more than one "Dopey" and more than one "Grumpy" in order to make approriate matches, but that's where the fun comes in. Who's the Dopiest? And who's the Grumpiest? Answer those questions and you'll have the winner of the GOP primaries!
Doc....... ........Ron Paul
Dopey....... .......Rick Perry
Grumpy....... .......Mitt Romney
Happy....... ....... Jon Huntsman
Sleepy....... ....... Michele Bachmann
Sneezy....... ....... Newt Gingrich
Christmas Week in the GOP Clown Circus
Michele Bachmann and her spouse disputed the Kinsey Report research on the percentage of gays in the American population because it doesn't agree with their views on the subject. Disagreeing with mainstream science is always a winning position when dealing with the GOP primary voters. (via Advocate.com)
Newt Gingrich has a novel solution for federal judges who would rule against mentions of religion in public school ceremonies: Arrest them. (Wonkette)
Rick Perry chose to emphasize the dynastic nature of the North Korean leadership when he referred in a campaign email to the recently departed "Dear Leader" as Kim Jong II (the second) rather than Kim Jong Il (eye-el). Might seem a minor typo, until you realize that if he made such an error as "The Leader of the Free World" when referring to the unstable leader of a nuclear power ... well ... (via ThinkProgress)
Mitt Romney the flip-flopper has picked up a flip-flopping semi-endorsement from Ann Coulter. (via Fox Nation)
John Huntsman, who sometimes tries to appear moderate in this crowd of clowns, gave an interview to RedState today in which he parroted every right-wing talking point. When asked if he would veto any Federal budget that contained funding for Planned Parenthood, even if he agreed with all its other particulars, he answered with a resounding "Uh, yes I would." (via RedState)
Ron Paul wants to restore America's "right to drink raw milk anytime you like!” (via Bloomberg Businessweek)
And all the gods are lining up behind Rick Santorum, who just got the endorsement of Thor, a thriller writer named Brad Thor. (via Politico)
Friday, December 16, 2011
Christopher Hitchens 1949-2011
"The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more."With attacks on everyone from Saddam Hussein to Mother Teresa, Christopher Hitchens was able to make enemies everywhere he went. I considered him an enemy starting in 2002 and 2003 and as long as the Iraq War raged. He was one of the most dangerous supporters of the war because of his background in literature and the Left and he seemed to have given the subject of attacking Iraq more than a second's thought. Leaders in the US and the UK were able to point to his arguments as justifications for their aggression. Maybe only Judith Miller and the New York Times are more guilty of providing 'liberal' intellectual cover for war criminals.
– Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer, 2007)
I would comment on the significance of the fact that he died on the day that the US was formally ending the war in Iraq, but we know (and he would agree) that such juxtapositions are purely random and coincidental.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Property is Theft
The movie ends with John Wayne a large-scale landowner, rancher and all-around asshole. Here he is very early in the film beginning his Texas real-estate and cattle empire with the theft and murder pictured in the minute and a half between 5'30" and 7'00".
The video attached to this 2011 post has gone black, but click here for an updated 2019 post with a live video of the scene.
Fight Night On Fox!
I was TV free during the last GOP Presidential Debate, but I hope to be watching Fox News tonight with the anticipation of a NASCAR fan hoping for a violent track-clearing conflagration (that is why they watch those rolling billboards driving around in circles for hours, isn't it?).
I want to see Willard "Mittens" Romney and James Richard "Rick" Perry coming to physical blows over who stole who's hairdo. I want to see Richard John "Frothy Mix" Santorum and Michele Marie "Crazy Eyes" Amble Bachmann arguing over which of them will create the most inventively medieval method for imposing the death penalty on abortion providers. I want to hear the crowd singing (Beach Boys style) "Bomb Bomb Bomb / Bomb Bomb Iran" when Newton Leroy "Newt" Gingrich rails against President Obama for not "taking out" our stray spy drone or the nuclear facilities Newt imagines in Iran's mosques. With any luck Ronald Ernest "Grandpa" Paul and Jon Meade "John [sic]" Huntsman, Jr. will be the only survivors of tonight's carnage, leading to a long-lasting and endlessly-entertaining clown circus all the way to the Republican convention.
I'll probably be live tweeting over at @TrueBlueLiberal, so if you're on Twitter, I'll see you there at nine using the #GOPDebate hashtag.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Fracking Made Simple
Thursday, December 08, 2011
"... and it's 1,2,3, what are we fighting for? ..."
Few people expressed that profound meditation on war and peace better than Country Joe McDonald with his "Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag" (preceded with the Fish Cheer) as performed here at Woodstock in 1969. I didn't have the pleasure of singing along there, but I vividly remember chanting and singing along with Joe and another very large crowd on the National Mall on 4/24/1971.
"Gimme an F!"
"Gimme a U!"
And, of course, like all the best sixties protest music, there's a great tie-in here to the Occupy Wall Street movement:
Well, come on Wall Street, don't move slowHave fun following the bouncing ball. And singing along.
Why man, this is war a-go-go.
There's plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of the trade,
Just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong.
The Middle Class Tax Increase Calculator
2012 is Officially the Year of Trump and Boehner
Pantone has just officially announced that their 2012 color of the year has been inspired by the skin color of Fred Trump's little boy Donald and the weepy Speaker of the House. They've given this shade inspired by these impressive Republican leaders a clever alliterative name that pays tribute to their impressive tans, "Tangerine Tango."
I hope that we'll be seeing a lot of tear-stained ties and dresses dyed in Pantone 17-1463 at GOP concession speeches next fall.
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
"... and we all shine on ..."
Instant Karma's gonna get you
Gonna knock you right off your feet
Better recognize your brother
Is everyone you meet
Why on earth are we here?
Surely not to live in pain and fear
And why on earth are you there?
When you're everywhere
Come on get your share
But we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
This Week in the GOP Clown Circus
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
April 22, 1972 -- John & Yoko in Bryant Park
John Lennon and Yoko Ono came out on the rainy stage set up at the march's end at Bryant Park and led us in the same song, "Give Peace a Chance," that Peter, Paul, and Mary (w/John Denver) had covered in DC on 4/24/71.
While viewers of other cable networks received the unfiltered speech, the Fox viewers were hearing Rep. Bachmann calling the President an unpopular class warrior, followed by commercials, Fox attacks on Nancy Pelosi and Jon Corzine, and updates on some crimes of the week.
Here's part of what Fox viewers missed in the President's speech as their network left for more important news and commercials:
So far, most of the Republicans in Washington have refused, under any circumstances, to ask the wealthiest Americans to go the same tax rates they were paying when Bill Clinton was president.
Now, keep in mind, when President Clinton first proposed these tax increases, folks in Congress predicted they would kill jobs and lead to another recession. Instead, our economy created nearly 23 million jobs and we eliminated the deficit. Today, the wealthiest Americans are paying the lowest taxes in over half a century. This isn’t like in the early 50s, when the top tax rate was over 90%, or even the early 80s, when it was about 70%. Under President Clinton, the top rate was only about 39%. Today, thanks to loopholes and shelters, a quarter of all millionaires now pay lower tax rates than millions of middle-class households. Some billionaires have a tax rate as low as 1%. One percent.
This is the height of unfairness. It is wrong that in the United States of America, a teacher or a nurse or a construction worker who earns $50,000 should pay a higher tax rate than somebody pulling in $50 million. It is wrong for Warren Buffett’s secretary to pay a higher tax rate than Warren Buffett. And he agrees with me. So do most Americans - Democrats, Independents, and Republicans. And I know that many of our wealthiest citizens would agree to contribute a little more if it meant reducing the deficit and strengthening the economy that made their success possible.
This isn’t about class warfare. This is about the nation’s welfare. It’s about making choices that benefit not just the people who’ve done fantastically well over the last few decades, but that benefits the middle class, and those fighting to get to the middle class, and the economy as a whole.
Language Matters: So-Called "Anchor Babies"
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language recently added a definition for "Anchor Baby" to its new edition, it did so in a neutral way, without pointing out that the so-called "anchor baby" is a concept advanced by the most draconian anti-immigrant groups, those that advocate repealing or otherwise altering the 14th Amendment -- taking away American citizenship from those who were born in the United States to undocumented immigrants. The original definition read:
"anchor baby n. A child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially such a child born to parents seeking to secure eventual citizenship for themselves and often other members of their family."This neutral definition of a politically-loaded term by the Dictionary was noted by the American Immigration Council on December 2. After being pointed out to the Dictionary, they have altered the definition (with key changes underlined here):
"anchor baby n. Offensive. Used as a disparaging term for a child born to a noncitizen mother in a country that grants automatic citizenship to children born on its soil, especially when the child's birthplace is thought to have been chosen in order to improve the mother's or other relatives' chances of securing eventual citizenship."It pays to pay attention to the language being used by activists on the Right and the media (and lexicographers) who sometimes blindly or lazily follow them.
Wedge Issue Update: "Liberal Hollywood Using Class Warfare to Brainwash Our Kids!"
Speaking about (or should I say "screeching" in honor of the tone of this video?) brainwashing, someone needs to talk about the constant brainwashing in which we've been bathed since birth in America. We have every mainstream voice telling us about nothing but the wonders of capitalist consumerism supported by patriotic militarism. And this time of year we expect the non-stop cries of "buy..buy..buy" to reach a crescendo (with a subtext that if you don't buy..buy..buy, you obviously don't love..love..love your family). But if I start complaining about that, I'm into another wedge issue, The Liberal War On Christmas.
I still think that the current front-running issue in the GOP Wedge-Issue Race is "Dirty Filthy Hippies", but there's no reason to think that the race between Republican wedge issues will be any less volatile than the one between their stellar cast of candidates (which is being led at this moment by Newt Gingrich?).
Monday, December 05, 2011
Language Matters: Redefining "Eco-terrorism"
The following ABC News story is from last July, but it presents this barbaric eco-terroristic practice of mountaintop removal in a concise horrifying summary.
Note that mountaintop-removing Representative Nick Rahall (D-WV) is a prime example of why I am NOT a registered Democrat, and fracking profiteer Dan Boren (D-OK), who made this recent appearance in the Times is another. While the GOP may be more predictably anti-environment, many -- if not most -- representatives of both parties are consistently more interested in "serious" issues like money and cost-effective energy procurement than in the "frivolous" issue of protecting our earth.
Despite government-sanctioned definitions of eco-terrorism, ask the next generations looking at a flat "reclaimed" West Virginia landscape of toxic ponds, Walmarts, and Waffle Houses if the real eco-terrorists were the short-sighted people in suits who removed the mountains, or the people of ELF and ALF who torched the occasional Hummer and released lab rats.
"Eco-terrorism," in the TrueBlueLiberal dot org Style Guide, is used to describe those who would HARM the ecosystem, not those who attempt to protect it.
"...how long, if this theft goes on, will this country still be here?..."
Thursday, December 01, 2011
We need to have a few rules of our own. Being in no way comprehensive, here are a tiny fraction of my pet politico-linguistic peeves:
1) "War" on anything other than another nation upon which we have issued a formal declaration of war. The TrueBlueLiberal.org Style Guide requires that the "War on Terror" and "War on Drugs" must be placed in quotation marks and preceded by the words "so-called".Do you have a "favorite" Republican twist of speech?
2) "Obamacare". Show me the piece of legislation with this name and I'll start using this word. Until then, if I hear this perjorative moniker for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 being used, I'll know that the person using it is a Republican partisan or one of their linguistically-lazy stooges in the press.
3) "Democrat" as an adjective. If you hear anyone say "the Democrat Senate" or "that Democrat bill" or "the Democrat liberal rat from Taxachusetts," then you are listening to a student of Luntz speaking (or someone who has only a rudimentary understanding of English grammar). The adjective form is "Democratic," whether you are talking about the Party or the form of government.
4) "Job Creators". The correct term is "The Rich" or "The 1%", i.e., those to whom all the benefits of GOP tax policies have flowed since the Reagan era. In the Republican Style Guide any person who makes up part of the scum that floats to the top of the cup is given this title, even if their coupon clipping and hedge-fund managing has never created a single job. In the TBL.org Style Guide, "Job Creators" (as with so-called "wars" on things or tactics) must be placed in quotes and preceded by "so-called" modifier.
5) Don't even get me started on the so-called "Death Tax." Maybe the Democrats should follow the Holy Founding Fathers' lead and double or triple the Estate Tax with a new name, The Patriotic Aristocracy Eradication Act.
Maybe this "Language Matters" heading needs to become a recurring feature here at TBL.org, because I know I have some of these linguistic manipulations annoying me every day (watching a single GOP debate generally brings dozens of them to the surface).
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Occupy DC -- April-May 1971
I vividly remember Peter, Paul, & Mary taking the stage that day (I didn't know from my vantage point that they had been joined by the less cool John Denver) and singing Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" and Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance". They brought a connection to a famous earlier march in 1963 that made a very strong impression on this young peacenik.
This mass march on the weekend was only part of a much bigger couple of weeks in late April and early May that bore more than a passing resemblance to the current Occupy movement. In the days before the mass march, the Vietnam Veterans Against the War conducted their "limited incursion into the country of Congress" that included camping, demonstrations, throwing medals back over the walls around the Capitol, and Lt. John Kerry's famous testimony in front of the Winter Soldier Investigations -- "How do you ask a man to be the last to die for a mistake?" -- that announced this young veteran as a political figure on the national stage.
The days after the mass march saw planned acts of civil disobedience around the Capitol by the Mayday Tribe that led to the arrest of over 13,000 people between May 1 and May 4 (one year after four were killed by the National Guard at Kent State). These events deserve a larger space in our collective memory. The public reaction against the mass arrests is one of the many events in the late sixties and early seventies that helped turn the mass of the American people against the war in Vietnam. I wanted to be one of those Mayday demonstrators blocking avenues, running from tear gas, and being penned up with my fellow radicals behind fences around RFK Stadium. I guess I understand now why my parents didn't let a high school sophomore take that extra step. I'm glad they let me take the bus for the one-day demonstration. It was one of the highlights of my life.
Thanks for sharing this moment of nostalgia with me.
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
"... there'll always be someone with the same button on as you ..."
Beautiful peopleThis is the best thing about the Occupy movement. It has nothing to do with policies and politics. It has to do with the drum circles and the new sense of community and the beautiful people recognizing each other by the buttons they're wearing. Moving back to a beautiful time we've seen belittled for most of our adult lives.
You look like friends of mine
And it's about time
That someone said it here and now
I make a vow that some time, somehow
I'll have a meeting
Invite everyone you know
I'll pass out buttons for the ones who come to show
Beautiful people never have to be alone
'Cause there'll always be someone
With the same button on as you
The Word of the Week is "Draconian" for the performers in America's favorite clown circus
We then stumbled upon an article posted yesterday about Michele Bachmann's draconian plan to deport all 11 million undocumented immigrants at a cost to our economy of 2.6 trillion dollars. (ThinkProgress Justice)
So then we had to do a search for "Draconian" in connection with all the other performers in the circus.
Rick Santorum was quoted back in mid-November as saying that he would support “the most draconian sanctions that I could think of” against Iran, even if they hurt the United States. (Des Moines Register)
Back in late October, Ron Paul explained to David Gregory that "Draconian cuts after World War II ... stimulated the economy" (transcript on Project Vote Smart)
Here's an article from October 25: "Why Mitt Romney's Medicaid Cuts Are Even More Draconian than Paul Ryan's" (ThinkProgress Health)
From early September we have Amanda Marcotte's "Pushback on Draconian Rick: Stay Out of Women's Sex Lives" about Rick Perry and radical anti-abortion laws in Texas. (AlterNet)
Herman Cain, who may be leaving the circus soon, opening up a spot for Sarah or Donald, was asked the meaning of "Draconian" for this article and he thought we were concerned with the secondary definition, "resembling a dragon, dragon-like". He adamantly denied that he had ever been a follower of Sauron.
Jon Huntsman only seems to use the word when he is disparaging the more radical clowns in this circus. He's still trying to paint himself as the more cultured and quiet -- and boring -- Marcel Marceau in this troupe of Bozos.
Monday, November 28, 2011
President Newt Gingrich will be coming after your Doublemint gum next
|From my trip to Asia's friendliest police state in 2010.|
When liberals point to the more humane and equitable healthcare systems in other nations we're accused of all kinds of unpatriotic sins and politely asked (or told) to leave the country if we like someplace else better than we love the U.S.of A. But Newt Gingrich has no problems telling us that we need to be more like the autocratic city-state of Singapore in his doubling down in the so-called "war" on drugs.
Q: "In 1996, you introduced a bill that would have given the death penalty to drug smugglers. Do you still stand by that?"
Newt: "I think if you are, for example, the leader of a cartel, sure. Look at the level of violence they've done to society. You can either be in the Ron Paul tradition and say there's nothing wrong with heroin and cocaine or you can be in the tradition that says, 'These kind of addictive drugs are terrible, they deprive you of full citizenship and they lead you to a dependency which is antithetical to being an American.' If you're serious about the latter view, then we need to think through a strategy that makes it radically less likely that we're going to have drugs in this country.
Places like Singapore have been the most successful at doing that. They've been very draconian. And they have communicated with great intention that they intend to stop drugs from coming into their country."
In short, he's trying hard to outflank his opponents on the right (or at least prevent them from outflanking him by pandering more effectively to the nutjob base). If necessary, he'll extend the Singapore model to all illicit substances and start ranting about the dangers of gum chewing soon.
The Quote of the Day ... from a GOP candidate for President
"In one concise document, they manage to condemn gays, single parents, single individuals, divorcees, Muslims, gays in the military, unmarried couples, women who choose to have abortions, and everyone else who doesn't fit into a Norman Rockwell painting."--Gary Johnson
It could be taken as his assessment of the rest of the Republican field, but that's Gary Johnson's statement about the Family Leader's Marriage Vow signed by Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum (Newt Gingrich is waiting for it to be amended to allow serial monogamy). Click on the link and read the fine print to see what some of our "serious" GOP candidates are willing to commit themselves to.
Other candidates have declined to sign the pledge that desires to become the social conservatives' version of Grover Norquist's tax pledge. But Johnson was the only notable deletion from the Iowa debate in August. And when the time came for the CNN/TeaParty debate in September, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico was still polling higher than Huntsman and Santorum. They were invited to debate, but he wasn't.
I just read this article about him in GQ that was forwarded to me a little while ago. I recommend it. Even if I might not vote for Gary Johnson, he seems like I guy I'd like to know and hang out with -- not something I'd say about any other GOP contender (and not just because he's more widely known as the Legalize Pot candidate).
Sunday, November 27, 2011
Your #OWS Soundtrack for the Night comes from 1967
What a field-day for the heatGood Night. And Good Luck to everyone sleeping outside tonight in Occupy encampments.
A thousand people in the street
Singing songs and carrying signs
Mostly say, hooray for our side
It's time we stop, hey, what's that sound
Everybody look what's going down
The Biggest Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives in 140 Characters
"She has eighty names, thirty addresses, twelve Social Security cards and is collecting veteran's benefits on four non-existing deceased husbands. And she is collecting Social Security on her cards. She's got Medicaid, getting food stamps, and she is collecting welfare under each of her names. Her tax-free cash income is over $150,000."
Happy Sunday. Imagine your world without Republicans.
Saturday afternoonI sense some of this joy in the Occupy movement that I haven't seen in politics for a long time. And I also can't watch this video without falling in love with Grace Slick all over again.
Yellow clouds rising in the noon
Acid, incense, and balloons
People dancing everywhere, loudly shouting I don't care
It's a time for growing and a time for knowing love
Saturday, November 26, 2011
"If Woody Guthrie were alive today, he'd have a lot to write about..."
Now Tom said "Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guyTom Joad and his creator John Steinbeck would understand the Occupy Wall Street movement.
Wherever a hungry newborn baby cries
Where there's a fight 'gainst the blood and hatred in the air
Look for me Mom I'll be there
Wherever there's somebody fightin' for a place to stand
Or decent job or a helpin' hand
Wherever somebody's strugglin' to be free
Look in their eyes Mom you'll see me."
Fracking and the Delaware River Basin Commission
It's worth listening to Josh Fox's explanation of where hydraulic fracturing for shale gas falls in the larger context of "extreme fossil fuel development" where more and more harmful means of extraction -- mountaintop removal, tar sands, deepwater drilling, fracking and more -- are being used because we delayed our switch to renewables and alternatives and have run low on the easily accessible fossil fuels.
The "War on Christmas" explained by a Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Friday, November 25, 2011
I hope someone said Merry Christmas to these shoppers!
I guess America didn't get my message to boycott this traditional day of sanctioned rioting that begins the Christmas season, but the real question is, Were all these shoppers wished a very adamant "Merry Christmas" as they pushed the greeter to the ground on their way through the front door? If not, that was the real crime in the eyes of America's Christian Extremists.
Wedge Issue Update: The Liberal War On Christmas 2011
Murdoch's New York Post, Fox Nation, The Daily Caller and numerous conservative Tweeters, are reporting about the outrageous anti-Christmas agenda of President Obama's fundraising schedule. It seems that he has the audacity to hold his fundraisers in New York with LGBT supporters at the same time as the holy appearance of Justin Bieber at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting. An accident of scheduling? Not according to the three most recent commenters on the Fox Nation article.
americanazaleaAnd? He seems to "pick" these days with increasing frequency. All planned across the board.A_10_Thunderbolt_II_warthogThis Kenyan musIim executor dictatorship has no Christmas spriteusafemaleSounds like something a Anti-American potus would do...... block what he can of any American tradition... Sad lil man.... throwing sand in every bodies eyes in the American sand box..... Despicable indeed
"... and you never ask questions when god's on your side ..."
On Thanksgiving I watched a younger relative play a disgusting millitary recruitment vehicle called "Call of Duty, Modern Warfare 3" on a widescreen television. Have any of you seen this bloody spectacle? This thing is a bestseller, so I assume I'm a little out of the gamer loop. Is there any doubt that the Pentagon, if not specifically supporting such crap, loves that young Americans are being desensitized to killing by these products -- many of which will be under America's Christmas trees next month?
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Wedge Issue Update: #9 Dirty Filthy Hippies (with a bullet)
A month later, I would place this wedge issue right at the very top. On Fox News this exchange between Sean Hannity and Sarah Palin on November 17th described an Occupy Wall Street movement that bore no relation to any reality outside the Fox News studios:
HANNITY: All right. We see the violence there, one police officer I think had 20 stitches and a gash, things thrown in their face. You see the violence. This is really just a culmination, though. We have seen rape, we have seen arson, destruction of property, sex, masturbation in public, defecating in public, anti-Semitism, anti-American rhetoric, drugs, open-air drugs markets. Well, what do you make of this and the Democratic Party support for this?
PALIN: It is amazing that President Obama, Vice President Biden and former Speaker Pelosi along with many other Democrats have actually embraced this movement and actually, you know, patted these folks on their back as they have engaged in these -- some really atrocious activities. I think it speaks to what part of that mission is on the left, and that is disruption, it is distraction. It's very misguided and these are folks who are ill-informed, not understanding really who and what it is that they should be protesting. If they truly want free men and free markets in this country, then they should be, you know, making their voices known at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and letting Barack Obama know that they disagree with the crony capitalism that he has been so engaged in and allowed to perpetuate. These folks are misguided and I think it's just atrocious what is going on.
On November 19th Newt Gingrich got rousing applause in Iowa with his instructions to Occupy Wall Street delivered to Frank Luntz and a pumpkin centerpiece: "Go get a job right after you take a bath." It could have been Nixon rousing the Silent Majority against the hippies.
Continuing in the old strategy to rouse the Silent Majority, we have Americans for Tax Reform President Grover "Rat Head in a Koch Bottle" Norquist, the most powerful man in America according the Alan Simpson, the strategist who has tied up the entire Congress with his no-tax pledge, giving us the final proof that #OWS will be used as a wedge in 2012 when he said, “The Occupy Wall Street is a tremendous asset and it’s a movement that I think will be very helpful [to his GOP clients and paymasters] in the 2012 elections, and I think it’s a mistake to interfere with them continuing to annoy middle class Americans." An annoyed middle class can then be manipulated to vote against their own economic interests.
"... it's pathetic. Being a meme used to mean something ..."
And if for some reason (such as being on the International Space Station) you don't know what "Hitler" is raving about in the subtitles to the above video ... if you don't know what's happened to turn UC Davis Police Lt. John Pike into an explosive internet meme in a record amount of time, then you have to visit Pepper Spraying Cop:
UPDATE (4:40 on Thanksgiving Eve): after the initial posting of this, I think I stumbled on the aesthetic reason for Lt. "Pepper Spray Cop" John Pike's popularity as a meme. His nonchalance in his act of violence is that of a readymade Banksy stencil.
Paul Motian 1931-2011
He has a solo at the 7'50" mark of this video, but the real beauty of this tribute is his great conversational skill in interacting with Keith Jarrett and Charlie Haden. He had millions of great musical conversations, many of which were recorded. I'm going to put At the Deer Head Inn on the stereo now (with Keith, Paul, and Gary Peacock in 1992).
Doesn't politics seem intensely trivial in the face of a great trio?
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
"...and my sister talks to Bigfoot, who's her neighbor..."
I poisoned my mind by watching almost the entire CNN/Heritage Foundation/American Enterprise Institute Foreign Policy debate from the inner sanctum of the DAR building earlier tonight and I needed a blast of humor to clear some of the militaristic jingoism from my head. They even exhumed the zombies of Ed Meese and Paul Wolfowitz to ask "questions" along with a selection of other stiffs from Heritage and the AEI.
If you watched the debate too, maybe faux Michele can help erase the memory.
Every Munition is Sacred. Amen.
You just know that if there were an Arthurian Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch in the bloated US arsenal of death (and who's to say for sure that there's not one buried in a black project somewhere), that every candidate in tonight's episode of the travelling Clown Circus (on CNN tonight at 8) at would be calling not only for its retention, but for expanding the stockpile of such cool weapons of leporine destruction -- and priests and monks trained in their proper usage.