Thursday, December 29, 2011

Photographic proof that parties were much gayer in the 1960s.

A new book coming out by Don Fulsom, "Nixon's Darkest Secrets: The Inside Story of America's Most Troubled President," publishes a rumor that Richard Nixon had an affair with Bebe Rebozo (always one of my favorite names from that era), putting every photo of our 37th President with his old friend in a new light.
In retrospect, the poodle should have told us something.
Bebe Rebozo with J. Edgar Hoover, Richard Nixon, dog, and a mystery shoe.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

"... give all the toys to the little rich boys ..."

I'll be off the computer for a few days, but here are The Kinks to help you celebrate the winter holidays with "Father Christmas" (the British version of our American god, Santa Claus). The song's  from 1977, but it seems the most appropriate Christmas carol in 2011, this year of Occupation and its discussion of the 1%:

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)

The simple Marxist insight into the nature of war, taxes, and language in tonight's blog post comes to us from Groucho and his brothers, not from their distant cousin Karl.

"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)

Does anyone else find this picture much more disturbing than pictures
of other youthful indiscretions with drugs or fashion or hairstyles?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I promise this will be the last anagram for the day...

... but my promises aren't worth the pixels flashing across your screen.
Click on the Box to Reveal the Troll's Name.
The same person who can use the letters of his/her own name to reveal an inner trollishness, can also use those same letters to comment on the current status of the GOP Presidential Sweepstakes: "Trail my idol, Mr. Newt."

Sorry John, but I woke up anagramming ...

... and the anagrams of the morning are for SPEAKER BOEHNER -- HE, BARKEEPER SON (or HE'S NO BARKEEPER).
Please Click on the Box to Bring It to Life!
Share these with him if you know @SpeakerBoehner.  I'm sure they will make him cry like a baby.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Anagrams are addictive (and sometimes weirdly appropriate)

Is WILLARD ROMNEY more appropriately anagrammed as WEIRDLY NORMAL or as NORMALLY WEIRD?

Liberal War On Christmas Anagrams of the Day

Newt Gingrich = Grinch Twinge = Grinch Get Win!
Callista Gingrich = 'Tis Glacial Grinch

Inspired by this:

Happy Chanukah my true blue liberalites!

If I ever were to throw off my atheism for a set of beliefs in the irrational, I might very well choose to be led by Matisyahu.
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. 

Happy Chanukah!
And to all my Christian brethren out there? Season's Greetings!

Did Mitt Romney attempt to commit a Class C felony in Des Moines?

ABC News/Yahoo Iowa Republican Debate
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.”
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...”
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"? 
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.
  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.
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. ..."

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 .... ?

Rachel Maddow just ran this ABC clip on her show tonight, so I found the video on YouTube and am posting here on Watch as Barney Frank makes it very clear to an uncomfortable George Will and Paul Ryan that they -- the conservatives and Republicans -- are the real party of big government.

"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.)
Not that he's ever had a problem with speaking his mind, but now that Barney Frank has announced his intention to leave the House in 2012, he may feel he's even freer to speak the truth no matter where it leads him. Seeing as how he just made an live appearance later on the Rachel Maddow show from the Capitol rotunda in a blue t-shirt, he's showing signs that the fetters are completely removed. That's a good thing.

Language Matters: Liberal Environmental Hysteria!!!

It really struck me during the most recent debate of the GOP presidential candidates that there is no surer way to throw red meat to a Republican crowd than to attack those who would defend the environment against drillers and miners or any other business interests.  Here, from that Fox News Sioux City debate, was temporary-frontrunner Newt Gingrich in the middle of a rant about opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline:
"... 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." 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 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

Strange things come in sevens. The seven samurai, the seven words you can't say on television, the seven chakras, the seven deadly sins, and, of course, the seven dwarfs and the seven survivors left on clown island. 

Can you match the correct dwarf with the correct clown?
Bashful.......            .......Rick Santorum
Doc.......                 ........Ron Paul
Dopey.......              .......Rick Perry
Grumpy.......             .......Mitt Romney
Happy.......               ....... Jon Huntsman
Sleepy.......                ....... Michele Bachmann
Sneezy.......              ....... Newt Gingrich
I 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!

Christmas Week in the GOP Clown Circus

Be sure to wish "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" to your favorite conservative teabagger this week.  Chances are 95% or better that they'll respond to you with a "Merry Christmas" that has an edge to it.  But back to the clown circus  updates . . .

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

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."
Christopher Hitchens (The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Non-Believer, 2007)
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. 
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

It's amazing, but the clearest video representation I've ever seen of Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's famous slogan, "Property is theft!" (of course, first formulated in French as "La propriété, c'est le vol!") is found in a John Wayne classic, Red River.
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.

Now that we're finally out of Iraq . . .

Click here to find out how many US troops are left in Afghanistan.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Fracking Made Simple

This video made by children in Ireland makes more sense about hydrofracking for natural gas than any propaganda spewed by the oil and gas corporations:

Thursday, December 08, 2011

"... and it's 1,2,3, what are we fighting for? ..."

While some neocon chickenhawks like Bush and Rove and Cheney and Gingrich and Qualye will be happy to tell you exactly what great causes the US Government was fighting for in Indochina forty years ago, the only answer to the bipartisan American war that made any sense to anyone I knew was simple: FUCK IT.
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 slow
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.
Have fun following the bouncing ball. And singing along.
If you don't know this song by heart already, the American educational system is to blame. This is as important a part of our common cultural legacy as knowing the words to The Star Spangled Banner or Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

The Middle Class Tax Increase Calculator

Check out this White House calculator to see what the inaction of John "Tangerine Tango" Boehner's GOP Congress will cost you.   And please spread the word.  I don't think that many Republicans will be pleased with their representatives either if they see what this means for them in dollars and cents next year:

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 ..."

John Lennon and the Plastic Ono Elephant's Memory Band live at Madison Square Garden in 1972.

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

Rick Perry has upped the Culture-War ante by claiming in his new ad that President Obama has not only declared War On Christmas, but has declared War on Religion. (Washington Post)

Michele Bachmann has been helping the Democrats in the general election by calling Newt Gingrich an "influence peddler" and Mitt Romney a "chameleon" this week. (Miami Herald)

Jon Huntsman has shown he's finally serious about seeking the GOP nomination by showing that he can be a climate-change skeptic. Can doubts on evolution be far behind? (ThinkProgress)

Newt Gingrich, the front-runner of the week, hasn't made any new child-janitor proposals this week, but his speaking contract rider has been published online, asking for (along with the normal first-class accoutrements of a first-class celebrity speaker) two bathrooms in his hotel room. (The Smoking Gun)

Ron Paul has started marketing himself as a Ford F-150 to the pickup truck crowd. (Mother Jones)

Rick Santorum criticized President Obama for revealing that our military had killed Osama bin Laden. (Talking Points Memo)

Mitt Romney would probably like us to forget all of President Obama's foreign policy successes by accusing the President of "appeasement" and doing so on Pearl Harbor Day. (LA Times)

We were sad to see Herman Cain leave the circus this week, but there's hope for an even more entertaining replacement...

Donald Trump has said once again that "I would certainly think about running as an independent candidate" if he's not happy with the GOP nominee. (Wall Street Journal)

I can't wait to see who ends up showing up at The Donald's debate on December 27. He may try to anoint the winner and avoid that whole primary/caucus thing that begins in Iowa on January 3.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

April 22, 1972 -- John & Yoko in Bryant Park

Last week I was thrilled to find that one of the key moments of my youth was posted on YouTube. Now here's a video from almost exactly a year later in New York when I was marching again with the same friends from Philadelphia at another large National Peace Action Coalition march and rally.
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.

It's hard to believe that this moment happened almost 40 years ago.

Even harder to believe is that in two days we'll be marking the 31st anniversary of the murder of John Lennon a little farther north on Manhattan Island. It just doesn't seem that long ago.

Two Americas

I'm rarely at home on weekdays for Presidential addresses and I'm even more rarely tuned to Fox News to watch those speeches, but I happened to be doing both today when President Obama gave a major speech in Osawatamie, Kansas, that will probably be referred to as his "Teddy Roosevelt Speech".

CNN and MSNBC showed the entire speech, but while Fox News showed the first fifteen or twenty minutes of the speech, they cut away to Michele Bachmann's rebuttal less than halfway in, conveniently leaving the speech just as he was getting into the nuts and bolts and dollars and cents of income inequality in the 21st Century USA. Were they afraid that their viewers might start agreeing with the Kansas audience that was responding so positively to the President's remarks?

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 Right has been very active and organized in using language to focus issues within their frames, but it's encouraging to see a growing recognition of this attempt to control the debates by controlling the language of the debates. Immigration, with the dueling camps being easily identified by their language -- "illegal aliens" vs. "undocumented immigrants" -- is one of our key linguistic battlefields.
When 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!"

In an election year in which the right does not have the high ground on any issue that really affect Americans, winning a majority of voters will require the GOP to peel off enough voters from President Obama and his party with a combination of wedge issues. Here's one that I didn't include in my original list, but it's an old chestnut in the right-wing arsenal, since the pre-cable conservatives railed against the unfair Liberal Hollywood portrayals Mr. Henry Potter and the 1% of Bedford Falls in "It's a Wonderful Life." Liberal Hollywood is at it again with the Muppets' nemesis, oilman Tex Richman. And Fox Business News (courtesy of Media Matters for America) is all over Liberal Hollywood's crime.

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 "" to reach a crescendo (with a subtext that if you don't, you obviously don't 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"

Why should we just sit back and let Fox News, the American FBI, and the Japanese Institute of Cetacean Research define "eco-terrorism", when it's obvious that the real eco-terrorists are those who would poison our pristine Catskill water with fracking fluids or hunt endangered marine mammals or contaminate the Gulf Coast with millions of barrels of oil or ... well, the prize has to go to those who would remove entire mountains in West Virginia to get to the coal underneath.
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.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
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.

" long, if this theft goes on, will this country still be here?..."

Jackson Browne and Dawes live and unplugged at Occupy Wall Street asking in song, "Which side are you on?"

Thursday, December 01, 2011

"There is no 'why'."

Language Matters

Frank Luntz met with the Republican Governors Association this week to give them advice on how to use language to frame arguments, especially now that the Occupy movement has widened the frame of political discourse in this country. Yahoo News was there and they gathered a list of ten key talking points presented by Luntz. You can click on the previous sentence for more details, but know that if you hear a GOP governor saying "I get it" to the Occupiers, or using the words "Job Creators", "Hardworking Taxpayers" or "Taking from the Rich" (while avoiding the words "Capitalism," "Compromise," "Sacrifice," and "Taxing the Rich"), you'll know that they've been schooled by Luntz.
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 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".
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 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.
Do you have a "favorite" Republican twist of speech?
Maybe this "Language Matters" heading needs to become a recurring feature here at, 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

Amazing what you can find on the internet.  This video is from the first national peace march I went to on April 24, 1971. I was fifteen -- I went on a bus from Philadelphia organized by the Student Mobilization Committee with a 16-year-old girl I really liked (more than she liked me) and her very cool parents, leaving Philly very early in the morning and coming back that night.
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 ..."

Sorry to break the mood here, because you're about to watch one of the most beautiful songs and singers (I hope you haven't seen this before, so you can experience Melanie for the first time), but I have to rant for a minute, because I just watched this for the first time in decades and I was struck by the loss of our innocence. Fuck the Republicans and the businessmen and the 'serious' volk everywhere who have tried to tell us for the last forty years that the sixties and hippiedom and love and peace and beads and buttons and Woodstock were anything other than a high point in American civilization. We've been on a long slide from that zenith into a nadir of materialism and militarism and an endless parade of men in dark suits (their lapel-pin flags do NOT count as "buttons".)
Enough ranting. Please watch, and be transported back to 1971:

Beautiful people
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
This 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.

I hope Melanie's song is stuck in your head.
It's stuck in mine (that may be all you really need to know about me).

The Word of the Week is "Draconian" for the performers in America's favorite clown circus

Yesterday, Newt Gingrich brought this word to our attention when we read about his infatuation with Singapore's "draconian" (and deadly) approach to the drug war. (Information Liberation)

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 this same interview with Yahoo from last Saturday, he talks about mandatory drug tests before collecting unemployment insurance or food stamps, "aggressively" undermining the Cuban government (using the word aggressive 4 times), undermining Social Security with private accounts for young workers, and flip-flopping on his pro medical marijuana stance of 1981, having decided now that it is wrong to be "compassionate toward a small group at the risk of telling a much larger group that it was okay to use the drug."
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

TrueBlueLiberal dot org has given five inches of "fame" to a number of the clowns running for the GOP nomination for President, so why not do the same for the man who was first to announce his candidacy, but is being widely ignored.
"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

Here are the Buffalo Springfield singing (or at least lip syncing) "For What It's Worth":
What a field-day for the heat
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
Good Night. And Good Luck to everyone sleeping outside tonight in Occupy encampments.

The Biggest Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives in 140 Characters

On this Thanksgiving weekend I was thinking about an uncle who's been gone for a while. He was the first person who gave me my archetype of how a conservative person's mind works. Over a Thanksgiving dinner table, his biggest complaint (before he had kids) was: "Why am I paying school taxes? I don't have any kids!"

Remembering that statement reminded me of a tweet I made a month or two ago. I think I remembered it word for word and just tweeted it again: "The biggest fear of liberals is that someone might starve.The biggest fear of conservatives is that someone might get something for nothing." It was a spur of the moment statement, and it still feels very true to me. When the first draft of a tweet turns out to be exactly 140 characters long, it also seems to me to have a special quality of 'truthiness.'
But we see the conservative's dislike of paying for other people's needs in more than Uncle X's hatred of paying for the education of other people's children. We see it in the predictable GOP opposition to paying for any health or welfare program, or extension of unemployment benefits, or infrastructure, or investments in mass transit, or green energy, or even giving disaster aid without taking that money out of some other social program.
But there is more than just greed at work. There is resentment of anyone who gets a government "handout" or "free lunch". The resentment is summed up in Ronald Reagan's fictional 1976 caricature of the "welfare queen" that made him a hero among the conservative uncles of this nation:
"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."
Of course their resentment of "getting something for nothing" does not extend to resentment of those who get a free ride by being born a Trump or a Rockefeller or a Kennedy or a Bush. That's the only way that money for nothing is acceptable in their world view, and they are doing everything they can to make the passing of wealth between generations easier and tax-free.
But why don't they feel the same resentment about the money that gets poured down the rathole of military waste? Why the cheering of wars and the death penalty and military tribunals and police brutality and almost any other form of state violence? I think they see this violence protecting their property rights, but it's still the part of American conservatism I have the hardest time understanding.

Happy Sunday. Imagine your world without Republicans.

It's a beautiful Sunday morning in November in Woodstock, New York, and I'm about to go outside again.
Even though the song in this Jefferson Airplane segment from Woodstock (the movie, not the town) is "Won't You Try / Saturday Afternoon," I always think of it as a Sunday morning song, hanging out in the park on a beautiful Sunday morning (even without your fellow hippies, and with or without acid, incense, and balloons), because the Airplane opened the Sunday portion of the Woodstock concert very early with this "morning maniac music".
Please go outside today and imagine your world without Republicans for a few hours.

Saturday afternoon
Yellow clouds rising in the noon
Acid, incense, and balloons
Saturday afternoon
People dancing everywhere, loudly shouting I don't care
It's a time for growing and a time for knowing love
Saturday afternoon
I 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.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

"If Woody Guthrie were alive today, he'd have a lot to write about..."

"... high times on Wall Street and hard times on main street." These words are spoken by Bruce Springsteen in the intro to this version of "The Ghost of Tom Joad". He's joined by Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine and The Nightwatchman with his guitar that reads "Arm the Homeless" (the 21st century version of Woody's legendary "This Machine Kills Fascists" guitars).
I was just watching this performance on Palladia, and I was thrilled to be able to find it on YouTube so I could share it here:

Now Tom said "Mom, wherever there's a cop beatin' a guy
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."
Tom Joad and his creator John Steinbeck would understand the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Fracking and the Delaware River Basin Commission

I know this video is from a few days ago, but I just stumbled on it now. This segment from Keith Olbermann's Countdown with Josh Fox (Gasland) and Debra Winger (playing Eeyore in this clip) does a great job of summarizing the recent victory of anti-fracking activists in the Delaware River basin:

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.
(Of course, if you're a right winger who has stumbled on this blog, you can dismiss all these arguments because some of them are being made by successful Hollywood actress.)

The "War on Christmas" explained by a Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan

Daisy, Bo, and Luke Duke's disreputable cousin David Duke explains who is really behind the Christian right's imaginary "War on Christmas".
The Jews.

Friday, November 25, 2011

I hope someone said Merry Christmas to these shoppers!

This seems to be fairly representative of the Black Friday videos from earlier today:
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.
If you find yourself being greeted with the anti-Christmas "Happy Holidays" or "Season's Greetings" or "Welcome" between now and December 25th, please report the store to the Christianist Christmas police (with details) to their email address at (but don't clog up their mailbox with your spam or your unchristian liberal thoughts). Your report of insufficient Christianity in the marketplace will then be used by the American Family Association to adjust the following Naughty and Nice list, which informs their fellow Christianists where they are allowed to shop during the holiday season:

Wedge Issue Update: The Liberal War On Christmas 2011

When Americans vote for President less than one year from now, there will be people voting on each side who have totally different pictures of the nation, the world, and the candidates based on which news sources they are consulting. As I write this, the mainstream NBC News is showing the President's wife and daughters welcoming the Clydesdale-driven 2011 Christmas tree at the front door of the White House, but in right-wing media outlets, there's a big story that none of us watching mainstream media or leftish blogs have heard about.
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.
And? He seems to "pick" these days with increasing frequency. All planned across the board.

This Kenyan musIim executor dictatorship has no Christmas sprite

Sounds 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
Like my anti-American Kenyan muslim executor potus, I also find myself lacking in Christmas "sprite" this time of the year.

"... and you never ask questions when god's on your side ..."

No, the title of this blog post isn't taken from the literature of the god-chosen Bachmann, Santorum, or Perry campaigns (I wasn't the one to make this up, but if a god did tell them to run, it proves s/he wants Obama to win re-election). No, the title of this blog post comes from the Bob Dylan song that's stuck in my head this afternoon, here in an interpretation of Joan Baez's from 1965:

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)

Back in mid-October I mused about which wedge issue might ultimately pop up as the centerpiece of the 2012 Republican attacks. Down near the bottom of my possibilities I placed "9) Dirty Filthy Hippies Occupying Wall Street (and elsewhere)".
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.

Read or watch the whole segment here if you're feeling a little masochistic.

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

Paul Motian died yesterday at the age of 80. Here he is playing in Germany in 1972 as the drummer in a very talented trio:

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 finally found a video starring Michele Bachmann that makes a little bit of sense (with some help from the folks at Bad Lip Reading):

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.
When they showed the crowd, you could play a version of Where's Waldo that involved searching for any non-white or non-constipated face. Everyone there strictly followed the dress code (business uncasual).
If you watched the debate too, maybe faux Michele can help erase the memory.

Every Munition is Sacred. Amen.

It sometimes seems as if every GOP position can be illustrated by a scene from a classic comedy. Today's video comes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The following scene popped into my head while driving to work and thinking about the dangerous intersection of massive American militarization combined with primitive god-talk that dominates so much of our national conversation.

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.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Lowlights from this week in the GOP Clown Circus

Rick Perry wants to end civilian control of the military. (Think Progress)

Herman Cain shows a similar lack of understanding of the Constitution by pledging to 'overturn the Supreme Court' if they rule that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional. I guess there were minimal checks and balances for the CEO of Godfather's Pizza. (Raw Story)

Newt Gingrich not only says that child labor laws are 'truly stupid', but he suggests a job for the kids, having them perform janitorial tasks after breaking up the school janitors' union (LA Times)

Michele Bachmann is not waiting to be elected President before giving orders to the Pentagon to begin making plans to go to war with Iran. (

Rick Santorum told us that gay marriage will make our country fall, whatever that means in his indecipherable world view. (Huffington Post)

Jon Huntsman tells the voters in New Hampshire that he doesn't care what the rest of the country thinks, and GOP voters in the rest of the country return the sentiment. (

The other Mormon, Mitt Romney, gave a confused speech in front of a defense contractor, telling his receptive audience that the budget for the bloated militarized police state of America should not be cut. Where should the money come from? We can take it away from healthcare for the poor. And he's the "moderate" in this group of clowns. (Raw Story)

There's certainly no room to cut anything here: