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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Worth 1,000 Words

May 31st, 2011

Sums up the 112th Congressional election pretty well. HT to Shoq.

FOX News Lie-Stream Hacked

May 31st, 2011

Beautiful. A rare dose of truth from the lie-stream.
(via)

Desperate For Scandal

May 31st, 2011

Remember when the Breitbart media nexus devoted every single link on multiple sites to former Sen. John Ensign's (R-NV) affair, the subsequent payout of $100,000 in hush money and possible violations of federal law?
Neither do I. 

Remember when Breitbart devoted every single link to former Gov. Mark Sanford's (R-SC) wild adventure in extramarital intrigue on the taxpayer's dime?
Neither do I. 

This is because the very suggestion that provable Republican malfeasance would ever get that level of play from the so-called "Bigs" is absurd. Fast forward to "Weinergate." In case you've missed this unfolding bit of strangness, here's a recap from Politico:

"(Rep. Anthony-D)Weiner, who has represented part of New York City since 1998, says online hacking led to a close-up shot of a man’s underwear being sent from his official Twitter account Saturday night."

So far, this is pretty much all we know. Enjoy the following screenshots from Andy "The Journalist" Breitbart.

Screenshot of Breitbart's Big Government site 7pmCST 5/30/2011
It gets even better...
Screenshot of Breitbart's Big Journalism site 7pmCST 5/30/2011
That's 38 out of 40 "news" links devoted to this. 28 of those links say the word "weiner" in one form or another. Oh, and there are also two links peddling Andy's latest "book." 

We don't know if Andy simply went nuts publishing the word "Weiner." Frankly, we don't even know whether this is Weiner's weiner. 

Way to go, Andy. Way to go.

Quote Of The Day

May 31st, 2011

"The great constitutional corrective in the hands of the people against usurpation of power, or corruption by their agents is the right of suffrage; and this when used with calmness and deliberation will prove strong enough."
-- Andrew Jackson

Monday, May 30, 2011

In Memorium

May 30th, 2011

It is with great humility that would should mark this day. Through centuries of conflict, we have risen again and again to the task of guaranteeing freedom as a commonality rather than as the privilege of a very few. 

The fight is never finished. There are always winters in our nation's journey. But, there have also always been warriors from our humblest ranks who have fought not to avenge or to impose but to protect and to preserve. For them, I urge all Americans to take a moment of silence and give thanks. That these men and women are memorialized appropriately is our solemn duty.

I can think of no greater words than these upon which we might reflect.

"It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain" 

-- excerpt from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address

Saturday, May 28, 2011

RIP Gil Scott-Heron

May 28th, 2011

You gave us so much.

Quote Of The Day

May 28th, 2011

"Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies."
-- Aristotle

Friday, May 27, 2011

Quote Of The Day

May 27th, 2011

"Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
-- Howard Thurman

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quote Of The Day

May 26th, 2011

"The truth is that a vast restructuring of our society is needed if remedies are to become available to the average person. Without that restructuring the good will that holds society together will be slowly dissipated." 
-- William Orville Douglas

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quote Of The Day

May 25th, 2011
Thank you for all the well-wishes. I will be back to my usual volume of mischief soon.

"Serious illness doesn't bother me for long because I am too inhospitable a host." -- Albert Schweitzer 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quote Of The Day

May 24th, 2011

"Extremists think "communication" means agreeing with them." -- Leo Rosten

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Market Fundamentalism Is Dead"

May 23rd, 2011

So said Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz recently.

Quote Of The Day

May 23rd, 2011

"Shun idleness. It is a rust that attaches itself to the most brilliant metals." -- Victor Hugo

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Quote Of The Day

May 22nd, 2011

"Here is true immorality: ignorance and stupidity; the devil is nothing but this. His name is Legion." -- Gustave Flaubert

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quote Of The Day

May 21st, 2011

"What we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning." -- Werner Heisenberg

Friday, May 20, 2011

Never Trust A Guy...

May 20th, 2011

... who finds it acceptable to refer to himself repeatedly in the third person.

"He makes sense. He makes it clear. He gives solutions, and he's not afraid to lead." 


-- presumed GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain referring to Herman Cain while predicting the American people's reactions to the policy proposals of Herman Cain. 

Colbert On Newt

May 20th, 2011

With a little help from John Lithgow

The Fine Art Of Getting People's Attention

May 20th, 2011

At the beginning of this week, Ali S. Khan wrote a piece for the Center for Disease Control's blog on emergency and disaster preparedness. Ho-hum you say? Not in the least. This is great stuff. The fact that this did not fly under everyone's radar is due to a touch of creative mischief which is close to inspired.

From the CDC:

"There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said 
z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency."

I admit it. As soon as I saw the words "zombie apocalypse" they had me. Read the full post HERE

It's Getting Better

May 20th, 2011

The journey towards true equality for our LGBT brothers and sisters contiues slowly but surely. Good news today from Gallup:

"For the first time in Gallup's tracking of the issue, a majority of Americans (53%) believe same-sex marriage should be recognized by the law as valid, with the same rights as traditional marriages. The increase since last year came exclusively among political independents and Democrats. Republicans' views did not change."


At The Precipice

May 20th, 2011

Hat tip to The Dish for this. Sully finds it detestable and gave it one of his "Moore Award" nominations. I think it is simply a little gallows humor mixed with the truth.

Quote Of The Day

May 20th, 2011

"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped."
-- Elbert Hubbard

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Totally Random Let's All Stay Sane Moment

May 19th, 2011

Is it just me? Or is there something suspiciously similar between this and the vision of the school voucher nuts?

The Real Enemy Has A Name Now...

May 19th, 2011

Today, David Corn called it like it is. Forget "birtherism." Forget "deatherism." Forget accusations against "B. Hussein Obama" of "socialism." The hard core enemies of this President, nearly to a one, can be described most accurately as devotees to "otherism."

He writes in Mother Jones:
"Birtherism is (was?) fundamentally about delegitimizing Barack Obama—proving him a complete fraud. (It's been hard not to assume there was a racial component to the endeavor.) Yet the birthers, dependent on conspiracy theories, were easily done in by basic facts. Seen as reality-denying extremists, the birthers became a drag upon the GOP; only Donald Trump would embrace them fully—and that hardly turned out well.

Yet otherism continues and thrives. This line of attack is far more in sync with routine political practices. Otherism can be advanced with hints and suggestions. It comes in different guises. It can be gussied up with other questions: Does Obama really believe in America the Experiment, or America the Exceptional? The strategy is to fuel suspicion, not prove a conspiracy. But the goal is the same: to encourage voters to believe Obama is not a real American.

The key audience for otherists, though, is not the general public. Obama, according to the polls, remains popular, even when voters disapprove of his policies or his handling of key matters. But many tea partiers and other conservatives do view Obama as an interloper and harbor deep fears about him and his agenda. GOP presidential contenders and party leaders need to appeal to these sentiments, and some, no doubt, seek to exploit them. Otherism offers a way to do so.

Unlike birtherism, otherism remains quite useful to the Republicans. Not even the adults of the party can resist its ugly temptations."

Sullivan Notes The Obvious... Again

May 19th, 2011

Well, President Obama gave another important speech to, and about, the Middle East. Sully notes that the reactions to this relatively cautious, generally uneventful and extraordinarily non-specific performance are almost uniformly flat-out-nuts.

"The meme that a speech that said almost nothing new is a "stunning" attack on Israel is countered on the right with an embrace of the speech by neoconservatives. Yeah: you couldn't make this conservative cognitive dissonance up."

Agreed. I am still trying to figure out what it is that right-wing nuts seem to have heard that wasn't actually said. The full text of the President's prepared remarks follow the video. My only real critique of his message is, basically, way to go. Barack Obama said about as much as any sitting President right this minute could possibly say without making the worst, most hopeless place in the world even more horribly unstable.


Another Chart

May 19th, 2011

As I grow increasingly tired of writing in detail about American monetary policy in my attempts to counter the "it's all Obama's fault" idiots, I must occasionally resort to simple charts. Hey, idiots, this one even has pictures. Suck it up.

Quote Of The Day -- Remembrance Edition

May 19th, 2011

"The charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights are the principles in which we believe and these documents, if put into practice, represent the essence on mankind's hopes and good intentions." 
-- El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz aka Malcolm X
May 19, 1925 – February 21, 1965

His Name Was Malcolm

May 19th, 2011

"A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything." --Malcolm X

On this day in 1925, a child was born in Omaha, Nebraska named Malcolm Little. Even today, he is either hyped or he is stereotyped. This is a disservice. He was more than any simple symbolic figure. His contribution is more than any mere slogan. He was a great and complex man. He was imperfect and also brilliant. His anger was outmatched by his wisdom. Like so many during the turbulence of the 60s, he was ripped from us.

He was a great American. Period.
"I believe in human beings, and that all human beings should be respected as such, regardless of their color." -- El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz aka Malcolm X

Totally Random Let's All Stay Sane Moment

May 19th, 2011

This is amazing. Meet a tiny, charming pre-adolescent Dr. Dre. It is abundantly clear that Dre was always Dre.

That's Not What I Meant

May 19th, 2011

When I said, "four more years! Four more years!" I was not referring to this. From TPM:

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) have agreed to a deal on a four-year extension of the Patriot Act, the Associated Press reports.

Officials in both parties told the AP that the deal between Reid and Boehner calls for a quick vote. Closure on the motion to proceed on the Patriot Act will take place at 5 p.m. on Monday, Reid said on the floor of the Senate late Thursday. "The idea is to pass the extension with as little debate as possible to avoid a protracted and familiar argument over the expanded power the law gives to the government," the AP reported."


I noted the Left's version of Obama Derangement Syndrome the other day which provoked an astonishing level of vitriol from some readers. If the progressive base needs a villain, I repeat my position from late last year that they should be hammering Reid instead.

Quote Of The Day

May 19th, 2011

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe." -- Albert Einstein

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tweet Of The Week

May 18th, 2011

Former Sen. Rick Santorum has responded to Sen. John McCain's recent pronouncements against torture by saying McCain "doesn't understand how enhanced interrogation works." Indeed. Santorum would have us believe that the third ranking member of the Armed Services Committee and a veteran who suffered severe torture at the hands of the Vietnamese over more than five years... doesn't understand torture.

McCain's daughter calls bullshit..


Quote Of The Day

May 18th, 2011

"Being a woman is a terribly difficult task, since it consists principally in dealing with men." -- Joseph Conrad

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bad News Here In Indiana

May 17th, 2011

Well, we used to have the 4th Amendment in Indiana. Dan Carden reports for NWI:

"INDIANAPOLIS | Overturning a common law dating back to the English Magna Carta of 1215, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Hoosiers have no right to resist unlawful police entry into their homes.

In a 3-2 decision, Justice Steven David writing for the court said if a police officer wants to enter a home for any reason or no reason at all, a homeowner cannot do anything to block the officer's entry.

"We believe ... a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," David said. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."

David said a person arrested following an unlawful entry by police still can be released on bail and has plenty of opportunities to protest the illegal entry through the court system."

Everyone in America should be enraged by this. We are supposed to be guaranteed the following under the Constitution.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Not anymore. Not here in Indiana.



Ben Stein Jumps The Shark

May 17th, 2011

Ben Stein's arguments that the long term unemployed smell (literally) or that Arabs don't deserve democracy were one thing. But this? This is unforgivable. Today, Stein addressed the shocking tale of IMF head Dominique Strauss-Kahn as rape and assault allegations unfold against him. While Stein purports to be defending the principle of the presumption of innocence, what he reveals is anger that New York's judicial system is treating someone so very wealthy with the same standards that it would, as he calls them, the "have-nots."

He writes in The American Spectator:
"1.) If he is such a womanizer and violent guy with women, why didn't he ever get charged until now? If he has a long history of sexual abuse, how can it have remained no more than gossip this long? France is a nation of vicious political rivalries. Why didn't his opponents get him years ago?"

Amazing. A vast majority of sexual assault is unreported. Most countries do not treat victims of rape as well as we do in the U.S and that's not saying much. It is generally understood in law enforcement that for every successful rape prosecution there are far more victims of the convicted who simply aren't known to the authorities. One doesn't suddenly just start raping women. Does Stein honestly believe that a man who is arguably the most powerful banker in the world could not get away with intimidating witnesses? This is, incidentally, exactly what allegedly happened a decade ago to French journalist Tristane Banon.

Quote Of The Day - Here and Now Edition

May 17th, 2011

"It is the mark of an intellectually pathologized society that intellectuals and politicians will reject their opponents’ realities." -- Jonathan Kay, from his new book on the resugence of conspiracy theories in America, Among The Truthers

Maddow, Meghan and Guns

May 17th, 2011

If you missed this, you missed a rare example of Left and Right achieving a meeting of the minds and agreeing on common sense solutions in record time. Oh, right. They aren't elected politicians.


Quote Of The Day

May 17th, 2011

"It is a trick among the dishonest to offer sacrifices that are not needed, or not possible, to avoid making those that are required" -- Ivan Goncharov

Monday, May 16, 2011

The OTHER Obama Derangement Syndrome

May 16th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker

Let's face it. We are living through one of those not-so-great American Eras within which collectively confirmed delusion runs rampant. There are obvious examples. Some folks are allowing their fears to be exploited for a buck. Others are huddling together online and repeating untruths to feel better about themselves. There are also subtler and ultimately more dangerous forms of group-think undermining our progress. So it goes in a time of unrest.

Quote Of The Day - Here and Now Edition

May 16th, 2011

"They take your money. They do not co-operate. They created the Taliban. They are number one in nuclear proliferation."
-- Afghanistan's former intelligence chief, Amrullah Saleh, discussing Pakistan's relationship with the U.S. and their harboring of Osama Bin Laden

Quote Of The Day

May 16th, 2011

"A man willing to work, and unable to find work, is perhaps the saddest sight that fortune's inequality exhibits under this sun." -- Thomas Carlyle

Sunday, May 15, 2011

John McCain Versus Torture

May 15th, 2011

Joe Conason wrote a splendid piece this weekend regarding Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) spirited and righteous condemnation of the liars and criminals (especially Thiessen and Yoo) from the W administration and their crude attempts to capitalize on the death of Osama Bin Laden.

I have published more than a few pieces (HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE) since lauching this blog about these sick and depraved violations of American principles. Indeed, this issue was the primary catalyst for me starting The Hand in the first place.

I have also lamented Sen. McCain's silence over the last few years. But now he has, at least to a degree, redeemed himself. Seriously, he shut the FOX lie machine down. That's no small thing in this day and age.

From Conason's piece via Truthout:

"For the longest time, a certain admirable, independent senator from Arizona disappeared from public life, replaced by an irresponsible, opportunistic and occasionally demagogic figure, who seemed to have been warped by his presidential ambitions and his disappointment in losing. But John McCain has now returned, just in time to refute the sinister attempt by his fellow Republicans to justify torture as the instrument of Osama bin Laden's demise.

During the last administration, even as a supporter of the Iraq invasion and the "war on terror," McCain broke ranks with his party to protest the worst excesses of the George W. Bush presidency. In one of the most memorable moments of the otherwise desultory Republican primary debates in 2008, he cited the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions and American military tradition to upbraid Mitt Romney for waffling on the issue of waterboarding. "This is what America is all about," he said indignantly. "This is a defining issue."

With every right-wing enabler from John Yoo to Marc Thiessen to Liz Cheney suddenly stepping forward to suggest that that the death of bin Laden absolves Bush-era criminality, it is refreshing to hear McCain's clear, strong voice of opposition. The torture advocates have claimed that the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a high-ranking leader in al-Qaida and an alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attack, caused him to reveal the identity of a courier whose trail led, almost seven years later, to the hideout in Abbotabad, Pakistan.

McCain is having none of this nonsense."


Neither are we, Mr. Senator. Neither are we.

Totally Random Let's All Stay Sane Moment

May15th, 2011

Perhaps this is just a foolish and fun clip. Personally, I think we can all learn a lesson about the irrationality of fear from this little fur ball. Be brave. Do what you think is right. And beware of fear.

Quote Of The Day

May 15th, 2011

"In all things it is better to hope than to despair" 
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Quote Of The Day 2

May 7th, 2011

"Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate." -- Sun Tzu

Great Songs No One Knows

May 14th. 2011

More than many previous entries... how the Hell can so many of us not know this?

Quote Of The Day

May 2nd, 2011

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible." 
-- T. E. Lawrence

Friday, May 13, 2011

"Quackery"

May 13th, 2011

It is certainly interesting to find as much shared ground as I have in recent months with writers from The Economist. In a piece this afternoon, the editors note with some alarm that the dominant proposals amongst elected Republicans

aren't just bad ideas, they are disastrously bad ideas:

"Views on the efficacy of countercyclical fiscal policy obviously differ, though prior to the election of Barack Obama Republican legislators had no compunction about voting for stimulus packages (though tax cuts were favoured). The turn against monetary policy is a disturbing and potentially quite dangerous development. Once upon a time, Milton Friedman—a man who basically blamed the Depression on tight money—was the leading economic intellectual of the conservative movement. Now top GOP members can't stop talking about the importance of "hard money" for recovery. Everyone from Rand Paul to Tim Pawlenty to Paul Ryan is on the bandwagon.

This is quackery. It should be noted that mainstream conservative intellectuals strongly back the use of countercyclical monetary policy, and some of the most aggressive critics of too-timid Fed policy—academics like Scott Sumner—have been on the right. Even the punditocracy is not entirely on board with goldbuggery. The National Review's Ramesh Ponurru has been a vocal critic of knee-jerk opposition to Fed policy.

The hard money approach is atrocious economics. I don't think it's outlandish (or even particularly controversial) to say that the biggest difference in the outcome of the Great Recession and the Great Depression was the change in central bank approach to policy. An economic catastrophe was averted. What's more, hard money is a great force for illiberalism. Sour labour market conditions fuel anger at the institutions of capitalism and free markets. And when countries are denied the use of normal countercyclical policies, they quickly reach for illiberal alternatives like tariff barriers.

Antipathy to the traditional role of the Fed is, quite simply, one of the worst intellectual developments to occur in either major party in recent memory. It's distressing that it's been so little remarked upon."
EMPHASIS OURS

When the core economic solutions offered by the elected Republican leadership are at odds with both Paul Krugman and the editorial board of The Economist, it is time to stop taking them seriously altogether.

Quote Of The Day - Here and Now Edition

May 13th, 2011

Ah, the flip-flop. It's one of those thing that political junkies such as myself can never get enough of. Whether they are from ideological friend or foe, they are always good fun. This, however, rises to the level of the colossal. 

It is that most delightful of things, the single sentence logical collapse.

"Our plan was a state solution to a state problem and his was a power grab by the federal government." 
-- Mitt Romney attempting to differentiate between his health care plan the Affordable Care Act.

If No One Sees It...

May 13th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker
UPDATE: As if the original media blackout weren't enough, it was brought to my attention that the video has been disabled. A new has been found to illustrate just what the so-called MSM ignores

photo copyright 2011 Politico
In the weeks leading up to the dreaded annual federal tax deadline last month, the news cycle was dominated by coverage of the Tea Party and it's many rallies. This was big news. After all, some of the rallies drew as many as 200 people.

One event, covered with near breathless importance by Bloomberg, managed to achieve a total attendance of, gasp, "dozens."

We were subjected to endless coverage of such dynamic and essential leaders as Rep Michelle Bachman (R-MN) and Indiana's own Rep. Mike Pence. There were 'don't tread on me' signs aplenty. FOX, CNN, MSNBC and just about every other outlet with a camera or a microphone hyped, parsed and dissected handfuls of "anti-government" outliers.

The point is that you heard about these gatherings. Or you read about them. Which is worth more than a passing thought because what you probably haven't heard about is something that happened yesterday.


THE MARCH ON WALL STREET - #ONMAY12 #USUNCUT from Rhodes Pictures on Vimeo.


"More than 20,000 protesters descended upon Wall Street Thursday to demand an end to Mayor Bloomberg’s draconian education cuts and his soft touch approach to billion-dollar companies. The May 12 event began as a series of splinter cell protests in the radius surrounding Wall Street that ultimately converged on the financial district."

That's right 20,000 Americans marched on Wall Street. Seriously, it happened. It received none of the every hour, on the hour analysis we can expect when handfuls of Tea Party folks show up in the middle of nowhere. There were no endless interviews from reporters on the scene. You did not hear of this because it was decided for you that you did not need to.

This is not merely irresponsible, it is dangerous.

Gee, Where'd My Blog Go?

May 13th, 2011
UPDATE: 3:33PM cst yesterday's posts have reappeared
In case any one is wondering where every one of yesterday's posts has gone, Google's administrator's apparently made an error while doing "maintenance." The happy, corporate-speak explanation is HERE.

Here is the screencap of their response to thousands of authors who have experienced the same thing.


I do not know if they will be back up. Yes, I am pissed.

Quote Of The Day

May 13th, 2011
Too Late.
"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Incredibly Reluctant Hat Tip

May 12th, 2011

As we have noted with disdain, the criminals of the previous administration have seized upon the operation which killed Osama Bin Laden to not only excuse acts of torture but also to justify their advocacy of this immorality.

Enter Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Sen. McCain is a servant of the people about whom I am greatly ambivalent. Nevertheless, his forceful counter to these manipulators and violators of America's values is to be hailed as an important contribution.

From today's WaPo.
"We did not learn Abu Ahmed’s real name or alias as a result of waterboarding or any ‘enhanced interrogation technique’ used on a detainee in U.S. custody. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts, or an accurate description of his role in Al-Qaeda."


It gets better...

"In fact, not only did the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden’s courier, Abu Ahmed; it actually produced false and misleading information."
EMPHASIS OURS

Hats off, Mr. Senator. And God Bless you for this one.

Sooo, FOX. The Crisis Facing America Is A Black Poet?

May 12th, 2011

Let's just say that after yesterday's shameful display on FOX (especially you, Hannity) regarding the White House appearance by the poet Common, we are justifiably having fun at Murdoch's expense.

Seriously, FOX?

May 12th, 2011

After the all day FOX hate-fest directed at the White House over their decision to host rapper and poet Common, Hannity really took the prize for most blatantly racist and hypocritical. Think Jon Stewart gave the FOX gang and Sean a pass? Not a chance.

Quote Of The Day

May 12th, 2011

"Racism is man's gravest threat to man - the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason." -- Abraham J Heschel

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Totally Random Let's All Stay Sane Moment

May 12th, 2011

A rescued seal pup is released into the wild. Simply profound.

Quote Of The Day

May 11th, 2011

"The best thing to give to your enemy is forgiveness; to an opponent, tolerance; to a friend, your heart; to your child, a good example; to a father, deference; to your mother, conduct that will make her proud of you; to yourself, respect; to all men, charity." 
-- Benjamin Franklin


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wow. Just Plain Wow.

May 10th, 2011

In spite of 10 years of tax cuts that have turned a surplus into the most crippling debt in our nation's history, Rush says "It's demonstrably proven that tax cuts increase revenue." Actually, it's been proven that such statements are some serious bullshit.

Meet Matthew Alexander

May 10th, 2011

No matter how many members of the American right, ex-Bush administration figures in particular, have come forward to defend the use of torture during the last regime they are consistently finding push-back from one group of intelligence professionals... interrogators themselves. Matthew Alexander is one of these professionals. The most disturbing observation Alexander and others keep making is that all this pro-torture blather is the number one recruiting tool for Al Qaeda and groups like them.


Quote Of The Day

May 10th, 2011

"The dead should not rule the living" -- Thomas Jefferson

Monday, May 9, 2011

Quotes Of The Day - Here and Now Edition

May 9th, 2011

Over at Forbes, Osha Gray Davidson has a terrific piece pushing back against the "torture-got-Bin-Laden" lie being so heavily promoted HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. Davidson interviews one of our top interrogators who has questioned suspects in GITMO, Iraq and Afghanistan as he describes this rush to defend the crimes of the previous administration as "propaganda [that] degrades our intelligence operations more than any other factor I can think of."

Notable:

"Simply the idea of our interrogators using torture or coercion recruits jihadists, facilitators, suppliers, supporters, and even suicide bombers, against us and our allies."

"Listen, waterboarding and/or other coercive techniques did nothing to contribute to our attempts to track down UBL (Usama bin Laden). What did succeed was weeks, months and years of diligent, laborious, and dedicated work – all within the bounds of legal and ethical boundaries….No torture, no waterboarding, no coercion – nothing inhumane – is considered a useful tool in our work."

The Money Quote:
"I cannot even count the amount of times that I personally have come face to face with detainees, who told me they were primarily motivated to do what they did, because of hearing that we committed torture." EMPHASIS OURS

Bill Maher Poses A Question

May 9th, 2011

"30 percent of this country will always vote Republican. I’m just asking why?"


Quote Of The Day

May 9th, 2011

"Politics will eventually be replaced by imagery. The politician will be only too happy to abdicate in favor of his image, because the image will be much more powerful than he could ever be." -- Marshall McLuhan

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Great Songs No One Knows

May 8th, 2011

This wonderfully strange early Eighties dance, industrial tune is almost forgotten. That's a shame.

Scott Walker's REAL message

May 8th, 2011

It's amazing what a couple of humorous audio tweaks can do.
Stay involved and keep the pressure on Gov. Waker HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE

She Will Always Be Your Mom

May 8th, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Quote Of The Day - Mother's Day Edition

May 8th, 2011

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine desert us; when trouble thickens around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts." 

-- Washington Irving

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Great Songs No One Knows

May 7th, 2011

Meet filmmaker Jim Jarmusch. If you are lucky, you have seen his transplantation of the ancient Japanese warrior code to the hipster-gangster-film in "Ghost Dog." If you are really lucky, you have perhaps marveled at his whimsically bizarre Rashomon-meets-Elvis study of perspectives in "Mystery Train". And, if you are super incredibly lucky, you have seen his seminal and bittersweet study of personal devotion, "Stranger Than Paradise."  But, what you may not know is that Jarmusch had one of the most interesting experimental bands of the very early eighties. This is pure art.

A Guy Who Knows

May 7th, 2011

The truly brilliant John le CarrĂ© (David Cornwell) talks 21st Century politics, propaganda and the realities of secret intrigues in the age of globalization. If you aren't aware of his background prior to writing the best and most honest spy novels of the last 50 years outside of Graham Greene's work, he was an intelligence operative. He actually is a guy who knows. Enjoy the full hour from Democracy Now.


Quote Of The Day

May 7th, 2011

"If it were not for the company of fools, a witty man would often be greatly at a loss." -- Francois de La Rochefoucauld

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Onion Cover's Bin Laden Death

May 6th, 2011

Amongst other things...

Other Guy Named Osama Bin Laden Can Finally Relax

Here We Go Again

May 6th, 2011

One more time. The Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) plan is still just as ridiculous today as it was when it came out a month ago. It's still based on massive giveaways to the rich, it's still absent any meaningful defense reform and as Bruce Bartlett notes in the Financial Times, its implementation would still raise the total federal debt by over 5 trillion dollars in the next decade. Which means it's still provably dishonest. It also makes Ryan's hard line on the debt ceiling inexplicable.

From Bartlett's piece:

"At the risk of belaboring the obvious, the federal budget deficit didn’t just suddenly arise solely because of actions taken by Democrats over the last two years. As a recent report from Pew makes clear, the bulk of it results from a recession that began in December 2007 and actions taken by Republicans when they were in power: huge tax cuts, two unfunded wars, and new spending programs such as Medicare Part D. Furthermore, Republicans themselves admit that even if their budget plans were enacted in every detail and spending is slashed, the government would still run deficits of more than $5 trillion over the next 10 years; that is what would result from the budget drafted by Rep. Paul Ryan, which all but 4 Republicans in the House voted for on April 15.

For the record, these are the deficits that House Republicans officially support (fiscal years): 2012: $995 billion; 2013: $698 billion; 2014: $489 billion; 2015: $431 billion; 2016: $478 billion; 2017: $407 billion; 2018: $378 billion; 2019: $415 billion; 2020: $405 billion; and 2021: $391 billion.

To vote for $5 trillion in additional deficits – not to mention all of the legislation that got us to today’s deficit – and then oppose allowing the Treasury to borrow funds to cover the lost revenue from tax cuts and the spending Congress enacted into law is nothing but reckless grandstanding."


It's not merely reckless, it's outright dangerous.

Olbermann Examines the "Lotto Nation"

May 6th, 2011

Keith notes that a recent poll confirms his theory as to why so many in the lower middle class are supporting tax policies that exclusively benefit the very wealthy... they are all convinced they're gonna get rich! Eventually. Somehow. Someday.

Great Songs No One Knows

May 6th, 2011

In late 1997, this obscure outfit released some wonderful material on Branson's V2 label. It should have been huge.

Totally Random Let's All Stay Sane Moment

May 6th, 2011

Meet Toyama Koichi. He is actually running for Governor of Tokyo Prefecture.

It's Still Torture

May 6th, 2011

Yesterday, I reposted an old column as a little push back against the outright liars and revisionists from the Bush era who are hyping the "torture got Osama" meme. It's totally unsurprising that FOX is parroting their talking points and repeating their falsehoods.



Andrew Sullivan kept up the pressure as he has been for some time with an analysis of why it's so important to the torturers to defend themselves now:

"So let us be very clear. The war criminal Dick Cheney presided over the worst lapse in national security since Pearl Harbor, resulting in the deaths of more than 3,000 people. This rank incompetent failed to get bin Laden at Tora Bora, and then dragged the US on false pretenses into a war in Iraq, empowering Iran's dictatorship, and killing another 5,000 more Americans on a wild goose chase. He presided over the deaths of more than 8,000 Americans, and tens of thousands of Iraqis during his criminally incompetent years in office.

On the other hand, the man who abolished torture as soon as he took office, Barack Obama, captured and killed Osama bin Laden, and captured a massive trove of intelligence, more than two years later. No Americans died in the operation.

What on earth are we debating? How have these delusional maniacs managed to even get us onto this turf? Because they have to. Because when the full truth of these past years are fully in focus, they will be revealed as some of the greatest criminals ever to have wielded power in America."

Ahem, A Note To Deathers

May 6th, 2011

The incredibly paranoid and would-be-funny-if-it-wasn't-true "deather" movement took a hit today. From Al Jazeera:

"Al-Qaeda has confirmed the death of its leader, Osama bin Laden, and said in an online posting that it would continue to launch attacks on the West.

The group said it would not deviate from the path of armed struggle and that bin Laden's blood " is more precious to us and to every Muslim than to be wasted in vain".

The statement was released on forums sympathetic to al-Qaeda and translated by the SITE monitoring service on Friday.

"It [bin Laden's blood] will remain, with permission from Allah the Almighty, a curse that chases the Americans and their agents, and goes after them inside and outside their countries,"al-Qaeda said."

To paraphrase Chevy Chase, "Osama Bin Laden is still dead."

To Show Or Not To Show

May 6th, 2011

There are so many reasons not to release the kill photos of Osama Bin Laden. Philip Gourevitch makes his case against it in The New Yorker and observes:

"The main argument for releasing a photograph of the punctured scalp of our enemy is that it will provide proof that bin Laden really is dead. In other words, seeing is believing. But does anyone really believe that any more? Believing is believing. People who want, or need, to believe that bin Laden wasn’t shot dead will have no difficulty believing that a picture of his cadaver is a fake, a simple propaganda trick. The release of Obama’s long-form birth certificate didn’t put an end to birtherism, so why would the release of bin Laden’s autopsy video put an end to deatherism? And why does the White House care to appease the holders of such delusions?"

Mindbogglingly Epic Fail

May 6th, 2011

I don't know how I missed this one earlier in the week. Simply amazing.

Quote Of The Day

May 6th, 2011

"If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons." -- James Thurber


Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Natural Reaction To Watching The GOP "Debate"

May 5th, 2011

Okay. Here's the deal. We can parse, analyze, dissect, collate and inter-referentially interpret tonight's GOP (FOX lackey) "Debate" tomorrow. This is how I felt watching it. I hope you did not watch it. I watched so you didn't have to.

Some Tweet

May 5th, 2011

Hat Tip to Kim

Not Enough Paper Hats

May 5th, 2011

As the Great Recession deepened last year, many conservative Republicans tried to have it both ways.

On the one hand, they attempted to smear President Obama's fiscal proposals as "job-killing." They played childish games and argued that his administration was "bad" for employment. They also sought to portray the collapse of new job creation as something that had only become a crisis a day or so after the inauguration of the new Democratic administration.