Archive for March, 2012

ScaLiar

March 30, 2012

We are living under a radicalized Supreme Court that ignores precedent and aggressively seeks an agenda of international corporate fascism, allowing corporations to anonymously dump billions of dollars into our democratic political campaigns, and now they are set to turn back the clock on healthcare, stripping affordable care from millions of our nation’s poor, and setting the stage for a private monopoly on health.  It’s disturbing when a Supreme Court justice, Scalia, repeats FOX News’ talking points when discussing a case…

“Scalia doesn’t seem to realize that the so-called “Cornhusker kickback” wasn’t included in the Affordable Care Act; it was taken out before passage. Scalia probably heard something about it on Fox News, assumed it was true, and internalized his party’s talking points. More than two years later, the conservative justice is still parroting a claim that has no basis in fact — indeed, he’s practically boasting about it during Supreme Court oral arguments.”

FOX News has done irreparable harm to politics in this country, and now it’s evident they’ve also scorched our justice system.  Welcome to the United States of Corporate Lobbyists.  Hope you don’t have any pre-existing conditions because, how do I break this to you?  …you’re going to die of it.  On every tier of Republican politics facts are ignored.  It’s bad when that’s coming from the governor’s mansions, but when it’s coming from our judges, who should be relying on facts, who should be trained to separate bullshit from reality, it’s truly disturbing.  That fat bastard extension of Ronald Reagan’s is an embarrassment to the country, to the justice system and the tradition’s of the court.   He has shamed his position as surely as if he took a big steaming dump straight onto the bench.

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Tweet of Terror

March 29, 2012

Spike Lee and Roseanne Barr have both committed acts of malign twittering.  Spike didn’t even get it right when he tweeted what he thought was George Zimmerman’s home address, but in fact was an elderly couple’s home address who have nothing to do with George Zimmerman.  Spike has since apologized, but not for what he thought he was doing; he’s sorry for his mistake.  Roseanne Barr tweeted the home address of George Zimmerman’s father, and has encouraged retweets of the address.  Still another twitter account has been set up under the name “Kill Zimmerman.”  When did this resounding condemnation of vigilantism become vigilantism?  Am I missing something here?  What is the purpose of posting a person’s home address?  Do they want violence to befall the person?  Do they want the person to be frightened by the possibility of violence?  What is it?  Is it a terror tactic?  I guess when it comes down to it nobody trusts the law to do right anymore.  Not George Zimmerman.  Not Spike Lee.  Not Roseanne Barr.  Not the person who set up the anonymous Twitter account “Kill Zimmerman.”  I can’t say I blame any of them.  When we pass stupid laws like “stand your ground” or laws forcing vaginal penetration by ultrasound wand for women seeking abortions or laws that refer to large segments of our population as “illegals,” it’s time to seriously start questioning our law makers, but murder and threats are unlikely to help.  Posting people’s addresses online for the unhinged lunatic fringe to respond to is terrorism.  No two ways about it.  It’s why Tennessean Republicans are looking to publish abortion information online, giving out the names and home addresses of doctors who perform the procedure, and the medical information of women who the procedure performed.  It’s terrorism and must be stopped.  Glad to see Spike Lee, Roseanne Barr and the misogynistic xenophobes of the Republican base line up on this one.  All things are possible when we work together.  Let’s all form a circle, hold hands and sing Kumbaya My Lord.

Rand Paul: Rotten Tool

March 28, 2012

“Instead of punishing them, you should want to encourage them. I would think you would want to say to the oil companies, “What obstacles are there to you making more money and hiring more people?”  Instead they say, “No, we must punish them. We must tax them more to make things fair.” This whole thing about fairness is so misguided and gotten out of hand … We as a society need to glorify those who make a profit,” said Rand Paul, earning himself my complete contempt.  We actually have politicians now who boldly take the podium and condemn fairness.  Liberty is bullshit when the measure of liberty is profits.  Such men of single-mindedness as Rand Paul must be driven from politics and shunned by polite society.  Well, Rand Paul… what about me fuckface?  I don’t make any profits.  I’m a stay at home dad, and my wife is a public school teacher.  Are we all worthless?  Is the police officer worthless?  The fire fighter?  What profits do politicians generate?  Rand Paul is  pig excrement.  In his statement, he condemns all public workers, but I’m sure he has no problem with that, forgetting that he himself is one.  Ayn Rand is a poison to American politics.  Money was her God, and it’s the God of the Republican Party.

Prima Simpsonis: The First Television Appearance of Bart Simpson

March 25, 2012

I was watching an episode of Amazing Stories, The Family Dog.  It’s an animated episode that, according to imdb, originally aired on Februray 16th 1987.  The network made a really big deal about it at the time.  There hadn’t been any animated show on primetime since the demise of The Flintstones.  The episode was written and directed by Brad Bird, who since that time has become a titan in the animated world, directing such films as The Iron Giant and Ratatouille.  Early in his career, Bird worked on The Simpsons.  He even has a credit on the early Christmas special: Simpson’s Roasting on an Open Fire.  Of course, The Simpsons didn’t begin there.  The first Simpson’s short hit the airwaves as part of the Tracey Ullman Show on April 19th 1987.  Brad Bird does not appear to have been a part of The Simpson’s first break onto television, but he did go on to be the creative supervisor for the first four seasons of the show’s run.  It’s impossible to say whether or not Brad Bird saw early sketches for the characters, but since Groening was a popular underground comic artist, it’s highly likely young animators at the time would have been excited somebody like Groening was entering the animation world.  Many a youngster would have set sights on working with that man.  So, my question is, did Brad Bird first introduce the world to Bart Simpson a full two months before Matt Groening?  I think he did.  It could be a coincidental resemblance, something hammered home through Bart Simpson’s now current cultural ubiquity, but it also may not be.  Here, I present, from a still captured from Brad Bird’s The Family Dog episode of Amazing Stories, what I believe to be Bart Simpson’s first television appearance.

Bart pokes his big ugly head out of the top of Billy's stocking. Could that candy bar be a Butterfinger?

Running Conservative and then Running Scared

March 22, 2012

Romney is all shook up about the whole Etch-a-Sketch analogy.  “I’m running as a conservative Republican. I was a conservative Republican governor. I’ll be running as a conservative Republican nominee,” he said. “The policies and positions are exactly the same.”  Last night on her Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel Maddow did an excellent piece about how easily, constantly and even unnecessarily Mitt Romney lies, but I’ll say this here, when he says, “I’m running as a conservative Republican,” he’s telling the truth, but please note… He doesn’t say, “I’m a conservative Republican,” which is, you’d think, what most people accused of being a truth evading, policy flip-flopper might affirm, but not Romney.  He’s running as a conservative Republican, but he isn’t one.  It’s a mask he’s wearing to the ball.  After midnight (a.k.a. the Republican convention) he will proudly step back to the center.  He will doff his rich fippery, and step back into the workingman’s apparel.  It’s hard to believe he can be this crass, but at sometime in his past as a politician, he decided the shoe fit, and that shoe is the beloved flip-flop, but you’re not allowed to flip-flop-flip.  There is no such shoe as a flip-flop-flip.  You can’t wear it, and I hope the voters see that shoe is a sham; that it’s a cruel shoe.  Either you can win the presidency as a “severely conservative” Republican or you can’t.  Mitt Romney has proudly waved the freak flag of his severe conservatism, and now he wants to run it back to half-mast.

Romney is the one who will win the Republican nomination.  The party elders want it that way because the GOP knows, deep in it’s black little heart, that America doesn’t want a severely conservative anything in power.  The GOP knows the positions their candidates are taking in this prolonged primary will be untenable in the general.  That’s why it has always been Romney’s, and the party’s, intention to swerve back to center after this crank of the wheel hard to the right.  The problem is, they’ve gone so far off the road, they’re lost in the dust, and when they get back, the ruin to their machine will be fully evident… worthless on the resale market.  You’re not going to sell me what you’ve taken on a road trip from here, through to Alaska, and back again, and that’s where they went.  Palin’s at the wheel of this party now, and if I were Rush Limbaugh, this is where I’d make a crack about female drivers, but since I ain’t, let me add this: Hillary ’16.  First, a black man, and then a woman.  Let’s freak these dinosaurs out.

Etch-a-Wretch

March 21, 2012

After being asked if Romney had moved so far to the right as to no longer have any chance with moderates, a spokesman for his campaign, Eric Fehrnstrom, said, “Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all over again.”

This is surely one of the wackiest, and possibly purest, moments in U.S. political history. It says policy positions don’t matter. The economy, the environment, education… none of it matters. It says what a candidate says doesn’t matter. It says any lie told in service of getting elected doesn’t matter. And, it also boldly says, people won’t care that their candidate is a dishonest charlatan, and it’s that last statement that I can’t buy. It might be too late for the Republicans to change course on this, but people must still at least desire the illusion of an honest candidate.

Will the United States actually entertain electing a president who loudly proclaims, “I am a liar, and fuck you for caring about my lies!”? Will the moderates be swayed? Will the teabaggers simply sit back and suck Romney’s balls now that his ascension to the Republican throne is assured? I can’t wait to discover the answers to all these questions and more. Thank you, Republican clowns, this has been a delightful primary season. It’s been so good, in fact, that it may be time to take your final bow.

This is truly amazing. Newt Gingrich is already flopping around on stages waving an Etch-a-Sketch around like a holy relic just bought off eBay. Republican Party, your threat level is high.

Happy Birthday Mr. Safety Pin

March 19, 2012

Patrik Fitzgerald’s birthday is probably a better thing to celebrate than the ninth anniversary of a pointless war, and besides, the lad’s Irish, and Saint Patrick’s Day is already two days old.  Drink!

Nine Years

March 19, 2012

Happy anniversary America!  Nine years ago today, most of the country caught a collective insanity from the Republican madmen in power.  The media and the government worked together in lockstep unison as they heralded a war against Iraq as necessary to maintaining our freedoms.  Bush and Cheney were grinning form ear to ear to ear.  They were off to war.  They were in the liberation game.  Well, liberating became the battle cry later.  First, we had to get rid of the imminent threat posed by those WMDs.  I guess those took care of themselves though… by not the fuck existing.  Bullet dodged there.  Truly though, not all of the country fell under the hypnotic sway of blood on the streets of Baghdad.  There were people out protesting the war, but most Americans did not like these protesters.  No, the average dink on the street had words for the protesters.

“They should all go to the West Bank and be left there,” said passerby Michael, 33, shaking his head. “They’re cowards, every last one of them.” 

“I think they’re a bunch of morons,” said Monica, 28, as she turned away from the scene. “We’re fighting a war against terrorism. They’re not Americans.” 

Of course, it was all about fighting terror, and had nothing to do with anything else.  Nothing to do with anything else at all.

“The Kellogg Brown & Root (KBR) unit of Halliburton, of which Cheney was CEO from 1995 to 2000, said late Monday that it was awarded a contract by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to put out oil fires and make emergency repairs to Iraq’s oil infrastructure.”

“Southern Iraqi oil fields are secure, and coalition forces are making good progress to take control of the rest of the country, US President George W. Bush told reporters.”

“Donald Rumsfeld also asserted that one of the strategic objectives in the coming days of Iraqi invasion will be to secure the remaining oil fields.”

“U.S. and British troops moved swiftly today to secure Iraq’s vital oil facilities.”

“Colonel Steve Cox, commander of the landing force: “The U.S. Marines are moving well into the Rumaila oil fields and it seems like we will be able to seize much of the oil structure intact.”

“Blair said the objective in the north of Iraq was to protect the region’s Kurds,
to secure its oil fields…”

“US-led forces have made a priority in the current war of trying to secure
Iraq’s oil fields.”

“The oil markets could simply say we are fine because we know the oil fields are secure.”

“Coalition forces have captured a number of key facilities in Iraq’s southern oil fields.”

“The Pentagon has said it would try to secure Iraqs oil fields quickly.”

“Iraq’s oil fields apparently secured, the question now is how soon wells, pipelines and pumping stations can go back into operation.”

And the country reaffirmed it’s love for the man who threw us so whole-heartedly into war by re-electing him in 2004, and then this fickle bitch of a nation elected the next president based on some loose promises to end the war.  This is a country of people standing in the customer service line at Target to return a can of dented tomato soup.

Mrs. Columbo

March 15, 2012

I watched one of the later Columbo’s last night, “R.I.P. Mrs. Columbo” from 1990.  This was of particular interest to me because I’ve never believed Columbo actually has a wife.  Whenever he mentions her, she is used as the person who has interests in things, whether those things are movies, music, literature, gardening or marmalade.  She knows about culture.  She has a curiosity for science.  She’s a DIY enthusiast.  Mrs. Columbo wants to broaden her horizons.  Columbo, the husband, he’s a know-nothing schlub, working a job, scratching and shaking his head with just enough information about the world to know how to order a bowl of chili.  The wife is a device he can use to hide his erudition and street smarts.  She doesn’t exist, and then there’s this episode: Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo.

Mrs. Columbo is dead, or so we’re lead to believe.  I couldn’t buy it from the very beginning since I don’t believe she exists, but here we are, attending her funereal in the rain.  The story flashes back and forth from the funeral to the past as the case builds itself up, and soon it’s apparent Columbo has set a trap to get the killer to confess, and the trap is his wife’s fictional death and staged funeral.  He gets the confession.  Columbo wins.  There was no wife.  She was never poisoned and killed.  The house that Columbo says is his, where he and the killer go for Columbo to set up getting the confession, isn’t his, but then at the very end of the show, it happens.  Columbo calls a number on the phone, and talks to his wife (or does he?).  He never says, “Honey,” or calls her by her name or mentions how using her fake funeral worked out for his case.  He does talk about the person’s sister, and says, “I love you too.”  Maybe no amount of evidence will shake me, but Columbo wasn’t talking to his wife.  That was his mother on the phone, but what about the short-lived television series “Mrs. Columbo,” in which Columbo’s wife solves crimes?  It was meta-fiction.  The show was about a crazy woman who loved the television show Columbo and constructed an elaborate fantasy life for herself where she was Columbo’s wife, and she was able to do this precisely because Columbo’s wife is never shown on the show, and Columbo’s wife is never once shown because Columbo never married.

Maybe there’s more evidence in another episode for the wife’s existence, but I have yet to see it. Until then, I remain a staunch a-mrs.Columboist.

The GOP and The SEX

March 14, 2012

When the Iraq and Afghani wars were begun by ex-president Bush jr., I was against those wars.  Loads of automobile owners started putting small magnetic ribbon decals on their cars.  The ribbons read, “Support Our Troops.”  I’d see “Support Our Troops” signs up in people’s yards and shop windows.  The sentiment was ubiquitous, and it consistently managed to piss me off.  I’d mutter to myself like a half-deranged homeless person, “What the fuck do you think I don’t pay my taxes?  I support our troops.  Of course I do.  I’m not a tax cheat.”

Fast forward a few years, and now Republicans are actively claiming that they can’t A) raise taxes on the rich because rich people are tax cheats, and B) we shouldn’t support our women.  Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sarah Palin, Pamela Geller and others have all spoken up in one well-orchestrated unified voice to say to sluts.  They don’t want their “hard-earned” money going to pay for anyone’s ____________. (you can fill in the blank there: sex life, extra curricular activities, contraception, irresponsibility)  This is just one part of the right wing’s distorted assault on women’s rights, and what it all boils down to is sex.

If these young women were responsible people and didn’t have the sex to begin with, we wouldn’t be in this situation,” said North Carolina GOP county board chairman Ted Davis.  You see, young women having “the sex” has driven the GOP crazy.  In their world, young women having “the sex” are why they have to behave like a bunch of medieval clergy sniffing out heresy.  Maybe young men have “the sex” too, but what young men do is of no business to the GOP… as long as they’re young white men.  Okay, I’ll admit facetiousness on that last statement.  Afterall, only 29% of Mississippi GOP primary voters are against interracial marriage, but let’s not hold that against them since nearly two-thirds of all Americans believe aliens from outside our solar system have visited the Earth.  And many of those people believe those aliens are here to have “the sex.”  Alien rapists from beyond Uranus… isn’t that enough of a reason to mandate insurance companies cover female contraception?

The fact of it is,  the old white men of the GOP don’t want women to have “the sex” without punishment.  If the women want to get physical, then the GOP’s got to get biblical, and allow foreign interests (the Vatican) to dictate US legal policy.  For a bunch of geezer who fulminate over the UN, watching them actively trip over one another to bow before the Pontiff of the Holy Roman Church is hilarious.  And the expression of their faith is clear: “the sex” must result in “the impregnation.”  Then we can tie those women-folk down with children, and keep them out of the universities where they’re getting over-educated.  You’d think the GOP would be alarmed at the rates they’re shedding female support, and maybe some of their rational members even are, but this war on women’s health isn’t slowing down.  Intra-vaginal probing laws are popping up all across the country.  Any woman who requires an abortion is forced to stand before these rape panels and confess her sins.  Their end game is to overturn Roe vs. Wade – a court decision nearly as old as I am – and once again criminalize abortion, but then they want to go one further and essentially end women’s access to birth control.  They’ll never criminalize birth control, but if it’s made too expensive and difficult to obtain, then the job is essentially done anyway.  Rich women might still be prone to vote for the Republicans because they’re still reaping the windfall in tax breaks for the wealthy.  The rich woman will be able to afford her birth control.  The rich woman will be able to fly to Europe for her abortion.  It’s one thing for a woman to have to go across state lines to escape her local Taliban, and quite another to have to flee the country completely, and it is to this point back to which we are heading.  GOP, gomers of progress.

 

Update: I just came across this (bad choice of words):  A proposed bill in AZ that would allow employers to fire a woman, any woman, if they disapprove of her sex life.  This is kicking in the door to legalization of sexual harassment.