Monday, May 16, 2011

Holy Moses!

You've probably heard about Glenn "Moses" Beck's latest scam, a rally in Jerusalem this August.* If you haven't, don't complain that we're not linking to any of it. But we did encounter a larger-than-most version of the poster we thought worth sharing.
*We are quite amused that it is to occur on the eighth day of the 20th month.

The Amorphous They Accuse

We were going to start this w/ something like, "Well, if no one else will make fun of Mickey Kaus, we will," but he seems to have caught on & is now handling his own satire. Truly a renaissance man.
Ann Curry to co-host Today, according to NBC. Really? Isn’t she, um … you know … insufferably cloying and phony? Makes Diane Sawyer seem like Humphrey Bogart! Just saying … P.S.: And they accuse* the Republicans of promoting mediocre candidates by internal lockstep [need another ex.-ed David Gregory]. …
Although that sounded like practice for Big Hollywood, which may be Mick's next stop in his spiral of three-dot doom.

*Our emphasis. The other two are his. "They," our ass. Name a name, quote a quote, link a link, fool.

Defense Beat: Death From Above
In Your Backyard, Bit-chezz!

Thanks to advances in military technology, your crazed next-door neighbor, stalker ex-husband, boss, parental unit or other repressive agent can keep you under observation or attack 24/7.

No Names, Please

David Frum manages not to name check President Bush in this CNN screed. The very President Bush Frum "served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Speechwriting from January 2001 to February 2002."

Only fair, of course. When savaging the economic effects of the G.W. Bush admin., one might not make a big deal of one's involvement.
From 2000 to 2007 -- before the onset of the recession -- the median wage actually declined and the average family's debt burden grew heavier.

Then came the economic crisis: 8 million jobs lost in half a year. Housing values collapsed. Savings disappeared.

While the unemployment numbers have improved a little recently, a cohort of young Americans risk losing half a decade of their lives to chronic under-employment -- even as workers 55 and older face prematurely and permanently reduced incomes.

And even as jobs return, it's not clear that incomes will recover.

There's accumulating evidence that upward mobility has broken down in this society. Poorer Americans find it harder to escape poverty than they did a generation ago. More bitter still, there is evidence that people born poor in America find it harder to escape poverty than do people born poor in many European societies, including those supposed backwaters of socialist stagnation, Germany and France.

The Democratic Party responds to those social challenges by offering more government, more regulation and more taxes. These are not Republican answers, obviously.

But what are the Republican answers? And who will offer them?

If Huckabee will not be that candidate, then who will?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Frum.
How does Mr. Frum miss that the bleak jobless-recovery future of underemployed, immobile youth, reduced wages & no savings he so accurately projects is the "Republican answer?" (We would also like to know exactly what the question was.)

Almost missed this recap for the busy executive or semi-literate housefrau/retiree (It was under D.F.'s photo; immediate eye aversion.):
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • David Frum: Huckabee's announcement he won't run for president opens GOP void
  • Huckabee had his flaws, but got job and mobility concerns of the middle class
  • GOP candidates seem out of touch with Americans' worries on housing, jobs, economy
  • Frum: Democratic fixes mean taxes, regulation. Not great, but where are the fixes from GOP?
Thanks, CNN. (Make that font larger if you expect to attract more "Boomer" eyeballs.)

Extra-amusing: "GOP candidates seem out of touch." Aren't they supposed to win on the economy? Are reactionary lunacy & kulturkampf that important, or is this some last ditch, passing-of-a-generation distraction before the masses realize* that thirty yrs. of disappearing taxes, deregulation & increasingly big & authoritarian (Hah: Civility!) gov't., no matter the rhetoric (More civility!) are (along w/ a war or five) the cause of the current economic slump?

*It could happen!

It All Comes Out Of The Same Horse

While scanning PBR Moving Corp. HQ 2 L.A., not that we care,
In an effort to stay competitive in a growing craft beer market the company has developed alternate new products like the Loko-esque fruit-flavored Blast by Colt 45. Pabst also owns Lone Star, Colt 45, Old Style, Schlitz and many more labels with "regional appeal." Sales of Pabst Blue Ribbon reportedly make up about 30% of total sales thanks to a renewed popularity "with the young generation of hipsters who embrace its blue-collar roots and low price," says the LA Times.
this came to light:
The old Pabst brewery complex, now an artist loft community, need not worry about its machinery chugging back to life following the move. Pabst won't be bringing any brewing jobs to Southern California, notes the Times, "because MillerCoors brews and bottles its brands. MillerCoors has a brewery in Irwindale, which it opened in 1980 and now employs almost 600 people."
Or the same truck.
Photo by playonthefreeway via LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr

Will Collapse In The Next Earthquake

Two houses,
one block.

On Vinyl, Man

A possible series of slothful, self-pitying items: Discs we once owned.BOSS RADIO DOUBLE-PLAY!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Reaction To Huckabee & The
Lack Of Fire In His Gut

ADVANCE WARNING: We have all of yesterday's Huckabee, w/ Huck hisse'f playing bass behind The Nuge in a scorching rendition of "Cat Scratch Fever," on the DVR. Don't make us whip it out.

That aside, we're starting to think that going to TheDC is straight-up nut-picking; we figure most of the typists there were discovered drooling in the comments on reactionary sites or trolling the leftish blogosphere. (Also Mickey Kaus.)

Because one of the ninnies typing there believes, post-Huckabee
... in some ways you know the Obama camp must be thrilled at the prospect of not having to send the incumbent into a general election debate against the much smarter wit of the governor.
That's right, the (former, ex-, one-time) governor of Arkansas has a "much smarter wit" (Usage, anyone?) than President Obama. Really, one can't type anything beyond "really?" Because, among many other reasons:
In an introductory letter posted on the website, Huckabee explains further.

"Many of our schools and teachers today haven't found ways to make history for kids fun," he writes. "Instead, they're teaching with political bias that distorts facts for the sake of political correctness. As a result, our national pride and patriotism are in jeopardy."

The site lists four experts on its "Council of Masters" as having designed the lessons, including Dr. Larry Schweikart, the author of A Patriot's History of the United States, also known as one of Glenn Beck's favorite history books.

Huckabee has a long history with the conservative historical point of view. Back in April, Jon Stewart grilled Huckabee about his support for David Barton, a historian best known for saying that history curricula ignore the Christian foundation of the United States.
Oh no, too late (Can't say we didn't warn you though.):"Making the pussy purr." (2:25) Nice, Huck.

More Fun W/ Words

Soon to follow "liberal" into the lexicon of the ++un-good: "Public." As noted at Disillusionment Central, from On the Commons:
All things public are under attack. The Fort Worth rebranding is an indication of how effective this attack has been. The city explained that it was dropping the word “public” because of its “potentially negative connotation”. The Founding Fathers would be disconsolate. John Adams wrote in 1776, “There must be a positive passion for the public good, the public interest…established in the minds of the people, or there can be no republican government, nor any real liberty: and this public passion must be superior to all private passions.” Thomas Jefferson agreed, “I profess… that to be false pride which postpones the public good to any private or personal considerations.”

Would it be improper for me to mention the Forth Worth rebranding initiative was mostly paid for by a large oil drilling company?
Not at all.

Help yourselves. We're full.

Dull Pictures Of Boring Clouds

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the industrial pollution in the sky.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Blues Show Offs

Profiling Dep't.

It's tough out there for racist types. They're having trouble spotting the swarth w/o a scorecard:
Annie said...

So he's basically Syrian. What is it with so many Syrians who look like lily white hillbillies rather than arab?
Where can one even start w/ that statement? It refers to Mitch Freaking Daniels, known to these people to be the Governor-Imam of Indiana. The Mid-Western Mujahid. The Hoosier Hajji!

Matt Meets Megan

Thanks to Gloatessa. (Who apparently lifted it from TBogg.)

Friday, May 13, 2011

All In The Family

Also (As we haven't watched all 15+ mins., yeesh.):
  • In an effort to hide her identity, Ensign listed Ms. Hampton as "Aunt Judy" on his cell phone.
  • ”76 text messages were exchanged between Senator Ensign and Ms. Hampton from March 7, 2008 to March 10, 2008.”
  • Tim Coe spotted Ensign and Hampton’s cars in a hotel parking lot. He called Ensign and said “Put your pants on and go home.” Ensign said, “I can’t, I love her.”
Aunt Judy? Really.

Promptly At 1400PDT Today

No idea what that last one is. SLA?

And All of Wednesday's & Thursday's Labels Are Ruined, Simply Ruined

Wait, that should be the text, the title should be something like: "Comments Lost In Ether."

Tee & Hee, LLC

Moments ago, the perfect quote:
P.S.: Anyone else acquire new labels that are mash-ups of already existing labels?

Angry? You Bet I'm Angry, Mister ...

Excellent summation of our existence: Something we despise, & something we neither know nor care about.

Other Awful Stuff

When we were indeed mooching, in a general relief-stylee, rather than righteously collecting what we've paid into the system, we were issued a "Golden Advantage" card w/ food stamp funds & cash on it. Once, using it to withdraw $20.00 from a BofA ATM, we were informed a $3.00 fee would be charged for the transaction.

Straight outta PuffHo.
WASHINGTON -- Many states shortchange the jobless by distributing unemployment benefits on debit cards loaded with obnoxious fees, according to a new study by the National Consumer Law Center.

Of the 40 states that have switched from paper checks to prepaid debit cards, 22 states' cards charge ATM fees, 24 charge balance inquiry fees, and 28 charge inactivity fees. The cards in Arkansas, Idaho, Nebraska, Ohio, and Oregon come with overdraft fees ranging from $10 to $20.

And in Connecticut, Iowa, Rhode Island, and Tennessee, cardholders "must pay for every ATM inquiry or pay a denied transaction fee if they request cash when their balance is insufficient," the study says.

Tennessee stands out for having the card with the most "junk fees," the study says. Tennessee's card, provided by JPMorgan Chase, charges $1 for initial ATM withdrawals, 40 cents for balance inquiries, and 25 cents whenever someone swipes the card at checkout. It's one of just four states that doesn't provide even one free ATM withdrawal per deposit.

Tennessee doesn't think its card's fees are junk.

"I’m not sure calling them 'junk fees' is a fair statement," said Jeff Hentschell, a spokesman for the Tennessee Department of Workforce Development, which distributes Tennessee Automated Payment cards for jobless benefits. "When you look at the context of where we were and where we are today, the fees are actually minimal compared to where people were going to cash paper checks before."

Indeed: The NCLC study itself points out that for people without bank accounts, "getting cash from a UC prepaid card will usually be cheaper than paying a check casher to cash a paper check."

Hentschell added his department has a handy website that lays out the fees.

As for Chase, the bank says it's giving states a good deal on a valuable service.

"Each state negotiates its own contract and fee structure from numerous bidders," a Chase spokeswoman said in an email. "To date, states have chosen card solutions that cost government nothing and save taxpayer dollars, selecting their card provider based on the best mix of fees and services to the consumer."

The NCLC study says the Bank of America-issued cards in California and New Jersey are the best, since they offer "free and ample access to cash and transactions with no penalty fees." The study says close runners-up are Chase's card in Arizona and Citibank's in Maryland.
So BofA makes its California nut on the backs of those receiving a whopping $221.00/mo., sparing unemployment recipients. Nice.

Daily Douchebag, Yesterday's Papers

We were dying to link to this yesterday. And this.
Former sports commentator and columnist Jay Mariotti pleaded not guilty to three counts of felony on Wednesday for allegedy stalking and assaulting an ex-girlfriend. It's the same woman who had Mariotti on the ropes in the first place, according to the L.A. County District Attorney's office. He had been on probation ever since pleading "no contest" to multiple misdemeanor charges filed by the same woman after a domestic violence incident that began at a Santa Monica restaurant last August.

The latest charges stem from an incident that occurred around midnight on April 15, when Mariotti, 51, allegedly pulled a chunk of the woman's hair out and grabbed her cell phone away from her while shouting at her, according to the DA. Not unlike last year's incident, in which Mariotti reportedly "ripped something out of her ear and shoved her around."

The widely disliked former sports columnist for the Chicago Sun Times and frequent talking head on ESPN's Around the Horn before his arrest last year, pleaded not guilty to one felony count each of stalking, corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant, assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury, and two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a domestic court order on Wednesday.
Asshole.

Hippies Again

Doing No Evil

To get Blogger back to normal, all posts since 7:37am PDT on Weds, 5/11 have been temporarily removed. We expect everything to be back to normal soon. Sorry for the delay.

We’ve started restoring the posts that were temporarily removed and expect Blogger to be back to normal soon.

Blogger is back now. We're still working on restoring some of the data. For more details, see this post: http://buzz.blogger.com/2011/05/blogger-is-back.html

No!

They didn't, did they?

We mean, all the crap that appeared in this space yesterday was the most important crap that had ever appeared in this space.

Shit.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Meanwhile, In 1997

Ann Coulter & Mickey Kaus are still at it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Plowing W/ Salt

This went from interesting ("printing" stuff in three dimensions) to frightening (turning the earth to stone).
WIB: Wow. Would those curved surfaces allow you to “print” a hardened aircraft hangar?

BK: Certainly. But you can do more. The Air Force has developed a geopolymer, a substance that when added to soil turns it into a concrete-like material. Now, it only requires a mixture of 5 percent geopolymer and 95 percent soil to create this material, and a basic Contour Crafting rig weighs only 500 pounds and can fit in a military aircraft. So rather than transport large amounts of cement, steel and other materials to a remote military outpost, they could carry only the Contour Crafting machine and a small amount of geopolymer, and quickly fabricate a secure, comfortable military fort.
A slightly different mixture & all the soil could be turned to concrete, which will make the robotic Armageddon a lot more fun.

(As a nihilist, we're not as interested in erecting structures as razing them, of course, but literally paving the entire planet seems a bit extreme. Or not. Really, who are we to judge?)

30 Yrs. From The Hole

The Truth: His Secretary Denise
Is A Witch

On this 30th anniv. of Bob Marley's death, something on you stupid wasted hippies & how you're fucking it up again.
But Marley didn't really become a mainstream fixture—a singer instantly recognizable to anyone who's lingered over a fajita at Chili's or wandered through a freshman quad in the springtime—until after his death, and after. Greatest-hits collections are notoriously bad showcases, but Legend was a doozy—a defanged and overproduced selection of Marley's music. Listening to Legend to understand Marley is like reading Bridget Jones's Diary to get Jane Austen.
Fortunately, our people have weighed in, & found it wanting.
In turn, the music cognoscenti and hipsters seem to hold his mainstream appeal and lame followers against him.
Of course we do. What's the point of knowing what is & isn't hep if you can't use the knowledge to discriminate?
Bob Marley's golden period was the three albums he cut with the original Wailers and the brilliant, certifiably insane, Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry: Soul Rebels, African Herbsman, and Rasta Revolution. These records are more satisfyingly complex, both lyrically and instrumentally, than much of Marley's later work. The Perry recordings are steeped in R&B and soul harmonies, but also tough.

[...]

When the English producer Chris Blackwell took over in 1973, intent on making Marley a star, the music, despite a couple of great albums, notably Catch a Fire! and Natty Dread, became steadily more mellow and digestible.
Chris Blackwell is a vampire, too.Personal note: At any given time, the above number may be as close to a "favorite" song as we'll ever get.
UPDATE (2100ish PDT, 29 April 2012): And therefore have embedded a working video thereof. Shove it, BMG.

Revisionism W/o End

Here they go again.As long as there's money to be made. Mostly by making it as cheaply as possible. Made in America, or outsourced to slave labor, Mr. Huckabee?

TheDC  Shows The Libs

In its entirety:
We get it. America has an epidemic of obesity. As a country, we are fat and out of shape. We’re aware of this, but hey, we’re busy.

For those who want to change, there are tons of ways to trim down and eat healthy. For instance, May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month. You can choose to follow the Federal Activity and Dietary guidelines or you can even participate in First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” program.

But if you’re anything like me, the only arm curls you’ll do is when you lift a comforting, convenient, fatty food to your mouth. They don’t call it comfort food for nothing!
This may have something to do w/ Tucker Carlson's frozen food inheritance. Or it may be stupiditycollege humor finding its natural home.

Directly to the slideshow. Yum!

On The Campaign Trail: The Newt Beat

Someone liked it.
Mother Jones takes a long look at Gingrich through the yrs.
1988 Gingrich discusses his midlife crisis: "I spent a fair length of time trying to come to grips with who I was and the habits I had, and what they did to people that I truly loved. I really spent a period of time where, I suspect, I cried three or four times a week. I read Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love Them and I found frightening pieces that related to ... my own life."

1989 He explains to the Washington Post why he fights with his second wife, Marianne: "It's not even that it matters to me. It's just the habit of dominance, the habit of being the center of my staff and the center of the news media." Newt gives the marriage a "53–47" shot of surviving.

1989 After taking down Speaker Jim Wright (D-Texas) by filing a string of ethics charges, Gingrich basks in his role as giant-killer. "If you're not in the Washington Post every day," he says, "you might as well not exist."

1989 Gingrich lays out his electoral roadmap: "The left-wing Democrats will represent the party of total hedonism, total exhibitionism, total bizarreness, total weirdness, and the total right to cripple innocent people in the name of letting hooligans loose."

1998 Gingrich divorces Marianne. A later Esquire profile offers a glimpse of the last days, from Marianne's point of view:
Gingrich just kept saying she was a Jaguar and all he wanted was a Chevrolet. "'I can't handle a Jaguar right now.' He said that many times. 'All I want is a Chevrolet.'"
This makes Callista a Catholic Chevrolet, then?

There are three Internet pp. of Newtonian vileness. Enjoy!

Today's Dog Bite

GOP Hitman Andrew Breitbart's Confessional Memoir: I Wouldn't Be a Foul, Raging Jerk If I Had Made It in Hollywood


If he hadn't been a foul raging jerk he might've made it in Hollywood, for that matter.
It won’t surprise anyone who has followed Breitbart’s ascent to learn that he is driven by hatred of the Hollywood and media establishments. A very deep and personal hatred. What becomes clear in these pages is the way these hatreds have origins in self-loathing and narcissism of a geographically specific type. The key is Breitbart’s rearing and life in Tinsel Town, a community he desperately wanted to be a part of, but which, it appears, wanted nothing to do with him.
Etc.
Breitbart complains that he was exposed to a raft of deeply anti-American ideas. As an American Studies major, he writes, he was subjected to the evil thoughts of émigré Critical Theorists like Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse, who he blames for destroying everything good in postwar America. It is impossible to overstate Breitbart’s hatred for these “boring and bleating philosophers” who escaped the Nazis and “exploit[ed]” America’s openness and liberty by deploying “ideological Anthrax.”

At one point, Breitbart fantasizes about choking the life out of these mid-century refugee philosophers. “If I could go back in a time machine, I would go back to strangle these malcontents,” he writes.

Or at least that’s what it says in a review copy of Breitbart's book provided to Media Matters. Someone apparently sanitized this line at the last moment, because in the final, published version, it now reads, “If I could go back in a time machine, I would go back to kick these malcontents in their shins.”
Oh, Andy, don't let the P.C. Police scare you!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Callista Bisek Hits The Big Time

Although we've had our eyes on the little co-respondent for a while, even in this vulgar world it still means something when you're a living caricature, & are then caricatured & featured in The NYT.
Attribution
David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Print the artist's attribution with cartoon.
Not a flattering likeness of Mrs. Gingrich, but they're paying attention.
How eager she is for him to run after he has been out of office since 1999 is a matter of discussion among their friends. Vin Weber, the former Republican congressman from Minnesota, said he is “quite convinced” Mrs. Gingrich is happily on board. “They’ve been out of public life,” Mr. Weber said, “and I think she misses the excitement of that.”

Others say she wants her husband to run because he wants to. She has hired Ms. Olson as her chief of staff; she is also writing a children’s book, due out in September — just in time for her to go on a book tour and reintroduce herself to the public as the primary race heats up.

“I think she has stepped out of her comfort zone more to promote the movies and the books and has found that she enjoyed that,” said Ms. Cottrell. “That’s been a little bit of toe in the water.“
The next Nancy "I want to be the queen" Reagan.

Another unflattering image, for those who (wisely) didn't visit The NYT.
Brendan Hoffman for The New York Times

Bully Pulpit

The theological drool is strong w/ these.
“This is their life and they want your children,” said James White of the Alpha and Omega Ministries. “They can’t have them themselves so they’ll get them any way they can.”

“Those that are evil generally don’t sound evil,” he said of Simon’s remarks.
And those who do sound evil?
“Give me a stinkin’ break. That is blasphemy, Mr. Simon,” said Bradlee Dean of You Can Run But You Cannot Hide. In response to Simon’s remarks saying he believes God created gays and lesbians, Dean compared LGBT people to thieves, liars, adulterers and fornicators.

He mocked the idea that homosexuality may be an innate quality. “‘Oh, I was born this way. I can’t help myself.’ Really? Then you belong in jail.”

Jake McMillian, Dean’s sidekick, called for Simon to be removed from office. “He deserves to be kicked out of office and dethroned from his position.”

Dean agreed: “Immediately! He is violating your constitution, he is violating his oath, he is violating the God he’s supposed to serve and the people that he serves.”

He continued, “Blasphemy! But here the homosexuals are praising him. This guy is reprobate. He is off the radar folks. You need to be removed! Yes, I said it from the pulpit, you need to be removed!”
Testify, brother!

Critique Of Pure Comics

Where the eyes glazed over this time:
critique of the default whiteness of comics
OK, more rolled back in a silent plea to a non-existent g-d than glazed. But there are amusing factoids to be had, so why not?
created John Stewart, a black architect who would later become the main Green Lantern. (In the early drafts, Adams says, an editor wanted to name the character Lincoln Washington; Adams talked him out of it.)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hey, I'm Available Too

Just noticed that our dear high school chum (Remember us? Mrs. Gross's English class at the École Active Bilingue, October '69 'til we stopped bothering sometime the next spring. No, we never spoke. Nothing, huh?) has separated from her hubby, the popular Hollywood robo-barbarian/groper & part-time politician Arnold Schwarzenegger.

What a shame. We're here for you, Maria. Call us if you want to talk.

Run, Rick, Run

On the Papist front, former Senator Rick Santorum (Loser-PA) is foaming at the mouth. Again.
Santorum's pitch is reductive. It assumes that his audience is angry that Republican candidates aren't passionate enough about explaining and defending what the party stands for. This makes a kind of sense. A Republican voter can watch Fox News, listen to talk radio, read the Drudge Report, and then listen to the people claiming to lead the party who don't seem nearly as worried as they do. Not so with Santorum.

"Why do you think the left wants to get your kids at two, three years of age?" he asks. "Why do they want early, early, early, early education? So they can get you quick! So they can convince you to just turn them over to them!"
¹

These answers start to have their intended effect: Santorum seems reassuringly worried. So the crowd listens.

"The Democrats' argument against the Medicare reform is that seniors simply can't take care of [themselves]," Santorum says. "They say, 'You can't give seniors choices! You can't give seniors options! You can't have them make decisions and take responsibility. You've got to do this for them!' As if when you turn 65, your brain capacity goes away! My mother's 92! She got an iPad a couple months ago, OK, and she's whizzing away on an iPad!... Are there people who can't? Sure. But don't, don't structure a system for people on the margins who can't. Structure it for the rest of them, and help those who can't."
Vouchers! Then all the decisions & all the responsibility are theirs. Yay freedom.

Policies, strawmen, death panels & freedom vouchers are fine, but an analysis of Rick's telebision appeal is primary here; no matter the message, the low-information voter gets her information straight from the screen.
Santorum's smile [...] contains most of the essential elements of a grimace ...
Ain't that the truth? Easily his creepiest feature, his mouth seems stuck in a permanent half-sneer. Many other examples. We liked this one w/ his god nailed up behind him.
Note illegal knock-off of Old Glory.
Also unattractive: The one-time Senator bristles w/ resentment.
The Rick Santorum show is a continuation of the campaign that ended on Election Day in Pennsylvania in 2006. Santorum knows why he lost, but his anger at the unfairness of the loss simmers like radiation whenever he starts to answer a question.
(Granted, an angry Italo-Catholic isn't as frightening as an angry African-American of unknown religion, but certainly Santorum's farther down list of people w/ whom America would like to have a brew.)
Santorum goes on at length about this. That's his answer to a potential softball question: a lecture/sermon about disabilities and the miracle of life.

The crowd leaves impressed; the woman who asked about Medicare writes Santorum a check for $35. Later, he'll appear at the state GOP's Silver Elephant Dinner in Columbia, and because every other candidate declined to accept an invitation, he'll get to give a long version of his speech to a captive crowd. Only a couple of people leave before he's done. The people who stay give him a standing ovation.

"I like him," says Dean Allen, a mutton-chopped Tea Party activist from Greenville. "I don't think we need to wait for anyone else. They're retreads."

Republicans participate in a straw poll after the dinner's over. Four hundred and eight of them cast ballots before heading into the warm night. Santorum wins in a walk.

Santorum/Cain 2012! Don't think it can happen? Apply that bookmark now!

On an equally serious note, we are amused by the faithful giving their straw votes to the first or only buffoon who shows up to pay attention to them or echoes their concerns, whatever exactly those concerns are beyond the FOX/Drudge concern of the day.

¹The editorial staff's maternal grandmother, pretty much a right-wing drooler, once advised the then six or seven-yr. old editor that in Russia the commies took children from their parents & brain-washed them. This certainly sounds like a good idea (If only because it will piss off the reactionaries.) & may have inspired some of our editorial positions.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Ministry Of Propaganda

Is this sadly familiar?
The March of Time is putting out a collection of old newsreels, stock shots and many bridging reenactments that runs the length of a feature picture and tells all in the title: The Ramparts We Watch. It is history and also rub-a-dub-dub. There are indications in the early sections that under the corporalship of Mr. Luce time was marching two ways at once, and that there might possibly be two sides to how fast we tossed young fellers into the overseas furnace; but by the end the purpose is pretty well straightened out.

Whatever the purpose, the effect of a thing like this lies in how well it is done. There have been several collections of World War shots that reached a higher emotional rise and climax—back in the days when raising boys to be soldiers was not being done in the better magazines, remember? But its over-all coverage of how the country felt and how the Wilson Cabinet and New York streets and ladies’ hats and new Packards looked; what people were saying and singing and dancing to; what happened in church and in the schools and town meetings; who was being elected or run out of town—in this recreation of an era it is a handsome thing to see. In spite of the inevitable trace of stiltedness attaching to the people in documentaries who are set doing things as actors without really being actors, the little representative groups of students, gals, doctors, lawyers, politicians and journalists are put in motion with a nearer approach to things as they were than you find in memory. And the sound division has done a major job of recreation: you will hear every song of those days you can remember, and as many more you’ve forgotten. (But may I hope that some day some man who scores music will go listen to how a bugle call is played by a bugler, not a second desk trumpet brought up on the Egmont Overture? It's a lot to ask, but a hope worth hoping, for a good bugler is one of the joys of life and may not be copied.)

Very well, the job is well done. And it touches on the mighty theme of a nation coming to life and to arms. It is stirring. Very well, stirring to what?

Here is where the objections come in, and the question: even granting it is all truth, which it isn’t, how much of the whole truth is it? Was the war as easy as that? A few ships, a few shell-bursts, many men marching and some of them rather dirty? A German or two eased off a home-guard committee? Liberty Loans for liberty and not to buy up the bag Morgan and Company was holding? Khaki and shoes and guns turned out with a busy will for the boys over there and none of them paper, or backfiring? No disillusion but a few brave tears of a mother? American boys in France saying “Vive la France” and Frenchmen in cabarets saying “Vive Vilson” and nothing, absolutely nothing else to the AEF? Barracks and no slackers, no objectors? No beatings and witch hunts? Really?

The fever, the national will, the whoop and hoorah were all true at the time, no doubt. So was the world square once; so were the lives of men dependent on the will of the little people. Now we know otherwise—or we did yesterday. And to leave out what we have learned, to say for truth what we know was false, to pass over the misery, the stupidity, the greed, the waste and slaughter, is to blowup a great recruiting poster, an invitation to leave your head outside. We may be proud to be America. We may be ready to stand back of it. But these are just the times when we should turn away from any group of cheapjacks using such times and such high and noble emotions for nothing in the world but to sell their stinking little tent show. I’m afraid this film comes with very good timing, and I know it is done as smooth as oil. But we should have learned by now. If that’s what you want, America, take it away.

This article originally ran in the August 4, 1940, issue of the magazine. [TNR, if you had the sense not to click. — Ed.]
Has it been 70+yrs.? Hard to tell.

From The Land Of Fruits & Nuts*

Yes, it started here, in the capital of Kansas & Iowa (by the Sea) too. Whatcha gonna do about it?
Most of these settlers, battered by the Dust Bowl, were drawn to the Los Angeles area by the jobs that came with the massive defense spending that accompanied and followed World War II, and were soon inhabiting America’s first major “sprawl” community. Neighborhood churches became a focal point for political activism, and a militant anticommunism become a near-universal creed.

[...]

But it is in the realm of politics where California’s Christian conservatives most significantly led the way. Whereas white Christians in the South didn’t bolt the Democratic Party until the 1960s, their brethren in California began leaving as far back as the 1940s and ’50s, Dochuck notes, thanks to the growing progressivism of California’s Democratic Party and its labor allies. There were widespread battles over school curricula and textbooks in California a good forty years before the Christian Coalition made school boards a prime target across the country. Dochuk also suggests that California’s political culture (up to and including the shock of the Watts riots of 1965) forced southern expats to abandon overt racism and pioneer the sort of race-is-not-an-issue rhetoric and aggressive recruitment of like-minded African American and Latino ministers, a strategy that southern conservatives took longer to adopt.

By the end of the 1950s, much of what was later known as the Christian right was already in place in Southern California, with very active evangelical ministers and lay people avidly backing conservative cultural and economic causes and assisting in a conservative takeover of the state’s Republican Party. It’s no wonder that the area was a hotbed of support for Barry Goldwater’s candidacy in 1964, which in turn was the basis for Ronald Reagan’s successful gubernatorial run in 1966.
It is, we sadly suppose, in their natures to be two-faced, & there's nothing to be done about it.
Throughout Dochuk’s book, conservative evangelicals regularly alternate between the defensive reaction of the “righteous remnant” to the alleged tyranny of secular humanists and big government, and self-assured claims that they represented a “moral majority” that was simply exercising the right to self-government. This ambiguity about the basic nature of America has become a regular feature not only of the Christian right but also of today’s big conservative grassroots movement (which heavily overlaps in membership with the Christian right), the Tea Party movement.

It may well be that this ambivalence was born in California, the wonderland and nightmare of so many of the “plain folk” and leaders Dochuk writes about in this ultimately fascinating portrait of the early Christian right.
What a fucking shit-hole of filthy hypocrisy. And we live here (if you can call it living).

*Alternatively, someone gave the continent a good shaking & everything loose rolled to Southern California.

Neo-Classicism

Show Us The Corpse!

Cause Or Symptom?

From the ever self-righteous Sullivan:
David Cain chastises himself for using words that usually indicate he's being "presumptuous, simple-minded, or sneaky." Part of the reason he recoils from using the word "deserve":
The typical story is like this: “Something terrible happened today, many people suffering, who deserves the blame?” And that’s the fun part, the payoff. The discussion surrounding who deserves to be ostracized, fired or killed is always more attractive than the one about how we can help.
Post-Katrina: "Stop finger pointing!" "No assigning blame!" "Blah blah." "Yada yada." Fuck you.

Some are attracted to determining the causes of disasters & dealing therew/. Some are attracted to avoiding even mention of the structures that so often lead to disaster & prefer to alleviate symptoms, promote civility & sing Kum-buy-yada. Why is it not surprising that those who whine the most about responsibility & accountability are those who screech loudest that "fingers are being pointed, that doesn't help anyone?"

Worth Celebrating

It is stated on the Internet that Robert Johnson would be 100 yrs. old today, had he not sold his soul to the devil for a brief recording career.RJ's biggest mistake: Getting up in the morning.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Remind Us Of The Origins
Of Political Power

Something to do w/ a gun & its barrel, if we recall.
More broadly, the ongoing turmoil in global financial markets and the world economy is being accompanied by warnings from the spokesmen of international finance capital that there is no prospect of pre-crisis conditions returning. Their demands are for increasing austerity measures directed against the working class.

Announcing a 38 percent profit increase this week, the head of the ANZ banking group in Australia, Mike Smith, warned that Australian businesses had been structured for a “bull market and constant growth. What has happened is that, after the crisis, we have an adjustment where certain sections of the economy have suddenly become globally uncompetitive and the models they had operated with are no longer sustainable.” It was “unrealistic,” he said, to expect a return to “pre-crisis times.”

These warnings of a “paradigm shift” underscore the fact that the financial crisis of 2008-2009 was not a cyclical downturn but the start of a massive restructuring of economic and social relations on a global scale, aimed at driving down the social position of the working class to levels not seen since the Great Depression. The global corporate and financial elites are pressing forward with the imposition of this program. The working class must respond by initiating the struggle for political power as the first necessary step towards ending the profit system and implementing a socialist economic program on an international scale.
Waiting for something, workers of the world?

May-December

May 2011.
December(?) 196X.

Gingtegrity

Gingrich is still "testing the waters,'' which means he does not have to disclose donors to the Federal Elections Commission.

"It's becoming increasingly clear that we're not going to make the deadline,'' said Gingrich spokesman Rick Tyler. "We had always planned to be in the debate and want to be in the debate, but I don't think we will.''

Tyler explained that Gingrich has "business entanglements'' and "contractual obligations'' that legally prevent him from immediately creating an exploratory campaign. He added that Republicans shouldn't see Gingrich's absence as a sign that he is leaning against a presidential bid.

"I think people already understand that he's serious,'' he said.
Serious as cancer, as they say.

We suppose most of the obligations & entanglements have to do w/ just how much cash honorary American Rupert Murdoch has been funneling to Griftie, but doesn't it sound deliciously corrupt? Almost dirty, even. Nonetheless, now that connections have been severed, or suspended, or something (you know how it is ...):
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich plans to officially enter the presidential race early next week, he told Hotline On Call before Saturday's White House Correspondents Dinner.

"I'll be in by the 10th or 11th," Gingrich said, without elaborating on where or how he would announce his candidacy.

Gingrich had previously hinted that his announcement could come this week, telling reporters in Philadelphia on Thursday, "I would just say to folks who are really curious: Watch Facebook and Twitter in the next week. I think you'll have all the information you need."
The last two sentences are as chilling a prediction as any about the impending stupidity singularity.

Friday, May 6, 2011

"Cultural Snobbery" Follow-Up

Those Middletons. Not a thing vulgar about them, you awful elitists!! Remember?

TheDC has undermined that theory. Sister Pippa:
Whitehotpix / ZUMAPRESS.com
Even worse: Brother James may be "flamboyant."
Last year The Daily Mail published pictures of James wearing one of his sister’s polka dot dresses to a drag party. Says Katie Nicholl, the Mail on Sunday journalist and author of the book The Making of a Royal Romance: “It’s all part of that public school, dressing up, prankish lifestyle. It is what public-schoolboys do. He was just having a laugh and the last thing he expected was for those pictures to end up in a paper. Those pictures actually did not really bother him. The pictures that did upset him were the ones of him urinating.”
Oh you effete cultural snobs, leave these poor down-trodden entrepreneurs & their wonderful money alone! How dare you judge your betters? That precious money gives the the literal right to piss on you if they like. Bow or get wet!
James is not above bragging about his sister’s romance, however. When he does go out, one of his favorite haunts is the Fulham, London nightclub Maggie’s, themed in homage to right-wing icon Margaret Thatcher. According to one source, he has been spotted in there holding court, saying, “My sister is going to be the future queen. You will all be bowing to me one day.”

The remarks were apparently made with tongue in cheek, but such reports still alarm some at court, certainly much more than a few silly schoolboy pictures ever will.
Start polishing the guillotines!

TZ Glide

Today's Tl; Dr

It's from Salon, & is a hearty "fuck you" to David Brooks & his inspiration, Irving Kristol, the subject of yesterday's tl; dr, also from Salon. Coincidence, or an organized liberal attempt to suppress free speechpoint out what a piece of fascist shit Papa Kristol was?
In the 1970s corporate America began a conscious and well-funded effort to roll back the gains of the 1960s, undermine labor unions, beat back business regulations and slash taxes, and Kristol was at the heart of it. The former liberal attacked foundations for funding anti-corporate groups, and urged them to invest in their own think tanks and interest groups. "When you give away your stockholders' money, your philanthropy must serve the longer-term interests of the corporation. Corporate philanthropy should not be, and cannot be, disinterested." That doesn't sound terribly public-spirited to me.
Walsh's piece was inspired by shit spewed in today's NYT by professional lick-spittle & full-time toadie David Brooks.
Brooks quotes Kristol on the loss of true "public spiritedness," which Kristol defined as "curbing one's passions and moderating one's opinions in order to achieve a large consensus that will ensure domestic tranquility." Both men seem to hark back to a golden age when political and opinion leaders tried to balance the competing interests of different groups -- labor and business, and the wealthy and the struggling, mainly -- and in fact, there actually was an era like that. But Kristol played a central role in halting it, in rewriting that notion of public spiritedness and laying the intellectual foundations for the bitter class warfare -- the haves attacking the have-nots -- that over the last 30 years brought us the neo-Gilded Age economy we have now.

[...]

As always in the GOP universe, it seems the only people who should practice self-restraint are unions, working people and low-income families who depend on social services. The most glaring solipsism evident today is Brooks' own.
We anxiously await Mr. Brooks' reply. C'mon, you little chickenshit. please explain how it's all greedy poor people ruining everything.

Personal note: As we get to the stage in life where we could probably do a few yrs. in some prison, & might even be relieved to do so (WE'VE BEEN IN A PRISON ALL OUR LIFE! WHAT DIFFERENCE COULD IT POSSIBLY MAKE NOW?) we wonder who would be most deserving of a life-lesson from the Big Malig. Brooks, who desires so much violence be done to others, but is the dictionary definition of a simpering creep, w/ his weak little smile, crummy teeth & glasses (Gee, can anyone imagine why he's such a kiss-ass?) often seems like an especially deserving target, doesn't he?

And if Irving Kristol weren't dead now, he'd be another candidate. Perhaps the sins of the father can be paid by the son.

Friday Nothing Blogging

Wknds. meaning nothing to us except that for the next two days our stories, those nice ladies like Ellen, Oprah & Tyra, all the judges & all the gals on The View & The Talk will be replaced on the telly by oafs spitting & scratching.

All Goat Rock, All The Time

Longest two and a half min. song ever.

Quote Of The Day

Secondly, it's no surprise they ran this operation on PCs. I mean, a MAC is fine if you want to draw cute little pictures but if you're planning on assassinating any "most wanted" terrorists, you need to be on a PC. With Windows Vista at the least. I wonder if the Hewlett-Packard people are staring at this photo, trying to think of some way to use it in an ad.
We want the Classified & Top Secret stickers on Biden's devil-box.

Popularity. Like Junior High. This is mostly because I'm curious. You should all be ashamed.