Thursday, November 03, 2011

Options Include Comic Sans


Hey! Rick Scott!


Hey! Weaker Boener! (II)


So How Much Does The Internet Weigh?

About this much

So I'm Guessing The Entire Nineties, Limbaugh Was A Leftist

Sexual harassment: A tool of liberals.
(jeez, I can't believe I just linked to Little Green Footballs...)

This Is Your Governor, Florida

Hell, even I know there's a Tampa Bay!

News Of The Werld

Mickey Kaus (google it) has unveiled his Christmas tree.

Having Been Thwarted On Debit Card Fees....

....Bank of America gets a bit more serious about ATM fees.

Did FOX News Conspire To Cause A Terror Attack?

It's unlikely, but it is possible.

Hey! Weaker Boener!




Answer Peace With Teargas

What are the Oakland PD thinking?!?!?!??!

That Depends On What The Meaning Of "Is" Is

I sort of see Herman Cain "Canegate" going down the twists and turns of legalese in short order.
I mean, really, when FOX's best defenses of the candidate are to point out that two of the accusers work for the government-- like tens of millions Americans nationwide and around the world do--  and also what words were exchanged, things are pained in Cain's campaign.
This, ahead of new allegations, admittedly even more unsubstantiated and hearsay than the original two, that Cain's straining cane plain changed the game for him in this campaign.
And amid countercharges, further unsubstantiated, that Rick Perry and Mitt Romney may have each independently (or worse, in collusion) planted these stories. Ironic that Cain's initial attempts to smooth the ruffles down amounted to "these tales are unsubstantiated," yet he had no problem flinging poo.
It really does come down to "he said, she said." Which is bad news for Cain, since he's running for an actual office, no matter how fictitious his campaign may be. He will really need to make some decisions here: run or quit, reveal or cover-up, confront or deflect.
If history is any guide, and in these matters, it should be, Cain's best move is to either quit, or reveal. The truth will out, even if that truth looks nothing like the original question made public. As an example, Bill Clinton was originally investigated for an affair with Gennifer Flowers, confronted that, and still ended up in court over Paula Jones, who ended up the person most exploited in her own law suit.
In politics, the cover-up is almost always worse than the crime. Had Clinton fessed up to serial affairs, gotten them out of the way, he probably would have gotten a pass in office on any future affairs, and the whole Lewinski matter probably doesn't come up (pardon the pun.)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Holy Shit!


Stopped Dead In Its Tracks


Playing The Victim Card

Welp, you had to know Cain would go here sometime!

This Day IN Republican Fellation

Reagan National Airport now has a new pigeon potty.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

In a good faith effort to help male shoppers who buy lingerie for their wives and girlfriends, a shop in Sweden had its employees wear tags which stated cup and bra size.

What Bush Got Wrong, What Obama Gets Right

The old grey America, she ain't what she used to be.

You Know Who Else Named His Son "Adolf Hitler"?

Should that be cause enough to take a child away from his parents?

Sex Scandals Are Good News

Especially if you're a black Republican

On The One Hand...

...I can understand why Greece President George Papandreou put the EU bailout of his country up for a popular referendum: you might as well make sure the people understand the terms of the arrangement, and whether they want to accept it or drop out of the EU. Too, you disable your opposition from calling the deal unpopular or rushed through without the support of the people.
On the other, the timing seems a little off to me. He's already survived a confidence vote this year, so this measure merely opens up that can of worms again.
However, he has a couple of things going for him. His party holds a slim two-seat majority in the Greek legislature.A vote of no confidence means a general election would be forced, which would likely see his party lose seats and therefore, power. Likely, the votes would go along party lines, and Papandreou would live on to fight another day.
Also, the call for a referendum has been coyly raised so nebulously that it almost forces the EU, particularly the Germans, to take another look at the deal with an eye towards sweetening the pot a little. After all, a Greek collapse and pull-out of the EU would trigger a cascade effect of defaults and write-downs that would impact the fragile recovery the west is enduring.

Doubling Down On The Silly

Well, Rick Perry said he "felt great" when he gave the already infamous Cornerstone Action speech over the weekend.
Psychoactive drugs can do that.
Errrr, so I've heard.
Seriously, if your excuse for putting on that kind of performance is simply that you "feel great," this raises all kinds of questions about your emotional and mental state.
It seems more likely that he ingested something that took him off his feed, in which case, the easier solution is simply to fess up and move on. Hell, President Obama admitted to doing cocaine, so it's not like prescription meds or even marijuana is going to put people off by now.
My guess is he smoked a doob, probably for the first time since high school (maybe college in his case. Or with his last hooker. Or last week.)
Hell, I half expected to see him demand Twinkies, a bag of Cheetos and some Gatorade.
So now we get down to the nitty gritty about this candidate: is he a stoner or a psycho? Either way, he and his staff have opened a door they may wanted to keep shut. Whichever of his handlers let him get out on stage like that, who couldn't come up with a "I'm sorry, the governor is under the weather," deserves to be fired.
Look at this from a realist perspective: here's a man who stood a snowball's chance in New Hampshire. He might have placed third (could still do that, by the way,) but fourth is a more likely finish for him. He didn't need to give this speech, particularly in light of his inability to come up with a coherent sentence at the past debates he has participated in.
Indeed, he's now set a standard where he pretty much has to recreate this behavior each and every time he appears in front of an audience or camera, else how will he explain to those voters why he's not in such a "feel great" state of mind.
People notice these things. Cornerstone is a family values organization, you see, so if you felt comfortable cutting it up in front of those bluenoses, why won't you poke some fun at yourself at, say, the Manchester Guardian or on the stump? Rick Perry hasn't exactly established his comedic or even his sardonic credentials. It's not like this is Robin Williams doing twenty at a steamfitters' convention.

Herman Cain Is My Name, And I Rode On The Scandal Train

Uh oh. Looks like ol' Hermie's wormie was busy wizzy

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Is It Just Me?


Fighting Fire With Fire

I was watching a re-run of Stephen Colbert last night, the one where he consults with Republican strategist Frank Luntz regarding the message that Colbert Super-Pac wants to sell to the American people: Corporations are people, too.
Luntz is a master of the summing up complex concepts into sound bites.
Let me rephrase that: he's the master of summing up noxious concepts into palatable sound bites and vice versa (for example, he came up with "death taxes" for estate taxes.)
His phrasing evokes emotional responses. He's very good at that.
We have to get better. And here's where this ties in to the current situation in this country.
Occupy Wall Street terrifies the people in charge. After all, there are tens of thousands of people nationwide who are camping, day in and day out, to protest the inherent inequality of income and the inherent unfairness of the US tax code.
I've been straining to recall when a Teabagger rally on similar topics lasted for more than a few hours, and that was in clement weather in the spring and summer. These kids have made it through a freak snowstorm and are still hanging in there.
How could the powers that be not be afraid?
Think about that imagery: the right, via their useful idiots and tools, has tried to cast OWS as a bunch of spoiled white lefty brats who's mommies and daddies cut them out of the will because they were dope-addled and sexually promiscuous (itself, a pretty powerful trope: the scary hippy.)
That imagery, which had some legs at first because of the way the news reported the story (up until the pepper-spray incident,) as a bunch of disgruntled interns and low-level clerical workers with English degrees getting fired and thrown out of their apartments, sort of falls apart after the first week of camp-outs, much less the subsequent brute force by the police, the cooling temperatures, the world-wide solidarity, and the general genial mien taken by the protestors.
The right couldn't just mash this into the dirt and cover it over, is what I'm saying.
The imagery the OWS folks have out there is now too powerful, and although the colder weather will likely lessen in its impact, it can always be picked up again in the spring. It's an emotional, gut protest, and people have responded to it.
This is the kind of imagery and argument we need to raise elsewhere. Right now, the craftsmen of the right, like Luntz, have co-opted the dialogue. We need to get it back. But how?
We need to look to marry language to logic, but also to emotions. We need arguments that are so simple and so powerful that they defy rebuttal.
Let's take the abortion argument for a moment. The single biggest protest in America is the annual March For Life. March for Life attracts upwards of a quarter-million people consistently. 
Abortion is an emotional matter for them. We can cite statistics until we're blue in the face, like how the US birth rate has not declined one bit despite all these "millions of dead babies" (their term,) or we can talk about the improvement in the quality of living the babies which are eventually born not to teenage mothers but to women with jobs and careers and long-term partners will have. Not one second of these arguments will sway a single mind on the right.
And those are perfectly logical arguments. But why not tie those to the alternative: women who spend twenty years in servitude (slavery even) because they've made a mistake.
Why not provide imagery, in the form of a counter-protest: get five thousand women to march in torn dirty muslin smocks, chained at the neck and feet with dolls dangling from the other end of those chains?
After all, if the scare tactic of showing photos of an aborted fetus is within bounds for the religious right, then equally alarming and disturbing imagery ought to be utilized in response.  
We need to make an emotional case to the American people about the progressive agenda. We don't have much time and there is much to be done. The nation is heading down a bleak path, even if we can all pull together and we must all pull together or things will get dire, indeed.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Is "Anonymous" Crazy?


That'll Be One Lonely Dog

Rick Santorum promises to die.

Keep Wall Street Occupied

I used to do this with all those subscription cards that keep falling out of magazines that I already subscribed to, but this guy's on the right track.

Things That Make You Go "Hmmm"

What if the entire housing bubble was designed to keep America (the government) in debt?

Lemme See....

We're older, poorer, and much much more crowded now.
Nope. Nothing bad could possibly come of this!

A Sensible Solution

It's so smart, it'll never pass.


Well....sort of
There are plenty of parallels between a mythical zombie outbreak and any number of possible natural disasters, from floods (relentlessly swarming over barricades) to earthquakes (causing people to flee in mass panic.)
Ohio is smart to take advantage of this theme on Halloween.

Next Friday

It will be National Corduroy Appreciation day.
Wait. What?

But There's No Real Poverty Or Hunger!

True, the Post article makes it sound like just a bunch of wacky hipsters trying to spare their ramen noodles for a rainy day, but this goes on in less afluent neighborhoods with less fussy stores than Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, and a lot more frequently.

So Just How Much Trouble Is The GOP In?

Herman Cain leads polling in Iowa...and he hasn't even shown up yet!

It's Only October!

It's not unheard of for NYC and the northeast to get snow in October. Usually, indeed the vast majority of times apart from the higher elevations and latitudes, it's a trace, just enough to sugar frost the mums.
This weekend was pretty icky. At least a million and a half without power, hundreds of thousands unable to commute to work, tens of thousands more suffering with no heat or hot water (cheap landlords + early freezing = bad situation)

The Destruction Of The Republican Party

OK, the 2012 election will be a watershed, not because Barack Obama will win re-election, but because we will witness the destruction of the Republican party as we know it.
You'll notice that, even the positions where he has Republicans winning, the road is much tougher than it is for Obama. For example, assume Mitt Romney is nominated. He has a hard time corraling 30% of the GOP vote now in the primaries. That lack of enthusiasm will work against him, as it did McCain, in 2012. It's unlikely that a candidate who can't pull a third of his own party a year out will win an election against a popular center-right Democrat.
If Romney is nominated and loses the general (the most likely scenario,) the Tea Party could bolt the Republican party completely. "See? We told you. Nominate someone we don't like, and he loses. It's happened twice now!"
And if by some dint of luck, a Teabagger like Perry or Palin is nominated, and loses, the establishment Republicans will throw their hands up in disgust. It will be a cold day in hell before the moneymen start ponying up for the party, prefering to sit it out and wait for a better crop of candidate to pop up.
But who? Marco Rubio, the Senator from Florida has his own "birther" issues, and if the Teabaggers do succeed in getting one of their own in, they will effectively gain control of the machinery. Rubio will be dead in the water. Rick "Lex Luthor" Scott? Not particularly popular even in his own state, and a similar problem faces Scott Walker.
They'd have to dig very very deep to find a plausible candidate in 2016. It's possible that Jeb Bush could make a run at rehabilitating the Bush name in time for that election, and there's always the Chris Christie card (but then, Christie will have had another four years to alienate his own state, yet again.)
And if you think on the final possibility, the impossible possibility of a Teabagger winning the election, we'll be stuck with four years of internal bickering that makes the battle between Democrats and Republicans look like a sandbox squabble.
While the nation burns.
The backdrop to all these machinations is the very collapse of American society, something Niall Ferguson gets into in his Daily Beast column. I rarely agree with his conclusions, but I think his analysis has some merit. It's very likely that we are watching the destruction of America as a society as we knew it. Not in the Roman fashion, with Vandal and Visigoth invaders, but in the manner of the Soviet Union, crushed under the weight of its own hubris and inability to understand jus thow devastated its citizenry was.
Complete with our own Solidarity movement, the Occupy Wall Streeters.
Ferguson breaks down the rise of western society around the 1500s into five separate sectors (what he clumsily calls "killer apps".) How many of these still apply to America, much less the west?

Western societies divided into competing factions, leading to progressive improvements.

Breakthroughs in mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology.

Representative government based on private-property rights and democratic elections.

19th- and 20th-century advances in germ theory, antibiotics, and anesthesia.

Leaps in productivity combined with widespread demand for more, better, and cheaper goods.

Combination of intensive labor with higher savings rates, permitting sustained capital accumulation.

We no longer have competition that grows us, ours divides us. Competition towards growth has been stifled by the very "capitalist system" we espouse. We no longer lead the world in scientific breakthroughs, altho this is less true in Europe than it is here. Law in America is a joke, as it can be bought and malleated by corporate money. Medicine, we may still lead the way in terms of quality of care, but that care is all but unaffordable and our research labs are dry as a bone for medical advances, having lost most of our good doctors back to the nations they came from (China, Korea, India.)

Consumer society speaks for itself. We've borrowed ourselves, at the behest of our corporate overlords, into bankruptcy.

And the work ethic is a sham. Americans work longer hours and are more productive not because they want to be competitive. They do that just to keep up the standard of living they've had for the past thirty years-- in other words, paying off that massive debt. They aren't earning more money for their efforts and there's no incentive to work any harder or more efficiently beyond that.

This, too, will impact the Republican party, the one most visibly tied to the failed capitalist system that we claim to espouse, the party with the closest ties to the corporatocracy that has killed America.


A Good Cain-ing

Well, looks like the ugly head of Lewinski has reared up to confront the Republicans, finally.
Here's the thing: it didn't matter to me if Clinton was getting it from any number of women. It doesn't matter to me if Cain has the local little shop of whorers on speed dial.
But when you sexually harass a subordinate, that speaks volumes about your managerial style.
So I guess the question to ask about Cain is, "Where the white women at?"