Friday, January 23, 2015

Recycling Day

     This past fall and winter, I've been devoting about as much time to Twitter as I have to blogging, if not less. Still, I think I've produced enough quality material over the last month to justify collecting my mental fly specks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Chris Kyle: An Inhuman Interest Story

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan. on loan from Ari.)
     In all fairness, you have to give Clint Eastwood credit. For a man who lives a relatively quiet and private personal life, he always finds a way to get in the public eye. And it's a testament to his endurance and relevance, legitimate or otherwise, that he remains a political lightning rod for those on both sides of the Great Ideological Divide. After all, you show me one other 84 year-old director who's still directing movies let alone ones at the top of the box office that make people talk about them at the water cooler.
     And it's a crowning irony that Eastwood's newest effort, American Sniper, was directed by a man who'd once admitted in an interview decades ago that he hated guns. Yes, Dirty Harry and the Man With No Name who'd killed more fictional people than you can shake a .44 Magnum at, hated guns. Therefore, the old man who made a laughingstock of himself at the Republican National Convention almost two and a half years ago by yelling at an empty stool now finds himself in the spotlight yet again.
     Eastwood's box office-busting film should not be taken as a referendum on the legitimacy of the Iraq War (Eastwood, in fact, has publicly stated he hates war in all forms) but the manufactured controversy surrounding his film ought to be taken as a referendum on the enduring, virulent hatred and racism that has taken this country by storm ever since we elected a black man to run it in 2008.
     It's hard to understand why Eastwood chose Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL sniper who'd bragged about killing 255 men, for his next opus. If he'd insisted on making a movie about a sniper, he could've chosen Marine gunnery sergeant Carl Hathcock, who'd had a horrendously high body count during Vietnam and was the template for Stephen Hunter's bestselling Bob Lee/Earl Swagger series of action novels. Vietnam, after all, while still controversial to some aging deadenders, recedes much further into American history and the Department of Defense and its predecessors had produced many other notable snipers going back to the Revolutionary War.
     Ergo, it's difficult to fathom why Eastwood chose Kyle, who was murdered at a Texas gun range in early 2013 by another military man suffering from PTSD. Nicknamed "The Devil of Ramadi", Kyle was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars, a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and was once credited with shooting a target from 2100 yards.
     But this isn't a book report and no man's life can be adequately summed up in one. Or a two hour-long movie, for that matter. Rather than a dry recitation of one person's achievements and capriciously awarded medals, what matters is how that person's life affected and continues to affect those who didn't even personally know him. And it's that willful ignorance that's produced the disturbing backlash aimed at Michael Moore over a clumsily-worded tweet and anyone who criticizes Kyle for his conduct in Iraq and elsewhere. Typically, many of the rape and death threats comes from right wing nut jobs and armchair snipers who have turned Eastwood's movie into a referendum on the justness of the Iraq War and the low value of brown-skinned human beings.
     And the fact is, Chris Kyle wasn't just the personification of "mission creep", he was what one could call ...
The Mission Creep
     Kyle wasn't shy about making his thoughts known about Iraqis. He once infamously wrote in his own memoir, "I hate the Goddamned savages. I couldn't give a flying fuck about the Iraqis." He also said he "loved" to kill and that it was "fun." Such a misanthropic and psychopathic attitude should alone have disqualified this man from being held up as an American hero and having his life glorified in a movie that seems bound for Oscar consideration. All things considered, it's a miracle this man even got a literary agent let alone a publisher to trowel out such filth.
     Such hateful statements alone should've invalidated the fetish that people of virtually all political persuasions harbor for those who wear military uniforms, regardless of where they'd served, not served or what they did or didn't do. Most disturbingly, even nearly 12 years after the most wrong-headed invasion and occupation in perhaps all American history, Iraq has never been tainted with nearly as much controversy as Vietnam. Therefore, the hatred and sociopathic bigotry of human monsters such as Chris Kyle, not to mention his murderous deeds, will similarly be shielded from any substantial and lasting criticism. And his needless and senseless murder on a Texas gun range only made him a martyr, thereby making him, at least for the moment, invulnerable to such comeuppance to the point where no one of any consequence even had the nerve to say, "Live by the sword..."
     And it isn't much of a stretch to say that Eastwood's and Kyle's fans happen to be the same ones that criticized African Americans this past summer, fall and winter for protesting having members of their own gunned down by so many mini Chris Kyles such as Darren Wilson and George Zimmerman. That would be the same libertarians who decry police abuse and overreach until they start killing dark-skinned people who "had it coming to them." Kyle himself bragged about, without substantiating it, killing looters (read: black people who "had it coming to them") in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Yes, Kyle was an equal opportunity misanthrope. He also hated his own people.
     Killing in war is unfortunately an inevitable consequence. At most, it should not be glorified and ought to be looked at as a grim duty. Good men ought to be troubled by the taking of human life regardless of how justified it was (and only a simple-minded misanthrope such as Kyle would even posit in polite company that every single one of his 160 confirmed or 255 alleged kills were absolutely justified). If war is an incurable condition of Mankind placed there by God, then it's horrible for a reason, The death, decay, destruction, plague and poverty that comes in its wake serves as an ongoing, albeit unlearned, object lesson that these ought to be deterrents to doing this to our fellow human beings.
     But even more despicable than monsters such as Kyle who use a wrongheaded and corporately-driven military action such as Iraq as an excuse to release his own racist demons to kill the very people the Bush administration piously swore for six years to be protecting are the people who are jumping on the Kyle bandwagon. The people who are misinterpreting Michael Moore's original tweet as him calling snipers "cowardly" are themselves resorting to hateful insults and death threats from the safe anonymity of their Twitter and Disqus accounts.
     Despite the fruit salad he may have worn on his Navy uniform, Chris Kyle was the very definition of an idol with feet of clay. And those who are threatening his critics with rape and murder only further dishonor a man who already has a blood-spattered legacy as well as the innocent Iraqis that Kyle glorified in victimizing. As with Sarah Palin and so many other right wing idols with feet of clay, in Kyle they've found someone who mirrors and validates their own irrational, misguided and ignorant hatred and racism.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The News at a Furtive Glance: Birthday edition

     Well, the book's final line edit is proceeding faster than originally hoped and, since I'm a little old for birthday hooliganism (I would've had a cake with candles but I couldn't get permission from the state fire marshal), that means I can take a day off from the book and devote a little time for some half-assed blogging. ( Not so subtle hint: If you can spare a few bucks for the kitty, please be advised getting birthday money's something I've never completely outgrown.)
     Spanning the globe, giving you a constant variety of foaming-at-the-mouth, hind leg-chewing wingnuttery. This is WBTP's Wide World of Assclowns.

"Gravity?! That's a lib'ral myth! Push them off the edge of the earth!"    
     Ted Cruz, a science-denying, two year, first term senator, the chairman of an important senate Science subcommittee that oversees NASA? That's kind of like making Vladimir Putin the head of NATO. Or Sarah Palin the Director of PETA. Or Ted Nugent the head of Code Pink. Or... Well, you get the message. It'll be real interesting to see how Cruz slashes NASA's budget while pledging to "explore space, and more of it."

     In other news, professional token black Republican Ben Carson recently compared the Founding Fathers to ISIS terrorists. But it's worse than you think. He wasn't trashing Washington, Adams and Jefferson but praising ISIS, claiming the architects of our Republic were willing to die for their beliefs just like ISIS. Considering how paranoid the GOP has been about ISIS, it'll be real interesting to see how they square that with Dr. Uncle Tom's comments praising them.

    Speaking of Ben Carson's favorite terrorist organization... Four months after declaring his "time had come and gone" and that he wouldn't seek a third run for the Oval Office, Mittens has, predictably, flip-flopped and decided maybe since the black guy can't kick his lily white ass anymore, maybe 2016 would be a good time to run again. Hearing this, a Romney aide, Dick Williamson declared that if Romney were elected in 2012, we wouldn't have to worry about ISIS (You know, just like, under Bush, we didn't have to worry about al Qaeda or under Reagan we didn't have to worry about Hezbollah killing our Marines by the hundreds). Sure, Dick. Maybe if Romney was president, ISIS would've ceased to exist when Mittens outsourced all the bomb-making jobs to Bangladesh or China.

    "How dare you bar me from the country I abandoned to dodge paying taxes?!"
    Yes, Roger Ver, Bitcoin billionaire jailbird and career fraudster is outraged, outraged I tells ya! that he's been barred from entering the country to speak at a Bitcoin conference in Miami. That would be the same United States he fled and whose citizenship he renounced after being told that (gasp!) he'd have to pay income taxes like the Poors. Of course, everyone knows Bitcoin is just a way for billionaires to dodge paying their taxes so it's not surprising this career criminal is doing the same.

     Finally, while I hate linking to Ed Snowden's Boswell, Glenn Greenwald tells us a tale of rank hypocrisy. Just two days after the most sanctimonious pricks on the planet (Obama would've made it but the latest civilian-killing drone strike in Yemen went overtime) decided to hold their arm-linking, Martin Luther King-style march in Paris in support of free speech, French police had arrested a Muslim blogger for a satirical Facebook post. And as if that wasn't bad enough, they've also arrested  at least 53 others. Of course, it's no coincidence that every one of the people arrested for "promoting terrorism" and "antisemitism" are of the Muslim persuasion.
     To paraphrase Dieudonné, "Tonight, as far as I'm concerned, I feel like Winston Smith."
     Of course, to anyone who looks behind the smoke and anti-Muslim rhetoric, the Charlie Hebdo and kosher deli attacks had nothing to do with cartoons and everything to do with false flag operations to get non-radical Muslims on their side after the inevitable anti-Muslim backlash.
     That's it for now, kiddies. And, if you can spare anything for your incipiently prehistoric porcine, please remember the Paypal button at the top right corner or the end of this post.
PS  There's an exclusive comic strip at Brilliant at Breakfast.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Throwing in the Terrible Towel

     I apologize first and foremost to my protagonist Scott Carson.
     He's a nice kid, if a social maladroit. He's the guy who killed Jack the Ripper and, while being the official cinematographer for Buffalo Bill Cody, invented moving pictures. And, since he's the narrator for my novel, Tatterdemalion, I've made him my scapegoat for not posting regularly since late last year. So, Scottie boy, I'm sorry. You deserve better.
     Sure, this book's kicking my ass. I'm in the middle of the fourth (and, hopefully, last) line edit that (again, hopefully) will make it acceptable to a resubmission to a top literary agency that was horrified by its original quarter million word count. I won't lie to you whether you've tried to write and revise a historical epic or not: It's a daunting task, to micromanage every fucking page, paragraph, line and word, making sure no word gets a free ride by not pulling its weight, adhering to the laws of physics and human psychology, sticking close to historical fact (in this case, the Jack the Ripper murders as well as the political and social conditions of the 1888 East End). I wouldn't wish something like this on my worst enemy.
     But it's not the sole reason I haven't been around very often. And, as much of a drudge as this book is after living with it for going on two and a half years (the prologue and first chapter was started in November 2012), I'd still rather be shaving words from it than doing this. But there are some things I'd like to get off my chest as well as explain to what very very few readers this dying blog has as to why I've been MIA since last year.
     And the fact is, I'm old and tired.
     Words on a monitor often belie age. Those deceptive little building blocks of speech, of thoughts and feelings rarely if ever convey just how old a person really is. But I'm going to be 56 this Friday. As much as I should be grateful for living so long when one considers the alternative, I'm feeling every nanosecond those 56 years. Save for when I get up unforgivably late, I can hardly get through a day without taking a nap. There doesn't seem to be as many hours in the day anymore as there used to be and energy is scarcer. Stairs are steeper, headlights on the road are brighter than they used to be and newsprint seems more smudged than ever.
     But most of all, after nearly 10 years of doing this shit, I think I've finally hit that final wall.
     I know, those of you who have stuck with me since the beginning or close to it have heard it all before. I've made no bones about the fact that political blogging's a filthy, thankless job. I'd even deleted my first two blogs in a fit of pique, as a way of saving myself through drastic action like that poor bastard who had to cut off his own hand with a pocket knife to escape certain death.
     But I keep putting myself right there between that rock and hard place. Something else, as I'd said before, kept dragging me back in.
     Yet the outrage isn't there anymore. That outrage, that hatred for Republicans, Bible bangers and other assorted right wing nut job fascists just isn't there. Now nothing, it seems, can rouse me from my slumber. It's like Quasimodo looking over his shoulder and seeing the hump that identified him now suddenly gone. I don't blog anymore and I even stay away from Twitter for whole days at a time because it, too, is a worthless celebrity-driven time suck that, like here, is guaranteed I go ignored.
     "Oh, look, I haven't blogged in over a week. Fancy that."
     And usually, I have a formula when I blog at length about something. I research and source, even double source, find some catchy lead in (or what we writers call a "hook") in which I propose the problem, then progress until I get to a revelatory if not shocking peroration. End of story.
     I've done that countless thousands of times, spilled by my estimate two and a half to three million words in this mug's game we call blogging, this most perishable of mediums. And I don't care to do it anymore. Consider this an unformed brain stew, sloppily ladled out as if by the hand of a tired or disinterested soup kitchen volunteer.
    And another fact is, we're all in a rut. Only some of us don't realize it, like newly liberated spirits who don't yet know as they walk away from a fatal car wreck that they're dead. But, really, guys, we're just repeating ourselves at this point. The more deluded of us like to think we're making some fucking lick of difference in the world and even fool ourselves into thinking we're brilliant while doing it. But we're just treading over old ground, doing the same schtick. The only difference is the combinations of words we use. But when all is said and done, we're just plagiarizing ourselves.
     And that's how I feel: as if I've just emerged from the world's longest pissing match, or letting loose with the longest wine fart of all time in a high wind. Ten years, a decade I've been doing this shit and this country has gotten worse and worse. And in all these years we've all been shouting down empty wells, the Republicans still took control of the legislative branch because you no longer care any more than I do. The police are murdering unarmed black people and mentally disturbed people and are getting away with it with such a high level of impunity, the police think they're even above criticism, let alone accountability.
     Fascists in religion, business, politics and elsewhere are dragging down our planet to the point where the only realistic hopes for salvation are either a Texas-sized asteroid smacking the earth a la Bruce Willis or the aliens finally having their fill of this shit and coming down from the clouds and taking over since we humans are so badly suited for stewardship of anything more significant than a pile of dog shit.
     This is not the United States I remember, folks. When I was growing up, you never needed to sit through 4 or 5 interviews for even a shitty job, you never had to pass a credit background check to even get those pre-interviews. And when you called 911, you got help, not shot because you looked a little threatening to some skinhead fresh out of the academy. If you showed up for work and did a good job, you'd be there for life if you wished. Your job didn't get outsourced so your company could make a bigger killing and having armed security balefully glaring at you while your corporate scum boss announces from a safe distance that your position is being outsourced to the Philippines or Bangladesh so the company could "stay competitive" after a quarter in which it posted record profits.
     There used to be a compact between ownership and labor and unions meant something like living wages, collective bargaining, an actual voice in the negotiating process. Police would be a part of every community, not apart from it, where they served us, the public, and not merely corporations who call them on you when you, too, look a little bit threatening. Instead, police have become little better than open terrorist sleeper cells in every town and city that, like the real thing, strike and explode when we least expect it.
     This country sucks, people. We have nice little toys to keep us amused but not the opportunity to actually make them or afford them. And those among us who like to think of ourselves as progressive and enlightened make the convenient excuse that we've been robbed. We've come to think things like jobs, interest-bearing accounts, pensions, 401(k)s, all sorts of things our parents and grandparents took for granted were stolen from us.
     But that's a lie. No corporation, no political party, no entity ever stole anything from anyone.
     There's a huge world of difference between someone actually stealing something from you and you giving it up.
     Can it really be said a misanthrope actually steals that candy from a baby? No, because the child is not strong enough to hang on to that candy and to fight for it.
     We are.
     And no corporation, no political party, no police department, nothing has power without the consent of the people. And consent is a two-edged sword. We can give informed consent such as when we vote for our elected officials and we can consent to have our God-given, inalienable rights stripped from us as when we allowed Congress and the Bush White House to take away our Constitution through the USA PATRIOT Act, an abominable act of deception and loathing for democracy that still has not been stricken from the books by the current occupant of the White House.
     Constitutional rights? Nearly a year and a half after submitting my first application, I STILL can't even get fucking ObamaCare.
     In short, I've shouted down a dry, empty well for nigh unto 10 fucking years when I could've poured those 3 million words into lasting works of fiction, to me where the action's really at.
     Because if 320,000,000 people don't give a shit, why should I? If you can't lick 'em, or wake 'em up, join 'em.
     And there's no reason for me to do this anymore. Save for one ruthlessly obsessive bot from Google, I wouldn't even get 100 hits a day. Our last major benefactor is retiring in April (you know who you are), the second in as many years, and that'll leave us high and dry so it's not as if the money makes it worth it. 2015 looks as if it'll be our worst year, yet. Our landlord is actively trying to sell the house and he's trotting buyers into our home literally every few days. Once he passes papers, it'll render null and void any lease we have with him and without a lease we'll be tenants at will with no protection other than 30 days to get out if they decide they don't want us here.
     And we'll have no job, no money and nowhere to go.
     Which brings me back to young Scott Carson and his memoir of how he killed Jack the Ripper with Buffalo Bill's posse. I'm looking at this as if it's my last chance at some kind of redemption, my final chance to put myself on the map. I'm going on 56 and I'm no longer young enough to shrug off putting two and a half years into a single book. I'm looking at this as my last chance of solvency since it's looking all but certain I'll never hold another 9-5 job or a job at any hours for the rest of my life.
     So I'm putting my nose to the grindstone, shoulder to the wheel, yada yada and looking out for me and my own. I have a spoiled dependent cat and a disabled girlfriend I've pledged to take care of no matter what. And that's the tragedy. I can no longer provide even commentary much less any meaningful help to anyone else.
     In other words, the world is forcing me to live my life exactly the way Ayn Rand would want me to.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The 114th Congress is Now in Session

     This is what you get when you don't vote, you lazy assholes.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top 10 Results of the NYPD's Work Slowdown

     A study by the New York Post reveals that since this time last year, arrests have been down for the New York City Police Department. Specifically, "arrests are down 66% overall, drug arrests are down by 84%, and summons and tickets for minor offenses are down by a mind-blowing 94% since last year." Despite the slow down beginning last year before Mayor Bill deBlasio was elected, His Honor has been blamed for the Police Benevolent Association and police unions calling for what amounts to an undeclared strike. But along with the lower arrest rates, what other results have come from the police slowdown?

10) Several tons of uneaten Dunkin Donuts, Krispie Creme and Honey Dew doughnuts shipped to dozens of needy Third World nations.
9) Birchers, Klansmen and neonazi reserves called in to maintain acceptable levels of Stop 'n' Frisk racial profiling.
8) NYPD issuing pamphlets to ghettos including instructions to young blacks on how to shoot and choke themselves.
7) Mobsters complaining of backlog of months of unpaid graft in plain manila envelopes.
6) Seven pepper spray and four taser manufacturers have filed for bankruptcy.
5) Entire Yankees bullpen threatening to also go on strike if NYPD doesn't place another fat lifer to open bullpen door for them by Opening Day.
4) Second, completely ignored Occupy movement perplexed by lack of martyrdom.
3) NYPD cops forced to beat each other up to maintain usual violent visibility on Youtube.
2) ACLU forced to lay off over 1000 lawyers.
1) 97% uptick in new Jenny Craig memberships.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Civil Rights or Civil War

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari Goldstein.)
     Mrs. Flannigan asked me at the kitchen table today, "Do you think the Civil Rights movement would've continued if Dr. King had lived?"
     It's certainly a question worthy of unpacking, although trying to predict alternate history is the slipperiest of slopes. One has to factor in the men surrounding Dr. King at the time of his assassination in Memphis in April 1968, the political landscape, the power yet the limits of personal charisma, etc. Plus, one must look at the latter-day race relations and try to extrapolate at least a semi-educated guess as to whether or not a middle-aged or elderly Dr. Martin Luther King could've eradicated much of the racism that's rearing its ugly head than at no time since my childhood in the 60's.
     The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne wrote an excellent article nearly seven years ago in which the thrust is that liberalism (and, by extension, the Civil Rights movement) died or had begun to die with him. Perhaps liberalism could've sputtered on with either Dr. King or a second President Kennedy. Yet since both men were assassinated within months of each other in the pivotal 1968, it was inevitable that liberalism, and civil rights, would've been buried with each man.
     As Dionne had reminded us in his April 4, 2008 article,
A shrewd politician named Richard Nixon sensed the direction of the political winds. When President Johnson's commission on urban unrest released its report in early 1968 and blamed the previous year's rioting on "white racism," Nixon would have none of it. The commission, he said, "blames everybody for the riots except the perpetrators of the riots." He urged "retaliation."
     It's a right wing, "Blame the victim" meme that's all too familiar today in the wake of the protests in Ferguson, MO and Nixon's own racist reaction to a report blaming his kind for the civil unrest in 1967 pretty much set the tone for the very quiet euthanization of the civil rights movement and liberalism in general. It's impossible to tell what influence, if any, that Dr. King would've had on the Nixon administration in the late 60's-seventies. But when one looks at Nixon's own dim civil rights record, one doesn't get the impression Dr. King would've had as much influence over Nixon as he had over the Kennedy and Johnson administrations.
     It's easy to see, on the other hand, Civil Rights enjoying a second golden age if both Dr. King survived and Kennedy had lived to occupy the Oval Office. Therefore it is impossible to extrapolate an alternate past without factoring in the liberal dream scenario of Bobby Kennedy and Dr. King closely collaborating on a raft of meaningful civil rights legislation throughout the 70's.

     One must also pay more than lip service to the cult of personality. Dr. King's charisma was obviously catalytic and none of the men who'd surrounded him in his legendary civil rights marches had it. Ralph Abernathy didn't have the charm and charisma, Jesse Jackson was too young, racist and strident to assume the mantle. Al Sharpton is too loud and sour and is himself irrelevant, just another talking head who'd sold out. John Lewis and Elijah Cummings made it to Congress and are the most senior members of the Black Congressional Caucus. But as long as Congressman Cummings' the ranking Democrat under Darrell Issa's chairmanship, he'll always get the microphone cut off on him if he ever gets too "uppity." Plus, can anyone remember the last time the Black Congressional Caucus spearheaded any major civil rights legislation?

Take One Step Forward, Take One Step Back
     It doesn't take much cynicism for any thinking person to see that racists have made more permanent (and highly-publicized) inroads toward bringing about a second Civil War than what passes for today's civil rights leaders having or ever have bringing about a second Civil Rights movement. Indeed, when one sees the 60's-level of violent racism (and, I hate to date myself but this is especially evident to those of us who remember the riots in Selma, Birmingham and all over the deep south), one gets the uneasy sense the Civil Rights Movement was a mere blip on the radar screen, a temporary social anomaly, a politically-correct fad whose time has long since come and gone.
     We're seeing this not in Teabagger circles but at the very highest levels of government. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court essentially gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 when a handful of old, privileged white men blithely pronounced racism dead. It came as no surprise to any progressives that seemingly nanoseconds after the High Court's ruling, redneck state governments proposed, and in all too many cases passed, racist Voter ID laws and other voter-caging legislation that was at least a determining factor in the GOP not only expanding their lead in the House but retaking the Senate.
     It also can't be said that Barack Obama has made the most of his time in the White House to push for Civil Rights legislation instead of passively standing by and doing little more than cluck his tongue at the gutting of the VRA or the national epidemic of unarmed African Americans getting killed by white police. If Obama spent one tenth the time empowering his own people instead of old white Wall Street oligarchs than perhaps we'd see fewer Michael Browns and Eric Garners.
     My suspicion is that if Dr. Martin Luther King had lived to see old age, especially if Bobby Kennedy had for one reason or another never served as President, he quite possibly would've seen his own time come and go, his own irrelevance staring him in the face. While he must have known he put his life at risk with every march and every speech, I'm sure even he never thought he wouldn't live to see his 40th birthday. Ergo, it never occurred to him to groom a natural successor.
     And this brings us back to the cult of personality and the men who'd surrounded Dr. King. None of them could fill his big shoes and unite the African American people as he had. He had come along at just the right time. And if history teaches us anything, it's that great men don't so much shape the times in which they live but, for good or ill, exploit them to their purposes. Hitler did not create the national shame over losing the First World War and the economic crisis accompanying it. He merely exploited it. And Dr. King did not create the growing dissatisfaction within the black community after 400 years of racism.
     Yet it's obvious to anyone with two neurons to rub together that we're much closer to seeing a second Civil War than a second Civil Rights movement. As long as incompetent and misled grand juries give free passes to men like Wilson and Pantaleo to murder unarmed African American men with complete impunity, as long as black Congressmen are getting their microphones cut off on Capitol Hill and as long as white policemen are held to a much lower standard than their unarmed young black victims, it doesn't take a political scientist to see which will arrive first.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Pottersville Christmas

      It all started after dinner with my kids last night with a visit to the new home of my former Chilean neighbor (the ex-Pinochet henchman who loves to sing karaoke). They have a six year-old yellow Lab named Max who's a sweetheart, as all yellow Labs are. This is Max attacking his Flintstone-sized rawhide chew, just one item in a stocking I packed with goodies.

     Max again. He had that thing halfway chewed down by the time we left a few hours later.

     Mrs. JP opening one of her presents. It could've been HST or Dennis Lehane or something having to do with the Romanovs.

      Popeye lucked out and got two stockings this year. This is him in his usual homicidal frenzy after getting one of his catnip-impregnated toys.

      I wish I could excite Mrs. JP the way Hunter S. Thompson and Dennis Lehane does.

     Before picking up the kids last night, I was wrapping gifts and stuffing stockings. You have no idea how difficult it was to keep Popeye out of his presents.

     Before we'd got done opening our presents, our Russian Blue was completely hammered on catnip.
     My haul so far this Xmas: A Bob Marley tee shirt, a mousepad declaring we are not a nation founded on Christianity, a couple of refrigerator magnets and a jar of mustard. I can't wait to see what my kids got me.

(Addendum: This is our blurry, out of focus dinner: A pork loin, Charlene's Cheesy Potatoes, mashed spuds, Brussels sprouts, stuffing, gravy and another excellent Riesling. Other beverages: A couple of Brandy Alexanders, two nippies of Bushmills, coffee. Dessert: Pumpkin pie.
     We here at Pottersville wish you all had a safe and merry Christmas. And for those of you in New England... Go Patriots!)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Things We Shouldn't Have to Do on Christmas

     There are a lot of things I should be doing between now and tomorrow tonight. There are a million things we should all be doing between now and tomorrow tonight. We should be wrapping presents, receiving the last of our cards, stuffing stockings, visiting loved ones and these things will be done in my household. But here's a list of the things we shouldn't have to do on Xmas Eve.
     We shouldn't be reading about another young black man named Martin who was shot & killed by a white man right after leaving a convenience store as was Antonio Martin outside Berkeley, MO, five miles from Ferguson.
     We shouldn't have to engage white, racist wingnuts on Twitter and elsewhere by setting the record straight and repeating infinitum ad nauseum that there's no official police footage of the incident, no dashcams, no body cams, just store security footage very rapidly put out by the St Louis Co PD in which the camera was at least 100 feet from where the fatal incident took place and in which Martin could've just as easily been pointing his finger at the cop instead of a gun.
     We also shouldn't have to tell these lunatic libertarians who suddenly pretend to worship the police that the so-called gun allegedly brandished by Martin and pointed at a cop didn't magically turn up until nearly two hours after the shooting and marked many feet from Martin's body.
     We shouldn't have to see the NYPD co-opt the popular, curated hashtag #Blacklivesmatter by rechristening it #NYPDlivesmatter when the nut job who killed those two cops in Bed Sty Brooklyn had been arrested 19 times and should not have had access to a handgun in a city that for decades has had some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. Instead, they're going after peaceful protesters 1000 miles away.
     Cops understand that when they put on the uniform they put their lives in danger every time they step out onto the street. Guys like Antonio Martin, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, John Crawford III, Eric Garner and especially 12 year-old Tamir Rice shouldn't have to.
     We shouldn't have to hear during the holidays police unions and commissioners blustering about how unfair it is that black people peacefully protest their own people getting shot and killed when the plain fact they are far likelier to be killed over nothing, armed or unarmed, guilty or innocent, than white people brandishing actual weapons.
     We shouldn't have to see the NYPD childishly turning their backs on their new mayor just because he'd offered some tepid criticism and suggested reforms in the wake of the non-verdict in the Eric Garner grand jury.
     We shouldn't have our Christmas tarnished in such a way while black blood runs in the gutters of America on what seems like a weekly basis. We should be sincerely wishing each other a happy and safe holiday regardless of religion, ideology, skin color or creed. Because this is really the only time of the year when we wish good will toward all men.
     But racist sock puppets and police from coast to coast and everywhere in the middle insist on taking that away from us.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa's Drunk and Rudolph Just Shit on My Roof

     It looks as if Santa's driving drunk and the only indication I've gotten that he's flown over Casa de Pottersville is reindeer shit on my roof. Ole St. Nick's so far off course even fucking NORAD can't find him and the only yule logs I've seen are the ones Popeye leaves in his cat litter box.
     So, in light of Santa's empty sack, yours truly had to break down and buy a brand new battery from AAA when I found myself needing to use my booster pack literally every time I wanted to start the nearly 17 year-old Ford Taurus. Triple A was nickle and diming me to death, insisting my battery was fine according to the hasty diagnostics done by one of their local contractors. So, despite the old one still having four years left on the warranty, it was either pulling out the booster pack every time I wanted to start the car or shell out nearly $120 for a new one.
     Right around this time, I was obliged to finally break down and turn on the gas heat, meaning my NStar bills will no longer feature those quaint bills in double digits. Earlier this month, I had to shell out $100 to have my turn signals fixed. Shorter version:
     I've had to make significant outlays of cash of late and at the worst time of the year when I'm trying to do my shopping. And I still haven't gotten anything for Number One and Number Two sons, not to mention Number One Son's girlfriend.
     Yesterday I was once again forced to do something I hate doing and appealed for help directly to over 170 people who'd helped out in the past. After a small but encouraging spate of donations within the first hour or so, they petered out to nothing. We haven't gotten a single one all day.
     Because of our always pecuniary state, Christmas will be thinner this year than usual. I refuse to forgo getting presents for my loved ones but Christmas here always involves doing some financial triage and deciding what bills can wait and which ones get paid first. To exacerbate things, the damned Department of Transitional Assistance is dicking us around again regarding our SNAP benefits as they struggle to adjust to this new business model they've been implementing since last October, making me fork out money for food as they did last fall.
     Next month will involve more uncommon but foreseen expenses such as the annual inspection and possibly an even more expensive repair job to one of the tie rods so it won't get slapped with a reject sticker. Anyone that's ever owned an old car should sympathize with my plight: Making constant or near-constant repairs because it's still cheaper than getting a new car.
     You don't know, unless you've been there, how much it galls me to have to remain in nearly constant fundraising mode, something I've somehow managed to avoid doing for more than two months. But despite my inability to find meaningful work that will actually pay all the bills, insisting on remaining alive demands one meet their obligations in a timely manner and I take my fiduciary responsibilities very seriously.
     If you have any spare cash, then please find the Paypal button at the top of the page or at the end of this post. Nearly 170 people have ignored my recent plea for assistance but perhaps you're one of the ones who've yet to contribute. I have a lot of weight on my shoulders and the less money I have, the heavier the burden gets. So if you can help even in the slightest, please do. You know you'll be in our warmest thoughts on Christmas day.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, #29

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Congressional Cassandras

     This shouldn't have come as any surprise to anyone who knows anything about the GOP.
     The nanosecond the "party of personal responsibility" found out they were going to dominate the entire legislative branch, the racism, insane demands and draconian legislation proposals began streaming out as raw sewage from a busted sewer line.
     The Republicans have shown they have about as much respect for democracy as the Nazis did the Weimar Republic that got them elected to power in 1933.
     No sooner than the votes were tallied in all their gerrymandered districts, we began hearing the President wouldn't be invited to the House chamber to deliver the State of the Union, a presidential tradition since 1790. We began hearing other rumors the GOP would then forbid President Obama from using Air Force One. And if they get their way, before poor Mr. Obama's public service career ends the Republicans will have him running the fucking country out of a broom closet in the Naval Observatory.
     But it can't be said the Democrats have been any great shakes, either. The looming budget bill, called a "chromnibus" by my senior Senator Elizabeth Warren, is not only a naked giveaway and massive Christmas present to Wall Street, it's being negotiated by so-called Democrats working in collusion with Republican lawmakers. It reads as if it was crafted by a multiply-cloned Max Baucus come back from the weeds with a vengeance.
     To give you just a few bullet points regarding this steaming pile of shit charitably referred to as a "spending bill", the bill in its present state would consist of this:
     Essentially a repeal of much of Dodd-Frank, a tepid, watered down replacement for Glass-Steagall at best, that would allow Wall Street banks to continue in risky and pre-doomed derivative speculation that Glass Steagall had forbade. It would also put the American taxpayer on the hook for the inevitable bailout. The 2008 and 2009 TARP bailout has already been estimated by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (pdf) to have cost the American taxpayer between six and 14 trillion dollars, which could come out to $120,000 per household. To put it in its simplest terms, it would once again reward Wall Street for criminal behavior.
     It would ramp up Citizen's United to the point where it would allow oligarchs to spend $777,000 or more on political campaigns and PACs.
     Oh and it would raid the pension funds of up to 1.5 million retirees. It would also, according to the WaPo, slash the budget for the IRS, always a favorite target of Republicans, to the point where they wouldn't be able to go after their tax-dodging billionaire bosses (not that the IRS is much invested in doing so, to begin with). That's right. This so-called "spending bill" would do exactly the opposite where the IRS and other perennial right wing targets are concerned.
     In other words, bloated and flushed with their newfound majority, Republicans plan on presenting the bottom 99% with a giant stocking filled with coal and not even the mythical clean-burning coal, at that. And all with the help of Democrats who are more concerned with submissively showing their belly to the Republicans than actually doing what's right.
     This can be viewed as a microcosm of what's wrong with today's Democrats in general, a telling synecdoche of why more of us don't turn out for elections and especially midterms. They are weak and fractured at best even when they have the majority in one or both houses of Congress. They are constantly infested with Blue Dogs who all but caucus with Republicans. At worst, they are seditious and collusive, showing their complete lack of a spinal column when the GOP gets the upper hand in one chamber or the other.
     And I don't want to hear any shit from people who cherry pick tiny nuggets of so-called progressivism and say, "I don't want to hear any shit about there being no difference between the parties."
     Because they all work for the same Wall Street banks and Fortune 500 companies. Freelance journalist Michael Collins calls both sides of the aisle "The Money Party." This is why I don't always vote Democrat and refuse to even listen to those who rail about my doing so making me a Fifth Columnist that empowers the Republicans.
     They don't need my help because the current crop DINO douchebags is already doing that.
     Elizabeth Warren (except regards her troubling support for Israel) usually finds herself on the right side of an argument. And when she comes out swinging in favor of Joe Lunchpail, one can tell it's not merely the empty, populist soaring rhetoric we hear from time to time from the asshole in the Oval Office. And until we begin electing real Democrats like Elizabeth Warren and fewer glassy-eyed lunatics such as Joni Ernst and corporate meat puppets like David Perdue, registered Democrats and progressive Independents will continue avoiding the polls in droves on Election Day. Until that day comes, Senators such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren will continue to be Congressional Cassandras, doomed to be ignored in spite of the truth of their words.

Good Times at Pottersville, 12/11/14

Sunday, December 7, 2014

We Were Had (Revised)

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.)
(Editor's note: When Monkeyfister told me on Twitter last month that he'd front page this on Crooks and Liars in the week of December 7th, I asked Mikey to revise and expand this post that was originally put out in November. Since that time, Gruber is no longer in the news and with typical rapidity we've already absorbed our outrage over his arrogance and admission of disingenuousness. I'm unsure this post retains its original topical power. However, I'd like to think the facts as well as the linkage helping to assert the claims therein are empirical. And whether or not you agree with Mikey's editorializing, I hope you won't forget the Paypal button. I've just made a significant outlay of cash to get my 16 year-old car fixed and inspection-ready, Christmas is taking a big bite out of whatever meager savings I have and, with winter upon us, the gas bills are going to get much higher. So if you can please spare a few sheckels during the silly season, we here at Casa De Pottersville would immensely appreciate it. Remember, I do not and will not take on ads with which to distract and bother you and your generosity is all that's keeping us afloat. Thank you and happy holidays to all.)
     ObamaCare, to put it simply, is a snake venom that nonetheless somewhat succeeds in counteracting an even more pernicious malady. It's the red-hot poker that cauterizes a bleeding wound.
     It was never, ever intended to be anything more than that.
     It is a position, often a lonely and adversarial one, that had been consistently taken by yours truly in this very byline since the mislabeled Affordable Care Act was first being debated by no less than five Congressional committees starting in the spring of 2009. Yet, conservatives and truly enlightened liberals such as me cannot and should not succumb to the siren lure of schadenfreude in light of the strangely delayed revelations regarding Jonathan Gruber.
     Beginning in March of 2010, a week before Congress finally ratified the ACA and put it on Mr. Obama's desk to sign into law, Gruber had openly, brazenly and, until now, seemingly without impunity was crowing about how "lack of transparency and the stupidity of the American voter, whatever" was responsible for the bill's success. Then emerged a fifth video (and, no doubt, counting) of a now-infamous testy and condescending exchange between Gruber and a Vermont voter who was concerned about the ACA's ramifications.
     Predictably, wingnuts on Twitchy, Hot Air, Breitbart and other right wing convection ovens have been crowing about ObamaCare's inherent dishonesty, of which most us were already aware. But now they have in Gruber their smoking gun. Five, in fact. And among their talking points is how liberal elitists lied to the American public about the health care bill. But liberals had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the bill's crafting, creation or ratification.
     ObamaCare was passed in first the House, then the Senate then put on the president's desk to be signed into law as with countless other bills. It was not put on a national referendum and not one American voted for it. None of us little people had any say as to what it would contain or not.
     And now, "leaders" such as Nancy Pelosi are playing the predictably scummy, craven political game of distancing herself from someone she'd quoted and mentioned countless times five years ago who has now been exposed as the Most Hated Man in America. Democrats are running from Gruber as if he has Ebola, Obama and everyone associated with the bill who's still on the Hill are in full spin mode and right wingers who were told to hate the ACA by the Koch Brothers and Dick Armey's Freedomwerx now have their health care Willie Horton.

The Triple Whammy

     Regarding the Affordable Care Act, the series of Gruber gaffes is the third whammy that may have finally sunk ObamaCare. First was the clusterfuck of a rollout. The government literally had several years to set up a workable website with adequate server space. State-run partners, through their own exchanges, had the same amount of time. But ObamaCare's website immediately crashed like a soggy house of cards because the Obama administration, hardly to the surprise of yours truly, decided to outsource its set-up and implementation to a private corporation (and not even an American one).
     Secondly, there was Obama's palpable lie of, "If you like your present health care plan, you can keep it," which proved to be as honest and prescient as Obama pledging to close Guantanamo Bay or loopholes for corporations headquartered overseas.
     Thirdly, there's Gruber's arrogant, condescending and out of touch comments about the American people and his pride in the lack of transparency of the government that had paid him so handsomely to mislead the public.
     And last year while conservatives jeered, liberals struggled to put on a happy face and bombed Twitter and Facebook with memes about how Bush killed hundreds of thousands (a place they seriously do not want to go) while Obama had a slow website. Now it's almost entertaining watching these liberals who think everything Obama does is in some way miraculous on a Biblical level struggling even more mightily to keep on their O faces after ample evidence has been avalancheing out of the past at warp speed 10 that its architect called them "stupid."
     It's impossible to estimate the embarrassment this has visited on the Obama administration, which paid this man over $400,000 to craft a bill that was mislabeled as almost all about health care (hence the inevitably sarcastic name of the bill). It ought to be embarrassing to the mainstream media for letting these explosive revelations languish for better than four and a half years. And it should be embarrassing to any Democrat still in Congress who'd voted for such a steaming pile of horse shit.
     Most of all, it should be embarrassing to so-called liberals such as Esquire's Charles Pierce (who seemed to love it simply because it helped his ailing wife) who thought the tepid reforms and it being just a giant gateway to the free market was the greatest thing since Medicare (which in 1965 LBJ signed into law without him or Congress having to mislead the American public). In short, anyone who hated the bill or opposed it with such virulence should be stripped of their voting rights and undergo a mandatory psychological evaluation. Because it seems no one save for Gruber, the President and several people on the five committees that had refined and crafted it knew exactly what it contained.

The Three Blind Chinese Men and the Republican Mascot
       I'm sure we all know the story of the three blind Chinese men and the elephant. One blind man felt the tail and thought it was a rope. Another at the other end felt the trunk and thought it was a snake. The third in the middle felt the stomach and thought it was a wall. The parable shows that, without the proper context, individual parties can be completely wrong about what they think they perceive.
     This perfectly describes the second-hand experience of the American voter who had no say in the bill's crafting and had foisted off on them like a pile of flaming dog shit on Cabbage Night. It was a testament, albeit a sad one, of the persistent cheerfulness and glass-half-full optimism of your typical Obama voter.
     But the fact remains that out of all the bills signed into law by the nearly six year-old Obama administration. the ACA is easily the most misunderstood one of all. And that's not completely their fault. The administration's and Democratic Congress's explanations of it were largely incoherent, almost as much as the Teabaggers' screaming oppositions to it during Town Halls in the summer of 2009. And Gruber did, after all, lie to not just us but the nonpartisan CBO over how the ACA should be packaged and sold (90% cost control and 10% mandatory health care instead of the opposite). The ACA was largely funded through tax hikes on the 1% yet Gruber, inanely, disregarded the populist appeal of raising taxes on the wealthy and (under the assumption we "stupid voters" didn't know how to read), deliberately suppressed any hint it was a tax hike.
     Yet it wasn't as if there was a complete media blackout of the bill's contents.
     However, liberals chose to ignore the back room deal struck by Rahm Immanuel (whose very name ought to be, if it already isn't, synonymous with arrogant, Democratic elitism) and Big Pharma to cap drug reimbursements at $80,000,000,000. Dig hole in sand, insert head. Repeat as necessary.
     Liberals also stuck their fingers in their ears when Max Baucus, then chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, refused to hear testimony from universal single-payer advocates who were arrested for speaking up and even made a joke about running out of cops to Republican Chuck Grassley. Liberals were also nonplussed that the ACA was never, ever intended (despite Obama's immediately-broken campaign promises) to be anything more or less than a gateway to the very same health insurance companies that have been bilking the American taxpayer, and government, for decades, turning our health care system into the rest of the world's punchline.
     And Gruber's abominable and infuriating comments about the "stupidity" of the American people that he nonetheless willfully mislead and even lied to show just how much of an out-of-touch elitist he truly is. His comments back on March 10, 2010, when the bill was still being hashed out, that Americans care much more about health care costs and far less about insuring the uninsured are so wrongheaded and ignorant it's beyond laughter.

One Shade of Grayson

     I guess he forgot all about Alan Grayson constantly hammering home the fact on the floor of the House that 48,000,000 Americans were uninsured and that 45,000 of them die each year for lack of health coverage. I suppose Gruber also forgot about liberals (the real ones) screaming about universal single payer and not allowing red states to opt out of Medicare expansion out of a misguided and futile attempt to respect "states' rights" (a sop thrown to the GOP that got exactly two Republican votes in the Senate and has not done a thing to keep Republicans from voting no less than 52 consecutive times to repeal ObamaCare).
     I also suppose Gruber forgot about Congressman Grayson's Medicare Expansion bill, all three and a half streamlined pages of it, that he'd drafted out nearly five years ago and attracted over 70 co-sponsors.
     Limousine liberals and the Obama administration (as I'd said here several times) made the colossal mistake of investing so much political capital on one piece of domestic legislation so early in its history. With the Iraq War, Afghanistan, terrorism, Gitmo, immigration, environmental issues, gay rights and too many others to name, the Obama administration should've dispersed its political capital more evenly instead of putting all its eggs in one basket.
     And so-called liberals, happily following that disastrous meme, acted as if the success of the rest of the Obama administration rested with ratification of the ACA, a bloated and more unwieldy version of the equally disastrous RomneyCare here in Massachusetts.
     Liberals had it only half right as were spittle-flecked teabaggers who didn't, couldn't or wouldn't understand it any better than we: ObamaCare has undoubtedly saved lives and over 10,000 fewer Americans are dying every year through lack of coverage. It has driven down premiums, deductibles and co-pays as well as abolishing the prejudice against those with preexisting conditions. And your child can remain on your health care plan until they're 26.
     But it was, at best, a vastly flawed work in progress in desperate need of improvement. Liberals made the mistake of seeing it, hairy warts and all, with the peculiar beer goggles with which lonely horny men see the sole remaining barfly at last call. If it was to be so popular, then why enforce "compliance" through two bylaws in the federal tax code? Conservatives hoarsely screamed as they were told to that it was a Commie takeover of 1/6 of our national economy while Sarah Palin sneeringly claimed to see death panels from her house.
     It was neither. It was a single, staggering step in the right direction, with muddy bootprints. But with Gruber's astoundingly stupid confessions these past four to five years, this may be the monkey wrench the newly-empowered Republicans have been looking for to finally repeal the ACA and put us right back to the Dark Ages we were in prior to the bill's passage. Liberals and conservatives ought to stop pointing the finger at each other and pointing it, instead, at elitist assholes such as Gruber and Obama. We were all had.

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Saturday, December 6, 2014

Good Times at Pottersville, 12/6/14

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Recycling Day

All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
  • The Missing Security Tapes From the World Trade Center.
  • It's a Blunderful Life.
  • The Civil War II
  • Sweet Jesus, I Hate America
  • Top Ten Conservative Books
  • I Am Mr. Ed
  • Glenn Beck: Racist, Hate Monger, Comedian
  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Boolean Bozoism

  • #19
  • #18
  • #17
  • #16
  • #15
  • #14
  • #13
  • #11
  • #10
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • Hullabaloo, Digby's place.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • The artist formerly known as Politits. The politics are still liberal.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Raw Story.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
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