Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, October 30, 2006

Help The Homeless, Go To Prison

Is America getting meaner? Some American cities are not only cracking down on the homeless; they’re also prosecuting those do-good bleeding-heart liberals who try to feed them.

WTF??? Where’s the logic? The Conservative/Self-Reliance/Libertarian view is that homeless people shouldn’t be helped by the government; they need to straighten up and fly right, or fuck off and die. I don’t agree with this, but at least Libertarians are consistent. They want the government to stay out of people’s lives, period. Don’t help me and don’t tell me what to do.

But now, when churches and volunteer groups are feeding the homeless, these limited-government types are calling in the police — i.e. the government. Make up your minds, assholes: Do you want the government involved with homelessness, or not?

All cities and local governments are short of cash. Suddenly they have funding available to arrest and prosecute people whose “crime” is volunteering to feed homeless people. Un-fuckin’-believable.

Orlando and Las Vegas are the two most recent examples. In Las Vegas, it’s now illegal for one person to give food to another person who’s “indigent.” If you’re walking along with a sandwich and you don’t want any more of it, you’ll be arrested if you give the rest of it to a poor person. A local homeless advocate said “It’s revoltingly immoral. It literally enforces a class regime by defining criminal behavior based on income.”

Hopefully in this case, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fuck South Dakota II

Since the original Fuck South Dakota was such a hit, it’s time for the sequel. Not content with their medieval abortion law, the people of South Dakota are threatening to turn the clock back even further. In November they’ll be voting on a ballot initiative. If it passes, judges who make unpopular decisions could be imprisoned.

Again, this is South Dakota, United States of America. Not South Yemen. Not Saudi Arabia. South Dakota.

The ballot measure is known as JAIL 4 Judges. Apparently these braindead rednecks think our judicial system — you know, checks and balances and all that — is just too much trouble. What these assholes really need is a time machine so they can travel back to the Spanish Inquisition.

The concept of judicial immunity dates back to the thirteenth century. This doctrine protects judges against personal liability for their decisions. South Dakota’s law, if it passes, will create a grand jury — basically a fourth branch of government — whose sole purpose is to indict judges for “improper” decisions.

If this initiative gets passed, the organizers are planning to export their revolution to all 50 states. Ever get the feeling we’re going backwards?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Case For Stem Cell Research

OK, that’s the end of the argument. Case closed. Take one look at this suffering pathetic sack of pus and realize that stem cell research could have made a difference in the life of this, this putrid thing. It spews, it spouts, it oozes — it’s sickening. You’ll want to look away, but that would be wrong.

Yes, it’s too late to help this particular wretched bloatbag. But if stem cell research could prevent this from happening to just one person…

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Republican Advantage: Microtargeting

Yes, it’s true that right now the Republican Party is just a punch line; a pitiful group that gets less respect than Rodney Dangerfield. But DON’T get complacent. Republicans still have one huge advantage: Microtargeting. This involves poring over billions of data on millions of targeted voters. They use this data to target very specific groups of voters, with the purpose of getting them to the polls on Election Day. The Republicans are light years ahead of the Democrats in this department.

Republicans have always surpassed Democrats when it comes to voter turnout. If the traditional get-out-the-vote campaign is a Model T, microtargeting is a Ferrari.

Republicans have the expertise at mircotargeting, and they’re spending most of their campaign money on local races. They’re running scared on Iraqmire, the crippling deficit and our encroaching police state. Their only hope is to campaign on local issues and dig up as much dirt as they can on Democratic candidates. The Republican party has tens of millions of campaign dollars to spend on their microtargeting expertise. They’re going to be a vicious opponent, no matter how hated and dissed they are.

And this year like any other, “getting out the vote” is easier said than done; especially when it’s a non-presidential election. If you’re a blogger, pundit or news junkie, you probably have a tendency to think everybody is obsessed with the upcoming election. Unfortunately, there are tens of millions of Americans who are only marginally interested. Sure, they tell pollsters that they’re in favor of this or that candidate, Iraqmire was a colossal blunder, we need to “stay the course,” whatever. But for them, political issues are number 157 on their list of priorities. They’re caught up in their jobs, families, neighbors, doctor appointments, car payments, plans for the weekend, you name it. They may or may not make it to the polls on that crucial day. They need to be motivated enough to make voting a high priority. Can the Democrats do this?

Rightwing/Christian/“Values” voters have always had the highest voter turnout. Yes, we’ve all seen stories about squeaky-clean holier-than-thou types saying they’ll sit out this election because they’re suddenly disillusioned with Republicans. But is this true?

“Christian” leaders and rightwing bloggers are falling all over themselves, groveling and begging their audiences to vote Republican because the sky will fall and the terrorists will win if the Democrats take over Congress. How many voters will fall for this?

In these final days before the election, it’s crucial for Democrats to get out the vote. Republicans are spending tens of millions of dollars targeting — mircotargeting — millions of their voters. They’re digging and scraping and clawing for every piece of dirt they can find on their Democratic opponents, and airing select pieces of this dirt to specifically targeted voters. Their entire purpose is to get these voters out to the polls on Election Day.

Are the Democrats ready and able to do this? If they aren’t, it won’t matter that this Republican Congress is the laughingstock of the world.

Cross-posted at Bring It On!

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Worst Congress Ever

No matter how much hatred and contempt you already have for this 109th Congress, your opinion will take a nosedive when you read this article. If you’re the most jaded and cynical person in the world, you’ll still be blown away when you learn about the sleazy, corrupt, incompetent assholes who are “representing” you.

This is a long article, but it’s well worth bookmarking. The author (Matt Taibbi) has a riveting style; you’ll be at the end before you know it. There’ll never be another Hunter Thompson, but Matt Taibbi has that same white-knuckle, edge-of-your-seat prose that’ll have you reaching for the Wild Turkey.

This article doesn’t spare anybody. The Republicans get torn to shreds for being nothing but a rubber stamp for King George. But after you’ve read about how lazy, braindead and useless they all are, you’ll be ready to vote out every last one of these overpaid, underworked bloated shitbags.

As the author says: “If a hairy-necked, raincoat-clad freak like Rep. Mark Foley can get himself named co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, one can only wonder: What the hell else is going on in the corridors of Capitol Hill these days?”

It’s a good read. Enjoy yourself, and vote accordingly in two weeks.

Oh, wait — before you go you’ve gotta check this out. Satisfaction guaranteed. (H/T to Dead Guy)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Ode To A Great Country

This is a very moving speech by Keith Olbermann — a tribute to America. It’s an excellent description of our ideals, the cesspool we’ve degenerated into, and whether we will one day take our country back. Here is the video. Here is the written transcript. It's heartbreaking. It's infuriating.

Fuck you very much, George Johnny Walker Bush.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

It’s ENERGY, Stupid!

Democrats have the perfect winning issue to run with. According to this Thomas Friedman column (sorry, the link is only available if you subscribe to that elite, nose-in-the-air New York Times — which I don’t), energy independence is America’s number one national security issue. Democrats have the chance to make “energy independence” (and hence “national security”) synonymous with the Democratic party.

Bill Clinton’s pit bull, James Carville, has determined this after taking numerous nationwide polls. Carville said “no matter how we ask the question, that’s what comes up.”

Maybe you think there’s a liberal bias since the surveys were taken by James Carville. Carville only contacted “likely voters,” so if anything the polls are biased to the right. (You know the drill — Conservatives always vote come hell or high water, and Liberals only vote if the weather’s nice, they’re not too stoned and there’s nothing on the tube.)

One of the survey questions was worded: “Which of the following would you say should be the two most important national security priorities for the administration and Congress over the next few years?”

42% said “reducing dependence on foreign oil.” 26% said “combating terrorism.” 25% said “the war in Iraq.” Tied for 21% were “securing our ports, nuclear plants and chemical factories” and “addressing dangerous countries like Iran and North Korea.” 12% said “strengthening America’s military.”

One of Carville’s associates said “When we lay out different plans for how to deal with Iraq, any plan that also includes energy independence tops any other plan that doesn’t...There is frustration that leaders have not taken this up.”

Friedman says “It’s no longer enough to have energy security as part of a 12-step program for American renewal. No, it needs to become a defining issue of what Democrats are all about. People should associate energy security with Democrats the way they associate tax cuts with Republicans.”

His column ends with “So when they tell you that…reducing dependence on foreign oil is voters’ top national security priority, you know that this issue has finally arrived. The party that captures it most credibly will be rewarded. Hello? Anybody listening?”

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


I bought this book several months ago, but I didn’t get around to reading it until Steve mentioned it a few weeks ago in the comment section at Bring It On! The book was written by two economists, but don’t let that scare you off. If it was about economics I would’ve fallen asleep after page three.

The authors employ the methods used by economists: poring over millions of data and using control groups to test for every variation imaginable. But they use this method to find the answers to some very intriguing questions. For example:

During the 1990s, against all the experts’ predictions, America’s crime rate began falling. And falling some more. Everyone had their pet theories: Innovative police methods. Harsh crackdowns; no more coddling criminals. A booming economy. Nope. Would you believe: Roe vs. Wade, twenty years earlier. That’s right. Millions of unwanted fetuses never had the chance to grow up and be criminals. Simple as that. Case closed. Next.

But there’s no political agenda here. Whatever your beliefs, you’re sure to be going “No way!” and “What the F!#$&#!???” throughout this book. Another example:

Let’s say you’re the parent of a small child. You have a swimming pool in the yard and a gun in the house. Now, which item do you think is more of a danger to your child, the pool or the gun? …drumroll… Your child is one hundred times more likely to drown in your backyard pool than to be killed by your gun.

Ouch! How many belief systems just got shattered? This book is full of surprises like this. Freakonomics is the science of examining the conventional wisdom, the popularly accepted ideas of the day. Sometimes the conventional wisdom passes the test; other times it gets turned on its head.

As the authors say, this book won’t change your life. It won’t make you more successful or more popular. But it’ll change your perceptions in little ways. You’ll find stories in the news that remind you of something from the book. You’ll be watching TV or a movie and one of the characters — or a certain event or type of interaction — will have you thinking “this is straight out of Freakonomics.”

It’s well worth reading.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

International Monitoring of American Elections

Should there be an international committee to monitor American elections? What an insult! How humiliating. Come on, that’s only for countries whose governments invade other countries, hold suspects without trial and then torture them. That’s only for those primitive oligarchies where one third of the wealth is owned by one percent of the population. Oh wait…

Several months ago, Susan Sarandon got a rise out of the Black Helicopter crowd when she suggested that our 2006 election needs to be monitored, “just like Haiti and Iraq.”

During the summer of 2004 thirteen members of the House of Representatives signed a letter to the UN requesting that they monitor the upcoming presidential election. The press secretary for one of the House members said “We bill ourselves as the greatest democracy, so therefore we should have applied to our own situation what we send out and promote and claim that we are to the rest of the world. There clearly was a demonstrated, systematic effort to ensure that the votes of certain people were not counted in the last election.” Later that summer, the U.S. State Department invited an Austrian human rights group to monitor the election. The Neocons went berserk. A rightwing think tank called the idea “frightening” and “an absolute threat” to America’s independence and sovereignty.

The bottom line is: Don’t let your vote get stolen. If your voting precinct doesn’t provide a verifiable way of tracking your vote, please vote Absentee.

Senator Barbara Boxer introduced the Confidence in Voting Act shortly before Congress adjourned this year. This bill would request (but not mandate) that all voting precincts make paper ballots available. The federal government would reimburse local jurisdictions for the cost of providing paper ballots.

I haven’t been able to find out what happened to the bill. I got an e-mail saying the bill was voted down on party lines, but I deleted it. I read somewhere else that the bill is still stuck in committee somewhere, which won’t help anybody this November.

This is NOT a partisan issue, and the Democrats haven’t exactly been knights in shining armor. Why the F#$&!#! did they wait until the last minute to introduce this bill?? For almost two years there have been rumors and accusations about Diebold stealing the 2004 election. Twenty-three months later the Democrats introduce a bill to correct this problem? Glad they’re on top of things.

Here and here are two excellent sources of information on voting scandals and how you can protect yourself against being disenfranchised.

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Swiftboat Veterans For Truth: They’re Baaack

They’re back, they’re sleazier than ever and they have a new name. “Swiftboat Veterans For Truth” has pretty much turned into a punch line. And “Swiftboat” has become a widely-used verb meaning “to slander; to indulge in character assassination.” Their new name is the Economic Freedom Fund.

Don’t let the bland name fool you. These are the same slippery pusbags that destroyed a Vietnam war veteran in 2004 just so George Jim Beam Bush could stay in the White House. Lift up the rock they’re hiding under and you’ll see the same slimy vermin slithering around underneath: Karl Rove, Tom DeLay and Texas multimillionaire Bob Perry. Perry has contributed $5 million to the Economic Freedom Fund; and he was the main financier behind the Swiftboat Chickenhawks.

John Kerry — who seems to be recovering from his 2004 spine-ectomy — has been lashing out at the Economic Freedom Fund.

He said they’re again resorting to “the politics of fear and smear. We’re not going to give them an ounce of daylight.”

Referring to his failure to fight back strongly enough in 2004, Kerry said “We thought the fact that the truth was out there was enough. Clearly it wasn’t.”

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Low Polls: Time to Wind Up Dick Cheney Again

When the Terror Level is Severe, this is indicated by the color red. But in case of an even greater emergency than a terrorist attack (i.e. low poll ratings), our “leaders” have an even more drastic response: 1. Go to the laboratory and unwrap the Dick Cheney Droid. 2. Wind it up and turn it loose on the lecture circuit.

Apparently the Republicans’ poll ratings have sunk low enough that this urgent measure is needed again. The Cheney Droid’s mission is to distract Americans from their Congress full of perverts and the committee chairmen who love them.

The Cheney Bot is warning audiences that the terror menace is “still lethal, still desperately trying to hit us again.” The Bot says that Bush is “protecting America” while the Democrats’ policies are a “reckless strategy of resignation and defeatism in the face of determined enemies.”

As usual, the Droid’s speeches are out of the public eye; they’re mostly private fundraisers and invitation-only events. At some of these events, local Republican candidates are refusing to jeopardize their own careers by being photographed with Cheney.

GOP strategists say they don’t care if Cheney is even more hated than Bush and Congress. His speeches “get the party faithful going.”

But Cheney’s speeches and accusations are also rallying Democrats (and everyone else who's had enough Bushit). One Democratic strategist says “When he threatens Democrats and calls them names, it’s something that really fires up our base.”

Last week Senate Democrats released a statement saying “Instead of ranting and raving on the campaign trail, Bush and Cheney should spend their time on the trail of Osama bin Laden.”

Monday, October 09, 2006

Tony Blair: “It Isn’t Easy Being Bush’s Bitch”

Bush’s “Coalition of the Willing” wasn’t quite as “willing” as we were originally told. The British government tried to be a restraining influence before the March 2003 Iraqi invasion. But the Bush/Cheney/PNAC juggernaut was just too powerful and unstoppable.

Britain’s then-Home Secretary said “The issue was: ‘What the hell do you do about it?’ All we could do as a nation of 60 million off the coast of mainland Europe was to seek to influence the most powerful nation in the world. We did seek to influence them, but we were not in charge, so you cannot say that if only the government recognized what needed to be done, it would all have been different. The government did recognize the problem.”

He said Cheney and Rumsfeld “could not be diverted.”

Blair’s popularity in England is at an all-time low because of his little tryst with Boy George.

At a recent speech Blair acknowledged the price he was paying for being Bush’s plaything. He said "my ass is so sore I can barely walk. I feel used Yes, it’s hard sometimes to be America’s strongest ally.”

Wanted: A new bitch for President Bush. Any takers?

Friday, October 06, 2006

“We’re Gonna Build a Fence and Keep Those Bastards Out!! Or, maybe we could just, er, I mean, uhh…”

This Republican Congress has accomplished something. Yippeee!!! They did something! They’re gonna build a giant fence and keep those icky dark-skinned parasites out of our country. Now they can go home to their constituents and tell them that they actually achieved something.

Except that, uh, actually, ahem — the fence will never be built.

A funny thing happened on the way to the signing statement. Right after the fence was voted on (so far the only thing definite is our $1.2 billion down payment), the House and Senate approved separate legislation which will, uh, dilute things just a little. This legislation authorizes Bush to distribute the money to a combination of projects. This could include roads, technology and the infrastructure for that “virtual fence” that the Homeland Security Dept. wants to build someday.

But hey, that’s just the fine print. Keep your eyes up here on the banner. WE DID SOMETHING! MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

I personally don’t have any strong opinions on the whole immigration issue. Too many underlying issues; too many undercurrents. Whenever somebody gives a passionate argument about “this country was founded by immigrants” or “these illegal aliens are stealing jobs and wrecking our infrastructure,” I just think “hmmm, good point.”

But, Congress was looking for a good solid election-year hotbutton issue and they chose illegal immigration. They pushed every emotional button they could find. Populism, bigotry, paranoia, xenophobia — they pushed and poked and prodded until the population exploded into hysterics.

Now our “representatives” are coming home to their constituents, thumping their chests and screaming “Yeah! We did it! We’re gonna build a big fence and keep ‘em out! NOT.”

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Party of “Values??” “Morals???”

Yes I know this has been done to death already, but this dead horse needs to be beaten and flailed some more. Republican leaders knew about Foley’s escapades but they kept quiet about it. What’s this mean? And there hasn’t been a peep out of any of those righteous holier-than-thou Biblethumping organizations.

The American Family Association has been going apeshit over a lewd Madonna video and the fact that Ford and Wal-Mart are promoting the “Homosexual Agenda” (whatever that is). On their website the only mention of Predatorgate is a column by Gary Bauer (who isn’t even affiliated with AFA). Bauer says Predatorgate is “just further evidence that the pro-family agenda is needed desperately in America.” That’s right, we all need to be just a little bit more self-righteous and sanctimonious. Got it.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council is taking that same approach. He’s blaming the whole scandal on “permissiveness” in general and homosexuality in particular. Perkins claims “the real issue” is “the link between homosexuality and child abuse.” He claims that “evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two.” Riiight. Go burn some books, Asshole.

Focus on the Family and the Traditional Values Coalition don’t mention anything on their websites about Predatorgate. Zilch. Nada. Zip point Shit.

OxyContin "Rush" Limbaugh’s only reaction is that the Foley scandal was “set up” and “coordinated” by Democrats. In fact this seems to be the Talking Point that all rightwing commentators and bloggers have been instructed to recite. Democrats have known about Predatorgate for years but they were just waiting ‘til the eve of the election to spring it on the public.

Sean Hannity spewed out the same Talking Point, and also managed to drag Bill Clinton into the picture. Yup, it’s Clinton’s fault. Damn You Bill Clinton!

We can no longer ignore the hypocrisy of the entire Religious Right, whether it’s Evangelical Christians, Republican politicians or the Catholic hierarchy. Predatorgate and the long-simmering priest scandals both highlight this same incredible double standard. Their consensus seems to be that if two adults voluntarily engage in a same-sex act, it’s the most sick, evil, wicked thing that ever happened. But if a priest molests a helpless child, or a politician uses his power and prestige to seduce a vulnerable teenager: “Oh, uh, well, we’ll look into it.”

I would think that if homosexuality is sinful, it should be infinitely worse if one person is forcing himself on a victim. But the Bible Brigade’s “reasoning” is just the opposite.

Anybody have any theories on this?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wanted For Treason

Do you know the whereabouts of any of these senators? They’re all traitors and they must be brought to justice and dealt with accordingly:

Alexander (R-TN), Allard (R-CO), Allen (R-VA), Bennett (R-UT), Bond (R-MO), Brownback (R-KS), Bunning (R-KY), Burns (R-MT), Burr (R-NC), Carper (D-DE), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), Cochran (R-MS), Coleman (R-MN), Collins (R-ME), Cornyn (R-TX), Craig (R-ID), Crapo (R-ID), DeMint (R-SC), DeWine (R-OH), Dole (R-NC), Domenici (R-NM), Ensign (R-NV), Enzi (R-WY), Frist (R-TN), Graham (R-SC), Grassley (R-IA), Gregg (R-NH), Hagel (R-NE), Hatch (R-UT), Hutchison (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Johnson (D-SD), Kyl (R-AZ), Landrieu (D-LA), Lautenberg (D-NJ), Lieberman (D-CT), Lott (R-MS), Lugar (R-IN), Martinez (R-FL), McCain (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY), Menendez (D-NJ), Murkowski (R-AK), Nelson (D-FL), Nelson (D-NE), Pryor (D-AR), Roberts (R-KS), Rockefeller (D-WV), Salazar (D-CO), Santorum (R-PA), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Smith (R-OR), Specter (R-PA), Stabenow (D-MI), Stevens (R-AK), Sununu (R-NH), Talent (R-MO), Thomas (R-WY), Thune (R-SD), Vitter (R-LA), Voinovich (R-OH), Warner (R-VA).

Each one of those senators voted for the Torturers’ Protection Act (S. 3930) last Thursday. They have thereby violated their Oath of Office:

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

Because of the new law they voted for, these traitors, if caught, can be held without trial and tortured until they confess. Couldn’t happen to nicer people.

This post was inspired by Kvatch at Blognonymous. He’s doing a series of posts on traitors in the Senate. We should all be doing this.