Who Hijacked Our Country

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pythons Devastating the Everglades: Thank a Republican

When I saw the story yesterday about the Everglades crawling with pythons — and native wildlife being decimated as a result — I had no idea this could be anything political.  What could the Liberal-Conservative Democrat-Republican divide have to do with people’s pet pythons escaping — or being released — into the wild?

Believe it or not, it IS a political issue.  Pythons were first discovered in the Everglades around 1980.  By 2000 the problem had become serious.  And now there are practically no raccoons, foxes, marsh rabbits, opossums or white-tailed deer left in the Everglades.

It’s a day late and a dollar short, but the Obama Administration is working on a rule making it illegal to move or import Burmese pythons across state lines.  It’s a start anyway.

And House Republicans are denouncing this new intrusive “job-killing” regulation.  Apparently the python business is an integral part of America’s economy, and any attempt to regulate it would send the unemployment rate skyrocketing into the triple digits.

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has referred to this new regulation as “a solution in search of a problem.”  And the committee brought in a python breeder to testify on the importance of this industry and the economic devastation that this new regulation would cause.


If somebody found a cure for cancer, Republicans would be against it.


Monday, January 30, 2012

Newt Gingrich’s “Work Ethic”

Make sure your irony meter is turned off when you read this; otherwise it’ll squawk loud enough to wake up your whole neighborhood.

Newt Gingrich has become famous as a no-nonsense hard-driving Boss from Hell who wants young children to become janitors so they’ll develop a strong work ethic.  And yet Newt Gingrich himself never worked during his own school years; not even in college.

It figures.  Just as a chickenhawk is willing to fight to the last drop of somebody else’s blood, Newt Gingrich’s “work ethic” only applies to other people.  And of course it’s the same with Gingrich’s “family values” rhetoric.  It comes in handy for whipping up the Biblehumps during a campaign speech; nevermind the fact that Gingrich himself has had more marriages than most Hollywood VIPs.

And yes Newt Gingrich is a chickenhawk in the literal sense.  While Gingrich was getting one college deferment after another, the Vietnam War was raging and the draft was grinding up and spitting out every person over eighteen who couldn’t buy his way out of it.  Apparently chickenhawks apply the same “preach it but don’t practice it” motto to everything; not just war.

Gingrich spent his college years asking and pleading for money from his father and step-mother, so he wouldn’t have to work.  And after he married his first wife — yes, the same wife he served with divorce papers while she was in the hospital receiving cancer treatments — it was HER income that put Gingrich all the way through the rest of his education; right up to his Ph.D.

In a final bit of sick irony, Newt Gingrich actually confirms the rightwing meme about welfare creating a nation of helpless incompetent parasites.  After all, Newt Gingrich lived on other people’s money for the first three decades of his life — and look what it did to him.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Judd McMillan: “Everyone Needs to Pass a Drug Test — Except Me”

State legislator Judd McMillan (R—Piss Fetish) introduced a bill in the Indiana legislature which would require all recipients of government aid to pass a drug test in order to qualify.  It’s not yet known whether Judd McMillan would be personally watching while each urine test is administered.

Anyway, the bill was modified by Rep. Ryan Dvorak.  Dvorak expanded the bill to include EVERYONE who receives money from the government.  And this new expanded wording includes Indiana legislators.

After his bill was modified, Judd “Golden Showers” McMillan promptly withdrew it.  Regarding McMillan’s blatant double standard, Ryan Dvorak said:

“After it passed, Rep. McMillan got pretty upset and pulled his bill. If anything, I think it points out some of the hypocrisy. If we’re going to impose standards on drug testing, then it should apply to everybody who receives government money.”


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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Marco Rubio vs. Marco Rubio

Marco Rubio — the teabaggers’ Great Hispanic Hope.  Rightwing demagogues can spend four years bashing those swarthy immigrants who’ve ruined our country.  They can conjure up all sorts of ugly ethnic stereotypes to get their inbred audiences all fired up.  And then — Presto! — four years of race-baiting will be magically undone when Marco Rubio gets picked to be Mitt Romney’s running mate.

And now it turns out — there are TWO Marco Rubios.  There’s Marco Rubio the tight-fisted fiscal conservative.  He’s watching out for YOUR tax dollars.  Social Security and Medicare have created a nation of dependent helpless parasites, and Marco Rubio will stand up for America and rescue her from these incentive-sapping nanny state bureaucrats.

And then there’s Marco Rubio the reckless irresponsible spendthrift.  His own mortgage is underwater.  And after being audited, he owed the IRS $16,000.  That’s because he had been “using his party credit card for personal use.”

How’s that “personal responsibility” thingy workin’ out for ya?

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Online Database for Credit Card Customers’ Complaints

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has been collecting people’s complaints about credit card companies, and the bureau is planning to set up a website where the public can view these complaints.  An informed consumer is less likely to be gouged and shat on.

Haven’t we had enough yet?  Gazillions of dollars in hidden fees, interest rates that double or triple without notice and for “reasons” that are flimsy to non-existent — most of these sleight-of-hand ripoffs would be eliminated through the transparency of an online complaint database. 

Cockroaches scurry back into the nearest crack when somebody turns on the lights.  And that’s exactly what sleazy bankers will do when their bait-and-switch “Gotcha!” tactics are displayed in front of God and everyone.

Needless to say, banks and credit card companies are trying to block the CFPB from creating this database.  They don’t want anyone lifting up that rock and showing the public what those slippery creatures are doing underneath it.

If you would like the CFPB to create this online database of credit card customers‘ complaints, please sign this petition.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Low IQ + Wingnuttery = Bigotry

We already knew this, but now a new study has distilled it down to an equation.   Basically:  dumber-than-dirt child grows up (chronologically that is) and is attracted to conservative ideas.  The most appealing parts of conservatism — for dumbfucks — are resistance to change and the idea of a hierarchy.

After being mesmerized by these rightwing soundbites, Mr. or Ms. Bone-Stupid becomes part of the hierarchy, and — Presto!  “Hey, we got us a pecking order, and them dark-skinned folks is lower than me, huh huh huh uh uh uh.”

These findings came from a study at Brock University in Ontario, which was conducted by Gordon Hodson.  Among other things, the study found that people of limited intelligence generally have less contact with other ethnic groups.  Gordon Hodson said:

“This finding is consistent with recent research demonstrating that intergroup contact is mentally challenging and cognitively draining, and consistent with findings that contact reduces prejudice.”

He also said that solid unbending rightwing beliefs are appealing to those who have trouble grasping the world’s complexities:

“Socially conservative ideologies tend to offer structure and order.  Unfortunately, many of these features can also contribute to prejudice.”

Another psychologist, Brian Nosek — who was not involved in the study — said:

“They've pulled off the trifecta of controversial topics.  When one selects intelligence, political ideology and racism and looks at any of the relationships between those three variables, it's bound to upset somebody.”

Gee, ya think?  I’m guessing one of two things will happen:  This story will be suppressed and ignored, or the shit will hit the fan.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Global Crackdown on Contaminated Meat

The European Union, China and Taiwan — among other countries — have stopped importing tainted, chemical-laden meat from a certain backward country whose safety standards are lagging behind the rest of the world.  Yes, that’s us.

Ractopamine hydrochloride is a drug that’s fed to pigs and other livestock.  The FDA approved this drug thirteen years ago, but most other countries have banned it.  I guess it comes down to what a government’s priorities are:  public health or agri-business profits.

Ractopamine hydrochloride causes severe illness in the pigs, cattle and turkeys to whom it’s fed.  There’s also been speculation — nothing proven yet — that these same health hazards are passed on to the people who eat these animals.

In a related story, California recently passed a state law requiring the immediate euthanization of any livestock animals that were too sick to walk.  The law also prohibited the sale of these animals for meat.  But that law has been overturned by the Corporate Arm of the Republican Party (formerly known as the U.S. Supreme Court).

Since business lobbyists are always talking about free enterprise — the invisible hand of the marketplace — you’d think they would figure out the obvious:  In order to export their products, they need to be selling a product that other countries would like to buy.

Our bought-and-paid-for legislators certainly aren’t going to tell their agri-business pimps what to do.  If they want to sell meat made from animals that were too sick to even stand up, and from animals that were raised on a hazardous growth hormone — let the marketplace decide.

Except — well, the global marketplace HAS decided.  Being shrewd business people, Big Ag has probably figured out that they can export more of their products by adopting some basic safety standards on their own.  Right?

Nope.  U.S. trade officials are trying to armtwist other countries into importing our tainted products, health hazards and all.

Ah, free enterprise.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

“An Economy That’s Built to Last”


President Obama delivered one Hell of a State of the Union speech tonight, and “an economy that’s built to last” was the best soundbite I’ve heard in eons.

Tonight’s speech was as rousing and as articulate as any speech I can remember.  If it’s true that President Obama is better at speaking and campaigning than he is at leading and standing up to Republicans, then the solution is to spend more time at the bully pulpit.  Take these issues directly to The People while Congress just sits there playing with themselves.

His speech had that perfect combination of being unifying, upbeat, reaching out to everybody — and being firm at the same time:

“The state of our union is getting stronger, and we've come too far to turn back now.  As long as I'm president, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place.”

I forget who the commentators were after the SOTU speech, but they made the point that the more positive, upbeat, optimistic candidate usually wins the presidency.  Populism can be very infectious and unifying, but the speaker has to be careful not to sound too negative or resentful.  And then one of them described Obama’s speech as “optimistic populism.”

I like it.

And then, right on cue, Mitch Daniels delivered the Republican response.  In contrast to Obama’s hope and optimism, Mitch Daniels’ speech was basically:

“Boohoohooohooooooohooooooo” “Waaaaaaaahhhhhh” “It’s just awful” “We’re sinking!!!”

Way to go.  May the more positive optimistic party win the White House.

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“Negroes Are Shiftless and Lazy”

by Newt Gingrich

First, the good news.  Asians.  These are the real go-getters, the people with the strongest work ethic and a sense of entrepreneurship.  And they’re good at math.

But they can’t drive.  And you know what they say about Japanese women, when they spread their — OOPS, uh, wrong venue.  Anyway…

Latinos — now there’s hope for at least some of these people.  Most of them just want to join gangs and hang out in the streets.  But some of them really do have that business sense, that entrepreneurial talent.  If only they weren’t so hot-tempered.  And each and every one of them carries a switchblade.

OK, back to the Negro.  Now I realize this may offend some of those politically-correct elitists in the liberal media, but come on, we all know this.  Let’s not kid ourselves.  Blacks, African-Americans, whatever you want to call them — see, I didn’t use the N-word — these people are just lazy.  They have no work ethic, and even if they did, they have no sense of entrepreneurship whatsoever.  But give them food stamps and a crack pipe and they’re happy as clams.

Or as a close friend of mine once said, the only three things they care about are loose shoes, a warm place to sleep and, uhh, damn it, I can’t remember what the third thing was.  But anyway, you know what I’m saying.

I know this is a little blunt, and I’ve probably lost the black and Latino vote.  But that doesn’t matter.  My friends at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other “bill mills” have been grinding out dozens of assembly-line voter suppression laws — one for every red state.  So the voters whom I’ve alienated — they won’t be voting anyway.  So there.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

England Might Close Mitt Romney’s Bank Account

The U.S. government doesn’t seem to have a problem with large corporations and wealthy individuals hiding their money in foreign bank accounts, thereby sleazing their way out of paying jillions of dollars in taxes.

England, on the other hand, does.  And the Cayman Islands — one of the world’s largest offshore tax shelters — are a British territory.  Mitt Romney and Bain Capital have huge accounts hidden in the Cayman Islands.

There’s been a motion introduced in the House of Commons to close the Cayman Islands as a tax haven.  The motion was introduced by John Cryer, former member of the British Treasury Select Committee.  The motion “calls on the UK government to introduce urgent legislation to help close tax havens and increase transparency so that the very richest pay their fair share of tax in their respective countries.”

John Cryer said:

“I think it is a disgrace that the Cayman Islands, a tax haven, can enable wealthy corporations and individuals such as Mitt Romney and others in the wealthiest 1% to avoid tax and still be cloaked in secrecy. Meanwhile all across the western world, hard-working people are seeing their living standards and take-home pay stagnate or reduced.”

What will Poor Mittens do if his secret piggy bank gets smoked out?  Who knows, he might have to start chipping in on that war with Iran that he keeps clamoring for.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Federal Election Commission: the REAL Culprit Behind Huge Anonymous Campaign Contributions

Don’t get me wrong.  The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision sucks balls.  Citizens United overturned decades of restrictions on political campaign funding; basically saying America is for sale to the highest bidder.

But Citizens United had nothing to do with disclosure rules requiring wealthy campaign donors to reveal their identities.  The culprit behind these anonymous campaign contributions is the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

The Federal Election Commission has taken already-existing campaign disclosure rules and basically “re-interpreted” them into oblivion.  Under the FEC’s new “interpretation,” campaign donors still have to identify themselves — but only if the donor has specifically stated how the money is supposed to be spent.

Let’s say you’ve donated a million dollars to a militant anti-abortion group.  If you’ve specifically told this group “I want you to spend this money on TV ads attacking pro-choice candidates,” then your identity has to be revealed.  But if you’ve given a million dollars to this same group without specifying how you want them to spend the money — what the fuck else are they going to spend it on? — then you’re allowed to keep hiding under your rock.  You can purchase an election and the lowly public won’t even know who purchased it.

Last April, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D—Maryland) filed a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission, trying to get them to “un-reinterpret” the already-existing disclosure rules.  A month ago the FEC voted on a motion to consider Van Hollen’s request.  The vote was 3 to 3; the tie vote killed the motion.  Needless to say, the three No votes came from the three Republican appointees to the FEC.

While the Supreme Court gets vilified for its Citizens United ruling — and rightly so — nobody even knows the names of the three FEC commissioners who are allowing wealthy campaign donors to keep cowering in the shadows while they purchase one election after another.

Those three names are:  Caroline Hunter, Donald McGahn II and Matthew Petersen.

Anonymous — get busy.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Reduced Funding for Education; MORE funding for Biblical Theme Park

Priorities, don’t you know.  Because of his state’s severe budget crisis, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear wants a 6.4% reduction in education funding.

At the same time, Governor Beshear is planning a $43 million tax break for The Ark Encounter — a Biblical theme park.  The park includes a 500-foot by 75-foot simulation of Noah’s Ark.

Hallelujah!  We never needed that there booklarnin’ anyway.

The state budget also includes $11 million to improve a highway interchange that just happens to be near the park.

Proponents of the Ark Encounter have claimed that the park will create jobs by boosting tourism.  This claim is based on a study that was done by — you guessed it — the developers of the Ark Encounter.

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Etta James

Etta James has passed away at the age of 73.  The cause of death was leukemia.  I’m glad I got a chance to see her in concert — Inn of the Beginning, Cotati, CA, 1980.

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame President Terry Stewart said:

“Etta James was a pioneer. Her ever-changing sound has influenced rock and roll, rhythm and blues, pop, soul and jazz artists, marking her place as one of the most important female artists of our time.  From Janis Joplin to Joss Stone, an incredible number of performers owe their debts to her. There is no mistaking the voice of Etta James, and it will live forever.”

Her hits included “Dance With Me Henry,” “At Last,” “Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” “Stop the Wedding” and “It Must Be Love.”

Her career started in the early 1950s when she was discovered by Johnny Otis, who coincidentally passed away just yesterday at age 90.  Johnny Otis was best known for his 1960 (give or take a year) hit “Willie and the Hand Jive.”  But he was a huge behind-the-scenes player all through the 1950s and ‘60s.

Beyoncé played the role of Etta James in the 2008 movie Cadillac Records.  In response to Etta James’ death, Beyoncé released the following statement:

“This is a huge loss. Etta James was one of the greatest vocalists of our time. I am so fortunate to have met such a queen. Her musical contributions will last a lifetime. Playing Etta James taught me so much about myself, and singing her music inspired me to be a stronger artist. When she effortlessly opened her mouth, you could hear her pain and triumph. Her deeply emotional way of delivering a song told her story with no filter. She was fearless, and had guts. She will be missed.”


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Thursday, January 19, 2012

“Newt Gingrich is like the Italian Cruise Ship Captain”


I hate to actually agree on something with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council.  But you know what they say about a broken clock being right twice a day.

Tony Perkins said:

“I think, especially in the evangelical community, they understand the issue of forgiveness.  But that does not necessarily translate into endorsing for leadership.  When you look at the captain of the Costa Concordia, the guy who abandoned his responsibility — I mean, who’s going to put him in charge of a cruise ship again? I’m not getting on that cruise ship.”

And come to think of it, there are some other parallels between Newt Gingrich and Captain Francesco Schettino of the Costa Concordia captain.  For instance:

Newt Gingrich’s reason for presenting his first wife with divorce papers while she was in the hospital undergoing cancer treatments:  he was overcome by an uncontrollable patriotic love for America.

The reason Captain Francesco Schettino deserted the sinking Costa Concordia:  he tripped and fell into a lifeboat.

Now what if these two wiggly slippery creatures switched places?  If Captain Francesco Schettino took Newt Gingrich's place on the campaign trail  — could anyone tell the difference?

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Keystone Oil Pipeline — IXNAY!!!

And let’s drive a stake through its heart once and for all.

President Obama has REJECTED the Keystone Pipeline project.


Republicans tried to back Obama into a corner.  They thought they had maneuvered him into one of those awkward “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” positions.  It was supposed to be a paralyzing dilemma:  veto the project and be portrayed as “job-killing” or approve the project and alienate environmentalists.

Obama had until sometime in February to approve or disapprove the Keystone project.  This was an amendment that Republicans attached to the two-month payroll tax cut extension.  Republicans thought he’d spend the entire two months squirming, paralyzed with indecision.  Instead, he quickly and decisively VETOED it.

Now THIS is the exact kind of in-your-face decisiveness we’ve been waiting for.  You go Mr. President.

A few months ago, Chris Christie was in this exact same scenario.  This was when he was still the Great Republican Hope.  There was a bill on his desk, which supposedly put him in that same rock/hard-place position.  If he signed the bill he’d alienate this group; if he vetoed it he’d alienate that group.  What would he do?  Chris Christie called a press conference, walked up to the podium, took out a pen and, without a second’s hesitation, vetoed the bill.

Everyone ooh-ed and ahh-ed over Christie’s bold decisiveness and “what’re you gonna do about it” manner.  And now President Obama is taking the same approach.


And the Republican hissy-fit has already started.  Someone from the National Republican Congressional Committee tweeted:

“U just turned ur back on 20k american workers & energy security what r u gonna do next?”

And that brings us to another rightwing talking point that’s been parroted endlessly by oil industry prostitutes and their gullible listeners:  The number of jobs that would have been created by the Keystone Pipeline is 6,000.  NOT 20,000.  Yes, 6,000 jobs is a lot of jobs.  Repairing and maintaining the infrastructure would create a lot more jobs than that.

Again, that number is 6,000.  NOT 20,000.  OK!?!?!?

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 18th, 2012: The Day the Internet Stood Still

A day without the Internet.  Some of the most heavily used websites will go dark tomorrow.  They will be protesting the Stop Online Piracy Act (H.R. 3261) and the Protect IP Act (S. 968).  Maybe “protest” isn’t accurate.  Tomorrow’s Internet blackout will illustrate what the Internet will become if either of those two abortional laws ever get passed.

Those two bills take terms like “corporate welfare” to a whole new level — bringing the Internet to a grinding halt just so the government can guarantee the profits of a few Hollywood/Media CEOs.

Anyway, tomorrow will be an “interesting” day on the Internet.  Web searches, news gathering, political/social networking, blogging — it’s gonna be some slim pickins.

Here is a list of confirmed participants in tomorrow’s Web Strike.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

“Why can’t they just hire a lobbyist like everyone else?”

The above quote is the twenty-first century’s answer to “let them eat cake.”  Here’s the background:

As part of their ongoing protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the hacktivist group Anonymous has published the personal information of two of the most powerful media titans in the U.S.  That would be Time Warner CEO Jeffrey L. Bewkes, and Sumner M. Redstone of CBS and Viacom.

This is part of Anonymous’ “Operation Hiroshima” — the group’s war on high-ranking politicians and media VIPs who are pushing SOPA and its Senate companion, the Protect IP Act.  As you probably know, these two bills would basically bring the Internet to a grinding halt in order to protect the profits of a few Hollywood and music industry CEOs.

Anyway, about the title of this post:  another one of Operation Hiroshima’s targets was a congressman (not named in the linked article).  One of this congressman’s aides, dumbfounded by the level of public anger and the use of such shocking tactics, actually did say:

“Why can’t they just hire a lobbyist like everyone else?”

Why indeed.  That’s exactly what I was thinking earlier today as I was driving my Ferrari from an investors’ meeting to the yacht club.  The above quotation reminds me of a joke I heard a long time ago:

There was a kid from an incredibly wealthy old-money family.  He had the most sheltered pampered life imaginable.  He was now in his mid twenties, having gone to one expensive prep school after another and obtained several college degrees.  And now he was starting his first job — with an advertising agency.  On his first day at work, his co-workers were coming up with an ad campaign, and they decided to run the commercial on the following Sunday afternoon.  And the sheltered kid said “Sunday afternoon?  But nobody will see the ad on Sunday afternoon.  That’s when everybody’s out playing polo.”

OK, so it’s not the most side-splitting joke you’ve ever heard.  But that line always stuck with me as an example of someone being so sheltered inside a magic bubble that he actually thinks everybody else is equally sheltered and pampered.  And now an unknown aide to an unnamed congressman has shown — once again — that you can’t make this shit up.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

South Carolina: “The South’s Inbreds Will Rise Again!”

Mitt Romney’s vulture capitalism has already spread beyond the blogosphere and into the mainstream media.  It’s part of the national conversation.  And now the same thing is about to happen to the red states’ voter suppression laws — also known as Jim Crow 2.0.

Dozens of red states have marched in lockstep to pass these so-called “Voter ID” laws.  These laws are supposedly necessary to fight the non-existent problem of “voter fraud.”  Millions of qualified voters will be prevented from voting by these new Jim Crow laws — mostly the elderly, people of low income, minorities and the young.  Be sheer coincidence, the people in those groups tend to vote Democratic.  How conveeenient.

This interstate march-in-unison voter suppression drive has been financed by Koch Industries (among others) and choreographed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).  Until recently, this issue was confined to liberal blogs and a few non-mainstream news sites.

But now, with the South Carolina primary in full swing, South Carolina’s voter suppression law has burst into the mainstream media and the public consciousness.  The Justice Department has already started cracking down on South Carolina’s Jim Crow 2.0 law.  Republican candidates are dredging up the same tired “states’ rights” rhetoric they’ve been spouting since the Civil War.  This guarantees that Obama won’t carry South Carolina next November; then again he didn’t have a chance in South Carolina anyway.

But what about the rest of the country?  South Carolina voters will be perfectly happy to keep on keepin' the nigras down, as they’ve been doing since the 1800s.  But most of the country isn’t South Carolina.  When voter suppression laws are discussed over backyard fences and in coffee shops all across the country, how will the issue play out?  Or as the old saying goes, “will it play in Peoria?”

Meanwhile, back in South Carolina, the local rednecks are having a ‘bacca-spittin’ hissy-fit over the National Guard forcing public schools to allow colored children inside.  Er, I mean, the Justice Department cracking down on voter suppression laws.  Rick Perry — yesterday he was a raging leftwing populist; today he’s back to his old redneck self — said:

“Each of our states are under assault right now by this administration.  We may be under assault — South Carolina, they're actually at war with you.”

Yee Haw!  Let’s get them inbreds all fired up.

And last week Rick Santorum said the 2012 election will be the most important election since 1860.  He’s since revised that date to 1980.  Too late, Frothy — you can't un-ring a bell; you can't push the toothpaste back into the tube.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Romney’s Vulture Capitalism Being Dragged Into the Spotlight

Ever turn on a kitchen light and see cockroaches scurrying frantically back into the walls?  Right now Mitt Romney and his fellow vulture capitalists are trying desperately to scurry back into the shadows.  They prefer to do their “work” away from the public eye.

They can run but they can’t hide.  Gingrich’s and Perry’s attacks on Romney’s career as a corporate raider — and other rightwingers’ attacks on Perry and Gingrich for “attacking capitalism” — have brought this entire sordid subject into the limelight.  They’ve changed the conversation.

Corporate raiders, private equity firms — and whether these companies help the economy or only enrich a few at the expense of the many — this subject is being debated and argued furiously throughout the country.  Several months ago you could have put an entire room to sleep if you said “Bain Capital” or “private equity firm.”

This new public scrutiny is the last thing Wall Street wants.  They liked it better when the entire subject was too complicated for the public to understand, and too boring for anyone to even care if they understood it or not.  Those days are over.  The rock has been lifted and the public is getting a close look at those squiggly creepy-crawly creatures squirming in the sunlight.

Newt Gingrich referred to the documentary which exposed Mitt Romney’s “job” record:

“Now, this rattled a number of so-called conservatives, who say that to challenge where the money went and to challenge what deals were cut is to be anti-free enterprise.  I'm not going to back down or be afraid to say we, the American people, have the right to know, and any candidate for president has an obligation to tell us, and I think that these extraordinarily wealthy institutions are going to somehow bring enough pressure to bear to say, 'You better shut up,' tells you just how bad-off the system has gotten.”

Whatever anyone thinks of Gingrich, and whatever his true motives are, that statement was spot on.

While Gingrich and Perry are pretending to be populists so they can derail Romney’s campaign, Romney is being defended by a Who’s Who of the Far Right:  Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Karl Rove, Jim DeMint, and Rudy Giuliani.  Guiliani in particular has made some huge investments in vulture capital firms.

These ongoing arguments and mutual attacks can only be a good thing.  The louder the arguments get, the more front-and-center this whole issue will become and the better informed the voters will be.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Scott Walker: “I Am a Crook”

Wisconsin voters are learning more and more interesting things about their governor as he heads toward a recall vote.  Several of Walker’s aides have already been investigated for embezzlement.  And now Scott Walker himself is accused of committing 1,115 violations of Wisconsin‘s campaign laws.

How’s that for setting an example?

This report comes from One Wisconsin Now.  Under Wisconsin law, a candidate is required to report all contributions exceeding $100.  According to the director of One Wisconsin Now:

“Scott Walker has improperly reported well over $500,000 in contributions from inside and outside of Wisconsin.  Scott Walker has absolutely no interest in following the campaign finance rules of the state of Wisconsin and we again call for state regulators to address his serial violation of our laws.”

Come on, Wisconsin voters, you can do better than this.  Bring on that recall election and get that shitstain out of the Governor’s Mansion.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Extinction of the Human Race

Well, the end is almost here. Homo Sapiens, which once strangled the Earth with over seven billion specimens, is nearly extinct now. It didn’t have to be this way.

Back in 2012 A.D., Pope Benedict gave the strongest possible warnings of the dire threat to humanity. He spoke to diplomats from 180 countries. Er, a little background:  Back then, huge numbers of Homo Sapiens gathered in settlements called “countries.” Some of these countries had millions of specimens. Hard to picture now, isn’t it?

Anyway, Pope Benedict warned everybody that the homosexual agenda — gay marriage, public “tolerance” of homosexuals in general — would be the beginning of the end for the human race. And nobody listened. They just laughed at him.

And now look what’s happened. It should have been so obvious. When homosexuality became legal — and more widely accepted by more people — well, you know the rest. More and more people turned gay. The only thing preventing them from being gay had been the law. That, and the fear of being ridiculed and ostracized (or worse).  After those barriers were removed, billions of people started thinking “Hey, now it’s OK to do what I’ve always wanted to do.”

It was a gradual process, but the world’s human population slowly started dwindling. And dwindling…

It’s looking pretty hopeless now. There are just a few dozen of us left.  The good new is:  We're all a bunch of virile horny heterosexuals.

The bad news:  We're all the same gender.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Media Blackout of Stop Online Piracy Act

Countless blog posts and “non-mainstream” news sites have been warning us relentlessly about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), H.R. 3261.  (The Senate version of the same bill is the Protect IP Act — S. 968.)

This bill is the ultimate example of using a nuclear bomb to kill a mosquito.  In order to be 100% certain that nobody anywhere will ever again distribute or download movies or music without paying, the film and recording industries are willing to destroy the Internet.  Period.  This is NOT an exaggeration.

You can get more information here and here.

Under this proposed law:  If a copyright holder complains that a certain blog or website is infringing on his/her copyright, that website will be shut down.  No questions, no court hearing, nothing.  One complaint — whether valid or not — and the “offending” website will be shut down.  Search engines will be forced to de-list any website that’s been accused of violating the Stop Online Piracy Act.  And if your own blog is even LINKED to a website that’s been accused of piracy — down you go.

This is more drastic than you’ve even imagined.  For example:  if someone complains that their copyright has been violated by a post on Facebook or a YouTube video, that entire website could be taken down.  No more YouTube because somebody somewhere made a complaint?!?!?!

This bill is being pushed through Congress by three small — but incredibly wealthy — organizations:  the film industry, the recording industry and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Search engines and Internet Service Providers — not exactly struggling mom-and-pop companies — are lobbying against this bill.  But they’ve been outspent four to one by the film and recording industries.

This bill is quietly — very quietly! — working its way through Congress, with strong support from both parties.  And there’s no indication that Obama will veto the bill if it reaches his desk.

A few politicians — of both parties — are alarmed by the Stop Online Piracy Act and are trying to fight it or at least water it down.  Paul Ryan has warned that the bill could lead to mass censorship.  Ron Wyden and Darrell Issa introduced a less extreme watered-down version of the bill, but it was defeated in the House.

Again, this bill has been warned about and argued about, all over the Internet, by millions of people.  And yet, you’ve never seen or heard ONE mention of this bill in ANY mainstream publication or website.

Could that be because so many “news” corporations and movie studios are owned by the same people?  Nah — just a coincidence.

A few millionaires are ready and willing to destroy the Internet just to make sure their own profits keep going up and up and up.  And most of the public doesn’t even know about this.  If you would like the mainstream “news” media to take a brief moment away from the Kardashians to warn the public that their Internet access could be gone forever —Please Sign This Petition.

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Iran Not Developing Nuclear Weapons

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said this yesterday on Face The Nation:

“I think the pressure of the sanctions, the diplomatic pressures from everywhere, Europe, the United States, elsewhere, it’s working to put pressure on them…Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No.”

Sorry, chickenhawks — your wetdream has been thwarted.  It was all just a tease.

Maybe President Mitt “war is heck” Romney will attack Iran.  Until then, the warmongering inbreds will have to fly their chickenhawk flag at half mast.

Millions of keyboard warriors having their phallic war fantasies derailed — that’s a lot of frustrated people.  Chickenhawks with blueballs.  These poor pitiful creatures have spent months entertaining the most graphic dreams and images of “Ugh!  Battleships, missiles, bullets — penetrating deep deep deep into Iran!  Ugh!”

It was almost complete.  Almost, almost, almost, and then:

Not tonight, chickenhawks — the Pentagon has a headache.

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

The New Redneck Math

The school district of Gwinnett County, Georgia, has found a way to make arithmetic a lot more interesting.  There’s no sense boring your students shitless with a bunch of dry, sterile numbers when you can inject some life into those tired old math problems.

For example:

You have a barroom full of inbred rednecks.  The combined IQ of all of those rednecks is 100, and their average IQ is ten.  Ready?  How many rednecks are in the room?

Now isn’t this a lot more fun than “one hundred divided by ten is…[yawn]…”

Here’s another example:

There’s a bunch of teabaggers holding a spontaneous demonstration on behalf of Koch Industries.  One third of the teabaggers are holding up misspelled signs.  Sixty teabaggers have managed to spell everything right.  How many misspelled signs are there?

Now THIS is the way to make that mundane old arithmetic more enjoyable; something for the kids to look forward to.  And here’s a bonus question:

If Mitch McConnell has 57 chins, how many ounces of vodka can John Boehner glug down while he’s spreadeagled underneath a Wall Street lobbyist?


Saturday, January 07, 2012

Is Your Dog Smarter Than You?

According to this article — Does Your Dog Know What You’re Thinking? — dogs excel in a specific type of intelligence.  They can read a person’s facial expressions and body language, and based on these readings they can anticipate what the person wants them to do.

I actually saw a newspaper article at least fifteen years ago saying this exact same thing, so this isn’t anything new.  In that earlier article, dogs outperformed pigs and monkeys — both considered generally smarter than dogs — when it came to anticipating what a person was going to do.

That previous article went a lot further.  The upshot was:  what a dog owner perceives as loyalty and blind devotion is actually just plain shrewdness.  Your obedient devoted dog is actually more like a shrewd, observant employee who knows exactly what the boss wants to hear.

Nothing like shattering the sacred beliefs of millions of people.  No wonder that article was never expanded on and the whole subject stayed hush-hush for years.

That article’s theory was that dogs are pack animals.  In the wild, they’re instinctively   attuned to the leader of the pack, a thousand percent.  Their survival depends on it..  For domesticated dogs, the leader of the pack is a human.

Cats on the other hand are solitary in the wild.  (Lions are the only exception that I know of.)   That’s why house cats — according to all the stereotypes anyway — are completely aloof and detached and couldn’t care less about their owner or anybody else.  Or as a San Francisco columnist once described the feline mindset:  “I hate you feed me.”

Cat owners — or more accurately, people who are owned by their cat(s) — know otherwise, of course.


Friday, January 06, 2012

Mitt Romney: Job Creator. NOT!

It’s already well known that Mitt Romney eliminated zillions of jobs during his career at Bain Capital and other private equity firms.  Hopefully, the Democrats’ TV commercials will drive this point home relentlessly to everyone who doesn’t already know this.

But it gets even better.  This is the most specific item yet about Romney’s distinguished “career.”  A Kansas City, MO steel mill, Worldwide Grinding Systems, went out of business less than ten years after Bain Capital became the company’s majority shareholder.  Romney was CEO of Bain Capital during this period.

Worldwide Grinding Systems had been in business since 1888.  When the company folded, its workers were denied the severance pay and health coverage they’d been promised.  And their retirement pensions were reduced by $400 a month.  Nice job Mitt.

And the flipflops get even better too.  Mitt Romney has already performed more flipflops on more issues than any creature in the universe.  And now this:  Romney was against the Wall Street bailout of 2008 — when George W. Bush was president — and he was against Obama’s bailout of the auto industry.  But when Worldwide Grinding Systems went bankrupt — thank you Mitt Romney — the company received a $44 million bailout from the federal government.

And after the dust settled, Bain Capital ended up making a $4 million dollar profit — plus $4.5 million in consulting fees — from purchasing and destroying Worldwide Grinding Systems.

Does anybody seriously want this leech in the White House???  What Bain CEO Mitt Romney did to Worldwide Grinding Systems, President Mitt Romney will do to America.

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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Richard Cordray Hits the Ground Running

After months and months of blocking, squelching and obstructing by Congress, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is up and running.  The agency’s new chief — Richard Cordray, appointed by President Obama via recess appointment — is all set to start cracking down on corporate loan sharks.

Under the wording of the Dodd-Frank financial oversight law, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has already been able to regulate banks, but unable to regulate other types of lenders until the agency had a director.  And now it does.  Richard Cordray told an audience:

“We are determined to deliver positive results for American consumers.  We must establish clear standards of conduct so that all financial providers play by the rules.  The consumer bureau will make clear that there are real consequences to breaking the law.”

Ouch!  No wonder Wall Street thugs have been fighting this agency tooth and nail.

Since the CFPB is no longer limited to regulating banks only, Cordray’s first target is the shadow banking industry.  This includes those ubiquitous payday lenders — there are over 70,000 of them — mortgage servicers, and the providers of those inflated booby-trapped student loans.  Go get ‘em!

And that’s not all.  Another thing the CFPB is able to do — now that it finally has a director — is go after the corporate-owned fox-guarding-the-henhouse mandatory arbitration system.  This is how the financial industry has been keeping its customers locked out of the legal system and forced into a corporate-rigged kangaroo court which is always stacked in favor of the company.  It must be nice to be able to investigate yourself and conclude that you’ve done nothing wrong.

Hopefully that sleazy tactic will come to an end soon.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Correction: Obama WILL make Recess Appointment

My post yesterday was based on the news that President Obama would not be making any recess appointments during Congress’ year-end adjournment.  But now the story has changed:  The President IS going to use this recess period to appoint Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.


Wall Street has been desperate — frantic! — to derail the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  The CFPB is designed to rein in at least some of the reckless Wall Street gambling that caused the 2008 global meltdown.  Consequently, Wall Street has instructed its Republican prostitutes in Congress to block every candidate the President nominates to head this agency.  And the Republicans have spread their legs as ordered.

Elizabeth Warren — who basically created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — was Obama’s first choice to head the agency.  After being repeatedly blocked by Wall Street’s hookers, Elizabeth Warren decided to run for the Senate instead.  And right now she’s favored to defeat incumbent Scott Brown (R—Massachusetts).  Talk about unintended consequences.

Republicans are expected to throw the mother of all tantrums over Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray.  The country will be smothered with rightwing talking points about Obama over-reaching, overusing his executive authority, being a dictator, etc.  The facts — fact is a four-letter word if you’re a Republican — speak otherwise:

President Obama has made far fewer recess appointments than any of his recent predecessors.  G.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, G.H.W. Bush and Ronald Reagan had all made a lot more recess appointments by this point in their presidencies than Obama has.

Please keep that simple fact in mind when Rush O’Hannity and the Foxsuckers start spewing their bilge into the airwaves.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Republicans Change Their Minds about Obama: “He’s Pretty Cool After All”

Who would’ve guessed?  For nearly three years, President Obama has been repeatedly capitulating and compromising with Republicans.  I never understood why.  Was he afraid they wouldn’t like him if he stood up and did what he said he was going to do?  Or did he think that the 874th time he bent over for them, they’d suddenly realize what a nice guy he is, and they’d all go “hey, he’s all right!”

But I stand corrected.  Apparently President Obama knew what he was doing all along.  His two most recent cave-ins have finally yielded the acceptance he’s been craving.  Obama had a chance to propose raising the debt ceiling, to keep the Republicans from taking America hostage every time they want something.  This would have required a vote of approval from the House, but the vote would have to be held within two weeks and — oh darn it — Congress is on recess until mid-January.  A golden opportunity!  But Obama decided to wait until after Congress is back in session to make his proposal on raising the debt ceiling.

And now it seems Obama will NOT be using this recess period to make any appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and/or the National Labor Relations Board.  [sigh]

But this time, for some odd reason, Obama's M.O. has worked!  Republicans have suddenly decided that Obama is OK after all.  Mitch McConnell (R—Ku Klux Klan) said:

“Aw, we was just puttin’ the boy through his paces.  Sort of like an initiation, you might say.  Except most initiations don’t go on and on for three years, heh heh.  But now the boy has run every gauntlet we’ve put down in front of him.  As far as I’m concerned, he’s one of us now.  I reckon he can even come in through the front door if he wants to.”

John Boehner (R—Jack Daniels) said:

“I kept wanting to tell ol’ Baracky that thish whole thing wazh just shum short of initiashushun ritual, but my GOP buddies made me promish not to tell.  It wazh not easy.  Every time we played golf together, I wazh afraid the truth would shlip out.  And now that heeezh my buddyroo, weezh gonna go and hazh a reberzhabb haberzhober zhu shish…”

Now that they’re all one big happy family, President Obama might reconsider some of his already-accomplished legislation.  He was overheard saying “Government regulation of the health insurance industry?  What was I thinking?”

Monday, January 02, 2012

George Will Exposes the Sinister Motives of “Environmentalists”

Well, it’s been a nice ride, but the jig is up.  Our phony “concern” over the environment has enabled us to create a huge all-encompassing socialist nanny state.  But now George Will has exposed us.  It looks like we’ll have to come up with another gimmick with which to brainwash even more millions of Americans into surrendering their freedom and liberty.

I can’t speak for any of my fellow Big Government Liberals.  They might choose to continue with their crocodile tears over the environment, as a means toward achieving our agenda of destroying free enterprise.  But I don't think this tactic will work much longer.  Thanks to George Will — and various think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and the Heartland Institute — the American People have seen through our ruse.

So I’m going to go ahead and come clean:  I personally don't give a flying fuck about the environment, clean air, drinkable water or a bunch of smelly animals.  It was just a ploy to achieve greater government control over every facet of every American’s daily life.  And it worked.  We've created layers and layers and layers of stifling federal bureaucracy, and we've destroyed millions of productive jobs.  But there is still so much more to do.  We will need to find another gimmick, another smokescreen, with which to achieve our Socialist Agenda.

George Will nailed it:  the last straw for me and my fellow Socialists was the fact that in 2011, America became a net exporter of petroleum products.  Damn it!  As George Will puts it:

“Because progressivism exists to justify a few people bossing around most people and because progressives believe that only government’s energy should flow unimpeded, they crave energy scarcities as an excuse for rationing — by them — that produces ever-more-minute government supervision of Americans’ behavior.”

He also says:

“An all-purpose rationale for rationing in its many permutations has been the progressives’ preferred apocalypse, the fear of climate change. But environmentalism as the thin end of an enormous wedge of regulation and redistribution is a spent force.”

In other words, our cover has been blown.  We need to come up with a new one.  Our ultimate goal remains the same, of course:  a gigantic smothering Orwellian nanny state which will completely stamp out every last shred of individual initiative.

I just HATE it when somebody starts a successful business and makes money from it.  Building a better mousetrap?  That’s the responsibility of the GOVERNMENT, not some uppity individual.  I absolutely LIVE for the thrill of confiscating somebody’s hard-earned money and redistributing it to his next door neighbor who refuses to work.

Comrades, do not be discouraged.  We will bury them.  For the moment, it’s back to the drawing board.  But we WILL ultimately achieve our agenda of brainwashing, enslaving and micro-managing the American People.


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