Who Hijacked Our Country

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Fleeting Burst of Sanity from the Washington State Supreme Court

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had it up to HERE with 34% of the voters — or legislators — being able to shoot down every proposed tax increase and prevent every tax loophole from being closed.  It’s impossible to calculate how many school, library and mass transit projects have been derailed, and how many police officers and firefighters have been laid off, just because not quite 67% of the voters were willing to increase their own taxes to fund these projects.

And on that note, three cheers for the Washington State Supreme Court.

The Court has ruled that requiring a two thirds vote of the legislature in order to raise taxes — or even close a tax loophole — violates the Washington State Constitution.  I don’t know whether this ruling effects local tax initiatives, where one third of the voters can thwart the will of the other two thirds.  But it’s a start.

According to Article II, section 22 of the State Constitution:  “…no bill shall become a law unless …a majority of the members elected to each house” vote in its favor.

The anti-tax brigade’s only recourse now is to try to amend the Washington State Constitution.  In order to do this, they’ll need a two thirds vote in both houses of the state legislature AND the approval of two thirds of the state’s voters.  Good luck with that.  Poetic, no?  The shoe’s on the other foot now.

I’ve always thought this two-thirds/super-majority rule was just plain wrong, whether it regards taxes or any other issue.  It must be nice to be on the side that only needs to win 34% of the vote.

Tim Eyman — the twisted love child of Howard Jarvis and Grover Norquist — is Washington State’s favorite anti-tax hero.  Tim Eyman won’t sleep a wink until the last of these commie libraries has been slammed and shuttered.

If you live in or near Washington State, that funny noise you’re hearing is the sound of Tim Eyman pounding the bed and screaming into his pillow.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Primary My Congressman

Primary My Congressman is a new website launched by the Club for Growth.  Club for Growth is determined to weed out every moderate congressional Republican and replace him/her with a teabagger.  If your representative is one of those soft squishy RINOs who doesn’t represent Real Americans, Primary My Congressman will arrange for a true rightwing teahadist to defeat your congressman in the next primary.

Club for Growth president Chris “Count” Chocola said:

“Big government liberals inhabit the Democratic Party, but they are far too common within the Republican Party as well.  The Republicans helped pass billions of dollars in tax increases and they have repeatedly voted against efforts by fiscal conservatives to limit government. PrimaryMyCongressman.com will serve as a tool to hold opponents of economic freedom and limited government accountable for their actions.”

If you’re not certain whether your congressman is a true conservative or a limp-wristed RINO, try the following litmus test:

1. Your congressman believes sick people should (a) have their basic health needs covered by government-financed health insurance; or (b) curl up and DIE.

2. Your congressman believes our national parks (a) are a valuable part of America’s heritage and should continue to receive government funding; or (b) should be converted to private ownership for maximum development, mining, drilling and cattle grazing.

3. Your congressman believes the wealthiest 1% of Americans (a) should pay at least the same income tax rate as a secretary or a janitor; or (b) Do NOT, repeat NOT, tax the Job Creators!

Obviously, (b) is the correct answer to all three questions.  If your congressman would answer (a) to even one of those questions, you know what to do:  Primary that latté-sipping tree-hugging sissy.  He/she will be defeated in the primary by a true tea-bagging patriotic American.

And then in the general election, the Club-for-Growth-financed teatard candidate will be defeated by the Democrat.

Works for me.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fifteen Republican Senators Send Letter to Obama: Withdraw Hagel Nomination

We the undersigned are determined to obstruct and block every move you try to make, so you might as well give up on Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.

Chuck Hagel is a veteran, a Vietnam war hero.  And that’s TWO strikes against him.  First, the defense secretary needs to be a chicken hawk, like us.  Keyboard warriors like us, we LOVE violence, bloodshed, war, that orgasmic thrill of watching American military forces penetrate deep deep deep into another country’s territory.  We’re scared shitless of any sort of violence if it’s directed at us, but we come all over ourselves when somebody else gets it.

Chuck Hagel knows first hand the horrors of war, and because of that he’ll be reluctant to invade Iran.  We, the proud members of the Chairborne Division, on the other hand, are champing at the bit to invade Iran, Mali, Venezuela, Ecuador, Syria…And we insist that the next defense secretary be a bloodthirsty chicken hawk, just like us.

Secondly, we hate veterans and war heroes because they’re tough manly men.  We all got picked on in gym class, and we hate these people.  We’re afraid of them, we’re jealous of them, and we sometimes entertain the wickedest sickest fantasies about them.  The atomic wedgies I got in high school would have been a lot more pleasurable if they’d been given by a studly hunk like Chuck Ha—

[ahem] getting a little off track here…

But most importantly, Mr. President — ugh!  I can barely bring myself to call him that — we’re blocking Chuck Hagel’s nomination because YOU nominated him, and we hate you.  If Chuck Hagel had been nominated by anyone other than your Kenyan Muslim Communist ass, we’d approve him unanimously.  But we’ll never ever get over the fact that you got elected President, and then re-elected.  We’re gonna spend the next four years stomping our feet, thrusting out our lower lips and trying to sabotage everything you do.


Marco Rubio, John Cornyn, James Inhofe, Lindsey Graham, Roger Wicker, David Vitter, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Pat Toomey, Dan Coats, Ron Johnson, James Risch, John Barrasso, Tom Coburn, Tim Scott


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Republican Image Makeover, Part XVIII

No matter how much lipstick the GOP keeps putting on its pug-ugly face, it’s still too hideous for public viewing.  What’s the answer?  Why, more lipstick of course.  If Humpty Dumpty had another great fall, Republicans would yell “More Horses!  More Men!”

Behind the scenes, Republican legislators are more determined than ever to ban abortion, eliminate the safety net, break the backs of those commie labor unions and block everything President Obama tries to do.  But you’re not supposed to be looking at that.  Look over there at that big neon billboard, where Republican strategists are publicly asking “How can we reach out to more people?”  “Why do voters think we only care about rich people?” “How can we modernize our image?”

Nice try.  This newest installment of the Republican Image Makeover is brought to us by a spokesman for the American Enterprise Institute.  He says:

“Today, the top marginal tax rate is 40 percent, and inflation is 2 percent. Health-care spending and the debt have both risen by nearly 80 percent as a share of output. The average American is 37 years old.  Economics and demography require a reworking of the conservative policy portfolio. But center-right politicians in Washington keep offering same-old, same-old stale solutions.”

An article in the National Review said:

“They slavishly adhere to the economic program that Reagan developed to meet the challenges of the late 1970s and early 1980s, ignoring the fact that he largely overcame those challenges, and now we have new ones.”

These are all good points.  Try selling them to the teabaggers and corporate prostitutes who want to take “their” country back to 1850.

An editorial in Commentary Magazine proposed a five-step recovery program for the GOP:

“Focus on the economic concerns of working-and middle-class Americans;”
“Welcome rising immigrant groups;”
“Express and demonstrate a commitment to the common good;”
“Engage vital social issues forthrightly but in a manner that is aspirational rather than alienating;” and
“Harness their policy views to the findings of science.”

ROTFLMAO!!!  If they actually gave a flying fuck about the middle class, the common good, and science, they wouldn’t be Republicans.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What’s the Largest Organ in the Human Body? The Fetus.

Todd Akin, take off your dunce cap and pass it to Alabama Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin.

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways of shutting that whole thing down” has been knocked out of first place by “the fetus is the largest organ in a body” in the GOP’s ongoing Race To The Bottom sweepstakes.

McClurkin is sponsoring House Bill 57, the Women’s Health and Safety Act.  HB 57 would “require clinics to follow ambulatory clinic building codes and make it a felony — punishable by up to 10 years in prison — for a nurse, nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant to dispense abortion-inducing medications.”

In an interview, she told the Montgomery Advertiser:

“When a physician removes a child from a woman, that is the largest organ in a body.  That’s a big thing. That’s a big surgery. You don’t have any other organs in your body that are bigger than that.”

Uh, OK.  But this opens up some new questions.  Like, after a woman has had an abortion, or given birth, would this be called a fetusectomy?  And having just lost her largest organ, would she need a fetal transplant?

Anyway, Mary Sue McClurkin is now a bona fide member of the GOP’s new “Have You Hugged an Inbred Today?” outreach program.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Exploding Targets: Protected by the Second Amendment?

Exploding targets?!?  I’d never even heard of them until last night’s NBC newscast.  Apparently it’s not quite enough fun to just shoot your gun.  To get a real manly charge out of it, you have to shoot at something that explodes when you hit it.  Blow Stuff Up!

“Hey Cletus, looky over thar, I hit that there target and it done blew up!  Yee Haw!!!”

A dealer who sells these exploding targets told CBS News:

“Like any explosive, like black powder or smokeless fire or this sort of thing, it can be dangerous.  They're intended to be used in areas away from flammable material.  We trust and hope people use it responsibly and not in the wrong way.”

And then he went on to say there’s no need for the government to barge in and regulate this.

Riiight.  People will be responsible and do the right thing.  We don’t need all these intrusive stop signs, speed limits and traffic lights.  We can trust drivers to act responsibly on their own, without a bunch of meddling bureaucrats telling them which lane they have to be in and where they have to stop.

Last summer, a fire in Wenatchee, WA was apparently caused by two retards shooting at exploding targets.  I knew about the fire.  It went on for days and days, burning 73,000 acres.  Local residents were told to wear face masks if they went outside.

But I didn’t know until last night’s newscast that the Wenatchee fire had been caused by exploding targets.

Here are some more links on exploding targets.

This shit serves no purpose whatsoever.  Get rid of it already.  If the “My Family Tree Has No Branches” crowd feels deprived because they can’t have a target that explodes when they shoot it, tell them to go to a tractor pull or a monster truck rally instead.  At least they aren’t a fire hazard.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

The Kochtopus: Even More Tentacles Than You Ever Imagined

The Koch Brothers — whose father was a founder and financier of the John Birch Society — are already well-known for funding every rightwing cause you’ve ever heard of, and some that you haven’t.  But it’s worse than you thought.

Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund are two huge money-laundering organizations which enable gutless “donors” to make huge contributions to rightwing causes while still hiding under a rock.

The Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity is a Far Right think tank whose secret financing comes largely from the two above-mentioned money-launderers.  And a lot — not all — of this laundered money is from the Koch Brothers.

One of the top priorities of the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity is to manufacture a “groundswell” of public opposition to renewable energy development.  Wouldn’t want to jeopardize the fossil fuel industry’s profits now, would we.

Wind and solar energy, emissions reductions and — worst of all — coastal communities taking future sea-level rises into consideration when they plan future developments:  all of these atrocities have to be nipped in the bud.  Time to round up some more useful idiots and start orchestrating a few more of those spontaneous demonstrations.

And that’s not all.  When I lived in California, every time there was a conflict between a huge development project and the environment, some shadowy anonymous group called the Pacific Legal Foundation would provide a lawyer — pro bono — for the developer.  Sort of like giving Goliath a slingshot.

And now it turns out the Pacific Legal Foundation is funded by the Koch Brothers.

It figures.

Source Watch provides a list of just some of the Kochtopus’ tentacles.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Will Obama Follow Through on his Climate Change Rhetoric?

During his inauguration speech and again in last night’s State of the Union speech, President Obama was pushing for action on climate change.  Last night he said:

“If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.  I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take — now and in the future — to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy…As long as countries like China keep going all-in on clean energy, so must we.”

And now, finally, he has the political capital to put that statement into action.  The only question is, will he?

According to this article, the president does indeed have the power — through the Environmental Protection Agency — to impose new greenhouse gas emission standards on ALL power plants, new and already-existing.  And the EPA also has the power to impose stricter emission standards on airplanes.

He also talked in his SOTU speech about “drilling for clean energy.”  Some of the revenue from oil and gas drilling on federal land would be used for research and development of alternate/sustainable energy sources.

We’ll see what Exxon Koch has to say about that.

Former EPA administrator Carol Browner said:

“The president was clear about the magnitude of the challenge and resolute in his determination to use his executive authority to take action, especially if Congress won’t.”

The president of the World Resources Institute — uh oh, Agenda 21 — said:

“The administration can make significant progress in reducing emissions...by enacting standards for existing power plants, which represent the largest portion of U.S. emissions.”

We’re gonna be seeing a lot of high-powered well-organized opposition to any action on climate change.  Mr. President, DON’T back down.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jared Loughner to Give Rebuttal to Ted Nugent’s Rebuttal Speech

Jared Loughner — now here’s an All-American Second Amendment-Loving Patriot who walks the walk.  All Ted Nugent does is talk.  “Guns, hunting, blah blah blah…I pissed and shat all over myself so I wouldn’t get drafted and now I’m a chicken hawk…blah blah blah…”

But Jared Loughner is the Real Deal.  Well, until he gets rebutted by somebody else who’s even more fanatical.

Going off topic for just a second:  It’s been reported that George W. Bush is finally able to say the word “rebuttal” without giggling.  Anyway…

So how many rebuttal speeches will there be tonight?  So far, Marco Rubio will rebut President Obama’s State of the Union speech.  Rand Paul will offer the Teabirther rebuttal.  And no doubt Ted Nugent — who makes Rand Paul look liberal — will be flaming away.

No matter how far to the Extreme Right you may be, there’ll be somebody even further to the Right who thinks you’re just a socialist pansy.  When Jared Loughner went on his mass killing spree in Arizona, no doubt a few Super Patriots were thinking “Why didn’t that fuckin’ pussy use a shoulder-held rocket launcher?  He could’ve killed ten times as many people.”

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dick Cheney: Still Not Dead, Still Squirting Shit out of His Mouth

In the movie “Arbitrage,” there was a line about being the richest person in the cemetery.  Dick Cheney — if he ever dies — apparently wants to be the most hated person in the cemetery.  The one who dies with the most enemies wins.

He’s like an over-the-hill senile retired CEO who keeps coming back to his old company, decades after he’s retired, haranguing the workers about how much better it used to be and what they’re doing wrong.  He gave a speech in Wyoming yesterday, warning that President Obama is jeopardizing national security by nominating “second rate” candidates to cabinet posts:

“The performance now of Barack Obama as he staffs up the national security team for the second term is dismal.  Frankly, what he has appointed are second-rate people.”

Cheney also said Obama wants Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defense because “Obama wants to have a Republican that he can use to take the heat for what he plans to do to the Department of Defense.”

He warned of the danger of cutting the defense budget when there are so many countries in Africa and the Middle East that we could be invading:

“He is today…establishing what limitations will be on future presidents.  That part of the world is as dangerous now as it has ever been.”

The warmongering chicken hawk with five draft deferments is champing at the bit to invade somebody, anybody.  He’s willing to fight to the last drop of somebody else’s blood.

Dick Cheney received a heart transplant a year ago, courtesy of U.S. taxpayers.  Who says conservatives don’t like socialized medicine?  They love it when they themselves are the recipients of it.

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Saturday, February 09, 2013

Obamacare = Economic Freedom

Several weeks ago the Heritage Foundation released their annual Economic Freedom Index.  This report includes a list of the ten countries with the greatest degree of economic freedom.

America was Number Ten.

The Heritage Foundation didn’t mention this in their report, but in every one of those nine countries with more economic freedom than the United States — government bureaucrats are meddling in that country’s health care system.

Socialized medicine!  Comminism!  In Jim DeMint’s own words, this “is fundamentally inconsistent with liberty.”

Hong Kong (number one) has a universally run public health care system.

Australia (#3) and Canada (#6) both have that dreaded single-payer system that we’ve heard so many horror stories about.  Thousands of people have died on the emergency room floor because no doctor or nurse was available to help them.  You have to wait six months to get a doctor’s appointment, and that’s for emergencies.  Etc.  And yet these countries have two of the freest economies in the world.  Hmmm…

Singapore (#2) and Chile (#7) both have health care systems similar to Obamacare.  Citizens in both countries are required to pay into a health savings account.  If somebody’s medical expenses exceed what that person has in his/her account, government funding will make up the difference.

Needless to say, Chile and Singapore are both on the slippery slope to Socialism and the Death of Freedom; they just haven’t slid all the way down yet.

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Thursday, February 07, 2013

“It’s not that conservative people are more fearful, it’s that fearful people are more conservative”

And that pretty well sums it up.  This comes from a study co-authored by Brown University political scientist Rose McDermott.

Here are some more links.

Fearful people are more likely to have conservative attitudes toward “out-groups.”  And this conservative/paranoid attitude gets played to the max with today’s hot button issues — immigration, the war on women, hostility toward minorities, champing at the bit to invade other (i.e. inferior) countries, etc.

The study is titled:  “Fear as a Disposition and an Emotional State: A Genetic and Environmental Approach to Out-Group Political Preferences.”  Rose McDermott says:

“It’s not that conservative people are more fearful, it’s that fearful people are more conservative. People who are scared of novelty, uncertainty, people they don’t know, and things they don’t understand, are more supportive of policies that provide them with a sense of surety and security.”

A security blanket in other words.  There there now, just curl up in your little blanket and don’t worry be happy.  Jesus hates everybody who’s different from you, and America is Number One.

This won’t be easy, but we should probably have more empathy for fearful politicians and their paranoid constituents.  Rose McDermott says:

“We can roll our eyes and get really frustrated at Congress for being paralyzed, but we’re applying a rational perspective to it because we’re detached. But we have to recognize that a lot of what’s driving the paralysis and disagreement has to do with emotional factors that are not necessarily amenable to or easily shifted by rational arguments.”

Rational arguments???  It’s so much easier to just keep pushing the Fear button.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

No More Saturday Mail Delivery

Whatever.  I guess I can live with two days in a row of no catalogues, no bills, no special offers.  But if the Post Office cuts any more delivery days, I might have to start watching Netflix movies online instead of receiving DVDs in the mail.  21st century, here I come.

But most people are aware — or should be — that the Post Office’s problems haven’t been caused by Saturday mail delivery, or e-mail replacing snail mail, etc.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has been drowning in red ink because of Congress’ braindead Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006.  This bill was introduced and passed in December of 2006 by a lame duck Congress.  Dumbya signed it.  And both parties voted overwhelmingly in favor of this bone-stupid law, so you can’t even blame Republicans.  Not entirely anyway.

Because of the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the U.S. Postal Service is required to pre-fund all employees’ retirement pensions for the next seventy-five years.  Name ONE other government agency — or ONE private company — that’s required to do this.  That’s right, you can’t.

And THAT’S why the Post Office needs to eliminate Saturday mail delivery, starting in August.  But that’s OK; we’ll still have mail delivery five days a week.  For now.

In just a few decades, your neighborhood mailman (or woman) has gone from being an icon of Americana to just another overpaid government bureaucrat.  Same with teachers, government employees in general, labor unions…

In the 1950s and early ‘60s, even Republicans paid glowing tribute to labor unions.  Maybe they didn’t mean any of it, but they didn’t dare say otherwise.  What happened between then and now?  And who will be the next group to go from hero to villain?  Which occupation — which segment of society — will devolve from today’s integral part of our culture to tomorrow’s lazy meddling bureaucrat who should be replaced by the private sector?

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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

ABC News to Publicize Factory Farm Atrocities and Ag Gag Laws

After tonight’s ABC broadcasts, hopefully the term “ag gag” will become a household word and not just an obscure term found only at animal-rights websites and liberal blogs.

On World News Tonight and then on Nightline, ABC will be discussing two related issues:  undercover investigations of factory farms which have gradually led to (somewhat) improved conditions for farm animals, and recent laws in farm states that have outlawed these undercover investigations.

You can find links Here and Here.

These undercover investigations have exposed not only unspeakable cruelty to animals, but also sickening unsanitary conditions which result in dangerous ingredients in the farm products YOU’RE eating.

Since these factory farmers don’t want to change their ways, they’ve responded by instructing their prostitutes in state legislatures to pass “ag gag” laws banning these undercover investigations.

So far six states — Iowa, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming and Kansas — have passed these ag gag laws.  Similar laws are pending in New Hampshire, Indiana and Nebraska.  And these laws are working.  Mercy for Animals has stopped its undercover operations in all six of those states.  Mission Accomplished.

Wayne Pacelle, CEO and president of the Humane Society of the United States, told ABC News:

“If you think that chilling speech and closing the curtain on our food production is winning, then yes, they've won.”

Anyway, let’s hope ABC’s broadcasts tonight will generate more public outrage over factory farms and ag gag laws.

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Monday, February 04, 2013

Clash of the Titans: Karl Rove vs. the Tea Party

Rightwing billionaire vs. rightwing billionaire — gotta love it.  The next few elections will probably have even more campaign spending and more smearing than the 2012 mudfest.  And most of it will be Republicans slandering and shitting on each other.  Works for me.

Karl Rove’s American Crossroads has launched a new PAC called the Conservative Victory Project.  American Crossroads president Steven Law will be running the Conservative Victory Project.

The purpose of the Conservative Victory Project is to squelch the teatard candidates who keep winning the primary and then losing the general election.  You know — Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin, Richard “Rape is God’s Will” Mourdock, Christine “I am Not a Witch” O’Donnell, etc.

Conservative Victory Project’s first hit might be Rep. Steve King (R—Animal Torturer), who’s been in the House for eons and is considering a run for the Senate.

Needless to say, the Far Right is not happy about this.  Just two examples are the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund, which was founded by Jim DeMint.  And that tells you everything you need to know about the Senate Conservatives Fund.

A spokesman for Senate Conservatives Fund said:

“Rather than listening to the grassroots and working to advance their principles, the establishment has chosen to declare war on the party's most loyal supporters.”

And the Tea Party Patriots’ national coordinator tweeted:

“TPPatriots want to save USA. Karl Rove wants to line pockets—Don't Tread on Us! Tea Party bites back—never gives up!”

Things have gotten curiouser and curiouser when Karl Rove is the voice of moderation.

Interesting times ahead.

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Sunday, February 03, 2013

What Was YOUR favorite Super Bowl Commercial?

Like every other red-blooded He-Man Real American, I watched the Super Bowl.  Best commercials of the year.  Yes I know there’s some sort of ball game, basketball or — oh, football? — between the commercials.  Whatever.

Anyway, my favorite commercials, in no particular order:

Two Doritos commercials — the one with the goat and the one with the macho father playing Princess with his daughter while his buddies are outside waiting for him to come outside and play football.

The Audi ad with the kid going off to the Prom by himself;

The Bud Light ads with Stevie Wonder;

The GoDaddy.com ad with the gorgeous girl and the fat nerdy guy hooking up;

And the ad honoring our veterans.  Even if it was a Jeep ad — sorry, I couldn’t tell for sure — it was still very moving.

For some odd reason, the commercials I noticed the most clearly were in the first half of the game.  And this has absolutely nothing to do with those funny potions I was drinking.

And WTF was up with that Great New Orleans Power Outage of 2013?  Was this some sort of San Francisco Forty-Niners’ conspiracy?  Actually I didn’t care who won or lost.  But the game went from a slam dunk to a nail-biter.

Whoever that Louisiana utilities company is, they’re a hero to millions of football fans and a villain to millions of others.  Somebody’s Mojo slipped away during that 30-minute power outage.  Stella ALMOST got her groove back.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Ed Koch

Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch — no relation to these dickwads — has passed away at age 88.

Being on the West Coast, I haven’t paid much attention to New York City politics, during or after Ed Koch’s tenure as Mayor.  But I was living in Connecticut during the summer of 1977 when Koch was one of several candidates vying for the Mayor’s office.  1977 was the Summer of Sam — when the serial killer “Son of Sam” was terrorizing the New York area.

Before running for mayor, Ed Koch had been a liberal congressman, with an almost 100% approval rating from a liberal watchdog group.  But he made maximum use of the public’s terror over Son of Sam during his mayoral campaign.  He came up with “law and order” and “death penalty” slogans that would have done any Republican proud.  Capital punishment was possibly his biggest campaign issue, even though the Mayor of New York City has no say whatsoever on the death penalty.  But he still got lots of mileage out of the issue.

Ed Koch became Mayor in 1978.  One of the candidates he defeated — Mario Cuomo — was elected Governor of New York four years later.

Ed Koch was outspoken and combative, but also very approachable and “of the people.”  He was famous for walking up to people on the street and saying “How’m I doing?”

He was originally an ally of Rudy Giuliani, and his endorsement helped Giuliani get elected Mayor in 1993.  But Koch later became alarmed at Giuliani’s authoritarian governing style.  He wrote a book titled “Giuliani:  Nasty Man.”

In 2008 he purchased a burial plot at the Trinity Church cemetery in Manhattan.  As he put it:

“I don't want to leave Manhattan, even when I'm gone. This is my home.  The thought of having to go to New Jersey was so distressing to me.”