30 September, 2009

Oh, Dear. An Award.

My dear heart sister NP has won the Kreativ Blogger award.  Huzzah!  She promptly passed the thing on to me.  And, like so many things in life, it comes with strings attached.  Deary, deary me.

It seems the requirements are thus: award seven other bloggers, and then list seven favorite fiction authors.  Those of you who frequent the cantina know how I feel about sevens.  So Dana's doing eights, and you lucky recipients can revert back to sevens if you like.

Onward ho, then.  Alphabetical order so as not to play favorites.

Cujo359's Slobber and Spittle.  Seeing as how he's the official Thinking Brain Dog of ETEV, I think you can see why he's chosen.

Efrique's Ecstathy.  Mathematics and charts aren't so scary when he's around.

George W's Decrepit Old Fool.  Going there always makes me feel smarter and happier than I was starting out.

John Pieret's Thoughts in a Haystack.  Nobody spanks the creationists quite like John.

Last Hussar's Barracks.  An Elitist Bastard tried-and-true.

NP's The Coffee-Stained Writer.  Her enthusiasm for the craft keeps mine burning.

Paul Sunstone's Cafe Philos.  The world always seems a lot more beautiful after a visit there.

Z's It's the Thought that Counts.  Always plenty of thought to be had, and fine Elitist Bastardry it be.

Damn it.  Too many wonderful bloggers, not enough room.  Consider a free drink poured for all of you I didn't get a chance to mention.

And now, the authors.  Not bothering with alphabetical this time.

J.R.R. Tolkien.  Dear Professor Tolkien didn't used to be one of my favorites, but now he most certainly is.  He set out to create a mythology for England.  He ended up creating something much greater.  And the fact that it took him so damned long is a great comfort to me.

Neil Gaiman.  He's one of the most extraordinary authors I've ever read.  If it weren't for him, I would never have appreciated comics. What I feel for Roger Clyne in the music world, I feel for Neil in the writing world.

Terry Pratchett.  Comedy in his hands turns into some of the most incisive social commentary I've ever had the privilege to read.  In the old days, he would've been a bard feared by kings.

Connie Willis.  She's hands-down one of the finest science fiction authors ever.  Her serious stuff makes me weep, and her funny stuff also makes me weep.  I will never see space programs or spice pogroms the same way again.

C.S. Friedman.  Her Coldfire Trilogy contains one of the greatest anti-heroes ever written.  Her science fiction includes one of the best space battles ever written.  Reading her is an all-encompassing experience.

Robert Jordan.  My only complaint is that he died before he finished the Wheel of Time.  He created one of the most richly-imagined worlds ever to exist in fantasy.  Tolkien's heir, for sure.

Patricia McKillip.  She's one of the most lyrical writers out there.  When I need poetry in prose, I turn to her.

Guy Gavriel Kay.  Basically, the male version of Patricia McKillip.  Words like music, stories like symphonies.

Right, then.  Duties discharged, congratulations handed around, now it's time for another drink, my darlings.  Salud!

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

Well, 'twas a big day in the Senate, where Cons and Con-like Dems were busy defeating the public option, just as we suspected.  Some of the arguments against it were remarkably inane, even for Cons.  So does that mean the public option's dead?  Not at all.  And support for reform is rising

Still.  It would be nice to know the names of the Dems who seem like they're planning to stand with the Cons on a filibuster.  Those folks need a few reality checks sent to them from their constituents.

I'll bet you a dollar to a Con promise that one of those assclowns is Sen. Ben Nelson, who really outdid himself on the stupidity today.  Where to begin?  He's planning to vote against reconciliation should it come to that.  This despite the fact he loved him some reconciliation when it came to the Bush tax cuts.  He's yammering about health care reform needing 65 votes to really mean anything, rather ignoring the fact that voters put 60 Dem butts in Senate seats for a reason.  And despite the fact he liked 60 votes just fine when it came to the stimulus.  And the fact that he won his elections with well under 65% of the votes.  Speaking of elections, he thinks we need another one just to make sure the voters were really truly serious about getting health care reform done.

Next election, I hope his constituents are smart enough to throw him out on his ear.  What a fucking useless piece of shit.

He almost overshadows the stupidity of Cons, but Chuck Grassley's doing his best to hold onto the title.  When backed into a corner, he defended Medicare by calling it part of our social fabric, but scorned a public option because government is a predator.  This only makes sense when you realize he's attempting to hold two mutually exclusive positions, and getting a groin pull trying to straddle them.

Other Cons are trying to claim they do, too have a health reform plan!  That's probably news to their leadership.  Bad news, because their "plan" sucks leper donkey dick.

Meanwhile, Blue Dog Dems attempt to hold insurance subsidies hostage over abortion.  I know the Democratic party is a big tent, but for fuck's sake, aren't there any limits?

Their insurance company friends are busy scaremongering seniors to drum up business.  Totally shameless, these fuckers are.

I've saved some of the best news for last.  Sen. Byron Dorgan is getting ready to blow up the sweetheart deal between Baucus, the White House, and PhRMA.  Those fireworks should be very much worth seeing.

The next few weeks should be very interesting indeed.

Texas Schools Admit Abstinence-Only is Bullshit

Looks like someone woke up and smelled the reality, eh?

Texas currently has the third-highest teen birth rate in the country and “the highest rate of repeat teen births.” It also leads the nation in the amount of government money it spends on abstinence-only education. But some school districts in the state are now shifting away from that approach, admitting that it isn’t working:
“We mainly did it because of our pregnancy rate,” said Whitney Self, lead teacher for health and physical education at the Hays Consolidated Independent School District. “We don’t think abstinence-only is working.” [...]
Let's hope other school districts show as much sense. The teenagers of Texas deserve better than the misinformation they've been getting.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

You know, I'd really like it if so many of our elected officials didn't sound just like Teabaggers.  I've come across more snippets of Rep. Trent Franks's performance at the Take Back America confab, and might I just say this is conduct unbecoming to a Congressman:
Rep. Trent Franks (R) of Arizona has been moving fairly aggressively lately towards the edge of the right-wing cliff. By agreeing to appear at an extremist conference in St. Louis over the weekend, Franks further cemented his position as one of the caucus' most unhinged members.

But if there are any lingering doubts, consider the fact that the Arizona congressman labeled President Obama an "enemy of humanity" at the event.
"Obama's first act as president of any consequence, in the middle of a financial meltdown, was to send taxpayers' money overseas to pay for the killing of unborn children in other countries...there's almost nothing that you should be surprised at after that.
"We shouldn't be shocked that he does all these other insane things. A president that has lost his way that badly, that has no ability to see the image of God in these little fellow human beings, if he can't do that right, then he has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity."
Remember, he thinks the president is "insane."
And here's his staff's feeble effort at damage control (h/t):
Bethany Haley, spokeswoman for Franks, said the congressman was referring to "unborn humanity" and should have clarified his statement.
Because that makes it sound so much better. Only the minds of madmen think that helps.

And I'm sure the freaks and fantatics at the conference happily swallowed that excuse (unless, of course, they were pissed at Franks for backpedaling).  After all, they're the ones who've decided the President is, indeed, a Muslim:
At the How to Take Back America conference last weekend, attended by several Republican lawmakers, former Reagan official and prominent neoconservative Frank Gaffney, right-wing historian Bill Federer, and Christian activist Walid Shoebat hosted a panel on “How to understand Islam.” An attendee of the panel asked the three speakers if they would consider President Obama a Christian or a Muslim, given his “roots.” While Gaffney gave a now familiar response linking Obama to the Muslim Brotherhood, Federer and Shoebat provided new theories, which elicited praise from the crowd:
GAFFNEY: If Bill Clinton, on the basis of special interest pandering and identity politics, was properly called the first Black American President, on that same basis, Barack Obama should be called the first Muslim American President. […] But there is evidence that a lot of Muslims think he is Muslim. But whether he is or whether he isn’t, the key to me, is is he pursuing that is indistinguishable in important respects from that of the Muslim Brotherhood, whose mission ladies and gentlemen, we know from a trial in Dallas last year, is to quote to destroy Western civilization from within by its own miserable hand. That’s what we need to keep our eye on.
FEDERER: In Islam, if your father is a Muslim, you’re automatically a Muslim. Since Barack’s father, stepfather, and grandfather were all Muslim, the Muslim world views him as Muslim. Mohammad allowed his warriors to say they’re not Muslim to gain advantage and um, but he’s uh, Islam permits you to lie to advance Islam, Saul Alinsky allows you to lie to advance your communist agenda, you can put them together.
SHOEBAT: I came from an American mother, Obama came from an American mother. I came from a Muslim father, Obama came from a Muslim father. […] Did you know that your President knows how to do the call to the prayer in eloquent classical Arabic? […] No one can do this in classical Arabic language unless he grew up and was raised as a Muslim.

 Um.  How about anybody who can use Google and listen to a recording?  Back in college, in fact, I had the whole thing memorized.  In Arabic.  And my family's a bunch of white rednecks from Indiana.

How divorced from reality is the right?  Well, we not only have Teabaggers and Teabaggy Congresscritters, Tenthers, Birthers, Deathers, and whatever the fuck you call a bunch of dumbfucks who get together to feed each other conspiracy theories and some of the most idiotic "evidence" that the President's a Muslim ever cooked up by a fevered mind - we also have Richard Cohen deciding that a President making an announcement whilst flanked by two world leaders is not "presidential:"
Richard Cohen's columns are getting increasingly difficult to read, and even more difficult to understand.
Sooner or later it is going to occur to Barack Obama that he is the president of the United States. As of yet, though, he does not act that way, appearing promiscuously on television and granting interviews like the presidential candidate he no longer is. The election has been held, but the campaign goes on and on. The candidate has yet to become commander in chief.
Take last week's Group of 20 meeting in Pittsburgh. There, the candidate-in-full commandeered the television networks and the leaders of Britain and France to give the Iranians a dramatic warning. Yet another of their secret nuclear facilities had been revealed and Obama, as anyone could see, was determined to do something about it -- just don't ask what.
As criticism goes, this is pretty odd. President Obama talking to television reporters about current events from the White House is, apparently, not "presidential." Why? Because Richard Cohen says so. The public disagrees -- recent polls show Americans entirely comfortable with the amount of time the president spends communicating through the media -- but that apparently doesn't matter.

But more important is the notion that Obama, standing alongside British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, was also not presidential enough in publicly revealing the existence of a secret Iranian nuclear facility. The problem, as Cohen sees it, is that the Western leaders warned Iran, but were vague about potential consequences.

It's unclear why Cohen found this so offensive. Obama's goal was to give the U.S. leverage, and put Iran on the defensive, in advance of this week's talks in Geneva -- representatives of the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, Germany, and Iran will meet, and Obama, Brown, and Sarkozy added an increased "sense of urgency" to the discussions.

Indeed, President Obama seems to have played this very well. After achieving a victory on Thursday with the U.N. Security Council, his remarks on Friday had exactly the intended effect. Joe Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, said Obama "played Iran perfectly, to isolate Iran, unite all the other countries around him, with an open hand to Iran, and then he springs the trap." Even a Washington Times columnist noted, "Not only did the president look strong, he looked cunning."

I'm too tired for this shit.  You all have fun Googling Bush flanked by various and sundry world leaders whilst making vague pronouncements, and see if you can find any Cons bitching about how "unpresidential" that was.  Bet you a dollar you'll find plenty of the former and none of the latter.

Time now for our next installment of "But Really, We're Not Racists!"  If that's the case, I can't wait to hear the compelling explanation for this:
I'm going to start this off Matt Drudge style:



Okay, here's the story from RedStateStrikeForceWolverineMedia:
You know Larry Elder: the African-American, Californian, libertarian, popular radio host and firebrand. He’s been around for a while, and he’s a solid presence on the California media-and-politics scene. Elder is a serious name and presence among California Republicans. He just wrapped up his radio show. “Why,” you might ask, “doesn’t Larry Elder run for the Senate?”
There is an answer accorinding(sic) to many of Elder’s friends at the Republican Convention — Senator Cornyn and the NRSC told him not to.
How incompetent is this? The NRSC actually told a popular African-American with statewide name recognition to NOT run? Last I checked, our party isn’t overflowing with those.
Oh, and the NRSC expects Carly Fiorina to lose to Barbara Boxer — and they told a talk radio host this?
This is so full of win.

Mind you, it's Red State breaking this news.  I don't leap to see racism in every little misstep by the right, but like I said, it'll be interesting to hear what the alternative explanation is.

And, finally, I have big news.  I am 95% of what's destroying America:
Phyllis Schlafly, the anti-Equal Rights Amendment activist who heads the Eagle Forum, hosted the right-wing conference How To Take Back America last weekend. Several GOP members of Congress attended the conference, and each paid their respects to Schlafly for her leadership in the conservative movement. Schlafly delivered several speeches and led a discussion advocating traditional roles for women as well as warning about the dangers of feminism and blasting single mothers:
I submit to you that the feminist movement is the most dangerous, destructive force in our society today. [...] My analysis is that the gays are about 5% of the attack on marriage in this country, and the feminists are about 95%. [...] I’m talking about drugs, sex, illegitimacy, drop outs, poor grades, run away, suicide, you name it, every social ill comes out of the fatherless home.

Ladies, pour yourselves a drink.  We finally beat out Teh Gays as the right's biggest enemy in the Culture Wars.

I'm especially proud of my dear heart sister NP, who's busily undermining the sacred institution from within by being a happily married wife and mother.  Woot!

29 September, 2009

An Invite to Me New Invitation-Only Blog!

Well, my darlings, summer's over, which means Dana's done playing hooky.  Time now for writing.  The cantina will get a bit quieter, although I'll still be providing at least two posts daily most days.  I'm not likely to neglect my regulars, now, am I?

And if you want to join me on my writer's journey, you are officially invited to become a Wise Reader.  A Slight Risk of Insanity is my invitation-only blog for musings, writerly snippets, and various and sundry other items related to the writer's life that I don't feel like cluttering the cantina with.  If you're interested in becoming a Reader, shoot me an email at dhunterauthor at yahoo dot com.  You'll even have the chance to read excerpts nobody else can get their hands on.  How awesome is that?

As to the regulars who don't have time for yet another bloody blog but like the occasional post on writerly stuff, no worries.  I'll be cross-posting anything of general interest right here at the cantina.  No excerpts, though.  Gotta reserve something of interest for the privileged few!

Hope to see you over at the new place. 

Mystery Solved

A few days back, I mentioned that the commercials for the new season of The Shift contained an unidentified promo song. No one on the intertoobz could figure out what it was or where it came from.

A day later, Dave from Investigation Discovery hopped into a forum where folks were bitching and promised he'd find out. And Dave came through:
And the answer is . . . . .

The Shift's Season 2 theme from the promos is called "Something Is Wrong"

It was recorded & produced by David Ayers & Felix Tod, the MC Vocals & rhymes are by Skeme and the publisher is West One APM (ASCAP).

More details to come on availability of this track outside of THE SHIFT's promos . . . which comes back for its second season on Wednesday, September 30at 10 PM on Investigation Discovery!

More elements are going to be online soon - but check the series' website out at http://investigation.discovery.com/t...the-shift.html to learn more.

Thanks for all your enthusiasm for The Shift promos - and be sure to check the show out!

Dave, you are so my hero!

By the way, if you like cop shows, three reasons to watch this one. 1) It takes place in Indianapolis, IN, which is a rather interesting place; 2) the detectives are fascinating; and 3) the cameras aren't horribly intrusive.

In my case, though, I'll mostly be doing it for Dave. But it really is a good show.

One thing I learned from The Shift marathon I watched Sunday: there's a damned good reason to hire women as detectives. How many men would haul off and hug a suspect? How many male suspects would accept that hug and then start babbling a confession, complete with telling where they buried the body, as if they were admitting to Mommy that yes, they'd been a bad, bad boy? Extraordinary. Let that be a lesson to the ladies: don't be afraid to be feminine in a traditionally "male" job. It can absolutely work in your favor.

Anyway. Mystery solved. Moving on, now...

Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

Just when you thought insurance companies couldn't get any more ridiculous in determining reasons to jack up premiums, they do:
I'm really glad Republicans and Democrats in Washington are so intent on protecting the insurance industry when I read stories like this from the Longmont Times-Call newspaper:

David Sirota :: Post Office Zip Code Change Prompts Insurance Industry Attempt to Jack Up Rates

Nancy Clinton got a surprise when she called her health insurance company recently. She was calling to ask about a benefit issue, and she said that as long as she was on the line, the company might as well note her new ZIP code: 80504.

"So, she went in and came back and said, 'Oh, this is going to significantly increase your premium,'" Clinton said Friday...

Clinton's was one of 8,610 northeast Longmont addresses that had their ZIP codes changed to 80504 from 80501 on July 1.

"Our health insurance would go up about $60 a month," Clinton said. "I didn't move, and the hospital didn't move."..
Best health care system in the world, eh? Go on, pull the other - it's got bells on.

NJ Dems prove they're just as greedy for medical industry cash as Cons, pressuring the FDA to approve an unsafe medical device. Methinks this is an indication that we should remove industry cash from political coffers.

Cons are currently out trumpeting their creds as valiant defenders of Medicare. Steve Benen reminds us why this isn't a very credible claim at all. Keep that link handy for your more gullible acquaintences.

The Washington Times has a piece up called "Death Panels By Proxy." Remarkably enough, their assumptions are total bullshit.

In a sign that Progressives in the House aren't backing down on the public option, Rep. Grijalva unloads on both Baucus and Obama.

Little-known fact: 24 Blue Dogs actually wouldn't mind supporting the public option. Looks like Dems may not be so fractured as some health industry friends would like us to believe.

Meanwhile, more rationing and long wait times for health care in America. Looks like some o' that there "socialized" medicine wouldn't be such a bad idea, eh?

Speaking of socialized medicine, Jennifer Nix likes her socialist kidney just fine.

And finally, bad news for states determined to protect their citizens' right to crap health care: nullification is right out. Socialized kidneys for all!

Further Evidence That Obama Is Pro-Beer

A few days ago, Rove threw a fit, claiming Obama would tax brewers out of business. Well, here's further evidence that Obama's pro-beer:

Suck it, Karl.

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I have rejoined the living, although I'm sitting in a chair in the corner wrapped in a blanket and dozing off between nose blows. I'm a total wuss when it comes to getting sick. But for you, my darlings, I have dragged myself from my sickbed (which is super-comfy now that The Stench has been conquered and the memory foam mattress topper's in place). I have put aside my convenient excuse to do nothing but lie about reading. I have perused the intertoobz, and discovered that no one has any consideration at all for sick bloggers on a Monday. The stupid, it is relentless.

Of course, most of teh stoopid's been concentrated around health care reform, but we've got some grade-a dumbfuckery out there on other fronts. Such as the dumbfuck who posted an assassination poll on Facebook:

The Secret Service is investigating the circumstances surrounding an eye-opening Facebook poll that asked whether Obama should be assassinated, a Secret Service spokesman confirms to us.

“We are taking the appropriate investigative steps,” the spokesman, Ed Donovan, told our reporter, Amanda Erickson. “We are aware of it.”

The poll asked: “Should Obama be killed?” It offered four choices: No, Maybe, Yes, and Yes if he cuts my health care.

And you thought Faux News polls were outrageously stupid. I don't imagine the feckless idiot who posted this is a terribly serious threat, except to the nation's average intelligence. Even the most basic dumbshit should realize that posting a poll asking whether the President should be assassinated will attract the wrong sort of attention from the friendly folks at the Secret Service.

It's also a little hard to be sanguine about such things when you've got morons at right-wing conferences basically advocating armed insurgency against the government:

At the How To Take Back America Conference last weekend, conservative speaker Kitty Werthmann led a workshop called “How to recognize living under Nazis & Communists.” Announcing the panel in a column preceding the conference, talk show host Janet Porter gushed how Werthmann’s description of Austria in the 1930s is a “mirror to America” today — noting “They had Joseph Goebbels; we have Mark Lloyd, the diversity czar.” The room was packed over capacity to hear Werthmann, who grew up as a Christian in Austria and serves as Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum South Dakota President.

During her session, Werthmann went through a litany of examples of how President Obama is like Adolf Hitler. She noted that Hitler, who acted “like an American politician,” was “elected in a 100% Christian nation.” Although she failed to once mention Antisemitism or militarism, Werthmann explained how universal healthcare, an Equal Rights Amendment, and increased taxes were telltale signs of Nazism. Werthmann also warned the audience:

If we had our guns, we would have fought a bloody battle. So, keep your guns, and buy more guns, and buy ammunition. [...] Take back America. Don’t let them take the country into Socialism. And I refer again, Hitler’s party was National Socialism. [...] And that’s what we are having here right now, which is bordering on Marxism.

I'm too damned tired to unpack all of the stupidity contained therein. Let me just say: Marxism and fascism don't border each other, lots of countries manage things like equal rights, tax increases and universal healthcare without becoming Nazi Germany, and if this is the tone of the fucking conference, elected officials shouldn't be within a thousand miles of the thing - although several Cons were proud to be there. Fuck, if you visit the link, you'll even see Bachmann's autograph on that fucktard's CD.

And Rep. Trent Franks was up there happy to tell all and sundry that Obama hates America:
In an interview with the Washington Independent’s Dave Weigel at the How To Take Back America conference this weekend, Franks said that he believes Obama is American, “even if he acts un-American”:

FRANKS: That solved the issue for me. I said, you know, I can’t — I believe he’s a natural born citizen of the United States under the Constitution. And therefore, even if he acts un-American and he seems to go against American interests, I’d still believe he’s a natural-born American citizen.

Fantastic. Way to throw fuel on the fire, there, Trent. Word to my home state: kick this stupid fucker out of Washington.

And then we have right-wing fucktards smearing a dead man with no evidence at all:
I only wish I were kidding here, folks. From JLFinch at Daily Kos and Wonkette, we find out that Dan Riehl is pulling a Peggy Noonan It-Is-Irresponsible-Not-To-Speculate smear job on a dead guy who can't fight back:

Was Census Worker Bill Sparkman A Child Predator?

Update: Before any more people start going bonkers that I'm accusing Sparkman of anything, take a breath. ... . ...All I'm doing is looking at any and all possibilities. ... Why strip him naked and bind and gag him, which has serious sexual overtones?

I have no idea what happened, but from the reporting I've seen, neither does anyone else. If he adopted a boy as a single man, or was married and split with the wife and kids, who knows. But I never assume I know a story or motive until I know it. Right now we don't. I'm simply speculating on one possible alternative, however impolite.

Well, golly, Mr. Riehl, I'm sure Mr. Sparkman's wife and son must really enjoy your coy little efforts to smear their tortured-to-death husband and father...
If you think the ellipses in the above exonerate the fucktard, they don't. He's just trying to shore up his irresponsible, reprehensible bullshit by saying he's been a crime writer for a long time and besides, other people are speculating about meth labs, so his douchebaggery is totally okay.

It's not. But these assholes are too far gone to realize it.

And while the right wing gets ever more rabid, the Con 2012 hopefuls ratchet up the batshit insanity trying to win them over. Lessee, we have Huck wanting to chuck the UN in the river:
On Saturday, Mike Huckabee gave the keynote address at Phyllis Schlafly’s How To Take Back America conference. Huckabee praised Schafly, calling her book “Choice not an Echo” an inspiration when he was a teenager.

Huckabee spent a considerable amount of his address railing against the United Nations, calling it the “international equivalent of ACORN” and demanding that America should withdraw. As Dave Weigel noted, the crowd greeted Huckabee’s anti-UN rhetoric with a standing ovation:

HUCKABEE: It’s time to get a jackhammer and to simply chip that part of New York City. Let it float into the East River, never to be seen again. [STANDING OVATION] [...]

It’s time to say enough of the American taxpayer dollar being spent that may have had a noble idea, but it has become a disgrace. It has become the international equivalent of ACORN, and it’s time to say enough.

Oh, wait, Huck's had a better idea! Send the UN to Saudi instead!

But then Huckabee backpedaled from outright destruction of the U.N. to simply moving it to sunny Riyadh.

“Let’s end the diplomatic excesses that these people enjoy,” he said. “Let any country that is willing to spend the money that the United States is hosting–let them have it. Give it to the Saudis and let these diplomats suck the sand out of the Saudi desert for a few summers and see if that’s where they’d like to go, and make their ridiculous speeches."

Now this sophomoric, wingnut radio talk-show level of U.N. bashing is red-meat for the base, but this isn't how serious candidates for president talk. Either Huck's trying to out-flank Palin, or he knows he can't peel enough fundies away from her, and is just pumping up ad sales for his shitty show.

I don't doubt that this fucktard thinks he can do it all, including run for the presidency after proving what a right-wing jackass he is, because he's an amusing guest on The Daily Show. And people like him are oblivious to reality anyway - they're wrapped in their own little bubble of crazy, and they think nearly everybody's in there with them.

If you're expecting the hopefuls to distance themselves from fanatics, disabuse yourself of that notion. They're flocking around Bob "Women Should be Barefoot and Pregnant Just Like the Bible Intended" McDonnell:
Pretty interesting development: Despite the controversy over Virginia GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob McDonnell’s master’s thesis pillorying women’s and gay rights (or perhaps partly because of it?) the 2012 GOP presidential hopefuls are falling all over themselves to be seen campaigning at his side.


These days the top GOP wannabees for 2012 love being seen with the man:

* Bobby Jindal is headlinging a fundraiser tonight that’s expected to raise $250,000 for McDonnell.

* Newt Gingrich hosted a campaign breakfast with him this morning.

* Mitt Romney hosted a fundraiser that netted $100,000 for McDonnell last week.

* Tim Pawlenty stumped for McDonnell in Virginia earlier this month.

Pathetic and disgusting - par for the course with the GOP lately.

So where's Sarah Palin been? Mistaking a taste of Tehran for Anchorage:

Sarah Palin's trip to Hong Kong last week was promoted heavily, while her speech was kept as little reported as possible (well except for Rich Lowry's fapping). There were only sketchy reports of her appearance and attempt to acquire gravitas. However, as usual in Palin-land there was a big failing of plans. For who should show up for her speech last week but British professional bs detector Robert Fiske:

It was then we realised that whoever wrote the Palin sermon for her, they had – mercilessly – allowed some of the real Sarah to show through. Even husband Todd got a mention. He had flown with her into Hong Kong. And – here was a reference to the Alaska fish and caviar consumed in this "beautiful", "magnificent" and "libertarian" part of China – "some of the fruits of our labour, mine and Todd's, ended up on tables here". The caviar at the Hyatt, it should be added, comes from Iran.

Oh dear, looks like Sarah Palin is living the high life with terrorists.

Unless something really dramatic happens, these are the people the Cons will be resting their hopes for retaking the White House on. If my fellow Americans are dumbshit enough to elect one of these assclowns, I shall know we are beyond help.

Finally, an amusing tidbit, because I do so love it when Cons subside into embarrassed silence:
In July, a variety of conservative Republican lawmakers were outraged by the official U.S. government opposition to the overthrow of the democratically elected government in Honduras. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) officially endorsed the military-backed coup, and a variety of House Republicans organized a "congressional coup caucus" in support of the new, unelected government.

Oddly enough, we're not hearing much from this GOP crowd anymore. I wonder why that is.

The de facto government that's in power in Honduras closed down television and radio stations Monday morning that are aligned with ousted President Manuel Zelaya. [...]

The moves by interim President Roberto Micheletti came hours after the government announced a decree suspending constitutional civil liberties, an attempt to keep supporters of Zelaya off the streets Monday.

So much for all that freedom and democracy the coup was bringing to Honduras, eh? Oops.

I wish I knew what it was like to live in a country where the opposition isn't quite so frothing insane and spectacularly bloody stupid.

28 September, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I am in Day 2 of this cold, which means I'm at the stage where one feels as though one has been beaten by very large sumo wrestlers, thoughts wander about like drunk kittens, exhaustion comes on with the insistence of a used car salesman, and taste is but a distant memory, as is breathing.

But hey. At least it's not the swine flu.

In other words, Happy Hour shall be short, it'll contain Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity, and aside from the Carnival, it's all you're getting from me. Well, probably.

The "aggressive but not ideological" Faux Nation website is beloved by (who else?) Cons. Shocker, I know. One gets the feeling a dictionary is needed in Faux News headquarters, because they love to toss around words without really comprehending their actual meaning.

The National Review puts out a piece that sounds like WorldNut Daily mashed up with Faux News and then flambéed with some neocon sauce.

Chris Wallace actually spanks Bob McDonnell for saying that his right-wing frothing fundie thesis wasn't a "radical agenda."

Cons are on about regime change in Iran. Because we all know how well regime change went the last time we forced it.

And, in the best comment I heard all day, Defense Secretary Gates implies he didn't enjoy working for W by saying, "I very much enjoy working for this one." Oh, snap!

In Health Care Reform Stupidity news, we have Congressional Cons whining that the White House just doesn't love them anymore. Yes, again. I think these people need to speak to relationship counselors, who might be able to explain them why people they've shat on repeatedly might have decided not to be shat upon anymore.

A WaPo columnist believes there's no constituency for health care. I think the Villagers need to get out more.

Ben Nelson nearly gave me cardiac arrest by suggesting something I actually agree with, while Sen. Tom Carper steps up to shill for drug companies.

The CBO sez the public option saves even more than they thought. That's bad news for industry shills masquerading as fiscal scolds.

And I'm sure there's plenty more, but that's all I've got the energy for just now. Feel free to drop links to other tidbits in comments, my darlings.

27 September, 2009

Summer's End

Nothing lasts, not planets nor stars nor the universe itself. And even summers end. So says the leaf at Lord Hill, lying there in the sun with its blush of fall colors, but holding on to a last bit of green there at the end. A nice metaphor. And for a while there, it seemed like the only good I was going to get out of my new pack o' batteries, but that's a scene from later in the story.

Let's go back to the beginning, when I decided to take Thursday off in order to wring one last precious drop from summer, and woke up to dark gray skies and a cold wind.

Damn you, Murphy!

My intrepid companion and I had planned to go to Tiger Mountain, where it's rumored there are views all the way from the Issaquah Alps to Seattle itself. We stood out on my porch looking at the solid cloud cover stretching from horizon to horizon and decided the hell with hiking six miles up a mountain to a viewpoint with no view. Although Weather.com assured us there'd be sunshine later in the day, well, weathermen have been wrong before. So we decided to head out to St. Edwards State Park, where there are too many trees for clouds or lack thereof to really make a difference. I didn't bring my camera. Dark, dank day, why bother?

Damn you again, Murphy!

By the time we got there, the clouds were breaking up. Once we'd descended the hill by the Grotto trail and arrived at Lake Washington, there wasn't a single damned cloud to be seen, the water was glorious blue, and everything was sparkly and warm. Considerably more sparkly and warm than the last time I'd been there, which was in the spring of 2007, when I'd actually had my camera with me.

So you shall have to use your imaginations to paint in a deep blue sky, sparkling blue water, and a speedboat anchored peacefully nearby. The water, aside from those moments when passing boats disturbed it, lapped peacefully up against the shore, and by the rocks it had gathered in limpid little pools that showed off the sandy, pebbly bottom quite nicely. Nothing for it but to take off ye olde shoes, roll up ye olde jeans, and go wading.

Me being me, there was also rockhounding involved. I found not one, but two, pieces of beautiful gray mica schist lying about, and a bit of smoky quartz, and other sundry treasures still awaiting identification.

After lingering there for a very long time, we headed to downtown Kirkland, where I gave in to temptation and am now the proud owner of a bit of rhyolite with two perfectly-formed garnets in it. And I fell for the piece of lingrite from Grand Reef Mine in Arizona. And the agate limb cast. And a bit of Biggs jasper with patterns that make it look as though ferns are growing in it. And the wee sprig of amethyst in red hematite dug up in Thunder Bay by the owner hisownself.

Got off lightly that time, really.

Friday being all sun-shiny, we decided for a reprise, this time at Lord Hill, where there's rumored to be a view of both the Cascades and the Olympics. There was indeed a view at the first viewpoint we went to - of tiny fragments of mountains through a bunch of damned trees. So there we were, having trudged over a mile through dank, dark forest, dodging piles of horse shit, rewarded with nothing but more tree trunks. It hardly seemed worth it.

Luckily, we did not give up, but decided we'd attempt the second rumored viewpoint along the Pipeline cutoff trail. Worth it? Why, yes, I should think so. You take a little side trail that looks like it goes nowhere, make a steep climb, and come to a big mossy outcrop of limestone where you have to scramble over the last few feet:

And then, once you're over that bit, you're on Lord Hill's bald spot with a view to die for. There are the Olympics across the valley to the right:

And Mt. Rainier across the valley to the left:

But that's not the whole story, by far. If you take one of the little barely-there trails trekking along through the bushes and short trees on the hilltop, you'll come to a cliff, and there the Cascades are, swept out in a line that begs for a panorama. My camera can't do panoramas, so this shall have to do:

This as well:

Is that or is that not perfectly awesome?

And so there it is, the last drop of summer. How do I know it's the last? Two things: Weather.com says next week's going to get rainy and chilly, and I started developing a head cold early this morning. That is what we call a clue around these parts.

It's been an amazing summer. But now, it's time to go inside, ease back into writing by watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended editions, of course), and follow the cat's lead by contemplating this summer's treasures:

There are worse ways to spend a winter. And then, at winter's end, it shall be summer again.

While Obama demonstrates his leadership skills in rallying the international community's support of a strong stance on Iran and nuclear proliferation, McCain fucks up a Twitter post whilst trying to sound clever on Iran.

My fellow Americans: thank you for not electing the fuckwit.

Do Unto Blue Dogs as They Do Unto You

Blue Dog Dems are busily trying to strip strong consumer protections out of the financial regulation bill. Accountability Now is busily trying to strip Blue Dog Jim Cooper of his seat come next election.

I find the symmetry rather pleasing...

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

I've stopped asking if the right wing can get any more ridiculous. Of course they can.

For instance, they're on about dolls now:
Just when you think the right wing's ability to freak out over imaginary outrages can't possibly get any more ridiculous(death panels, Obama's fake birth certificate, census data being used to take our guns away and put us all in FEMA interment camps), they go and top themselves again:

An outraged Andrea Peyser writes in the NY Post today:

And while you were snoozing, the creators of American Girl, which is sold by Mattel, got bold. They engaged in all-out political indoctrination.

Snuck into the collection is a doll that comes with a biography that is weird and potentially offensive enough to keep Mom running to the Maalox. Gwen, you see, is harboring a terrible secret.

She is homeless. A homeless doll.


What message is being sent with Gwen?

For starters, men are bad. Fathers abandon women without cause. She's also telling me that women are helpless. And that children in this great country, where dolls sell for nearly 100 bucks a pop, are allowed to sleep in motor vehicles. But mothers don't lose custody over this injustice. Because, you see, they are victims, too.

ZOMG! Our poor innocent children could be exposed to the fact that there are homeless people! Where will this liberal perfidy end?
Horrible how we evil libruls acknowledge people the right would rather pretend didn't exist, innit?

And speaking of indoctrination, the right is also in hysterics over children having a sing-song about the President - despite the fact they had no hysterics when the sing-song was about Bush:

Conservatives have been up in arms over a tape showing schoolchildren in New Jersey singing a song in praise of President Obama. Glenn Beck said the tape showed “indoctrination that is going on.” Sean Hannity ranted, “This video makes me mad…Mao would be proud.” Typical of this overblown outrage was this statement from RNC Chairman Michael Steele:

Friend, this is the type of propaganda you would see in Stalin’s Russia or Kim Jong Il’s North Korea. I never thought the day would come when I’d see it here in America.

But as Huffington Post recalls, “back in 2006 children from Gulf Coast states serenaded First Lady Laura Bush with a song praising the President, Congress, and Federal Emergency Management Agency for their response to — of all things — Hurricane Katrina.”
IOKIYAR. Even taking the unprecedented step of naming a school full of kiddies after the President is fine - as long as it's Bush:

Attending a school named after a sitting president: patriotism.

Stockton school officials said they believe theirs will be the first school in the nation named for the president. The White House did not respond to requests for confirmation.

To one school board member, Clem Lee, a Republican, the Bush name is an expression of patriotism.

"It was an expression of the sentiment 'America Now' for me," Lee said. "There's probably some post-9/11 stuff mixed in there. We have a president who is facing really an unprecedented challenge. So my vote was informed by a culmination of all those things.

"I am the first person to admit that it might be premature to honor a sitting president," he said. "But it's quite defensible."

It always is.

It probably wouldn't be so annoying if these people showed any sign of self-awareness. Just something simple, like "I know I'm being a hypocrite, but..." Yet they don't. They seriously don't seem to see any disconnect between believing the praise and adulation of Bush was right and good, and any hint Obama's being given the same treatment is horrible and evil. Sometimes, I wonder if they have some mild form of Korsakoff's Syndrome, causing them to forget how they were all perfectly fine with the shit they're screaming about before a Democratic butt got to sit upon the Oval Office desk chair.

That Democrat, incidentally, has turned FEMA right around:
Many parts of Georgia have been devastated this week by what's been described as a "once in 500 years flood." It's affected 20 counties, killed at least nine people, and caused about $250 million in damages. Vice President Biden appeared alongside members of Congress and federal officials in an Atlanta suburb yesterday, where the American Red Cross had set up a shelter.

By all accounts, officials are responding effectively, and federal aid made available by the administration will be used for recovery programs, including temporary housing and low-cost loans. After a half-hour helicopter tour of the area, Biden vowed that there would be no "bureaucratic stalling and shuffling" as officials addressed the emergency.

I was also struck by the willingness of two very conservative Republican senators -- Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss -- to credit "the White House's quick response" and commend the administration's efforts.

Chambliss praised the Obama Administration for a response that was both "magnificent" and "quick." Isakson said he had spent last night on the phone with local officials, all of whom reported FEMA workers on the ground.

Apparently, the response isn't "magnificent" or "quick" enough for the Teabaggers:
It's pretty much a given that Georgia is a red state, chock full of teabaggers and states rights foamers who fuss constantly about socialism, the intrusive federal government, and abolishing all taxes. The opinion blogs on the AJC are full of rants about how evil the Democrats are, Obama wasn't born in this country, and we're all going to hell in a handbasket because of the meddlers in Washington, DC.

Then we had a flood.

You guessed it.

The cry has changed from "Obama's a socialist!" to "Give me a FEMA check!!" and complaining that the federal disaster declarations didn't go out fast enough and don't cover a wide enough area.
Keep your guvmint hands off my FEMA check, eh? Nice. I can't wait to bring this up next time Georgia starts making noise about secession.

Cons will probably see nothing wrong with Georgia Cons screaming secession one minute and then screaming for federal disaster relief the next. After all, they can't see anything wrong with lending credence to the most unhinged elements of the right:
The radicals running the How To Take Back America Conference are so nutty, you'd think GOP lawmakers and leaders would want nothing to do with them.

Take Janet Folger Porter, for example, who's helping run the event. Porter, a leading right-wing activist and talk-show host, believes the United States is "cursed" for having elected President Obama, who took office as the result of a communist conspiracy. She's told her audience that the H1N1 flu vaccine is really a nefarious plot by the government to kill millions of Americans, and that the Obama administration is creating internment camps for conservatives.

Porter is just one of the truly unhinged conservatives who helped make this weekend's event a reality, along with other nutty activists like Phyllis Schlafly, Joseph Farah, Mat Staver, and Rick Scarborough.

Are Republicans keeping their distance? Some are, some aren't. Four sitting Republican members of Congress -- Reps. Michele Bachmann (Minn.), Steve King (Iowa), Tom Price (Ga.), and Tom McClintock (Calif.) -- will be addressing the conference today. Former presidential candidate and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) will headline the event this evening.

Once again, IOKIYAR. Faux News won't be howling non-stop about your extremist associations for the next several months because they, too, share your special kind of myopia.

And they're aided and abetted by people so busy panicking they forget how to think. Like TNR's Michael Crowley, who's apparently been watching way too much teevee lately:

If it were up to me, I don't know what I would do; I would need to know more facts. I am not a proponent of torture, which I think has done enormous harm to America's image abroad and moral fiber at home. But I ride the subways these guys may have been planning to attack and I would like to be quite sure we've found all of them. At a minimum, this is a good opportunity to stress-test the debate about interrogation techniques, because it may be that life can imitate 24 after all.

Oh yessss. It would be irresponsible not to.

Why do I increasingly feel like the last seven or eight years never happened and I've awakened sometime in early 2002? More 24 bullshit? Really? What, did Crowley miss out on the post 9/11 pants peeing extravaganza or is this is some kind of retro panic chic? (Can't you just feel the breathless, macho arousal in his words?) Jesus.

Somebody needs to tell Crowley that we've had the debate and we don't need any "stress testing." It was "tested" on quite a few subjects and it didn't work no matter how fast Dick Cheney dances on the head of a pin. Plus there's this.
24 has become the Godwin's Law of torture talk. And I'm sorry, but if you whip out 24 in all seriousness, you've just invalidated your own argument.

Better countrymen, please.

26 September, 2009

My Thoughts Exactly

I've been meaning to write something impassioned and profound about how Americans should never ever in a thousand million trillion years ever vote Cons back into power again. I haven't gotten round to it, and it'll probably be best to wait until closer to election time anyway. But Nonny Mouse's "Buyer's Remorse" post is a good place to start reminding folks of consequences:

So over my morning toast and coffee, I read BoldProgressives’ article on Nancy Randolph, who with her husband were a modestly well-off married couple from Maine, and had paid for what they had thought was excellent health insurance… until Mr. Randolph was diagnosed with cancer and the insurance company denied him coverage. He died, and the couple ended up in bankruptcy. Heartbreaking, gut-roiling stuff. And my heart truly does go out to Nancy Randolph, hers is a terrible tragedy made so much worse by knowing it was preventable. But there was one small point that bothered me...

Nancy Randolph voted for Republican Olympia Snowe.

In the clip, Nancy explains she voted for Snowe because she thought the senator would be ‘independent’. What, she didn’t notice the great big R beside the candidate’s name on the ballot? She didn’t notice how ‘independent’ a certain senator from a nearby New England state has been?

Far, far too many people in this country have either voted Republican, or worse, didn’t vote at all, because they didn’t think all those issues progressive have been so annoyingly vocal about for years would ever affect them.


We are all reaping the Republican whirlwind, and it will take all of us to get out of it. But that doesn’t mean we have to compromise in the name of ‘bi-partisanship’. Actually, this country is still wealthy enough to afford universal health care for all its citizens – what it can not afford, quite literally, is thinking we have to settle for Blue Dogs and the not-really-all-that-bad Republicans like Snowe, or so-called ‘compromises’ that are not compromises at all. We want… no, not want… we desperately need real progressive politics, so we must elect real progressives who support real progressive policies, and relentlessly hold them to their promises once they’re in office. We don’t have to settle for Blue Dogs or the not-really-all-that-bad Republicans like Snowe. We won’t settle for make-do, second best, get by, let-them-eat-cake, mealy-mouthed, half measure compromises.

We simply… can’t.


Your Daily Dose of Health Care Reform Stupidity

We've got a lot today. Sit down, buckle up, and let's roll.

Mass. Cons get thrown out of court on Sen. Kirk's appointment. Actually, I should say hurled. What's all that they say about frivolous lawsuits?

Sen. Ensign's been a special kind of stupid. He displays the Con misunderstanding of how the law works by arguing that Tenthers should be allowed to opt out of mandates, and then demonstrates the Con propensity for pandering to Faux News by proffering an anti-czar amendment to the Baucus Bullshit. Allow me to quote Hermione: "What an idiot."

Debbie Stabenow to Jon Kyl: "Your Mom!" No, really:
As a rule, if a senator is pushing back against a colleague's rhetoric, and references the other senator's mother, it would be a fairly dramatic breach of protocol. But that's not always the case.

Igor Volsky reports today that Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has been pushing an amendment to "prohibit the government from defining which benefits should be included in a standard benefit package." Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) noted that basic maternity care ought to be required.

"I don't need maternity care," Kyl replied. "So requiring that on my insurance policy is something that I don't need and will make the policy more expensive."

Interrupting him, Stabenow added, "I think your mom probably did."

Debbie. I love you. That was fucking awesome. And might be part of the reason why Kyl's dumbfuck amendment got defeated.

Dems are celebrating the 100th day since the Cons promised to proffer their own plan. Meanwhile, 3/4 of Republicans say they have no idea what the GOP's plans for health care reform are. Imagine that.

Cons are outdoing themselves on the "We Luv Health Insurance Companies!" front. Now they're threatening to filibuster HHS nominees unless Humana's allowed to lie to its customers again.

Meanwhile, Blue Shield denies a woman's claim for emergency treatment because, they say, she should've known that waking up to blood spurting out of her nipple isn't an emergency.

And an insurance company employee explains how the company fucks you over, and apologizes for having to fuck you over as part of their job description.

Try not to be too shocked here, but it appears that Faux News was lying when they claimed Nancy Pelosi's going to write her own health care reform bill.

The CBO likes the public option. Are you listening, Blue Dogs? And if you're not listening to the CBO telling you the public option's going to save the country a shitload of cash, maybe you'll listen to your constituents, the majority of whom want a public option with no trigger, thanks so very much. So much for the tough district argument, eh?

And, finally, we end on a somber note today. This is precisely why we need health care reform:
A 22-year-old woman from Oxford, Ohio, died from swine flu on Wednesday. Kimberly Young graduated from Miami University in December and continued to live in Oxford, Ohio, within Minority Leader John Boehner’s congressional distrct. Reports now indicate that after initially getting sick, Young put off treatment because she was uninsured:

Young became ill about two weeks ago, but didn’t seek care initially because she didn’t have health insurance and was worried about the cost, according to Brent Mowery, her friend and former roommate. […]

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, Young’s condition suddenly worsened and her roommate drove her to McCullough Hyde Memorial Hospital in Oxford, where she was flown in critical condition to University Hospital in Cincinnati.

“That’s the most tragic part about it. If she had insurance, she would have gone to the doctor,” Mowery said.

Time to get this done, before we lose too many more people who had to balance cost against care and ended up on the wrong side of the equation.

The Next Time Some Fuckwit Tells You Obama's Soft on Terrorism...

... Hand them this list.

Just because the current President isn't a self-aggrandizing jackass like the last one doesn't mean he's not getting the job done. Quite the contrary, in fact.

25 September, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Rowan Atkinson did a skit called "A Warm Welcome," wherein he played Satan welcoming people to hell. There were so many fornicators that he was forced to split them into groups.

I bring this up because I'm forced to do the same with stupid people. Alas, far too many of them are politicians.

Let us begin with the Global Warming Denialism Society. Sen. James Inhofe is, of course, one of the senior members. Here he is in all his glory on C-Span's Washington Journal:
At the end of the interview, Inhofe explained what guides his views:

CALLER: Yes, I agree with the Senator on what he says about the climate change. I believe that the world is just changing like it usually does. [...]

INHOFE: I think he’s right. I think what he’s saying is God’s still up there. We’re going through these cycles. … I really believe that a lot of people are in denial who want to hang their hat on the fact, that they believe is a fact, that man-made gases, anthropogenic gases, are causing global warming. The science really isn’t there.

A man denying global warming because "God's still up there" talking about science not really being there... that's absurdist performance art, that is.

When they can't convince folks that global warming's not happening because God says so, they're trying to scare-monger everybody into paralysis by saying combating climate change will be horribly expensive. Paul Krugman reminds us of the simple fact they're basing their bullshit on lies (h/t):
So where do the apocalyptic warnings about the cost of climate-change policy come from?

Are the opponents of cap-and-trade relying on different studies that reach fundamentally different conclusions? No, not really. It’s true that last spring the Heritage Foundation put out a report claiming that Waxman-Markey would lead to huge job losses, but the study seems to have been so obviously absurd that I’ve hardly seen anyone cite it.

Instead, the campaign against saving the planet rests mainly on lies.

Thus, last week Glenn Beck — who seems to be challenging Rush Limbaugh for the role of de facto leader of the G.O.P. — informed his audience of a “buried” Obama administration study showing that Waxman-Markey would actually cost the average family $1,787 per year. Needless to say, no such study exists.

But we shouldn’t be too hard on Mr. Beck. Similar — and similarly false — claims about the cost of Waxman-Markey have been circulated by many supposed experts.


So here’s the bottom line: The claim that climate legislation will kill the economy deserves the same disdain as the claim that global warming is a hoax. The truth about the economics of climate change is that it’s relatively easy being green.
But it's not easy if you're David "Diapers" Vitter, and you have to protect all those contributions polluters flood your coffers with:
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) is blocking an EPA nomination because he wants the agency to delay establishing safety procedures for formaldehyde. Meanwhile, major emitters of the dangerous chemical have been generous contributors to the senator's reelection campaign.
So, he's in bed with prostitutes, polluters and.... wonder who the third p will be?

Moving on to our next group, "Craziest Cons in Congress," we find Rep. Steve King going for the crown:
In the ongoing contest to see which House Republican is the single nuttiest, Rep. Steve King (R) of Iowa is making another run at the title.

The Madman from the Heartland has had quite a week.


He kept things going yesterday on the House floor, standing alongside Socialist Realist art to argue that President Obama is the leader of ACORN.

Today, however, was my personal favorite. King is apparently angry -- it's not clear why -- that President Obama is changing U.S. missile-defense policies in Europe. The White House is scrapping a Bush-era policy that didn't make sense, for a more effective anti-missile technology, with a better track record, and more flexibility, which will be implemented sooner. The move was endorsed by the Secretary of Defense and backed by the unanimous judgment of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

King initially said the president is honoring the "Neville Chamberlain school of diplomacy or capitulation." The Iowa Republican added, "I was thinking about the situation of how it was that Hitler actually negotiated with the Russians for a while. It ended up with Poland being divided and a global war as a result."

So, as far as King is concerned, Obama is both Chamberlain and Hitler?

Next we'll be hearing how Obama's just like Genghis Khan. Mark my words.

Why is King stepping up the insanity? Perhaps he's jealous of Rep. Michele Bachmann's action figure:

Look out, Barbie -- here comes the Michele Bachmann action figure!

As Minnesota Public Radio reports, the increased fame of the second-term Congresswoman had spurred a Connecticut company, Herobuilders, to manufacture a new posable toy in her image.

Somehow, I don't think the representatives will understand this is a joke at their expense.

We have only one contender for Dumbfuck Governor o' the Day right now (although Greg Sargent says Rick Perry's possibly on about secession again, I refuse to visit the pages of the Weekly Standard on a night when I'm already pressed for time). Trust Gov. Jindal to always keep his place in line:
Yesterday, the White House held a conference call between Vice President Biden and governors of U.S. states and territories. The purpose of the call, according to the White House pool report, was to “exhort the states to collect and submit quarterly numbers of jobs created and saved by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act by the deadline of Oct. 10.” Forty-nine state governors or their representatives joined the call. The one person who skipped it? Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R).


Jindal has been one of the most outspoken critics of the Recovery Act — at the same time he goes around the state and takes credit for the federal dollars he was handing out.
And the bonus fuckery:

A Jindal appointee has even blocked the state transportation department from placing signs indicating that projects were funded by the stimulus:

State projects financed with federal stimulus dollars will have no signs that say that, said Mark Lambert, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation and Development.

Lambert said the decision was made by DOTD Secretary William Ankner.

“He directed that signs not go up,” Lambert said of Ankner.

Lambert noted, however, that “road and bridge work paid for with state surplus dollars included signs that pointed out the source of the funds.” His explanation was that the state signs were cheaper.
You've got to be fucking kidding me. But, alas, they are not.

Our final group is a huge one - the Right-Wing Hysterics. Observe them in full hue-and-cry against Muslims praying at the Capitol:
It's gone largely under the media radar, but in Washington today, tens of thousands of Muslim Americans are expected to gather to pray as part of the "Islam on Capitol Hill" event. To say that the religious right is concerned about this would be something of an understatement.


The event has no stated political agenda, and no elected officials are expected to attend. Abdellah has simply called on people to come to the Capitol to "pray for peace and understanding between America and its Muslim community."

So, what's the problem? In reality, there isn't one. But in the active imaginations of religious right leaders, the "Islam on Capitol Hill" gathering is grounds for quite a tantrum.

Right Wing Watch has been chronicling the reactions from Christian right leaders all week, and the panic has become more palpable as the week has progressed. The Family Research Council believes today's participants may "pray for shari'ah law to come to America," so Christians' efforts to convert Muslims should "accelerate." Wallbuilders' David Barton warned that today's event undermines Christianity's place at the top of the heap in America. The National Day of Prayer Task Force warned of "a dark spiritual intent and a coming day of great trouble to America." A group called Operation Save America intends to send members to the Hill to wage some kind of spiritual battle. A variety of religious right leaders quickly created The Ad Hoc Committee of Americans for Transparency and Honesty in Religion to demand that organizers of today's event denounce acts of terrorism.

"I don't understand. This is a simple event. All we want to do is pray," Abdellah said. "In America, name one event where Christians tried to pray and Muslims disrupted it."

Poor Abdellah. Poor innocent git, expecting brotherly love from a bunch of rabid Bible bashers. He's got to realize that right-wing Christian groups amiably allowing Muslims to pray in public, too, is about as likely as Osama bin Laden issuing a video saying that despite our differences, he actually loves America and hopes it has a nice day.

Which, in turn, is about as likely as Teabaggers not acting like a rabid bunch of buffoons:

One People's Project has the full-length version of this video, taken from the big 912 rally in Washington, D.C., showing a middle-aged white man and his Asian wife chasing after and harassing a trio of black people -- primarily two teenagers and an adult guardian (possibly their mother) who were selling "Don't Tread on Me" flags along the long grassy mall.

As you can see, the man -- who identifies himself as Tim Jones -- shouts after them: "ACORN! These people are ACORN!!! They are frauds!!! ACORN is fraud!!! Obama sucks! This woman sells signs for profit of ACORN!!"

It attracts more harassers, and it verges on the point of an outbreak of violence when the D.C. bicycle police show up and break up the scene.

But really, folks, they're not racists! Even though they inexplicably didn't run after any white vendors screaming "ACORN!!1!11!"

And, finally, the creme de la stupid:

A new birther infomercial running on a CBS affiliate in Texas and elsewhere around the country tells viewers a "got a birth certificate?" bumper sticker can be theirs for the low price of $30.

The 28-minute program -- quite possibly the first ever birthermercial -- features community access production values, heavy use of foreboding strings soundtrack, and standard-issue Birther ideology.

For a $30 contribution, viewers also get a fax sent in their name to the 50 state attorneys general and Attorney General Eric Holder demanding that President Obama produce his real birth certificate.

A Birthermercial. My darlings, I do believe the right-wing should have taken the red pill, but I'm afraid they're so far gone in their little fantasy world they'll never see reality again.

At least they'll be 30 bucks poorer for their dumbfuckery, though.

Fools... money.... parted. Hmm. Think we should start a business, my darlings?