Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Drill, Baby...Huh?

President Obama declared his intention to open some of the coast to oil drilling. There is almost undoubtably oil down there, a question occurs as to how much. There certainly is not sufficient oil to significantly affect domestic prices - despite GOP lunacy there just isn't that much oil here, period. The argument can be made that some is much more than none and while that is true there is the question of relative risk. I can't answer that one, the oil industry is considerably cleaner than in decades past but ooopses are real nasty.

I guess the question that I have is to what end this change in policy is being made? If it has anything to do with getting GOP support - well, I'd sure prefer some handcuffing going on, support or forget this. If it is about voters, I just don't know. I'm having a problem figuring out the targets. I keep seeing downsides and not much of anything on the upside.

Ok, that's a lot words to say, "Huh?"

Mismanaging Catholicism

Posts like this one are difficult for me to write, I belong to no religion for my own good reasons and yet I recognize the force for good that religion can be - or stand in opposition to. Sometimes things can really go south and the crap will hit the fan and when it is religion it really sprays.

Every organization will have some people acting badly. The bad behaviour will probably reflect a focus or theme of that organization. If it were police, probably violence or money, politics would be influence or money - and on and on. The Catholic Church very much revolves around sex and youth and it is no real surprise that sex and youth are featuring in misbehaviour. That these bad actors are going to exist in any organization is sad and damn inevitable. All organizations have to face that and deal with it. Somebody is going to screw up real bad.

The fact of violence does not make all police violent assholes, it diminishes the standing of the majority who work at a rotten job for poor pay for the benefit of the citizenry and particularly reflects on organizations who try to bury it. The Catholic Church did not face the fact that there would be bad actors in its organization and that they needed to be dealt with - they just wanted it to go away. In the process they turned their backs on most of what they guy they venerate stood for and what they pray for. They also managed to become a part of crimes.

Many organizations are both hierarchical and paternalistic, top down driven with a "the bosses know best" philosophy. This can work well or badly depending on a lot of factors, but one thing is very sure to happen - if the management screws the pooch the first instinct is to protect the management. For an organization centered around moral behavior that can be a fatal failing.

Management in the case of Catholicism tossed aside the interests of its main focus in service of management and in the process has become criminal. An organization in this position has two options - break out a chainsaw and cut dead wood or double down. At this point, Catholicism is apparently doubling down. The really nasty aspect of this is that it turns it into an ongoing criminal conspiracy. I do not give a damn, one way or the other, about Catholicism but I do care about the people of good will and intent who practice it being put in this position by Management. I care that a criminally unsafe environment for children is created.

It begins to look to me as though it is time for The State to take this in hand with criminal investigation and prosecution.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Palin And The Law ?

The Immoral Minority has a story up about Sarah, Willow, and law enforcement. I have no idea but the comments sound as though some locals have some idea. It does sound as though wealth and position will out.

Monday, March 29, 2010


The Hill reports:
The Republican who spent nearly $2,000 of Republican National Committee (RNC) funds at a Los Angeles nightclub known for simulated bondage scenes and nudity was indentified Monday as Erik Brown, CEO of Dynamic Marketing Inc.

Evidently the RNC doesn't care for the publicity:
"The chairman was never at the location in question; he had no knowledge of the expenditure, nor does he find the use of committee funds at such a location at all acceptable," the spokesperson said. "Good reporting would make that distinction crystal clear. The committee has requested that the monies be returned to the committee and that the story be corrected so that it is accurate.”

In light of $200K for Plalin's clothes and her T&A act - why do they think they ought to get the money back?Surely the political content was at least as ... significant.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Balance In The Media?

Crowley at CNN had Axelrod on and seemed to think this was an intelligent question (I paraphrase), aren't both sides using violence to raise money since you guys have an ask that says "Our offices have been vandalized..." and aren't you a part of the problem?


We need to pass this for the good of Americans somehow equates to this is Armageddon? Lives will be saved equates to "Baby Killer?" Etc, Etc, Etc - ad nauseum.

Oh yeah, to be sure - both sides are part of the problem...

Funny Results From Baby Toys

My grandson Brayden is 11 months and for his soon birthday Grandma got him a large push and ride train engine. The thing has buttons all over it that activate recordings and one of them includes, "Hi, I'm Lily - lets get going." Being digital recordings they start when ever the button is pushed and 11 month fingers like to push buttons. The "unfortunate" result in that particular button pushing has been, "Hi, I'm - Hi," and as you can imagine adult amusement.

Friday, March 26, 2010

GOP Public Stupidity

Sadly for my mental health I've been watching the news, in particular political news. I've been treated to some astonishing statements by people who are "big" in GOP politics. Things started off with real stupidity with Eric Cantor getting up and calling the Democrats out for complaining about violence and violent rhetoric (threats) by saying that a spent bullet hitting an office window not in his district that isn't his office was him being shot at and that anti-Semitic threats came in. Now I don't want to minimize the "badness" of threats and violence but exactly how Cantor can put anti-Semitism into this is somewhat beyond me - it is not exactly a feature or even bug of the Democrats - rather is is extreme far right and certainly not involved in any way with any current legislation. That can be dropped pretty much in the lap of the Medieval Catholic Church and spend-thrift monarchs. Evidently the 2nd A Republicans can't differentiate between a spent bullet and one targeted - odd. This crap was to be understood as "both sides do it." These are supposed to be the "smart guys" in the GOP...

I got to listen to Sarah rah-rahing for McPOW and make the astonishing statement that "arms" refers to votes and "reload" is about taking an election. Now I don't know what those terms mean to anybody other than Sarah but any shooter I know doesn't mean this and about any 6 year old would think something different. I certainly don't have a problem with shooting or owning firearms but I do have a bit of a problem with certain types of rhetoric. Taken along with the film of her amping up the hatred of those who aren't "real Americans" during the campaign I have a real difficulty buying into this convenient re-defining of terms.

For pete's sake, I have an understanding of political exaggeration and spin and I'm pretty sure most of the public understands that it is done and does a certain amount of discounting. There does come a point where spin turns into outright lies and exaggeration turns into exhortation to violence. It isn't as though it is a real fine line that is hard see. It isn't as though this crap is coming from something as fringe as the KKK or the John Birchers (ooops - CPAC sponsors).

How unreasonable is it to bring out the guns when a part of the Federal Government is going to slaughter your Grandma? I think the GOP having made its bed with this crap is going to have to go forward with it and that really bothers me. It bothers me because there is no way they can run on health care and not keep up the same behavior that's gotten us here or take it farther. With the pretty good things in the bill taking effect in front they have a rocky road to persuade or scare people away from it and the Democrats. The GOPers with Primary challenges can't help themselves from going after the "base" and they've got to keep them in the General. Look for more of the fear mongering and the rubes taking it more seriously than they should.

That's the problem with being stupid...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Frum And Wingnut Welfare

I suppose that if Frum wrote something that I partially approved of (bipartisan??) that would be the end of him with the wingnut welfare association, in this case American Enterprise Institute. A fellow conservative Bruce Bartlett covers it.

What you need to understand is that the failures of BushCo and neo-nuttiness found homes in places like AEI, Heritage, and some others. There, the failures they propagated and propagandized were worth paychecks, but evidently only if you don't point out that the elephant is naked. What I've read by Frum over the years convinces me that he is a conservative. On that basis we have little in common and having the GOP produce wins by paying electoral attention to Frum isn't something I'd wish. On the other hand, leading them back from the looney tunes edge would be good for the nation.

Well, they're not gonna put up with it. I can't work up to feeling sorry for one of the guys who helped sell the lies of Iraq and the lies of opposition as traitorous when he finally loses a job. What is hilarious is that he lost a job for not doing the same kind of crap - for being pretty smart. There are plenty of dimbulbs to take his place...

Frum will be fine, he ain't gonna starve or even find out how ordinary Americans get by and you can expect his conservatism won't evaporate with this demonstration of its stupidity.

GOPers Push Back, Lying Per Usual

The stupid the GOP has stirred up is biting them in the butt and they're trying to spin it and duck it and lie about it. Poor victim Cantor came out swinging (lying) claiming his office had been shot at - TPM police report. 'We didn't stir anything up, the Democrats are just going for political advantage,' is their current theme. Shaddig on Hardball, the tone stinks - we didn't have anything to do with it, Cantor was shot at too... These are just a few bad apples in a bunch of *patriotic god-fearing realamericans* and nobody should hold all of them responsible. We didn't stir up the crowd at the Capitol - we were just talking.

How about using lies to scare the shit out of people who think you're 'on their side?' People who despite all evidence think you'll tell them the truth? How about people who take some cues from what is said from the Congressional floor? You asses lied, lied, and lied in the most inflammatory terms and now that the people you lied to are losing their minds over it you want it to just be ... politics as usual. Those people are, what, for taking you seriously? I'm a political junkie so I know they're fools for taking you seriously - you want to go ahead and admit that?

Do you people lie with such frequency that you no longer understand that even though people expect politicians to speak with their political ends in mind that some of them actually respect you? You may know you're worthy of none of that respect - I certainly do - but that is not how they take it. You cannot do what you've done with your rhetoric without the RUBES taking it too far. The very fact that they elect and re-elect you should warn you that they're dumbasses who believe you. I know it's asking more than you are probably capable of; but you could stop to think about just how far you should take your lies.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Tea-liban, Al Teada? Cantor Update

There aren't many of you who will read this that don't know I think Teabaggery is mainly composed of stupid ideas. I can't help that they espouse ideas that have nothing to do with reality. I can't help that it is apparent that there is a strong current of racism in their "Party." I can't help that some of their members use violent and abusive language and images.

What this also doesn't mean is that all of or even most of the people who adhere to the stupid ideas of Teabaggery are violent racists. That brush is entirely too wide for the stroke that needs to be made. Something their leaders and GOP fellow travelers need to think about is that extreme rhetoric doesn't just amp up enthusiasm; it also gives a green light to nut cases. Fear is a great motivator and it does tamp down critical thinking - but it also scares people with a light grasp on reality.

The problem is that the narrow success they've had with fear will dissuade them from looking at what the outcomes are. They will point to the actions of idiots and nuts as isolated cases and ignore that their fear mongering justified those people in their own minds. The examples provided by so many diminished the distance between lunacy and accepted behavior. How much distance is there between Boehner's own statements on the House floor to spitting, throwing bricks and cutting gas lines ... or far worse.

The First Amendment allows them to make stupid, inaccurate, and inflammatory statements, just as it allows me to call them fellow travelers of terrorists.


Rep Eric Cantor says that his office was shot at. That would be horrifyingly dangerous and stupid behavior - if true. The problem is that I can find no reference to it other than Cantor's and the other is that guns do get fired in cities and bullets do travel, so whether Cantor's office was a target could be open to question. I would find a brick through my window infuriating and a bullet hole terrifying. Whatever your ideology it is simply wrong and dangerous.

As for the equivalency argument bullshit, c'mon - liberal or left "leaders" are not running around using violent racist lying rhetoric. I'm real sorry GOPers and Teabaggers, that rhetoric is coming from you. At some point that crap is going to make somebody's life very bad and you'll just stick your fingers in your ears and go, "Lalalalalala."

***Updated Update***
Damn Cantor you lying sack (misrepresenting) here is the relevant police report. I'm a Democrat (oooh he owns guns) and not anyone I know that knows a bit about guns and bullets would misunderstand what the visible evidence meant. So, he is either ignorant as a post, stupid as a box of rocks, or he's a lying sack of .... oh that's right, GOP.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Comments And Troll-tard Comments

I enjoy comments to this site, for one thing it assures me somebody is reading it and I'm not just wasting my time. I don't mind being expanded on or disagreed with. I write what I think, but I also know that I can make mistakes - or, horrors, be wrong.

Regarding troll-tards, look dimwits - if you think I'm screwed up you need to manage some actual critique to be taken seriously. Otherwise you're just mockery fodder. Shoot, I may even argue with you and I will treat you with some courtesy if you want to make an actual argument. Understand this, I am quite familiar with being disagreed with.

C'mon now, Blogspot gives you a bunch of ways to give yourself some kind of identity and they're neither complicated nor intrusive of your privacy. I happen to know that some of the people who stop by are quite smart and even witty, have fun.

Repeal Fantasy

The GOP doesn't mind lying to its folks, they plan to run on repealing the health care bill. Now that one is a bit much. They need over a 100 Seat swing in the House and a 20 seat change in the Senate to have a veto proof margin. I suppose that assumes they couldn't impeach Obama and Biden to avoid a veto. "We're going to repeal it." O....K....

Teabaggery Fury

Faux News says the Teabaggery Bunch are pissed.
Tea Party leaders, livid over the passage of health care reform on Sunday night, say their next step will be to turn from fighting the bill to running the people who voted for it out of Congress

Please do, go really hard at it. The utter stupidity of most of what you stand for and your over amped rhetoric and name calling will stand little inspection. Please invite it, lots of it.

Whose Waterloo ?

David Frum is a conservative and there isn't much we'd agree on in policy, not much. That doesn't mean that he isn't also a fairly astute observer of political manuevering.
We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat.

In his political analysis he gets much right, but he misses one of the elephants (hehe) in the room - the Rovian political construct of destruction. Yes, they aped some of loon right talking points in ideology; but Cantor made it clear that this was about political destruction - health care was to be Obama's Waterloo. This was to smash him and ruin his political future.

Well, not so much luck there - I guess. I don't want to prognosticate how this will play out in the mid-term elections because I do think it could go either way. What did happen, as Frum notes, is that their influence was less than it might have been. Since I think the thing is too far right I wouldn't be pleased by that result.

I'm pretty pleased to watch the Republicans destruct with their reliance on right wing talkers... As for the tone of the rhetoric; the more the GOP demonstrates exactly who and what they are the better the chances are that ordinary Americans will recoil - resulting in either GOP re-alignment or immateriality.

Socialized Medicine

Which Democrat is going to stand up to the "socialized medicine" crap and point out that with hospitals required to provide emergency care that we already have the most bastardised ineffective possible socialized medicine? Effectively, bankrupted and uninsured consumers of health care are covered by the costs of the Federal programs and private insurance - all laid directly on taxpayers. There is no point in telling the teabaggery crowd anything. The rest of America? Well, one can hope.

Country First, Remember?

The Hill:
"There will be no cooperation for the rest of the year," McCain said during an interview Monday on an Arizona radio affiliate. "They have poisoned the well in what they've done and how they've done it."

So something has changed? Oh, I know - McMaverick POWy Country First, anybody want to puke?

This Is What You're Up Against

One of the more coherent and less threatening comments at "" (No, I won't link them - doubt it - go find it)
I know exactly what you mean. After the vote went down, I went outside and looked at the sky. I had the thought this this wasn’t a sky over America anymore, and there is no America now, and it felt like America just disappeared into the night’s sky, and now I was standing on someone else’s land, someone else’s home, and I could never go home again.

I will forever look at others as strangers, wondering, “Whose side were you on the night it all disappeared?”

This is the night that Ben Franklin feared when he replied to the question as to what they, the founders had given us, “A republic, if you can hold it.” We failed. We failed to stop the media from destroying George Bush to the point that America thirsted for Democrat rule. The media started the Reichstag fire, and we stood by without even lunging for a water hose.

48 posted on Sunday, March 21, 2010 8:29:06 PM by chilltherats (First, kill all the lawyers (now that they ARE the tyrants).......)

Here's the deal:
You know I didn't like the Senate Bill and I don't even think all that much of the Reconciliation. But... The status quo going forward years and years is not acceptable and what the GOP would be willing to actually do (who the hell knows?) would be so damn plutocratic and FYIGM that it would be worse than the status quo.

OK, the Freepers are loons, trolls like to call me a Leftard - I look real mild next to that bunch - but the Orange One (Boehner) already called out their strategy from the House floor. You cannot defend the Bill, you have to go on the offense and SELL it. It is hopeless to try to defend the thing in an election; with enough bad in it they've had to lie their asses off already in opposition. There is enough good in the Bill to win by campaigning on it. How many Democratic Congressmen will do so is open to question - political nerve is always in short supply.

***BTW, Ben Franklin would've called this putz a Tory and tried to get him tarred and feathered***

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Stupack And The Nuns

The Catholic Nuns sent Rep Bart Stupack a letter stating that he should vote to pass the health insurance bill, his reaction was, 'so what?" He told Matthews on Hardball that they didn't count because they haven't been working like the Bishops. Hmmm.

So the nuns don't count because they're not the politically active Bishops.
The nuns don't count because they don't agree with Stupack.
The nuns don't count because they have vaginas (unused?)

Lets get to some of the crunch on this, nuns aren't being accused of molesting choir boys - that appears to be those vagina-less characters. The politically active Bishops, on the other hand, come from the ranks of those who are and have been molesting choir boys and who acted to cover it up and let it continue. Now in Bart's mind that bunch has the credibility. OK...

Well, no Bishop will ever get pregnant.

The Stupidly Intransigent Left

Since Rep Kucinich switched to yea what is there to be done with this metric? The evil villain of leftyism who held out is now whipping his colleagues after visiting the President on Air Force One so...
A) the CiC threatened to drop Dennis out the door at 35K feet
B) promised not to sell pics of Dennis and his wife
C) persuaded Dennis that this was as good as it was going to get and showed him why
D) whatever ???

I've tried to make this point to my more "moderate" friends, the left always folds to the Democratic "middle." It makes no difference how often the left is later proven correct on issues and the "middle" shown to be asses, the middle will have its way and call the left idiots.

Kucinich has stood fast calling this bill out as corporatist crap, which it is. Only a segment of that middle doesn't acknowledge how crappy the bill is but it seemed all screamed about the traitorous left all the while they were pushing at Reps to pass a bill they're not fond of. The left was pushing for results Reps weren't fond of but that is somehow different. The claim is that what the left wants may be good policy but just isn't possible.

Here's news flash for you, it isn't possible because you keep deciding it isn't possible. The Democratic Party drift into the party of 70s GOP isn't an accidental occurrence; it is that so - called middle always getting its way despite how right it wanders.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Idiocy Of Split The Difference

One of the real stupid ideas in circulation lately is that if there are two radically different approaches - say Liz Cheney and the ACLU - that half way in between is where sensible people land. This asininity assumes that there is equal stupidity or looniness in each position and that the middle isn't. The real big problem is that assumption which says that one idea is equal to the other; stating that the moon is green cheese and stating that it is rock are two radically different assertions but the moon isn't broccoli because that seems to be a middle.

Dick and Liz Cheney may have an emotional appeal to the fear ridden, and terrorists do terror for the sake of creating fear. Are we really supposed to buy into the idea that arresting and indefinitely detaining people for uncommitted crimes is a sensible middle? I don't often link Glenn Greenwald because he usually uses an awful lot of words to make his point; and I'm already guilty of that. In this case there simply are not enough words written on this, so Glenn is doing what should be done by a lot more people than just himself and a couple bloggers.

Some things are just plain awful.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Ben Westlund, OR Treasurer

I first met Ben shortly after he changed his Party affiliation from GOP to Democratic Party. His stated reasons, and I have good reason to believe them, were that the OR GOP's intransigence, hobby horse riding, and general wankery did not reflect the needs of the State. This from a State Senator from a strongly GOP district. He started a run for Governor against Ted Kulongoski (D) and quickly withdrew and stumped for Ted. I got a chance to spend some time talking to Ben while he worked Baker Co with Ted in the Governor's race. I was impressed with both his personal integrity and his dedication to Oregon's citizenry.

Two years ago Ben ran for State Treasurer and I spent the day with him, riding him in one of our parades in the Chevy SSR with the top down, at lunch, and walking our largest park meeting and greeting constituents. There were quite a few stops with people Ben knew, he was a rancher and we have ranchers. These folks were Republicans for the most part and adamant in their support of Ben as a Democrat. Ben, his campaign staff, and I spent a long day together which gave me the opportunity to get well acquainted with him. Please understand that in my role in DPO I didn't say bad things about our Democrats, but I gave real support to those I liked and I like Ben a lot. Ben and his staff stayed in contact after his win, asking if I had ideas or concerns - and to say hello.

Not too long after Ben's win, my son died and one of the first phone calls I got was from Ben. He was genuinely distressed and spent very nearly an hour on the phone trying to make words work. Words are a politician's tools, they are his life and Ben tried really hard. Any of you who have sustained such a loss knows that words are inadequate because nothing is adequate, but the expression of caring and desire to help does help.

Ben's death last week was a personal blow to me. He was someone I liked and held in high regard, as an individual and as someone who tried to look out for his fellows. Oregon is a poorer place now with his passing and so is political life. I have saved this so that it will reach his family and friends a bit later, when the real sense of how much has been lost hits after the initial storm of grief. I know I have no words to fix anything, but I do want them to know that their loss is not only shared, but how broadly it is shared.

I am so sorry for their loss and our loss,
Thank You Ben

Friday, March 12, 2010

NRO, Some Places You Don't Go

If you purport to be a Democrat there are some places you don't go to in an effort to make your case. Rush Limbaugh might be one such place, another very sure to make the list outfit is National Review. NRO isn't a kind of middle right sort of place, it is full out wingnut land full of Randian stupidities and neo-con chest beating. Maybe Bart Stupack is at home there - for some indefinable reason, since he is nominally a Democrat. Residence in The Family's "C" St home and close association with Catholic Bishops might explain such a brain fart as going to NRO, but clearly there is something amiss in Stupack land.
If Obamacare passes, Stupak says, it could signal the end of any meaningful role for pro-life Democrats within their own party. “It would be very, very hard for someone who is a right-to-life Democrat to run for office,” he says. “I won’t leave the party. I’m more comfortable here and still believe in a role within it for the right-to-life cause, but this bill will make being a pro-life Democrat much more difficult. They don’t even want to debate this issue. We’ll probably have to wait until the Republicans take back the majority to fix this.”

So this Democrat figures the Republicans are his only ally? Whoa... Maybe there's a problem with his reasoning. Since the Hyde Amendment prohibits the use of Federal monies for abortion there must be a bit more to it. Stupack's idea is that the problem is that paying for an abortion rider out of pocket doesn't avoid the Federal money that got into a subsidy. There is some logic to this, but taken to Stupack's stupidity level you have to understand that those Catholic Bishops he's taking his orders from are just pedophiles since those collection plate tithes paid for priests to abuse boys and from there paid those pedophilia Bishopric salaries. Oh, they didn't do the dirty deed of sex with boys? Same money there pal, in fact with this close association to "C" St that would mean money makes Stupack an adulterous pedophiliac Nigerian gay executioner. Some of us are fairly clear on who his allies are...

“They’re ignoring me,” he says, in a phone interview with National Review Online.

I've lived in Northern Michigan and the UP of Michigan and I have to tell you that beyond my parents, there are a lot of nice people there that aren't anything like Bart... I really wish we all could ignore Bart.

Break The System - Vote GOP ?

Along with the "qualified" endorsement of the Senate HCR bill came a question - doesn't passing these kinds of band aides and electing so-what Democrats just extend the mess we're in? That wouldn't electing good solid GOP majorities advance the systemic crash and teach people a lesson? This is the school that says without real pain real change won't happen.

I do agree that the FYIGM* school rules a lot more widely than is generally acknowledged and that unless that "I got mine" lose it real change won't happen. FYIGM is more commonly applied to the Libertarians than the public at large, a mistake - it is just the Randroids ruling philosophy versus the more general and less "principled" neglect of the public. The difference with me is that I don't believe that the pain has to be due to utter disaster.

The Right likes to claim that we've become a soft nation, maybe we have ... or maybe we've come to expect more of our governments' competence. I don't believe it takes complete disaster and wide spread suffering and death to create real change in this country. We were in the beginning of the worst recession since the Great Depression when the last election occurred. The worst is an economic term, rather than a social one, the actual social damage was quite muted thanks to extensive safety nets and the plowing of vast Federal resources into the problem. (I don't claim there wasn't real pain) In the face of that limited damage, discomfort as opposed to disaster, Barack Obama was elected President. Looking at the social aspects of that election should be instructive; a young black man with a funny sounding name and a non-Christian descent with limited national service was elected in competition with an old white 3rd generation Annapolis POW media darling "maverick" with a "Mc" prefix. If you consider that I am simply middle-aged and can remember watching on TV as civil rights workers were dug out of a dike you might understand the real social magnitude of that election. There was no disaster and yet a social change of shattering magnitude occurred.

Electing Republicans might well accelerate a number of failures, some, but would bring with them a lot of gratuitous collateral damage - theocracy and widespread scapegoating along with unnecessary wars are just a start. Most of the failures, plutocratism and dislocation of wealth, vanishing jobs, disintegrating health care, and crashing general income levels are inevitable considering the course charted over the last three and half decades. That crash will happen but the course to it and its size need not be disastrous to have effect. Discomfort amongst enough of those who vote will do the deal. The uninsured in this country today are not politically significant, you get junk like the Senate bill because the pain has not spread far enough into consistent voters and donors. FYIGM will fall apart when the middle's employers come to them and say, nope can't afford it and they can't afford it and keep a house. That crunch will happen pretty quickly and won't just whack the bottom of the scale and nothing in this bill will put that off to a significant degree.

There's no reason to believe that giving the keys to the Huns will result in Reformation. History shows something different in the face of disaster - Hitlers, Stalins, Pol Pots are the general result, not FDRs. This was a dangerous world when Hitler came to power, it is logarithmically more dangerous today. NO, electing half-assed Democrats (or even today's middle Democrats) will not stave off the bus going in the ditch, but it may well mitigate the pain.

Cassandra says the walls will be breached, but in this case the place need not burn to the ground. This 21st Century GOP needs a stake driven through its heart but giving them control to get there is crazy.

* (F^^k You I Got Mine)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Make Or Break Health Insurance Bill

If you think this blog is going to get used to call the Senate's pile of steaming crap something good, you need a box of rocks to improve your IQ. It reeks of stupidity and short-sightedness and corporate greed. If health insurance and more largely the health care industry is a vehicle running on four flats this thing amount to airing the tires back up, part way, and maybe patching one. At some point we're going to be back on the rims and grinding them off with the owners of air compressors refusing to let any more air get used. Yes it stinks - yes it needs to be passed.

The reason, and laugh at the we'll fix it rhetoric, is that the alternative is to leave the status quo in place until the wheels fall off and the suffering is sufficient to force the corporate hacks in Congress to do something. That would mean that somewhere approaching half the nation was dying or being bankrupted because only the rich and near rich could afford insurance. That might not be enough...really.

Even the reeking garbage that the Senate passed won't take effect immediately, it sits out there in the future. If you wait out the crash, those already screwed will suffer longer and their numbers will swell and there still is no guarantee. The mess this Congress has been capable of producing will have some palliative effect and guarantees its eventual failure but should demonstrate quite effectively what failure looks like without the long delay. Yes, the enriched groups will have more money for influence but their credence in the argument should be completely undercut.

The Senate is not going to cough up with much to fix the real problems. Some of the egregious junk like the Nelson vote buying will probably get some kind of repair but there is no real will in either the House or the Senate for methods that would affect the spiraling costs and monopolistic practices. Pass this thing because it is all you're going to get and because its built in flaws will force real correction - sometime real late in the game.

I won't bother calling my Rep because Greg Walden (R -OR 02) is as plutocratic and screw the regular guy as it gets... Yours might be a bit more amenable.

Israel to US - F*** You

While the Middle East veers around the edges of disaster our "friend" in the region counts on its lobby to keep a direct blow to Palestinian desires and US ideas of peace process from having any outcome. Israel is putting 1,600 new Jewish homes in East Jerusalem, land taken and occupied after the 1976 war.

There is no doubt that every nation has its own interests and will hew to them rather than another's in most cases. It is entirely reasonable and congruent with national sovereignty for a nation to look out for its own interests. Those interests can get pretty complicated when the region you live in is as unstable and possibly hazardous as the Middle East. It is a region of theocracy and military chest beating and a confusing and tangled history. Adding to all the nonsense of the area is the issue of being a virtual client state of the US.

For pretty serious economic and strategic reasons the US would like to see the area both stable and prosperous (somewhat more than a few "sultans"). The collision here would seem to be Israeli insistence that they should be free to claim land, on the simple basis of "we can." Such behavior runs directly counter to US efforts to get a peace process going and moving to some end that Palestinians can reasonably be held to. US interests in the Middle East are not Jewish - or should not be - but rather the fostering of forms of government we can exist with in some form of comfort. Judaism is not the interest of the US government, it is entirely meaningless in the construct of government in this country - but not politically. Given the politics of strengthening the hands of the mullahs in Iran knocking the snot out of peace between Israel and Palestinians ought to count for something.

In a part of the world where the primary support of a nation comes from outside non-Islamic white nations the default setting becomes Iran crazy if those other nations are not fair brokers. Whatever emotional connection Likud may have to East Jerusalem, it is conquered territory and conquered in recent memory. If the assertion is that due to force of arms Israel is permitted to behave in any manner it chooses, then the corollary must also be true - that countering force of arms is also as acceptable. This would mean that lacking, due to force of arms, a military that non-military tactics of force will be and must be utilized. To be sure, it is horrid to have buses full of civilians blown up, cafes shattered, or any of the other means taken by those with no military to fly bombs, shoot artillery, field infantry, and generally acceptably kill people and that is what you get.

We help fund the behavior of Israel, considerably fund that behavior. Our interests in the region are not served by that behavior. This would indicate that our money is being thrown away. It certainly is time to rethink the funding of behavior directly counter to US interests. It also will not happen. Theocracy is scarcely a dying business in the US.

No, announcing it during VP Joe Biden's visit will have no effect.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Media Jihad

Glenn Greenwald reviews the CNN "coverage" of Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol's attacks on the DOJ lawyers who were hired after representing Gitmo detainees. Somehow the lunatic rantings of the nepotism enhanced daughter of an ex-Vice President not only get national news attention but repeated as actual news.

It seems to be beyond some people's comprehension that it is the job of lawyers to represent clients, whether they are popular or not. It seems beyond some people's comprehension that accusations are not the same thing as guilt - whether the accusations involve shoplifting or terrorism. It seems that once the bogeyman of terror is involved - or maybe the 50's shades of Communism - reason is abandoned. It doesn't take a majority to engage in it, just a tipping point of numbers to enable lame weak idiots to repeat without cost garbage.

We seem to be there. Sad.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

How Many Days?

How many days did it take to put together the Bail Out of Bankers?

How many days since without some sort of Financial Reform?

Who OWNS the Senate?

So Long, Jon Swift

"B List Blogger" friend and excellent satirist Jon Swift has died. For about a year the last post has been a link to my own sad post "So Long My Boy" and the comments section was used by his mother to announce his death. Tom Watson adds some details.

Jon (Al) tossed this blog kudos from time to time and his approval meant a lot to me. I am sorry to lose this fellow blogger and I add my voice to the ones his family will hear - Thank you for giving us this man.

If this means something to you, please go over to Jon Swift and let his family know.