Thursday, August 19, 2010

Conservative Values

As his horrified wife looks on, Senator Vitter R-LA admits to infidelity before the cameras. He is perfectly comfortable as his wife is unbelievably humiliated, either by the fact Senator Vitter has been hiring hookers or by the fact that his particular twisted fetish involves hookers changing his diapers.

Senator Vitter is up for re-election this year, and it is unknown whether the Louisiana electorate share in Mrs. Vitter's shock, horror and humiliation so plainly visible on her face.

But that isn't all of the swaddled Senators problems. Another one is Brent Furer, one of the Republican Senator's aides. Seems Brent likes doing cocaine, getting liquored up and driving around, and terrorizing his girlfriend before stabbing her in the face. When he makes bail he goes back to DC where, as part of his portfolio, he works on women's issues.

When the Republican Senators' aide has to go to Louisiana for one of his numerous court appearances, the taxpayer picks up his travel expenses.

Senator David "Diaper" Vitter has drawn a primary opponent, a virtual paragon of nice, conservative family values sort of a guy, retired Republican State Supreme Court Justice Chet Taylor. In a demonstration of family love, Judge "Chester the Molester" has a samsonite marriage (shack-n-pack) with his own son's estranged wife.

Is it really possible to lose to these guys?


According to press reports, Operation Iraqi Liberation (OIL) ended with dramatic success:

Halliburton Co. said on Wednesday that it has gotten a letter of intent from Shell Iraq Petroleum Development BV that would make Halliburton the project manager for developing the Majnoon field in southern Iraq.

Halliburton said it wold be working with Nabors Drilling and the Iraq Drilling Company. The contract needs final approval by Iraqi authorities, Halliburton said.

Iraq reached a deal with Shell in January to develop the mammoth oil field, along with partner Petronas, Malaysia's state-run oil company. Shell and Petronas plan to raise production in the field from the current 45,900 barrels per day to 1.8 million barrels per day over 10 years.

Halliburton shares rose 9 cents to close at $28.79 on Wednesday.

And if President Obama's employee doesn't feel properly praised, he needs to re-read my headline. It's the best he's gonna get.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Ground Zero Muslim Mosque

I've given this a little thought and feel I have reached a compromise that will suit all parties involved. Perhaps instead of a full fledged Mosque, the developers might consider scaling it back a little bit. I suggest they scrap plans of the 8 story statue of Osama bin Laden flipping off lower Manhattan and even do away with the minarets as well.

Maybe they should make it more like a community center and just put in a prayer room somewhere. I think maybe they shouldn't build it on ground zero and move it a couple of miles away. I know of an old Burlington Coat Factory building available.

I sure hope this is helpful and we can get back to the very real problem of jobs and the economy, instead of telling a bunch of swarthy mid-easterners to get in the back of the bus.

Boehner The Environmentalist

The Tan Man Cares
Replacing Divots For 18 Years

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Maureen Dowd Punches Hippies

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd supports White House press secretary Robert Gibbs broadside against the "professional left." But, she thinks he should be removed from that position because:
He’s often unresponsive and sometimes hostile to the press. His adversarial barking has only heightened tensions with a press that was once lampooned for fawning over his boss.
Wow. Modo finds it perfectly reasonable for Gibbs to say the professional left should be drug tested, but lack of press comity is sufficient to bounce him from behind the podium. He need not respect the wishes of the activists that supported and worked to put his boss in office, but the MoDo's of the world prance around in their Manolo Blahnik's while doing Cartman impersonations.

Modo compares and contrasts the way the two parties deal with their fringe elements and sympathizes with the "asymmetry at the heart of American politics," noting how Republicans pander to their supporters yet Democrats do not.
Fox built up a Republican president; MSNBC is trying to make its reputation by tearing down a Democratic one.
One network advocates blind fealty while the other seeks good policy for the benefit of Americans. One network is symbiotic to the authoritarian cultist tribalism of the ruling caste and low-information fan base and the other calls out political leaders who fail to deliver on campaign promises.

Modo sprinkles in plenty of words like "crazies" and "ideologues" and "radicals" throughout her column drawing false equivalencies on the right and left, leaving a nice comfy reasonable centerness equidistance from the fringes. This is where the Modo's of the world feel good legislation and punditry occur.

But that place is not where the middle exists.

The fringes of the right are populated with names like Newt and Rush and David Fucking Brooks and Palin and Bachman. Folks whose rolodexes are full of reporters phone numbers and booking agents who also have their numbers as well.

I can't think of one left-wing fringe politician who resigned in disgrace and has not held elected office in over a decade and gets booked on teevee shows as often as serial himbo Newt Gingrich.
Whenever someone like MoDo pens a column like this, the impression is made that the left is rigid and demanding and are unwilling to compromise to reach the sensible center. She puts it like this:
Obama and Gibbs are upset that the lefties won’t recognize the necessity of compromise. The left is snapping back: What necessity? You won 365 electoral votes. You have both houses of Congress. And bipartisanship is an illusion.
Well, liberals are not bullies or feel the need to be dictatorial. But to the larger point of compromise--this suggests a trade--a give and get. The left is absolutely correct in being annoyed that we worked our asses of to get these majorities only to see policies weakened radically for no discernible benefit whatsoever. Then MoDo slips in this one:
Some liberals, like the president, felt he could live without the public option, whereas lefties thought the public option was essential.
The public option is a sore spot without a doubt. For some reason, the MoDo's of the world are convinced it is strictly a fringe lefty Quixotic charge. Even though it was wildly popular with everyone--and the left thought it would be a good thing to enact policy that polled in the high 60s and low 70s--the fringe left "won't recognize the necessity of compromise."

The DFH furiously whipped the House and Senate--pledges were signed and oaths were taken to support the public option. Hey, in a fair fight, liberals don't mind a black eye. Punching hippies is a national sport enjoyed by pols and pundits alike. But this wasn't a fair fight. We were told for months and months by political reporters that the votes weren't there for the public option in the Senate.

So, where was the upperdown vote on the public option? The administration sacrificed it in a backroom deal with AHIP, the lobbying group for the health insurance industry before the first vote was cast. The same thing was done for big Pharma and drug reimportation from Canada or Medicare negotiating for bulk prescription buys.

Maybe to the MoDo's of the world, this falls under the category of compromise. So what did the Obama administration get for slaughtering the public option in a backroom altar to corporate special interest lobbyists? Campaign contributions directed to Democrats with pledges and oaths not to support Republicans.

The disillusionment of the left does not come from reasonable compromise but from a candidate who campaigned against powerful special interests cutting secret backroom deals getting elected and cutting secret backroom deals with powerful special interests.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

The 2010 Elections

All things point to Democrats losing seats in the mid-terms. The only question is how many seats? The 2006 and 2008 elections were massive blowouts with Democrats first taking the House and then winning a super-majority in the Senate. To be fair to Senate leader Reid, D-NV, the 60 vote majority was brief and sporadic, what with the illnesses of Kennedy and Byrd.

The 2006 and 2008 elections were the result of a long wind-up of the left-wing. Many organizers were furious with the selection of W by the Supreme Court and never got over it. Count me among them. Networks were created, rallies were formed and voter registration drives were manned and carried out.

It was during this time, W's second term, that I decided to do my small part. I set a goal of registering 3 people and making sure they voted. I tripled that and felt good about it as we took back the House.

And Pelosi took impeachment off the table.

I stayed in the fight anyway and phone banked, and continued to recruit voters. Mostly I targeted apathetic voters and encouraged them to return to the polls to support worthy Democrats.

This happened millions of times across America and resulted in a massive defeat of Republicans across the board.

But then something happened. For some reason those elections were interpreted as wanting moderately Republican legislation that the Republicans were not in favor of supporting. Legislation could not be more liberal than the most conservative Democrat in the most conservative district in the country.

In other words, all the hard work the Democratic base had put in for all those years was merely to protect the most corporate friendly Democrats--even those we took great pains to eliminate--like Joe Lieberman.

I can point to two unqualified liberal legislative acts signed into law by President Obama; The Equal Pay Act, aka the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the Hate Crimes Bill, aka the Matthew Shepard Act.

At his point, I'm wondering, is this it? Is this the best we can hope for? All of our hard work and we get health insurance reform that just guarantees more customers for wretched health insurance companies subsidized by tax dollars? No public option or expanded Medicare, or drug re-importation?

Financial regulatory reform that is thin milk, headed up by Chris Dodd, D-CT, who is retiring this year and trying to feather his bed at some financial institution?

Lobbyists are still writing our legislation. All we did was shuffle some names around at the K-Street hand-out line.

No doubt things would be far worse with a Republican Senate, a Republican House and a (shudder) McCain-Palin administration. That isn't even the point. The point is a lot of people really worked their asses off to get corporate friendly legislation that is viewed tepidly by most of the voters and hated by all right-wingers.

This is what they call "the enthusiasm gap."

Why should I take my time to recruit voters, phone bank, precinct walk, rally and network? What shall be my battle cry, "We Suck Less?"

Oh, I'll vote and even donate to very carefully selected candidates, like I did with Bill Halter, the one candidate running for US Senate in Arkansas who might have had a chance in November. Obama and Bill Clinton and the entire incumbency protection racket threw everything they had behind the corporate friendly Blanche Lincoln, D-WalMart.

Blanche supported the Employee Free Choice Act when the Dems were in the minority, but when the Dems were in the majority and it could actually pass, well, she couldn't support it anymore. She was in favor of the public option until it could pass, then she was against it.

The Obama administration laughed in my face when Blanche beat Halter and told me I wasted my time and flushed my money down the toilet. Now, Arkansas Democrats are deeply divided, it's Blanche's numbers that are in the toilet and the rightwing are a cohesive voting block.

See, no matter how much leg you show Republicans, they're just not that into you.

And now, I'm not either.


I've been seeing stuff on the interwebs, a series of tubes, about Journolist and did a Google to find out about it. Apparently, it was a group email list, called a listserv, where like-minded individuals could discuss events of the day. The group, by rule, was composed of center-to center-left people on the political spectrum and included some actual journalists as well as bloggers, people of academia etc.

I certainly cannot take any such list very serious. First of all, I was not on it and as a stalwart and foundational thinker of progressive thought such an oversight would clearly have rendered such an organization rudderless.

What is totally hilarious about this issue is the Gestaltian reaction from the right-wingers. This proves, to them, that the liberal media is coordinating their message to crush conservatives. Tucker Carlson and other conservatives have posted many emails as proof that liberals are secretly trying to influence the media.

Why the liberal media would need to be convinced by a secret media listserv is not entirely clear. And the words "liberal" and "coordinate" should not even be used in the same day, much less in the same sentence. None of this however, fits in with the victimization of wealthy white conservatives or their carefully culled base of victims of tax collectors for the welfare state.

But seriously, does a left-wing cabal of journolisters actually pull the levers of power? Well, with virtual unanimity the left-wing has been screaming at the Obama administration to appoint Elizabeth Warren to the Consumer Protection Agency, part of the recent lukewarm financial overhaul legislation, and have been met with the sound of crickets.

Yet, the entire right-wing wurlitzer engorged themselves on a big steaming pile of Brietbart, aka, the carcass of Shirley Sherrod, and she gets fired in fifteen minutes.

How stupid can these people get?