Saturday, June 28, 2014

Base Jumping (Slow Motion)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Words Of Wisdom From Sarah Palin

Taken from Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods (h/t, Charlie Pierce, Esquire) on Fox News, lamenting Sen. Thad Cochran's win in the Mississippi Republican primary over neoconfederate Chris McDaniel:
"We're going to be a bankrupt, fundamentally transformed country unless those who know what they're doing, and aren't going along just to get along with those in power, it being today the Democrats."
Well, you can't argue with that. Or as Charlie says, "The language of Shakespeare, ladies and gentlemen."

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ted Cruz (ex-Canadian)

Click here for a nine-page article in The New Yorker by Jeffrey Toobin entitled "The Absolutist." Elias Isquith of Salon's comment on the article: "The clear takeaway: All that red meat he throws to the GOP base? He means every word."

Cruz was outstanding on debate teams at Princeton and Harvard, and soon became one of the best appellate lawyers in Texas. The skills of an appellate lawyer are different from those of a trial lawyer, who must constantly be open to negotiations and plea bargains. At the appellate level, there is no room left for bargaining: All that is left is to state your case in the strongest, most effective way possible. That appellate-level approach carries over to his politics. He does not negotiate. He is inflexible. It must be his way, all or nothing.

Here (in bold) are the subheadings in Isquith's Salon article:

He thinks Republican presidential candidates lose because they’re insufficiently right-wing.
“It is amazing that the wisdom of the chattering class to the Republicans is always, always, always ‘Surrender your principles and agree with the Democrats,’” he told me. “That’s been true for my entire lifetime. The chattering classes have consistently said, ‘You crazy Republicans have to give up on what you believe and become more like Democrats.’ And, I would note, every time Republicans do that we lose.”
He thinks last year’s government shutdown went just swell.
“Many voices in Washington say the fight that we had last fall was not successful,” Cruz told me. “Like any good litigator, at times you think of a battle as a long-term battle. You don’t always accomplish everything in the first skirmish. As a consequence of millions of people last summer and fall getting engaged in that battle, I believe we dramatically elevated the national debate over the harms of Obamacare. And today Democrats are running scared, and the prevailing wisdom is Republicans are quite likely to win control of the Senate because of Obamacare.”
He was nurtured by the conservative movement from a young age.
When Cruz was in his early teens, in Houston, his parents enrolled him in an after-school program run by Rolland Storey, a retired energy executive who wanted to instill the values of the free market in young people. At the Free Enterprise Institute, Storey had his young charges read Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, and other authors revered by conservatives, and then give speeches at Rotary Clubs and similar venues around the state.
“Ted was just an amazing speaker at fourteen, by far the most impressive student we ever had,” Winston Elliott III, who became affiliated with Storey’s organization when Cruz was a student and now serves as its president, told me.
When he was young, his father, Rafael — a pastor and Cuban √©migr√© — would warn him that then-President Jimmy Carter was like Fidel Castro.
“It all started for us in 1980, when Ted was nine years old,” Rafael Cruz told me. “I was involved with a group called the Religious Roundtable, which was working with the Moral Majority to help mobilize Christians to elect Ronald Reagan. All during that year, we talked every night about how important it was to get rid of this socialist-leftist President Carter and replace him with a constitutional conservative, Ronald Reagan. I must have told Ted a dozen times, ‘When I was in Cuba and they took away our freedoms, I had a place to go. If we lose our freedoms here, where are we going to go?’”
He adores the Federalist Society, a group of conservatives dedicated toward promoting a strongly conservative reading of the Constitution, and considers it his “home."
Founded in 1982, the society is a forum for discussion of conservative legal ideas. It takes no formal positions on issues, and members don’t agree with each other on every topic, but it has long operated as the network for potential Republican judicial nominees and executive-branch officials. In practice, the Federalist approach has meant an “originalist” view of the Constitution, which, in turn, reflects the priorities of the modern Republican Party—including an expansive view of an individual’s right to bear arms under the Second Amendment, a rejection of constitutional protections for a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion, a porous barrier between church and state, and a narrow conception of the power of the federal government to intervene in the economy.
Apparently he's not a charlatan pandering to the rubes: He's the real deal. Scary thought.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Both Sides Do It -- NOT!

Click here for an article in the National Journal by the estimable Norm Ornstein entitled Setting the Record Straight on a Polarizing Debate." According to Wikipedia, Ornstein is "a political scientist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a [conservative] Washington D.C. think tank. He was the co-writer (along with Thomas E. Mann) of It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided With the New Politics of Extremism." Here's a quote from that article in "Both Sides Are Not To Blame" at Taegan Goddard's Political Wire:
"Does it matter whether the polarization, and the deep dysfunction that follows from it, is equal or not, including to the average voter? The answer is a resounding yes. If bad behavior--using the nation's full faith and credit as a hostage to political demands, shutting down the government, attempting to undermine policies that have been lawfully enacted, blocking nominees not on the basis of their qualifications but to nullify the policies they would pursue, using filibusters as weapons of mass obstruction--is to be discouraged or abandoned, those who engage in it have to be held accountable.
"Saying both sides are equally responsible, insisting on equivalence as the mantra of mainstream journalism, leaves the average voter at sea, unable to identify and vote against those perpetrating the problem."
Here's neocon cheerleader Ron Fournier's take on the "both sides" situation:
“This is my fundamental disagreement with partisan journalists and political scientists who dedicate their careers to measuring increments of fault—the GOP’s share of blame is 20 percent or 60 percent or 80 percent. Who cares? Not the average voter who merely wants her leaders to work together and get results.”
Ornstein gives an illustrative citation from a Pew Research Center survey:
82 percent of consistent liberals say they believe in compromise, compared with 32 percent of consistent conservatives.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

More Music: Time Of Your Life (Green Day)

The only time I ever heard this song (I'm not a radio guy) was on the finale of Seinfeld, with its joyful montage of shots celebrating the highlights of the series. I didn't realize the Green Day song was about a breakup, and the true title is Good Riddance:

Go Your Own Way!

According to Dr. J at Daily Kos, Fleetwood Mac's "Go Your Own Way" was written by Lindsey Buckingham and about the breakup of his relationship with Stevie Nicks: "It's interesting to watch the looks both shoot at each other when this is performed in concert."

You can understand the emotion they're putting into it.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

An Iraq War Refresher

Well, the neocons who engineered the Iraq disaster are all over the media; John McCain is claiming that the Bush team won the war and Obama lost it. He's advising Obama to ditch his entire foreign affairs team and replace them with "people who know how to win" (I guess he means Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wofowitz, Feith, and the rest of W's insane clown posse.)

Click here for a link to 10 Lessons from Bush's Fiasco in Iraq by John Perr at Daily Kos.

Cantor's Resignation (The Onion)

The following article, entitled "Resigning House Leader Cantor Reflects On All The Accomplishments He Thwarted," is from The Onion:

WASHINGTON—Looking back on his 13-year tenure in the House of Representatives with reverence, resigning House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) reflected on the long list of accomplishments he had thwarted during his time in office, sources confirmed Thursday. “From obstructing a jobs bill to put Americans back to work in 2011, to derailing gun control measures any time they reached my desk, I feel blessed to have had such an incredible run of preventing productive policies, and even a few pieces of landmark legislation, from ever passing,” said Cantor, explaining that as a young man, he “never would have dreamed” that some day he would be in a position to hinder the entire American lawmaking process and completely neuter dozens of bills. “Of course, I’m disappointed because I thought I had many more years of impeding accomplishments ahead of me, and I’ll be the first to admit that I never quite managed to stall environmental policies as much as I would have liked. But at the end of the day, I’m very proud of how I helped Congress accomplish so little during my time in office.” Cantor added that he took solace that his legacy of hampering federal policy was secure, and trusted that “many, many more” in his party would be inspired to follow in his footsteps.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Send Text Messages For Free

Click here for a link to a post from Bob Rankin,

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

"Deserter Storm" - Stewart Kills Fox

Stewart hits it out of the park with this devastating takedown of Fox's savage attack on returned POW Bowe Bergdahl and his father. (I thought the Jiminy Cricket portion was uncalled for, but ...)

Jon Stewart 060914 by lookatmyshirt

I don't know who to credit with this -- Crooks & Liars? -- but I saw someone who said that Fox's approach was "Let's not jump to conclusions; let's wait until all of the facts are distorted."

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Canonization Of St. Ronald Of Reagan

The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project was hatched in the spring of 1997 and launched by Grover Norquist's merry band of conservative radicals. Click here for the story.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Joseph Stiglitz With Bill Moyers: Fair Taxes

Bobby Kennedy On The Importance Of GDP

"Gross National Product - if we judge the United States of America by that - that Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage.

It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for the people who break them. It counts the destruction of the redwood and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl.

It counts napalm and counts nuclear warheads and armored cars for the police to fight the riots in our cities. It counts Whitman's rifle and Speck's knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.

Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials.

It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

And it can tell us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans."