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Damn The Hoot-Smalley Democrat Party.

byronius, 2009/04/29 

Talking Points Memo

Make no mistake: When it comes to economics, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) knows her history — even if that history is from another planet.

On Monday night, our friends at Dump Bachmann reported, Bachmann took to the House floor and paid tribute to the economic policies of Calvin Coolidge and the “Roaring 20s” (the era that ended with a massive monetary contraction and the Great Depression). One particular line really does stand out, though — saying Franklin Roosevelt turned a recession into a depression through the “Hoot-Smalley” tariffs.

Here’s what really happened: When Franklin Roosevelt took office, unemployment was already about 25%. And the tariff referred to here was actually the Smoot-Hawley bill, co-authored by Republicans Sen. Reed Smoot of Utah and Rep. Willis Hawley of Oregon, and signed into law by President Herbert Hoover.

Interestingly, this speech also happened on the same day as when Bachmann connected the 1970s swine flu outbreak to Democrat Jimmy Carter being president, even though it was actually Gerald Ford in office at the time.

Palin/Bachman ’08!

Planet My Love

Max,  

Planet my love
I know that we’re dying
your rivers run empty
my air fades away

our children retreat
into your deepest havens
your surface lies barren
‘neath the sun’s deadly rays

the pain fills my heart
this sorrow I feel
the dread separation
this grief is too real

but I can’t regret
the moment I found you
the joy of our union
in eternity bound

fairness, beauty, compassion
province of good mortal beings
the universe cares not for its children
who wait for its pityless sting

but we made a gift unto heaven
our love, precious and free
as we fade to oblivion
love is our victory

Planet my love
I join you in dying
there’s no greater glory
than to share our last day

So let us embrace
as we walk through this door
though our time here is over
our love will yet live… forevermore

Spectral Lines

Demonweed, 2009/04/28 

I slept far later than planned today, but happily enough my first coherent though after getting out of bed was “that’s awesome!” Seconds after flipping on the TV, I was informed about Sen. Arlen Specter’s decision to join the Democrats. I have long argued that the absurdity, the utter disregard for fact or reason, driving Republican words and deeds in this century would come back to haunt them. Surely some among them must be proper grown-ups who would rather engage with reality than subsist on a diet of slander and hatred.

Yet with a little more calm reflection I see two sides to this tale. Sen. Specter was the fellow on point during the charge to brand Anita Hill as some sort of publicity seeker or political hack when she, with obvious reluctance and shame, publicly disclosed what a vulgar pig soon-to-be-Justice Clarence Thomas was. The nation got an education in the harms caused by sexual harassment in the workplace, but (in no small part due to Specter’s effective acts of partisanship) we also got a Supreme Court Justice deeply fascinated by the workings of modern dishwashing machines yet apparently lacking curiosity in nine of ten Constitutional issues argued before his bench.

The exodus of responsible adults from what has become the party of temper tantrums is happening, but ever so slowly. No doubt the imbalance of registered Democrats to Republicans in Pennsylvania was influential in this particular decision. Even with that electoral consideration, the switch was hardly trumpeted with admiration for the agenda of the Democrats. Most of today’s Republican criticism (as with most of this century’s) is pure hogwash. Yet the point that this may have been calculated to serve Sen. Specter’s own desire to be re-elected seems credible. After all, if the driving force was the contrast between responsible serious governance and childish ignorant poo-flinging, there are more than a few sensible moderates on Capitol Hill who would be more at home on the D- side of the aisle.

So on the one hand, it make me happy to think that there is at least one major public official who joins this nation in our collective movement away from false warmongering, financial industry anarchy, environmental degredation, and generally giving the shaft to the 95% of Americans engineered down to less than 50% of the nation’s wealth. Arlen Specter’s experience and connections will make him a useful ally to Senatorial Democrats, and the example he sets (hopefully) will spark other transitions in state and federal government.

On the other hand, what should be a tide seems more like a trickle today. I realize the hypocrisy of calling people stupid while bemoaning attack politics from the American right wing, but really, what the fuck is up with the rest of the Republican Party? I’ll give my Representative a pass since it seems like he just bought his first razor last week, but many other Republicans trade on their image as solid responsible citizens — voices of elder wisdom even! How could anyone trying even a little bit to achieve civic responsibility retain any affiliation with a group as unmistakably pernicious and hypocritical as this Republican party that cannot say “yes” to anything more noble than systematically torturing unarmed captives?

“Just Some Bad Legal Advice”.

byronius,  

John McCain is a mealy-mouthed liar. John McCain is an immoral ass-covering shithead. John McCain would have been the second worse president in US history.

“Turn the page.” “Let it go.” Hear those screams of human anguish and despair echoing down those concrete halls? See the blood pooling in the corners? Just a little bad legal advice, that’s all, according to asswipe John McCain. Let it go, useless human John McCain says.

At least he probably wouldn’t have watched the tapes for entertainment — a bit uncomfortable, since he’s heard those screams before, from friends in the next room.

He’d have sent them over to Sarah Palin. She LOVES that kind of shit.

Slightly less than half of us are fricking devoted to plunging the world into end-times darkness. Can the rest of us haul their heavy sociopathic asses into the future?

Stay tuned.

What to expect from Swine Flu

Max,  

The NY Times has a somewhat terrifying but fairly sober post up on potential historical analogs to Swine Flu. An excerpt:

Influenza pandemics have occurred as far back in history as we can look, but the four we know about in detail happened in 1889, 1918, 1957 and 1968. The mildest of these, the so-called Hong Kong flu in 1968, killed about 35,000 people in the United States and 700,000 worldwide. Ordinary seasonal influenza, in comparison, now kills 36,000 Americans a year, because the population has a higher proportion of elderly people and others with weak immune systems. (If a virus like the Hong Kong flu hit today, it would probably kill more people for the same reason.)

The worst influenza pandemic, in 1918, killed 675,000 in the United States. And although no one has a reliable worldwide death toll, the lowest reasonable number is about 35 million, and some scientists believe it killed as many as 100 million — at a time when the world’s population was only a quarter of what it is today. The dead included not only the elderly and infants but also robust young adults.

The article in full.

Or, you can read what the crazies think.

Kufra.

byronius, 2009/04/27 

Delah?

“Never go full retard.”

Drink a gallon of white wine in Boulder Park and see god.

Jumbly knows what I mean.

Banana Republicans.

byronius,  

Top Ten Conservative Idiots

#2: Banana Republicans

At least the GOP’s talking points machine is still running full steam ahead. Check out this parade of hapless torture apology from the past seven days:

“Well, we shouldn’t criminalize legal advice … It makes us look … like a banana republic, where each succeeding administration looks backwards.” — Radio host Bill Cunningham, April 21

“What the Obama administration has done in the last several days is very dangerous. What they’ve essentially said is, if we have policy disagreements with our predecessors, what we’re going to do is we’re going to turn ourselves into the moral equivalent of a Latin American country run by colonels in mirrored sunglasses, and what we’re gonna do is prosecute systematically the previous administration or threaten prosecutions against the previous administration based on policy differences.” — Karl Rove, April 21

“All I hear is a bunch of mealy-mouthed complaining about how this prosecution threat is unprecedented and we don’t need to investigate past administrations like they do in, you know, these Third World, you know, dictatorships, which by the way, is a great point.” — Sean Hannity, April 22

“If there is evidence of criminality, then the Attorney General has the full authority and should prosecute it. But going after the prior administration sounds like something they do in Latin America in banana republics.” — Sen. Arlen Specter, April 22

“In banana republics, this week’s president for life takes over, and he decides that all the fellows that supported last week’s president for life are now criminals, and he prosecutes them. And that’s what — that’s what the Obama administration has done.” — Radio host Mark Steyn, April 23

“Your principles as the president of the United States needs to be, we don’t make ourselves into a banana republic.” — Glenn Beck, April 23

“This whole thing about punishing people in past administrations reminds me more of a banana republic than the United States of America.” — Sen. Kit Bond, April 23

“It adds fuel to the fire for demands for criminalizing the legal advice that the president was given. We set that kind of precedent, we’re no better than a banana republic.” — Sen. John McCain, April 24

So let me get this straight… if we torture prisoners, we’re living in a shining city on a hill.

But if we investigate and prosecute those responsible for torture, we’re living in a banana republic.

No wonder people have stopped taking Republicans seriously.

One of the best Top Ten Ever. #1, ‘The Party Of Torture’, is well worth a read.

Croatian Backwoods Supernova Redux.

byronius, 2009/04/24 

teslatic wall-walker swinging that hammer
so with the young R.S. scrubbing huge grease pans
locked in the walk in
melanie sneered him off
mean old man hates his pickles
a moment of justice.
later in the cinder-block
he knows he’s lost everything
especially her
black eye from the carnival
broken heart from the drive-in
and now — a visit from his lovely father
‘leave the campus’ says the pink grizly
‘you don’t BELONG.’
he cries but he’s been crying for a long time
and he’s almost all cried out now
seventy two hours
six pizzas and a case of jolt
a two-by-four across the steel door to the boiler well
where he was sentenced to serve
a civil-war doctor and the old hippie-lady
he codes for O.Z.’s black box
and when he staggers out into the light of day
he is a Tired God.

Don’t Mess With Texas.

byronius, 2009/04/23 

Just donate to help build The Wall That Will Protect Us All.

Full Disclosure: I was born in Bryan, Texas. My daddy was a Texas Aggie. I love the geography, and some of the people are nice, and there’s great Mexican food there. But we all have to let things go sometimes. It helps that I once drove through the Panhandle on a road trip, and got the full dose of Small Town Sheriff shoved down my Dirty Fucking Hippie throat.

Goodbye. sniff.

Best torture commentary yet

Max,  

From Arianna at HuffPo:

This is a defining moment for America.

The way we respond — or fail to respond — to the revelations about the Bush administration’s use of torture will delineate — for ourselves and for the world — the kind of country we are.

It is a test of our courage and our convictions. A test of whether we are indeed a nation of laws — or a nation that pays lip service to the notion of being a nation of laws.

And everyone engaged in our public conversation has a role to play.

So far, the media are not getting high marks. They can’t seem to shake their addiction to looking at every issue — even one that pivots on questions of morality, not politics — through the archaic prism of right vs. left.

Read the rest

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