Thursday, March 5, 2009

Harvey in hell

Kiss My 83 Year Old Ass

The election is over.  Barack Obama is now President Obama and  Bush has slithered back to Texas where I am sure he will drink himself into obscurity.  Palin seems to have been successfully de-clawed for now.  I have sworn off Rush Limbaugh and The View, and Fox News was never really an option for me.  So… now what do I do?  I think I might read a few of  that big-footed Ann Coulter's books and then point my "guns" at her scrawny ass.   She bugs me almost as much as Palin so this could be fun.

But until then, I would like to comment on that Ass Hat who has been posting as Anonymous:

"And where were YOU the past 8 years? Only ready to go because a Democrat is POTUS? Reading through this blog, the "verbal vomiting" that is used towards anyone that has dared to disagree is astonishing. The attacks on Republican politicians, pundits, or anyone that dares think differently are shameful. How hypocritical."

The better question is where were you?  Let me tell you where I was.  I was in shock that we had a President saying "I am the decider"  like some toddler upset that his parents told him no more candy. We were turning a blind eye to torture. The President's answer to everything was war.  We celebrated lower taxes while ignoring the massive debt that was building.  It was as if common sense had disappeared entirely from the White House.   For God's sakes at one point Cheney claimed the Vice President wasn't a part of the executive branch nor was it part of the legislative or judicial branches.  Bush's entire Presidency was an utter failure and at times the nation held him in lower esteem than it did Nixon during his resignation.

So Anonymous, if we didn't have anything good to say these last eight years it is because there was nothing good to say during these last 8 years.  Nothing.

And if you don't like what I have to say then you can kiss my 83 year old ass because on this blog I am the decider. I mean it. Really.

Just say no

Beware: The spawn of 'Harry and Louise' wish to eat your brain

They -- those insidious, shape-shifting, ubiquitous "they" -- are back, rested up, freshly boodled, and rearin' to go.

One would think they'd be too embarrassed; that some communal, perhaps even atavistic strain of human decency would, by now, have bubbled up from within and throttled their antisocial urges. But shame, and shamelessness, seem immune to their peculiar form of genetic drift.

Who else could I mean but America's shallowest couple, Harry and Louise -- or in today's case, their extended family, already appearing on radios and televisions dangerously proximate to their fellow citizenry.

This time around the heath-care anti-universalists have hatched themselves as "Conservatives for Patients Rights." That may be an admirable improvement over "Harry and Louise" in self-identification, but, at the rate conservatism's image is nose-diving, they may need to wage an emergency follow-up campaign entitled, "Patience for Conservatives' Rights."

America has just about had its fill of these yahoos, although the latter do get points for perseverance. And yesterday that perseverance began anew, with CPR (cute, huh?) launching a three-week, $20 million propaganda blitzkrieg aimed at agitating the terminally bamboozleable "in opposition to" -- here it comes -- "government-run coverage," as the Politico reports.

Ah, if only all health care in America indeed worked as a plodding, socialistic monster, such as Medicare, which operates at a mere 10 percent of the administrative cost of private insurers. But, says the palpitating CPR family, let's do remain mired instead in that fictitious model of efficiency, the private system, where winners earn regular bodily maintenance if not resuscitation and Rick Santelli's "losers" are just S.O.L.

Richard Scott -- CPR's Big Daddy, obscenely wealthy investor, GOP bankroller and disgraced former "head of what became known as Columbia/HCA after fraud charges against the massive healthcare company in 1997" (oops, there's some of that private efficiency, to the tune of an $880 million settlement with Justice) -- intones that "If we have more government involvement we're going to have dramatically worse health care."

For about 50 million Americans, even dramatically worse health care would of course be a dramatic improvement over no health care. But let's go beyond the too-familiar mumbo-jumbo scare tactics and take a peek at how Mr. Scott proposes to improve what, as a fluent system of private care, should not, according to any Hoyle of an Adam Smithian bent, require any improvement:

"[He] is pushing for four principles to any health care reform package: individual choice, competition between carriers, giving patients' ownership over their own coverage and rewarding those who make healthy lifestyle choices."

Do I hear a yawn -- a massive, nationwide yawn of, Same old, same old? Of, What about the nearly 50 million uninsured? Of, What about the (Hobson's) choice and (laughably ineffective) competition and (increasingly unaffordable) ownership that already exist? Of, Healthy lifestyles my butt, for people who can no longer afford even a brief health consultation? And what -- no tax credits? You know, for maybe the unemployed, who live for nothing but clever accounting advantages?

Sorry, Mr. Scott, your proposal is making me sick -- and I can't afford to get sick, because I'm one of the 50 million.

Christian salt, a wingnut alternative to Kosher salt

Doran sez, "A retired barber named Joe Godlewski wasn't happy with all that 'Kosher salt' TV chefs use, so he's selling sea salt, blessed by an Episcopalian priest and marketing it as 'Christian Salt'. Of course, most chefs use Kosher salt because of its properties, and not because of any blessing which may have been given by a rabbi."

Oh, sure, but what if you're not an Episcopalian? What about Mormons, Baptists, Catholics and Scientologists? Where's their salt?

Christian salt seller hopes to shake up market

"Apologize to Rush


Who You Calling Socialist?

"We are all socialists now," proclaims Newsweek. We are creating "socialist republics" in the United States, says Mike Huckabee, adding, on reflection, that "Lenin and Stalin would love this stuff." We are witnessing the Obama-era phenomenon of "European socialism transplanted to Washington," says Newt Gingrich.
Well! Even as we all turn red, I've still encountered just two avowed democratic socialists in my daily rounds through the nation's capital: Vermont's Sen. Bernie Sanders . . . and the guy I see in the mirror when I shave. Bernie is quite capable of speaking for himself, so what follows is a report on the state of actual existing socialism from the other half of the D.C. Senators and Columnists Soviet.

First, as we survey the political landscape, what's striking is the absence of advocates of socialism, at least as the term was understood by those who carried that banner during the capitalist crisis of the 1930s. Then, socialists and communists both spoke of nationalizing all major industries and abolishing private markets and the wage system. Today, it's impossible to find a left-leaning party anywhere that has such demands or entertains such fantasies. (Not even Hugo Chávez -- more an authoritarian populist than any kind of socialist -- says such things.)

"Swinging for the Fences": The Major League Moment In American Politics

Best Anti-Pot ad ever

Everybody must get stoned

A new plan to legalize marijuana in California would create a $1 billion tokin' tax and thousands of green jobs. Now that's a stimulus plan!

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Pot smoker

Can Californians help dig themselves out of their historic fiscal crisis by getting high? Tom Ammiano thinks so, and he isn't smoking a thing.

On Feb. 23, the California State Assembly member introduced legislation that would regulate the cultivation and sale of marijuana, and then tax it. By legalizing pot, the San Francisco lawmaker argues, the state could reap huge new revenues. Currently pot is California's biggest cash crop, with annual sales reaching $14 billion. Vegetables, the state's second hottest agricultural product, take in a mere $5.7 billion. And California's famous grapes? A piddling $2.6 billion.

If passed, the Marijuana Control, Regulation and Education Act would give California control of pot in a manner similar to alcohol, while prohibiting its purchase to citizens under age 21. The state's tax collectors estimate the measure would bring in about $1.3 billion in new revenues a year.

Ammiano, a former schoolteacher and stand-up comedian, has been one of the most famous activists and politicians in San Francisco for decades. In the late '70s, he jump-started the movement against the Briggs Initiative, which would have banned gay teachers in California (he appeared as himself in the film "Milk"), served on the San Francisco Board of Education, and later was president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Salon recently spoke to him about why he thinks making pot legit would have California smiling.

Why legalize marijuana in California now?

There's gold in them thar hills! We have one of the worst budget situations we've ever had, and it's a $14 billion industry that's not going away. Everybody knows this and nobody has wanted to go after it. I, frankly, think the time has come.

Even if California did regulate and tax selling marijuana, wouldn't it still be illegal at the federal level?

Federal law preempts a lot of things we've done in California, anyway -- domestic partners, gay marriage, the medical use of marijuana. Certainly the Obama administration has been telegraphing they'd like to revisit the failed war on drugs. New Attorney General Eric Holder just issued an edict: No more raids on medical marijuana dispensers. And, man, if that doesn't reinforce what I have been saying, I don't know what does. Of course, everyone likes to be in the position of saying, "See, I told you I was right."

In many ways, it's common sense. You have drug cartels growing marijuana in our national parks. It's no more the hippie-dippy guy or woman in Humboldt. This is organized crime with no morality and no value of human life. Look at the money you would save in law enforcement by regulating marijuana, decriminalizing it and putting those resources into serious crimes. The black market and the street sales would decline. Pumping $1 billion into our economy is going to provide a lot of green jobs. No pun intended. Obama seems to be a bright-enough guy to realize that.

Hazelwood offers 'heartfelt apology' for oil spill

20TH ANNIVERSARY: Captain of Exxon Valdez included in book.

Click to enlargeJoe Hazelwood, captain of the doomed oil tanker Exxon Valdez, is offering "a very heartfelt apology" to Alaskans for the disastrous 1989 oil spill in Prince William Sound.

The apology comes at the end of a new, 288-page book commemorating the 20th anniversary of the spill.

The book features 62 "personal stories" from people involved with the spill, from people aboard the tanker to Alaska politicians to cleanup workers to U.S. Coast Guard officers to reporters who covered one of the state's biggest stories.

The piece de resistance is an interview with Hazelwood, a largely reclusive figure since the shipwreck that sank his career as a tanker captain.

Sharon Bushell, a Homer writer known for collecting oral histories, traveled to New York City in February 2008 to record the Hazelwood interview after he agreed to take part in the book project, said Stan Jones, spokesman for the Valdez-based oil industry watchdog group that commissioned the book.

In "The Spill: Personal Stories from the Exxon Valdez Disaster," Hazelwood says he now works as an investigator and technical consultant with a maritime law firm in New York.

He doesn't say much about the actual grounding, which occurred just after midnight on March 24, 1989.

The day before, he begins, he and the chief engineer left the docked ship and went into the town of Valdez on some business. On Hazelwood's list was ordering some Easter flowers for his daughter.

"After lunch, we had a couple of drinks," Hazelwood says.

Following the wreck on Bligh Reef, several miles outside the port of Valdez, Hazelwood tells of how he refused to speak with National Transportation Safety Board investigators.

And how, after returning home to New York, he found his house mobbed with reporters.

And how, after a long court fight, he beat all but one criminal charge -- negligent discharge of oil. He would be sentenced to community service in Anchorage.

The T-Mobile Dance

The Making of...

The Next Time a Right Winger Tells You How Great They Are, Show Them This...

by Milt Shook

How in the HELL did so many incredibly stupid people get to be in such a position of power in this country? I'd really like to know.

More importantly, why do so many people not only VOTE against their own personal interests, and the interests of their neighbors, but also advocate for positions that apparently run counter to their stated belief system. And why are people whose lives are obviously more messed up than those whom they are lecturing, constantly hawk their self-righteous bullshit to the rest of us with regard to ethics and morals? I've always believed you clean out your own barn, before you start talking about someone else's barn stinking.

And here's the ultimate question; why do they always seem to get a forum that is equal to everyone else, and why doesn't anyone call them on their rhetoric?

Now, if you listen to a right winger, wherever they live is a goddamn paradise, where everyone lives a chaste, moral, Biblical life, and everyone who lives in a "liberal" state might as well be living in a jungle. Right wingers, of course, are all moral, peaceful and God-fearing, while we liberals are all heathenous retches who kill babies and coddle terrorists.

Of course, we know they're delusional. And yet, no matter how delusional they are, the press will give them a soapbox, where they will get to say whatever they want, and no one will call them on it at all.

Bill Kristol’s 1993 Memo Calling For GOP To Block Health Care Reform

Greg Sargeant over at The Plum Line has gotten his hands on a memo Bill Kristol wrote to his party in 1993, urging them to oppose Bill Clinton's health care plan because - well - it might work. And then all the newly healthy people might like government and see that it could actually do something good for them. Ben Smith summarizes the long memo:
The memo warns that a successful Clinton plan could badly damage the GOP by improving Americans' relationship with government, and makes the case for total, uncompromising opposition based on what would become the "Harry and Louise" campaign, focused on the damage the changes could do to citizens' relationships with their doctors.
The only way that the plan would improve America's relationship with government would be if it worked. Think about that. The GOP ultimately opposed major legislation that would have benefited every American because the legislation might have actually worked. You don't just see parallels to today's Republican party, they're doing exactly the same thing. The GOP is terrified that Obama agenda, from the stimulus plan to health care reform, might actually work. Then Americans would see that - surprise - government can work for the people. And where would we be then, if our government actually started making a positive difference in our lives? Better to vote Republican and ensure that never happens.

Tongue on fire