Monday, August 29, 2011

36 Hours of Darkness

The power just returned to my street.

After spending the last day and a half resenting perfectly nice people on all the other streets in my neighborhood—I'll have to make amends somehow...muffin baskets, secret yard work?

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Living in the northeast, I naturally have respect for a Category 1 hurricane.

What kills me as I search for an accurate news account of the storm's approach, is how canned and scripted the media is. The "story" is a devastating Category 4 hurricane that is threatening to topple the Empire State Building, while the reality is a Category 1 hurricane that will quickly become a tropical storm once it gets beyond Connecticut's shore.

The news readers aren't even aware of how ridiculous they sound when they conflate the reality of a large but weakening storm and the rhetoric of a killer storm crafted by their writers 72 hours ago.

The news media really sucks.

Updated: The Empire State Building still stands, but western MA, and Vermont are reeling from the flooding. Months of re-building ahead in those areas.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Grand Old Party

So we're back to arguing first principles with silly young men embarrassingly proclaiming that our great nation requires that (lazy) old people depend on their children to support them or go begging in the streets, like they used to do, essentially so "productive" people won't have to pay taxes for anything but lots of cops and lots of soldiers. Isn't that what America is really all about?
From here.

Lots of cops and soldiers. But those damn cops better not try to unionize, we'll send the soldiers after them.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Privatize Profit and Secretly Socialize the Losses

Wall Street Aristocracy Got $1.2 Trillion From Fed

But unemployment insurance, Social Security, and Medicare are always too expensive to sustain.

Ratbastards all.

The individual bank breakdown.


There are more unemployed people in the U.S. than there are people in the state of Illinois, the fifth largest state.

In fact there, there are more unemployed people in the U.S. than there are people in 46 of the 50 states, all but Florida, New York, Texas and California.

There are more unemployed than the combined populations of Wyoming, Vermont, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Maine, New Hampshire, Idaho and the District of Columbia.

If they were a country, the 13.9 million unemployed Americans would be the 68th largest country in the world, bigger than the population of Greece or Portugal (each of which has 10.8 million people) and more than twice the population of Norway (4.7 million.)
From here.

I was going to add something funny, can't— a statistic so tragic, it resists snark.

h/t Dependable Renegade

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Rarely Feel Pain...There's No Such Thing As Pain.

The very serious people who run things are selfish morons.
Yet policy wonks who don’t even use the post office (and presumably have the mobility that affluence offers) argue,
I’m fully aware of people who need the post office, but we can’t have them on every corner. Always going to be a balance…

…& cost has to matter. At some point it’s just not economically practical.
Fratto got a lot quieter when I pointed out the postal service deficit–$238 billion over the next decade–was actually peanuts compared to what we spend dropping bombs in Afghanistan and other forever wars.

Elite pundits increasingly seem to be making the argument that we simply can’t afford to be a nation-state anymore–we can’t afford to offer the most basic federal services to our poor and rural citizens. Yet they rarely consider how easily we manage to come up with unbelievable sums to remain an empire.
From emptywheel.

Sunday Soundtrack

Panic in Detroit

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Shock Doctrine... the default solution to any negative economic event.

Naomi Klein
...when the leaders decided, collectively, not to do anything to punish the bankers for any of this, nor to do anything serious to prevent a similar crisis from happening again. Instead they would all go home to their respective countries and force sacrifices on the most vulnerable. They would do this by firing public sector workers, scapegoating teachers, closing libraries, upping tuition fees, rolling back union contracts, creating rush privatisations of public assets and decreasing pensions – mix the cocktail for where you live. And who is on television lecturing about the need to give up these "entitlements"? The bankers and hedge-fund managers, of course.
                                         .    .    . can't cut police budgets at the same time as you cut everything else. Because when you rob people of what little they have, in order to protect the interests of those who have more than anyone deserves, you should expect resistance – whether organised protests or spontaneous looting. And that's not politics. It's physics.
From here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Plutocrat's Plan or Just A Free Market Coincidence?

They're predicting that within five years certain Southern U.S. states will be among the cheapest manufacturing locations in the developed world -- and competitive with China.

For years advisers like the Boston Consulting Group got paid big bucks to tell their clients to produce in China. Now, they say, rising wages there, fueled by worker unrest, and low wages in Mississippi, Alabama, and South Carolina mean that soon it won't be worth the hassle of locating overseas.
From here.

If you make Americans desperate for work, they'll take anything and like it—especially those red state rubes who worked so hard to put Republicans in power. It couldn't happen to a better bunch of wage slaves.


Sunday, August 14, 2011


Maybe all the anti-gay, anti-sex candidates should simply avoid eating at campaign events. They know these photos will appear...right?

And a, frosty chocolate cone—fish in a barrel.

Updated: A late entry.

Omega Theta Pi*

Rick Perry
Texas A&M, 1968-72

I'm not an expert, but I've seen *Animal House enough times to know that this guy was seriously uncool.

He was also a cheerleader...sound familiar?
George W. Bush

Perry image from here.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Saturday Soundtrack

Neil Young

Violent Side

I've always thought this song was hilarious...fighting to control the violent side.
One of my favorites.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursday Soundtrack

Whole Lotta Love

And strictly funk.

Guitar Big Band

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Trouble Every Day

I Like My 401K To Have Two, Three, Maybe Four Rinse Cycles

Can we all now agree to go ahead and privatize Social Security?


You realize this is a big game to the few who ALWAYS stand to profit, regardless of outcome? Since winning is guaranteed, their adrenal glands require escalating levels of chaos—higher degrees of shock for the doctrine to work effectively.

Wednesday Soundtrack

The Funk BrothersFever in the Funkhouse

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Bush Nostalgia Syndrome

You know brain fever has set in when the probable Republican nominee for 2012 looks like a movie actor who played George W. Bush.
Josh Brolin as George W. Bush

I thought it was just right-wing bluster at the time, but we really are surrounded by morons.

What Atrios says:

The System Is Blinking Red

And, no, the solution is not more deficit cuts.

The solution is to give people, other than rich banksters, free money.

Of course what he means is stimulus.

The austerity model of recovery that's being pushed by the Republicans and furthered by frightened and misguided Democrats will only degrade the economy and coarsen American society.

Cormac McCarthy's The Road

It's also important to remember that the Republican austerity approach, with all its long term negative consequences, is really only a short term election strategy.

Tuesday Soundtrack

Yeah We Know

They Always Come

The Post

Monday, August 08, 2011

Austerity Zombie

The Downgrade Doom Loop
It’s not the whole story, but something like this threatens to develop:

1. US debt is downgraded, sparking demands for more ill-advised fiscal austerity

2. Fears that this austerity will depress the economy send stocks down

3. Politicians and pundits declare that worries about US solvency are the culprit, even  though interest rates have actually plunged

4. This leads to calls for even more ill-advised austerity, which sends us back to #2

Behold the power of a stupid narrative, which seems impervious to evidence.
(His comment section is hilarious.)

Your Future Dream Is a Shopping Scheme

Anarchy In The UK

Updated: Time-lapse of riots in north London.

H/T Dangerous Minds.

The Center Lacks Appeal—And Substance*

Tom Tomorrow

There's a growing consensus that Obama has fucked this thing up, but not because he's necessarily weak, or indifferent to the middle class and the left—he fucked-up precisely because he's a 21st century Democrat. His story and rhetoric mask his strong connections to capital, corporations and the status quo (also Republicans).

*So why does Obama and the beltway's "serious people" place so much stock in a fiction?

Updated: It occurs to me that this mythical center could only form after a real ideological battle—something that Obama has consistently refused to wage.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Angry Man asks: "What's wrong with the Obama Administration?"

Angry Man*

A somewhat less charitable explanation is that we are a nation that is being held hostage not just by an extremist Republican Party but also by a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election.
                                                  . . .
The real conundrum is why the president seems so compelled to take both sides of every issue, encouraging voters to project whatever they want on him, and hoping they won’t realize which hand is holding the rabbit. That a large section of the country views him as a socialist while many in his own party are concluding that he does not share their values speaks volumes — but not the volumes his advisers are selling: that if you make both the right and left mad, you must be doing something right.
Drew Westen

*Sterling Hayden
Asphalt Jungle, 1950

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Saturday Soundtrack

Iggy Pop  
Soldier, 1980

I'm A Conservative

Thank You Tea Party!

Brought to you by The D.C. Douglas Blog.

Will Ricky Get "The Calling" to Run for President?

...and away from the organizers of his prayer thingamajig?
Ricky Perry

From No Mister Nice Blog.
This would be akin to Candidate Obama having Jeremiah Wright or Bill Ayers run his campaign stops, and that's only if Ayers or Wright were as absolutely insane as possible to openly say stuff like the 9/11 attacks were punishment for allowing homosexuality and same-sex marriage in the US, that groups of birds dying last summer was because of DADT, that invisible things live in your clothing to remind you of your sinning, that Democrats are the "network of wicked forces" working for Satan, that gays are just like Nazis, that Glee is evil, that orcas and grizzlies should be destroyed(!), that the gay Illuminati are running America, that the feds are trying to mind-control the country with implanted RFID chips, that Muslims are too inbred and stupid to serve in our military, that Oprah Winfrey is the herald of the Antichrist, that secession from America is a good idea, that the Statue of Liberty is a graven idol, and that Japan was smote due to their weird sun goddess worship.

So no, I don't think Rick Perry is running for President. (But if he does, it's going to be a hoot, especially with a college transcript that makes Dubya look like Dr. Stephen Hawking.)

A Criminal Enterprise

More Taibbi.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Thursday Soundtrack


I Need Some Money

Take the Eddie Harris cure.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011


Some effectively argue that Republicans are actively working to sour the economy as an election strategy for 2012.

It's harder to argue that Obama is actively working to improve the economy as a re-election strategy for 2012.

Feel the mind-numbing momentum.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Debt Ceiling Soundtrack

I've posted this clip before—it's a monster. I read around the web, I think something has snapped on the left side of shit creek.

The Democrats aren't failing to stand up to Republicans and failing to enact sensible reforms that benefit the middle class because they genuinely believe there's political hay to be made moving to the right. They're doing it because they do not represent any actual voters. I know I've said this before, but they are not a progressive political party, not even secretly, deep inside. They just play one on television.

Taibbi snap.

Well, at least Wall Street is happy.

Fee Fi Fo Fuck

I can't believe we're losing to these guys.

Remember, the tea party wouldn't exist if the media hadn't chased FOX down this idiotic rabbit hole back in 2009.

The Dark Center

Tom Tomorrow

The Mustache of Understanding.

Another Summer Living On...

The planet where the Republican created Tea Party pretends to be
the majority and forces the Republicans (and some Democrats) to
do things that it doesn't want to be caught doing up front.

When will the Obama Administration realize that every summer since 2009 has become Republican Fun Time Horror Theater.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Christ on a Cracker

The White House's debt ceiling spin (happening now)—on the massive capitulation to conservative hostage taking—will hijack the very idea of progressivism in order to make the deal appear as a victory.

Hostage taking Republicans.
Hijacking Democrats.

Everything lurches to the right.

Fuck these people.

Updated, Krugman:
It is, of course, a political catastrophe for Democrats, who just a few weeks ago seemed to have Republicans on the run over their plan to dismantle Medicare; now Mr. Obama has thrown all that away. And the damage isn’t over: there will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will.

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