A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Police State: More Misbehaviour

Cheye Calvo and Trinity Tomsic walk their dogs Payton and Chase

More information available here and here.

Those sworn to protect and serve have increasingly been doing the exact opposite, of late. These days we seem to be suffering from a surfeit of stories of bad behaviour by these so-called "public servants." They're beating up and jailing innocent citizens, subjecting them to strip searches and repeated taserings leading to death, kicking in their front doors, shooting them, and generally acting like the worst thugs of the third reich. But today's outrage is really beyond the pale.

The county police of Prince George's County in Maryland, working with the Sherriff's Office SWAT team, kicked in the door of the Berwyn Heights Mayor's home and shot his two black Labs to death — one, in the back, as it tried to run away. What, exactly, was the Mayor's offense?

Apparently, the police, posing as deliverymen, delivered a parcel that contained 32 lbs. of marijuana to the house, and the mayor took it inside. The county police and the Sherriff's office didn't bother to inform the police of Berwyn Heights that they were on a pet-killing spree. What the hell is wrong with these people? Oh, yeah. Their president is a lawbreaking thug. So why the hell should they abide by the law when their own leader (probably the chimp they voted for) can't be bothered to do the same?

Of course, what this means is the cops can deliver a parcel of marijuana to anyone's door and if you take it in, they can kick your door in, and handcuff you and your elderly mother-in-law for hours while they interrogate you. Really, Mayor Calvo, you should be grateful they didn't waterboard you.

So who is this Mayor Cheye Calvo? Commenter Pete over at Raw Story unearthed this information about the Mayor:
Cheye Calvo
National Conference of State Legislatures

Cheye (pronounced "shi") Calvo directs the National Conference of State Legislatures' (NCSL) transportation and financial services committees and represents state legislatures in our federal system of government on banking, insurance, securities and transportation issues. Cheye played a leading role in efforts to create state-friendly federal driver's license standards as part of the intelligence reform in December 2004 and more recently in opposing the driver's license provisions of the REAL ID Act. Cheye has spoken, testified and written extensively on a wide range of public policy matters, and has co-authored and co-edited studies on human genetics policy, genetic privacy, and auto insurance ratemaking. He also serves as the part-time, elected mayor of the Town of Berwyn Heights, Maryland.
Calvo, 37, has been mayor of the 3,000-person town near College Park since 2004. His wife is a finance officer for the state, he said. He works part time as the mayor and serves as director of expansion for the SEED Foundation, a well-known national nonprofit group that runs urban public boarding schools.

Sounds reeeeal threatening, people. Of course, those of us who are working-class, or poor, or dark of skin have had stuff like this happen to them pretty routinely. But, goodness me, when a middle-class white working couple like the Calvos have it happen to them ... isn't it time to, um, do something?

To their credit, the Berwyn Heights police department had a reaction pretty similar to ours:
Berwyn Heights Police Chief Patrick Murphy said county police and the Sheriff's Office had not notified his department of the raid. He said town police could have conducted the search without a SWAT team.
"You can't tell me the chief of police of a municipality wouldn't have been able to knock on the door of the mayor of that municipality, gain his confidence and enter the residence," Murphy said. "It would not have been a necessity to shoot and kill this man's dogs."
Common law holds that a person's home is their castle — that every person has the same right to freedom under their own roof, whether rented or purchased, as a king or queen has in theirs. And the Constitution is explicit regarding search and seizure:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Do you see anything in there about kicking down doors and shooting people's pets? The fucking police fucking SWAT team is scared of black Labs? A turtle could outwit a Lab, and there isn't a dog like it for sheer friendliness and sweetness of disposition. And why would you shoot a dog that is running away from you?

Want an action item? Call the PGCP Chief, Melvin High, at 301-772-4740 to let him know what you think of his high-handed tactics.

Melvin High! What a name.

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2008 Elections: Add Jon Stewart

to the mix of those giving McAncient a little shoe-leather:

Meanwhile, The Eclectic Quill brings you a list of John McAncient jokes along the lines of, you know, why did the chicken ... funny, though.

Speaking of shoe-leather, which we weren't, but hey — anybody catch the story on McAncient's $520 Ferragamo shoes? AAAAGGGHH! What's with that? Oh, yeah, he's got a wife with a $100 million-dollar fortune who thinks the only way to get around the State of Arizona is in a small aeroplane. Love to do that, Cindy, honey, but I can't even afford a new car, yaknow? Meanwhile, the man that John McAncient is attacking as "elitist" only recently paid off his school loans, and here's a snippet about his "elitist" sartorial style:
Moos then played footage of Michelle Obama telling Access Hollywood during a family interview that Obama was wearing ten year old pants and a worn-out belt and hurriedly adding, "Don't pan down to the shoes -- because we've talked about getting new shoes for him."

Obama had told a newspaper last spring, "Michelle has asked me to clean up because when she first met me I had one suit. Michelle always finds this funny because I basically buy five of the same suit and then I patch them up and wear them repeatedly. I have four pairs of shoes. Recently, I've taken to getting a haircut more frequently than I used to because my mother-in-law makes fun of me."
Well, it looks as if Senator Obama has not forgotten his impoverished roots and spends his money carefully. Our parents (who pinched every penny till it screamed before they let it go, having lived through one war and one Depression) would approve.

So Mrs. McCain, who thinks the only way to travel around Arizona (unlike the rest of us little people) is by plane, and who owns so many houses she forgets to pay her property taxes for up to four years on one of them, and her husband John McCain who wears shoes that cost approximately six times what we at La Casa de Los Gatos have ever spent on a pair of shoes, want us to believe the man in the patched suit is an elitist. Okay.

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2008 Elections: More Entertainment!

Dogtown Ink invites you to celebrate such wonky concepts as ... tax cuts!

But they do it so well. Warning: Lots of Paris Hilton's naughty bits so probably NSFW!

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Politics: Entertainment!

More entertainment for the politically-inclined masses:

Good work, kudos to the creator! Bit gross in parts, though, so be warned.

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Politics: Round One to the Victim

of the police state.

European Car-Free Day in Budapest Photo from Time magazine

Raw Story tells us that a NYPD officer who knocked a Critical Mass rider off his bike and onto the ground has been relegated to desk duty.

Now, we know quite well that the bicyclists who participate in Critical Mass can be unbelievable fucking jerks. We've been subjected to their jerkiness quite a few times. We include the idiot who acted like he owned the goddamned road, shot in front of us, almost killing himself, then pursued us for two miles, spitting on our windshield and window, swerving in front of us deliberately, and screaming abuse at the top of his lungs. We include all the idiots who don't obey stop signs or the rules of the road and lack basic ordinary manners. We include the lunatics who surrounded and attacked some idiot SUV driver.

Look, people, when people have their kids in their car, even if it is a gas-guzzling monster and the driver is an asshole, DO NOT for crying out loud attempt to teach them good manners by screaming foul abuse at them while putting dents in their vehicle, OK? That is so not cool. Yes, the parent is an unmitigated asshole and probably a lousy driver to boot, and yes, they probably were acting like they owned the fucking road. The right thing to do is take a video of their assholish behaviour with your cool little cellphone/video camera type gadget, note their license number, and call the cops.

Of course, when the cops happen to be the ones that beat your ass, you definitely want the event videotaped. In this particular case, although the cop in question did arrest the cyclist and hold him for a little over a day (26 hours), a fellow cyclist videotaped the whole thing and put it on YouTube:
"If it wasn't caught on video people would not have believed it," rider and documentary filmmaker Christopher Ryan added. "The video just shows what the cyclists have been saying all along, that the police are still harassing and intimidating them from doing group rides."
Well, cyclists in NY are made of different stuff from our intrepid natives, apparently. Or perhaps it's the fact that the Critical Massives have so much clout here, but our cyclists seem to have everyone intimidated and terrorised. Which is also not a good thing.

The lesson to be learned is, apparently, to videotape interactions with the police (and do it surreptitiously, for mercy's sake). Because if they whup your ass and you can prove it, they're going to learn from the consequences. Oh, yeah, it helps not to live in Bumfuck, name_of_state. Or, if you're so unfortunate as to live there, to do your best to ensure that your local politicos and your neighbours understand the meaning of "police state" and agree that it is not a desirable thing.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2008 Elections: Wheels Flying Off

The Crooked Talk Express.

Story o'the morning: Raw Story tells us that Dan Abrams (unlike so many of the other Lickspittles of the Press Corpse) called attention to the rather sad condition of Jaws McAncient's bus recently (click the link to see the video clip).

Apparently, after promising no new taxes, McAncient announced that he was prepared to raise Social Security taxes, and "nothing is off the table." He seems to be channeling the current Wastrel-in-Office's father — remember old "read my lips" George Teh First?

Of course, his campaign spokesidiot, one Tucker Bounds (was your mama high on somethin' when she named ya?) has rushed to reassure the conservatives of America that just because John McCain said he was going to raise taxes doesn't mean that John McCain speaks for the campaign of John McCain. Or something confusing of that nature. It's kind of sad, really, when the campaign spokesman disavows the views of the campaigner on the grounds that he doesn't speak for the campaign. Really, who speaks for the campaign of John McCain, if not John McCain?
"He may be practical," responded Democratic analyst Tanya Acker, "but a straight talker he is not." She suggested it was time to be "done with this myth of the straight-talking maverick who says one thing and holds fast to it for 35 years. That's just not true."

"He's gotten in the habit of even denying that he said something the day after," Sekoff agreed.
Mark Halperin illustrates some of McAncient's remarkable yet unremarked flip-flopping in Time magazine.

The National Journal has also noticed that the "straight talk" isn't quite as straight as pictured.
Just last week McCain found himself pushing back against his own campaign when his communications director, Jill Hazelbaker, went on cable television twice in one day to criticize Barack Obama's overseas trip as "political."


"Well, I can only give you my opinion -- and I will talk to her -- but the fact is I'm glad that he's going to Iraq, and I'm glad that he's going to Afghanistan, and it's long, long overdue," McCain said.

Speaking to reporters just hours later in Grand Haven, Mich., McCain attempted to clarify his statements from the bus: "We just had a discussion about whether his trip was political or not -- to Afghanistan and Iraq. I offered to be with him. And I'll look forward to his conclusions when he finishes that part of his trip. If he has political rallies in other places, obviously then it's a political trip."
Meanwhile, the WaPoo, normally given to fawning adulation of McAncient and stern-toned queries or dismissals of Obama, finds the courage to smack the oldster upside the head with a dead fish for his blatant lies about his younger rival. The NYT (registration required) agrees. And Ben Smith, over at Politico, notes that McAncient and his Rovian myrmidons have backed off the false charges in that ad.

It's kind of sad, really. McCain used to be a quirky individual with a sharp wit (and sharper tongue, which was amusing as long as one was not the intended target). Once upon a time, he had the courage to call Jerry Falwell what he was, a hatemonger. Now it seems he can't tell his arse from a hole in the ground.

Ms. Manitoba has accused me of unrepentant ageism in my depiction of McCain. It's not his age, per se, that is drawing mockery. It's his incapacitation. He's showing the effects of old age (or perhaps something else, say PTSD, or Alzheimer's, or the many medications he ingests) despite being relatively young.

Bertrand Russell was physically and intellectually far superior in function to McCain well into his nineties. George Bernard Shaw was productive and active till a fall incurred by pruning a tree knocked his kidneys out and put him in his grave at the age of 94. Grandma Moses published her autobiography at the age of 92 after beginning a new career in her seventies.

McCain, on the other hand, suffers from lapses of memory, confusion, belligerence, changes his positions oftener than a weathervane, contradicts himself, claims he never said or did things when there are records of him saying and doing exactly such things — it's sad. If he really is suffering from some sort of mental disorder, it's cruel to let him swing in the public eye. On the other hand, it wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that the Bushies have just left McCain to twist in the wind to take our attention away from whichever revolting unprincipled shmuck they plan to replace him with right before the elections. At which time, they'll put all the pressure they can on the poor old warhorse to step down.

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Donate Now, Meet Barack Obama

Now. I mean right now.

Yep. Ms. Manitoba has decided to forgive Senator Obama for his FISA vote. For The Greater Good. And I'm back to donating money to his/our cause every month.

IF YOU DONATE TODAY OR TOMORROW, you will be entered in a contest to join him backstage at the convention in Denver. Here's where to donate now: Obama for America

The main point is this:

We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain.We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain. We must defeat McCain.

We must take back our country. We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.We must take back our country.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2008 Elections: More Entertainment!

Can John McAncient pass the Commander-in-Chief test?

Hey, anyone who confuses Sunni and Shi'a, accuses Iran of training al Qaeda, hires an "advisor" like Carly "outsourcing is rightsourcing!" Fiorina, tells Americans who don't have $100 million in their bank account (which would be, like, 99.5% of us) that our fears about the obviously faltering economy are entirely psychological, thinks Purim is the "Jewish version of Hallowe'en," voted against insurance coverage for birth control but FOR insurance coverage for viagra ... ah, why go on? Just watch and be entertained. Oh, yeah, and he thinks David Petraeus is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Scary!

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2008 Elections: An Angry Old Guy

Nashville Nancy made him a special song:

Geesh! It is to larf!

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Opus: Marx may have been right ...

Today's is a gem!!!! Laughed so hard ...

If it's too small, click on it.

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

World: Bombings in India

A group calling itself the "Indian Mujahedeen" is claiming responsibility for the 17 bomb blasts that rocked Ahmedabad, the former capital of the Indian state of Gujarat, today. The IM, believed to be a loose coalition of three other groups &mdash SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India), Pakistan-based Lashkar e-Taiba and the Jammu-Kashmir-based Harkat ul-Jihad e-Islami.

The group emailed a 14-page manifesto to the media ahead of the bombings, claiming responsibility and declaring the purpose of the bombings &mdash to "avenge" communal violence against Muslims in 2002 in the state of Gujarat.

According to reports, some 30 people were killed and approximately 100 were injured. Twenty-four hours before the attack on Ahmedabat, the Indian IT centre of Bangalore was rocked by nine, smaller blasts. The IM is believed to be using bombs strapped to bicycles. The explosions were planned to cause maximum disruption, but some also believe that they were targeting Congress Party ministers and the home districts of political leaders who belong to the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party), known for its fiery Hindu nationalism.

News sources from India are claiming that the bombs used in the attacks in Bangalore and Ahmedabad bear similar signatures &mdash rather than military ordinance, they appear to be made with ammonium nitrate, a common fertilizer, and utilize quartz timer devices and microprocessors.

Intelligence sources believe that the attacks are being coordinated by Pakistan. They attribute the attacks to Pakistan's desire to distract attention from its own internal problems and the terrorist presence there, now that (thanks to Barack Obama) global attention has shifted from Iraq to Afghanistan and the Taliban. Even the U.S. is finally talking about links between Pakistan's ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence, the Pakistani national security and intelligence agency) and the Taliban.

Thanks to George W.'s lame duck status, the truth about the situation in Pakistan &mdash a failed state by every definition of the term &mdash and its role in international terrorism is finally beginning to emerge. Muslims who do not support terrorism really need to speak out, as the IM is actively seeking to recruit "jihadis" for its covert operations in India. Despite the occasional shameful bouts of communal violence, many and varied religions have coexisted in peace for milennia in India. Don't let the death throes of the failed Pakistani state destroy India which has given shelter to so many different groups for so long.

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Civil Rights: Holy Quacking Duckshit

You know it's getting bad when you can hardly finish blogging one case of thuggish assault against the citizenry before another is reported.

So, Ohio, you got a little competition here. Missouri's trying for the crown. They're behind, but you never know.

Raw Story is reporting that Missouri police tasered a 16-year-old boy with a broken back and a broken foot NINETEEN TIMES. Read that carefully and slowly, because it needs to sink in. The kid is 16 years old. He's not the type of 16 year old who stands 6' 7" and weighs 350 lb. Judging from the photo, he looks like a skinny teenager, average size or less.

Not too long ago, police in Lousiana tasered a man nine times. He died after the seventh tasing. The man, Baron Pikes, was a healthy 21-year-old who weighed 247 lbs. The incident was clearly race-motivated and made us too fucking furious to blog it. So, if a healthy, large man dies after seven shocks with a taser, what the hell have the cowardly Missouri police done to this kid?

From the article:
Ozark Police Capt. Thomas Rousset attempted to explain why the taser was used:

"He refused to comply with the officers and so the officers had to deploy their Tasers in order to subdue him. He is making incoherent statements; he's also making statements such as, 'Shoot cops, kill cops,' things like that. So there was cause for concern to the officers."
Oh, wow. Real scary, huh, guys? First off, he's a kid. OK, maybe he was on meth or PCP, under which circs even a skinny kid could be a danger to others. But hey, looky here, the kid's broken his fucking back, fer crying out. What was he gonna do, whip his dick out and piss on you from a prone position? And what means "he refused to comply"? The kid's back was broken, you cowards. Did he refuse to get up against the wall? Well, he couldn't, could he? Does that mean you have to taser him nineteen fucking times?

Maybe we were better off when these assholes only carried guns. At least if they shot the kid, they'd be in clear violation of his civil rights. Now that they've got this deadly new toy, they can injure all kinds of people repeatedly and get off scot-free. Because, yasee, no one will admit (except for the victims and a few of us liberal bleeding-hearts) that it is a fucking deadly toy.

Come to think of it, why are such wussy, terrified people being hired as cops? Clearly they'd be better off working in daycare for infants or something. Oh, waitaminnit. They're the type to taser "dangerous" infants.

Geez, being cynical these days is a losing proposition. The more cynical you get, the faster reality exceeds your expectations. So, Jor Jee, about these here freedoms that teh terr'ists hate us for? The ones that you sent everybody's kids and relatives and friends off to fight for "over there" so we don't have to fight them over here? What are they exactly? Because, yaknow, not to nitpick or anything, but between FISA and the wholesale breakdown of law and order, we're not seeing a whole lot of these here fucking freedoms. Just sayin'.

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Civil Rights: So This Is How Low We've Sunk

Ohio again. Goddammit, Ohio! What the holy perforated fuck is wrong with you? Are you a state full of goons and thugs? Hope Steffey. Tarika Wilson. Just last week, you tasered Denise Harris, a 50-year-old blind diabetic cancer patient after kicking her door in.

And now, this? If it's not already glaringly obvious to everyone on the planet that the war in Iraq has zero, zilch, zip, nada, nothing to do with our rights and freedoms and everything to do with Commander Codpiece's overweening sense of entitlement, it looks like we can certainly count on Ohio to set the record straight, huh?

How the hell did y'all manage to elect a progressive like Dennis Kucinich for your Rep? Ah, what the hell. You owe the rest of the country big time for that viper, Mean Jean Schmidt and that revolting blubberer John "Boner" Boehner.

But really, you gotta cut out these weekly assaults on the citizenry. And what is with your poor choice of victims? Don't you know if you're gonna turn the tasers on people you want to be sure you pick (1) minorities (2) preferably male (3) preferably poor or working class (4) preferably armed (5) preferably with a criminal record?

And stop videotaping this shit. Seriously. It's time to grow some brains and some sense of civic duty and quit kicking the crap out of elderly religious types and blond middle-class housewives that you outweigh by 100 lbs. or more. Or, worse yet, blind diabetic cancer patients.

Today's blot on Ohio's good name is brought to you by security guards at St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. Hey, wait a minute. What the fuck? Security guards? They're not even cops and they get to beat the crap out of the citizenry? Shouldn't we have the crap beat out of us by people that we're paying for the privilege?

Wait. It gets better. The good Reverend Al Poisson had been out shopping with his son and 6-year-old grandson when some unnamed third party was injured under unexplained circumstances. The good Reverend decided to take his duty of Christian charity seriously and visit the injured man in the hospital, taking his kid and grandkid with him. While he was visiting the injured man, the good Reverend teased one of the armed thugs with the question, "Are you happy?" When the guy replied "Yes" in a dour tone, the good Reverend suggested he inform his face, as it didn't appear to reflect his claimed state of mind.

Whereupon five &mdash count them, FIVE &mdash armed security thugs fell upon this 66-year-old gentleman, dragged him out of the hospital (no doubt before the horrified eyes of his son, his grandson, and the unfortunate patient being visited), tasered him, beat him, kicked him while he was down, and generally roughed him up.

Say fucking WHAT? Excuse me, the guy's sixty-six years old and, if you get our drift, he doesn't look like he's even in as good shape as Dick Fucking Cheney. Why does it take five of you to beat his ass? Plus, hello, you're armed with tasers. We've already seen plenty of evidence that tasers are a lethal weapon, they can kill healthy strong young men. You tased the old guy, which is, like, not too smart given that he's a fucking prime fucking candidate for a fucking heart attack, you fucking bozos. And then FIVE of you got together and kicked his ancient ass.

What the fuck is wrong with you? What kind of gangsters, goons, and thugs are Toledo hospitals hiring to provide security? And why are they armed with tasers? Whatever happened to "never hit a man who is down?" Do you people have the slightest fucking shred of decency? Of dignity? Of self-fucking-respect? Jesus fucking J.H. Christ and his black brother Harry.

And in case you, dear readers, were wondering if the good Reverend Al didn't try to kick one of these studly young thugs in the old nuttolas or something, it's all on videotape. The good Reverend would get short of breath trying to lift his leg that high, if you get our drift. Plus, the security goons tried to file charges, and a court has already thrown them out. The good Rev. Al is suing the hospital. Good on ya, Reverend. They kicked your ass, you need to kick theirs in return.

Whatever happened to the goddamned rule of law, is what we want to know? When did it become OK to randomly taser anyone you think is giving you the stinkeye? Haven't these people heard of the Constitution? St. Vincent must be spinning like a corkscrew in his grave. Better rename the hospital. Kikurass Medical Center sounds more appropriate.

CBS news' video clip of the interview with Rev. Al and his lawyer available here.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Pet Insurance for Children!

Barbara Ehrenreich has a new book out -- This Land is Their Land. (Her book Nickel and Dimed was very good.) And I just wanted to share an excerpt of the book review in today's New York Times by Richard Eder:

Often as not the shock comes in an ostensibly bland passage that rears up and stabs. Her subject, for instance, may be the unaffordability of health insurance, but she starts some way out with a professor who asserts that the billions of dollars spent annually on pets’ health is justified because “they are part of the family.” Seeing a locomotive-size opening, she steams through:

“Well, there’s another category that might reasonably be considered ‘part of the family.’ True, they are not the ideal companions for the busy young professional: it can take two to three years to housebreak them, their standards of personal hygiene are lamentably low, at least compared with cats, and large numbers of them cannot learn to ‘sit’ without the aid of Ritalin. I’m talking about children, of course.” Insured medical care for pets comes to $33 a month, she found. So it was plainly time, with the recent veto of a bill extending children’s insurance, to “make pet health insurance available to all American children now!”

Barbara Ehrenreich has her own blog. She writes about regular working folk. You know .... the ones without golden parachutes ... people like you and me.

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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stroll Through The Blogroll

Graphics credit Skippy, concept credit Skippy and Jon Swift

Pootling around the blogroll, we find that some have taken a hiatus, or ceased blogging altogether. Or maybe it's just that it's summer and not everyone's a gimp. Disirregardless, as we say in the better schools, it's time for a rundown of the buzz on our blogroll.
  • Over at All Spin Zone, Steven Reynolds notes Bob Novakula's attempts to acquire a hood ornament;

  • Fixer at Alternate Brain tells it to Chuck Schumer (Dummkopf-NY) like it is;

  • Jerome Doolittle displays his Bad Attitudes by remarking on how swiftly Caligula Jr. is abandoning all pretense of cowboying. Remember his good buddy Vicente Fox, who called him a "windshield cowboy?" The pathetic little creep is terrified of horses.

  • Bukola, over at Being Bukola. Bravely. gives us a primer on Nigeria. Check out her other posts on life in Nigeria wherefrom she has recently returned.

  • Remember Johnny McAncient's whining about how the NYT wouldn't publish his rebuttal to Senator Obama? Well, our good buddy Chuck, over at Chuck for ... substantially reproduced the piece &mdash and then took his scalpel to it. Nicely carved for your enjoyable consumption.

  • Our good buddy Stephen, over at Drinking Liberally in New Milford, gives Chris Shays a taste of Teh Trademarked Bat o'Clue, and no one deserves it more.

  • r@d@r, over at ex-lion tamer, does a very satisfying rant on the stupidity of parents who take young children to unsuitable movies.

  • Over at I'm Jus' A Lil' Dizzy, Dizzy Dezzi talks about the MySpace suicide, and makes good sense. Enough nannyism. A civil suit may be called for, but a criminal prosecution would probably be ineffective and a waste of taxpayer money.

  • The Earth-Bound Misfit has some wonderful ideas on interesting things you might want to do to Skeletor Chertoff (WHY does that asshole still have a job?) or Bybee, he of the "vigorous interrogation" school of thought. Bonus excellent post, or, hell, just read the whole goddamned blog. Especially if your tastes run to aviation and mechanics.

  • We've been slack with our science posts, so we ambled over to Mike the Mad Biologist's looking for fodder, but he's gone one better: a post on Social Security and communication that qualifies as a must-read.

  • Acallidryas has a hilarious post on the PUMAs over at Moue Magazine.

  • nunya, over at politickybitch, has an interesting post on Uighurs and events in China.

  • Seinlife has a post up on the goddamned sugarcane plantation proposed for Kenya.

That's it, folks, thanks for coming along!

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Politics: "Not-Impeachment" Hearing

Raw Story tells us that on Friday, July 25, at 10 am, the House Judiciary Committee will hear from these witnesses in the scheduled hearing on Gee Dumbya's Imperial Preznitwitcy:
The Honorable Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio)
The Honorable Maurice Hinchey (D-New York)
The Honorable Walter Jones (R-N. Carolina)
The Honorable Brad Miller (D-N. Carolina)
The Honorable Elizabeth Holtzman, Former Representative from New York
The Honorable Bob Barr, Former Representative from Georgia, 2008 Libertarian Nominee for President
The Honorable Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson, Founder and President, High Roads for Human Rights (former Mayor of Salt Lake City)
Stephen Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of Law
Bruce Fein, Associate Deputy Attorney General, 1981-82, Chairman, American Freedom Agenda
Vincent Bugliosi, Author and former Los Angeles County Prosecutor
Jeremy A. Rabkin, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law
Elliott Adams, President of the Board, Veterans for Peace
Frederick A. O. Schwarz, Jr., Senior Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
Rep Conyers assures us that this hearing is not for purposes of impeachment. However, we would like to call attention to a few facts: nearly every single person on this list has, at one time or another, spoken strongly in favour of impeaching G. Dumbya Boosh.

The Mighty Munchkin of Justice, Dennis Kucinich, has been pursuing impeachment tirelessly for some years now. Recently, Rep. Kucinich vowed that he will keep the issue on the table by introducing Articles of Impeachment until he gets his hearing. Well, this looks like his hearing. We know that Rep. Kucinich has shown more courage than the rest of Congress put together &mdash considering that he represents a mostly white, centrist district, he has taken progressive positions throughout his career.

Rep. Maurice Hinchey has been pushing for impeachment since 2005, and risked losing the most recent election because of his unwavering stance against the war in Iraq.

Rep. Walter Jones, the man who gave us "freedom fries," has reversed his position on the war in Iraq several years ago and has since been pushing for a "time horizon" or, in the common parlance, a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Rep. Jones' district includes Camp LeJeune, which has lost much of the flower of its youth to a bloody, senseless war.

Elizabeth Holzman was on the House Judiciary Committee back in Nixon's day and was instrumental in moving the impeachment of Nixon forward. She has been openly outspoken on the topic of impeaching Bush.

Bob Barr, former Republican Rep from Georgia, now the Libertarian presidential candidate, stated in 2006 that Bush's actions in spying on Americans were illegal. Barr has stated that Congress should have started impeachment proceedings a long time ago.

Rocky Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City, was talking about impeachment early in 2007.

Professor Stephen Presser of Northwestern testified before Congress the last time they impeached a President.

Conservative legal scholar and former ADA Bruce Fein has been calling for the impeachment of VP Cheney since 2007.

Vincent Bugliosi, former DA and writer, has just published a book titled The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder. Due to a media-imposed blackout, the book was supposed to die a quiet death. Thanks to the Internet, it took off and has become wildly successful. Whatever else Mr. Bugliosi might be, he is in our humble opinion likely to be strongly for the impeachment of Li'l Boots.

As a high-ranking member of Veterans for Peace, Elliott Adams has been pressing John Conyers and the House Judiciary Committee to impeach Bush for some time.

And Frederick A.O. Schwartz is the author of that fine document, Unchecked and Unbalanced: Presidential Power in a Time of Terror. What say you? Pro-impeachment, or anti?

We're guessing sentiment for impeachment runs high in this crowd. Please do your part. Urge your congresscritter to support Dennis in his attempt to bring the crooks and liars to justice. (And if Dennis is your Congresscritter, pat yourself on the back for having the good sense to have elected him!)

Let Conyers, Pelosi, and the Judiciary Committee know that you support impeachment. You can contact the members of the Judiciary Committee here. AFAIK, there has not been a poll on impeachment since 2005. Sentiment has changed a great deal since then. Perhaps pressuring polling companies to re-examine this issue would be a good idea?

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LGBTQ: The Face of Hate

Copyright Melina Mara, The Washington Post

The wretched bag of vituperation pictured above is one Elaine Donnelly, the president of an organization called Center for Military Readiness (CMR), a 501(c)(3) organization whose sole purpose appears to be keeping women and gay people out of the military. Judging from the tone of this excerpt from their statement of "principles," they're sadly in need of some sensitivity training themselves:
To repair the damage, strong leadership and sound priorities will have to be applied in all matters, including personnel policies that impose heavy costs in return for little or no benefit. These include co-ed basic training, dcounter-productive gender quotas, double standards in training and disciplinary matters, misinterpretation of the law banning open homosexuality in the military, overly generous pregnancy policies that worsen deployability problems, and universal "sensitivity training" to convince everyone that social engineering "works."
A less charming bunch of troglodytes one is hard put to imagine. Ms. Donnelly somehow found herself invited to the Congressional hearings on the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy towards homosexuals in the military.

Washington Post's Dana Milbank covered the hearings, which were also attended by several gay troops. Given that this is the first hearing on DADT that has been held in the past 15 years, you'd think Ms. Donnelly could stifle the bile and present some facts rather than the steaming products of her fetid and clearly unpleasant inner workings. But no.

She ranted and raved and waxed so wroth it's nothing short of a miracle that her clearly botoxed and overpainted face didn't just fall off with disgust and crawl under a chair. In her own words, hear ye, hear ye:
Donnelly treated the panel to an extraordinary exhibition of rage. She warned of "transgenders in the military." She warned that lesbians would take pictures of people in the shower. She spoke ominously of gays spreading "HIV positivity" through the ranks.

"We're talking about real consequences for real people," Donnelly proclaimed. Her written statement added warnings about "inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community," the prospects of "forcible sodomy" and "exotic forms of sexual expression," and the case of "a group of black lesbians who decided to gang-assault" a fellow soldier.
Because, you know, all those lezzies are just dying to get some T&A shots in the showers. And what, exactly, is an "exotic" form of sexual expression? Doesn't this daft dunderhead realize, judging from the reports of rape and sexual harrassment in the military, that women are in much greater danger from their male comrades-in-arms than from shower photogs of the lesbian persuasion?

And forcible sodomy? Darlings, we're just not that into you, so to speak. Sorry to disappoint, but forcible sodomy is much more likely to occur in prisons or other concentrations of straight males who use sex as a means of asserting dominance and power. You know, just like heterosexual rape.

As for that "group of black lesbians who decided to gang-assault" a fellow soldier, Ms. Donnelly sounds much more focused on their blackness than their lesboness. There are plenty of existing procedures to deal with misconduct in the armed forces whether heterosexual or homosexual. What's got this woman's pantalones in such a wad, I wonder?

At any rate, she had the effect of getting Congresscritters' underroos in a similar bunch. Here's one of 'em:
Rep. Vic Snyder (D-Ark.) labeled her statement "just bonkers" and "dumb," and he called her claims about an HIV menace "inappropriate." Said Snyder: "By this analysis . . . we ought to recruit only lesbians for the military, because they have the lowest incidence of HIV in the country."
The Lesbian Army. Diamanda Galas would LOVE that.

Of course, the Washington Blade has considered Chris Shays a reasonably reliable backer of gay rights, but his performance at the hearing was the cherry on the sundae. He'd better watch it or his Republican buddies won't let him play with their toys.

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2008 Elections: Obama Wows Teh Germans

How many people turned out to hear him speak? The newspapers in Berlin are claiming over 215,000. Nearly a quarter of a million Germans took a day off work to go hear the man speak! Pictures of the crowd, and a few of Senator McAncient at the "Fudge Haus"??? also available at the preceding link. Phenomenal crowd.

Transcript of the speech available here.

Great speech.

Incidentally, Angela Merkel looks a lot happier with the O Man than she ever looked with Farty McLiarpants. Remember when he gave her that unwanted neckrub?

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Politics: Things YOU Can Do

To make the media a better place.

Color Of Change, a group that is working to make the media more responsive to the concerns of Black America, is sending a petition to Roger Ailes (not the good one) to make Faux News something better than the completely racist shill and irritainment center that it is. Feel free to add your name to the petition.

Remember: first we ask nicely. Later, it's torches and pitchforks.

And, while you're about it you might consider dropping CBS a line about their recent cut-and-paste job to cover up McAncient's "gaffe" or "mistake" (or LIE?) about the surge. They're distorting the news to give a senile fool cover that might result in his having control over our country for a third Bush term. Let's do our bit to ensure that doesn't happen.

HuffPo commenter jmols1031 says:

Please go to the very bottom and choose "Contact us." Then choose "Couric." Leave a comment there. I would recommend contacting the other MSM organizations and let them know what we expect from them.
Commenter ThunderclapNewman shares a phone number:

Takes you right to the news room.
Let them hear from you!

Update: ThinkProgress tells us that rap star Nas will be delivering the petition tomorrow. Some 600,000 have signed it. Check out the video clip at the link!

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Politics: A Government That Works

We often wonder why government in this country is so inefficient. All over the world, other, poorer, smaller countries manage to do much more and much better with much less. The health care systems in France, Sweden, and Singapore are to be envied. The barefoot doctors of China and Bangladesh take medicine into rural villages without clean water or electricity.

Yet here we sit, so wealthy we can throw away up to half the food we grow, or give it away in aid to the less fortunate. But we can't give rural children vaccinations. And we let people die from lack of basic care. We can afford fancy pacemakers and heart surgery for worthless evil scum like Dick "I Shoot My Friends In The Face" Cheney. Basic dental care that could prevent a child from dying &mdash that, we can't afford.

We can't afford to monitor our food for poisons that will kill our elderly and our children.

We wonder about these things so much, we rushed out and bought Thomas Frank's What's The Matter With Kansas shortly after it was published and read it avidly. It left us feeling bitterly disappointed.

Today, we found a discussion on DailyKos (to which we never link because it would be like a fly trying to ride on an elephant fer cryin' out) about America and government and we think everybody in this country ought to read it, although DK has a much wider readership than we do and linking to this diary on our teeny-tiny blog will maybe just annoy some of our readers and amuse the rest. Nevertheless. Kos nails it. This is about why Republicans during the Clinton administration did everything in their power to kill Hillary Clinton's efforts towards health care for the masses.
[2008 Republican defeats] would probably also mean a national health-insurance program that would irrevocably expand government involvement in the economy and American life, and itself make voters less likely to turn toward conservatism in the future.
Ramesh Ponnuru and Rich Lowry, as cited at DailyKos.

Because these lousy scumballs would rather see you and your children, parents, friends, and neighbours die in your ones or tens or thousands if necessary, as long as they get another four, or eight, or umpteen years in power.

Republicans, riddle me this: Can you look in the eyes of this little girl's parents

and tell them it was OK for their daughter to die to ensure KKKarl Rove's "permanent Republican majority"? Can you?

Can you look at the face of this child

and tell his mother it was OK that he died because you don't want "government interference" in issues like health care?

Because if you can, you are fucking scum and should immediately kill yourselves rather than waste the oxygen, air, and other resources that you are consuming while condemning the poor, the helpless, the defenseless to death.

As for you "religious right" hypocrites: For what shall it profit you to gain a fetus or a hundred and lose the lives of these children? If you're serious about the "sanctity of life," start by ending war, hunger, starvation, disease, and the power of a system that deems fetii sacred but does nothing to provide for sick and hungry children except to institute harsh penalties including loss of life if they become so twisted from want as to steal or rob. Start by imprisoning those who steal from millions, who condemn others to penury so that they may live in luxury.

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2008 Elections: Vanity Fair Does A Cover!

By now everyone's heard the kerfuffle about the New Yorker's cover of Barack and Michelle Obama in the White House. We did not want to touch that cover. We at this blog believe very deeply in freedom of speech. What the New Yorker cover did, though, was unacceptable to us. Nevertheless, we're not going to fling abuse at them for exercising their right to pursue irony, satire, caricature, political speech, whatever. We felt the image failed to achieve any of its goals and succeeded only in directing negative feeling towards two relatively powerless groups.

Here we want to say something about humour. Humour is the weapon of the defenseless. When you're powerful, you bomb or shoot or stab your enemies to death. You jail them. Torture them. Blacklist them. Because you have the power to do so.

When you're powerless, you laugh at your enemies. You make silly cartoons of them, or write doggerel mocking them, or make music pointing out their bullying behaviour.

The New Yorker chose to turn their mockery on Muslims &mdash a small minority of the population in this country, and one that historically has been excoriated and abused in this country, especially since the events of 9/11 &mdash and against Black Americans. As a group, Black Americans have historically suffered enslavement, lynching, stereotyping, ghettoization, poverty, torture, joblessness, and abuse, and continue to suffer much of these in the present. It wasn't that long ago that realtors would not sell houses to Black Americans. It wasn't that long ago that Black Americans had different (and worse) of everything from water fountains to schools. So we did not appreciate the humour in the New Yorker's cover.

Today, Vanity Fair, a magazine we love and not just because the Lord High Emperor of Snark himself writes there, decided, in the interest of friendly rivalry, to satirize the New Yorker's cover - with this:

We found it funny, and hope you do too. As a Person of Gimpitude, we see nothing wrong with making fun of gimpiness, by the way. We used to be much more sensitive about it, but yaknow? If you can't laugh at this shit, yer gonna cry. The hell with that.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

The Cat Came Back: Buddy, Part II

Part Two in the Continuing Saga of Buddy the Brave.

When last we heard of our hero, he had just dashed out of the vestibule of 922Cats into the great big world that had treated him so badly before his rescue by the intrepid Lizzy Kittehmeisterin, his dedicated and loving hoomin.

Buddy in the attic

Unfortunately, this little jaunt took place the very day &mdash nay, the very hour &mdash that Lizzy was setting off for an expensive professional seminar which would keep her out of town and thus unable to rescue Buddy for some days.

To Lizzy's lasting gratitude, the grandhoomin of the 922 and a kindly neighbour agreed to look for Buddy, but alas! Their efforts bore no fruit.

Lizzy returned and put up posters and notes in mailboxes and looked high and low, but where was Buddy Diamondback? Buddy Short-Tail, Buddy Three-Fang, Buddy BedMonster of the Attic Adventure, Buddy the Turtle was nowhere to be found. He did not come when called. No one had seen him. And he never made his way back to the sanctum sanctorum of 922Cats.

Buddy "turtling" again

One day, after the long-suffering hoomin had trod the neighbouring highways and byways in search of Buddy, after buckets of tears had been shed, after a worried hoomin had looked and asked everywhere, she decided to put a rug on the porch, sprinkled with catnip, to lure the beloved Buddy back.

But the hours passed, and there was still no Buddy. Tired, the hoomin prepared to shut down for the night, but before she could go to bed, the power failed. Well, when the power goes out and it's warm, a hoomin makes adjustments to ensure that all cats and kittens (and, of course, the poor lone hoomin) remain cool and sufficiently aerated. In other words, the hoomin opens windows. And as she walked sadly though the dark house, saying to the remaining 921, "Yes, I know, loves, I miss him, too," she heard, through the open windows, a little chirp from the porch.

With way shaking hands she managed to get the front door open, and, there, in the moonlight, was the vagabond, prodigal Buddy.
He paced the porch and talked, for about 20 minutes - alas that I couldn't understand a word. Once it was all out of his system, he let me pick him up and take him in. He'd got fleas and something called garbage gut, but he was back! And to this day he avoids that door...
Dear Buddy, saved! Rescued from the terrible outdoors, safe from the nasty hoomins who once hurt his tail and dumped him to fend for himself! Dear sweet Buddy, back in the loving arms (and paws) of all at 922Cats!

Ever since his return, he has been the sweetest and best of cats. Garbage gut, incidentally, is something usually suffered by dogs, but also by cats who might have to eat bad food out of dumpsters and trashcans. It occurs when animals who cannot find clean healthy food eat whatever they can find, which has often gone bad and has lots of unpleasant bacteria in it, and that bacteria makes itself at home in their bodies. Thanks to Lizzy and a very nice vet, Buddy soon got over his attack of garbage gut, but not his fear of the vestibule, into which he has never ventured again.

So if you can't take care of your pet anymore, please don't release it in the wild. It will get ill and it will most likely die an unpleasant death. Instead, please take it to the nearest no-kill shelter, and if you can't find such a thing a regular shelter will do, because the no-kill shelters often look for pets to save from your local shelter's euthanasia shortlist.

The hoomin adds:
For many years after Buddy's terrible adventure, he stayed well and far away from the vestibule door. Lately, however, sometimes when I'm leaving he'll come right up to it and look up at me through the pane of glass with his big and so green eyes. Then he'll brush against the door, and fall over and reach one paw imploringly under. It is really very flattering, and makes it oh-so-hard to walk through and close the other door.
His hoomin says, Buddy does not complain - he never does (well, hardly ever); he just looks sadly and says, But I missed you!

Other than sensibly avoiding the vestibule, Buddy the once-crazed abandoned kitty has turned into the sweetest of felines. Here he is, for example, being a surrogate father to new "kittens" Cloud and Cyrrie:

Extreme Sleeping

Lizzy's comment: Cyrrie and Cloud turn pro; Buddy coaches...

He took his job pretty seriously, and no one had to ask him to do it!

For example, his hoomin tells us, when the "kittens" &mdash or kittens &mdash have wrestling matches, Buddy is either referee, coach, or fan, or all three at the same time...

Buddy politely turns down Angel's invitation to wrestle

Like Chauncy Gardner, he preferred, that time, to watch.

Here, Buddy kitten-sits the second generation. Guess who the lucky beneficiary of Buddy's tender loving care is?

Not that he's perfect, although as close to a saint as felinely possible, and you'd have to be, to put up with Angel, yclept Diavolo. His hoomin explains:
First it was Buddy, snoozing happily on the couch until Angel dropped down on top of him and rolled him off, Saying Fun/wrestle/play with me...! Usually sweet Buddy said something else entirely, and was duly rescued by the human
More Buddy pictures and stories next Caturday!

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2008 Elections: One Foot Down

One to go.

John McCain decides to shoot himself in both feet, on television.

If you haven't already seen this video clip of McCain doing the "stick your feet in your mouth and your head up your ass, and then fire at each foot in turn" routine while being interviewed by Meredith Viera ... what are you waiting for?

Geesh, guy, you're looking really pathetic, please go away. Isn't it your nap time?

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2008 Elections: Oh, Dear

The Wall Street Journal tells us today that the Nevada GOP is cancelling the state convention that they normally hold to pick the delegates that will go to the GOP national convention in September.

According to their official spokesweasels, the convention is being canceled for "lack of interest." Some 675 delegates are required for a quorum, and only 300 had sent RSVPs, therefore delegates will be chosen via a conference call, they claim.

It appears, however, that the real reason the convention is now a conference call is not lack of enthusiasm. But we'll let a credentialed delegate tell you what the deal is, in his own words:
Actually, this year’s Republican Convention had the highest attendance in Nevada history. Actually, the attendees were the most enthusiastic ever. The problem is that we were enthusiastic about Ron Paul and the Constitution. This is our crime. We did not bend over for the coronation of Sen. McCain. The establishment could not allow dissent within the ranks, so State Senator Bob Beers abruptly and illegally recessed the convention.

We did not hijack the proceedings. Sen. Beers did. Rather, we used parliamentary procedure and the party rules to elect delegates who would carry our cause to the national convention. If the GOP actually believes that this is “hijacking the party”, then it is not a truly “Republican” party. It is an oligarchy, and I want no part of it. Of course the GOP is in trouble. Under GOP leadership, government is bigger, more intrusive, inefficient, has more debt, and is less responsive to the Constitution.

Sean Fericks
Credentialed Delegate to the April 2008 Nevada GOP Convention
Comment by Sean R. Fericks (credentialed delegate) - July 18, 2008 at 11:35 pm
The proprietors of this fine blog agree with Mr. Fericks. There was a time when the Republican party represented the interests of independent types, small businesspeople, the man and woman on the street, people who liked their guns and didn't like nannyism and interfering busybodies. We could actually find ourselves in sympathy with many of that party's positions.

Then, in order to create a Thousand-Year Reich (or, as KKKarl Rove prefers to call it, a "permanent majority" &mdash a concept completely alien to a democracy, but the very linchpin of a fascist state, as any student of history will know), the Republican party sold itself out to two special-interest groups: big corporations (because that's where the money is), and extremist fundamentalists (because they bring out the voters who will vote against their own interests by the million because their leaders tell them to).

That unholy alliance gave us record-breaking deficits, staggering national debt, unacceptable levels of unemployment (good for reining in the inflation of increased salaries for workers), obscene levels of compensation for CEOs who were accountable to no one, the destruction of our civil rights, the desecration of the Constitution, the collapse of the national infrastructure, the breaking of our financial institutions, the deregulation of our industries and economy, and the breaking of our health care system.

That unholy alliance put into office an ex-alcoholic druggie fratboy who has never held a single job with any degree of success. An incompetent whose wealthy powerful father gave him everything he ever had, from admission to college to a ticket out of the draft to the funds for his first, and subsequent, failed business ventures, to, finally, the highest office in the nation. A bumbling fool who can't ride a scooter without falling, or eat a pretzel without choking.

An idiot with the reverse Midas touch that has brought this great nation to her knees, miring us in two wars with no definition of success while we lose blood and treasure and force our children to kill the children of other people by the million. The Republican party now supports agribusiness while putting small farmers out of business. It wants to snoop into the sex lives of every man and woman in the nation, but cannot give them an education or a job or a wage increase. This is a failed party, and please don't take our word for it. Go read the comments at the article. If Dr. Ron Paul did nothing else, he showed America just how far the Republican party has strayed from its ideals.

While we would prefer to see Barack Obama in the Oval Office, we're still disgusted by the attempts to suppress the vote of the people. Every citizen has, or should have, the right to vote. We will not all agree with who should win, but we should all be free to exercise that right. Ron Paul's supporters deserve our praise, not our condemnation, for their hard work and organization and eagerness to exercise their right to vote.

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Politics: What Our Guardian Angel Would Do

The ChronicLiar doesn't have much going for it, but occasionally one does find gems. This is today's Tom Meyer cartoon.

We laughed so hard we like to about died. Click to embiggen.

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Politics: Don't Go Away Mad

Just go away.

McClatchy poses the question today of whether Dumbfuck McBlotto, our (decidedly un)esteemed Escutcheon-blot in chief, is "going out with 'a whimper'." Frankly, McClatchy, who gives a fuck? We just want him to go, preferably to a narrow, cramped, poorly-lit prison cell where he can rub the heads of all the baldies he can get his hands on. The sooner the better.

While academics opine on Dim Son's astounding lack of popularity, the common people are watching basic food prices soar out of reach even as the value of their homes, the stability of their corporate employers and their financial institutions, and the value of their currency sink lower than a worm's arsehole.

So, as Maru over at WTF Is It Now? likes to say,
The popular war preznit has regained his footing... oh, I'm sorry, Mr Broder, make that [insert real-life stumblebum's latest stumble]
Considering that the pathetic, wretched little asshole can barely behave in public, it's hardly surprising that that fact seems to be registering with record numbers of his fellow-citizens.

Meanwhile, it's heartening to realize that there are some Republicans with ethics. Stephen Spoonamore, founder and CEO of Cybrinth LLC, an IT policy and security firm, has stepped forward to help an anonymous whistleblower prove that professional slime mold impersonators and cybervote machine manufacturers Diebold improperly interfered in Georgia's 2002 elections.

So we now know we have fucking Diebold to thank for that ambulatory turd, Saxby Chambliss. In case you didn't know, Chambliss prides himself on holding up monies to combat AIDS in Africa, as Cernig points out over on newshoggers. He also doesn't care much for SCHIP, The Endangered Species Act, the fight against global warming, women, life (except for "unborn children," i.e., fetii), environmentalism, science, civil rights, taxes for the rich, bankruptcy for the poor, education (except for school prayer), or pretty much anything except prisons and the death penalty.

In heartening news today, Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki announced his support for Barack Obama's plan for a phased withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. In even more heartening news, Chimpy McDumbfuck's pathetic minions sent the news about Maliki's support to the press &mdash by mistake. In even more heartening news, Jowly McGrumpypants (thanks, Maru!) camp issued a succinct evaluation of this news: We're fucked, they said, which makes us really happy, since Gramps McSnarly is the last person to help this poor nation get back on her feet. Shoot, he's having trouble keeping his own. And, he's definitely showing signs of dementia or otherwise eroding mental function, not that his mental function was much to brag about in the first place.

It's also nice to know that McCain is exhibiting a level of fiscal stupidity that reinforces our suspicions about his dysfunction. And to no one's surprise, McCain's elderly, probably racist and certainly ill-informed supporters are displaying a lack of enthusiasm usually reserved for Matlock reruns. Really? It must rub salt in the wound to hear that art collectors believe McGrumpypants artwork is worth nothing, while Obama artwork is selling for tens of thousands of dollars, eh, McJowly? Of course, you'd have to be more than slightly off to find portraits of CottageCheesyJowls McSnarlfester remotely exciting, but hey.

McAncient's inability to keep his festering gob shut may have caused security problems for Obama: Blabberjowls McScarface apparently announced to the press that Obama is expected to be in Iraq this weekend. Hopefully, he'll be greeted with flowers by an adoring population, since he's the only candidate to espouse a definite timeline for the withdrawal of our troops. Of course, when someone else blabbed about a person being in Iraq, McCain was simply furious. But then, the subject of the blabment was his son, not his political rival.

The good news is coming thick and fast today: Multimillionaire whiner Phil Gramm, who just last week told us (before Starbucks announced it was closing a bunch of stores and laying off staff) that we were whiners suffering from a "mental recession," has stepped down from McAncient's campaign. Good. Goodbye, and good riddance, Phil. And quit whining.

Meanwhile, the Mighty Munchkin of Justice has decided to investigate Felon McChimperson and Snarly McCrashcart's minions' surveillance of harmless peace activists and expending much-needed taxpayer money on police officers to do so, instead of fighting crime. But then again, why bother to fight crime when you can turn prisons into a high-paying privatized industry, with the citizen taxpayers doing all the paying.

This is what happens when we elect Democrats, people. Sure, it's going slowly, slower than many of us would like. But let's not forget that the past eight years has been nothing but incompetence, fraud, lies, cheating, hypocrisy, deceit, and the tearing down of this great country. It's gonna take a while to fix the mess, and if we're going to try to hold anyone accountable, it must be done in a way that they cannot overturn. And that takes a little time.

For those who don't want to click the above link, it's to a Washington Post story about the current, Democratic governor of Maryland, who has reversed his Republican predecessor's policy of having the State Police conduct surveillance of peace activists and anti-death penalty protestors. What a waste of taxpayer money!

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Politics: The Police State

Hello, What. The. Fuck? Ohio? What is going on here?

Police in Ohio apparently went to the home of a legally blind diabetic cancer patient in her fifties, looking for her son, a felon. The woman, Denise Harris, was suspicious, for legitimate reasons WHIO TV says they will air tonight in an interview with her.

Police are claiming they knocked on her door and she "became combative" and didn't want to talk to them. So they tased her.

Excuse me? They fucking WHAT? Is somebody putting mind-altering drugs in the water in Ohio? The Hope Steffey case wasn't bad enough? The Tarika Wilson case wasn't bad enough?

Look at me, Ohio, I am talking to you goddammit. What the fuck is this? Tasering a woman in her fifties because she doesn't want to talk to you? Have your fucking idiot police ever heard of the Constitution? Specifically the Fifth Amendment thereto?

Oh, yeah, we forgot, Jor Jee wiped his ass on it so you can't read it any more.

Jesus fucking J.H. Christ on a pogo stick with bells on! What the hell gives that you people actually think it's OK to use a weapon that can kill on a blind, diabetic fucking cancer fucking patient???

Just one point in your favour: you proved that you don't discrimate based on race when you slammed blonde, white Hope Steffey face-first into a police cruiser, stripped her naked, forcibly and physically violated her on the pretext of a full body search, threw her shivering beaten naked ass in a jail cell, and videotaped the whole disgraceful thing.

Of course, you killed Tarika Wilson because her boyfriend was a drug dealer. Shot her to death in front of her children.

People, look at this long and good. The police state, which we've blogged repeatedly before, is upon us. Commenter Sungold points out that a pregnant woman was tasered in Ohio last fall. These cops need to have tasers taken away from them.

The "security bracelet" favoured by the DHS in lieu of a boarding pass is looking more likely by the second.

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Caturday Guest Part I - Buddy Visits La Casa de Los Gatos

Today's special guest is Buddy of 922 Cats. And what a very special kitteh he is. He lives with Lizzy der kittehmeisterin and sibs Petunia, Banshee, Lucy, Cloud, Cyrano, Angel, and AreToo.

Buddy with Sweet Sib Cyrrie

Here, Buddy demonstrates to Cyrrie the proper way to ignore the paparazzi. Note Cyrrie's failure to follow orders as he gazes full at the cameraperson. Tsk! Note also Buddy's beautiful, clear green eyes!

Buddy Short-Tail

Buddy, like all cats, has several names: Three-Fang, Short-Tail, Buddy Bed Monster, Eater of Many Toes... (although his hoomin allows as how it might be Biter of Many Toes, or Nibbler of Many Toes, given that she still has all of hers ...).

Thus, when his siblings fell in love with the New Yorker cover, boldly declaring, "We all want tail enhancements," Buddy (politely, as always) declined. His hoomin claims he says it would interfere with his "brand."

Buddy demonstrates branding

How Buddy lost a good part of his tail, we shall never know. His hoomin says it happened before he came into her care, one dismal, cold, blizzardy day in 1998. But let her tell you for herself:
... it was November 1998 when I first eye-balled him - as I recall, my first words were, Oh sh*t!, on account of how many cats I was over the limit already. It was way late at night - he was all alone in the parking lot, but when I dutifully went to scoop him up he ran under a car and I said Fine! Good! And went on home. Did I slip a can of FancyFeast into my purse the next morning before going to work? Hmm.... I courted Buddy for about a month - that's how he got his name, me saying, Hi, Buddy, how are you doing today..... I stalked him, and bribed him with FancyFeast, and carried around my carrier just waiting for the opportunity to catnab him.
It's a good thing Lizzy has the honed instincts of a Cat Stalker &mdash or Buddy would not be around today to be loved and adored and "kittened!"
Finally it snowed. Big time. And I sat with him in blizzard conditions while he ate 2 cans of FF. And I threw in some catnip. Finally he let me pet him. As I rubbed his forehead I thought it's now or never, and I grabbed him and threw him into the carrier. He was not happy. I took him home and put him in the computer room and he put himself under the pie-safe and stayed there for 48 hours! No food - and oh, the goodies that I tempted him with! - and even no peeing!! But he gave in in the end, and over the next six weeks we worked things out. When I insisted he was a cat and not a turtle he gave up hiding under the little table he was so fond of. And finally we went to the vetz and started to integrate him into the horde.

Buddy demonstrates "turtling"

Buddy's names (the ones hoomins use, anyway) were earned honestly. Here, for example, Buddy shows how he earned "Buddy the Bed-Monster." Early in his stay at Casa de Lizzy, Buddy decided to "turtle" under the bed. He was eventually coaxed out by his determined hoomin, although he has not lost his "turtling" skills.

Buddy Three-Fang was bestowed after the first trip to the vetz, which caused poor Buddy to spazz out completely and break a fang trying to get out of his carrier. We suspect he had a horrible experience that involved a cat carrier and being dumped on the streets, since he's clearly not a feral. Poor Buddy must have thought that a wicked hoomin was going to do something bad and mean and painful to him AGAIN! But he's in good hands now &mdash Lizzy sets the gold standard in Cat Care, and Buddy will never ever suffer again in his life if Lizzy has anything to say about it. You hear that, Buddy? No more spazzing out with the cat carrier, sweetie.

Of course, Buddy had no idea at the time that Casa de Lizzy was the place all cats would want to be, if they knew about it. So he tried escaping. The first try, fortunately, was confined to the attic. Although it scared his hoomin badly, and probably strained numerous of her muscles from moving the objects stored in the attic to find the Budmeister, he was successfully found and dusted off.

The second escape attempt occurred 6 months later. The poor hoomin was about to leave town for an expensive professional seminar. Buddy apparated
[...] into the vestibule and into the open closet, all unknown to his hoomin. She carefully closed the interior door, took her bags to the car, went to go back inside, only to find a a frantic Buddy in the vestibule but then out the door and disappering in total panic. The human looked, the grandhuman looked, a kindly neighbor looked, and then the human had to go, with grandhuman and neighbor promising to continue the search. Every night of the seminar the human called home. And all the cat people at the seminar asked everyday, Is Buddy home yet? Needless to say, his human cried herself to sleep every night. Finally she got home, and illegally put notes in hundreds of mailboxes. She walked block after block for 3 days.

Buddy Diamondback

All in vain. Buddy was gone, vanished, no one had seen him, no one knew where he was. Poor Buddy Diamondback! And poor, poor hoomin!

Next: The Cat Came Back, or Buddy Returns. Stay tuned!

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