Saturday, December 15, 2012

A Heartsick Man in a Sick, Sick Land

When the unthinkable becomes a damn-near weekly occurrence, something is seriously wrong with our society.  Four days ago, ZRM put up a post which posed the questions:

Huh?  How many times will a loosely-bolted-together near-human take an easily available weapon and large amounts of nearly-unregulated ammo to turn a random mostly-safe community space into a bloodbath of passers-by?

What the f*** does it take, Wayne LaPierre, you greedy intransigent gun-lobby whore?  How many innocent people have to needlessly die?

Yesterday, he posted the follow-up.

Unfortunately, the weasels in the government and the media are unwilling to address the “elephant in the room”, which is the easy availability of high-powered, high-capacity firearms in this country.  The gun lobby is just too goddamn powerful for the lily-livered lapdogs in the corridors of power to oppose… they merely wring their hands and whine, “It’s too soon to talk about gun control.  Think of the families!”  These families just had their young children killed, talking about gun control won’t make them feel any more grief.  Eighteen dead children?  What the hell does the ghoulish Wayne Lapierre care about eighteen dead children?  Wayne Lapierre is raking in too much blood money to be concerned with eighteen dead children.

Of course, gun fetishists will insist that the right to bear arms is enshrined in the Constitution, but that is a crock of malarky… as I noted in my last post about a mass killing, the gun nuts typically omit the first clause of the Second Amendment.  In its entirety, the Second Amendment reads:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Here is my proposal… call it “Second Amendment strict constructionism to make Conservatives lose it:  If you want a gun, you must be a member of a well regulated militia, and not a nutbag Turner Diaries LARPer B.S. militia.  You would have to register your gun with state or local authorities, and show up for periodic (monthly or quarterly) muster, receiving training, safety instruction, and an evaluation of your fitness to bear that weapon.  No regulation, no arms.  It’s as simple as that.  Having no regulation of arms is the unconstitutional position… “conservative” distortions notwithstanding. 

Later this morning, I’m going to be surrounded by dozens of children the ages of the children who were killed in the Newton, Connecticut massacre.  After our classes, everybody - children, parents, coaches, counsellors - will be assembling for a lovely party to celebrate the holidays, before the program goes on hiatus for two weeks.  While I surely hope that the kids will be blissfully unaware of the horrors that unfolded sixty miles to the northeast, I will make a point of greeting each of them by name, and bidding each of them an individual farewell before we part.  All the while, I’ll know deep down that, even though my friends and I have been giving them the wherewithal to deal with bullies, the guy whose instruction will really be helpful if they encounter a genuinely dangerous situation is Jerry, the track coach.

POSTSCRIPT:  Riddled‘s Smut Clyde, in a comment at Snark Central, posted a depressing assessment of American society, one which I, sadly, cannot refute:

When there is a thriving market in weapons specifically designed for killing lots of people in a short time, when you have the industry and its lobbyists and its affiliated political movement encouraging the purchase of weapons and ammunition, then it seems odd to label the people who buy and use the weapons according to directions as “disturbed”. It’s a form of disturbance that is in tune with your society.

I fear you nailed it, old chum… it’s this societal sickness that makes me so heartsick.

Note: I cleaned up the language somewhat, in deference to my gracious hosts.  I posted a slightly “saltier” version at my eponymous hideaway.

Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 12/15/12 at 07:12 AM
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Categories: NewsPoliticsBedwettersNuttersOur Stupid MediaSkull Hampers

Friday, December 14, 2012

27 People Dead, 18 of Them CHILDREN!

Can we start a dialog about sensible gun control NOW??  Not according to Jay Carney.  Colorado Governor John Hicklooper apparently has more guts.

In a significant shift from his statements earlier this year, Gov. John Hickenlooper now says “the time is right” for Colorado lawmakers to consider further gun restrictions.

And he made that announcement yesterday.  Naturally all the usual suspects are in full howl mode but the fact of a Democratically controlled state house and Senate could make a difference.  Or, at any rate, we’ll see which Dems are also owned by the NRA.

I’ve seen several responses today that it’s mental health we need to focus on - not the unbelievably easy access unstable people have to automatic weapons and huge magazines of bullets.  News flash people:  The two subjects aren’t mututally exclusive.

For those who continue to say the time to have the conversation is not now I would just ask “If today’s horror wasn’t bad enough to make today the day, what will it take?”

UPDATE

via TPM, Carney’s comments at the press briefing:

The press was doing their job a bit there.  And characterizing finding a way to stop innocent victims from being massacred by deranged people with assault guns on an ever more frequent basis as engaging in “the usual Washington policy debates” is fking insulting.

(edited last sentence for clarity)

Posted by marindenver on 12/14/12 at 02:10 PM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaEditorialsNuttersTeabaggery

Five Warning Signs That the “Elephant-in-the Room” Is Seriously Fked Up

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The 2012 post-election implosion of the Republican Party is no longer news, it has now morphed into a sort of protracted anthropological study conducted by forensic squads of enquiring minds from all regions of the intellectual landscape.

It’s trending.

We’re now at a stage that is like being forced to attend a family intervention on Superbowl Sunday.  The pathetic yutz of a “guest of honor” wallowing in self-pity, anger and (worst case) withdrawal, while the rest of the family natters away frantically about self-help, tough love and family history.  It’s a horror show, with no real winners or losers, that must simply be endured.

And, because we are “family” it is assumed that someday we will forgive and forget, but that’s a long way off . . .

read the whole post »

Posted by Bette Noir on 12/14/12 at 11:11 AM
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Categories: PoliticsBarack ObamaElection '12Election '14NuttersTeabaggery

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Susan Rice Drops Bid to Become Secretary of State

I suppose if there’s one silver lining to come from Susan Rice’s decision to withdraw her name from the running for Hillary Clinton’s replacement as Secretary of State, it’s that Sen. John McCain has to stop his tantrum regarding her. (Oh, but how long before the next tantrum commences?)  I suppose I can see where people are coming from if they feel a little ripped off that she didn’t get further in the process because it just feels like giving in to the angry old GOP bastards, and who wants to give them an inch? On the other hand, I lean towards this being her decision to make, and getting out before it gets uglier (as McCain was threatening) is very sensible.

But where does the White House go from here regarding SoS Search? I know the current narrative is the next at-bat goes to Sen. John Kerry, because that’s who the Old Boys’ Club deems acceptable, and also they want a crack at slipping Scott Brown back into the Senate.  Me, I don’t see why Obama doesn’t consider Samatha Power.  (Well, actually I kind of do.  I must be part troll that I’d be looking forward to “Shit-show 2: Power Boogaloo”, because if the GOP wanted to shit-stir regarding Power, well, I guess they would.  But I’m a blogger and that’s blog-fodder. I’m capricious like that.)

But regarding the idea that Sen. Kerry accepting a role as SoS necessarily means losing that seat, I’m not convinced. The people of the Commonwealth have seen Brown’s act, and it’s not like there isn’t anyone who could run against him. I rather like the idea of Barney Frank in the Senate (we should be so lucky!). Although more than a few people on Twitter have mentioned Rep. Ed Markey, who I also rather like.

(X-posted at Strangely Blogged.)

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 12/13/12 at 08:27 PM
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Categories: NewsPoliticsBedwettersElection '08St. McSameElection '14Hillary ClintonNutters

The Cutting-Edge Career To Which I Can Never Return (NSFW)

Ask anyone in advertising: they’ll tell you this video clip is the most spot-on parody of creative hackdom ever produced, and proof positive that Poe’s Law abides.

It goes without saying that I will never again be involved in graphic or video advertising services; and, certainly no one will ever pay me to put my eyes behind an SLR viewfinder or at the wheel of a high-end digital videocam.

‘Tis true: the biggest job on my plate right now is to find a way to feed myself for the next twenty years. The cats are living in foster homes. I’m probably moving to subsidized housing for the disabled. And my one great hope is that talking computers can compensate for a blind man’s keyboard disorientation. It’s gonna be a brand new future for me. One that I hope will be more than modestly shared with the brave ranks of Rumproasters!

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 12/13/12 at 03:53 PM
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Pillage the Village

Some Villager vignettes for your consideration. First up, Dana Milbank on Joe Lieberman’s sparsely attended farewell speech in the senate:

Joe Lieberman’s Sad Send-Off

It Was a Lonely Farewell for Joe Lieberman.

...A few more senators arrived during the 20-minute speech, but even by the end Lieberman was very much alone — which is how it has been for much of his 24-year tenure. He tried to push back against the mindless partisanship that developed in the chamber, and he paid dearly for it…

What a steaming load of horseshit. Lieberman was a highly partisan actor on behalf of the insurance-financial-military complex, which filled his coffers sufficiently to retain office long after the people of Connecticut were sick of the mewling, sanctimonious prick. Given the damage he inflicted with his war-mongering and petty spite, Lieberman deserved a much grander send-off, such as ejection from the chamber via catapult to a new home in a toxic waste dump.

Instead, he got away with his many perfidies, lionized by ignorant prats like Milbank for his non-existent integrity and bipartisanship, and he’ll no doubt land on K Street, where he’ll rake in millions of dollars. We’re supposed to feel sorry for Lieberman? Boo-fucking-hoo.

Next up: hair harrumphing and fat shaming:

  Watch More News Videos at ABC  |  2012 Presidential Election  |  Entertainment & Celebrity News

With the exception of every minute of every single episode of Dancin’ Dave Gregory’s “Press the Meat,” this clip illustrates the vacuity of our fucked up political press corps about as well as anything you’ll ever see. George Stephanopoulis and Barbara Walters are discussing her recent interviews with Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie.

Wow, there’s a lot to discuss! You’ve got the Secretary of State in a tumultuous geopolitical time, what with much of the Middle East going to hell, etc., but the teaser for the segment is all about Hillary Clinton’s hair.

Walters apologetically notes that a man wouldn’t be questioned about his coif, but nonetheless, the public demands an answer, so Walters must ask. Clinton responds with the mocking tone the question deserves, but Jaysus, this is stupid. Clinton should have shaved her head on the segment and made a real statement, like Joan of Arc.

Next up, Chris Christie, possible GOP contender in 2016, governor of a hurricane-ravaged state, frequent pugnacious asshole and notorious Obama-thanker. Was the teaser to that segment about how a GOP primary candidate who is famous for his temper might navigate between the batshit crazies and plutocrats who control his party to offer a credible alternative to the Democrats? How about a bit on Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts and the looming threat of climate change to coastal areas?

Nope—it’s about fat Christie’s fat-fat ass and fat-fat-fat gut. Could voters see past his big fat blubber and consider electing such a fatty-fat motherfucker?

Again, Walters poses the question delicately, after making a joke about the “elephant in the room” in the intro. Jaysus. I half expected Christie to respond that if a woman with a speech impediment could become a top broadcast journalist, surely a fat man could aspire to the highest office in the land.

I suppose our political press corps could get even dumber, but it’s hard to imagine how unless they add Jim Hoft to the ranks. Which wouldn’t surprise me.

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 12/13/12 at 09:09 AM
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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ravi Shankar Dies After Heart Surgery

Sitar-king Shankar—a musician who inspired the Beatles—died yesterday following heart-valve repairs. Here he is in a recent concert clip, still pickin’ and grinnin’ those magic strings.

Fair forward, traveler. Shantih, shantih, shantih.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 12/12/12 at 09:48 PM
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Arlo Guthrie’s Cyclone of Steel Guitars

Another shiny nugget from my golden Ohio youth. This is “Runnin’ Down the Road” by Arlo Guthrie, a frantically hopeful song about getting one’s life in gear. It could be heard shrieking from the windows of my mother’s ‘72 Monte Carlo on Friday and Saturday nights when I screamed past the “Center Of The World” sign on Route 5 at 120 MPH on my way home, sometime after 3 AM.

This one’s my music theme for the day as I run down the road with my fellow Rowdy Roasters.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 12/12/12 at 06:39 PM
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“Giant Ants” by Ronnie Wasp

Truly, YouTube is a pharaoh’s treasure horde of groundbreaking cultural Ur-media. Here is my ancient friend Ron Hankison, known in those days by his recording talent moniker “Ronnie Wasp.”  The cut is from his ‘80s album Nolo Contendere, a disk on which only lunatic survivalists like this outer space ant-farmer would dare make wretched jokes about human/ant fornication (or is that formication?).

All in all, an epic song by a prodigious creative mind.

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 12/12/12 at 05:53 PM
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Have Yourself a Merry Little Oblivion

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In a tradition that started at Rumproast several years ago, I like to wind up the year in blogging by saying a hearty “fuck off!” to five people / trends / things that really need to go away in the coming New Year and invite readers to add their own picks and thoughts.

The competition is fierce every year, but I’m not sure I’ve ever contemplated such a worthy roster of candidates as confronts us here in late 2012. But here goes:

1. Everyone named “Bush.” No Jeb! No George P. Bush. No one else with the last name “Bush” should be discussed in connection with an elected office in the US, ever again. This includes people named Bush who are not actually related to George W. Bush. That’s not fair, but tough shit. No more Bushes. The band “Bush” can stay, though.

2. The expression “baby bump.” I don’t know who started this, but I suspect it was someone like the insufferable Tina Brown. Well, enough, goddamn it. It’s bad enough to discuss royal uteri and celebrity fecundity as if it were even remotely important to anyone but the principals involved without resorting to infantile verbiage.

3. Donald Trump. Has any single earthling who was not a genuine murderous despot ever cried out for an extinction-level asteroid strike as self-importantly, relentlessly and absurdly as Trump? Whether he’s trying to bully Scotsmen or injecting himself into US politics or pimping blatantly racist birther conspiracy theories, Trump is an embarrassment to the human race, and his mug should disappear from my teevee. Forever.

4. The Tea Party. It was never anything more than a Koch-funded rebranding campaign to mitigate the damage to the GOP’s image wrought by walking disaster George W. Bush. But pundits and political operators who should know better still persist in treating it as a genuine grassroots movement. Well, enough of that bullshit. Let’s see no more Gadsden flags, faux Colonial breeches and tricorn hats in 2013.

5. Camille Paglia. This “crassly egocentric, raving twit” should have had the good grace to slink off into oblivion forever when the late, great Molly Ivins laid the definitive smack-down [PDF link] on her more than 20 years ago. And yet she persists. Fuck off, already.

Who / what else should kindly fuck the fuck off in 2013?

[X-posted at Balloon Juice]

Posted by Betty Cracker on 12/12/12 at 01:22 PM
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Categories: Messylaneous

GOP Annals of Victimology: Richard Mourdock Edition

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During Day 35 of the GOP’s “WTF? We Lost” inquest, testimony was given by Indiana’s Richard Mourdock, a TEA Party Senate-wannabe who managed to lose a long-time, in-the-bag Republican Senate seat by ousting its long-time occupant, Sen. Dick Lugar and proceeding to make a World Class Ass of himself in a televised public debate. 

Mourdock scored this coup by sharing his deeply held belief that rapes only happen because God wants them to, ergo the victims of rape should feel honored to carry their “little blessing” to term. (I paraphrased: BN)

Today, Mourdock explains that he lost his election, not because of the insanely idiotic thing that he said about rape, but because the dirty conniving ratbastards of the Librul Media reported it.  Poor Richard is now left with no Senate seat, the scorn of his own party and a mountain of unpaid campaign bills.  As a result, he was forced to go back to the well, one more time, for some post-campaign funding.

This is the Palin-esque little missive that Team Mourdock sent to supporters:

After a bitter, hard-fought campaign, many Republicans all over the country were forced to accept defeat rather than celebrate victory. In our case, we found our campaign caught in the liberal media crosshairs. Never has Indiana seen a more obvious example of media bias by reporters more interested in defeating conservatives than reporting the news.

We fought back and invested heavily in a last-minute push to combat the slew of false accusations Democrats and the liberal media churned up to distract voters.

“The slew of false accusations?” “churned up to distract voters?”  Really??

You said it, Champ, that’s all there is to it.  If the press wasn’t hanging around to catch every pearl of wisdom that fell from your lips, you’d be screaming “bias.”  You said it, they reported it.  Granted it was idiotic, but you said it.

And it’s not as if this was the only stupid thing you said . . . there was also this, after you won the primary to oust Dick Lugar, who was not stupid:

the highlight of politics, frankly, is to inflict my opinion on someone else.

Wow! close call Hoosiers.  Maybe someone could sit Mourdock down and explain what it is to be “hoist by one’s own petard.”  Not that he’ll be running for any other office in the foreseeable future . . . and if you received one of those fund-raising letters, it probably means that you were clueless enough to donate to this chucklehead in the first place, so you can ignore all of the foregoing.

 

Posted by Bette Noir on 12/12/12 at 10:27 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '12NuttersTeabaggeryOur Stupid Media

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sometimes, You Just Can’t Get Enough Stan Ridgway

Especially when he and his band, Wall of Voodoo, have been retro-cranked through a wall of synthesizers to perfectly mimic the Spaghetti Western sound of gritty rockabilly tunes. (As Mrs. Polly notes, “It’s like Johnny Cash and Harry Dean Stanton had an illegitimate son and named him Stan.”)

In case you’re wondering, here’s the list of reasons WoV thinks most people are motivated to relocate in the Wild West:

read the whole post »

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 12/11/12 at 09:24 PM
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Reasons the GOP Will Never Get Better: #73

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One of the BIG reasons that Republicans “Will Never Get Better” is their propensity for promoting nitwitty hacks who couldn’t hold their own in a high school debate club to positions of “thought leadership” in which they write “serious books,” post pseudo-intellectual op-eds for national publications and “win” fellowships to right-wing “think” tanks just like real people. 

From those lofty perches, such bird-brains release their prodigious droppings into the idea stream from which the right-wingosphere drinks deeply.  And so it goes . . .

One such avian diletante is Marc Thiessen whose bona fides include: a widely panned, book length apologia for the Bush administration’s propensity for torturing prisoners (Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack); a visiting “fellowship” at the American Enterprise Institute: and a regular gig hacking for the Washington Post, which appears to be helping Fred Hiatt immensely in his race to the bottom of the newspaper publishing heap.

As demonstrated by the photo above, Thiessen also grabbed the #6 spot on Alex Pareene’s “Hack Thirty” list in 2010.

Still, don’t feel too bad if you’ve never heard of Marc Thiessen—it only means you were smart enough to stay clear of places “momma told you not to come.”

read the whole post »

Posted by Bette Noir on 12/11/12 at 10:54 AM
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Categories: PoliticsElection '12Election '14Nutters

Sen. Lindsey Graham Wants to Talk About Balls

Huh—for some reason, the Democratic president who won re-election—this first president since Eisenhower to win both his elections by 51% or more, wants to engage this fiscal cliff debate like a Democrat.

That’s because elections have consequences. Obama didn’t run on doing some big damn thing that wasn’t a part of his party’s platform, which has always been to protect entitlements. By derisively referring to the decision to restore the tax rates for the higher 2% earners to Clinton-era levels a “small ball”, Graham is not just engaging in an unfortunate double-entendre to imply that Obama’s figurative “balls” could be bigger, but is also reminding us that those rates that the Republicans want to make their line in the sand for the upper-income folks?

Ain’t no big. It’s what rich folks were paying before the Bush tax cuts went into effect and the economy was not doing poorly, then.

What Graham’s team is playing with, though, post-fiscal cliff issue, is a “big”. Not raising the debt ceiling is akin to saying we aren’t paying the bills. The lights get shut off and the phone doesn’t work. He’s talking government shut-down.

Seriously? We’re talking Clinton-era rates on the wealthy (who aren’t going to be hand-to-mouth if they pay a higher marginal rate, what?) vs actually shutting down the government, like Gingrich an’em did. How did they do in 1998? Exactly. What was it some Spanish dude said—those who don’t remember the past….?

This isn’t about balls, this is about responsibility. Who sounds reasonable?  “No Drama Obama”—or Senator SquirrellyPants who, if he isn’t busy floating conspiracy theories about Benghazi, is now sounding as dumb as Bachmann, Gohmert, or Broun on the damn debt ceiling, even if the last time it got threatened—the credit rating of the US almost took a hit?

I can’t talk enough about how disappointing Lindsey Graham is being. Really—you want someone to pay attention to you? Resign. Quit the damn Senate, go on a reality show or something.  But this irresponsible talk is conduct unbecoming a respected Senator. He has got to know better than this.

But regarding the government shutdown/denying there is a debt ceiling mandate shit—glory days. Yeah, they’ll pass you by, glory days. In the wink of a young girl’s eye, glory days—glory days, amirite? Seriously GOP—get over it. Reagan will come back no more, and the Gingrich lies ready for the Green Room and dreaming. Your time is not yet and the stars aren’t right. Please to kindly not eat the American soul because you’re feeling all nostalgic.

(X-posted at Strangely Blogged).

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 12/11/12 at 12:14 AM
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Monday, December 10, 2012

Before There Was Queen, There Was Tranquility

Roughly ten years or so (I think) before Queen debuted their first album, audiophiles like my brother were immersed in the complex harmony of a band called Tranquility. Tranquility possessed no super-powered front man like Freddie Mercury and lacked the signature guitar work that etched Queen tunes onto the human subconscious… but wowsers, they could sing like the Devil and weave an instrumental tapestry on which the vocals shined like brushed silver. Or, as this song implies, more silver than brown, anyway.

This is a powerful song with which to face the impending end of the Mayan Cosmos, and one that asks a question that is always pertinent whether the world is ending or not: “Who do I turn to now?”

Posted by StrangeAppar8us on 12/10/12 at 07:44 PM
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