Monday, September 30, 2013

Letters, We Get Letters

This summary is not available. Please click here to view the post.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Congressman named Legion

Lots of people are making a lot about how Ted Cruz is single-handedly bringing the government to its knees as a government shutdown looms large on the horizon. But I just found out that Carnival Cruz is not the originator of this foul idea.
The original thought came from a congressman from North Carolina.
A Tea Party congressman who has served all of 8 months in that august body.
His name is Mark Meadows and he comes from western North Carolina. But we all know what his real name is, don't we? His name is Legion for they are many.
I discovered Mark Meadows at this CNN page.
In August, while lawmakers spent time in their districts, Meadows wrote a letter to his Republican leaders suggesting they tie the dismantling of Obamacare to the bill that funds the government for the next year.
 The letter read: "James Madison wrote in Federalist No. 58 that 'the power over the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon... for obtaining a redress of every grievance...'"
Meadows successfully convinced 79 of his colleagues to sign on to his letter. And he went further, leading a group of 40 lawmakers to demand that the continuing resolution, or the short-term government funding bill at issue, zeroes out funding for President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement so far.
The TEA Party is ruining our country. They represent the worst of us. They are mean, nasty, and vile lower life-forms. They represent other mean, nasty, vile, lower life-forms that don't seem to be going away anytime soon. They are amateurs. They are playing at politics and are poor players.
But being mean, nasty and vile is the order of the day and we are all going to have to suffer the presence of these imbeciles up to and until they do something really damaging.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Skinner is Better, Anyway

There’s this Italian pasta maker who has found himself in some hot water.  And that seems appropriate. Guido Barilla, CEO of Gruppo Barilla, the world-wide group of food manufacturers, went on an Italian TV show the other day and confessed to having an acute case of homophobia when he told his interviewer this:
“I would never do an advert with a homosexual family.”
Now why he said that I do not know. I have never actually ever seen an advertisement that featured a homosexual family. So he must have been trying to make some sort of socio-political point where none is needed.
In other words, he was being an a**hat.
Then he went on to say this about potential homosexual customers:
“If they like our pasta and our message they will eat it; if they don’t like it then they will not eat it, and they will eat another brand.”

He sounds confrontational.

How macho.
And guess what? Homosexual people around the world are organizing a boycott against not only Barilla pasta, as I know his product here in America, but all products of the Barilla Group. And guess what is better? There are those of us among the straight community that also object to his homophobia and who will join our gay brothers and sisters in this boycott.
So if you want to join in the boycott of not only Barilla products but all of their products and brand names you are welcome to. I went ahead at some difficulty to find out all of their brand names. Difficulty because that particular part of their website seems to be very, very busy just now.
  • Barilla (where I live)
  • Filiz (in Turkey)
  • Misko  (in Greece)
  • Vesta  and Yemina (in Mexico)
  • Mulino Blanco  (???)
  • Pavesi (???)
  • Wasa (in Sweden)
  • Harry’s (in France)
And I just checked out my pantry. No Barilla.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

That Sam I Am...

So I hope all Texans who voted for him watched Ted "Carnival" Cruz orate from the well of the United States Senate yesterday.
Lots and lots of people are talking today about how he, during prime time, opened a little skinny children's book written by Theodore Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss) and read the entirety of his famous and delightful story, "Green Eggs and Ham."
I used to read it to my children at bedtime. I did it better than Cruz. I used voices.
Ted Cruz read "Green Eggs and Ham" to an empty chamber, and in the video I watched today, he feigned a full room as he talked, looking left, right and into the camera.
But in all the commentary, I have failed to see the most obvious truth about this story. The truth is, all you have to do is substitute the word "Obamacare" for "Green Eggs and Ham" and you have the story of the past, present and future of Obamacare vis-à-vis the American public.
Republicans just cannot stand Obamacare. Cannot. They would not have Obamacare in a house, and they would not have Obamacare with a mouse. They would not have Obamacare here nor there.
They would not have Obamacare anywhere.
And then, in the future, and maybe just to get all of us "Libtards" to shut up, they may just try some Obamacare.
Try it, try it, you will see.
Because when they try it, they are going to like it.
Ted Cruz couldn't have picked a better children's bedtime story than "Green Eggs and Ham" to illustrate the point that we have been making.
Try it. If you like Medicare, and you do, you're gonna love yourself some Obamacare.
 UPDATE: OK, all I have come across this evening is how Cruz is doing a Teddy Geisel. Fine. Think like me. It's the sincerest form of flattery, don't ya know.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Nope. No Shut Down This Time Either

Standup comic and political commentator Bill Maher came up with a great new verb the other night on his HBO show "Real Time." The new word is "blacktrack."
Blacktrack: v. The act of changing one's mind because President Obama has agreed with you.
Now the thesis to this post is that the much-anticipated government shut down on October 1st is not going to occur. A continuing resolution is going to pass and the mail will go on. And the reason for this isn't because President Obama agrees that a government shut down is a grand idea, so the reason the GOPers will change their tune isn't exactly blacktracking, but it's related.
See, Michael O'Brien over at NBC news has a good point. Should a government shut down occur, President Obama has an advantage. It is helpful to him for Republicans to shut down the government. Here is what he writes:
"But if Obama has at least one thing going for him heading into his battle against Republicans, it’s that poll after poll has shown that Americans don’t think that eliminating “Obamacare” is worth the cost of a government shutdown." 
"Republicans complain that it’s been Obama – not them – who is being inflexible in fiscal talks. But if the numbers are to be believed, a shutdown could reinvigorate Obama politically, and thereby likely decrease his willingness to cut a deal that is more favorable to Republicans. It could also strengthen his hand heading into next month’s fight over raising the nation’s debt ceiling."
All very good points. President Obama has everything to gain, and nothing to lose if the GOPers go through with their blackmail.
But this isn't blacktracking. It's related though. Maher calls it "pulling a one hatey."

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Obamacare Defundopalooza

It's the last day of summer 2013 and the Republicans are threatening to drive my country over a fiscal cliff...again.
So to celebrate, we have assembled the official Half Empty Obamacare Cartoon Defundopalooza. Enjoy.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Great Day for Republicans

Oh what a great day to be a Republican in America. Today every single solitary Republican in the US House of Representatives voted to take the food out of the mouths of 4 million children and seniors by voting to drastically cut the federal food stamp program, SNAP. It will now be harder for some of the poor among us to get a meal.
But they weren't done. This do-nothing congress has reformed itself and moved on to more pressing issues.
Like getting rid of the health insurance of 30 million Americans.
Well, to be honest, this is the 42nd time they voted to repeal Obamacare, but this time they did it with the authority that should fill each and every American with awe...and pride.
They linked defunding of Obamacare to a shutdown of the federal government.
You want Obamacare? Gimme your social security check.
You want Obamacare? Good luck seeing a doctor with your Medicare account.
And the best thing? They are asking for your contributions to continue this work. It's true. Reince Priebus sent me an email announcing these good works with a big green "CONTRIBUTE" link at the bottom of it so I can throw them my hard-earned money so they can continue these works that Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World would most certainly approve.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jesus Saves Tom DeLay

Well, good ol' Tom "Hot Tub Tom" DeLay got his felony conviction overturned by a Texas 3-judge appeals court today, and from a video you can see here, he is giving Jesus full credit.
"I just thank the Lord for carrying me through all of this."
But not one word of praise for Dick DeGuerin, his high-priced lawyer, or the two Republican justices on the 3-justice panel who overruled the Texas jury that found him guilty as sin. Jesus did all that.
...and later, reflecting on his future...
"...there's too much other things that the Lord wants me to do."
I just bet that not only Jesus has something for Tom to do, but Dick DeGuerin Probably has something that he wants DeLay to do.
Pay him.
So-called justice sometimes comes with a big price tag.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It's Constitution Day

Smile. Two hundred and twenty-six years ago today the United States Constitution was formally signed by members of the First (and hopefully last) Constitutional Convention. It was ratified by the requisite number of states the next year.
So today we celebrate Constitution Day.
You know, with all the beer, piñatas and unbridled revelry.
Oh, wait, that's  El Cinco de Mayo.
On Constitution Day we don't do a darn thing, do we?
Well, I am about to change that. You need to go and take this quiz.
And no, I didn't get a perfect score. I missed one. Had no idea which state eschewed the Constitutional Convention and guessed wrong.

Monday, September 16, 2013

There She Is...

While we sort through the events at the Navy Yard in DC, I want to make sure that some of America's finest racist bigots get their tweets repeated on this blog.
Nina Davuluri is the newly crowned Miss America. She is the 2nd straight Miss New York to be crowned the title.
And she is brown-skinned.

She was made in America, so to speak, but of Indian-American descent. Not native American, mind you, but Indian-American.
And America showed its true colors once again via the twitter. Ignorance is bliss, some say, but in this case all I can say is ignorance is the true shame on America.
Here are some tweets from some twits:
"Are you serious? The Arab wins? This is miss AMERICA, not miss Arabia. Miss Kansas is in the Army and is a country girl. C'mon."
"This is miss America, not miss Terrorist."
"A Muslim Arab won miss America. They blow your shot (sic) up and you crown them. You bitches backwards."
"nice slap in the face to the people of 9-11 how pathetic."
"This is Miss America, not Miss Muslim."
I hate it when the trailer-dwelling crackers speak to the world for the rest of us.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013

My 14th Amendment Rights Trump Your 1st Amendment Rights

Social conservatives are taking a new tack in their never-ending quest to deny people of same-sex orientation their rights under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. You know, the one that says that we can't deny someone of their rights to equal protection of the law? The one that says that homosexual marriage cannot be denied to people because of all the legal benefits that marriage brings to people?
They have decided to use their right to the right of free speech as a wedge.
It devolves from a case that was decided in the New Mexico Supreme Court, where a gay couple was denied photographic services at their wedding because the photographer they asked opposed the very idea of same-sex marriage. They eventually found a photographer with a more tolerant point of view, but they took it to court anyway, charging that Elane Photography had violated a New Mexico state law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The Supreme Court agreed that they had been discriminated against and found for the plaintiffs.
Elane Photography are trying to take it to the US Supreme Court on appeal.
Their argument?
"...forcing them to take pictures of same-sex ceremonies violates their First Amendment rights by compelling them to engage in speech they don’t believe in."
That's a bit of a reach. Free speech violation? How is that a violation of free speech. How indeed, since they are being paid for their services?
Besides that, it really opens up a can of worms. What if I did not believe in stopping at signaled intersections? Does requiring me to do so violate my right to free speech? Or even better, what if I did not believe in evolution by means of natural selection? Does requiring me to teach it to eager young minds violate my right to free speech?
I think we all know where this is going. It's all about religious intolerance, isn't it? This aversion to all things gay is not about personal free speech, it's about retaining one's persecution rights on religious grounds.
And that won't work either.
What if, for instance, I was an evangelical Christian who believed that the Mark of Cain was clearly indicated on the skin color of African-Americans? That being the case, the descendants of Cain, that fratricidal sociopath, deserve to be persecuted. This reasoning on the part of the photographers would allow me to legally discriminate on account of race.
Indeed, this very reasoning pervades among some few religious bigots to this day.
Nope. That's a dog that won't hunt. But it is amazing to what lengths that these homophobes will go to in order to persist in their intolerant beliefs and actions. Even to the extent that it perverts the rule of law.
So who, in the end is the pervert? 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Gee, That's Too Bad...

I really liked Red Lobster.
I liked their specials.
I liked their cheesy biscuits.
Not as much as I like Tony's on the Redondo Beach pier in Redondo Beach, California. But when you can't have the real thing (great seafood), Red Lobster will do as a fair substitute.
But now they are out. I cannot in good conscience patronize Red Lobster again. Not until, and not unless they do a complete about face on their treatment of one of their Tennessee employees, a Ms. Tori Jenkins, an African-American waitress who works at a Franklin, Tennessee instance of the Red Lobster restaurant chain.
Ms. Jenkins had the misfortune to serve dinner to bigoted racists who objected to having their food handled by a black woman. And they made this fact obvious by including a tip of "None" and a total of "N****r" on the restaurant receipt.

As posted on her father's Facebook page.
And it caught fire and spread across the internet tubes.
So what does Red Lobster do? They suspended this woman with pay for "violating company policy." The spokesman for Red Lobster said that it was against company policy of "publicly posting a receipt."
A thing that Ms. Jenkins did not do. Her father did it. He probably posted from his phone with or without her knowledge or consent. Now if Ms. Jenkins' father worked for Red Lobster, I can see how he would be suspended, but the child should not receive the punishment due to the parent. And mark me, she is being punished. Suspending a waitress "with pay" is an insult. One cannot live on what a waitress gets paid. They make their living wages from tips. No work, no living wage.
No, Ms. Jenkins was not suspended for a violation of policy, she was suspended for serving bigoted racists. She was suspended because she is a black woman working for a company that does not like to get this kind of publicity. So they suspended her and made matters even worse.
No, I will not eat at Red Lobster ever again.
I don't even like the color red.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

2E6 Bikers

Two Million Harley-mounted bikers were supposed to show up in DC yesterday to mark the 12th anniversary of 9/11 (or nine one one, as Congresstwit Bachmann says). That's a two with six zeroes behind it. That's 2 x 10^6 or 2E6 in scientific notation shorthand.
And they ended up being about 1.999E6 short of their goal.
They applied for permits with the National Park Service to close some intersections around the capitol for their observance, but the NPS refused, citing the huge traffic snarls that might result, which in the end, was their intent.
And the bikers got their way anyway. An accident closed traffic lanes on the Outer Loop in Bethseda, causing traffic to back up for miles. Another rear-ended a pedicab.
I was wondering what the point of it all is, and I finally got my answer when I read this article at NBC. It seems that bikers fear change. Here's the quote:
"On their Facebook page, in all caps, the group said they will stand by the Constitution and Bill of Rights, adding that they're "against any fundamental transformation of America."
I know that 9/11 is a date to remember for the lives lost. But what has that got to do with opposition to transformational change that can and must happen in this country?
Could it be all tied in with the incipient transformational change of Obamacare which will go live in less than 3 weeks? I know it's subtle, and I know it's coincidental, but I really don't believe in coincidence.
Bikers Against Obamacare.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Bachmann, Gohmert and King on Muslim Brotherhood: What Could Go Wrong?

Michele “Bigot” Bachmann, Steve King “Kong” and Looney Louie Gomert have all doubled down on the Muslim Brotherhood in their unified support of the Egyptian People who are throwing off the yoke of the Brotherhood’s brutal oppression by their newfound freedom fighters, the … er…Egyptian Army.
After all, the Muslim Brotherhood has been our sworn enemy since they attacked the Pentagon and New York’s World Trade Center back on “Nine One One.”
And are we ever thankful that Bachmann drew that fine line of distinction that she is speaking as a member of the United States Congress of the United States of America.
We clearly could have mistaken her as a member of some other country’s United States Congress.
Oh yes, there is video

Sunday, September 08, 2013

The Thing About Syria is...

There are no correct choices.

And there are no good outcomes

Friday, September 06, 2013


I love irony.
Two news items came across the internet tubes in the past couple of days about outcomes after a trial.
Ariel Castro was tried and convicted of all manner of crimes and sentenced to multiple life sentences.
George Zimmerman was tried and acquitted of killing another human being.
And he lost his wife.
Couldn't happen to a better pair of fellows.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

On the Trainwreck Comment

OK I have one more thing to say about Pete Olson's Town Hall meeting the other night in Sugar Land, Texas and then I'll go and look for other fish to barbecue (because frying fish undoes all of the good things about that food).
I videoed Sneaky Pete over some intervals hoping to catch him talking about the AARP. It didn't happen naturally, but I did get this one short clip of him talking about Obamacare.
He talked about Obamacare a whole darn lot.

Get that? He asked his audience what they knew about Obamacare and some people correctly responded. Then he dismissed the whole thing with "no one knows." Guess he wasn't ready for correct answers to his question.
His thesis is that because news of the onset of Obamacare's open enrollment beginning on October 1st the program is doomed to failure. This is something that Senator Max Baucus brought up awhile back, that there was a dearth of information out there about how the ACA (Obamacare) is going to be implemented. The curiosity is how Sneaky Pete twisted Baucus' words when he cited Senator Baucus as being the senator who was now against Obamacare, and he was one of its chief proponents.
Pete cited Baucus' words that "Obamacare will be a trainwreck," quoting him out of context. The context was that if the ACA is not actively promoted to the citizenry, "I just see a huge train wreck coming down." Baucus still supports Obamacare. He just has concerns about promotion.
But that is how Sneaky Pete rolls. Lies and quotes out of context are his absolute strengths.
Now here is the truth. News of implementation of Obamacare is scheduled. It just hasn't happened yet. Someone down in DC rightly concluded that Americans have limited long-term memory. They do. And the proof is, if this is not true Republicanism would be a long-forgotten fancy. Timing is crucial. People are going to be informed, just not right now.
Take a look at this. They plan on spending millions in promotional ads.
Just not now.
But if you do want to know well in advance of what to do to enroll in the national healthcare insurance program, all you have to do is this: CLICK HERE.
I did. You can pre-register. Millions have already done this.
Thank you Pete Olson for reminding me to promote Obamacare to my 6 readers. I clean forgot about doing it.
(I can't believe this guy is a 3-term congressman. Wait, there was Kesha Rogers, twice. Of course I can believe he is a 3-term congressman)

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Sneaky Pete on Obamacare

Just wanted to update my viewers about what their congresscritter has decided to do about your health care.

Screw you.

This needs to be the Republican Party Emblem. If you want to have equal access to health care, well then SCREW YOU. If you want an endlife plan and you are not yet 65, well then SCREW YOU. If you have a brother, an uncle, a mother who does not yet have Medicare or Medicaid benefits, and are slowly dying, well then screw you and the horse you came in on.

That is what Pete Olson, a Texan CD 22 congressman has for his message to his constituents.


The ACA, otherwise as Obamacare will help people. Pete Olson has no interest in that. The only trouble is, Pete Olson lives in a district of like-minded people.

I took a long shower when I got home last night after the Olson Town Hall.

The comments I heard were just horrible. These people are mean and nasty.

And Pete Olson represents them. But not me.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Service Guarantees Citizenship

Guess what Congressman Pete Olson did tonight? He conducted a straw poll. What he wanted to know is what his constituents - you know, a sampling from the broad spectrum of constituents who bother to show up to his Town Halls - what his constituents thought about how we should grant citizenship to illegal DREAMERS who are in the country illegally through no fault of their own. Their parents brought them.
He wanted to know what his constituents thought about how the United States should treat these people who are haplessly caught between two countries. What a concept.
And the throng of over 200 CD 22 constituents responded. (I withheld my opinion so as not to legitimize his so-called poll).
It was a multiple choice question.
Here were the answer choices.
A. Provide an automatic path to citizenship with no requirements
B. Provide a path for those with military service.
C. Provide a path for those who have excelled in school and plan to go to college.
D. Send them back to their original country.
Guess what got last place?
Answer choice A. 13% and change. That was the Democratic audience.
Note that the answer choice in the Immigration bill was not included. A path to citizenship that includes paying penalties, back taxes and getting in line. Why sully this poll with actual reality?
Guess what got 2nd from the top? Answer choice D. Screw 'em. Send them back to a country they never knew. That's my Town Hall attending audience that I have come to know and hate.
Guess which one got El Numero Uno? Answer choice B. Only military inductees shall have citizenship. 26% of the respondents chose answer choice B. Twice that of those who chose A.
I love it when Republicans are caught out in the open being Republicans. And I love it how they have totally bought in on the concept of citizenship only for those who serve in the military. What does this remind me of? A futuresque sci-fi movie about killing spiders on the planet Klendathu? Is it that easy?
Yes it is.

No Fur Flew....(Sigh)

OK just so you know, at Pete Olson's purported exercise of our 1st Amendment rights tonight, no fur flew.
As expected.
Pete Olson runs a tightly controlled Town Hall as previously noted. So he gets to pick and choose which questions will be answered and which ones are destined for the "round file." The AARP matter never came up. Never. And how this occurred with an audience full of grey hair, white people gray hair, cannot be left up to chance.
Now Obamacare did come up, make no mistake about that. The entire Republican audience was so fired up about Obamacare that their questions were nonstop about it, enough to inspire one participant to complain about it.
But not one question on the AARP being "a tool of the Democrat Party", and clearly all you have to do is follow the money on that one. Retirees have disposable income. They do. And they vote, and they donate campaign lucre. So I see this bullet dodging as an acknowledgement of that fact.
So no fun was had by me. I got no memorable video footage.
Oh and just so you know, Pete Olson won't vote for a cruise missile response to Assad's use of chemical weapons. He won't give the president, quote, a blank check for war in Syria.
I continue to be impressed by Sneaky Pete's ability to obfuscate the truth. He is a master at it.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Let the Fur Fly

I'm actually looking forward to attending a Town Hall tomorrow. Pete Olson has scheduled one at one of the Fort Bend ISD high schools tomorrow night and I need to go and watch, especially to see if there will be any fur flying around.
I have large thumbs.
Pete Olson angered local elderly people recently by sending out an email blast accusing the AARP of being a tool of the Democratic Party. They supported Obamacare, you see, and anyone who supports health care for everyone must be a radical liberal.
So he is coming to their own backyard, so to speak, and I am going to assume that it will be well-attended by the blue-hairs who were avid supporters of Tom DeLay way back when, but are now looking askance at Sneaky Pete.
Olson runs his Town Halls with his overly large thumb pressed down on his constituents' 1st Amendment rights and only allows questions from the floor to be filled out on index cards beforehand. Cards that are then filtered for content by his minions.
Yes, Pete Olson is somewhat of a tool, and yes he has a very large thumb to suppress free speech at what he calls a Town Hall. But I am going to see this spectacle anyway. If it comes off with slick crowd control I'll let you know.
If it doesn't, I'll definitely let you know.

It’s Labor Day

Happy Labor Day everyone. Let’s all thank the unions for this day off.

And the 40 hour work week.

And weekends.

And benefits packages

And this really, really, clever video.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Syria: You Can Do A Lot...

I like our president's "go slow" approach in his persistent saber rattling against Syria's Assad regime. I like it because it tells me that not only does President Obama not want to embroil this country in another Middle East conflict, he also doesn't want to help the rebels overthrow their government - something that didn't work out so well in Iran in the 1970's.
It's not to influence the civil war's outcome. It IS, however, to punish Assad for stepping across a line that we all follow when he used chemical weapons on civilian populations.
That, in the end, is why Obama is calling on Congress to approve any military strike. That is why he is mentioning the sorts of targets that will be attacked. That is why he is giving Assad's army plenty of time to get out of the way.
Syria is on its own. If they want to have a civil war, that's their business. Not ours. But both parties need to know that the world has only one rule when it comes to warfare - which is unfortunately inevitable: don't use chemical weapons on civilians. It is a lose-lose proposition.
A few cruise missiles should be sufficient to remind Assad that in war, you can do a lot, but you can't do that.