Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston

~~~

~~~

.

.
.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!



From worst to first!  

What a year!  

Big Papi gets MVP!  Hoo-Ya!  

Uehara's little son, when asked how he would celebrate, answered "CRAZY!"

Well done Olde Towne Team!  Thank you!  

Again.






Wednesday, October 30, 2013

12 Years A Slave












This is no "sentimental Gone With The Wind kitsch" as David Denby of the New Yorker Magazine observed, but a stark and powerful story of slavery in the pre-Civil War South and how it brutalized not only the slaves but the people who owned them.

The story is based on the book written by Solomon Northup, a free man from Saratoga Springs, New York, who was kidnapped and sold into bondage and endured the dehumanizing effects of slavery for 12 years.

I had recently read Frederick Douglass's memoirs and recognized much of what he suffered as a slave in Northup's story. Although Douglass was born into slavery and escaped to freedom, unlike Northup, who was born a free man and was forced into slavery, both men's stories of unimaginable suffering and humiliation remind us of this country's horrific original sin and how the South was unwilling to give up its barbaric addiction to a culture that forced its people to dehumanize their slaves so they could justify keeping them in unspeakably cruel and brutish conditions.

David Denby called 12 Years A Slave  a"...easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery."

After having seen Django Unchained and The Butler, I have to agree.  This is a radical film that challenges the viewer to confront the stark reality of "America's primal wound," and refuses to sentimentalize the savagery that was practiced in the pre-Civil War South.  And it is presented with elegance and historic clarity I rarely see in Hollywood films of this kind.

Do yourself a favor and go see this.  And take your children. This is real American history and all its bloody truth in the lash and the chain, brought to the screen by British director, Steve McQueen.

British Shakespearean actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, as Northup, is outstanding.


New York Times Review:

“12 Years a Slave” isn’t the first movie about slavery in the United States — but it may be the one that finally makes it impossible for American cinema to continue to sell the ugly lies it’s been hawking for more than a century. Written by John Ridley and directed by Steve McQueen, it tells the true story of Solomon Northup, an African-American freeman who, in 1841, was snatched off the streets of Washington, and sold. It’s at once a familiar, utterly strange and deeply American story in which the period trappings long beloved by Hollywood — the paternalistic gentry with their pretty plantations, their genteel manners and all the fiddle-dee-dee rest — are the backdrop for an outrage.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

GLITCHES BITCHES!













In addition to the GOP's hypocrisy regarding GLITCHES on a rollout for a program, there is an op-ed piece on the A.C.A. in The Wall Street Journal by some ex-teevee personality and hawker of dubious medical advice [Suzanne Sloppy Somers] who apparently doesn't know the difference between fact and fiction, since she apparently included fictious quotes as part of her op-ed:




"And then there is another consideration: It’s the dark underbelly of the Affordable Care Act reminiscent of what Lenin and Churchill both said. Lenin: “Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state.” Churchill: “Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens.”



"Unsurprisingly, Lenin never said that line — it’s a decades-old right-wing fabrication. The more curious line is the Churchill quote.

It’s almost certainly fake, too; it does not appear in the LexisNexis database or in Google. Unless Somers has done original archival work on Churchill, she seems to have fabricated that quote on her own, or possibly received it via chain e-mail." --Daily Kos


The Wall Street Journal on the quote:


"CORRECTIONS AND AMPLIFICATIONS: An earlier version of this post contained a quotation attributed to Lenin (“Socialized medicine is the keystone to the arch of the socialist state”) that has been widely disputed. And it included a quotation attributed to Churchill (“Control your citizens’ health care and you control your citizens“) that the Journal has been unable to confirm."


So here we have a respectable newspaper having to write a disclaimer for a poorly researched article they featured in their publication.  And what does that say about Somers?  If she couldn't do the research to get that right, why should anyone believe anything she wrote in the rest of her article?  

One word for her opinion and her research:  Sloppy.




WE GIVE YOU CHRISSY, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL'S "EXPERT" ON THE NATION'S A.C.A.:





Next time, WSJ geniuses, go for the gravitas and get Paris Hilton.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Michelle Obama





















If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these four photos, worth four thousand words, should be enough to counter all the bile, malignity, and just plain meanness that have a strangle hold on the hearts and minds of the unhappy people who revel in their hatred for our First Lady. 

Mrs. Obama brings intelligence, warmth, class, and beauty to the White House.  And we're lucky to have her there.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Texas Wants To Disenfranchise Women Voters. Do You Know Why? By (O)CT(O)PUS of The Swash Zone


Voter ID laws have been passed in eleven Republican-controlled states since the 2010 midterm elections; yet studies have shown that alleged cases of voter fraud are virtually nonexistent. The voters most likely to be turned away at the polls for not having valid state-issued IDs are groups targeted for suppression - African Americans, Latinos, students and younger voters, senior citizens, and now women -- groups that traditionally support Democrats.

In an effort to build support for voter ID laws, the Republican National Lawyers Association published a report that identified only 400 prosecutions for the entire country during a span of ten years. That’s not even one prosecution per state per year. Yet, an estimated 5 million voters will be disenfranchised - enough to alter election outcomes nationwide year after year.

Do you smell a rat?  In the state of Wisconsin alone, voter registration hours were lengthened in Republican districts and shortened in Democratic districts. This is a fact. Smell the rat! And Texas intends to go one step further:
"What I have used for voter registration and for identification for the last 52 years was not sufficient yesterday when I went to vote," said District Court Judge Sandra Watts.  Imagine that!  A District Court judge who is not allowed to vote!  Watts has voted in every election for the last past 49 years; the name on her driver's license had been unchanged for 52 years; and the address on her voter registration card has remained the same for two decades.
Imagine her surprise when District Court Judge Sandra Watts was told by voting officials that she would have to sign an affidavit confirming her identity.
Why? The middle name printed on her driver’s license is her maiden name. The middle name printed on her voter registration card is her original middle name recorded at birth. It was enough to raise a red flag under new and more restrictive laws.
Is this an unintended consequence of new voter ID laws in the Lone Star State?  Hardly!  This is why:




Meet Wendy Davis, the Democratic candidate for Governor in Texas. In case you haven’t noticed, Wendy Davis is a woman, and the good ole boys of the Lone Star State don’t want women to vote for her. 

Nothing stays in stasis forever. Once you establish election chicanery as standard operating procedure, it metastasizes cancer-like through the entire system. Today it may be Republicans doing this to Democrats; tomorrow it may be the Manchurian candidate from Chargoggagogg-manchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg doing this to Republicans.

This year, I am writing a book on voter suppression. I have interviewed canvassing commissioners of both parties, Democrat and Republican. There is no daylight between them on how to run a fair and honest election. Politicians, however, are another story and especially notorious for chicanery and corruption. 

In Florida last year, Governor Grifter-Scott ordered the purge of 180,000 names from state voter rolls. Canvassing commissioners, both Democrat and Republican, examined these lists and found all to be bogus - not even one name.

How can you have full faith and confidence in the legitimacy of elections when results are rigged along party lines! The question is rhetorical: You can’t.  How can you vote in good conscience for a candidate or party that wants to deprive you of a fundamental right?  The question is rhetorical: Don’t!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ronald Reagan was correct...




when he said  government is the problem, because his own party, the Republican Party, proves it time and time again.  And they are a problem that continues to hurt this country.

The TeaPublican Party would rather hurt Americans by cutting back on food stamps, by not working with President Obama to create jobs, and by wasting the country's time and $24 billion dollars in a temper tantrum to repeal the A.C.A.

America has finally woken up and realized the problem Ronald Reagan spoke about was bad government, destructive government, and an inability to govern.  IOW, today's TeaPublican Party.

And the GOPT's tanked approval ratings prove it.



Jules Witcover, Chicago Tribune:  "The heavy hit on the Republican brand has been emphatically underscored by the post-shutdown polls. The question is whether voters fed up with the party's increasingly sharp turn to ultraconservatism, one not seen since the days of Barry Goldwater, will remain turned off at voting time a year from now. By then, Obamacare may or may not be a principal catalyst for decision-making at the ballot box, pro or con, on midterm election day. The same polls also indicate that Americans still worry much more about the state of the economy and, particularly, high unemployment than about the state of federally subsidized health insurance."







New York Times:  "...Republicans — whether adults or Tea Party members — continue to let the public down. [...] Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the ranking member of the budget panel, says that keeping the current spending caps is a bedrock principle. Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, ostensibly an anti-shutdown “adult,” wants to use the conference to cut social-welfare entitlements and relieve the tax burden on corporations. “We have to make a down payment on the debt and deficit,” he told Congressional Quarterly. [...] 

 The obsession with deficits is already taking a huge toll on the poor, who have seen cutbacks in vital programs, and could well see more if the Republicans have their way. Next week, for instance, a House-Senate conference on the farm bill will consider a proposal from allegedly “grown-up” House Republicans that would cut $39 billion from food stamps, which would push three million people off the program a year."





GOP Roots for Failure:

"In theory, lawmakers hope that government programs work well, and if they don’t, try to fix them. In theory, our representatives hope that government agencies carry out their missions smoothly, and if something goes wrong, try to figure out what happened to avoid making the same mistake in the future. Obviously that’s not how things work in the United States, where one of the two parties doesn’t even believe in government. 

Republicans want to shrink government until it’s small enough to drown in a bathtub! They think there’s nothing scarier than the prospect of a government employee trying to help! With beliefs like those, it’s not surprising that — with disturbing frequency — they root for failure in order to score points. [...] “If the [Healthcare.gov] Web site glitches are just the tip of the iceberg,” said Representative Greg Walden, Republican of Oregon, “it’s only a matter of time before the law sinks and takes with it those Democrats who wrote it, voted for it and are proud of it.” 

Breaking that down: If the glitches indicate deep problems, then health care reform will fall apart, in which case Republicans will pick up seats in the next election. In other words, disaster would be good for his party."

h/t Daily Kos










Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Here's What The Tea Party Did For Itself During Its "Days of Rage"











While cynical performance clowns like Ann Coulter insist that the Tea Party shut down was  "magnificent" and "run beautifully," in the real world, also known as reality, her assessment turns out to be a double train wreck for the extremist wing of the GOP.  Not only did their collective temper tantrum NOT stop the implementation of the A.C.A., but it also opened America's eyes to what the TeaPublicans are really about:  Expressing RAGE, instead of working to solve policy problems, and that has caused the Tea Party to drop like a lead hog in the polls.  

No matter how they try, and no matter how many Coulters they send out to divert attention from their major disaster, the TeaPublicans will never be able to put enough lipstick on the pig they tried to sell to the American people .

Too bad.  So sad.




Jonathan Chait: 

In the most important ways, though, the tea party’s strategy was not a strategy at all. On the surface, demanding an end to Obamacare in return for reopening the federal government was an insane negotiating strategy. 

Attempting to analyze these demands in strategic terms misses the point. It’s not a plan to achieve a defined legislative end. It’s a demonstration of dissent from a political faction that has no chance of winning through regular political channels. 

The problem they are attempting to solve in each case is not “how do we achieve this policy objective?” but “how can we express our outrage?"

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

"Unclean Rot"














"The shutdown was so magnificent, run beautifully. I'm so proud of these Republicans, and that is because they have branded the Republican party as the anti-Obamacare party."



Sure, Coulter, be proud of the Republican Party for making "Obamacare" more popular with Americans than the GOP!

That is a singular accomplishment.  Even if you, Coulter, try to divert attention away from that fact with your silly balderdash and incoherent rot.







"According to the survey, 54% say it's a bad thing that the GOP controls the House, up 11 points from last December, soon after the 2012 elections when the Republicans kept control of the chamber. 

Only 38% say it's a good thing the GOP controls the House, a 13-point dive from the end of last year."





Did you know that an anagram of "Ann Coulter" is "Unclean Rot?"

Go HERE to the "Anagram Generator" to see what else it configures for her name.  

Surprisingly accurate.

Monday, October 21, 2013

WEALTH INEQUALITY IN AMERICA





"When so much of the purchasing power, so much of the economic gain, goes to the very top, there's simply not enough purchasing power in the rest of the economy." ---Robert Reich


Reich noted that wealth inequality was greatest in this country in 1928 and 2007. In both years, the top 1% represented about a quarter of total income. And shortly thereafter, in 1929 and again in 2008, the U.S. economy tanked, dragging down the rest of the world with it.








Other nations, Reich said, have taken steps to address wealth inequality. They've invested more in infrastructure and education in an effort to create more economic opportunities throughout the social spectrum.

 The United States, for its part, has been content to let the problem grow.

 "We are far more unequal than any other advanced society in the world, and we are surging toward greater and greater inequality," Reich said.



Wealth inequality is only getting worse

MORE HERE

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Night Animation



Europa vs. Italia by Bruno Bozzetto







VICTORINO!


THE OLDE TOWNE TEAM DID IT!








BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox are going back to the World Series for the third time in 10 seasons. Shane Victorino's seventh-inning grand slam propelled Boston to a 5-2 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Saturday night, clinching the AL Championship Series in six games and setting up a World Series rematch with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Red Sox will host Game 1 on Wednesday night against the team they swept in 2004 to end their 86-year title drought. The Cardinals won the NL pennant on Friday night by eliminating the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games.




Friday, October 18, 2013

Dear Mr. President...



How could your administration allow this to happen?

This needs to be remedied now!

Your opponents constantly use lies to discredit you, so why did your administration hand them this as a tool to further criticize the A.C.A?


With all the best techies in the country to choose from, there was no excuse for this crack-up.

Fix it.





Obamacare Website Failure Threatens Health Coverage For Millions Of Americans 


 "The website that was supposed to do this all in a seamless way has had way more glitches than I think are acceptable," Obama said during a Tuesday interview with KCCI television in Des Moines, Iowa. But the administration won't disclose exactly what's wrong with the health insurance exchange website, or when consumers can expect to see the promise of convenient, one-stop shopping for health benefits and financial assistance fulfilled. 

 Time remains for these problems to be resolved, but not much. "If things aren't resolved in three weeks, we've got some serious, serious problems," said Timothy Jost, a law professor and health care reform expert at Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Va., and an Obamacare supporter. "I don't think we're anywhere close to there yet, but if the whole thing collapses, it'll be another generation before we get this problem fixed."


OY!


Meanwhile, over in La-La Land, this from "The Sarah Palin of the Senate."



OY! OY!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

SCHADENBOEHNER




To our friends on the right who constantly wail and gnash their teeth about how government spends and wastes our money, your heroes in the Tea Party cost us $24 BILLION for their temper tantrum.  Was it worth it?  What did you get for that $24 BILLION, besides the hatred from the millions of Americans you hurt?



Government Shutdown Cost $24 Billion, Standard & Poor's Says

IT'S OVER. CRUZ CAVES.



David Weigel of Slate Magazine:


"Cruz was never going to jam the House by delaying a deal and absorbing all the blame for the consequences. That the media thought so reveals that his image has changed radically since getting to the Senate. He’s no longer viewed as the GOP’s answer to Barack Obama. 

The media views him as the Sarah Palin of the Senate."






SENATOR TED "THE SARAH PALIN OF THE SENATE" CRUZ


The man who had high hopes of destroying America so that he could destroy the A.C.A. has conceded.


Houston Chronicle Expresses Regrets For Endorsing Cruz


Wall Street Journal To GOP: 'It's Time To Wrap Up This Comedy Of Political Errors 


"This is the quality of thinking—or lack thereof—that has afflicted many GOP conservatives from the beginning of this budget showdown," the editorial read. 

"They picked a goal they couldn't achieve in trying to defund ObamaCare from one House of Congress, and then they picked a means they couldn't sustain politically by pursuing a long government shutdown and threatening to blow through the debt limit." 

The Journal said that if the Senate passes its compromise to avert default and reopen the government, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) will likely have no choice "other than to bring it to the floor and let it pass with votes from either party." 

"At least that's better than getting the blame for whatever happens if Treasury stops sending out Social Security checks in order to prioritize debt repayments," the editorial read. 

"The politics of that are little better than defaulting on debt. Republicans can best help their cause now by getting this over with and moving on to fight more intelligently another day."


"...fight more intelligently...?"  That won't happen as long as they follow the wack jobs that led them to this ignominious defeat.



Infidel753:  Unconditional surrender.


This isn't gloating.  This is righteous anger at the minority of a minority that has taken over a once great political party.  

Infidel753:

"After making fools of themselves in front of the whole world, after trashing their approval rating with the American people far below its historic floor, after disastrously exacerbating their party's internal divisions and alienating the business interests which traditionally support it -- after all that, the Republicans are cravenly backing down, tail between legs, and getting nothing. Kudos to Obama and the Democrats for standing firm in the face of blackmail." 



But this isn't the end of the "Threat and Cave" wing of the TeaPublican Party.

I'm betting we'll see more of their destructive behavior because:  BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA. 


A commenter who calls himself  schwicksdad had this to say:


"If nothing else this was a stunning exposé to America on RW politics and their vision for governing. When the democratic process doesn't work to your advantage, nullify the will of the majority through extortion and subvert the process. Where it does work, use it as a weapon to obstruct, delay and undermine. Use the American people as your bargaining chip by hanging the axe over their heads or making them otherwise suffer to extract your demands and forward your unwanted agenda. Your concepts of freedom and liberty are entirely self serving. Your vision of future society disgusting. The American people want the American Dream back that you stole, not your society of have's and have not's where you control who has what in order to maintain your need to remain privileged. America now sees clearly how willing you are to drive her to the brink of destruction in order to exact your agenda and god willing, will never allow you to do so again."

The GOP's Ninotchka Moment



I've exhausted my vocabulary to describe the maniacs in the current GOP who are rubbing their greasy little hands together in anticipation of wrecking America because they can't get their way.  

Harold Meyerson gives voice to what the TeaPublicans are:



"...one year after Stalin’s show trials resulted in the execution of all of the tyrant’s more moderate predecessors in the Soviet leadership. “The last mass trials were a great success,” Ninotchka notes. “There are going to be fewer but better Russians.

Like the Stalinists and the Jacobins, today’s tea party zealots have purified their movement — not by executing but by driving away those Republicans who don’t share their enthusiasm for wrecking their country if they can’t compel the majority to embrace their notions. Today, there are fewer but “better” Republicans — if “better” means adhering to the tea party view that a United States not adhering to tea party values deserves to be brought to a clangorous halt. NBC News-Wall Street Journal polling last week turned up a bare 24 percent of Americans who have a favorable impression of the Republican Party — a share almost as low as the 21 percent who have a favorable impression of the tea party. 

[skip]

If anything illustrates just how far today’s Republicans have drifted from their traditional moorings, it’s the dismay with which their longtime business allies have greeted their decisions to close the government and threaten default. 

[skip]


Today’s tea party-ized Republicans speak less for Wall Street or Main Street than they do for the seething resentments of white Southern backwaters and their geographically widespread but ideologically uniform ilk. 

Their theory of government, to the extent that they have one, derives from John C. Calhoun’s doctrine of nullification — that states in general and white minorities in particular should have the right to overturn federal law and impede majority rule. Like their predecessors in the Jim Crow South, today’s Republicans favor restricting minority voting rights if that is necessary to ensure victory at the polls."


Source: Politico 

Journalist and author Carl Bernstein said Wednesday that Republican Party leadership is “cancerous” and has put the United States at risk by letting the tea party lead the GOP. “The Republican Party today has become a rabid organization from the top down. 

The leadership is cancerous,” the former Washington Post reporter said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Wednesday. Bernstein called the current situation a “terrible moment in our history” and said only segregation politics offers a comparison. 

 [snip]

 “This is a watershed moment in American history, and unless some people, McCain and others, throw out the leadership that appeased this tail that is wagging the Republican dog — the tea party is not just a movement. It has been cowardly embraced by Eric Cantor, by Boehner, who has gone along with this craziness and allowed himself to be the speaker of this party and what it stands for,” Bernstein said.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"A Ghost of Debt and Deficits Past" by (O)CT(O)PUS of The Swash Zone

Give Republicans credit where credit is due: They certainly know how to frame a message. For decades, Republicans have repeated this refrain so often, “tax and spend Democrats,” they can pull phantom rabbits from phantom hats and make you believe all Democrats are "liberal-commie-socialist-statists." Neat trick, as you can see from this graph:

Monday, October 14, 2013

The Cray-Crays, Led by Louie The Gooper, Threaten to Impeach President Obama for the GOP Default



Rightwing, rabid radicalism isn't new to the GOP.

This is GOP radicalism and what they did to President John F. Kennedy:




Louie Gohmert (Paste Eater-Texas) is floating the idea to impeach President Obama if the country goes into default that the GOP caused.  

Thank about that for a minute.



The Goopers think it's terribly unfair the way President Obama is using his power of the purse to extract concessions from Republican congressmen.

As Pap Finn so excellently put it:


"The dirty little secret that is rapidly becoming an open secret is that conservatives ("conservatives") fucking hate, hate, hate democracy. Apologies for repeating myself, but from Clinton onward, Republicans have not and will never again accept the legitimacy of a Democratic president. This is one of many excellent reasons to start calling them what they transparently are: neo-Confederates. "



Question: If Ted Cruz and John Boehner were both on a sinking ship, who would be saved? 


Answer: America. 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Seen Outside The White House, Sunday, October 13, 2013



































Let's Stop Pretending the Confederate Flag Isn't a Symbol of Racism



"...a Tea Party rally including Sen. Ted Cruz and Sarah Palin succeeded in capturing some of the essence of the political world the rejectionist rump of the GOP is now inhabiting in scenes reminiscent of 2009's Summer of Teh Crazy.

Spurred by outrage at the closure of federal war memorials they demanded be closed along with the rest of the federal government, the crowd symbolically 'stormed' two closed memorials and then headed to the White House where at least one Confederate Flag proudly flew and far-right gadfly Larry Klayman, who has of late been calling for an uprising to unseat the President (scheduled for Nov. 19th), told the crowd to "demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up."  ---Josh Marshall


Crooks and Liars on Klayman:

This isn't new for Klayman, whose reputation stretches all the way back to the Clinton years. But in recent months, he's been ramping up the rhetoric and stoking up those people who want a reason to believe that President Obama does not hold his office legitimately. 

 In July, he called for the military to overthrow him. 

In September, he vowed to force the "evil tyrant Obama" from office by November 16th. Then he slid the date to November 19th. 

 Just last week, he sadly announced that he believed violent revolution was imminent. He used the very same language today that he used in mid-September, except then he added some rhetorical flourishes: 

“[Obama] will finally know that his time has come to leave his perverted, Islamic concept of Mecca, our nation's hallowed capital,” Klayman concludes. “I do not advocate violence, but it is time we show Obama that we mean business. He would be well advised to ride off into his Islamic sunset, link up with 72 virgins and party on at his expense – not ours!”








There you have it folks.  Sedition* in all its ugliness.

*se·di·tion  
n.
1. Conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of a state.

Sunday Science: The Amazing Octopus


h/t to Infidel753.  Go visit his blog and find out about more cool stuff.

(Click on image to enlarge.)




Octopus

By Algernon Charles Sin-Burn
Strange beauty, eight-limbed and eight-handed,
Whence camest to dazzle our eyes?
With thy bosom bespangled and banded
With the hues of the seas and the skies;
Is thy home European or Asian,
O mystical monster marine?
Part molluscous and partly crustacean,
Betwixt and between.
Wast thou born to the sound of sea trumpets?
Hast thou eaten and drunk to excess
Of the sponges -- thy muffins and crumpets,
Of the seaweed -- thy mustard and cress?
Wast thou nurtured in caverns of coral,
Remote from reproof or restraint?
Art thou innocent, art thou immoral,
Sinburnian or Saint?

Lithe limbs, curling free, as a creeper
That creeps in a desolate place,
To enroll and envelop the sleeper
In a silent and stealthy embrace,
Cruel beak craning forward to bite us,
Our juices to drain and to drink,
Or to whelm us in waves of Cocytus,
Indelible ink!

O breast, that 'twere rapture to writhe on!
O arms 'twere delicious to feel
Clinging close with the crush of the Python,
When she maketh her murderous meal!
In thy eight-fold embraces enfolden,
Let our empty existence escape,
Give us death that is glorious and golden,
Crushed all out of shape!

Ah! thy red lips, lascivious and luscious,
With death in their amorous kiss,
Cling round us, and clasp us, and crush us,
With bitings of agonised bliss;
We are sick with the poison of pleasure,
Dispense us the potion of pain;
Ope thy mouth to its uttermost measure
And bite us again! 


"The Cruzification of the GOP"









On this lovely autumn Sunday morning, as our neighborhood readies itself for the annual Columbus Day parade (passing right by my home here in historic Boston's North End), I offer some sobering thoughts on the recklessness of the GOP, not by a liberal, but by one of their own.  

I'll also note that the apocalyptic TeaPublicans are so far gone that not one of them will bother to read Douthat, since anyone who is critical of them is considered part of the "enemedia," or as that unfortunate woman from Alaska loves to call it, "the lamestream media."

When 70% of the country is against what they've done and what they're doing, it is their habit to hunker down and become more obstinate and blind to their kamikaze tactics.



Conservative New York Times columnist, Ross Douthat, on the Crazy TeaPublicans:



"They told me," Martin Sheen's Willard says to Marlon Brando's Kurtz in "Apocalypse Now," at the end of a long journey up the river, "that you had gone totally insane, and that your methods were unsound."

His baldness bathed in gold, his body pooled in shadow, Kurtz murmurs: "Are my methods unsound?" 

And Willard — filthy, hollow-eyed, stunned by what he’s seen — replies:

"I don't see any method at all, sir."

This is basically how reasonable people should feel about the recent conduct of the House Republicans.

[skip]


"...we shouldn't overstate the gravity of what’s been happening in Washington. There are many policies in American history, pursued in good faith by liberals or conservatives, that have been more damaging to the country than the Republican decision to shut down the government this month, and many gambits that have reaped bigger political disasters than most House Republicans are likely to face as a result.

But there is still something well-nigh-unprecedented about how Republicans have conducted themselves of late. It’s not the scale of their mistake, or the kind of damage that it’s caused, but the fact that their strategy was such self-evident folly, so transparently devoid of any method whatsoever."


And this from Dana Milbank:


Skeptics warned from the start that it was a suicide mission for Republicans to shut down the federal government in a long-shot attempt to defund Obamacare. Now that such dire predictions have come to pass, the lawmakers who engineered the shutdown are getting the conflagration — and the martyrdom — they sought. 

 Call it the Cruzifiction of the GOP.



And finally, another one of their own, Jennifer Rubin, illustrates their bat-shyte craziness, which the bat-shyte crazies will also ignore (it's what they do best--ignore reality and march off the cliff in lock step):


RUBIN:  There has been, to put it mildly, some mass self-delusion going on in right-wing circles. Here’s how to tell if you are suffering from the ill-effects of the echo chamber: 

1. You think Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) has it nailed when he tells the Value Voters Summit that the Dems are “feeling the heat” in the shutdown fight. 

2. You think the problem is Ken Cuccinelli isn’t conservative enough. 

3. You think if only the shutdown went on longer the GOP would win this fight.





cartoon by John Branch

Friday, October 11, 2013

Republicans Eating Their Own







A Republican Recipe for Disaster.


(And they cooked it up all on their own.)



Ingredients:


  • One large political party
  • Several large nuts, of the Boehner, Bachmann, Cruz, Lee, Yoho, and Ryan variety
  • Gallons of weak tea
  • A generous cup of Obama Hatred
  • 1 lb. of Self-Pity and Self-Delusion
  • 1 Package of Government Shut Down
  • Sprinkle generously with a Box of Fox lies, deceit, misinformation, and hysteria
  • Place in very hot oven and bake for five years, or until you smell a rancid aroma


Serve immediately to the folks who love to eat against their own self-interest and health.






Careful!  The above recipe may cause acute indegestion!


Republicans Have Been Hurt Badly By Shutdown

"A pair of new releases by Republican and Democratic polling firms underscored the same trend: the government shutdown has hurt the GOP dearly.

 The latest survey from Democratic firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research released Friday found that voters nationwide blame the shutdown on Republicans in Congress rather than President Obama and the Democrats by a 16-point margin, 43 percent to 27 percent.

 Moreover, the poll found Democrats in a promising position entering next year's midterm elections. Forty-six percent said they would vote for the Democratic congressional candidate if the 2014 midterms were held today, while 36 percent said they would prefer the GOP candidate.

 A memo released Thursday by GOP firm Resurgent Republic acknowledged that the shutdown is "more toxic to voters" than the Affordable Care Act, noting that the "plan of using a government shutdown to spark a national discussion on Obamacare fell flat."


*Burp!*

Dear TeaPublicans, the following Americans thank you for making their difficult lives more miserable:






Low-income Americans on federal nutrition aid

Women, Infant, and Children feeding program

AmericansTemporary Assistance for Needy Families

School lunches for needy American children

Food stamps for poor and low-income Americans

This TeaPublican shut down will affect other government services as well:


"...the federal government is going to start picking and choosing which bills to pay. Depending on the vagaries of cash flow, maybe today the military doesn't get paid, maybe tomorrow Social Security checks don't go out, or maybe Medicare can't cover its bills. It's not a good sign of creditworthiness when a house hold starts deciding to pay the electric bill a few days late to avoid missing a mortgage payment. It's much worse when the government whose bonds form the basis of the entire global financial system starts doing that."


All of this hardship on American families, veterans, military due to the TeaPublicans' hatred of President Obama and his Affordable Care Act.


In addition, the fiscally irresponsible TeaPublican/Libertarians are costing America milllions and millions of dollars for their temper tantrum:


Shutdown Will Cost U.S. Economy $300 Million a Day, IHS Says

Jay Bookman, Atlantic Journal Constitution:

"[Y]ou can't keep the government shut down for another six weeks. It's just stupid and accomplishes nothing. It certainly isn't saving any money: It has already been decided that federal employees are going to get back pay for all the days they've missed -- the House voted 407-0 in favor of that approach earlier this week.

And 10 days into the shutdown, it has already proved ineffective as a hostage to force concessions. So why continue? Forcing federal employees -- including a lot of folks who make $40,000 or less a year -- to sit at home and try to live off their savings for another week, month or six weeks makes no sense. It accomplishes nothing and does a lot of harm to government services and to those businesses and citizens who rely on them. If we're going to pay these workers -- and we are -- let them go back to work to earn that pay."


But the TeaPublicans/Libertarians believe small government is the answer to everything and will force millions of Americans to suffer while they play with other people's lives to prove it.












Thursday, October 10, 2013

And the winner for the "Dumbest Person in America" goes to...





Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL), who said on not raising the debt ceiling, “I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets.”

 And this:  “We need to have that moment where we realize [we're] going broke.” He firmly told the paper, “I’m not going to raise the debt ceiling.” He also characterized the current government shutdown as “the tremor before the tsunami.”



Is this what happens to folks who eat alligator tails for breakfast and smoke palmetto palms in the evenings?  Is there some special mind-altering substance in Florida's water?  How does someone in Rep. Yoho's position manage to say something as moronic as that?

Oh...wait...he's a TeaPublican.

Nevermind.


Here's what to expect from not raising the debt ceiling, by people with normal firing neurons:


Prepare for a "financial apocalypse," says Yalman Onaran at Bloomberg.

 Failure by the world's largest borrower to pay its debt — unprecedented in modern history — will devastate stock markets from Brazil to Zurich, halt a $5 trillion lending mechanism for investors who rely on Treasuries, blow up borrowing costs for billions of people and companies, ravage the dollar and throw the U.S. and world economies into a recession that probably would become a depression. Among the dozens of money managers, economists, bankers, traders, and former government officials interviewed for this story, few view a U.S. default as anything but a financial apocalypse.


Mark my words, says economist Justin Wolfers:

This would plunge the U.S. into a recession. If you hit the debt ceiling, then you can't borrow any more money, which means you've got to bring the budget deficit down to zero immediately. It's currently four percent of GDP. So this would cause a huge fiscal contraction if the debt ceiling limit wasn't raised for a persistent period. Big enough that I can be absolutely confident it would plunge the U.S. into recession. [ABC]



Expect "chaos unlike anything anybody has seen before," warns Arizona State professor Dennis Hoffman. 

 If U.S. credit faltered, lenders around the world would think twice about making loans, including the ones companies rely on to make payroll every week. "This would be a financial collapse and chaos unlike anything anybody has seen before," Hoffman said. "It's unthinkable." [AZ Central] 

 Here's the scariest thing, says Derek Thompson at The Atlantic: 

No one knows how bad it will be. The truly scary thing about going over the debt cliff isn't what we think will happen — a scramble to prioritize payments, delayed checks to groups like veterans and senior citizens, and angry, confused investors. The truly scary thing is that we actually have no idea what will happen. We don't know if it's even possible for the government to prioritize payments to millions of different clients. Households, businesses, and investors don't know how long they'll have to wait for their money, whether it's a defense contract deal, a doctor's reimbursement, or a Social Security check. And nobody will know how long the nightmare will go on. [The Atlantic]

SOURCE


But yahoo Representative Yoho thinks not raising the debt ceiling will be a good thing for the country and the worldwide community.

And yes, he is a TeaPublican.  Q.E.D.








cartoons via Squatlo Rant




AtlanticWire: 

"During the impeachment of Bill Clinton, Republicans were pretty unpopular. After eight years of George W. Bush, same. But never in the history of Gallup polling has the party been more unpopular than it is right now. A crucial caveat: that history only goes back to 1992, so it doesn't include, for example, the post-Watergate era. But still, over the past 21 years the Republican Party has never been viewed less favorably by Americans than it is right now."