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Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh, Pete, You Underestimate Your Own Rhetoric

In which we see a perfect example of what happens when your fear-mongering is actually in line with the reality of America healthcare without government intervention.


More from Think Progress

Malkin Thinks That Entering A Contest Will Hurt Her Book Sales

Previously, I have spoken at length about the real reason that conservative books are consistantly on the top of the NY Times Best-Seller List. And it certainly isn't due to the fact that these books are well written, accurately researched, remotely factual, or have even the most minute bearing on where the real-world is at the particular time that the book(s) is published.

That being said, enter Michelle "Mouth WIDE Open" Malkin.

One of her latest posts begins as such:

The national media doesn’t want to talk about the dominance of conservative books atop the New York Times best-seller list and other national lists.

But it’s clearly getting under the Left’s skin.

Of course the media isn't talking about it, considering that the NY Times list considers bulk orders by retailers as "sales" and places like and various other conservative websites, think-tanks, and businesses buy up clap-trap such as yours to give away when eager conservatives feed at their slop jars. The game is fixed from day 1.

At HuffPo, a Soros-tied co-author has launched a bid to dislodge conservative authors — and he’s asking for help from every last nutroots activist out there.

Are the conservatives ever going the stop with the "Soros owns everything" meme? Sure, the man has billions to throw around, but there are many people with billions and billions to hand over to publishing houses, political candidates, networks, magazines, websites, and businesses. But, is she complaining because there isn't a Soros equal in the conservative camp? Actually, there is, just as there are many "Soros' that donate to Democratic causes. Soros has as much control over the Democratic party as any other philanthropist with cash to throw away. The meme is more a falicy that conservatives are willing to claim.

But Malkin's primary beef with this book, there's a prize for those that submit their original thoughts on how to better America. HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!

It's just like any other competition. From school writing programs, to contests shown on TV commercials from everywhere like Bass Pro Shop to cosmetic businesses, on down to sending off box tops from Hannah Montana cereal boxes, there are places EVERYWHERE where people can win big prizes as long as you buy their product. It seems that Malkin has her knickers in a twists because she didn't think of this first so that her readers could win a cruise with Hugh Hewitt or something.

In essence, Malkin is creating something out of nothing. But this is nothing new.

Some Thoughts For Your Morning

Over the weekend, I had these questions rolling around in my brain-pan and thought I would share.

- Why are conservatives so upset that Obama is calling for the nation to come together in service for their country on Sept. 11th? Are they upset that someone is trying to use the day in a positive light to honor those that died? Are they losing the ability to use the deaths of thousands as a tool of fear, nothing more than a slogan?

- What is really going to happen during Glenn Beck's "9/12 Project" thing that is allegedly going to take place in Washington? Considering the very real fact that no person within the conservative movement has the ability to bring out the crazies the way he does, is someone going to get hurt - or worse?

- Do conservatives not realize that you can't just "turn off" the internet?

- The fringe segment of the GOP ( which is growing larger by the week ) should really decide if Obama is a Marxist, Socialist, Nazi, Communist, or Fascist. Do they not realize that he can't be all 5?

- When is TOOL coming out with a new album?

- Exactly how many seniors, that are able to collect Social Security and take advantage of Medicare benefits, have started refusing them since they are so afraid of Socialism now? I'm guessing none.

- I wonder what children of uber-conservatives ( like Malkin, Hannity, and O'Reilly ) think about other kids their age. After all, children aren't born racists, or sexist, or nativists, or think Ronald Reagan was the second coming of Jesus.

- Who's going to be a Bonnaroo next year?

- Why doesn't Lawrence O'Donnell have his own show on MSNBC?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fox's Version Of Ted Kennedy

This is just another tactic that Fox is using in order to lull Democrats and their supporters into a false sense of security. Not just in relation to healthcare reform, but every major piece of legislation that the Obama administration attempts to pass. Create the narrative that Kennedy completely set aside his own ideals and passions in order to essentially cave to Republican demands.

From now until the mid-term elections, and possibly further if there is no meaningful legislation regarding healthcare is passed by then, we are going to hear Republicans talking about what they think Kennedy would have done. They will talk of bipartisanship as often as they can get away with it.

But this isn't what Fox's real agenda is about, as anyone with a partially functioning brainstem can realize.

So, Does This Mean That's She's "In The Tank" Now?

It appears that Jenna Bush-Hager, the former party-girl, secret-service dodging hooligan, and daughter of W is going to be working for the network that her father's administration was none to fond of.

NBC's "Today" show has hired someone with White House experience as a new correspondent – former first daughter Jenna Hager.

The daughter of former President George W. Bush will contribute stories about once a month on issues like education to television's top-rated morning news show, said Jim Bell, its executive producer.

Hager, a 27-year-old teacher in Baltimore, said she has always wanted to be a teacher and a writer, and has already authored two books. But she was intrigued by the idea of getting into television when Bell contacted her.

One can but wonder why she wasn't offered a job @ Fox; or if she even was.

Your Ted Kennedy Impersonation Isn't Convincing

Anyone else see where this is going?

In a strong pushback against claims made by former Vice President Dick Cheney, Sen. John McCain insisted on Sunday that the use of torture on terrorism suspects violated international law, didn't work, and actually helped al Qaeda recruit additional members.

More from Sam Stein.

And while it should be stated that McCain does have a rather unique perspective when it comes to torture of prisoners, these statements do tend to smack of that "mavericky" nonsense that McCain is often known for. But as for me, I'm thinking that he's just auditioning for Kennedy's mantel.

Shorter Allahpundit

It’s come to this: Dems task Teddy’s grandson with leading funeral prayer for ObamaCare

As I and Michelle Malkin watch, in drooling anticipation, for every instance that a child - whom is more than likely a LOT smarter than we give them credit for - says anything about what their immediate family members want for their country, it should be pointed out that I can't find one single instance where a Republican's funeral has been politicized or ANY funeral where a child has spoken about what their grandfather would have wanted to see happen before he died.

Voices Of The "Murder, She Wrote" Demographic

One has to wonder how many people that are of age to draw Social Security and utilize Medicare are willing to give up these programs, or have already dropped them, because of the evils of Socialism that have just suddenly appeared within America in the last 8 months.

You will find a partial answer below.

LeRoy Schaffer, a St. Francis city council member, dressed in a tuxedo and top hat for the occasion. Shaffer got visibly emotional asking Bachmann about the future of health care and the role of special interests in Washington.

“I’ll be danged if I am going to give up my Social Security because of socialism,” Schaffer said, before being booed by the crowd.

I would like to offer that dear Mr. Schaffer's portrayal of the Monopoly guy does need a little more work to be convincing.

It's probably a fair assumption that many of these same people are huge fans of Bill O'Reilly as well.

So let me get this straight - Socialism is bad, unless seniors benefit from it?

The Constitution As A Weapon Used By The Ignorant

Has anyone else noticed that those that scream the loudest and longest about their explicit knowledge of the Constitution are usually the ones that know little to nothing about it?

Via The American Prospect

Tentherism, in a nutshell, proclaims that New Deal-era reformers led an unlawful coup against the "True Constitution," exploiting Depression-born desperation to expand the federal government's powers beyond recognition. Under the tenther constitution, Barack Obama's health-care reform is forbidden, as is Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. The federal minimum wage is a crime against state sovereignty; the federal ban on workplace discrimination and whites-only lunch counters is an unlawful encroachment on local businesses.

Tenthers divine all this from the brief language of the 10th Amendment, which provides that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." In layman's terms, this simply means that the Constitution contains an itemized list of federal powers -- such as the power to regulate interstate commerce or establish post offices or make war on foreign nations -- and anything not contained in that list is beyond Congress' authority.

The tenther constitution, however, reads each of these powers very narrowly -- too narrowly, it turns out, to permit much of the progress of the last century. As the nation emerges from the worst economic downturn in three generations, the tenthers would strip away the very reforms and economic regulations that beat back the Great Depression, and they would hamstring any attempt to enact new progressive legislation.

And while there are, in point of fact, many within the conservative movement that wish Obama to fail because he's the black man with the funny name currently holding the highest office in the land, the bulk of conservatives are willing to do and say any and everything to destroy healthcare simply because Obama is a member of the Democratic Party.

All the Republicans have to do is muddy the debate enough to either prevent healthcare reform from passing or, and this is their best bet right now, delay it long enough until after the mid-term elections next year, when the Republican Party will have likely gained a few more seats in both houses. However, banking on the "Tea-baggers", "Tenthers", "Birthers", and Fox"News" to gin up enough ire within the easily lead sections of the American public might not pay off as big as they hope next year.

However, when you continually trot out the Constitution as the rationale to your idiocy, there are enough people out there not willing to challenge your preposterous assumption for fear of being seen as un-American.

How Does One Spell, Glenn Beck?

While watching this I was overwhelmed, not just with the rank hypocrisy from the whining, bobble-head of the conservative movement, with this bizarre side-show and how it is being validate by people across the country.

And this is the guy that gets paid to spout sophomoric invective at those with whom he disagrees.

And what's with this "drug addict alcoholc" meme? Is the alleged Dr. Ablow attempting to convince Beck that he's the interventioner and everyone else are the addicts?

Truly, another reality bending episode of Beck.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Huckabee's Love Of Death

While it has been made quite clear here what I think of those that pretend to have care, compasion, and offerance of condolances at the time of death of someone whom they violently disagreeed with, it's almost as bad to blatantly lie and use the death of a person to somehow prove what is a blatant lie.

Enter former Governor, failed Presidential candidate, and poor garage band bassist Mike Huckabee.

[I]t was President Obama himself who suggested that seniors who don't have as long to live might want to consider just taking a pain pill instead of getting an expensive operation to cure them," said Huckabee. "Yet when Sen. Kennedy was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer at 77, did he give up on life and go home to take pain pills and die? Of course not. He freely did what most of us would do. He choose an expensive operation and painful follow up treatments. He saw his work as vitally important and so he fought for every minute he could stay on this earth doing it. He would be a very fortunate man if his heroic last few months were what future generations remember him most for

It truly is interesting to see Mike Huckabee do his "country preacher" schtick on Fox"News" and try to convince his flock that what he is saying is the gospel truth. But this is something that I would have expected from the likes of Micheal Savage or Limbaugh.

Erickson Asks, I Respond

In which the afformentioned Erickson asks -

How’s That Glenn Beck Boycott Working Out For You Pathetic Leftists?

Pretty good, apparently. And seeing as how Beck had this to say on his program, I'm fairly certain it's going WAY better than you are attempting to convince yourself of.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Some Thoughts On Death And Conservative Posturing

Ever since hearing of Teddy Kennedy's death, I have read hundreds of statements from conservatives claiming they have compasion and offer condolances en masse. I take great issue with this.

It's understandable that people will say "never speak ill of the dead". It shows a sign of compasion from people, but only if they practice it honestly. However, not everyone is compasionate as they claim to be. So when conservatives clamoured to be the first and loudest to claim they felt sorry for the loss within the Kennedy family, the stench of pretentious fakery abounded.

But then there's Andrew Breitbart.

The eternally disheveled and twitching mass of idiocy just couldn't play the game his other equally contemptable conservative compatriots were all to eager to perform in.

Early this morning, news broke that Sen. Ted Kennedy had passed away after serving in the U.S. Senate for nearly 50 years. Soon after, conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart began a sustained assault on Kennedy’s memory, tweeting “Rest in Chappaquiddick.”

Over the course of the next three hours, Breitbart unapologetically attacked Kennedy, calling him a “villain,” “a big ass motherf@#$er,” a “duplicitous bastard” and a “prick.” “I’ll shut my mouth for Carter. That’s just politics. Kennedy was a special pile of human excrement,” wrote Breitbart in one tweet.

More from Think Progress.

It's one thing to be a complete asshat like Breitbart, but it takes a special kind of filth to pretend to show compassion during a person's death, only to turn around some days or weeks later and trash the person.

Is Glenn Beck The Right's Answer To Alex Jones? or Allahpundit Gets A Clue

Ailes and Murdock must be quite pleased with all the press attention that Glenn Beck has brought to his program. And they are certainly pleased with the numbers that he is posting, even at 4pm. Beck has taken to his new position at Fox"News" with such fervor and passion that he's even gotten the attention of the network's biggest star, Bill O'Reilly - who's program Beck has a special segment on. Does O'Reilly feel threatened? That's another topic for another time.

But there-in lies the problem. Beck is so caught up in the "Obama bad, Conservative good, ugh, Beck smash" meme that it's eventually all going to catch up to him. He's either going to cross the line - which he has gotten VERY close to in recent weeks - and get cancelled or something he says is going to cause someone to come completely unglued and kill someone.

And some within the conservative movement are starting to realize this.

Recently, Allahpundit - at the Malkin headed "HotAir" - posed this question as a follow-up to his piece about Boss Limbaugh and Beck venting about the very imagined fact that their free speech rights are being removed each time the Obama administration did anything.

Is Beck serious here when he talks about the White House using some sort of disaster as a pretext to impose emergency rule? We’re only seven months into The One’s term and already he’s right at the brink of Reichstag Fire scenarios? I don’t think the left dropped those on Bush until his second year in office, at least. How’s GB going to hold it together for another three years if he’s already this close to the edge?

Is this a bombshell of a statement? No. Is this the catalyst that now the fringe-right of the conservative movement is going to start eating their own? That's a bit much, but the implications are there that some within the further reaches of the conservative right ( whom are praised here on a virtual daily basis ) are starting to hedge their bets when it comes to Glenn Beck.

Sure, the people at Hot Air love a good gimmick, and Beck is giving that to them in spades. But you can start to feel that they will drop all their praise at any given moment and distance themselves once things start to get out of hand. And it's almost certain that it will. Seeing as how Beck prides himself on promoting abject ignorance, fear, and distrust within his viewing audience, it won't be long before someone dives headlong into the shallow end of the pool.

In Which Micheal Steele Channels His Inner Palin

Speaking with Steve Inskeep on NPR's Morning Edition, RNC Chairman - and all around court jester of the conservative movement - Micheal Steele couldn't seem to articulate his point of view on healthcare and the government's roll in it.

INSKEEP: Wait, wait — You would trust the government to look into that?

STEELE: No, I’m talking about the private — I’m talking about citizens. I’m talking about — (CROSSTALK)

INSKEEP: Who is it you — You said it is something that should be looked into. Who is it that you think should look into that?

STEELE: Well, who regulates the insurance markets?

INSKEEP: That would be the government, I believe.

STEELE: Well, and so what. Now wait a minute. Hold up. You’re doing a wonderful little dance here and you’re trying to be cute. But the reality of this is very simple. I’m not saying the government doesn’t have a role to play. I’ve never said that. The government does have a role to play; it has a very limited role to play.

INSKEEP: Mr. Chairman, I respect that you think I’m doing a dance here. I just want you to know that as a citizen, I’m a little confused by the positions you take because you’re giving me a very nice nuanced position here —

STEELE: It’s not nice and nuanced. I’m being very clear.

It's still amazing that conservatives are shouting about the ills and evils of socialism while now pretending to be champions of Medicare - a socialist, single-payer, healthcare service.

But Steele is, from my point of view, the literal personification of what conservatives know and what they want the people of America know. Steele can't articulate a position that he knows isn't grounded in the reality that the rest of the world lives in, because he knows he has to stick to the script.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Light Posting Of Late

Much work to do and little time to accomplish much.

Will be back in the swing of things soon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Book Of The Dead

In which Olbermann speaks about another piece of right-wing fiction.

Think about it - it's the next logical choice for a talking point if your a conservative. Tell them grandma's going to die, that government is going to take away Medicare - and I'm still trying to wrap my mind around why people that are decrying "socialism" are afraid Medicare is going away, and then play the big card; Obama is going to kill veterans.

So what's next? Is Obama going to start burning churches and eating puppies on live TV?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shorter Ed Morrissey

Why unions are “Astroturfing” health-care town halls

Nevermind the fact that the Democratic party isn't perpetuating the meme that their response to our own, very real - read: corporate shill - grassroots movement is grassroots, I just have to say that organized workers that fight for fair pay and benefits for everyone have no place in discussing healthcare reform.

The Frivolity Of The Modern GOP

You know, this "birther" nonsense got out of hand long ago, but Congressman Trent Franks ( R - AZ ) seems to want to take it one step further.

The other main issue dealt with numerous speakers questioning Obama's birth certificate and why there wasn't an investigation into whether he is a naturalized citizen. One woman said a newspaper announcement of his birth in Hawaii was not sufficient. Another asked how he could have a passport without a birth certificate.

Franks said there was not enough evidence that Obama is not an American citizen. He did say there was a lot of conflicting evidence of Obama's citizenship and that he was considering filing a lawsuit, the only congressman to do so. Franks asked why the president did not simply produce a birth certificate.

More from The Mohave Daily News.

Who is this man representing?

We've come a long way from the poorly disguised notion of the "concern American citizen", lept headlong into blantatly racist rhetoric, and now we are actually on the verge of having an elected official file a lawsuit against the President. To satisfy whom?

Vacant Memories And Vacation Hypocrisy

The people at Fox, and those that support and defend them with every ounce of their beings, seem to be having serious problems with the Obama's family vacation to Martha's Vineyard.

Apparently they have forgotten Bush's month-long vacation to Crawford right before Sept. 11th.

This Is Rather Upsetting

While it is commonplace for Republicans ( especially those within the fringe area of the conservative movement - who seem to be growing so large, that it's no longer "fringe" ) to use the American military as a stick with which to beat people. It's becoming rather pornographic, predictable, an ultimately sad.

Then, there's this.

While I cannot and will not speak of this man's service to the country, it's readily apparent that he knows little to nothing of Nazi Germany, but is more than willing to stick with the rhetoric of fear stylings that are so en vougue now with the tea-party set.

His equivocation that since the Nazi's were labeled the National Socialist Party, that this must means that the Obama administration is playing on the same political field as the Nazi's. This, however, is not true in more ways than can be enumerated.

After all, since the former USSR had the name Republic in it, does that mean that it was governed by Republicans? Absolutely not. But, to stick with the ideals and point of view of the gentleman in the video, this would be a logical jumping off point.

This morning, this man ( apparently a Marine ) was to be on Fox and Friends ( who suddenly have the desire to have members of the military on their show on a virtual daily basis ) to talk about his statements and his beliefs. I'll have that video up soon.

There is nothing more dangerous than an ill-informed person that is given a platform. And what is truly upsetting to me is that a person that is defending our country has fallen prey to the idiocy and falseness of the conservative movement.

Because It's Majority Rule

It's not majority plus an undisclosed number to be determined at a time of Republican's choosing.

Senate Democrats said Sunday that they were fleshing out plans to pass health legislation, particularly the option of a new government-run insurance program, with a simple majority, instead of the 60 votes that would ordinarily be needed to overcome a filibuster.

After consulting experts in Senate rules and procedure, the Democrats said they were increasingly confident that they could legislate creation of a public plan in a way that would withstand challenges expected from Republicans.

More from The NY Times

But if there is a simple majority ( 51 votes in the Senate ) whill Republican's filibuster? You can surely bet the farm on that one.

James Carville even thinks that making the GOP filibuster will be a good idea.

Suppose they pass a House bill that can get 56 Senate Democrats....make [Republicans] filibuster it. But the old kinda way is that they filibuster it and make’em go three weeks and all night and [Democrats] will be there the whole time.
. Then, you say, ‘They’re the people that stopped it. We had a majority of Democrats. We had a good bill. They stopped it.

More from CNN's Political Ticker.

But let's say that Dem's go the route that Carvelle has postulated. Who's to say that this will even work against the GOP. Essentially, at least from my perspective, this would be a fairly substantical gamble with healthcare reform as the pot. The Democratic party have got the cards in their hand to win, but they can't seem to call the GOP's bluff.

If the Dems in both houses of Congress lack the ability to cut through all the nonsense that is being fed to the American people by the Republicans, then how can we win if there is a filibuster?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Looks Like Cameron Has Finally Topped Terminator

Here's the official teaser for Avatar


With this being James Cameron's first feature since the highly profitable, yet utterly horrible, Titanic, it's great to see him returning to his sci-fi roots.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Mythos That Is Pushing The Fringe And What Our Townhall Strategy Should Be

It is becoming common parlance within the conservative movement that there will be "death panels", that care will be rationed, that people will interfere with coverage, all without realizing that what they fear is already happening.

There are those that claim that illegal immigrants will be covered, that simply because you can walk into an emergency room, that THAT means that you have guaranteed coverage. Even down to the preposterous claim that since people from overseas come here to get healthcare that this is the penultimate signifier that our healthcare system is obviously head and shoulders above everyone else in the world.

This, to put it bluntly, is fucking false.

Let's take a look and a listen.

It has been postulated that only a small minority will benefit from any style of healthcare reform. However.....

Insurance companies currently rescind policies when their insured customers need treatment. Insurance companies restrict or deny coverage by rescinding health insurance policies on the grounds that customers had undisclosed pre-existing conditions. On June 16, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee held a hearing exploring this practice, with the goal of examining "the practice of 'post-claims underwriting,' which occurs when insurance companies cancel individual health insurance policies after providers submit claims for medical services rendered." The committee also released a memorandum finding that three major American insurance companies rescinded 19,776 policies for over $300 million in savings over five years and that even that number "significantly undercounts the total number of rescissions" by the companies.

Currently, insurance companies deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. CNN senior medical correspondent Elizabeth Cohen wrote in a May 14 article, "According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 21 percent of people who apply for health insurance on their own get turned down, charged a higher price or offered a plan that excludes coverage for their pre-existing condition. ... The health insurance industry doesn't deny that people are rejected or charged higher premiums because of pre-existing conditions."

And now, Limbaugh, in his continual Jabba The Hutt impersonation will tell his seething throngs of prattle-heads what they want to hear about healthcare reform and gets the whole mess complete wrong.

And where was Rush's righteous indignation when it came to spending money in Iraq? What of the costs of evesdropping on the average citizenry? What of the cost to artificially elevate the terror-level in the US simply to garner a larger vote margin in an election cycle? Of course, the answers to these questions, if posed to the likes of Limbaugh, will be met with twitching disdain and spittle-stained conjecture.

And this should be pointed out more than it has been - what of the people that can afford healthcare versus those that can't. Sure, conservatives with fall back on their talking-point that relates to "choice" of lifestyle, but what of those that don't have that choice? What of those that are faced with living in a position where they have limited options? What of those that are attempting to live out a lifelong dream and lack adequate coverage? It's very easy to speak from the pedestal and not understand those that you feel are below you.

Any reform established by the current administration woud result in a "death panel" that would deny care for seniors and those with mental disabilities......

"Death panel" claims have been conclusively discredited. In one of more than 40 media reports debunking claims of euthanasia and "death panels," PolitiFact wrote: "We've looked at the inflammatory claims that the health care bill encourages euthanasia. It doesn't. There's certainly no 'death board' that determines the worthiness of individuals to receive care. ... [Palin] said that the Democratic plan will ration care and 'my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama's "death panel" so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their "level of productivity in society," whether they are worthy of health care.' Palin's statement sounds more like a science fiction movie (Soylent Green, anyone?) than part of an actual bill before Congress. We rate her statement Pants on Fire!"

And the problem is growing, despite the fact that people aren't looking at the facts.

There’s a pretty striking finding buried in the new NBC/WSJ poll: It turns out nearly half of Americans believe the “death panel” fib.

The pollster read a series of predictions about the health care plan, and asked Americans whether they were “likely to happen” or “unlikely to happen.” In the “death panel” one, Americans were asked whether the health care proposal…

Will allow the government to make decisions about when to stop providing medical care to the elderly

Likely to happen: 45
Unlikely to happen: 50

Nearly half the country believes that the health care proposal would empower the government to withhold medical care for the elderly. As Steve Benen notes, this “points to a political discourse that’s badly broken.”

More from Media Matters

So why do Congressional Democrats seem to lack the ability not to just control the atmosphere of their respective townhalls, but accurately and concisely articulate the facts behind the proposed healthcare reform?

We should not be so obsessed with the nonsensical blathering of the opposition, or at least not spend so much time validating their inane slobbering and whining, and put forth strong, passionate statements that will dispell the bulk of the myths surrounding healthcare reform without having to spend time day and and day out trying to calm down an electorate that has become enraged with abject hatred, ignorance, and fear.

Happy Birthday Robert Plant

I honestly had no clue that today was Plant's 61st birthday. Perhaps it was serendipity that my last two posting were about Zeppelin,

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Zep Blog Continuous

Live Aid 1985: The Alleged Zep Reunion.

I am, from most accounts and conversations with my friends who are Zep fans, a penultimate fanboy. I remember Live Aid 1985 only due to the fact that my father had MTV back then. However, I had not yet discovered Zeppelin, as I was only 9 years old. But, once I reached the age of musical acountability ( somewhere around 14 ) I knew that something was wrong that performance, and it extended beyond Phil Collins bastardizing Bonzo's drums beats.

But, until we get to the point of discussing that, here is a Zep moment from the show known as Live Aid.

While Collins was quite the presence in Genesis, his performance at Live Aid with Page, Plant, and Jones was nothing more than a place-holder, and weak at that. But the vibe that day overshadowed that. It could have been Ginger Baker ( whom I would have prefered ) or Carmine Appice and the crowd would have been just as pleased simply because it was the first time the Page, Plant, and Jones had appeared on stage since Bonham's death.

And now, for some vintage Zep.

Tangerine at Earls Court.

Quite possibly one of Zeps penultimate performances, we see Page and Plant in full form at Earl's Court. The solid guitar stylings and the vocals from the Zep III LP ( who most people discounted as complete rubbish ) are as wonderful as ever.

Back when the dark and muddy Mississippi flooded the midwest in the early 90s, my friends and I wonderd why this track wasn't released and the proceeds used to benefit those that suffered.

And then there's more. As Jimmy Page takes a standard scale upward, above, and beyond to create Achilles Last Stand

Quite possibly the greatest Zep jam from back in the day: How Many More Times

In the breakdown, you can hear echos of Whole Lotta Love; and you begin to beg the jam to continue.

There are far too many bands that have recordings that are labeled "live". Each time I see or hear something like this, I have to laugh when I hear it. That's when I return to Zep's catalog of truly live material and realize that musicianship died some time ago. But, at least we have the recording of the legends that made real music a possibility.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fearing A Chilling Effect On Beck's Hatespeech

Hot Air's Allahpundit uses his uber-fancypants blogging skills to attempt to not appear visably crestfallen that Beck's inane drivel has resulted in advertisers jumping ship from his program.

Even here, the great lefty victory over Beck appears only to have resulted in ads being shifted to other Fox programs. If Media Matters et al. suddenly decide they want O’Reilly and Hannity boycotted too, how many companies will oblige them knowing that it means sacrificing the biggest viewing audience in cable news?

The most depressing thing about this isn’t the fear of lefties taking down conservative broadcasters, it’s the fact that Beck is catching hell while the demagogue di tutti demagogues, a man who eagerly compares Republicans to terrorists when he isn’t busy screaming about right-wing “hate speech,” rests easily in the thought that his own advertising is secure. Exit question: Just what would Olby have to say or do to warrant a rightroots boycott of Countdown’s advertisers? He can’t sink much lower. Someone set the bar, quick!

Of course, I will concede that Allah does have a moderately reasonable point - the same advertisers are still on other Fox"News" programs. So, what we have are these same advertisers allowing their goods and services to be seen being accepted with just another Right-wing sychophant.

But the mistake that Allah is making is that more people shop at places like Wal-Mart or have their car, bike, or truck insured through Geico than watch Beck, O'Reilly, and Hannity combined. To the advertisers, it's not about the message, it' about the audience. Companies rarely care about what channel their goods and servies are shown on, as long as those quick, 30 second, segments trigger that consumerist nature in the viewing public. And when those consumers come together and start threatening to stop consuming, those companies are going to pull ads.

This can easily happen to Hannity, O'Reilly, Limbaugh, or any other conservative prattle-box that is successful in wedging their expensive loafers sideways in their ever gapping maw.

The patience issue that Allah attempts to reference is extremely misplaced. Companies patience begins to dwindle when their products aren't selling, not when someone like Allahpundit says it does.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Because They Are The Greatest Band To Have Ever Played

I have often thought this without ever considering any other band, any other sound, any other opinion, but Led Zeppelin are the literal and figural gods of rock music.

Here are some tracks, some videos, some times that prove this.

Plant and Page: The Rain Song

There were many days when I would ride my bike around my county, dreaming of towns and cities away from where I grew up and where I had faultered. This song was consistantly in my walkman.

Some live at the Filmore East jams

White Summer / Black Moutainside : Paris 1969

Zeppelin in their infamous Danish TV special.

And some Plant solo action

The Predictability Of Conservative Meme

In classic Fox"News" fashion, "pretty-girl-on-the-teevee" Andrea Tantaros sticks to the script while discussing ( or not? ) the very reasonable way in which the Obama has responded to misinformation and lies regarding his stance on healthcare and other issues.

This is standard operating procedure for the prattle-heads at Fox. When your opponent doesn't answer for something, they are dodging the issue; when they do answer, they are misinforming; and when they employ technology to do so, then look out.

And this is something that conservative Republicans, who only get their information from Fox"News" or conservative talk radio, carry on discussions. They refuse to approach the subject head-on, but taking a look at the whether the facts support this or not. Instead, they chose to create tangentical arguements that have little to no validity and do nothing but muddy discussion and confuse their audience. And that confusing leads to conservative Republicans futher and further away from the truth.

Kirsten powers, who I normally don't care very much for, as she serves no greater purpose than that of the "Democrat-Placehold" so that Fox"News" can at least marginally validate their "Fair and Balanced" slogan, actually made some small bit of sense when she vocalized her confusion to the issue of the Obama administration continuing efforts to fight disinformation and lies when Jim Pinkerton claims that this is essentially the White House "lobbying".

So how is this even considered lobbying? Is this White House not even allowed to communicate with the voting publica without the conservative Right conflating this with pre-existing laws that likely didn't even consider the communication power of the internet when it was written?

The Selective Editing Process And Conservative Message Makers

Last evening, I had a rather interesting, and predicatable pointless, conversation with Caleb Howe of on Twitter.

I was responding to the following video that Erick Erickson had initially posted on Twitter. In the video - link goes to RedState, we see Fox"News" reporter Griff "Do You Guys Not Believe In Freedom Of Speech" Jenkins, his camera man, and another man that may be a producer being shouted down by a very vocal crowd of people that don't like Fox"News".

There are no punches thrown, no cameras were destroyed, no one was pushed, shoved, or hit in any way. The only shoving came from the "producer" and camera operator as they tried to make their way through the crowd.

Sometimes rhetoric gets out of hand. We all know this. There is a difference between disagreeing with someone and villainizing them as Hitler 2.0. So when you paint the President as a monster causing the death of innocents, and the media as his Goebbels, are you inciting violent reaction? Sometimes, apparently so.

I shot the shocking video below myself. I have not editing (sic) the foul language so please be warned: not safe for young ears.

Like me, you’ve been hearing about an angry mob. Well it exists. Watch this, then read on for important eyewitness details.

Howe was attempting - and poorly at that, as there have been no accounts of any news organization being "attacked" during any of the recent townhall meetings - in talking about how rouwdy the crowds at townhall meetings are getting. And while I am fully aware of Democrats', liberals', and progressives' attitudes toward Fox"News", the video should come as no suprise.

However, as stated in my conversation with Howe, the video provides no context other than Griff and company are being shouted down and confronted - a tactic that is also being employed by the ill-informed Right in relation to the townhall meetings currently taking place across the country.

It should be noted that this is the same Griff Jenkins that has been known to run into crowds in order to create the impression that he is being attacked as well as being the same Griff Jenkins that talked about going out and "causing trouble" at te DNC Convention last year.

The folowing video, which many conservative websites were touting as proof that Griff was "attacked" may very well be the lead-in to the video that Howe posted on RedState last night. In it, you will see Jenkins walking straight into an oncoming crowd and them stumbling about and crying "do you not believe in freedom of speech?"

My Op-Ed: V 1.0

Just about every week, I submit an Op-Ed piece to my local paper. The Madisonville Messenger is a very conservative publication, as the residency of the county that it serves is pretty much one of the reddest parts of the state of Kentucky. Even though my ideals are greatly outnumbered, I have seen several pieces published, with a great deal of response not only from the readership of the paper, but from members of my community as well.

Here is my latest submission.


We have just recently passed the half-way marker in Barack Obama's first year of presidency and one would assume that, from the fiery invective from the Right, that his administration has completely destroyed any and all facets of this nation for which people have fought, literally and figuratively, and died.. As late-night comedian and political commentator John Stewart postulated, perhaps the GOP is confusing tyranny with losing.

And with such strong feelings, many of which are completely unfounded and are rooted in willful ignorance, you are sure to see many points of view come up that weren't at first expected. Some points of view are even changed to such a degree that the word "hypocrisy" is quite the apt term to use.

From positions on 2nd Amendment Rights, to healthcare, to the preposterous notion that Obama is not an American citizen, and even to economic issues like the wildly successful "Cash For Clunkers" program, the fringe-conservative movement ( most notably the "tea-party" set ) are not just making their voices heard, though that is somewhat limited to simply shouting down their opposition and not engaging is realistic and intellectually honest discourse, but some of their ideals are actually beginning to show signs of traction within their elected officials.

We have just seen a very commonplace, and very important, piece of proposed legislation being removed from healthcare reform. The end-of-life counciling provision - or as Sarah Palin liked to refer to it: "Death Panels" - was removed from each of the 6 proposed bills largely due to massive media coverage in regards to how it had been molested and contorted into a visage of evil that was never even contained within the original language. This, by and large, was a patent lie from the conservative Right.

Two points about end-of-life counciling and the GOP that are somewhat interesting are as follows. The person that originally put this provision into proposed legislation was a Republican, and one of its most vocal opponents, the aforementioned Palin, actually supported end-of-life counciling in her state. While the later is slowing being spun by her rabid supporting base as non-comparable to what was currently being postulated, the very real fact that no-ones grandmothers were going to be euthanized, no special needs children would be put to death, and certainly no government official would be knocking on your door every five years. The language was clear, concise, and is currently being implemented throughout the nation as an option within healthcare that many Americans have no problem with.

The other issue that has gained ground within the GOP, although many Republican officials, when pressed, refused to state whether they believe or not, is Barack Obama's status as an American citizen. Lead by a woman who was born and raised in Communist Russia, Orly Taitz sparked a firestorm across the United States. The two sides being those who believe and those who don't. And while it appeared that this manufactured controversy would soon die out, it began to grow and swell while more and more media outlets embraced this ratings-boosting story. Soon, there were even elected officials that began to speak out, some stating that they needed proof before making a decision. Never before in my lifetime has there been cause for an elected President to provide a birth certificate to prove he is who he says he is.

The utterly silly issue came to a boiling point not long ago with Taitz presenting an obvious forgery that she attempted to pass off as a Kenyan birthcertificate, with so many mistakes of logic and fact that anyone who spent 30 minutes on Google could have debunked. The issue remains a polarizing one within the uber-conservative fringe, and is mentioned almost daily by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Lou Dobbs, Neil Boortz, Micheal Savage, and G. Gordon Liddy.

And the issues don't stop there. From people being afraid that their legally purchased and licensed firearms will be taken away. This should not suprise those that even casually follow our current administration, as there is not even a whisper of gun control legislation being considered. The "Cash For Clunkers" program, recently bolstered by a further injection of $2 billion dollars, continues to be successful despite the inane rambling of Glenn Beck and his paranoid delusion that the average person would have their computers "bugged" by the government in an attempt to gleen any and all information that could be used against them. And even the White House's handling of misinformation is being chided as nothing more than a compilation of an "enemies list". In reference to this, there was never a call for individuals to be turned-in to the White House, merely that concerned citizens, regardless of party affiliation, were urged to send in their questions regarding information that seemed suspect.

All this, coupled with the GOP's utter neglect of their potential young and minority voting blocks means that they are favoring the few while neglecting the many. But there is one variable to should be mentioned - mid-term elections. With this two-year election cycles inching closer, 2010 would likely only show marginal gains for a limited number of Republicans running for office. This isn't due to most issues that are currently being discussed, but largely due to the fact that any party that controls the White House and has a majority in both houses of Congress will likely see control of the later move to the opposition party. This was seen during the Carter and Reagan administration and most famously when Republicans gained majority after Clinton was elected for his first term.

But these gains, and their relevance, will likely mean little to nothing if the GOP continues to embrace mere opposition rather than an alternative, accepts abject ignorance, fear, and shouting instead of reasoned debate and education on the issues.

Friday, August 14, 2009

His Breath Still Pulses From His Funeral Bed

There wasn't one voice amongst the living that could summon forth the power and majesty of Leonard Cohen other than Jeff Buckley. His version of Hallelujah is a passionate marker that not all voices are created equal, that not all souls and talents created as one and the same. He is missed every day. If played at the right time at night, one can almost sense his spirit rising up from from the bowels of the muddy Mississippi River.

This Is My State

Driving home from Louisville on Thursday morning, I took a scenic detour through Elizabethtown.

As I was passing through, I thought about the very real fact that there are so many places like this in Kentucky. Those classic old-town streets that echo the Americana of yore.

It was places like this where I grew up, before the very town that I loved began to destroy itself. It's places like this that far too many people will never experience.

Being her, and knowing that one of my favorite directors made his last film here ( Cameron Crowe's Elizabethtown ) lended a sense of passion to my trip. Not just because this is my state, a place where my memories run deep, but the music that came with it.

My father, whom instilled within me a sense of not only home, but of community and friendship, and whos story of his own death mirrors many of the aspects of Crowe's film, was close in my mind as I passed through the comfortable streets of downtown.

If there is one song featured in the soundtrack of that film, and all are so present in my mind, that typified the final moments of my father'f life, his wake, and my thoughts that followed, it would have to be the lyrical majesty of Berny Taupin an the musical/vocal genius of Elton John in the track "My Father's Gun".

I'd Like To Thank The Academy

Apparently, my daily musings and ramblings have caught the attention of some and now I have had bestowed upon my oft grammatical abortions my first award.

So, in the spirit of "the rules", let us go through the necessary steps to give not only thanks, but credit to some fantastic blogs I have been reading since venturing into the ether of cyber-space-blogging-action last summer.

Firstly, to WIEC? for the award. His blog is not to be missed. I am particularly fond of his month-long series on Alien.

Secondly, to the 10 blogs that I will be crowning as Honest Scrap.

1 - Love Train For The Tenebrus Empire.

Tenebruskate soaks the digital realm in a psycho-sexual coating of retro films that range in genre from horror, to action adventure, and fantasy. Peppered with a unique take on music, art, and the darker corners of pop-culture, it's a fantastic place to spend time.

2 - Electric Cerebrectomy

Samuraifrog's blog has a little bit for everyone. A great musical series called 500 Faves has reintroduced me to some gems of the past as well as opened by mind to new sounds.

3 - Darkblack

What would Sarah Palin look like flying an x-wing topless over Rush Limbaugh's saggy tits while he gave a rim-job to Glenn Beck as they both got bukkaked by Bill O'Reilly, Levi Johnston, and Yani? You'll surely find wonderful pics just like that here.

4 - Blue Gal

Three words: Panties, Knitting, Politics

5 - Awesomness

You know that feeling that you get when you eat 4 bowls of Cocoa Puffs in a row? Now couple that with two nights without sleep while listening to Burl Ives on continuous loop. Then you might have some sort of grasp on what's going on at this site.

6 - Adventures In Nerdliness

Darius Whiteplume, aside from having one of the most fucking cool names in all of recorded history, Nerdliness offers up some great pieces of the inner nerd in us all. Oh, and his various other blog-adventures are worth a click or three - especially Dirty And Nerdy.

7 - Zaius Nation

Dr. Zauis conjures up grovalicious imagry, text, and style in a whirlwind of swing and jive that is a toe-tapping, knee-slapping, booty shaking good time.

8 - Everything Is Terrible

Itching for some crazy, retro, bizzare, video footage? Look no further.

9 - The Sanity Project

Radio DJ Josh James' blog that takes on religion with a nice blend of politics and current events.

10 - No Smoking In The Skullcave

Two aspects of this blog are absolutely wonderful. Firstly, Becca's skills as an artist are top-notch. I'm sure that I am repeating what has already been said, but her style is very much a blend of Japanese stylings and Coop. Secondly, the movie quiz posts are not to be triffled with. Most will be lucky to get 40%.

I would list more, but these are the ten ( aside from WIEC, whom nominated my blog ) that I would recommend you all take not of.

And now, Part The Third: 10 Things About Myself

1 - I have no belly-button. No, seriously. I don't have one and you'll just have to take me at my word, cause there's no way I'm taking my shirt off today.

2 - I oftem feel like I was born, not just in the wrong time, but in the wrong place. I would feel quite at home with the young film directors in Paris in 1968; perhaps with the DJs in Ibizia in the late 80s; or even somewhere in the not to distant future in some southern city like Nashville, Atlanta, or New Orleans.

3 - I'm still kicking myself in the ass for not starting up a blog sooner

4 - I have this bizarre fascination with the number 43. I've had this particular mental defect since around 1995. While most people will discount my theories revolving around this particular number, but there are innumerable instances of this number having particular significance throughout various places during the whole of recorded history.

5 - I have yet to make use of my college education to the ponit where I can quit my current job. However, breaking into the film industry, getting published ( in a variety of styles ), and writing electronic music and DJing can be quite the difficult task to accomplish if you have as little time as I do.

6 - I have had interesting altercations with various celebrities, musicians, and other notables, yet have no photographic evidence that such things happened. I have learned to be prepared for such instances now, although living in Western Kentucky doesn't exactly afford one the opportunity to bump into high-profile personalities.

7 - I was a radio DJ for 5 years while attending Western Kentucky University. I recorded most of my programs, but have managed to only hang onto a handful of tapes that I am attempting to have converted to digital format somehow. Is that even possible? I'm sure it is.

8 - I am somewhat of a music elitist. I can't stand when people conflate two completely divergent genres like hip-hop and rap, attempting to make them the same thing. I also cannot and will never be able to tolerate the bulk of what is passed off as "talent". There is nothing talented about the likes of Kid Rock, Lady Ga-Ga, Kanye West, or the glut of what is being passed of as "country music".

9 - I have a massive collection of films that are slowly overtaking my living-room. At last count, I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 1147 and alphabetized by catagory. I'm thinking of adding a room on to my house.

10 - Living in such a conservative part of the US, and having grown up here as well, gives me a very unique perspective to the inner machinations and ditherings of the Republican voting block as they are now suddenly "concerned" over the state of the country. Hypocrisy certain knows no bounds - especially in the Bible Belt.

The Proper Way

Living in an area of the US that voted heavily for McCain in November, as well as being so rabidly conservative in many instances that they make Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Bachman look like rational, reasoned, souls, it's difficult to have any sort of constructive debate on anything.

In that regard, they are perfectly suited for the obstructionist and mis-informer set that are currently invading the townhall circuit in order to get what they want - or what they think they want.

So, how does one Democratic congressman respond to the abject ignorance that is commonplace amongst conservatives?

Rep. Rick Larsen (D-Wash.) was asked, "Why are all Americans being forced into a government-run health care and insurance plan when only 46 million out of 312 million are uninsured?" The questioner went on to suggest that most people without insurance could get it without government assistance and concluded, "I'd be willing for the government to buy insurance policies for the 8.2 million chronically uninsured, but the other 37.8 million are not the responsibility of the American citizens and ... and I am unwilling to throw my present health care away for them."

More from Crooks And Liars

The only problem is that as the various conservative lies, pieces of misinformation, fabrications, and fearmongering continue to get traction through various media outlets, simply having the facts on your side just might not be enough.

One of the reasons you don't hear answers like this more often is because, by and large, members of Congress like to be popular, even at the expense of doing something completely that hurts the residents in their districts.

Stop Validating Their Insane Mumblings

I had been away from news and blogs for the better part of the past 48 hours, enjoying some time with and old college friend and DJing in Louisville, so I missed this bombshell.

Apparently, the mythical "death panel" portion of the healthcare reform bill has been dropped. Considering that it never existed in the first place, what was actually dropped was a common practice for any and all healthcare providers.

The Senate Finance Committee will drop a controversial provision on consultations for end-of-life care from its proposed healthcare bill, its top Republican member said Thursday.

The committee, which has worked on putting together a bipartisan healthcare reform bill, will drop the controversial provision after it was derided by conservatives as "death panels" to encourage euthanasia.

"On the Finance Committee, we are working very hard to avoid unintended consequences by methodically working through the complexities of all of these issues and policy options," Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said in a statement. "We dropped end-of-life provisions from consideration entirely because of the way they could be misinterpreted and implemented incorrectly."

More from The Hill.

If there is one thing that "partisanship" is going to do to healthcare is completely ruin any chance for real change and real reform that benefits everyone.

There is nothing worse than validating the insane machinations of people like Sarah Palin, Fox"News", and seething conservative talk radio hosts like Limbaugh. It only serves to give them a sense that they are gaining the upper hand. Much in the same way as that a parent may try to placate an unruly child by offering them a compensation if they promise to behave, and then stand back and not notice the child completely taking advantage of them, removing the very reasonable and normal practice of "end-of-life" counciling is just going to be the start.

A More Relevant Interview Than Most

Damon Weaver, KEC TV News Team reporter from Kathryn E. Cunningham/Canal Point Elementary, finally gets his interview with Obama.

While most, if not all, within the mainstream media will largely ignore this interview, for a variety of reasons, it should be noted that Damon has more journalistic chops than most than continually touts their own skills as a reporter.

However, he would be immediately discounted due to his closing statement that Obama is now his "homeboy". Dang, "in the tank" at such a young age.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Malkin's Hortaculturist Horror Stories

Michelle Malkin, never one to miss an opportunity to discount, slime, and stalk children - but all in the name of patriotism and allegance to her movement - has taken issue with a child again. Continuing with the "their plants!!!!" meme, Malkin pats herself on the back and smiles that wide, toothie, smile as she discovers that an Obama volunteer not only brought her daughter, but that same daughter asked Obama a question.


But this alleged travesty, injustice, and perversion of the American way doesn't stop there. No, not only does this young woman voice her concerns regarding those protesting healthcare, but her mother was ( brace yourself ) a volunteering for the Obama campaign!!!

Manning Hall has donated thousands of dollars to Obama, as has her law firm.

But, you know, um, like Obama said: “I don’t want people saying I just have a bunch of plants in here.”

Oh, goodness. Of course not.

Now, look for Dems to play the kiddie human shield card to the hilt. Anyone who mentions Hall’s political pedigree will be attacked as a vicious meanie stalker. Graeme Frost redux!

No, Michelle dear, if you want to true Redux, you'd be stalking this family and posting their personal information online.

Bob Cesca views the "plant" nonsense in the same way as I do:

A "plant" would, in fact, be someone who was coached and scripted. You know, like most of the stacked Bush town halls and photo-ops (where were the wingnut cries of "propaganda" back then?).

And using Malkin's apparently uber-stringent regulations for not only townhall attendance, but for posing questions to the President, then over half the population of most cities would be completely removed from the equation.

Here's what I find interesting about Malkin's standpoint on children - she seems to live by the philosophy that they are to be seen and not heard. Sort of like the way Sarah Palin views her children, as set pieces for their careers.

It should also be pointed out that Malkin's puckering machinations fly directly in the face of her's and like-minded conservative's "concern" for children and their future.

So Is Her Son A Communist Now, Or A Fascist?

The irony here is almost too good to be true.

(Michelle) Bachmann’s son, Harrison, has now joined Teach for America (TFA). According to the TFA website, “Teach For America is currently a member of AmeriCorps, the national service network.” The Serve America Act, which she voted against, supports programs such as TFA.

If you'll recall, Bachman railed against the expansion of AmeriCorps and called it "re-education camps".

I believe that there is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concerns is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically-correct forums. As a parent, I would have a very, very difficult time seeing my children do this.

Well Michelle, time to sit back and take it all in.

I often find myself concerned with the intellectual safety of children whos parents are so rabidly conservative and fly off the handle anytime the government spends a dollar on any organization - save the military or whatever can benefit them politically in the future.

I'm sure that this story will come up on Countdown or perhaps of Racheal Maddow's program, but don't expect a word of this to be uttered on Fox"News" or as an unsolicited comment from Bachman herself.

Franken's Parlor Trick

I'm not sure if this would qualify as having more passion and understanding for your country - that one can draw the continuous 48 states freehand - or if it is just really cool.

And he's now drawing Alaska and Hawaii too, after people continually asked him why he hadn't.

U.S. Sen. Al Franken has acceded to a formal request from Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) that the Minnesota senator add Alaska and Hawaii when he draws freehand maps of the United States as a parlor trick. Franken, whose 2007 campaign-trail performance of the stunt is on YouTube (see it after the jump), promised Begich that “henceforth, my marvelous hand-drawn map of the United States will include the forty-ninth and fiftieth states, which are either Hawaii and Alaska or Alaska and Hawaii.”

More from the Minnesota Independant

Wonder When Glenn Beck Is Going To Have Him On

Chris Matthews had on William Kostric - the man with the Jefferson quote and gun at the townhall meeting given by President Obama - to answer some question, most notably what his message or intent was.

Matthews was visibly upset.

You'll notice toward the end of the segment ( approx. 6:25 ) that Kostric is holding what appears to be a script. Now, whether or not he was given the questions ahead of time - which I highly doubt - or those are his talking points given to him by either his lawyer or associate is unclear. But, what is readily apparent is that he is unrepentant for his questionable actions and appears to be more in-line with this laughable notion that our nation is on the very brink of destruction unless government is completely dismantled and people everywhere start carrying guns with them everywhere they go.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Not Concealing What's In Their Hearts

It's no suprise that many townhall events are going to be held in areas where there are conceal/carry laws - even places where you can carry a weapon as long as it ISN'T concealled. This is a story of the later.

Even though this man likely has a right to carry this weapon, I'd like to go back to something that I had stated early here.

Aside from the very real posibility that this man is simply carrying the gun in order to intimidate people at this particular rally, what possible rationale is there that anyone has a necessity to carry a gun with them at all times? Certainly any, all, or most that are gun afficianados will cry that they have a right to own weapons, so why should they be prohibited from carrying them at a townhall rally?

The answer, even to them, is blatantly obvious. They carry weapons to places not like this simply because it is their right or that they have a permit; it is a scare tactic. It feeds to their basest of instincts and then, in turn, feeds to rabid, often maniacal, notions of the fringe members within their party. They aren't expressing their rights, they are stoking the fires of paranoia and hatred - whether they realize it or not.

More from TPM

When Style, Substance, Politics, And Celebrity Collide

Let me preface this by saying the I honestly think Kathy Griffin is funny. But, why in the name of all that is Holy would she be hanging out with Levi Johnston?

While Griffin is the type of person that is willing to do something unconventional and outright silly just to get some sort of reaction out of people, the mere fact that it's Levi Johnston opens up a bizzare and secret window into what the Right could possibly have to offer, simply due to Johnston's close relationship with Bristol Palin's vagina, and tangentically, Sarah Palin's off camera persona.

Is this Griffin's way of going full on method actor - researching some new material that she will likely unleash later next year? Questions abound and the answers that seem to creep around in my brain don't seem to make much sense. But, perhaps that is the point.

Special Comment

In which Olbermann takes on Palin, Beck, Coryn, Dobbs and the ignorance they propagate.

Say what you will about Keith Olbermann, and many do, but there is no denying that this man is one of the saner voices in the media. Sure, he takes a liberal/progressive/Democratic standpoint in his coverage and his statements, he makes no apologies for this fact. This is what sets him, as well as Racheal Maddow, apart from others, not only in their particular time-slot but from virtually everyone in the mainstream media.

Monday, August 10, 2009

That Rationale Of The Tea-Baggers Doesn't Make Sense

This morning, while perusing Fox"Nation" to see what the crazies were up to around breakfast-time, I can across a thread about Palins assertions that Obama is going to kill all babies regardless of their parents political affiliations, men over the age of 47 who voted in at least 3 Republican primaries over the last 5 years, slaughter buffalo and bald-eagles and make Peggy Noonan drink the blood, blow up the new Yankee stadium so there can be a monument to George Soros built in its stead, and make out with the leader of Hamas on live TV next July 4th, I noticed that a commenter had posted this same thing. The good people that call Fox"Nation" their home were not pleased with this - at all. It provided a hearty laugh for my day, which I greatly needed.

This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US department of energy. I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the national weather service of the national oceanographic and atmospheric administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the national aeronautics and space administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US department of agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the food and drug administration.

At the appropriate time as regulated by the US congress and kept accurate by the national institute of standards and technology and the US naval observatory, I get into my national highway traffic safety administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads build by the local, state, and federal departments of transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the environmental protection agency, using legal tender issed by the federal reserve bank. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US postal service and drop the kids off at the public school.

After spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the department of labor and the occupational safety and health administration, enjoying another two meals which again do not kill me because of the USDA, I drive my NHTSA car back home on the DOT roads, to ny house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and fire marshal's inspection, and which has not been plundered of all it's valuables thanks to the local police department.

I then log on to the internet which was developed by the defense advanced research projects administration and post on and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can't do anything right.

( can also be seen @ Zauis Nation and Oliver Willis )

Where The Wild Things Are: Trailer B

My local theatre has the promo poster of this up, which I have already confirmed will be mine once they are ready to take it down. Can't wait for this.

A Fail So Big It Deserves To Be Mentioned Again

By all accounts, the conservatives at Investors Business Daily still believe this, even after a Kossack has completely debunked their sad attempt at decrying the National Health Service in England.

People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn't have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.

And for those that aren't familiar with one of the worlds most brilliants minds, MLDB at Daily Kos offers up some basic facts on Hawkin that appear to have escaped IBD:

Ahem...I present to you Stephen Hawking's Biography:

------------Stephen Hawking was born to Mr. Frank Hawking, a research biologist, and Mrs. Isobel Hawking, a political activist... Though Hawking's parents were living in North London, they moved to Oxford while Isobel was pregnant with Stephen...

Oxford is in the U.K.

But wait, there's more:

------------After Stephen was born, the family moved back to London

Still in the U.K.

Want more?

------------After receiving his B.A. degree at Oxford University in 1962, he stayed to study astronomy.

He "stayed". That means he is still in the U.K.

And this is basic research. Even grade-schoolers have the intellectual capacity to check Wikipedia and find this type of stuff out.

Of course, if the good people at IBD wish to challenge the very real fact that Hawkins is British, they will likely ask why he doesn't speak with an accent.

Oh, The Delicious Irony

Honestly, it isn't fair for blacks to refer to a man like Kenneth Gladney as an "Uncle Tom" because he is black and takes up conservative ideals, as that label is predicated on many factors that they may not realize at first glimps. Maybe he honestly ( and foolishly ) believes in them. But, what can be found out later will allow all of us to formulate a more concise, more accurate, opinion of a man ( or woman ) and how they are using the tactics fed to them, even if it is against their own self-interest.

The Washington Monthly reports:

Yesterday, about 200 conservative activists held a protest outside the SEIU office in St. Louis. Gladney was there -- bandaged and in a wheelchair -- as a featured guest. Some of the activists held signs that read, "Don't Tread on Kenny." Reader R.D. alerted me to this tidbit in the local news account of the protest:

Gladney did not address Saturday's crowd of about 200 people. His attorney, David Brown, however, read a prepared statement Gladney wrote. "A few nights ago there was an assault on my liberty, and on yours, too." Brown read. "This should never happen in this country."

Supporters cheered. Brown finished by telling the crowd that Gladney is accepting donations toward his medical expenses. Gladney told reporters he was recently laid off and has no health insurance.

Wait, the conservative opponent of health care reform, fighting (literally) to defeat a plan that would bring coverage to those who lose their jobs, lost his coverage because he got laid off?

The sad part of this is that he will have his medical bills taken care of by conservatives solely because he towed the line. Not because he is honest, not because he has something to contribute to the ongoing debate over healthcare, but simply because he is the gimmick of the moment for conservatives.

Conservative Quote Of The Day

....we must stick to a discussion of the issues and not get sidetracked by tactics that can be accused of leading to intimidation or harassment. Such tactics diminish our nation’s civil discourse which we need now more than ever because the fine print in this outrageous health care proposal must be understood clearly and not get lost in conscientious voters’ passion to want to make elected officials hear what we are saying. Let’s not give the proponents of nationalized health care any reason to criticize us.

Sarah Palin, now urging her loyal fanbase on Facebook to be civil and not do or say things that will cause them to be criticized.

I love this woman so much.

More from Think Progress

Hamming It Up

There's nothing more exciting to a rabid, right-wing, conservative than when someone on their side is allegedly beaten for their beliefs. That is, unless it's "caught on tape" and their black. Now, couple that with the allegation that the person doing the attacking is also black and you've got white-hot masturbatory material for at least a weeks worth of news cycles on Fox.

Mary Katherine Ham leapt head first into the shallow end of the pool with her piece in the Weekly Standard about the "beating" of Kenneth Gladney

Brown said Gladney told him he was also kicked by a woman, but Brown didn't witness that part. Gladney then went to the hospital, Brown said.

"He sustained some injuries to his back, some bruising," he said.

Brown said a black male with an SEIU t-shirt and a white man in an SEIU t-shirt were both arrested on suspicion of assault, while another man left the scene before police got there. A woman was arrested in connection with the incident, but not for assault. Brown was not sure of the charge. The incident happened around 9 p.m., he said.

His account seems to match up with the Post-Dispatch report, and would account for three of the six arrests—two for assault, and one on lesser charges.

....there was a clear effort from liberals to portray any scuffles from last night's town halls as the inevitable violent eruption of right-wing mob members, but it is interesting that there was no violence until the night liberal interest group HCAN and Dem members of Congress started calling in union members to "protect" them and host these events. It's also interesting that the only documented cases of violence thus far seem to be going one way. The Slapper, seen on Drudge and in these pictures (9-17), is local Tampa Democratic operative Karen Miracle.

That's not to say opponents of Obamacare were entirely without fault throughout the night, but thus far, there's much more evidence going the other way.

The only problem with Ham's drooling excitement over the alleged beating of Gladney, aside from their being no clear witness to the fight, is that she even embeds the video in her piece.

Take a look at this and see if you can tell what happened.

You'll notice about 1:20 in to the tape that Gladney has walked over to the person holding the camera and then proceeds to wave down a cop car.

Media Matters has more on this:

The only real mystery from the incident is why Tea Party member Gladney, who's seen up-close after the brief encounter walking around and talking to people and who appears to be injury-free, then decided to go to the hospital to treat injuries to his "knee, back, elbow, shoulder and face." All that from a two-second fall to the pavement?

Also unclear is why he contacted a newspaper reporter, or why his attorney wrote up lavish accounts and sent them to conservative bloggers, or why Gladney and his attorney appeared on Fox News.

Conservatives, aching for a juicy story about someone being attacked at one of the townhalls across the country, could barely contain their collective, orgasmic, shrieks.

The video doesn't show the beating, yet it is being held up as some sort of smoking gun against SEIU. But this doesn't matter to people like Mary Katherine Ham or any that have nothing but utter disdain and contempt for not only unions but the ery fabric of reality itself.

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