Friday, December 18, 2009

The GOHP - The Grand Old Hypocritical Party!

[Some of the GOHP in all their gory glory - Photo by Reuters]

They don't have "communism" to kick around any more, so the Repugnicans have fallen in love with the word, socialism. They love to use the word and do so every chance they get. They tell the world socialism is bad. Not that any of them could define what it means, but they think they might know it if they saw it, and it is a really nasty thing, like swine flu.

Now, out in the hinterlands, most people don't know the difference between communism, fascism, socialism or Hinduism! Thus, they are easy prey for these Congressional whores who are paid off by the insurance companies and vote, not for what is best for the country, but for what will best enhance their careers.

And Repugnican congresspeople know that the way to confuse their constituents and have them vote against their own best interests is to threaten that a bill is "socialistic."

What follows is from Jim Hightower's latest issue of The Hightower Lowdown:

"The entire bloc of 39 Republican U.S. senators locked arms just before Thanksgiving in a failed attempt to block the federal health-insurance reform bill from even being debated. 'Socialism!' they barked in unison. They declared that their principled intention in trying to prevent debate was to save the American people from the nightmare of government-run health care.

"Thank you, senators. For nothing. First the bill does not--repeat, does NOT--create any government-run health-care program. Instead, it is an insurance reform bill, dealing not with the delivery of care but with the raw gouging we consumers and tax payers routinely get from the private-insurance giants.

"Second, and more fascinating, what all 39 of the naysayers hope you don't figure out is that they actually are (shhhhh) secret socialists when it comes to health care! Their health care, I mean. Not yours.

"Have you ever heard any of these free-market purists mention that (shhhhh, again) they and their families get a Rolls Royce level of socialized-insurance coverage? Of course not. They don't want us to know that about 75% of their insurance cost is paid for by taxpayers--aka you and me--who are lucky if we can afford a Yugo-level of coverage for our families.

"But (double-shhhhh)), the thing they most want to keep secret from us commoners is a special spot of unadulterated socialism located right under the Capitol dome: the Office of the Attending Physician (OAP). This obscure nook is where these antigovernment-run health-care stalwarts go to get government-run health care delivered directly to them. When they get a little boo-boo, they can get it kissed in this tucked-away office, courtesty of us taxpayers.

"The OAP is a boutique medical practice providing full-service, state-of-the-art treatment exclusively to members of Congress. It offers full-bore, British-style, socialized medicine--the physicians, specialists, nurses, med-techs, pharmacists, and others working there are government employees.

"Their service is primo. Let's say that one of the 39 Republican grumps gets gaseous or suffers a tongue cramp while giving a Senate speech denouncing socialism. He or she can scoot just a few yards way for socialized care at the OAP--no appointment required, no bothersome insurance forms to fill out, no co-pay, no waiting. Just care.

"So, let's all ask our own Congress critters why we can't have what they're getting. Do they think they're better of more deserving than us ... "

Ah, yes, The Grand Old Hypocritical Party!

You can read much more from Mr. Hightower here.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Keith Olbermann - Worst Person in the World - Mayor Wiseman

How do stupids like this "Wiseman" get elected to public office? He should be shoveling manure in a barn in Tennessee, not "mayoring" a town!

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Senator Franken Defends A Woman's Right To Choose

It is so nice to have a voice of reason in the United States Senate.

Andrew Sullivan on Sarah Palin

Who is Sarah Palin? Nobody knows. What is Sarah Palin? We know this much: She is a liar!

Andrew Sullivan has some important things to say about the liar from Alaska!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Tim Tebow, the Florida Gators, God and Football

College football is strange. There are millions of people out there in loony-land who think college football is important; that it really matters.

It doesn't. It's a damn game. Nothing more, nothing less. It is unrelated to real life. Some countries (Sweden, for example) do not have college sports. Hmm. Might that mean less nonsense and more learning?

Yesterday the Florida Gators lost the SEC championship game to Alabama's Crimson Tide by a score of 32-13.

Some people in Florida were very sad. Tim Tebow, the Gator's quarterback was heartbroken. He actually shed tears. And that's understandable. For Tim, football is his life. It is not only extremely important to him but his relationship to football has something to do with his image of himself. Thus to lose to Alabama was devastating; a loss of face; a loss of sense of self. He must be wondering, "How could this happen?"

But more than that. Because Tim believes (as he has noted on his cheeks previously) that he can do all things through Christ because Christ gives him strength, this was not only a blow to his self-understanding but his religious understanding. Christ didn't come through. Tim's god gave the nod to Alabama.

How does one deal with that?

But maybe god is just plain sick of Tebow sporting his religion on his cheeks? The latest was John 16:33, which says, in part, "In the world you have trouble. But courage! The victory is mine; I have conquered the world." Maybe god saw that and said, "Enough already!" and gave the victory to Alabama!

Whatever, it's over for the year for Tebow and the Gators. In purely secular terms, if you're a Gator or a Gator fan, that's worth shedding a few tears.

Keith Olbermann: Bill O'Reilly, Worst Person In The World!

The Twelve Steps of Christmas

I bought a box of Christmas cards at Target with the following on the front :

The 12 Steps of Christmas
  1. Admit you are powerless over Christmas, and that your life has become unmanageable.
  2. Believe that a power greater than consumer credit can restore you to sanity.
  3. Decide to turn your will and life over to Santa as you understand him.
  4. Make a searching and fearless inventory of your material desires.
  5. Admit to Santa, to yourself, and to another human being the exact nature of your size, color preferences, and taste in furniture.
  6. Allow Santa to remedy all defects of your bank account.
  7. Humbly ask Santa to payoff your mortgage.
  8. Make a list of everything you want, and be willing to read the instruction manuals.
  9. Cite model numbers and retail locations wherever possible, except when doing so would require an internet search.
  10. Continue to take personal inventory, and when you think of something else you need, add it to the list.
  11. Seek through prayer and meditation to improve your conscious contact with Santa as you understand him, praying only for knowledge of his gifts for you and the power to open them quickly.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, carry Santa's message to friends and family every Christmas.
My personal favorite is #3. If I ever find myself looking towards a higher power, it will be Santa. Unlike other gods, Santa actually delivers. I actually find gifts under my tree every year.

From the Underground Unbeliever.

Haysus got laid in Texas

While there are some fine people living in Texas, contrarily some of the weirdest things/people come from Texas, too. Think G. W. Bushie. Or the current guv'nor. Or Tom DeLay. Now God has arrived in the form of an egg from a chicken, and by god, god's doing miracles! Yes, ma'am! Real down-to-earth Texas miracles. Y'all just gotta believe!

And jest in time for Christmas!

Church Canceled Due to Lack Of God

Pat Condell: Aggressive Atheism

This will prick small minds and cold hearts! Whew!

h/t to God is for Suckers.

Like father like son

Click to embiggen.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Countdown's Worst Persons - Fox & Friends Crop Daily Show Footage

There is no question anymore that FAUX News is nothing more than a propaganda outlet for the ultra-right wingnuts in our country. Here's more confirmation if you need it!

Rachel Maddow tries to get responses on the Ugandan Kill the Gays Bill

This topic deserves much wider circulation. One area that Ms. Maddow needs to spend more time on is the collusion between the religious right (Anglican ultra-conservatives) in Uganda and its connection with the religious (Christian) right around the world. There's much more here than meets the eye!

From Crooks and Liars:

Rachel follows up on her reporting on the 'kill the gays' bill being considered in Uganda. Her show attempted to get some responses from the American legislators who have decided to inject themselves so deeply into African politics - with predictable results. Most of them either tried to wash their hands of their part in this absolutely horrid piece of proposed legislation or didn’t bother to respond at all. The scandal ridden John Ensign’s office said he was too busy screwing up the health care bill to give a response.

James Inhofe and Sam Brownback didn’t bother to respond, either. Don’t hold your breath waiting on those two knuckle-draggers, Rachel. I’m sure it will be a cold day in hell before either of them bother to tell the evil “librul” lesbian woman why they could care less if you were killed if you were unfortunate enough to live in Uganda, assuming this law gets passed.

Props to Rachel for keeping after this story. It has to be one of the most disgusting news items I’ve watched in a very long time and these C-Street wingers need to be held to account for their actions. It’s a shame the rest of the media is not giving this story the attention it deserves. They’re too busy chasing around the White House party crashers or Tiger Woods’ mistresses.

Transcript via Nexis Lexis below the fold.

GEORGE W. BUSH, THEN-U.S. PRESIDENT: Today on the continent of Africa, nearly 30 million people have the AIDS virus -- including 3 million children under the age of 15. Ladies and gentlemen, seldom has history offered a greater opportunity to do so much for so many.

Tonight, I propose the emergency plan for AIDS relief -- a work of mercy beyond all current international efforts to help the people of Africa.


MADDOW: A legitimately moving moment in President Bush`s State of the Union address back in the year 2003. When all was said and done after two terms of the Bush administration, American help fighting HIV and AIDS in Africa was one marquee issue of compassionate conservatism that Mr. Bush could brag about in trying to shape his legacy for historians and he did come back and talk about the issue at the end of his presidency to remind people about that.

The issue of AIDS in Africa indeed became one of the hallmark causes for a lot of different conservatives who wanted to keep the compassionate conservatism idea alive, conservatives like Kansas Senator Sam Brownback.


SEN. SAM BROWNBACK (R), KANSAS: It`s amazing how grateful people are for -- if you save -- help save their lives. The approval ratings of the United States in Africa, the highest continent in the world.


MADDOW: But it`s not just that these conservative religious politicians have a generic continent-wide engagement on the issue of AIDS in Africa. The involvement that these politicians have had has largely been focused on one specific country, Uganda. When President Bush came into office, Uganda was one of the success stories in Africa when it came to fighting AIDS.

Their success was built around a strategy called ABC. ABC stood for "abstinence," "be faithful" and "condoms." In other words, first abstain from sex, otherwise be monogamous, otherwise use condoms. And condom billboards, condom promotion was evident all over the nation of Uganda.

This effort to combat HIV and AIDS through that comprehensive strategy worked pretty well. Infection rates in Uganda dropped from about 15 percent to 5 percent from 1991 to 2001.

But then President Bush`s big high-profile push to help fight AIDS in Africa ended up coming with a big catch. American conservatives wanted the focus to be on abstinence, not on condoms.


BROWNBACK: It`s abstinence-focused. If you want to stop the spread, the key best way to do it is abstinence.


MADDOW: When Congress finally passed the big AIDS legislation that President Bush wanted, Republican Congressman Joe Pitts slipped in an amendment that said 33 percent of the funding -- 33 percent -- could only be used for abstinence programs. Fully, a third of that money earmarked only for abstinence, even as American research consistently demonstrated that abstinence programs just don`t work.

As religious conservatives were pushing abstinence on places like Uganda from Washington, internationally-minded, politically-connected America conservative evangelical began focusing on Uganda as well. Evangelicals like American Pastor Rick Warren and his Saddleback Church; evangelicals like the Family which we`ve talked about on this program with Jeff Sharlet.

The Family, of course, is the secretive religious organization that runs the C Street dormitory for lawmakers in Washington. It`s led by a man named Doug Coe.

Republican Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma credits Doug Coe for launching his own activism in Africa.


SEN. JAMES INHOFE (R), OKLAHOMA: Doug has always been kind of the unseen and very quiet. He talked me into going to Africa. I had no interest in going to Africa.


MADDOW: Religious conservatives saw Uganda specifically as a place that they could have some real influence. Uganda`s first lady became an emphatically born again Christian. Her husband, the president, is believed to have serious ties to the Family. Same goes for the ethics minister of Uganda, as well as a number of legislators there.

One of Uganda`s most prominent pastors began speaking at Rick Warren`s mega-church in California. He became so close with Rick Warren that Rick Warren`s wife reportedly called him her brother.

And while Americans were courting that Ugandan pastor here touting their own compassionate conservatism on the issue of AIDS in Africa, back in Uganda, that pastor was taking up the anti-condom cause, holding public bonfires of condoms, conducting some of the most extreme anti-gay preaching and activism anywhere in the world.

Evangelicals and conservative politicians in this country saw Uganda as a place that they could leave their mark. Senator Sam Brownback traveled there to look into the AIDS issue in 2005. Senator James Inhofe made at least 20 trips to Africa just since 1999, mostly to Uganda as well as Ethiopia.

In March of this year, a group of three American evangelicals traveled to Uganda for a conference on the evils of homosexuality. Their message was that homosexuality is a choice, that it can be cured by a relationship with Jesus, that, in short, you can pray the gay away.

There`s been a dual effort under way here: anti-gay proselytizing by American evangelicals and assurances from conservative American politicians that we can solve that nation`s AIDS problem.

The culmination of these efforts -- this massive focus on Uganda -- is a piece of legislation that`s been introduced in that country now that attempts, it says, to tackle the AIDS problem in that country and the problem of homosexuality all at once. It`s a bill that calls for the execution of any gay Ugandan who is HIV positive, who is caught having gay sex -- death by hanging specifically. And it`s not just gay Ugandans who are HIV positive who are being targeted, the sentence just for being gay is life imprisonment.

The sentence for knowing somebody who is gay and not reporting them to authorities, presumably so they can be prosecuted, is three years in prison. This bill was written by a Ugandan legislator purportedly taken in by Republican Senator James Inhofe and the Family here in America.

Having lit this fuse and created this environment in Uganda where a bill like this can exist, some American evangelicals and conservative politicians are now sort of washing their hands of the whole situation.

Pastor Rick Warren is saying, quote, "It`s not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations."

The evangelical leaders who went there in March are now saying their intent was not at all to inspire this type of legislation.

But what about all of the conservative politicians in this country who have shown themselves to have such influence in Uganda and who have decided to concern themselves so publicly with this one specific country in Africa?

Now that there`s a bill in that country that calls for the execution of people who are gay in that country for the simple fact of being gay, those politicians maybe should say what they think about it.

Family-linked Senator Tom Coburn`s office is telling us today that the senator does not support the legislation. When we asked his office whether he would communicate that to officials in Uganda where it might matter, the senator had no comment.

Family-linked Congressman Bart Stupak`s office telling us, quote, "Any claim that I support the legislation before the Ugandan parliament is as clueless as it is false." Mr. Stupak`s office adding that he believes the State Department is looking into it.

Indeed, the State Department telling us exclusively today that they are looking into the matter saying, quote, "If adopted, a bill further criminalizing homosexuality would constitute a significant step backwards for the protection of human rights in Uganda." The State Department tells us that they are in the process of raising this issue with Ugandan authorities.

Now, the office of Congressman Joe Pitts, who slipped in that pro- abstinence language telling us today -- who slipped in that pro-abstinence language in the Bush AIDS bill, he told us today, quote, "What the Ugandan legislation proposes to do is unambiguously wrong and I hope they will not proceed with it."

These statements, of course, encouraging. Some other senators remain silent on the issue as yet. Senator John Ensign`s office, for example, told us today they could not get an answer from him on this issue because he`s been so focused on health care.

We made repeated calls to the offices of Senator James Inhofe and Senator Sam Brownback. We have yet to hear back from either of them on this issue -- despite the fact they`ve been so proudly outspoken on issues affecting Uganda and, specifically, sexuality in Uganda in the past.

Conservative politicians and evangelicals in this country have made a really big push into Africa in recent years and they`ve even been very delighted to get some political acclaim as compassionate conservatives for having done so.

When a human rights disaster like this is born in that country that they`ve taken so much pride in showing off their influence in, in a country they have been intimately involved in, it could be argued that it is incumbent upon those politicians to at least say what they think about that legislation, if not take action in that country in which they have such influence. We`ll keep you posted on what we hear from them, their future actions or lack thereof.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Rachel Maddow - RNC seeks to further shrink membership

There is no redeeming the GOP. A more sorry bunch of miscreants has never been seen in our country. A "purity" test may, in fact, be good for the Democrats, but I'm not sure it's good for the country.

If I were a Republican, I would be distressed with the fact that the GOP has no vision, no plan, no dream for the country. This "purity" test is all negative! The Republican Party has indeed become the party of NO!

Keith Olbermann - Worst Person in the World? Glenn Beck, again

The Right went nuts when Alan Grayson called a K Street whore a whore, which she is, but not a word when Beck calls a U.S. Senator a "hooker."

Pedophile Priests Protected Not Only By Church But Also By Police!

And this is the benighted church that claims the moral high ground on abortion, birth control, gay marriage, etc.

From BBC via Crooks and Liars:

November 27, 2009 BBC World

DUBLIN, Ireland — Police officers, government officials and bishops of the Catholic church in Ireland have been harshly censured in a report on clerical child abuse over three decades in the Archdiocese of Dublin. Coming just a few months after an equally harsh report on the ill-treatment of children in Church-run industrial schools, the latest revelations have shocked Catholics and non-Catholics alike throughout the island.

An official commission investigated 320 allegations against a sample of 46 out of 183 priests from 1975 to 2004. It found that several cardinals and bishops protected criminal priests while taking no action to protect children.

Responding to the report, Ireland’s Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said that “the era where evil people could do so under the cover of the cloth, facilitated and shielded from the consequences by their authorities, while the lives of children were ruined with such cruelty, is over for good.” He added: “The bottom line is this: A collar will protect no criminal.”

In one of the most telling comments, the religious affairs correspondent of Irish national broadcaster RTE said on the main evening news that the report “represents the failure of civil Ireland, in the independent republic of Ireland, to stand up to the royalty of Ireland, the Catholic Church.” Deference to the clergy in this once devoutly Catholic country caused the police to conclude that the crimes of the Catholic Church were outside their remit.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Beck Asks His Audience to Imagine a Terrorist Attack For the Holiday Season

This guy becomes crazier with every passing day! I'm amazed that someone named Glenn Beck, an insane wacko who is full of more shit than the proverbial Christmas goose, is allowed to spew his venom over the air waves every single day creating waves of hatred for our president and our government.

Is this a great country, or what?

From Crooks & Liars (Heather):

Happy holidays from Glenn Beck everybody! Beck in another one of his phony populist rants asks his audience to imagine a terrorist attack on the United States where we’re as lucky as we were when the World Trade Center was hit. Just when I think this clown can't get much worse, he manages to one up himself again. I will be thankful when he finally is no longer polluting our airways.

Beck: You know everything is too big to fail, but nobody talks about the little guy. Nobody talks about the individual. Let me ask you this question. Please ponder this over the holiday season. Heaven forbid anything happens. God help us if al Qaeda would come but imagine if somebody could succeed in blowing up any of our great American icons. If they destroyed all of Washington, let’s just pretend that we would be as lucky as we were with the World Trade Center where everybody was gone or most people were gone—and they destroyed the Washington Monument and everything else—all of our enduring symbols, all the monuments we’ve always treasured—would it matter?

I don’t think so. The monuments are meaningless. The monuments are there to remind us who we are. But we have forgotten. We have become about the structure. We are the people that defeated the most powerful empire on earth as a group of rag-tag farming colonists. We were the people that explored. We mapped. We tamed the west. We crossed the mountains in wagons. We stunned the world with technical marvels and defeated the Nazis. We defeated the communists. We walked on the moon.

Nobody else has ever done that. We are Americans—rich or poor. We have always believed in the rugged individualism and self-actualization. We are not the people I think the people in Washington think we are. We are not fearful people. We are not people that give in or give up. We’re not about to give into some new whiney mentality where “Ooh, somebody help me”. That’s not who we are.

The only one that is too big to fail is you. And the only one that will, the only one that will create your failure is you. The only way the United States government, or the United States of America, or we fail as a collective is if we fail as individuals. And the only way guaranteed we as individuals will fail is to depend on the government to prop us up. That is just not who we are. And for me I am thankful for that.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Rachel Maddow - Centrist Republicans veer right

The cracker is God and Kennedy isn't having any!

[Image from the Huffington Post]

We've written before of the little spat between the Roman Catholic bishop of Rhode Island, Thomas Tobin, and Representative Patrick Kennedy. Kennedy is pro-choice when it comes to abortion. Needless, to say, the good bishop finds that reprehensible, believing that his position has been handed down by the deity.

Things seem to have heated up recently. Kennedy told the Providence Journal that Bishop Tobin has banned him from receiving the god cracker. "The bishop instructed me not to take Communion and said that he has instructed the diocesan priests not to give me Communion," saith Kennedy.

Heh. Heh. Well, Mr. Kennedy, why don't you tell this cracker of a bishop to take his god cracker and shove it where the sun don't shine? Who needs this? And why would you remain a member or want to remain a member of the organization that still lives mainly in the 16th century?

As long as you continue in the organization and insist on your right to receive the god cracker, the bishop's got you over a barrel and can send your sorry soul right to hell. But, if you tell the bishop to go to hell, and get out of that miserable institution, which has utterly no moral credence anymore (if it ever had!), you're free!

The truth will set you free! And here's a hint: there is no god in the cracker no matter how many times a priest says the magic words!

There's more here.

Florida's Senator, George LeMieux, a pawn of Miami's Cuban Community

[Photo from here]

When Charlie Crist appointed this nogoodnik to the U.S. Senate, many of us in Florida recoiled in horror. George LeMieux is a typical Repugnican wingnut who lives for the corporations who own his soul, and is a pawn of the rabid Cuban community in Miami.

Thus, LeMieux is front and center blocking the man the Obama administration has appointed to be our new ambassador to Brazil. Why would LeMieux do this? He's supposed to sit quietly in his Senate seat, keep his big mouth shut, and step aside when Charlie leaves the governorship to run for the Senate himself.

Here's why: The man nominated to become our ambassador to Brazil is Tom Shannon. Under Georgi W. Bushy, Shannon served as assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs. But, according to the goofball Cubans in Miami, "he wasn't tough enough on the Castro regime..."

But there's more. LeMieux is still working for Crist. And Crist is up against a Cuban-American in his bid for a seat in the Senate. So, LeMieux, it is said, is "trying to burnish his Cuba credentials to help Crist ..."

The Cuban community in Miami consists of a bunch of retrograde Castro haters who still think it's 1960. If they had their way, the U.S. would have taken Castro out long ago and forced their version of democracy on the island, which generally means the rich rule and the poor get the scraps.

And the rightwingnut Florida legislators in Congress, who are in bed with the aforementioned rabid Cuban community in Miami, are backing LeMieux one hundred percent.

Remember that LeMieux knows from nothing about Latin America. But under arcane Senate rules, one senator can put a "hold" on a nomination so it can go nowhere. Before LeMieux it was the nogoodnik Jim DeMint from, naturally, South Carolina, who held up Shannon's nomination.

The Obama administration is not happy, and claims that LeMieux's recalcitrance is messing up our relationship with Brazil.

Nine former assistant secretaries of state sent a letter to LeMieux asking him to withdraw his opposition to Shannon. Bernard Aronson, one of these former assistant secretaries of state, said that LeMieux "has every right, if he doesn't think this individual is qualified, to go to the floor and make his case, but why should one freshman senator with no background in Latin America, no background in Brazil, decide the Senate can't vote on the president's nominee?"

Why? Because with Repugnicans like LeMieux, it is eternally about politics, not about what's good for the country. Everything in this world is political. LeMieux doesn't give a rat's ass about Brazil or any other country in Latin America. He's playing to his base to give his old buddy, Charlie, a leg up. Well, he probably hates Castro, too, but that's not what this is all about. If the Cuban community in Miami told LeMieux they would support Charlie if LeMieux kissed Castro's ass, he would do it.

It's the usual game. And any respect I ever had for Charlie Crist has long since disappeared. He's turned out to be a disappointing governor in many ways (the only good thing he's done that I can think of is accept the stimulus money which has helped our schools immensely) and his appointment of LeMieux smacks of cronyism and political chicanery.

(The material in this post was obtained from an article at McClatchy, published on Thursday, November 19.)

The Last Thanksgiving

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Countdown: Palinisms

Grayson on Auditing the Fed ...

This is just wonderful. God, could we have used Alan Grayson a few years ago. All we need do now is elect a few more just like him!

This, by Heather at Crooks and Liars:

MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan talks to Rep. Alan Grayson about the amendment passed by the House Financial Services Committee to allow an independent audit of the Federal Reserve. If Alan Greenspan is not happy about it, I take that as a good sign they did the right thing. It only took putting this country on the edge of financial ruin that we're not out of yet for the S.O.B. to ever admit he might be wrong about anything.

Ratigan: Alright first big newsmaker of the Meeting, Democratic Alan Grayson, better known for some of his fiery comments on Republicans and health care, now taking aim at the Federal Reserve along with so many others. He says the Federal Reserve is more secretive than the CIA, and his new amendment co-sponsored by Republican Ron Paul would allow the first ever independent audit of the Federal Reserve. The amendment edged out a competing proposal from North Carolina Congressman Mel Watt who wants to limit those very audits.

Congressman Grayson now joins the Morning Meeting. Your amendment approved by the House Financial Services Committee—a huge step forward. Where do you go from here and what’s your level of confidence Representative that you can continue to addendum behind this piece of legislation?

Grayson: Where we go is to stop the secret bailouts. There have been hints and hints now for more than two years that the Fed’s been conducting huge bailouts on the scale of hundreds of billions of dollars to favor large failed banks. Now we’re going to find out all about it, and we’re going to decide whether it’s good or bad.

Ratigan: Comments from both the former Fed chief Alan Greenspan and for that matter former Fed chief going back even further Paul Volcker to the House Financial Services Committee. They say we can assure you that this protection of internal deliberations in reaching decisions that will affect market conditions and could expose sensitive information about particular institutions is indispensable to the Federal Reserve’s conduct of monetary policy. Basically if you look behind the curtain, you won’t like what you’ll see and it will screw things up worse. How do you respond to that?

Grayson: Well we are in Emerald City right now. We’ve arrived in Emerald City. Toto has just run underneath the curtain…

Ratigan: Excellent…excellent…

Grayson: …and we’re about to see who is that man behind the curtain and what’s he up to.

Ratigan: And they don’t want…and what would…what do you think is behind the curtain?

Grayson: Well what I think is favoritism towards selected big banks that have failed and led us to the brink of national bankruptcy.

Ratigan: What of the fact that lending law…being a bank no longer pays that much money to lend money. Lending because of modern technology is a low profit business so the government legalized much higher ways to do it in secret and basically the Federal Reserve is their back end. Do you…are we on our way to restoring laws for lending in this country?

Grayson: Listen, capitalism requires rewarding success and punishing failure. That’s what Joseph Schumpeter said almost a century ago. So far we’ve seen plenty of reward for success of Wall Street but no punishment for failure—not when the Fed is handing out blank checks.

Ray and Kurt

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Christian "Manifesto" claims their god should be your god

[Photo - Archbishop Timothy Dolan, from here]

This from AOL News:

"More than 150 Christian leaders, most of them conservative evangelicals and traditionalist Roman Catholics, issued a joint declaration Friday [today] reaffirming their opposition to abortion and gay marriage and pledging to protect religious freedoms."

What they mean by "religious freedoms," of course, is their right to make laws based on their theology and force you to obey them.

This "manifesto" is formally "The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience." It contains 4,700 words.

In it these so-called Christian leaders set themselves in opposition to the President of the United States, claiming that Obama's "proposals are likely to increase the number of elective abortions ... 'The present administration is led and staffed by those who want to make abortions legal at any stage of fetal development, and who want to provide abortions at taxpayer expense."

What's funny about the "taxpayer expense" comment is that these clowns live their entire lives at "taxpayer expense." They live in houses and worship in churches that are tax-exempt, meaning that they rest of us have to make up the difference.

So, the "taxpayer expense" crap is a smokescreen. They think they have the right (because they have a direct pipeline of the god of all creation) to rule the world!

It's all about power and control. If these bishops and christianist wingnuts really cared about people, they'd be on the front lines of health care (even if that health care contained a few provisions with which they were not happy - hey, politics is the art of compromise); they'd be anti-war and would have fought G. W. Bush's lies and preemptive invasion of Iraq and they'd be fighting hard to shut down the Afghanistan military operation; they'd be working day and night to see that the laws of this land applied equally to rich and poor and were not geared - as they are now - to benefit the rich; they'd be adamantly opposed to the death penalty; they'd be providing condoms to the millions of Africans who have AIDS and beg forgiveness for all the people of that benighted continent who have died because the Roman Church has led the fight against the use of condoms; they'd ensure that their freaky priests who prey on children were forever banned from the Church and were brought to justice, instead of hiding them in out-of-the way rectories; they'd be marching in the streets to help fight global warming; they'd put their money and their power behind the efforts to preserve the environment and find new sources of energy; they'd step out of their robes and wrap them around the thousands of females who feel called of God to serve as priests and ministers; and they would sell their ornate, gold-infested palaces, and give the money to the poor, just as their legendary Jesus told them to do!

But they don't do any of that. They don't care about anything except power and control. And we know from history that any time religious leaders, be they Christian, Muslim or whatever, gain political control, they impose their beliefs on everyone, often executing those who refuse to accept that control!

The Roman Catholic Church has since its inception believed it has the right to impose its beliefs on the populace. Nothing has changed in 2,000 years except the fact that they have lost the political power to do so. The evangelical wingnuts follow in that same mold but from a different perspective, a perspective which believes they have the right to enforce their version of Christianity on everyone - it's call dominionism. And even though Catholics and evangelicals have always hated each other, they have joined forces on two issues: abortion and gay marriage. Take that away and they'll hate each other again because both sides believes deep down in their hearts that the others are going to burn forever in hell!

Here's a list of some of the signers of this "manifesto": "...15 Roman Catholic bishops, including New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl; Focus on the Family founder, James Dobson; National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson; seminary leaders, professors and pastors."

Unfortunately, with a couple of exceptions, the mainstream Protestant church leaders remain silent; fearful, I suppose of alienating their declining membership.

Ultimately, though, this is scary! These people are not going away. Each and every day they are planning how they can gain enough power to make your most personal decisions for you, especially in the areas of abortion and gay marriage.

What's even more frightening is that you can be sure if they should ever grasp enough political clout (Congress is full of these fruitcakes, and Palin is waiting in the wings to exercise her dominionist mandate), they will do so. The Constitution will become an historical curiousity.

And all of us will be the losers!

"C Street" gang doesn't believe the Good Book

[Photo from the Democratic Underground here]

The "C Street" gang you know about; a bunch of rightwingnut christianist freaks who believe their god has called them to run the world and therefore they are not required to follow the same rules as the rest of us. They are the rich and the powerful, guided and blessed by the Almighty.

In accordance with that theory they concocted a scheme whereby congresspeople connected with The Family could live at the "C Street House" for very little rent by Washington's standards, but because they hold Bible readings and conduct prayers there, it qualifies as a "church" and thus they didn't need to pay taxes.

Additionally, and while this is not connected to the tax issue directly, a lot of hanky-panky went on at the "C Street House." In fact, several nogoodnik Repugnicans recently caught with their pants down in other houses where their spouses did not reside, spent a good deal of time there where they commiserated about how the media treated them badly when all they did was screw someone who to whom they were not married: John Ensign, Mark Sanford, and "Chip" Pickering come to mind.

The game is up. The District of Columbia has decided that this "C Street House" is not really a church after all. So they put it on the tax rolls. Well, part of it. Because it is partially a rental property, they are taxing 66 percent of the building. According to Rob Boston at Talk2Action, that will result in a $10,234 tax bill for 2010.

It's about time.

But the real problem is deeper than the tax thing. The real problem is that the clowns associated with The Family adhere to a godawful theology which puts them above the law. The real problem is that The Family knew all along "C Street" was not a church by any definition, and should have been taxed all along.

And, hiding behind their corruption of Christianity, they deliberately evaded and defied the laws of the land.

Which exemplifies once again that their religion is a sham, a smokescreen which they use to carry out their nefarious attempt to take over the world and run it according to their ultra-conservative political philosophy which has literally nothing to do with the legendary Jesus they claim to worship, and everything to do with money and power!

According to the Bible they revere, the man they revere said: "Render unto Caeser that which is Caeser's and unto God that which is God's."

But they don't believe that. Like most rightwingnut christianists they don't really give a damn about their holy book. It's just a prop to justify their propensity to do evil and call it good!

Keith Olbermann - Glenn Beck, worst person in the world

Republicans Block Dodd's Efforts to Protect Consumers

From Crooks and Liars:

From Sen. Chris Dodd--Republicans Block Dodd’s Effort to Immediately Stop Credit Card Rate Hikes:

Senate Republicans blocked Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodds (D-CT) attempt to pass legislation to stop credit card interest rate hikes.

Dodd went to the Senate floor to ask for consent for the Senate to take up and pass his Credit Card Rate Freeze Act, which would prevent credit card companies from hiking interest rates, fees and finance charges on customers existing balances until Credit CARD Act protections take effect in February. Regrettably, Republican Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) objected to Dodds request, blocking the bill from Senate passage.

Consumers obviously have a responsibility to spend within our means and to pay what we owe. We bear that responsibility. But the credit card industry as well has a responsibility to deal with their customers honorably. There is nothing honorable about whats happened with these significant rate increases and fees. Most importantly, they dont have a right to rip off American families, especially when the Congress has already gone on record opposing the very actions they're engaging in, Dodd said on the Senate floor.

Happy Holidays from the GOP.

John Amato:

This is outrageous. The Republicans are actually blocking freezes on credit card rate hikes as the holidays approach us? What would Santa say? Where's the outrage from the Democrats and the Villagers? Will David Broder write a juicy article showing his disdain for the treatment of the American people by republicans? I mean he's the ultimate bipartisan scold. I bet if you asked the teabaggers waiting to see Sarah Palin at a book signing, they would say that it's un-American and Socialist to stop credit card companies from raising their rates. "That's their right as Americans if you support freedom and the Constitution." Maybe Palin will write something about it on her Facebook page for the media to lap up. You know, the Democrats are trying to use death panels on the poor credit card companies in a down economy. That's can't be good, right Katie?

Digby writes:

These people are sticking up for credit card companies who are gouging their customers during the holidays in the middle of a recession! What do they have to do to provoke some outrage from the Democrats, gun down Tiny Tim? (Of course, the Republicans would simply say they were defending their constitutional right to bear arms.)

Honestly, this should provoke a Democratic outcry of epic proportions because it's good policy and it's good politics. They missed the boat by failing to draw attention to the fact that the Republicans blocked the unemployment insurance extension for over a month but this issue is hitting both the employed and the unemployed, all across the country.
Sarah Palin's book is, according to Colbert, a "steaming pile of shit." He's right.

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Jon Stewart - the Rogue Warrior

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Thursday, November 19, 2009

God, guts and guns

[Photo from here]

It was a fairy new Hyundai, blue in color. At eight o'clock in the morning, the driver ran a stop sign, then accelerated down the road at a pace well over the speed limit.

But he was, as so often happens with speed demons, stopped at a red light when I puttered up behind him.

A sticker on the back of his car screamed "Throw the bums out" next to a picture of the U.S. Capitol. On the left side of the rear window was a NRA sticker. On the right side was another sticker which read:

"God, Guts and Guns made America. Let's keep all three."

We have too many stoopids in this country! Here's a guy who pompously proclaims his faith in "god, guts and guns" while at the same time defies basic traffic laws which are essential to our common good, e.g., the ability to share the roadways without killing each other in accidents that are not really accidents but simply piss-poor driving habits.

But his hypocrisy is merely a part of his stoopidness.

Obviously, he doesn't read books. Probably doesn't read the newspaper and if he did read the newspaper, he'd read the Washington Times. Also, obviously, he learned very little in school and has not bothered to learn anything since.

He lives in some mythical world where the deity is his buddy, and like a good buddy, his god carries a .38 strapped to his waist under his robes, and when he created the world he created the US of A for white anglo-saxon descendants of white, anglo-saxon immigrants.

In this mythical world, when those white anglo-saxon immigrants came to this country, the Injuns were the bad guys, and it was only right that the U.S. Calvary and the settlers did what was necessary to rid the land of the "red" man so the whites could move in and take it over. Damn Injuns didn't need it anyway.

Today, in his pea-brain, he "knows" it's not Injuns who are the problem, but "Mescan" illegals and Arabs [read Muslims] and others of dark complexion.

Ronald Reagan plays a big role in the wild driver's mythical world; and because he is stoopid and fanatically ignorant, our friend thinks Reagan struck down the mighty Soviet Union with his capitalistic sword, another myth repeated with increasing fervor by Repugnican nogoodniks bought and paid for by the corporations. He knows not that Reagan had little to do with the Soviet disintegration. Our friend also doesn't understand that his B-movie star hero is responsible for initiating a financial process which ended with the destruction of our financial system under Georgi W. Bush.

Our friend remains stoopid because he gets what little information his brain can process from the folks at FAUX News, and from Rush Limbaarger, and really believes Obama might not have been born in "Amurica" and may even be a Muslim, if not the anti-Christ.

No doubt he thinks the quitter from Alaska would make a wunnerful pres'dent. I mean, she believes in God and ev'rything!

God, guts and guns. God, if he or she existed, would probably destroy this country for all the evil it has perpetrated and continues to perpetrate. The ancestors of today's "WASPS" wiped out an entire native population, sometimes with deadly efficiency, such as handing out blankets infected with smallpox. Then our ancestors stole the land. Then, they herded the natives off to concentration camps called "reservations." They made 150 treaties with the Indians beginning in the middle of the 19th century and broke EVERY SINGLE one of them!

During the early years of the 20th century our troops marched off to Latin America to ensure that American corporations could exercise their license to steal the natural resources of the people living in those lands. Proclaiming a belief in "democracy," we proved the opposite by propping up dictator after dictator for the simple reason they looked the other way while we raped the country. U.S. Marines were posted in Nicaragua until 1936 for precisely that purpose!

It is true we fought a couple of world wars in order to rid the world of some nasties, and we did a good job, overall. But we also used poison gas. We fire-bombed entire cities filled with civilians. We corralled our own citizens and put them in concentration camps because they were ethnic Japanese. Furthermore, we were betrayed by some of our own companies, including those owned by the Bush family. And "Big Blue," aka IBM, made it possible for Hitler to round up and murder 11 million people (including 6 million Jews) with deadly efficiency.

Slavery was the epicenter of evil in this country for over a century. God-fearing Americans bought and sold other human beings and claimed the right to do so based on their interpretation of the Bible, just as today's christianists deny gays and women their civil rights based on their interpretation of the Bible. Nor did the Civil War end slavery; it continued by another name. In fact, thousands of black Americans were enslaved up until the 1940s, many by companies well-known to us today, such as U.S. Steel.

Fast-forward to 2003. George W. Bush, president by virtue of a Supreme Court decision which denied the vote of the people, a vote clearly in favor of Albert Gore, decided to wage war on a piddling little country in the Middle East which posed no threat to the U.S. But Mr. Bush and his friends wanted Iraq's oil, for under the Iraqi sands lie some of the largest oil reserves in the world! In order to gain the support of the American people for this murderous adventure, Bush told one lie after another. The "war," which was a preemptive invasion by a big, powerful country of a small, weak country, turned quickly into a disaster which continues to this day. It has caused the deaths of over 4,000 American soldiers, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, destroyed the country of Iraq and has depleted the U.S. treasury. Bush has not been held accountable and struts about on the world stage as if he were not a criminal but some sort of "conservative" hero.

God, guts and guns made America? To which America is this clown referring by flaunting his stoopid car sticker? If there should be a deity and if he or she should actually be an ethical god, he or she would likely strike down this person's "America."

Guts? We could come up with thousands of anecdotes regarding the personal courage of American people. But what would that prove? Nothing, other than there are Americans, who, like people all over the the world who are able to sometimes act heroically.

As a nation, we have indeed stepped up to the plate in times of world crisis, but the mythology is wrong.

For example, in 1939 and beyond, as Hitler's troops stormed over Europe creating hell on earth, there was no great uprising in the United States to take him on. In fact, many, if not most Americans, wanted nothing to do with him. Hitler, they said, was Europe's problem. Let Europe deal with him.

President Roosevelt had to resort to subterfuge in order to supply the British with the war materiel they needed to survive the Nazi onslaught. Many members of Congress hated Roosevelt with a passion and did everything they could to keep America isolationist. If they had had their way, we would have a very different world right now!

God had nothing to do with any of this. It was men like Roosevelt and all those fighting men and women who marched off to war that had the "guts" that made the difference. Miserable little wackos marching to Glenn Beck's corporate "tea party" drummers do not demonstrate "guts."

Guns. What is it with these guys and guns? I think maybe they have such little penises that guns provide some kind of compensation for their physical shortcomings. But guns are part of the American myth popularized by Hollywood from the early days. According to our friends in Tinseltown, everybody in the Old West carried at least one gun, strapped low on the hip, ready to go at a moment's notice.

The truth, however, is quite different. Few people carried guns. To carry a gun was dangerous; it was a good way to get killed.

And even if you can make a case for hunting and killing our brother and sister animals, why in the world do these wingnuts feel the need to have automatic weapons in their fevered little palms?

The reason has to do in part with the unrelenting war waged by the National Rifle Association on behalf of its corporate sponsors, the gun manufacturers, to ensure that any and all weapons be available at all times to every American who wants them.

So the NRA harps continually on the notion that any gun control is bad. Any attempt to regulate the purchase and use of any kind of weapon is evil, and will automatically lead to further restrictions and eventually no one will be able to own any guns. During the last presidential campaign, the NRA told lie after lie about Obama's position relative to guns and said quite bluntly that he was a threat to gun owners everywhere.

That's the mythology; again, not true.

But have guns made America "great"? Of course not. Such nonsense is another part of the mythical world in which too many of our citizens live!

"God, guts and guns made America" proclaims the moron in the Hyundai - as if this country, which is way down the list of countries in terms of infant mortality, education, health care, etc. is some kind of paradigm of righteousness.

It isn't. But still it is a great country in other ways. Our Constitution stands as a beacon of freedom in spite of the fact that Presidents and Vice Presidents like Bush and Cheney and other stoopid Repugnicans tossed it in the trash, and in spite of the fact some Repugnican nogoodniks don't know the difference between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (e. g. "Weepy" John Boehner).

The US of A is a country of possibilities, many unrealized and increasingly denied these days by rightwingnut religious and non-religious crazies.

But it sure as hell isn't Paradise. And God, guts and guns are not only not responsible for America's greatness (realized or potential) but each, in and of themselves, pose a real threat to, not only our "greatness" but our very existence.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Costs of health care vs. costs of war

Is this a great country, or what?

Maybe not. It appears, unfortunately, that we've got our priorities all screwed up. The Repugnicans and the Blue Dogs whine and worry about fiscal responsibility and deficit spending ... at least when the conversation turns to health care. But when it comes to waging war on real or imagined enemies, however, they don't seem to be worried at all about fiscal responsibility and deficit spending.

Could the reason have something to do with their allegiance to the various industries that charge exorbitant prices for the faulty equipment they provide for our military; an allegiance which fills their Congressional coffers to overflowing thus ensuring their re-election to office?

An AP story today cites an Obama administration aide as saying the health bill heading to the Senate floor is projected to cost $849 billion over TEN years. It will cover 96 percent of the American population.

Now, the war in Iraq, which has been waged with little success for six years has already cost, according to National Priorities, over $701 billion, and some have projected the total cost to be over $1 trillion.

The projected cost for the war in Afghanistan in the fiscal year 2010 is $73 billion. That's about $1.2 billion a WEEK!

Now consider that in our beloved country, the most adamant haters of Obama and his health bill are lovers of God and Jesus Christ. They have no problem with the cost of killing thousands of people in other lands; no problem with wreaking the worst kind of devastation upon innocent civilians, including children; no problem with destroying the infrastructure of another country; but they do have a problem with providing health care for the least among us!

Not once have I heard a christianistwingnut or a radical freak fan of FAUX News complain about the fact that employees of the U.S. government (including our Congress people) receive a wonderful health care package. That's "socialism" you know. And you surely won't hear Congress people complaining about their health care. But the greedy stoopids don't want other folks to share in their largess.

And, well, we have to kill people. And that takes money. So we don't have any left for health care!

I ask you again: Is this a great country, or what?

Rachel Maddow - The right's reckless rhetoric

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me!"

Oh, yeah? If history tells us anything it tells us that words do matter. Rhetoric can be helpful and upbuilding or hurtful and degrading. The rightwingnuts know this, and use their rhetoric to tear down the very country they pretend to love.

And as Frank Schaeffer points out, the christianist wingnuts with the tacit and sometimes outright support of the Repugnican nogoodniks on the right are ramping up the rhetoric actually calling for God to strike down our president. And these creeps claim to follow the so-called Prince of Peace!

Keith Olbermann - Worst Person in the World - Convict Hasan without a trial

Some of our right-wingers really don't like the idea of a Democracy and really hate our Constitution.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Jon Stewart - Preggers Can't Be Choosers

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Wanda Sykes Takes on OBAMA CARE Fear Mongers

From Crooks and Liars:

November 15, 2009 FOX Wanda Sykes Show
In a hilarious monologue on her second installment of The Wanda Sykes Show, Wanda takes on the Health Care Reform fear mongers and republicans in general... "The only way Republicans will read the Health Care Bill is to rest it on the back of the hooker they're banging down at C Street House!"

Friday, November 13, 2009

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Holy Smut

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

Keith Olbermann - GOP state senator casts Obama as terrorist

Let's see: Palin was a vice presidential candidate; the kookaburras on the right are touting Lou Dobbs for president; the GOP has more creepy very stupid wingnuts in the party than Carter's got little liver pills (I've been waiting years to write that!); and then there's this whackjob out in Colorado.

It's scary. Overt racism masquerading as godliness, or patriotism, or plain old-fashioned fascism is rampant in this country. Stupidity and ignorance reign.

Watch the video and see how all that plays out in Colorado!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Carrie Prejean on Larry King

Ms. Prejean, rightwingnut, christianist porn star who just luuuuves Jesus and is a favorite of ultra-conservative Repugnicans everywhere, went on Larry King where she proceeded to have a melt-down. What a whack-job!

Keith Olbermann - Fox News proves Palin wrong

Sarah Palin is a liar, but we've known that for a long time. Now, in an hilarious scenario, it's Fox News that proves she is a liar!

Michele Bachmann breaks the rules

Perhaps the House will give her a break...I mean she is dumber than dogshit. Nah. She may be a broomstick, but she gets her marching orders from Jesus. Slap her with a big fine!

You're in the Army now

From what I've been reading, this cartoon isn't far from the truth.

Thanks to Atheist Cartoons.

I'm A Democrat, And I'm A Republican (Medicare for all)

Oops! Jon Stewart exposes FAUX News fauxness

Unfair and unbalanced = FAUX News. What a bunch of creeps!

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