Friday, August 31, 2012

Convention's Over!

Ladies, gentlemen and kinnars, please rise or genuflect or kowtow (your preference; a courtly bow and scrape or curtsy is appropriate) as The Heir enters the hall.

We begin with an air of (premature) triumph:


And please remain standing for the Party Anthem:


Yes, dear readers, Willard Mittens Romney, quondam Governor of Massachusetts, Mormon Lay Bishop, Savior of the Salt Lake Olympics, approached the dais at the RNC Convocation in Tampa, and graciously accepted the Great Green Weenie of Nomination from the cheering throng.

Please never mind the facts that as Governor, Romney signed into law That Which Became Obamacare; that most of the Evangelical and Psychopath wings of the Party still mistrust him as a heretic; and that the SLC Olympics in 2002 could never have gotten off the ground without $1.2 billion in federal bailout money.

After all, the Romney Campaign has stated that they will not be beholden to fact checkers.

This has freed them from that pesky little thing known as The Truth, so they can seize on that liberated feeling to gush whatever random bullshit pops into their heads.  And it is bullshit, folks; Professor Harry Frankfurt of Princeton University has written that liars know the truth, but bullshitters just don't care.

It's Freedom, man!

So Paul Ryan was able to spew complete gibberish - and it doesn't matter, except to the thoroughly enamored Party faithful.

So Mittens Himself, praise be unto Him, was able to stand up there (he really should have been borne aloft by a bevy of greased naked eunuchs, as befitting his exalted status) and say with a straight face that Obama's policies had failed, and that the only remedy was to retreat to the same failed policies that had gotten us into this mess in the first place - with flourishes.

*********



I'm sure that someone on the Romney Campaign is, even now, being beaten severely and tossed in a stinking dumpster in a seedy back alley in Ybor City for coming up with the bright idea of having Clint Eastwood speak as a Mystery Guest at the convention.

Great Unnameable, what the hell was that?!

Afterwards, Brian Williams, Andrea Mitchell and Rachel Maddow were still scratching the heads about it.

It indicates to me that Clint needs to have a medical checkup.  Get tested, Clint - now, please; this is from someone who admires your body of work, and would hate to see your legacy tainted by this tawdry incident.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Great Green Weenie of Nomination

And lo, two thousand sixty-one GOP convention delegates, most of whom were thoroughly jazzed on BBQ pulled pork, cheap beer and even cheaper (though Florida-made) methamphetamine, gathered together in the City of Tampa's convention center and voted to award Willard 'Mitt' Romney the Great Green Weenie of Nomination.

Yes, dear readers, it was Nomination Day yesterday, and to all but the diehard Paul delegates it was a foregone conclusion.

But what else happened yesterday?

For starters, the Romney camp ensured that a two-thirds vote of the Republican National Politburo can override or change any rule or platform plank voted on by the delegates yesterday.  That had quite a few waterheads in the blogosphere and Twitterverse screaming, flicking wads of rabid virtual spittle all over the Internet.

And that platform?  A draconic and genuinely atavistic lump of swill, yet perfectly spelling out the GOP agenda for America - a country where the rich get a lot richer, the poor get a LOT poorer, science is a Satanic/Communist plot, and no one is permitted any fun whatsoever (unless it's church bingo).

But last night was also "We Built It" night, folks.

"We Built It."  Okay, so what might "It" be?

The convention center?  Sixty-two percent of the money for it came from taxpayers.  So that isn't it.

Practically all of the business owners Romney trotted out to refute Obama's purported statement (which they didn't, or won't ever, show because you can't get that much editing done without it being visible, no matter how good you are at Photoshop) rely on government business loans or contracts.  And the roads, sewers, etc. - I seem to recall those are public infrastructure, paid for by public money.

I had time to reflect on this as I drove today along the National Defense Interstate Highway System, that sea-to-shining-sea monument to Marxism established by that Red Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Oh wait - Ike was a Republican.  Hmm.

Last night was also "Let's Introduce Mittens!" Night.  They pumped Ayatollah Santorum full of antipsychotic drugs, but he still managed to blow the racist dog whistle as loudly as possible.  So loudly, in fact, that pooches as far away as Sri Lanka cocked their heads and said, "What the fuck?"

Chris Christie was pulled away from his trough long enough to snarl at the audience, and only mentioned Romney once.  That was calculation on Christie's part - he knows that he can take a crack at the top job in 2016, so he'll try to make a mark on the delegates.  He could have pissed on them, because that's how he rolls.

But they also trotted out Ann Romney, to try very hard and trowel some humanity onto the Well-Coiffed 2x4 in hopes that most voters won't immediately confuse him for being a department store mannequin.

And so, onward! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mayhem and Treachery

The GOP Convention entered its second day feeling rather queasy, as if a sudden storm in its very bowels was about to break (sort of like explosive diarrhea).  There were ominous rumblings as the Texas delegation and delegates from several other states met last night.

Why were there ominous rumblings?  Were the Paultards getting ready to revolt?

It seemed that they were, pissed off over delegate seating.  You see, convention delegates aren't just there to provide us with street theater about whose hat is the silliest - they vote on the party's rules, platform planks, and vote for the nominee.

Apparently, there was some kerfuffle over the seating of Ron Paul delegates, and it seems that a compromise was hammered out.

Which may have gone by the wayside when the Rules were voted on, specifically Rule 12 of the twenty-five Party directives.

To put it in a nutshell, Rule 12 allows the Party hierarchy - the National Committee - to intervene and change any or all of the other rules, and even the planks in the Party's platform . . . after the convention.

And that caused a bit of an uproar, with people screeching for a hearing on the minority report.  Finally, Party Chairman and Person Whose Name Sounds Like A Social Disease Reince Priebus stepped up to the podium along with Rep. John Boehner (R-Coppertone). 

The ayes and nays were called, and they ruled that the ayes had it.

The Twitter erupted, with various conservative waterheads like Michelle Malkin screeching about how the party bosses had just marginalized the grass roots.

Welcome to Real Life, Michelle.

Now, onward to the Party platform.  There are a few things of note:

1.  No abortion, no way no how, under any circumstances (which, by the way, is at odds with the presumptive nominees stance of the hour on the subject).

2.  Bomb Iran!

3.  Change Medicare as we know it, oh, and get rid of Social Security.

4.  Get rid of porn -

Wait!  What?  What the hell!?

Yes, indeed.  The GOP platform for 2012 advocates the eradication of pornography from our nation, presumably including the Internet.  I think they've lost the Young Republicans on that one.

So, all in all, a good first full day of arrant knavery.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Republikaner Parteitag, 2012

First, let's have the Official Anthem of the Republican Party of the United States:


And let the hoopla begin!

We will start with the major convention topic of conversation - whether or not Tropical Storm Isaac would have an effect.  Turns out it had one sterling effect; it shortened the thing by a day.  The RNC will now start business on Tuesday night, and wrap up before Friday.

Whether or not TS Isaac was a sign from God I will leave to the Usual Hydrocephalic Suspects, like Michelle Bachmann and Todd Akin.

They bumped Trump from the guest speaker list, which is a shame.  It would have been interesting to see The Wig go ballistic birther on prime-time TV and make the delegates ejaculate all over themselves in paroxysms of joy.

Tuesday will probably involve acclaiming the Party Platform, a genuinely atavistic lump of vomitus that even advocates a study of whether or not the US should go back to the gold standard.  This rather obvious sop to the Ron Paul Faction is a non-starter, so there was no harm in chucking it in there.  The other planks (no abortion under any circumstances, no gay marriage, no tax increases under circumstances, etc.) are more worrisome, and yet another indication of how far the GOP has strayed from the pale of reasonable politics.

Wednesday, I believe, will be the Anointing of the Running Mate, and Thursday will be The Day.

The Day that His Sublime Magnificence Willard Mitt Romney, his software freshly updated, gets wheeled out on a furniture dolly to wave a gracious paw to the cheering peons and say what he's been programmed to say.  I rather expect that the Well-Coiffed 2x4 will indulge in yet another frenzy of Etch-A-Sketch shaking in an effort to further confuse the American voter about what he actually stands for.

Like I said in an earlier post, it's an orgy of mayhem and treachery, folks.  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

"One Small Step . . ."

Neil Armstrong died today, at the age of eighty-two.  

I remember being allowed to stay up to watch Armstrong take that "one small step" from the ladder of the Apollo 11 LEM.  He did it, as he said he did, for all of us.  All of Mankind. 

I can close my eyes even now and see it all again.

We can send robots; we can send triumphs of technology; but nothing - NOTHING - compares with seeing a place with our own eyes, and trawling gloved fingers through the soil of Another Place. 

May we never lose the desire to see what's beyond the next hill.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A Double "WTF?!" Weekend






It's been a weird weekend, dear readers.

We start with Rep. Todd Akin (R-MO), who's running against Senator Claire McCaskill for her seat.  I've never seen her seat, but I'm willing to take a punt and suggest that it needs to be reupholstered.

In an interview that was, sadly, televised, Akin opened his capacious piehole and swallowed both of his feet:


Catch that?

He actually said that women who are "legitimately" raped can somehow magically shut down their uterus and prevent themselves from getting pregnant.  He cites unnamed "doctors" in his verbal diarrhea - I guess he's got an in with the ghost of Mengele, or maybe some guy with a bone through his nose.

What really surprised me here is that the interviewer didn't a) start laughing, or b) start slapping the taste out of this putrid excuse's mouth.

I just hope that none of his female relatives get "legitimately" raped.

***

A coworker showed me this, and I really wish she hadn't.

I almost busted a gut laughing:



Seriously . . .

What.  The.  F***!?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Is Anyone Surprised

By this?

The news that the government we helped set up in Iraq is helping Iran (also known as "The Next Place Neocons Want To Bomb") evade international economic sanctions shouldn't be a great shock to anyone.

It really shouldn't be news.  The al-Maliki government is aligned a bit closely with Iran; the Islamic Republic acted as a safe haven for several members of the current regime in Baghdad when Saddam was running the show there.  While they are still amenable to persuasion on our part, some prominent members are profiting from the traffic in banking and oil revenues, and as we all know that money talks it's only a matter of time before Iranian money talk a bit louder than we do.

Again, no surprise.  Geopolitically speaking, when we destroyed the Saddam regime we erased the counterbalance we had against Iran.  Leaving Iran as the major power in the region will guarantee that the new Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad will gravitate toward Tehran as a friend.

Then as an ally.

Then as a client.

We only have ourselves to blame for this - well, the neo-conservatives who fraudulently got us into a war.

Is anyone surprised?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Offered, With Comment

"And right here, in this closing statement, I would like to describe my firsthand experience of running afoul of this system. Our schooling, which is where the personality begins to form in a social context, effectively ignores any particularities of the individual. There is no 'individual approach,' no study of culture, of philosophy, of basic knowledge about civic society. Officially, these subjects do exist . . .  And as a result, we see the marginalization of contemporary art in the public consciousness, a lack of motivation for philosophical thought, and gender stereotyping. The concept of the human being as a citizen gets swept away into a distant corner. Today‚Äôs educational institutions teach people, from childhood, to live as automatons. Not to pose the crucial questions consistent with their age. They inculcate cruelty and intolerance of nonconformity. Beginning in childhood, we forget our freedom."

These words are part of the statement of one Maria Alyokhina, a member of the Russian rock group Pussy Riot, on the occasion of the group's being sentenced to two years in prison for singing a song "insulting" President Vladimir Putin.

But read it again.

Miss Alyokhina's statement could have been made here.

About out society.

About our educational system.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Romney Admits It

Prior to his selection of Paul "Medicare Killer" Ryan as his running mate, Mittens Romney admitted something.

Up to that point, he was getting negative campaign ads thrown at him discussing his tax returns, his corporate record at Bain Capital, his legislative record as Governor of Massachusetts, and his creation of Romneycare (which is simply Obamacare with a few additions the Obama plan doesn't have - like state funding for abortions).

Now, Romney's no stranger to negative ads.  He's used them himself, as part of his "Kill it with FIRE!" primary campaign strategy.  The only reason he's won in several states during the primaries was from massive saturation bombing of his opponents in the media.

The shoe's on the other foot now, and Mitt, who was apparently a bully in high school and college according to his school chums, doesn't like it very much.

He has resisted revealing what was in the 23 years' worth of tax returns he gave the McCain Campaign back in 2008.  Strange thing, that; despite his record as Governor, despite his business record, despite all the plus points in his favors, McCain's staff still asserts that Palin was the better choice. 

So what in the name of Joseph Smith and his Magic Doctor Dentons is lurking in his finances?  Drug trafficking?  Child pornography?  Human trafficking?  The possibilities are endless.

But we won't know, because Romney won't discuss it.

Romney has tried to resist attacks on his record at Bain, even to adopting the nonsensical "retroactive retirement" defense.

Mittens won't discuss the Federal money that contributed to his saving of the Salt Lake Olympics.

The Noise Machine went crazy when one of his campaign staff goofed up big-time and actually said that Romneycare was a good thing.

So, just before the Ryan pick, and just a day or so ago, Romney made a deeply-felt cry from the heart.

(Well, as deeply-felt as can be expected from someone so wooden.)

He asked that a truce be called and both sides stop the negative campaigning.

The man who won the primaries on massive saturation bombing was calling for a truce as he found himself on the receiving end.

Basically, Mittens Romney admitted that he was Obama's bitch.

To which this Ben Tre Republican says, "Good.  Now make Mittens Obama's gimp." 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Will Mittens Apologize to Newt?

Heavens forfend!

That would be a sign of weakness, and Mittens can't afford any more weaknesses for Team Obama to exploit.

But the question must be asked.

Back during the primaries, Romney rose up in support of Paul Ryan - his running mate, now - when Newton Gingrich lambasted Ryan's proposed "Destroy Medicare With FIRE!" budget plan as "right wing social engineering."

So, with Romney now installing network software in order to coordinate with Ryan, does he still support Ryan's plan?

Not so fast there, dear readers.

Team Romney has started putting distance between The Candidate and the Ryan Budget Plan.  My guess is that this is to mitigate any fallout from Democrats, the few 'moderate' Republicans left, and the seven percent of the "undecided" electorate who Romney desperately needs in order to win.

But if he's distancing himself from the "Kill Medicare With FIRE!" plan, does that mean he agrees with Gingrich that it was "right wing social engineering?"

I want to see the answer to that question.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Wreck of the 'Willard Mitt Romney,' Continued

In my earlier post I played a recording of the Time Warp, an iconic song from the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

And no, I'm not going to Photoshop Mitt Romney's head onto Tim Curry's body, much as that would be a very unappealing image.

But let's examine the refrain's lyrics in light of Romney's headlong stampede to the Right.

It's just a jump to the left . . . 

A very small jump, to be sure - you don't dare offend the stultifyingly insane base of your own Party.

And a step to the right . . . 

More like a leap, sticking the landing like an Olympic gymnast and gluing yourself there.

Put your hands on your hips . . . 

As if you're about to scold you some liberals!

And keep your knees in tight . . . 

This is for the ladies, who won't be allowed any other form of birth control.

Oh, and there will be NO pelvic thrusting, dear readers, unless it's in a Church-mandated missionary position properly sanctified by a proper wedding only between a man and a woman.  That's a big no-no.

This exercise in Etch-a-Sketch shaking is an attempt to change the conversation and to fire up the GOP al Qaeda before going into the convention in Tampa.  Obama made his Veep pick early as well, but two days before the Denver granfalloon.  Mittens is taking the leap two weeks prior to the Grand Old Parteitag.

Why?

He's under water on his favorability ratings, especially with undecided voters.  If he has any hope of victory in November, he needs to close the gap with the incumbent President.

But with a Party platform advocating a return to Victorian (or Dickensian) values of economic disparity and a bright and shiny illusion of family values that hold very little water in this day and age, I am having trouble seeing the Well-Coiffed 2x4 and his Randite Stalking Horse making it.

But for right now, we will look forward to the week of mayhem and treachery labeled a Republican National Convention in the sunny city of Tampa.  Expect a few raucous displays by Ron Paul supporters and Tea Party hydrocephalics, as well as inflammatory and truth-deficient pronouncements from The Usual Suspects as RNC Chairman Reince Priebus (whose parents must have roundly despised him) tries to maintain order.

Parliament of whores, indeed.  The hookers and strip joints of Tampa await!

The Wreck of the 'Willard Mitt Romney'

We Start with An Apology . . . Gaffes, Boners, and with Friends Like This, Who Needs Enemas? . . . Borne Back Into the Past . . . A Surprising Resemblance . . .  . 

"At seven p.m. his coiffure caved in
'Twas the wreck of the 'Willard Mitt Romney!'"
(With many apologies to Gordon Lightfoot.)

It has not been a good couple of months for Mittens, dear readers.  Ordinarily I would have described every delicious sound bite of it, but they were coming so thick and fast I might have gained ten pounds just on the yummy schadenfreude.

We'll start with his foreign trip.  Now, back in 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama went to the Middle East and Europe to get a bit of exposure in foreign policy.  Senator McCain's supporters salivated at the prospect that Obama would fail mightily, or at least commit a few gaffes that they could use.

Didn't happen.  Obama hit all the right notes, leaving McCain nothing to get a tooth into.

So Mittens went to Europe, and you would think that being such a tightly-scripted fellow, he would be very careful, right?

Wrong.

He started out by dissing the British for their Olympics preparations, while rather oddly disclaiming that he knew anything about dressage or the horse his wife had in the Games.  Which is sort of strange, as he got a $77,000 tax credit for the glue factory refugee.  The horse, not his wife.

Then it was on to Israel, where he got a soft, wet blowjob from a newspaper belonging to Las Vegas billionaire Sheldon Adelson, Newt Gingrich's erstwhile sugar daddy, and a good firm reacharound from Prime Minister Netanyahu. 

Unfortunately, he boobed it there as well.  He praised Israel's health care system for using only 8% of GDP whereas we use 18% (therefore a tacit admission that Israel's universal - socialized - health care is superior to ours), offended both the Israelis and the Palestinians by whipsawing over whose culture was 'superior,' and (after returning to the USA) dissing the Israeli kibbutzim, which are near and dear to their hearts.  It probably didn't help to have the President of Israel and that country's Defense Minister praising Obama for his defense of Israel.

Then it was on to Poland, where he got some love from Lech Walesa.  Unfortunately, the Solidarity trades union released a press item distancing themselves from their onetime member and leader, based on Mitt's anti-union positions.  And (and this must have hurt any ordinary man, but not the Well-Coiffed 2x4) he was met by Polish Ron Paul supporters when he fetched up in Warsaw.

Back in his home country, Mitt continued to bumble, this time running as far away from his record at Bain Capital and his term as Governor of Massachusetts as he possibly could, and fending off repeated calls (even from Republicans) to release his tax returns.

His 'retroactive retirement' from Bain drew quite a few chuckles, an aide's mention of Romneycare (the direct progenitor of Obamacare) drew screams of outrage from the Far Right - and here's a thought for you:  When Romney was being vetted for McCain's Veep, he released his tax returns to the campaign, and (despite his term as Governor, his CEO credentials and the Salt Lake Olympics) the McCain Campaign still thought that Sarah Palin was the better choice.  Wrap your heads around that, folks.  

So how do you change the conversation?  How do you, so they say, shake the Etch-a-Sketch?

In Romney's case, you change things by picking a Vice President who is strong where you're weak.

And where is Romney weak?  In his conservative credentials.  The Tea Party have a down on him, the Religious Right suspect him, and even mainstream Republicans don't like him very much.

So he made a choice, from a field of rejects, morons and drooling defectives.  

It was this morning, on the deck of the USS Wisconsin, that Mittens announced his choice for Vice President.

Riff Raff, cue the music!


The irony was palpable.  Romney never served in the military, and spent Vietnam holed up in France for missionary work (and four draft deferments).  His sons have also never served in the military, even though they had ample opportunity.  He explained that they were serving their country by campaigning for him.

And, apparently, doing his hatchet work for him.  Son Tagg was detailed to call Tim Pawlenty and the others (Rubio, Christie, etc.) to tell them that they didn't measure up.

Mittens had picked the guy most often put forward by the Tea Party.  Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.

Paul Ryan.  Author of the GOP "Path to Prosperity" budget that said a lot of words but boiled down to immense tax cuts for the very rich, gutting the safety net and eliminating Medicare as we know it, guaranteeing early death of abject poverty for millions of elderly and ill Americans.

Paul Ryan, who has the unmitigated gall to excoriate Obama for not working in the private sector, while he himself has spent half his lifetime in Congress, enjoying government-supplied healthcare.

Paul Ryan, who, astoundingly, looks like Eddie Munster.

Who?

This guy:





Here's Ryan, so you can see for yourself:

Separated at birth?  We report, you decide.




Tuesday, August 07, 2012

How Neat Is This?

At 1:32 AM Eastern Time Sunday, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California erupted in cheers as the Mars Science Lab (a/k/a The Curiosity Rover) reported that it had touched down safely on the surface of the planet Mars. 

It was an amazing feat, made even more amazing by this:






This is a picture taken by the Mars Recon Orbiter's HiRISE camera from its position in Mars orbit, about two hundred miles away from the descending rover.  The upper inset is a closeup of the lander, its protective aeroshell still on, suspended from its parachute; the lower inset shows the heat shield still dropping away.  An action shot, as they say.

Let others talk about the Olympics for a moment.  I say that NASA and the JPL have won the gold medal for the shot put with this, as Curiosity landed safely to start its two year field trip on the planet.

A local radio DJ has decried the $2.5 billion cost of the project, saying that if he were President he would fire and imprison the people responsible for this step across millions of miles.  Just listening to him sent me off on a profanity-laced rant.  I think that if he had his way, your cellular phone would still be the size of carry-on luggage (if such things even existed, for without the space program we wouldn't have had the technological advances we now enjoy).  Well, fuck him.

Sit back, and bask in the SCIENCE!

Oh, and here's a bonus.  The rover was put on the surface by a skycrane system, involving nylon cables and a descent stage powered by rockets.  I didn't know it at the time, but the descent platform carried a camera.  NASA has taken still images from that camera and pieced together a short film that starts with the heat shield falling away and ends with the dust being kicked up by the descent engines.


Again, how neat is that?


Monday, August 06, 2012

Ho Hum, Another Shooting Spree ....

This is a repost from here, by permission of the original poster ...


Thoughts and Prayers Aren't Enough Anymore.



Here we go again. Another mass shooting, this time a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

Here's what's going to happen:
1. The police and the emergency respondents will do their absolute best to investigate the crime and assist the wounded. That's actually happening right now. The truth is, our police, although they have their issues, are generally pretty good at what they do, and our EMTs and emergency care facilities are excellent.

2. There will be substantial media attention, the extent of which will depend on the number of people who were shot. If enough people are shot, a special mournful dirge will be written (as it was with the Aurora shootings)

3. In a day or so, various politicians will state that "our hearts and prayers are with the victims and their families."

4. Many people will find themselves without medical insurance to cover their injuries, and will have to beg the community to pay for their bills, or the medical providers to reduce or waive them.

5. Some freakin' jackass like Allen West will claim that if he had been there packing heat, he could have shot the perpetrator dead. And there will be "other blame the victims for being unarmed"

6. The gun industry will benefit as sales of whatever weapon was used here will go up. The more people who are killed the better the sales will be.

7. People like me who criticize the ready availability of firearms capable of this type of mass killings will be criticized as "politicizing" the event.

8. The whole thing will be forgotten by the general public (but certainly not the victims) in two weeks, max.

9. Another massacre will occur. Repeat steps 1 through 8.