Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm Not a Computer Specialist

And, truth to tell, I've never claimed to be one.

But I can smell a possible dead rat in the works, just as well as anyone.

Which leads me to the Health.gov website and the troubles people have been having with it.  Full disclosure:  I haven't visited the site, as I have perfectly good coverage through my employer.

The website wasn't set up by the Federal Government; rather, it was set up by a private contractor.  It was outsourced, part of the cost-cutting, outsourcing fetish that has seized the government since the reign of Bush the Dumber and has led us to attempts by idiots like Rick Santorum to outsource the National Weather Service to the Weather Channel or a similar concern (thought people would forget about that, huh Ricky Frothy Mixture?).

I'd be very interested to see who owns this private contractor, or who its major customers are.  Money influences might be quite illuminating.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

No Surprise Here; Move Along to the Next Outrage, Please

During the height of the Iraq War, I offered a name for the combat operation that sounded a lot better than the original Operation Iraqi Liberation (swiftly changed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, in a blundering attempt to hide one of the reasons that the Administration That Must Not Be Named trick-fucked us into that shitpile).

That name was Operation Vicarious Manhood.

It was aptly named, I thought at the time.  George W Bush had probably been weaned on stories of his father's justifiably brave actions as a naval aviator in World War Two, and acquiring a Potemkin Village commission in the Alabama Air National Guard just wasn't cutting it. 

He needed something to make him feel more of a man, and show to the world that the United States was still on the top of the military leagues.

So we went to war in Afghanistan in late 2001, but that wasn't good enough, according to a new book out by a reporter for the New York Times.  According to an anonymous source cited in the book, Bush made the decision to invade Iraq (historical note:  the Saddam Hussein regime HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH 9/11, DEAL WITH IT) because " . . . we were looking for somebody’s ass to kick. Afghanistan was too easy."

Too easy.

Tell that to the families of the dead, George.  Tell that to the survivors who struggle with amputated limbs and traumatic brain injuries.

Tell that to the dead, you soulless little pussy.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tea Party Post-mortem

The stunning, over-reaching debacle that had been the Great Tea Party Coup Attempt of 2013 is now over.

It died, like the hog in the tunnel.

It succumbed to its own hubris and lost in the Senate, 81-18, and in the House 285-144.  Rep. Paul "Fuck the Poor" Ryan voted with the 144 other Republicans who thought that dragging the world into depression wasn't a Bad Thing.

Well, screw 'em.

A bicameral budget conference has to submit a budget report by December 13th, so until then:

Savor the sweet milk of their tears.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Last night the Republican House Caucus met under the 'leadership' of Speaker Boehner, who floated a plan to end the government shutdown and stave off a potentially catastrophic debt default.  However, the plan never made it off his desk, as the Tea Party faction suddenly reared up on their hind legs and started braying that it wasn't conservative enough to suit them.

Alas, Boehner got no support from the major conservative support groups either.  Heritage Action (the political wing of the Heritage Institute, which - by the way - had the original idea that later became the Affordable Care Act that the GOP reviles so much), FreedomWorks (the multimillionaires who actually support the "populist" Tea Party faction) and others objected.  Heritage Action went so far as to threaten to 'score' the vote - to tar every Republican member who voted for the plan so that a far more rightist candidate could be raised up to oppose them in the next election.

With the House plan dead, Boehner threw in the towel.

He called Senator Reid, and capitulated.  Basically he said, "Whatever you can put up that'll pass the Senate; I'll ask Nancy Pelosi to help get it through the House."

It was what Reid and McConnell were waiting for, and debate is going on as I write.  A vote on the Senate plan will be taken after supper, and then it goes to the House.  The plan does toss a few minor bones to the GOP, which makes it all the more humiliating.

Hopes among the Idiots that Rafael Cruz or Mike Lee might filibuster the Senate plan were cruelly dashed when both Senators said that while they may not vote for the plan, they won't filibuster.  Well, we'll see.  I hope McConnell has at least one thug nearby with a cattle prod and a can of Mace if Cruz or Lee open their gaping pieholes.

Speaking of which, I finally got a good long look at Cruz's face.  A big face, with a ridiculous weak chin and little, piggy eyes.  Very appropriate.

But wait!

There's more!

We haven't heard from the True Leader of the Republican Party, and its Chief Ideologist - the possible child sex tourist and oxycontin enthusiast Rush Limbaugh.

Well, fortunately someone over at Huffington Post listens to Rush, so I won't have to, and here's a bit of what he said:

"I was trying to think if ever in my life, I could remember any major political party being so irrelevant. I have never seen it. I have never seen a major political party simply occupy placeholders, as the Republican party has been doing. There has not been any serious opposition...against what's happening in this country. The Republicans have done everything they can to try to make everyone like them and what they've ended up doing is creating one of the greatest political disasters I've ever seen in my lifetime...I was pondering if I could ever remember...a time when a political party just made a decision not to exist, for all intents and purposes."


Yummy, yummy schadenfreude.

It tastes like dark chocolate M&Ms.

Enjoy while you can!

Because, dear readers, all the Senate plan does is kick the can down the road a month or two.

But it's worth watching the GOP, humiliated and dazed, ask for mercy.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Jane, You Ignorant . . . "

Those of us of A Certain Age can fill in the blank on that one.  It's a memorable line from the classic Saturday Night Live, with Dan Aykroyd on the delivery:

What does this have to do with today's screed?

Well, I agree with H. L. Mencken's position that the only way a journalist should look at a politician is down, but today's modern journalists are all too willing (as they have for the past 20+ years) to curry favor with politicians in order to get access and "exclusive" interviews.  A sad state for the Fourth Estate.

And that makes it all the more surprising when MSNBC presenter Thomas Roberts came up behind Representative Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and cut both of her Achilles tendons:

Thomas Roberts: When it comes to Obamacare, do you hate Obamacare more than you love your country?
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): I got to tell you something. I think that comments like that that you are making are just incredibly inappropriate. What we have to realize.
Thomas Roberts: You don’t think it is incredibly inappropriate to shutdown our government and to take all the hostages of Americans, that you have taken? No. No. No. It is not inappropriate because you have taken the government hostage to a shutdown and all the American people you are now walking them to a cliff,  the economy. And you are going to push them over one by one based on the fact that you don’t like the ACA. That’s all it is. You don’t like the affordable care act.
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): Listen to yourself. We didn’t want a government shutdown. Just listen to the way you are sounding; my goodness.

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha . . .

Your caucus wanted this shutdown, in much the same way that your caucus wants the debt default; your caucus even changed the rules on the day before the shutdown so that the Democrats couldn't bring a discharge petition on the Senate's continuing resolution to the floor for an up-or-down vote.

You and your caucus own this shutdown and the looming default, Marsha.

You called the tune; time to pay the piper and own up to your stupidity.

Marsha, you ignorant slut.

Your Moment of Zen

An Icelandic a capella group singing an 800-year-old Icelandic hymn in a train station near Wuppertal, Germany.

Just soak it in.

At (Almost) the Eleventh Hour

Senators Harry Reid (D-NVerland) and McConnell (R-Youlonesometonight?) have, by some accounts, cobbled together a plan to end the shutdown of the Federal government and kick the debt default can down the road for a little while longer.

Hearing of this, that valiant defender of Tea Party orthodoxy, Senator Rafael Cruz (R-Youfuckingkiddingme?) called a late-night confab of House Republicans in the basement of a local DC restaurant to plot a strategy for stamping out the Senate effort.  One GOPer was overheard saying that the Reid/McConnell plan was a "mushy piece of shit."

Well, better get prepared to spread it on toast and eat it, Republican Whore.

Republicans own this financial debacle, having spent months refusing to appoint conferees to sit down with Senators to hammer out a definitive budget, sending the country reeling from crisis to crisis regarding the debt or the continuing resolution or the farm bill or veterans' benefits or what have you, and finally altering the rules of the House of Representatives to deny the opposition from using the Discharge Petition Rule to force a vote on the 'clean' CR.

They own it, so let them eat it. 

The World Bank, the IMF, world financial leaders and their own billionaire pimps are starting to get very nervous about the idea that the United States may undergo its first deliberate default since the passage of the 14th Amendment ("the public debt of the United States . . . shall not be questioned").  The pimps have gone to their whores, the "Establishment" Republicans, and told them to solve the problem even if it means swallowing their pride.

To their surprise and chagrin, the plea is largely falling on deaf ears among the Tealiban, some of whom are positively gleeful at the prospect of destroying the country.  One of the stupidest of this pack of cretins, Louie Gohmert of Texas (I mean, seriously, where the fuck else?) has actually said aloud that if the Republicans manage to pull this off and cause a debt default, Obama should be impeached.

I'm of the opinion that the 80-odd (and some of them are VERY odd) Tea Partiers need to be impeached for treason and removed from office.  With cattle prods, if necessary.

So here we stand, on a brink, and there are some who insist we should emulate lemmings and hurl ourselves into the abyss, laughing maniacally.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Please, Proceed!

The Republican Party, plumbing the depths of its own candidate field, has produced yet another ripe, moist nugget.

And his name is Rick Santorum.

Yes, indeed.  The Frothy Mixture was seen oozing his way around the "Value Voters Summit" yesterday, dropping hints like sloppy road apples as to his 2016 Presidential ambitions.  In fact, one pollster obligingly canvassed a boatload of polls and discovered that Mullah Ricky is eighth out of a very crowded field that includes such conservative firebrands as Mitch Daniels and Condoleeza Rice.

Of course, the field also includes so-called human beings Paul Ryan, Rand Paul and Sarah Palin.

Looking over the field, all I can say is that if this is the best the GOP can offer, we may as well start inauguration proceedings for Hillary Clinton right now, and save the effort.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Stupid, Led by the Imbecilic

Earlier this week, President Obama told the Republicans that they can get out of the death spiral they've willingly thrown themselves into.

Said death spiral being the government shutdown and the looming specter of a debt default, which could cripple the entire world's economy when it least needs the hit.

Well, Boehner and the House GOP have made their offer:  A six-week extension of the debt limit, followed by negotiations over budget issues.  In the meantime, however, the government stays shuttered.

Senate Majority Leader Reid hurled it back in their faces.  He and the President insist that the government be reopened along with the hike in the debt limit.  Even if it's only for six weeks.

The Senate takes up a long-term (One Year) hike in the limit, while the Senate GOP are considering Another Bad Idea:  Senator Susan Collins' lunatic attempt to emasculate the Affordable Care Act by eliminating the medical device tax, which funds the law.

A growing number of polls indicate that the Republican Party is swiftly becoming less popular than late-stage syphilis (although they're still more popular than Ebola).  This has presented the Democrats with the possibility of regaining control of the House of Reprehensibles in 2014, and may finally destroy the GOP.

The rank and file of the two GOP caucuses are Stupid to allow themselves to be marched in lockstep to their dooms, led as they are by imbeciles like Boehner, Cantor, Ryan, Rafael Cruz, Mike Lee and Rand Paul.  If the Republicans lose control of the Congress and the White House in 2014 and 2016, they have only themselves to blame.

Monday, October 07, 2013

It Isn't Often . . .

That a 2-3 record by my favorite gridiron football team (that's American professional football; my favorite association football (soccer) side is Bayern Munchen) makes me happy.

But the Oakland Raiders did well tonight, jumping out to a big lead and then hanging on like grim death to beat the San Diego Chargers 27-17.  The Chargers' last play was a deep pass intercepted by Charles Woodson with 1:15 left in the game.


Week 5 was a fun one for me:

Miami lost.

Dallas lost.

New England lost.

All of which, coupled with a Raiders win, makes me very, very happy.

Oh, and the team I love to make fun of?  The Tampa Bay Tampons?

(They're called the Tampons because they're only good for one period, there's no second string, and they're a bloody mess.)

Well, there was no way they could possibly lose this week.

It was their bye week.


The Shutdown, the Default, and the Fallout

So . . .

Encouraged by the Tea Party Republicans in the House and Senate, the GOP caucus decided to annul the 2012 Presidential election (oh yes, and overturn the outcome of the Civil War - by the way, the North won that, you degenerate neo-Confederate traitorous bastards) and hold the government hostage.

They did this by allowing the government to partially shut down, putting some 800,000 workers out of their jobs.  The hostage-taking, dear readers, comes with their ransom demand:  They'll restart the government IF the President and the Democrats agree to do away with the signature domestic legislative achievement of Obama's administration; viz., the Affordable Care Act.

Naturally, the Democrats said, "Fuck you."

Which somehow resulted in Senator Rafael Cruz (R-Texas, and don't let that scumbag bluff you into thinking his actual name's 'Ted') spending 21 hours spouting, among other things, Green Eggs and Ham.

He missed the point about that, by the way - the point of the Dr. Seuss story was that after the guy tried the green eggs and ham, he liked it.

Just like Obamacare.  The shutdown didn't stop its implementation, and so many people tried to get into it that the website crashed, hard. 

Of course, as everyone knows, having a lot of people trying to use a website is a sure indication that no-one likes it.

Now, later this very month, we're in danger of hitting the debt limit.  This is kind of a big thing, not just for the Nasty Evil Gummint that the Tea Party Shitheads inveigh about, but for wider, global reasons.

See, the US Dollar is the world's reserve currency.  It's the currency everyone invests in when their own economy starts to go on the skids.  The reason that it's considered a safe haven is that the US Dollar is backed by the "Full Faith and Credit" of the United States.  The United States has never defaulted on its debts, you see - part of that is the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution, which states that nothing stops the public debt from being honored.

Over the years, there have been threats against the debt limit, protest votes and such, but in all cases the debt limit's been increased.  It was raised 17 times under Reagan, and 7 times under Bush the Imbecile.

But as soon as Obama became President, holding the government and the United States (and the world) hostage to the debt limit became a Thing.

So what happens if we default on our debt? I hear the Tea Party ask.  Fuck the rest of the world, right?  We got ours, screw the rest of them.


Our honoring our debt and having other countries have confidence in the dollar as a reserve currency enables us to borrow money at rock-bottom prices.  A default would mean that we couldn't, which would cause people to lose faith in the dollar as a reserve currency.  Which, according to economists (even the assholes on Fox Business Channel), would cripple the US economy - and we're only just now starting to get things going again. 

It would also damage the global economy, which leads me to The Fallout.

For starters, the economy would take a bigger hit - a lot of the gains we've made would be erased.  The world, finding our credit besmirched by a radical faction within our own government, would find other secure havens as a reserve currency (to our detriment), and many of the people who voted for these dingbats would get a lot poorer very quickly.

Politically, we're already seeing a shift.  Polls (which always follow the electorate; they don't lead it) are showing a distinct increase in unfavorable ratings for many of the Republicans.  It will only take a flip of 17 seats in the 2014 by-elections to move the House of Representatives back into Democratic control, the prospect of which must keep Speaker John Boehner (R-OHmygodwhere'smydrink) waking up in a flop sweat every godsdamned night.

This is where we're at right now.  Our government is under siege from within, with the Speaker too spineless to stand up to the eighty Tea Party members of his Party.  Said Tea Party asses are giddily masturbating at the prospect of finally destroying the government that destroyed their neat, clean Confederate world 148 years ago.  The extremely rich motherfuckers who are the shadowy eminences grise of the Tea Party are licking their lips at the prospect of getting even richer at the expense of the useful idiots who voted their catspaws into office.

And the rest of us?  What are we going to do about this?


Yes, dear and gentle readers!


I have a vocabulary, and I'm not afraid to use it!

And I have three months of sheer hatred to vent at the stupidity and seditious behavior of A Certain Faction in our government.