Saturday, November 06, 2010

Make It Rain

"A special shout out to the independents, who switched sides again, because President Chocolate Jesus did not make it rain twenties in two years."

Bill Maher (via haygirlhay)

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Friday, November 05, 2010

If only “Keith Olbermann, Inc” had donated the money, there would be no fuss.

Conservatives & Their Secret Love Of Socialism

Classic "get the government out of my government benefits" conservative hypocrisy. You're on the dole, you're not the top 1%.

Stop dreaming of being rich and realize who is playing you like the chump you are.

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Using Bipartisanship For And Against

You know the words “bipartisanship” and “cooperation” have become code words for “appeasement” and “capitulation.” We gave the Republicans over a hundred amendments to the healthcare bill. They remained implacably opposed to it.

Not one Republican member ever said to anyone in the Democratic Party, “If you give us X, Y, and Z, then we’ll vote for this bill.” Instead, they took X, Y, and Z as concessions on our part and then voted against it anyway. And this is something that the American people just don’t seem to see or understand, because we don’t publicize it.

I saw effort after effort after effort for the past two years, in the silliest ways possible, to keep matters from coming up to a vote and to stall and to procrastinate and to prevaricate on the right-wing side, and they were never exposed for it.

I remember one day, we had the largest number of votes in history in a single day. We voted from morning until late at night. And the reason for that is that every time we had a vote, the Republicans insisted on a recount. So we ended up, instead of having something like thirty-five votes, we ended up having something like seventy votes, simply because the Republicans literally wanted to waste our time, asking for a recount every single time on every single vote.

I lived through that. I didn’t see it on Fox. I didn’t see it on CNN.

- Rep. Alan Grayson [FL]

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GOP Loves Spending Money

via Ryking

Republicans love to spend money, but now, all of a sudden, will find the ability to not spend money for the first time. The historical champions of debts and deficits will now spend less.

Chances of this happening = zero. Chances their base will care = zero.

Citizens United Would Be Benito's Dream

Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power

Benito Mussolini

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“I’m Voting Democratic But Do What I Voted You To Do" Petition

"I'm Voting Democratic But I Will Work to Defeat You Next Time If You Don't Do Your Job" Petition

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Conceptual Deception In Politics

The year 2010 gives us a politics totally created by ad men and financed by corporate America. Those two mainstays of American finance essentially fund it: big banking and big insurance. It is so illogical and so dishonest that I can reduce the descriptive burden to one phrase: conceptual deception. Indeed, it can be adequately summarized in one word: cynicism.

There is a linguistic economy here that only a well-tanned investment banker can admire. For the rest of us, history suggests that we just have to experience it to appreciate its destructive power.

In the short run we are going to take a painful caning right across our backs. I know of no democratic defense against organized corporate lying, backed literally by unlimited corporate financing of said lies.

However, a measure of poise reveals that, even in politics, conceptual deception eventually contains self-destructive elements. The 2010 version of GOP sloganeering is so demeaning and even insulting to the sense of self of run-of-the-mill voters that it will generate at least a slight measure of backlash even in the course of a single electoral season. I do not immediately see how it can be sustained for two seasons for it leaves no workable politics for its advocates to advocate — as incoming Republican beneficiaries will learn in their own good time.

The enormous political power behind Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal resided in the overwhelming electoral weight of mass unemployment. Classic Republican cliches simply cannot support the weight of such large-scale human agony. It will force thoughtful Americans to discover what the original Populist advocates of the 19th century discovered and which I wrote about so long ago — namely, the profoundly exploitative impact unregulated banking has upon all the sundry millions who are not bankers.


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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Great News for the Federal Trade Comission


Ed Felten has been named the Chief Technologist for the FTC. This is great news for the FTC and the U.S. Felten has done amazing work with electronic voting, DMCA exceptions, and blogs at

Congratulations to Dr. Felten and the FTC.

For the sake of everybody else:
1. The FTC is the regulatory body that makes decisions regarding, among other things, net neutrality.
2. Having a good President means that little gifts like this pop up unexpectedly all the time. It’s sort of like having a generous stalker with exquisite tastes.
(Source: ftc.gov

Logic Of Rand Paul


“We all work for rich people or we sell stuff to rich people. So, just punishing rich people is as bad for the economy as punishing anyone.” - Senator-elect Rand Paul, standing up for the little guy.

Such great logic. So why take care of people because they all die anyway.

Between McConnell and Rand in Kentucky, any wonder why KY is their symbol? They love to fuck people over.

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‘Damn right’ Bush Personally Ordered Waterboarding

President George W. Bush admits for the first time in his new memoir that he personally approved the use of waterboarding, a technique in which an interrogator simulates drowning on a suspect. The method, which most describe as torture, has since been banned by the Justice Department.

In his book, "Decision Points," Bush asserts that he was asked by the Central Intelligence Agency whether he would support the agency's waterboarding of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged 9/11 mastermind.

"Damn right," Bush says that he said.

Christians rejoice! Constitutionalists rejoice! GOP lawyers rejoice!

Having a president above the law, breaking the Geneva Convention, torturing people using "god on his side" as a justification is just perfect logic for Conservatives/Republicans/Tea Klanners.

Same people think Obama increasing health care for children is fascism and/or communism depending on their clear lack of intellect.

We need to get serious about how not serious our opposition is.

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"Least Religious" As An Indicator

"In almost every measure of societal health, the least religious countries are better off than the most religious. Countries like Denmark, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands, which are the most atheistic societies on earth, consistently rate better than religious nations on measures like life expectancy, infant mortality, crime, literacy, GDP, child welfare, economic equality, economic competitiveness, gender equality, healthcare, investments in education, rates of university enrollment, internet access, environmental protection, lack of corruption, political stability, charity to poorer nations, etc…

While the mere correlation between societal dysfunction and religious belief does not tell us what the connection is between them, these data should abolish the ever present claim that religion is the most important guarantor of societal health. They also prove conclusively that a high level of unbelief need not lead to the fall of civilization."

- Sam Harris

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Preach On, Brother

Morality predates conflicting Bronze Age myths cribbed together from previous creation stories from around Egypt, India and Sumeria.

Monotheism is all about collecting money for one god. Why have so many when one can do it all?

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Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Letter To A Whiny Young Democrat

Oh, now you've done it.

See? You see what happens when you young liberal voters get so disgruntled and disillusioned that you drop all your party's newborn, hard-won ideas about Hope™ and Change™, without any patience, without really giving them sufficient time to mature, without understanding that hugely foreign, anti-American concept known as "the long view"?

See what happens when you wallow in hollow disappointment, trudging all over your liberal arts campus and refusing to vote in a rather important mid-term election, all because your pet issues and nubile ego weren't immediately serviced by a mesmerizing guy named Barack Obama just after he sucked you into his web of fuzzyhappy promises a mere two years ago, back when you were knee-high to a shiny liberal ideology?

Well, now you know. This is what happens: The U.S. House of Representatives, the most insufferable gaggle of political mongrels this side of, well, the rest of Congress, reverts to GOP control like a brain tumor reverts to a more aggressive form of cancer, and everything gets bleaker and sadder and, frankly, a whole lot nastier.

What happens is: Many kinds of fragmented, muddled, but still constructive Democratic progress might get stopped quite nearly dead, and even a few pieces of legislation we actually did gain get slapped around, threatened, stomped on the head like a scientist at a Rand Paul rally. Happy now?

Check it out, kiddo: This is not just any Republican party you allowed back into power; these mealy folks are not anything like the war-hungry, Bush-tainted army of flying monkeys and Dick Cheney moose knuckles you so wonderfully helped bury in the history books last election.

No, the GOP of 2010-2011 is even weirder, dumber, less interested in anything you even remotely care about; this GOP is infused like a sour cocktail with a bitter splash of the most cartoonish, climate change-denying Tea Party dingbats imaginable -- most of whom think you're an elitist, terrorist-loving, gay-supporting threat to "real" American values, btw -- all led by a guy named Boehner who wears a bizarre, shellacked tan so fake and creepy it makes Nancy Pelosi looks like a supermodel.

And you made it all happen. Or rather, you failed to prevent it from happening, by not voting, by turning your collective back on Obama's tough love, by getting all whiny and dejected like some sort of sullen teen vampire who can't get laid.

Do you deny it? Did you see the polls and studies that said that most fresh-faced, Obama-swooning Dems like you are now refusing to support our beloved Nazi Muslim president because he didn't wish-fulfill your every whim in a week? That he was, in fact, not quite the instant-gratification SuperJesus of your (or rather, our) dreams?

Of course you didn't see any of that. Hell, I bet you're not even reading this column right now. You're probably back on Twitter, raging into the Void about, hell, who knows what? The Wolf Parade concert. Angry Birds. The People of Wal-Mart. Anything but politics, really.

But hey, whatevs, right? Screw it. Screw him. After all, the prez let you down. Conveniently "forgot" to include you in the dialogue, after a major election that you helped him win. Where were the outreach programs? The campus speaking tours? Weekly appearances on "The Daily Show"? Legal pot and gay marriage and discounts tickets to SXSW and Burning Man and Coachella? I want my goddamn political perks, and I want them now.

Hey, I understand. We're an instant gratification culture, and you're an ADHD generation. Who wants to hear that serious enviro legislation might take a decade or two to fully come to fruition? Who wants to hear about Obama passing rather amazing student loan reform? Or even financial reform? Or health care, the Iraq drawdown, saving a million jobs at GM, or all the rest of his rather astonishing achievements to date? Dude, so boring.

Of course, you've now learned the hard way that the hot flush of a major election is far more electrifying than the gray n' meaty grind of actual governing. Obama flew into office on gossamer liberal wings, but the real halls of D.C. are a goddamn pigsblood slaughterhouse, brutal and depressing, full of gnarled legislative compromise. Screw that noise, you know?

And you know what? You're right. Well, sort of. The Obama administration sure as hell could've done more to keep young activists inspired and involved. It's an opportunity squandered, no question. Then again, dude was sorta busy unburying the entire nation, you know? And the twitchy Democratic party has never been known for its savvy cohesion. Maybe you can give him/them a break? Whoops, too late.

Look, I'm sorry. I know I'm being far too hard on you. Of course it's not just you. It's not completely your fault these dimwit Repubs were allowed to ooze back into a bit of power so soon. As many analysts have pointed out, this wasn't a vote for the Republicans, but against the limp-wristed Dems who didn't step up and lead with more authority and clarity of purpose. Truly, libs and independents of every age are frustrated Obama isn't governing with the same kind of magical, balls-out visionary zeal that fueled his campaign.

And let's not forget a shockingly unintelligent Tea Party movement that stands for exactly nothing and fears exactly everything, all ghost-funded by a couple of creepy libertarian oil billionaires -- the leathery old Koch brothers -- who eat their young for a snack. Who could've predicted that gnarled political contraption would hold water? But hey, when Americans are angry and nervous, they do stupid things. Like vote Republican. It happens. Just did.

But here's your big takeaway, young Dem: It ain't over yet. The 2012 election is just around the corner. If we've learned anything, it's that two years whip by insanely quickly. Anything can happen, and usually does. You'll have another chance. And probably another after that. Maybe more.

So here's what you need to know, right now: Barack Obama is, and will continue to be, a bit of goddamn miracle. He's simply as good as we're going get for an articulate, thoughtful, integrity-rich Democratic prez in your lifetime. Period. To hamstring his administration out of spite and laziness is childish and sad. Check the accomplishments. Understand the process. Deal with the messiness.

It will never be perfect. It will never be giddy liberal nirvana, because it doesn't work that way. Politics is corrosive and infuriating, de facto and by definition, even with someone as thoughtful as Obama in the Big Chair. Understand it. Deal with it. Get back in the game. If you don't, we all lose.

Your choice, kiddo.

The youth vote needs help with their focus, but they will learn.

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Haiti, Ten Months Later. A Little Perspective For The Cranky

Sure wish all those tax cuts and smaller Government would save these people.

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2012 Presidential Odds

Perspective. Reality. 2010 election was last grasp for the aging, monochromatic GOP. 90+ million millennials will be of voting age by 2018. They grew up on Barney. They share. They respect people.

Plus, who will dare take away Boomers’ meds in coming years?

Facebook Breakups Visualized

David McCandless and his team scanned through 10,000 status updates to do some trend analysis on when people announce breakups on Facebook.

Watch his full TED talk on the beauty of data visualizations here.

Bridgeport Didn't Order Enough Ballots Because Unused Ones 'Cost A Lot Of Money'

How much do lawsuits cost?
BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The Democratic registrar of voters in Connecticut's largest city says her office didn't order enough ballots for Tuesday's election in part because of the cost.
Sandi Ayala told The Associated Press on Wednesday that past assumptions of a 65 percent voter turnout in Bridgeport had led to many unused ballots and, "They cost a lot of money."
Ayala could not say how many ballots were ordered. Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz (BY'-suh-wits) says 21,000 ballots were ordered for the city's 69,000 registered voters.
Voter suppression in Bridgeport that you would never see in Greenwich.
Republican candidates were hoping they would not count all the votes or keep the polling locations open later. Too bad. They did and Democrats swept.

A Very Clear Message

The 2010 elections sent a clear message:

We lack the maturity as a country to deal with present and future situations as adults. We lack the intellectual honesty to engage in policy debates using facts.

If Rand Paul, a millionaire doctor and son of a millionaire, elected in bumfuck Kentucky, is a bellweather that the media wants me to consider will change politics, I say google Ross Perot.

My Question To The Media

Republicans have factually created the largest Government increases, in both size and amount of deficits, as well as, shown they created almost zero jobs under the previous 8 years of Bush and Republican policies.

Seeing that the facts show Republicans do not know how to cut spending.

Seeing that the facts show Republicans have not created jobs.

Seeing that the facts show Republicans have increased the size of Government. [ex. Created Department of Homeland Security - largest Government agency ever]

Why does the media not ask what empirical evidence or what history of Republican leadership has showed Americans that they can cut the size of Government, cut deficits, and create jobs, all at the same time, when they have been unable to do any one of them at anytime?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Ignorance Is Not Always Bliss

"You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant."Harlan Ellison

Religion Pigeon

Using what you don’t know to define who you think is fact.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The American Left Is A Phantom

"The American left is a phantom. It is conjured up by the right wing to tag Barack Obama as a socialist and used by the liberal class to justify its complacency and lethargy. It diverts attention from corporate power. It perpetuates the myth of a democratic system that is influenced by the votes of citizens, political platforms and the work of legislators. It keeps the world neatly divided into a left and a right. The phantom left functions as a convenient scapegoat. The right wing blames it for moral degeneration and fiscal chaos. The liberal class uses it to call for “moderation.” And while we waste our time talking nonsense, the engines of corporate power—masked, ruthless and unexamined—happily devour the state." - Chris Hedges

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Relax. It Says "McDonalds"

“These are hard times, not end times.”
- Jon Stewart